Archive for the ‘relationship’ Category

Super Storm Sandy

Lost power. Dealing with loss, in times of hurricanes, in electoral years. We endow our lives with stories, if the power in the ideals of a mother/father – the bonds, the identity, and all the belief – is gonna survive. If the identity in a name is going to survive at another level. The essential lesson to pass on to the next generation is that there was no illusion that your fertility was sacred. Or was meant to be sacred.

Power was the first of all pleasures… passed down to little kids. In both trying to deliver people, like the truth or the news in the Information Age, and to save the people stuck, even in the Age of Technology. When systems were collapsing. And so the movement in the story dealing with loss – exile, banishment, journeys outside the garden. As the promise to give each other experiences of waking up to each-others’ truths. Whether dealing with loss when something was taken away from you, or when you simply lost: belief, possession, power. When you seemed stuck, and nothing was moving.

Shakespeare wrote that knowledge maketh a bloody entrance.

TO camouflage how scary the real world is. When you were forced to somehow start over. With each generation. Lou Gerhig had it all wrong when he confused luck with Providence, in calling himself one of the luckiest men on the face of the earth. Maybe that was the precursor of things to come in the tradition of Germans in the 1930s.

To lose your intense dedication. And the cause was? Or when you just lost your power over something or someone.

Dealing with loss. Those biblical stories of famine — or flood. Chosen people, those wandering restless beings, actively pursuing a duty on earth to survive – those every day threats of death, extinction, genocide. Over and over the leaving, the coming back. Joseph, the dreamer. The things that led to 400 years of slavery, the melodies that italicized the words.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures… passed down to little kids. What happens in a famine to people? Under the pressure of coping, the ties between people wither. Starvation produces – the ironic use of language – a pragmatic desperation which too is a human coping mechanism. As people and their relationships wither.

“Self-acceptance depends on self-awareness; self-donation depends on self-acceptance.” To have a home to escape to, from the tumult. From death and extinction. (The intense dedication was not some illusion.)

“One cannot accept what one does not know,” Larry Gillick writes. And a Swedish-American female responds: “I believe and strive for self-awareness, self discovery, self-empowerment through music, nature walks, bon fires, festivals, ocean, boating, yoga.

Inheritance. Very spiritual …possibly on the mystical side.

“You cannot give what you do not have.” You can never go back. After tasting even more freedom. No child could ever really go back home because “you cannot step twice in the same river.” When you leave dependency and become independent, whether as a woman, or in China. To be caught up in the world. Those Biblical stories are about when you get so caught up in the world and its storms.

To confuse luck with Providence, and then to pass on the concept in a secular world. When it was really about being chosen, to try and love better. So what is spiritual beauty? “What is wisdom?” is the better question. It starts with knowledge, moves to loving and ends in serving. The responsibility that comes with gifts: power. This power to love was the deepest thing about me. And sex was to be used to overcome extinction.

When you worked in the scary world and came how to the emotions? And suddenly I was supposed to responded to all of the emotions? To have a depth of understanding which developed over time about people. In an election year, power and might. Kings and queens. And presidents.

Chosen people. Creating, sustaining the illusion. The connection to pride — the basic sin of pride — in the expendable world. The world of fertility at harvest time, in a year of drought). When you lost your job. Without unemployment, without pensions and social security, when your job was it. But people do not feel sorry for you after a certain age. And instead you would face punishment.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures… passed down to little kids. By this time in my life – based upon what time does to a spirit – I think I am cultured. I enjoy the twenty-six basic themes repeated over and over in all the stories. When the power of a culture is based upon a shared literature. In stories. “Mostly they are the same lives, the same stories, over and over,” wrote David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.

Lost power and The FAMINE SONG: Take our hearts…take our lives. We are the signs of Your life, with us yet. In a relationship. Take our bread, take our hearts. . . We are Yours.

In times of hurricanes, in electoral years, in ivy towers far away. When God seemed so distant. As people without shared beliefs try to pray or try to vote, the production seems more stilted or staged, like at a political rally over human power. Yet no one in the audience knows how strong the bond is in this community, when belief is shared. Between people.

I have a pet peeve in people who communicate in the vagaries of languages. Using “this” and “it” and not defining the subject in a sentence. And so the state in 2012 of the English praying Catholic world with leaders preoccupied with untouchable “spirit” this Halloween. With the war fought over the preoccupation with translation, there was a loss of the established concept of base – that God is love. There is a beauty when people with shared belief pray – that is what comes from a familiarity from this group. “God be with you.” Not His Spirit, but God!

Feel the emotions left in the wake of the winds of Sandy: the fear, the denial, the soon to come anger. There is a beauty when people with shared belief act on behalf of each other, during times when power was lost. If the power in the ideals of a nation – the bonds, the identity, and all the belief – is gonna survive

PHOTO COURTESY OF JASON OTT, THOUGH THROUGH HIS FAKERY, AS THIS IS NOT A TRUE PHOTO, LIKE SO MANY POLITICAL FLYERS.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

Words. Cut the last paragraph…insert that paragraph in the next chapter. And leave something hanging.

In the beginning. Like somehow in music. Or a lot like in humor. Or in creation. When the invisible becomes visible.

The patterns, like weather patterns. The patterns which represent deep currents developing from ocean temperatures, in global meteorology which work against any effort for stable temperatures everywhere. Wind patterns which reflect something. Like an image. And image to transcend divisions.

What moves people? Anger? Love? The weather patterns, the isobars of love? How did love move people? How did the political forces of the world move people? What moved God?

Words. Describing the relationship which should exist. The self-hatred when re-creating without love. Sensing it in the girl. Then seeing it within me.

The disorganization. Movement. Break-ups. The patterns. To see water fall from the sky, when the ocean was 1,000 miles away. The amazement.

The patterns. In the clouds. In lives. With all of the disorganization. All these words here, making only thunder. Asking what moves people?

What moves people? On the land masses? In the divided land masses. When something ethereal transcended the divisions.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” All this attention on a young person’s education. For twelve grades, or more. All this focus on words. But when life was not just a memorization process.

Words. Cut the last paragraph…insert it in next chapter. Leave something hanging. Actions. What I have done. The disorganization. In the words. In the plan. And the purpose of the story was? As the world got more complicated, all this disorganization. Thus the conflict.

Would there ever would be organization? In the words? In the isobars?

Wanting to have some power in your life. Some creative power. Some organized power.

Good and evil. Words. All this focus upon words. So that one day a person might act on the disorganization. When something invisible had become all too visible. In a teen-age bedroom. Or in a society.

Words of anger. Words of love? The weather pattern of love? How did love move people? How did the political forces of the world move people? And what moved God?

What was the purpose of the story? Chosen men. On a land mass. Characters with the need. To establish order. On the land mass. The need in the community for a homogeneous view. About good and evil.

One. The need in the community to establish order. With a human head. In a relationship.

The meaning of creation. Despite the conflict, wanting to have union. And wanting to have some power in the significant other’s life. When she desired an authentic relationship. The kind of relationship which should exist. Or the self-hatred when re-creating without love. First sensing it in the girl. Then seeing it within me.

The creation process. Good and evil. Men in a relationship. If they were lucky to have one. Fortunate men. Lazy men. Chosen men. With a woman. And with God.

Coming to grips with creation. Helping with it. In a world with 6.7 billion. Who will you affect, in your relationship? Who will you touch?

There was a new point of view. Out of union.

Because somehow my life was, with the weather patterns, to be a geological force that shapes the earth. In the creation process. In union.

About your greatness. Prove it. In a relationship. And then in the world.

Life in those relationships. Organizing a point of view. Union.

When life, new life, was the language of creation absorbed each day. Slowly evolving. When, or if, God was the inspiration to your focus. The God of Abraham. The God of Isaac. The God of Jacob. An always evolving God. For chosen men. By women. And then Chosen People. In the changing language of humanity, in the new point of view in this story, what was the purpose of the story?

Creation. Which also has involved destroying life in one form. Always and everywhere. And replacing life. Confronting the unsettling ways in which God, as we encounter Him in the actual text in the years when humans entered the story, became engaged to holy men and women in the Torah. A lot like those prophets who have gone before us, who gave us the foundation built, but who seem decidedly ungod-like. Those prophets living in a polytheistic world. And there then were also the unsettling ways in which God appeared to be decidedly unlike God. Especially if you had been an Egyptian, and beset with plagues. Who could believe in the God of the Hebrews then? God waging war on the side of the Israelites. This God, who made everyone, beset with the same conflict of inheritance? Passing on or hoping to pass on, something to the next generation. Or to someone. When people had human rights and liberty. But maybe not lawyers yet.

Words. The symbols clanging. All these symbols clanging and all these words here, making only thunder. The disorganization. In the words. In the plan. In what I forgot to do.

Noises. Words. Looking for attention. Action. What I have done?

C Cut the last paragraph…insert it in next chapter. Leave something hanging.

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OKCupid

Glaciers. Still feeling the affects of glaciers, of hardship. At Inishmore in the Aran Islands, looking out across the Atlantic, from a site where a fortress had been built 3,000 years ago. Inishmore was a place about hardship.

There are community norms, on an island. John Fogarty had made a movie, Man of Aran, showing daily routines of getting soil and seaweed, forming a soil, in order to grow potatoes, in a land with little soil, in a place long before the Great Famine. And after. Where Aran Island woman made heavy identifying sweaters for fisherman-husbands to drown faster amidst the high seas, as few husbands knew how to swim.

The anthropology. The temptation. Of filling the void. The normal human void of loneliness. The fear, in the real world. Of hunger. Of death. Of hardship. Of glaciers and hardship, and the rock left behind. . . while still feeling the affects of Famine.

The illusion. Of internet dating websites. The choosing. With pictures. And what was the truth. The problems that went with the choosing. The fear about living in community, and community norms. And the isolation. All of the isolation.

Creation, and the fear about it all. When all reproductions were based on temptation. Upon attraction. Upon sex. Dating. Relationships. The choosing. With people intriguing enough to start a conversation. Belief. Fidelity. Touching.

In a world filled with individuals battling problems with unconditional love, when there were so many doubts about true love, Happy Valentine’s Day.

There was a piece I read in The New York Times about dating websites. A hockey coach I knew had sent me an e-mail in 2008 citing how the internet was changing the world, where something like 25% of the American brides and grooms in a recent year had met on-line.

Successful internet websites were about finding other people like me hanging out, and then I would join. If they had joined.

OkCupid. It was Valentine’s Day. I had taken one of the surveys: How many times per day do you brush your teeth? And I checked my answer against the answer of a woman. Once? She only brushed her teeth once?

Community norms. OKCupid. The anthropology, melting the glaciers. Led with the maps and the beautiful charts. And their questions. As if they would work in the real world, charting your loves. With their maps and beautiful charts, have you had, if you divide your age by two, sex with more than that number? How important was your prospective date’s answer to the same question?

Community norms. Relationships. Living in community. Dating websites.

Glaciers. Still feeling the affects of glaciers, the challenge with internet dating, with any dating, was to build trust, with the website and the candidates. Melting the glacier. Finding the rock within. In a world with people of different belief. In a world that did have devil worshipers. The invaders. Having dates, having sex with the invaders. My grandmother would never believe what had happened to the world. Dating, and ultimately having sex with a pagan, an invader? Unconditionally. When the successful relationship was based on the heart and soul within the body. And creating identifying sweaters for the next generation.

The need to add legitimacy to a website’s matchmaking approach. To find someone to live in relationships. Okay Cupid! Go!
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Connections

A girl without any real religion background in her family life. It was not her fault. It was the way the cards were dealt. What she had written about her boyfriend could just as well had been addressed to God. Because those relationships really were not much different. When you felt as if you might be understood about 33 percent of the time:

“I wonder why I desire. For Him to know about me. I wonder why I desire His pity, for Him to feel sorry for me. I wonder why I desire for Him to have pity. And in that way, help me. It is a bit sickening to me. For this desire is not me. For it is not truly like me to desire so crazily.”

“It is okay that I am just releasing just a thought. The thought may be a feeling of insecurity. It is me stripping away delusions. They say it stems from low esteem.”

“Love and that strange mixture of enmity and esteem.” This girl acknowledges her desire stems from low self esteem. “Because in the end all that is necessary is connection. Because you cannot make anyone feel anything, you cannot make anyone do anything. Every soul makes a decision for itself. Connection is not about giving or taking. Connection is about everything. Connection is about extending. The decision is to extend, to connect. That is the choice. That is the purpose.”

Exposed to the secrets within, God did not understand true expression? God did not understand her prayer? When all that she asked was this connection. She was asking for His connection to her? From what she called low esteem which once had been named humility. “Why don’t you do it first? And I will follow.”

To have a claim to God. Through a tradition. “I have come here to love. It is now the time. The time to release myself. To release myself from all the hurt and anger, the pain and sorrow. It is time to commence life. Because I have a need to love and be loved.”

See http://trpimir.blogspot.com/2009/10/stripping-away-delusions.html)


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Hooking Up

Seasons. Ritual.

Kids. The step progeny. Those one sport specialists. In this specialized world.

The specialized world. The specialist working at the Board of Trade. During the hockey season. The never ending hockey season. Or name the sport. And then hockey camp. Traveling teams and these one sport specialists. Hockey moms. Married to hockey dads. For a while.

In a world without relationships. It had now become a world of polygamy, just without the vows. Awesome. With a generation which did not know how to place adverbs. Or where. Those step progeny.

“I didn’t marry nearly as many times as I could have.”

The state of the world as described in Tom Wolfe’s Hooking Up. These grown kids. The conflict in a megabyte world that kept moving fast. The desire to stay. The attraction. The urge to go. Into such a profane world. In the specialized profane hockey world. Or the real world. Of relationships. Or lack thereof.

Seasons. Ritual. Stirred or bored.

Stirred in relationship. Not for money. For others. Mr. Law. Allan Law.

Cared for. Mostly just those with a blood relationship. Or those in one way adopted. Mr. Law. See
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/69486467.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ

Stirred or bored. By the seasons. The choice to either ritualize the seasons or to one day face snowballing boredom. The choice to ritualize in relationships.

Hooking Up. The specialized world was in recovery. The specialist. Even plumbers and repair people. Paying for all those $30,000 to $50,000 weddings, for kids of mostly common people. Or not. Tom Wolfe. Hooking Up.

Tom Wolfe. Back to Blood was the working tile of Tom Wolfe’s book scheduled to be released in 2009.

The desire to stay with an author, or to move on. By a reader. His literary agent. His publisher. Somewhere in the last few years, Tom Wolfe was unable to agree on terms for a new novel with his publisher of 42 years.

To write. For the profane world. Stirred to express an understanding. Stirred in relationship. When hooking was no longer a two minute penalty.


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Certified


Worried too much about the now of today, and about the future, not the past.

Theologians. Economists. Quantum physicists. How to become one?

Staring intently into the fires. Bonded. With bindings to something. What does it mean to be bound? When your behavior was bound?

Converting solid to mass. Converting gases into energy. Visible steam. Moving out of my morning tea. Quantum physicists. Gauging the speed of falls. Or the strength left in the mortar.

Calculating relationship of matter to gravity. The speed of falls.

Bindings. Money. Arranged marriages. The industrial revolution. Marriage. Independence. Divorce.

Bindings. Money. Since the industrial revolution, money tied us all together. It was a means of communication. And a source of friction.

A source of friction between a couple. In a world filled with fear. While dealing with wealth and money, it is of note that quantum physicists do not understand the relationship of matter to gravity. And men did not understand women.

Fear. Of hunger. Of cold. Of earth, wind and fire. True fear. Unemployment. Health care reform. Death. A day of remembrance. This week in Indonesia. in Samoa. Last week in Manila. Hennepin County Medical Center and their $43 million problem. It was a bad year to be in the hospital business. With money.

Fear and money. Wills. Insurance. Order. The developed world versus the Third World.

Fear. About the future. Currency concerns over the next 3 years. About money. But when believing in gold seemed like a pagan idea.

Time. Physics. Distance. 32 seconds per second per second. Gravity. Currency concerns. Falling fast. In a world without a gold standard. When quantum physicists still don’t know the relationship of matter to gravity. And economists?

Money. And the avoidance of suffering. When quantum physicists didn’t know the relationship of matter to gravity. And when male quantum physicists do not understand female quantum physicists.

Theologians. Economists. Quantum physicists. Staring intently into the fires. Bonded. With bindings to something. What does it mean to be bound? When your behavior was bound? To each other?

Becoming. Mostly you just read what prior theologians, economists, quantum physicists wrote. You went to schools where theologians, economists, quantum physicists were. You got certified. Then you went about doing what they all did.

In a world that wanted to deny any need for God, in a world filled with fear, how to become? Converting calories into energy. Contributing to order. How to convert the world’s chaos to peace?


Too Big To Fail

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With now a number closer to 7 billion than 6 billion, what was happening at this point in history? With this generation? I wonder what God had learned with the human population explosion. I had read that the Philippines ten years ago had 71 million people. The current population estimate there is 91 million people. So how had that Passover instruction, the one how to eat the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it, affected life there? Or here. in all of this traffic?

I greatly admire the scholarship of Jack Miles, a former Jesuit who won the Pulitzer Prize for his non-fiction work, God: A Biography. His curriculum vitae includes study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, beside his Ph.D., in near Eastern Languages from Harvard. In my reading in either God: A Biography or to his approach to the Christian God in in his sequel, Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God, there is nothing heretical in the Christian perspective — if heresy could ever come out of a truthful attempt of discovering God, with no directed end to that of selfish use of power. I have read both books.

There was this nobility of human kind in that Genesis motive, God’s confession for existing: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” It was a mutual endeavor, when God was quoted by the author in use of what is called the royal “WE.”

God wanted an image, it was written. God needed an image to conquer that sense of loneliness? In creation? That underlying calm in a world was shattered. Yet day after day, most of the 6.7 billion do find food to eat.

With diffuse anxiety came war. Divorce. The ensuing dysfunction in family, with all that trouble communicating. And then the lies which ensued from the dysfunction. That was quite an aftermath to creation.

I wondered if He expected all of this aftermath? He had had a lot of silence before He set out with His creation plan. And any sense of loneliness, any sense of silence, was long since shattered in the prayers that must storm heaven every new morning.

God as a writer, looking for character in characters. And not getting a lot of cooperation. In the aftermath of all the discussion over the last 12 months of “too big to fail , how prepared is any author for the task of creating, I wondered? In the human writer, the writer has immense power along with self-ignorance, when self-ignorance has a lot to do with the need to create in the first place. At the start most authors have no idea for what he/she wishes. After taking pen to hand, Jack Miles asks, how prepared was God for what ensued? Is that why it took a few millennium to revise His plan? So God needed creation to realize what exactly he wished for in the first place? This was a lot like marriage….when a guy has no idea what he was in store for?

When it comes to women, there was a lot of talk these days about self-esteem. I have a friend with a Ph.D., who counsels young women all the time about their self-esteem. No one has ever gotten involved in procreation without some sense of self, to some degree, first. So with the education process, knowledge comes before any sense of self-esteem.

So once God bestowed the power to create, it was a lot like watching your own kids, and crossing your fingers, as they dealt with their powers to procreate, hopefully with a sense of good and evil. That second creation, with Noah, seems to have been an attempt to start over with some sense of morality, good and evil, to pass along to humanity. And so began the story of a Chosen People. A search for a Chosen People. Based upon blood.

In some parts of the world, this desire to procreate seems to have waxed and waned. Just as over time, Jack Miles writes, God’s desire to create subsides. Miles thought that this was the reason God has gone silent in the modern world. “The desire for potential carries within a tragic potential. Once you have seen your image, will you want to keep looking? Once you know who you are, will you lose your purpose?”

Wondering at some point if God did not expect more from humanity. In his book, Miles does address things like the different number of books in the Old Testament, as counted by Catholic and Jews. He addresses, as in any literary criticism, things such as point of view. But he never addressed the change from one book to the next, with all of these different authors, voice. Things like active or passive voice which can quietly change. When the authors never again captured God quite like the author had in the Book of Genesis.

There was a need for relevancy in the world. When you wrote for others. When you work became a prayer, in writing a book. When over time, in a generation, you discovered the meaning of a phrase. Yet when generations were so different from each other. In music. In prayer. So that was why the reference to the God of Abraham. The God of Isaac. The God of Jacob. This monotheism with one God who was so different over time. So that was the difficulty of those Catholics who knew God before Vatican II with those Catholics who came after?

On the eve of Labor Day. An author in search of the collective voice, in a world of iPhones and iPods. Amidst the need for relevancy, when as a writer, your work became a prayer. Whatever your work, there was still this need, this collective need, for a collective voice for a generation, in the search for relevancy. In an age where labor unions had died, only a faint collective voice in protest could be heard, in a need to be rescued. To cry out in protest. Over hunger. Over unemployment. Over sickness, without health insurance. Over abandonment. Crises in identity come over the erosion, the changes, with the times.

So what was happening at this point in history? Wondering at some point about this who-dunnit, if God did not expect more from humanity. The book, God: A Biography, stops at the end of the Old Testament. Were the answers back at the beginning of a story? In this nobility of human kind, in that Genesis motive? With a sense of good and evil? When God changed His theophany from individuals, like Adam, like Eve, to community leaders like Moses?

Wondering at some point what was happening at this point in history? If God did not expect more from humanity. With that generation in Egypt. His Chosen People. Remembering the Passover instruction. About the lamb that must be a year-old male. The lamb which shall “not be eaten raw or boiled. But roasted whole…None of it must be kept beyond the next morning. Whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up.”

Thus the instruction that came with the Passover. Which still applied to my generation. In these traffic jams. “This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight.”

So what was happening to this, with this, generation. To this nobility, in this mutual endeavor? With my generation? To that sense of identity? In the “too big to fail” world? With all this talk about self-esteem? At this point in history when the teaching on how to pray has long since been combined with instruction how to cook the lamb, with instruction on how to eat it, roasted whole, if we were to somehow survive? Together. “In proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.”

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Easing

Oriented. That milk in the fridge. Expiration date. It said July 5th on the plastic jug. The date today… was …..July 18. Hey! It tastes okay.

Doctors liked to begin a patient evaluation by mentioning the overall mental status of the patient. In the real world. “Oriented times three.” To this place, in this time. It was a comment on recognition of the patient’s place in history. Today. The elderly seemed all too often to lose this sense. In my view, it had a lot to do with the same situation as that milk in the fridge.

Expiration dates. That stoplight with 10 seconds to the change. The restlessness that I felt towards dates on the calendar. I was not paying much attention. To the diminishing sands of life. As if I was 15 years old.

It seems very many young people seem to be living on the hype amongst familiar friends in their own youth group, until the day that both the hype and these friends eventually lose their influence.

Spiritual health care. If as Muslims, Jews and Christians believed, to say nothing of Hindus and Bhuddists, why were so little resources directed at spiritual health? As quoted in Christless Christianity, Christian Smith has researched teen spirituality in America, noting the lack of ability today to state, examine or reflect upon their beliefs. And with the inability to articulate and communicate their ideas comes the inability to relate belief to daily life. Smith is a sociologist who expressed the working theology of the current age:
• God created the world.
• God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and most world religions.
• The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
• God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when needed….
• Good people go to heaven when they die.”

Smith concludes that there is little sign that those engaged in the religious socialization, those who had dedicated their own life attempting to put God into every American day life, were highly effective and successful with the majority of their young people as to the actual content of their faith. In the real world.

God in everyday life, in His role as the regulator. The regulator of the interactions among the organs which constitute the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (LHPA), a major part of the neuroendocrine system which controls reactions. The neuroendocrine system regulates the storage and expenditure of energy. The neuroendocrine system regulates reactions to stress. The neuroendocrine system regulates the process of digestion, as well as moods and emotions. The neuroendocrine system regulates the immune system. And the neuroendocrine system regulates sexuality. The neuroendocrine system is involved in the relationship between libido and testosterone levels. God seems to be involved silently in everyday life, in His role as the regulator.

There was a demographic problem in the western world, as indicated with sky-high mortality rates among Russian men, a dwindling birth rate over the last 40 years in Spain, in Russia, in much of Europe. It was not just in Europe, but over all the Western world. A study had been released in 2006 the testosterone level in American men had declined over the last 20 years. Significantly.

I ran into 2 nieces the other night. They did not know much about family history. Oh, they had both heard the great stories. They had been at a family celebration 5 nights before. Yet they did not know of the tension along the way, which added so much drama to the celebration. Especially the youngest. She had been about 2-years old at the time. Without understanding the history, they could not understand the tension in the celebration. There had not been a lot of fairness in a relationship. Between an employer and an employee, in a fast changing world.

The neuroendocrine system operates with the release of corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH) from the hypothalamus which is influenced by stress, by blood levels of cortisol, and by the sleep/wake cycle. Every day, the sleep/wake cycle is operating in healthy people. So reproduction of the human species is affected by who you are sleeping with, in your reproductive years, mostly by the reactions to stress within 30 to 45 minutes of waking. Cortisol rises rapidly after wakening, facilitating an adaptive phase to the world.

That one niece I had met the other night. Yeah, the one who has been living with her boyfriend. I don’t know if she knows what I know. She made some very unspecific reference at the end of a discussion to the ideals which her parents, aunts, and uncles go by. I was out of time, and did not let her carry forward to whatever depth there was in her vague comment. She had already had an education about the meaning of things in her young life that she never before recognized, as a result of an accidental meeting. The restaurant was closing.

Real people were about the neuroendocrine system operating as we speak. I half expected that my niece was going to talk about what happened when someone could not meet the standards of God. For life in the real world.

Her world. Those nieces would never know what it was that they had witnessed unless someone gave them an over view. In the real world. But they had never had an interest to ask how something had come to be, until that night.

Relationships were really about the future. The future of the world was about my part about shaping the future. It began in relationships. Who I was sleeping with. Stress levels. Who I would bring into the world. How they would be raised. And the general adaptation syndrome, with alarm reactions including the suppression of immune response, allowing the body to attempt countermeasures. It was all about how someone was oriented. Times three.

Oriented. To this place, in this time. Like that milk in the fridge.

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Religion Blogs

Becoming

The human struggle with identity. There was both an individual struggle and a communal struggle with this identity. Now more than ever.

I am nothing except what I have absorbed from my father. I knew what he liked, how he thought. He had passed on to me what was important in life. I share within me a part of his identity. All that was important. And a lot of what he liked and how he thought.

I spend a lot of time at ballparks, like my dad. With a certain edge. Last night I was asked a question about baseball. I was asked a question about the umpires by someone my own age. The questioner did not know the answer, but attempted to offer an answer. That answer was not close to the truth. I too bluntly asked what good it was to give an answer when you really had no idea.

I did not like the local broadcasters who purported to know everything. It made me think how poor the current generation of broadcasters were, as they tried to project a certain image. There was never a discussion on air about issues like this one, developing umpires. Are crews kept together season to season? The crew chief’s job was to work to make the rookie umpire better. The crew chief’s job was to make this an efficient 4-man crew. What I did not know was, since the day that the commissioner’s office had allowed National League umpires to integrate with American League umpires, whether these were one year gigs? Or whether the crews were dispersed each year with all new crews? If they ever get to keep working for a while with those partners who became a friend? A young umpire was nothing except what he had absorbed from his crew. And then what he did with it.

The new archbishop in New York City was quoted in February 2009 in the New York Times that a bishop’s success as a Catholic leader was to be judged in the numbers who elect to marry in the church, who attend Sunday Mass, or who join the priest or sisterhood. There were not many successful popes or archbishops anywhere, in an American perspective, based on this measuring stick, over the last 20 to 30 years. Statistics show that 25% of all Catholics have left the Church of Rome for another church. Surely those 25% were not attending Mass. And the rate of Catholics becoming priests or nuns had fallen off dramatically over the past 40 years.

One day the crew chief would die and in baseball, he had to be replaced.

All of this was a part of the human struggle with identity. That “becoming.” There was an excitement in all of this “becoming.” In the formation. Of this communal and individual “becoming.” Since I am nothing except what I have absorbed from my father and my mother.

Once a year I went away to this spot of Lake DeMontreville to look at what I had “become.” In that life journey, to actually stop to hear the “How’s it going?” question. To read those Genesis stories, where God asked, “Where are you Adam?” After he just ate the apple.

The journey. With its starts and stops. This year there was a retreat “master.” The crew chief, as it were, amidst the human struggle with identity. That retreat master’s opening remarks were “Pilgrim, there is no way. The way is made by going.”

My struggle. The pope’s struggle. In the journey. With an edge. In the simpleness of the morning, I had started once again on this “becoming” process, to grasp the reality of the earth. And to figure out how I fit into this story.

The human struggle, an individual struggle and a communal struggle, with identity. “Pilgrim, there is no way. The way is made by going.

Empty Nests

To be moved, in this world with all of its dysfunction, to act.

The 40% of American Catholics that had moved to different churches, amidst the dysfunction. The European Catholics who just plain quit worshiping. The leadership which by the way was supposed to believe in the Gospel of “I am the Good Shepard,” failed to respond to the dysfunction. Mostly it was left to the parish priest. The leadership, which seemed to called to go looking for its lost sheep, were lost in their own spiritual golf game.

To be moved. When creation had become chaos. Golf games. The priests to whom I was related had loved to play golf. Simple parish priests.

Dysfunction. The dysfunction. I saw it not far from my home in the black community. I heard it on a walk the other night where one woman never took a deep breath in the 120 to 180 seconds I just stood listening to an uninterrupted rant inside a house. When another neighbor came along from the opposite direction, I felt like I had to move on. It might have been the television but if it was, a commercial seemed over due. To this passer-by, it was not funny. It was hilarious.

Uninterrupted rants. There were a lot of them in the world. Creation had become chaos. All that the Good Book says is that Noah submits to God’s will and nothing more;uninterrupted rants. About the ongoing effects of World War II. When you elected leaders who had lived through it all. It was not just what Adolph Hitler had done to all of us, Jews and non-Jews. It was what Stalin had done to all of us. When so much of the media was ready to offer canonization, what had the leadership of John Paul II done to the church? How could anyone lived a life through all of this and not show affects of dysfunction?

Gdansk in 2001. People coming back to claim property wrongfully taken. Gdansk is about my favorite historical place in all the world. On issues of freedom in that shipyard. Following September 11, there were not many travelers looking at the Gdansk museum, where I learned that Gdansk represented much more than just Lech Walensa. The fight for freedom that arose there under the leadership of Lech Walensa came from events that had happened at the shipyard over a 10 year period. Massacres really. This was the successful Polish uprising, a lot like the ones that had ultimately failed in Warsaw in response to German occupation.

Where was the accountability in Rome to all the lost sheep? It was not just the abuse of the 20th Century and the lack of response from Rome. It was about addressing the status of women in the church for the 21st Century. Men born before World War II did not see the need to address it. Not when nuns were still ironing your vestments, making your food, and cleaning your apartment.

With a dysfunction seen in the corporate world with board of directors appointed by CEOs. When those boards did not question executive compensation. With politics as usual, without a concern for the real world. The real world of Bernard Law. And archbishops like that all over the country, not much different than the world of Wall Street.

When there was a laziness that came from your habits, without thinking. Going back to the same staid ways. When things quit working. The culture will soon be demanding even more reparations for these sins, if they had not already. The juries made up of women were a scary scene when they were going to sit in judgment of this church, on issues of damages against the church.

In this dysfunctional world, with all of the lost sheep

That party in Omaha. “What did you think about John Paul II.”

To be moved. Beyond words of apology. To be moved to change. It was time. This Penecost Sunday.