Thursday, May 7, 2015

Let us Pray.

Ridiculous to the Savvy: 
Offensive to the Conscientious.

Noblesse Oblige: love my militant atheists 
and fundamental evangelical fb friends—
my empiricists and idealists, logical positivists
and ethereal mystics, my New York Yankees 
and Boston Red Sox,  Dookies and Chapel
Hillians.  Evolutionists and Creationists,
Rationalists as well as  Irrationalists.
Cops and Robbers. Good Guys, Bad Boys 
and Evil Doers.  

Turning both cheeks.

Prayer all  around & holdem to the light.
 “S’All good” says Snoop and  “Whatever is 
is good,” says Alexander Pope— “God’s in
his heavens and All’s Right with  the World.” 
says Robert Browning  All is well and all is 
well  and all manner of things is well. There,
there.  There, there.   I am large: I contain 


National Day of Prayer 5/7. When I post, 
in my mind I am  addressing God of Facebook
& FacultyL in supplication. My Audience.  
My daily offering. Someone out there (it’s 
beyond me) listening with admiration to my 
profundities, bromides, platitudes--looks at 
my pancake breakfast, playful puppies,
hears my worries, woes, exploits: marvels 
at my descriptions of near catastrophic events 
or last night’s escapades. trip to the dentist.

In my imagination: God of Facebook pastes 
each post on His  frig—large, monumental: 
containing multitudes. Patting me on the 
head patronizingly. A patriarch. It’s a feeling
I have. Expectation. Knowing better don’t
make no never mind. No  man is an island.

I’m a metaphysician. I would heal y’all from 
your foolish pride, blinding and deafening  
lucid scheming.   your smartitude, aims, 
 goals, and measurable objectives, but
you have to want it—be begging for it:
knowing your over whelming monumental 
crippling  inadequacy. Other wise forget 
about it: remedies bounce like  rice off rhinos.

Let us pray. Close your eyes. Kneel. Hush hush.


  1. I wrote something like a poem last night at the gas station in five minutes, but I had thought about it on two 20 min. trips. I did not write it for you, but I would not have thought it or written it down if it had not been for you.

    We see it is a typical big sky Canadian poem. But my thought was with a Bach Cantata: "Our God is both sun and shield."

    Don't worry, I won't argue here any more. You are better with poetry than with dialectic. XO. For me, anyhow.

    Holy Joy

    The land is laid out in quarter sections here.
    The road leads straight North.

    From a hilltop the prairie displays itself
    In a huge flat expanse, lifting the heart.

    Toward the Northwest the sun sets slowly,
    The large ball hanging orange, radiating pink
    over the entire, wide, cloudless sky.

    By this sun we have seen all day.
    By it we have had the light of life.
    By it we are fed and take strength.

    The silos stand at rapt attention,
    Greeting their master with a reflection.

    O, Lord, you are glorious.

  2. No, I would have thought it. But I would not have bothered writing it down, and writing it down gave me great pleasure...

  3. I like it but would eliminate the praise and end with silos at rapt attention. That's just me. Religious people would vote with you. Makes sense. Just saw a post from Carl warning of hell. And one on the rapture too. Neither poetic nor dialectic.

  4. I know the praise makes you squeamish and maybe I'd feel the same if someone else wrote it that way. Must the best parts go unsaid for the sake of subtlety?

  5. Maybe so. Depending on context? Best left unsaid and implied? In vain? Profane? Do you remember this poems by Denise Levertov? . The Third Dimension
    Who’d believe me if I said, ‘They took and

    split me open from
    scalp to crotch, and

    still I’m alive, and
    walk around pleased with

    the sun and all
    the world’s bounty.’ Honesty

    isn’t so simple:
    a simple honesty is

    nothing but a lie.
    Don’t the trees

    hide the wind between
    their leaves and

    speak in whispers?
    The third dimension

    hides itself.
    If the roadmen

    crack stones, the
    stones are stones:

    but love
    cracked me open

    and I’m
    alive to

    tell the tale — but not

    the words
    change it. Let it be —

    here in the sweet sun
    — a fiction, while I

    breathe and
    change pace.

  6. Yes, but the round, silver silos gleamed in reflection. :)


  8. or better:

  9. See the house I designed and raised my children in. Finally going on sale.

  10. “I never experience God in camping or trees or nature. I hate nature,” she told the Austin crowd as she paced the stage. “God invented takeout and duvets for a reason.” Nadia Bolz Weber

  11. "Durchschweife frei das Weltgebiet, willst du die Heimat recht verstehen. Wer niemals ausser sich geriet, wir niemals gruendlich in sich gehn" Paul Heyse

    Roam freely in the world, if you want to understand your home (Heitmat). Who never goes outside of himself (or possibly even lost his temper), will never thoroughly go into himself (discover himself).

    Ok, now really to Home Depo.


  13. Do Gnostics not praise the Creator; is that it? Is that why it is unpalatable?

  14. When you take the time to look at Nadia Bolz-Webers 20 min presentation--we can talk about praise and palatableness and charisma and piety. I think your poem works better without the AMEN tacked on--but for you: that's ongoing. You like the piety.

  15. I have seen about 3 hrs worth of Nadia. I like her.

  16. But I like everybody, almost.

  17. She and I share a confessional place. She comes from a different direction and she is an American. She also could be a stand up comedian. It is a special gift.

  18. Carl likes her too. My orthodox Presbyterian pastor won't take the bait. She's of the same wonderfully edgy unpolished spirit as Flannery. I'm impressed by her--a lot. I don't like everybody.

  19. It is a difference that makes a difference. You are discriminating and she is good. Some of us are not as discriminating and find her good among much that is good.

  20. It's like e selected and p selected, or was it k selected. It's like an elephant has only one baby and must nurture it a lot, but a fish has many eggs and does not nurture them at all. More than one way to be.

  21. Unaffectedly, she brings in the world of weight-lifting, tattoos, promiscuity, rebellion, cursing--the wild side, the wretch-like-me tradition, and stand-up comedy. And comes across. Projects integrity and passion, conviction--both sides of the whole. Not half-assed piety which strikes me as typical which is why I don't appreciate the profane praise and testimony that seems (to me) a put-on.

  22. My Alzheimer's patients remember not much. I lead them in the singing of "Oh Canada", and it is rousing indeed. I think it is just grand. You should be there and witness it.

  23. What is profane (to you), need not be profane to others.

  24. fish eggs and elephants have no significance to my appreciation of Nadia. And I have no idea what e selected, p and k means--but I'm sure it's an analogy for "good"

  25. Anyhow. What about the Gnostic. Would he or she ever praise a Creator?

  26. What if Nadia sings good old-fashioned hymns? Would that ruin it for you?

  27. No idea, whether a gnosic would praise a creator. Some might. Some might not. Google and find out. "Jesus Wants Me for His Sunbeam" --I can imagine Nadia belting that one out. "Bringing in the Sheaves."
    Brighten the Corner Where You Are." "That Old Rugged Cross."

  28. Those are not the kind of hymns Lutherans sing. You must imagine something different for Nadia's hymn sing.

  29. You said good old fashioned hymns--these are the ones I know for Sunday Evening hymsings. Why must I imagine Nadia singing songs. I'm already quite enthralled with here as she is. As Carl says--it's not that she's Lutheran that matters, but that she's Christian.

  30. It would seem that a Gnostic would not sing praise to the Creator realizing that the basic teaching is about the evil of the material world perpetrated by a bad creator.

    "According to one Gnostic myth the shaping of the material world was the result of Sophia, who was often decribed as an emanation of eternal light, an "immaculate mirror of God's activity," and as "the spouse of the Lord." Through her desire to "know the Father", she was cast out of the Pleroma (the gnostic heaven) and her desire gave birth to the God who created the material world. Although she was eventually restored to the Pleroma, bits of her divinity remain in the material world.

    The inferior God created by Sophia's desire, also referred to as the Demiurge, is the Creator God of the Old Testament. Due to his inferiority, he is not seen as good but rather an evil, angry, violent God. It is the fault of this God that the world is in the mess that it is, and due to the fact that he created it, the world is evil. The higher transcendent God is not a creator of the material world, and instead is a nurturer of the spiritual. The only hope for humankind, while locked in this evil shell of a body is to spiritually transcend this world and deny the body.
    Gnostics believed that in order to acquire salvation one must possess a certain knowledge, or gnosis, which must be delivered to a person by a messenger of light. However, to receive this knowledge, one must be trying to reach beyond the evil, dark, material, physical earth and body toward that of the good, light, immaterial, and spiritual worlds. The indwelling spark must be awakened from its terrestrial slumber by the saving knowledge that comes "from without." Jesus is one of the most fundamental "awakeners" of this knowledge. Therefore, although Gnostics, like other Christians, find salvation through the messages of Jesus, Gnostics seek salvation not from sin but from "the ignorance of which sin is a consequence." The gnostics believe that the evil creator God and his angels cause this ignorance. If one receives gnosis during this lifetime- a true realization of the spirit-body dichotomy and the true destiny of the soul, then at death, when the body releases the divine spark, the soul may be free of the evil world. On the other hand, if this realization is not reached, then the ignorant soul, when released from the body will be sent back by the Demiurge into the evil painful world."

  31. Diversity. As opposed to talk about rapture and heaven and hell: release from ignorance--original sin (es, esse: essence, being) I've never seen gnosis bumperstickers. Or the First Church of Gnosis. Quakers talk about the divine spark too. "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."

  32. Luke 20:9-19English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
    9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 10 When the time came, he sent a servant[a] to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14 But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 15 And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:

    “‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone’?[b]
    18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

  33. "An enemy is as good as a Buddha."
    "If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him."
    (Zen parables--called koans.)

  34. "He looked directly at them and said..." I have a picture on my whiteboard by the computer from "Jesus of Nazareth" of the man who acts Jesus. I am most imprinted on him. Sometimes I look at it, to get clarity about something. Next ot it hangs a verse: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11

    The wicked tenants are we all. In some way, we are responsible for our reaction to the good shepherd. We are able to refuse him. Killing I need not engage in. As we see, Jesus himself will look after judgement.

    What it does come down to for me, though, is that in my heart, left to itself I curve to bitterness, jealousy and selfish desires. It really is quite sickening and distressing. I may say that I don't know what "hate" is, and I really I am not that familiar with that emotion, itself, but what is bitterness, if not a form of "hate."

    So, when I can come across a bit of gratitude, I know it is the trail toward home. It is like Lewis writes about joy. A real joy comes from gratitude, from worship, from serving, from faith in spite of difficulties, and so on.

    When I thought about the grain bin silos and how they shone, I thought about other things that I ought to be grateful for. For example, I can be quite bitter toward the most important people in my life. It is like an infection. There are not even any good reasons. So I thought also about my husband. He is like the sun. He goes out every day and works his butt off, and my bin is full. I owe him the same kind of glow, gratitude and respect... :)

    But that is so old-fashioned... :)


  36. wretch like me - First Church of the Crippled Conviction of Sin

  37. Love this guy: him and Nadia.



  40. I wonder if Goldstein is an observant Jew. He does not mention it it in his columns. I am just reading a Jewish book recommended by a friend, about the proper use of mouth, tongue and speech. Some profound things under all those rules.

  41. The book is about restraint, essentially, self-discipline.

  42. bless be the ties that bind.

  43. The NT has some of it. Jesus says we are judged for our useless speech and James goes on about the tongue, how it is the rudder that steers the ship, and the same darn mouth curses its neighbor and praises God. It should not be...

  44. And to top it off: women should not be preachers. We can see why that is. The male ego does not suffer female preachers.

  45. I encourage useless speech and thought. Otherwise it like gardening in tuxedos.

  46. I like that Jesus says "useless", rather than "negative". The Jewish book zeroes in on the negative, like everyone's ego needs protecting. Jesus strikes a balance with "useless".

  47. I have the German in my mind. There he says "nutzlos".

  48. In the act of creating, useless is useful--though the notion (useless) carries a negative connotation in the common sense--which puts a burden on the process of trial and error and rooms for play that can generate "useful"

  49. There is also the thing about meaningless repetition.

    "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words."

  50. Ecclesiastes, which is classic wisdom, also admonishes to careful speech and fewer words. Judgement will be needed at some point.

  51. Our father who art in heaven etc. The prayer of prayers. Everything else is probably just asking for it. No praying in public too --- a profanity and in vain but there sure is a constant fog of it.

  52. No sodomy, no onanism, slaves obey your master, kill of a village of unbelievers, cut off a hand that offends etc. Plenty of biblical admonitions to giggle over. I encourage useless speech and thought--how else get good at it?

  53. You want it to be completely careless?

  54. IT? Speech? Prayer? Women Preachers? Male Ego? Composing? Overriding CARE that encourges carelessness in order to get better and good.

  55. The Lord's Prayer is not meaningless repetition unless you say it over and over. It is precise, meaningful and useful. (Just by the way.) You made that aside carelessly, and I know you won't allow any delving in to the depths of its meaning. Your useless talk is fairly tightly controlled to run into certain kinds of channels.

  56. The Lord's Prayer is the Prayer of prayer. Not a repetition I was saluting it.

  57. In any case, let's not have any catechesis on it, right? We will always err, and sometimes on the side of useless, but it is still not the aim. We search for a purpose even for the creative process, and even if it is just debating practice. The prophets had a school of prophets and sometimes their speech was ecstatic, which would seem pretty useless.

  58. Have to go to the airport. My husband was in Europe with his sister for a family celebration. Sadly, I had to stay behind to manage the getting the house on the market. They went to Dresden and to Poland to see where their mother was from.

  59. I wrote this one for you. You will note that it has no pious kicker in it, though I could have thought of a dozen.

    Front Porch in Spring:

    Imagine a front porch,
    not the southern, wooden veranda,
    but a solid concrete and stone place,
    on the north side.

    The modern, tall and narrow, black plastic wicker
    planters have just been filled with roses, lavender in topiary shape, trailing lobelia and something white.

    The grey stones are wet from watering and hosing down,
    glistening even in the shade.
    They remind of cobble stones in a European market place,
    and sitting beside it in shiny, bakery cafe.

    Two Muskoka chairs sprawl under the spread of the Amur cherry.
    Birds fly to the birdfeeder, but there is no more birdseed. The tree will provide.
    Birds come here of every color, singly or in swarms: a virtual bird paradise.

    The Bergenia blooms in extravagant pink.
    The Lily of the Valley is almost getting there.
    There is also the Prairie Crocus, which does well.

    It is still too early for mosquitos, but the shaded spot already feels like a refuge, on this first hot day of the year.

    Everything is perfect.

    Except it is not.

    The place is for sale.
    The realtor's lock-box is on the door handle.

    No one lives here any more.
    And many who used to come here, live no longer.

    How can this perfect moment only be a moment?
    How can it only be a glimpse?

    The birdsong reminds me of my grandfather
    who had little wild garden with bird-feeders.
    He identified their songs and delighted in them,
    tried to teach them to me.

    He, too, had a shaded porch by the front steps.
    He hung up a swing in it for me--a Haven for a time.

    (From Brigitte with love)

  60. Good writing. Description rules (show): minimum commentary (tell). Piety might be seen as in the
    doing, the making--and not in the saying. Praise god for whom all blessings flow--implied, "Tell all the truth but tell it slant." You enjoyed writing this. Compose and Be Composed.

  61. I enjoyed it very much, almost as much as studying doctrine. :).

  62. Surely you couldn't have enjoyed it as much as studying doctrine--large and small catechisms--stick in a thumb, pull out a plumb: o what a good girl am I.


  64. When it comes to my heart, it is a wicked thing. When it comes to Christ, I need to be told about him, my heart would know nothing of him, otherwise.

  65. Without the agency of the holy spirit, I've heard, texts and experiences and readiness or resistance don't make no never mind-set. But good for you and Luther. Wicked hearts abound, yes? The given, Rejoice in your relationship.

  66. Holy Spirit works through the Word, not a vacuum. Something from nothing VIA the word, as a means.

    Hence, even the prophets live together in schools, as was just mentioned. Where two or three are together... And so on.

    1. In the beginning was the word --logos,logic--noot marks on a page or catechism

  67. I have got an epiphone ukulele for myself. I am just memorizing Seeger's "Kisses sweeter than wine". Lovely surprises in it musically and with the words, even though it is just the basic human life cycle that is described very roughly.

  68. He keeps sighing "O Lord", is it blasphemy or prayer and praise? -- as we see in Genesis Adam exclaiming over Eve, I think we can sigh and thank just in this fashion.

  69. This guy is good. Watch him change the audience.
    You would love him. Genuine and effective.

  70. Is it good as process, or do you need the content?

  71. German always sounds (to me) like folks talking with stones in their mouth. Not sure what process you mean to foreground. Audience manipulation? Music?

  72. German is spoken in a thousand dialects and with different intonations, but it would all sound garbled to you, no doubt. It lends itself to comedy, I think because the sentences are long and the verb often comes at the very end. Together with the rhyme it makes for great finishes.

  73. Had to pass a reading competency in German and French as requirement for the phd program.--considered necessary for research. Don't think the sound is comic--but harsh--and i'm still not sure what your point is.

  74. In any case, this guy is very smart. Here he has a song about the '68'ers, whose fault everything is. I binged on him last night, having missed this last Europe trip. He is a former East German, writing much on current conditions in the former East, Berlin, and various tensions. Captain Kruemel (captain crumb), is about the puberty of a male, who feels a rejected outsider, and spent his day playing piano, mooning over a girl who has moved on... It is quite vulnerable, descriptive and plaintive. "Es ist doch alles da. Es ist doch alles da..." (But you have everything. But you have everything. Or: Everything is here, provided.) And it seems this time will Never end. "Nie, Nie, Nie" (Never, Never, Never)--sung like a climax. Nothing is lacking. Not even the child from Bangladesh (like World Vision project, picture on the fridge.)

    Obviously, the men in the audience are touched.

  75. Obviously, Reinald writes and sings about himself.

    Here is the song about the 68'ers.

  76. It is ironic, of course, but it shows how there is a term to encapsulate a certain era and mind-set, which I don't think we have in the English.

  77. The climax I think is, where he waves his hands in front of his face, as in "what were you thinking, stupid". What he said was "Rebellion when there was full employment?"

  78. You are way beyond me--not at all sure what we are talking about. Sorry

  79. Sorry, too, mixing too many things together. It may not be worth unraveling. If you are keen, you can let me know and I might translate something for you, in time.

    Mainly, my objective now is too learn and memorize some popular English secular repertoire, as I work with music with several non-church groups, now.

    The Jewish book on proper speech is a little repetitive and completely rule orientated. I will read it bit by bit, and maybe blog about it as my thoughts form.

    So much.