Wednesday, December 31, 2003


(seen at Been There...Still There)

On Meditation and Cultivating Loving-Kindness:
"On our inbreath, we should concentrate on receiving life from God. That inbreath is life sustaining. On our outbreath we should give everything we have back to the universe.

Our outbreath may be the last we ever take, and, at the end of our life, we want to make sure we have given everything we have back to the world."

--Jewish meditation

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Fighting Conflict

image: from scotty d
text: when i don't know what to say from The Rantings of Little Bear

it's as though the overload of emotion gets
clogged in the gears
my brain groans to a halt
the thing i was about to say
stop in their tracks
they know they're not adequate
but where are the right ones?
they're escaping, one by lonely one
falling out of my head, battered and
weary and solitary
and they wait for the next, and the next after that
will you stay?
will you wait?
. until the last has found it's way
. to what i need to say

Monday, December 29, 2003

(seen at

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."

---Gerry Spence

Distractions: looking for signs without wonder or wonder without any signs.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Unpacking your gifts and talents is difficult to do for others, because many times they rip them off you....

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

[Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! See you in a couple of days!]


Creating meaning and solving problems in the process.

Monday, December 22, 2003

(from They Blinked in this post)

cycles of disconnection are fearful times. they are fearful because we have a hard time not projecting out the present across all that we take to be the future. for many of us change is an unwelcome kindred that cannot be dealt with gracefully. we fear what might be outside of the paralysis of frantic motion that has no traction--behind the pain; ahead the unknown; the moment a stunningly painful marriage of the two.

it takes great courage to be of faith in such times. it tests our metal; asks us what we are made of; makes us worth our salt and all of the old adages that stand in for a lack of language to hold the moment.

it takes great faith to be of courage in such times. we are left with nothing; nothing save our last wit and what seems to be too many regrets for the time yet stretched out ahead.

Be careful with gifts (like people) that are abused or damaged, since they need to be restored and cherished...

Then I saw her: a girl, about 15 or 20, standing on the ledge on the wrong side of the fence, a hundred feet above the East River, trying to escape from the three people who were pulling her in. After a bit of confusion, I called 911 from my phone and tried to convey to the clueless-seeming dispatcher that THERE WAS A PERSON JUMPING FROM THE BRIDGE and YES, they should send help. And call the Coast Guard.

(quote from Satan's Laundromat (a photolog) via The Invisible Sun)

Sunday, December 21, 2003

(seen at Abyssal Mind)

Perhaps the purpose of the web, and particularly blogging, is to share clues to the solution of the Enigma. By interbroadcasting our special clues -- our unique ideas, questions, and ways of seeing the world -- we may provide each other, and our union, with the missing pieces of the Puzzle. The more quickly, completely, honestly and directly we share these pieces, it encourages others to do the same, and the sooner we will complete what we've come here to do.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

The Struggle of Graciousness...

Words: top- from Jordon Cooper
bottom- Sunny by The Choir

Grace sucks most of the time. So many people talk about how wonderful it is and how they need it everyday. It is wonderful to get but horrible to give out. It comes with a really high cost. We extend grace to others after they have hurt us and often in the middle of our pain with the hope of something better. In those cases where it is accidental it is a lot easier. In those cases where the pain is intentional, it isn't very much fun.

I know how it feels to be humiliated
How it burns to feel small
I wish all your giants to be capitulated
Every demon to crawl

But I can't do anymore than kneel and pray
I can't say any more than "Sure is sunny"
Sure is sunny today

I know how it feels to be humiliated
How it burns to feel small
I wish all your giants to be decapitated
Every demon to crawl

Sure is sunny today...

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Find something for someone that we all need: food, shelter, clothes...perhaps you.

(seen at Jordon Cooper)

There's an enormous amount of our rage in the world that's converted into angry plans of attack and destruction. A great deal of social action and political reform is fueled by anger; the results are nearly always worse then the conditions that provoked the action. If we're going to do something about what's wrong with the world--the spectrum of wrongs stretches from marital fights to world wars, from disobedient children to the destruction of the rain forests--we have to acquire a better base to work from then our anger.

from Leap Over a Wall : Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians
by Eugene H. Peterson

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

What if...?

(seen at The Holy Observer in this article)

TIKRIT, IRAQ – In another shocking development in the unfolding story of Saddam Hussein's capture, sources in Iraq have informed The Holy Observer that the former Iraqi dictator converted to Christianity shortly after being taken into custody.

Numerous accounts of the raid that led to Hussein's capture corroborate the story that upon being removed from the "spider hole" in which he was hiding, Hussein spotted a WWJD bracelet on the wrist of a 4th Infantry Division soldier and began pointing at it and yelling excitedly. Witnesses relate that the soldier then walked Hussein through the four spiritual laws with the help of an interpreter and a pocket-sized Arabic translation of the New Testament on the way to the undisclosed location where Hussein is being interrogated.

Sources tell THO that Hussein then prayed the prayer of salvation and related to the soldier that he first became interested in Christianity when members of his regime presented him with materials being circulated by Southern Baptist missionaries who were expelled from the country for proselytizing. The materials were specifically targeted to Muslim men, and they explained the many similarities between the Southern Baptist and Muslim views on the role of women, abortion, homosexuality and other social issues. Sources say Hussein was fascinated by these materials, and expressed interest in becoming a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Monday, December 15, 2003


[from The soliloquist's kvetch-log]

Isn’t this the same man who had made a claim that he would never be caught alive? I really wished he had shot himself before reduced to such a ridicule…some shards of dignity would still have remained to his credit…I am all for Human Rights, and believe him to be the worst of transgressor. All the same, isn’t he too a human, why was his humiliation relayed live to the world?

[from Smile at Me]

If Iraqis were waiting for Hussein to return as a triumphant hero, they are missing the true heros. The ordinary citizen of Iraq who has to pick up the pieces now and rebuild his country, live with the loss of loved ones, perhaps move because his or her home was destroyed, these are the heros in Iraq today. Lets salute them. And then lets get out of their way and let them live self directed lives in peace.

(seen at Mind's Eye)

This love that exists for us to experience acts as a double edged sword. Love cuts deep, and it doesn't make sense. To continually love something that, at times, appears unlovely, or has no love to offer, is illogical and irrational. It isn't easy for me to wrap my brain around this kind of love . . . .I don't think I can. I can't understand a love that invites me and loves me when I run from it. One that runs after me, and begs to hold me, kicking and screaming, cussing and running.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

A Reason for the Season

(seen in this post at the dimly lit room, emphasis mine)

To point the finger at marketers and corporations is a cop-out. It’s too easy. Christmas is commercialized. To that, I say "who cares?" If you don’t like all of the commercialization, don’t participate in it. Don’t buy excessive gifts for people. Tell your friends and family that you took the money for their gifts and fed some people that were hungry. Give your winter coat to a teenage girl that spends each night shivering cold on the street. Invite those with no homes into your home for turkey dinner on Christmas day. If you truly care about the meaning of Christmas, do something about it.

Then, perhaps, one can complain about a commercial Christmas. But until then, it is probably best to keep quiet.

(seen in this post at

I find that even if I am not the least bit excited about a certain issue, if I spend time with someone who is truly passionate about it, excitement begins to build within me as I hear their vision and their dreams. Passion is contagious....

Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark. (Henri Frederic Amiel)

Friday, December 12, 2003

(seen at

What is it that seems to corrupt kids? Why is it as they get older, they seem to enjoy everything less? Seriously, grade sixers are still stinking young. They should be able to still jump up and down singing a song and have fun with it. But kids these days seem to worry too much about self-image at such a young age. When I see those little grade one kids I can't help but notice how much life they have inside them. Most of them had no clue what they were singing, but they didn't care. They were jumping and making noise. What would happen if we, as adults, would look at life the same way.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

What do you give people who have everything? Blood...especially when they least expect it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Gaining Perspective

Some celebrations can bring major challenges. Hopefully these books might be useful for you (or someone else). (Share them with others, too.)

Family Frustrations

For every holiday, wedding, funeral, or birth of a child, families gather for what are supposed to be times of celebration or remembrance. But often these gatherings create more stress and conflict than joy and connection. When Difficult Relatives Happen to Good People speaks to those who look forward to family gatherings but also dread being around certain relatives. [from the inside flap]
Felder's tips are practical as he offers specific suggestions on what to say, but what makes his approach so helpful is his assumption that there is no perfect resolution; instead, readers should aim for a middle ground. This is an excellent book for anyone looking for fewer arguments and less tension around family members. [from a review by Publisher's Weekly]

Growth and Transition

Overall, this is a book that offers an abundance of insights without faltering into self-help clichés or specific how-to advice. Instead, Bridges examines the events that bring about transition (marriage, death, change of vocation, tragedy, and crisis) and why it's so important to fully experience these transitions and how they offer opportunities for closure as well as launch pads for enormous personal growth. Readers of The Way of Transition will find an author who manages to be humble, accessible, and highly intelligent as he weaves the writings of Tolstoy, Herman Hesse, Emily Dickinson, Carl Jung, and Anäaut;is Nin into his personal reflections. [from a review by]

The Glut of Gifts

An insightful look at the misplaced faith we place in things, and meaningful advice on achieving material and emotional well-being. "Getting what you want" today is increasingly linked to buying something. But is the purchase always enough? Picking up where "simplifying" may not satisfy, Dematerializing acknowledges the pleasures, along with the pitfalls, of living in a material world. With a sharp reporter's eye and a wry sensibility, Jane Hammerslough encourages readers to explore how a consumption-crazed culture affects their own relationships with objects. [from book description at]

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

(seen at Random Segues)

..., perhaps we should give gifts to people who cannot return the favor.

I am not saying that we should never give our friends or family members gifts. But maybe it would be more of a gift if we gave it to them at unexpected times throughout the year, when they do not have the opportunity to turn it into an exchange.

Monday, December 08, 2003

(seen at In-Trud-ers Mind in this post, referred by tahoe :: pilgrim)

Consider these three scenarios:

Scenario #1: People are busy. It is a modern day sin to inconvenience someone. It will inconvenience someone if I ask someone to help me. Therefore, I do projects myself and do not ask anyone to help me.

Scenario #2: People are busy. It is a modern day sin to inconvenience someone. If I drop by unannounced at someone’s home, that person might be in the middle of something. That would be an inconvenience. But if I schedule some time to meet with this person, this might be a burden and an inconvenience because I know how busy this person is. Therefore, I never get together with anyone.

Scenario #3: People are busy and have their own financial worries. It is a modern day sin to inconvenience someone. I am dealing with this financial burden, but I cannot ask anyone for help because that would inconvenience them and they might think I am a dolt for not managing my finances better. Besides, charity is for people who are down and out not for us regular middle class types who have access to credit. Therefore, I accumulate a massive amount of personal debt rather than letting people know I have a financial need.

The only love and care we accept willingly is the kind we know we can reciprocate. You give me a Christmas present, therefore I give you one. Never would we want to be beholden to someone.

The sum total of these responses, made little by little over time, is that we never connect to anyone meaningfully. If we never have any true needs, no one can ever minister to us.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

(a poem I wrote today)


Upset by doubts that scapegoat
Like an angry mob yearning
To torch my sins at the stake

...smouldering ruins
Left behind on an altar
Like a sacrifice nobody wants
After being burnt through and through

...just neglected,
Never quite welcome anywhere,
Like a fugitive forced to roam
As an easy life has gone

Vulnerable to any enemy
Like accidents have audiences
Relieved they're not the victim seductive,
Exposed to opportunities
Like charisma tends to grab
Until a stalker hits the target

Humbled without mercy,
Like a disaster giving up
A generous dose of crisis

All in the face of transition,
Like a hidden talent finds
Revealed within a hopeless cause

...dwelling here,
Faithful through a constant struggle
Like kisses of affection
Brings out the best in some

...returning again!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

(seen at Been There...Still there)

Pain is what I walk through.
Misery is what I sit in.

Friday, December 05, 2003

(seen in The Door Magazine from the Last Word called "Surprised by Joy")

Blessed are the poor and the powerless? Apparently so.

This would explain why my intuition about using my cane was dead wrong. Why my expectations about tomorrow always set me up for disappointment. Why imagining some possible good event in the future robs me of the pleasure when or if it ever arrives. Why worry is stupid. And why thinking about myself in any respect always leads to despair.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

There is More...

(seen at bloggedy blog in this post)

Fame, fortune, really great sex -- maybe those'll cure all your ills. But beautiful famous people with loads of money are just as confused and miserable as anyone else. Spend your whole life chasing after wealth and power and you end up with nothing more to show for it than bleeding ulcers and a heart condition. You can master tantric yogic poly-orgasmic Wonder Sex but you're still gonna die alone. There has to be something more.
--Brad Warner

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Peace be with you!

(seen at sacra doctrina in this post about a poem in this book)

He who's heart is pure, sleeps. And he who sleeps has a pure heart.
This is the great secret to being as infatigable as a child.
To have that strength in your legs that a child has.
Those new legs, those new souls
And to start over every morning, always new,
Like the young, like the new

--Charles Péguy

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Tough to be Generous

(seen at Jordon Cooper in this post)

We are among the most educated consumers in the entire world. We know the meat packers that supply McDonald's treat their workers unethically (Fast Food Nation) yet we continue to eat there. We see article after article on Wal-Mart hurting its suppliers and treating their employees poorly but don't even think twice about shopping there because we get a good deal. A national chain in Saskatoon is known for firing employees who are there long enough to get a certain salary because they can. It has been talked about on the local news and paper but its parking lot is as full as it ever has been. We all read No Logo but chalk it up to interesting as we go on our way to purchase what we want.

We may be the smartest consumers but do we care anymore than any other one? I don't think so.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

(seen at troyshantz)

I think that we need to stop worrying about the big decisions that we make knowing that most ways that we choose will be good decisions. What is more important is that are we in a place where we can live, obey, love and believe.

Friday, November 28, 2003

(seen at NeoTheo(b)logue)

"Western European civilization has witnessed a sort of atomizing process, in which the individual is more and more set free from his natural setting in family and neighborhood, and becomes a sort of replaceable unit in the social machine, His nearest neighbors may not even know his name. He is free to move from place to place, from job to job, from acquaintance to acquaintance, and -- if he has attained a high degree of emancipation -- from wife to wife. He is in every context a more and more anonymous and replaceable part, the perfect incarnation of the rationalist conception of man. Wherever western civilization has spread in the past one hundred years, it has carried this atomizing process with it. Its characteristic product in Calcutta, Shanghai, or Johannesburg, is the modern city into which myriads of human beings, loosened from their old ties in village or tribe or caste, like grains of sand fretted by water from an ancient block of sandstone, are ceaselessly churned around in the whirlpool of the city -- anonymous, identical, replaceable units."

Lesslie Newbigin, The Household of God

Thank you for being here...thank someone else today for the same.

(seen at the scriptorium)

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly."

~Robert F. Kennedy

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

(seen at Random Segues, through

"It is when we fail to recognize that we are heretics that we switch from seeking truth to guarding truth - or our idea of truth." - PMac

(seen at

Perspective can change the face of pretty much any situation. Who knew that looking at something from a different angle could make such a difference? Inside, we as people, have the ability to change the way we look at something. It's a powerful tool that's not used often enough. Just like the saying "is the glass half full or half empty?" When I choose to focus on the positives of what's around the corner rather than the negatives, it just makes life so much more enjoyable.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

(seen at Honest to Blog)

Today was a day for contemplating Self-Actualization.

When I feel like I'm failing, I want to blame the System. "Sane people should find themselves completely at odds with life in a dsytopia. Success is really a sign that you've lost your humanity."

Then the character on the other shoulder says something about taking personal responsibility, facing the absurd, being the sum of my choices.

Which voice do you suppose is the devil's?

Friday, November 21, 2003

(seen at the weblog of Mike Gingerich)

"it is easy to be successful, it is very difficult to be relevant" - Bono

(seen in a rough draft of Jordon Cooper's review of The Search to Belong)

Selected Insights from The Search to Belong

Common Myths of Belonging

More time = more belonging :: The first myth is that the greater amount of time spent in relationship with another person, the more authentic the community will be. This is a pervasive myth. In reality, time has little to do with a person's ability to experience significant belonging. Many people tell stories of first time, episodic introductions from which a spontaneous connection emerges. (p. 11)

Belonging is not controlled by time, and time by itself does not develop belonging. (p. 12)

More commitment = more belonging :: A relationship that involves commitment does not necessarily promote a greater experience of belonging. A married couple may feel very committed to their relationship, yet still feel the strain of "not belonging to each other". Every month I am reminded of commitment to my financial responsibilities, yet I never experience belonging because of those commitments. (p. 12)

To experience healthy community we need significant relationships. "Significant" is not the same as "close" or "committed." (p.13)

More purpose = more belonging :: …Groups were started to help people with their search for community, and the first order of business was to write a statement of purpose. After all, people who strive toward a common goal connect, right? We even changed our language. We no longer asked people to attend committee meetings. They were no part of a team. And this simple change was all in the hope of helping people connect in significant ways.
Although many positive accomplishments sprung from this newly focused approach, in reality this strategy has little connection with the community experience. Sometimes people who have a common passion and purpose do connect. But a common purpose or vision or goal does not guarantee that people will connect. (p.13-16)

More personality = more belonging :: Many people believe that some have a natural ability to belong. They assume that if a person is more gregarious, more extroverted, he or she will have little trouble experiencing community, whereas those who are shy will struggle to belong. (p. 17)

More proximity = more belonging (p.17)

More small groups = more belonging … Almost every book I read on a successful church touts small groups as the key. But I have read that churches that provide small group opportunities can expect about a 30 percent involvement from the congregation. Why only 30 percent? Because small groups do not accomplish the promise of fulfilling all facets of a person's search for community. Small groups deliver on one or two specific kinds of connection. (p. 18)

(seen at What is The Message? in this post)

In Israel, there is apparently an expression used to placate those who hold low-paying, low-status "mcjobs," that goes something like this: "There is no job that doesn't respect its owner." In other words, if you have a job so menial that no one will respect you, at least the job itself will respect you. In Hebrew, it's roughly pronounced, "ayn avodah shelo marbedet et b'aliyah." Probing the cliché by twisting a few of the words gives, "ayn kavodah shelo avodat al b'aliyah," which means "there is no capacity (void) that doesn't work on its owner."

At first, the sentence appears to make no sense. But with a little thought, we can interpret the probe to provide an insight into greed and desire. If one is greedy - has an unfilled capacity - that greed will continue to "work on its owner," eventually corrupting the owner to fill it, one way or another. In a way, it is a reversal of the "money burning a hole in one's pocket" cliché. An interesting probe, to say the least, and one that works in the best way - taking a trite idea that applies to one class of people, and sharpening it to probe those at the opposite end of the economic spectrum.

(seen at tahoe::pilgrim)

Truth be told, I have begun to enjoy the solitude I have more and more, but I think that it's the (negative) result of finding relationships unsatisfactory--it's easier to be alone than to put myself out there.

I don't know, I'm rambling. I don't mean to be overly critical of the people around me, I mean to learn to "spur one another on to love..." I'm really very understanding, accepting & forgiving, but I don't come off that way. I've been told in the past that I'm respected more than I realize, and that I come off much stronger than I realize. Perhaps I push it and come off too strong because I don't believe anyone listens. Maybe I'm somehow, subconsciously, ineffectively, trying to demand that people will listen.

I remember when I was a child, maybe in 5th grade or so, on the playground one day I put my hands over my ears (not to hear anyone else???) and jumped up and down, screaming "listen! Listen! LISTEN TO ME! You're not listening to me!" Amazing, but things haven't changed, I'm just a bit less dramatic. Why? What is it? Why don't I think people are listening? Why do I never feel anyone understands me?

So...I turn to this. I'm a prime candidate for blogging! I can talk without knowing if anyone listens or not, so without the immediate rejection I avoid, it allows me to talk and talk and talk. Oy!

Well, it is a journey. Times like this make me evaluate where I am and where I'm going and consider steps I need to make positive changes. So, it's good, it just isn't fun.

(seen at Mexperimental, referred by

language is nor a flux nor mechanical. language is both. so at the same time language is natural and artificial. not a particle not a wave. language opens. language is fundamentally an opening in the space-time complex. what is between me and the telephone? a series of histories, a series of thoughts that builds a field of action and emotion in the space-time between, among, before and after the telephone and me. language puts other objects, subjects, events, feelings, images, between the telephone and me. the space-time created, the field of thought, feeling and action created is different from the physical and temporal distance between us. writing i’m trying to grasp what language really is. i’m getting close, but then language makes it’s functioning invisible, unthinkable.

As you read this, a part of me escapes. And sometimes I laugh.

(seen at Been There...Still There)

I know today that
if I cannot change the wind,
I can adjust my sail.


(seen at ...musings, reflections, thoughts and more than a little deconstruction)

Free trade, New ecumenicalism, the www, transnational corporate identities, brands as superstars are new challenges facing each national ethos.

Remember a few years ago at the Olympics. Michael Jordon/Johnson (I can't remember which Michael) said he won't step onto the platform to receive his Gold medal without his Nikes. What might that signify? Is he less American and more "Nikian?" Or why is it that almost no athletes on Canada's track and field team were born in Canada?

If our connections to our "Nations" are changing than it seems likely that our folkal connections to our identity-giving body becomes more important than what our passport(s) may say. New World order… here we come. Sing with me, "Dawning of the age of... who knows?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

(referred via Jordon Cooper to this page)

There is a great difference between intimacy and affiliation, and there is no substituting one for the other. We need both. Lacking intimacy, affiliation becomes little more than a means of dulling the sense of emptiness in our lives. Lacking affiliation, intimacy becomes overburdened even as it risks the dullness or restricted human contact.”

Sunday, November 16, 2003

(A poem I wrote this morning, partly inspired by station 3 of The Worship Labyrinth, experienced at The Worship Freehouse)

Terror Lost/Found

Don't prey for me; I'm already dead--
Broken apart by the wild waters,
Forgotten and ignored.
Don't look for me; I'm already dead--
Shed from chokes that suffocate,
Dropped through an empty pathway
Like a tear just weighted down.
Don't come for me; I'm already dead--
Gone right after one last plunge
To pierce this still and tranquil sea,
Aroused with many shivers.
Why long for me? I'm already dead!
Don't drag me back to exile,
So let me sink down to the depths
Swallowed and embraced.
What treasure do you hope to find
When erosion eats me away?

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Friday, November 14, 2003

(seen at scratched surface)

Look to the sky for inspiration and all I get is comfort.
Pen to paper wants to birth bastards
(fatherless muses pass time)
finding all it has

comfort is bewitching


"War is Hell"...and "Hell is other people"...

"Best friends can turn into great enemies. They already know your greatest vulnerabilities."

(seen at TheyBlinked in this post)

While considering new approaches to environmental clean-up are important they do not actually solve environmental problems. A clean-up focused (rather than prevention focused) approach is akin to solving a person's obesity every three years via liposuction; effective at some level, but certainly a ghastly, invasive, unhealthy action for the desired outcome.

The biosphere, like a human biological system, is already prepared to overcome the challenges of environmental pollution. We just do not want to live in such a way as to harness these intrinsic capabilities of nature. As with obesity, when it comes to the environment we prefer to staple our stomach or take a pill rather than commit to the longer, but healthier and sustainable, road of cooperating with natural solutions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

(seen at The Cathy J Weblog)

You know, some days words seem so small. As an extrovert I use a lot of them, probably many more than I should. Sometimes I wonder if I have used my quota already, and am now just fumbling around, using the leftover words people have thrown in the trash.

(seen at thoughts of a sojourner in this post)

Last week, I went into a temple.

It has no stained glass windows or big organs or wooden pews. It has no steeple. It has no altar.

Upon my entrance into this sacred space, I experience a barrage of sound and lights. Names are illuminated in neon tubing around the large room. I assume that these are the names of the gods – there is nothing to indicate otherwise.

It is surreal. Almost, I feel like I am in some sort of spaceship.

The first thing I do in the temple is give my offering. In this place, sacrifices are received by machines. I step up to the flashing screen with as much reverence as I can muster.

I touch the screen several times, swipe a piece of plastic, and receive a little slip of paper that permits me access to what I will soon discover is the holiest place in the temple.

Feeling a bit cheapened by my sacrifice, I proceed down a hallway with my fellow worshippers. On each side of us are many doorways. Each is an entrance into a sanctuary. As we walk, I can’t help but ask a question that no selfless giver should ask: “Am I being ripped off?”

The gods would be angry with my question, but it is burning hot in my mind. No matter. I give my slip of paper to a person at one of the doorways – yes, it’s a person and not a machine – and proceed into the dark sanctuary.

[Read more here]

(seen at ~Adam Beach~)

Many of our questions or pains will not be dealt with until our own end - and that may come abruptly as well.

(seen at troyshantz)

The other day I was able to take a break from my currently hectic life and do some thinking. Some of the initial thoughts revolved around a trip that my wife and I will be taking to South East Asia, India, and East Africa in the new year. My mind flowed to thinking about new sights, sounds, smells, relationships, interactions, and experiences that we would have. I know that over 99% of the people that we come into contact over that period will have been given a much poorer lot (financially, physically, emotionally and socially) in life than I was given. Questions started firing off in my head...Why was I born into a family that loved me and supported me rather than beat me? Why do I have all of my needs met, all of the time rather than starve every day? Why was I born into the affluent middle class of Canada rather than the slums of Calcutta? Why was I born into the dominant race of my society rather than a persecuted tribe in Nigeria? Why do I have the talents and gifts that I have rather than a disability, either physical or mental? Did I choose these things? Did I earn them? Did I deserve them?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

(seen at wanderer::worshipper::lover of leaving)

To Remember ...

... is to work for peace.

Monday, November 10, 2003

If I can't find a server in me, what on earth can I give?

Saturday, November 08, 2003

(seen at

To give is to show one's superiority, to be more, to be higher in rank, magister. To accept without giving in return, or without giving more back is to become client and servant.

-- Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies

(and this was in the comments to that post...)

"A gift that has the power to change us awakens a part of the soul. But we cannot receive the gift until we can meet it as an equal."

--Lewis Hyde, The Gift

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Not Freddy vs. Jason...but...

(from The Door Magazine)

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

(seen at

Curiosity is only vanity. We usually only want to know something so that we can talk about it; in other words, we would never travel by sea if it meant not talking about it, and for the sheer pleasure of seeing things we could never hope to describe to others."

Blaise Pascal

The magazine MIKE YACONELLI founded, The Door Magazine (formerly The Wittenberg Door, reflects on Mike's recent, tragic death:


(seen at Pneumatica in the Attempt at Poetry section)

Hear the Song and Laugh

When it blooms- the rain makes its presence known
-but when the wind starts to blow- all are afraid.

If your smile fades- then your eyes will reflect your sorrow
-though the comfort lies around the corner- or are you mislead?

Courage to overcome- now sometimes that seems like a joke
-yet we cling to it- like a bad habit that never dies.

Offer something different- give me a chance to make it better
-and the change will be encouraging- with the hope that is restored.

Tear it down- this world that seeks to suck away my joy
-threatening to cover me completely- yet still failing.

Refuge stays away- but is that refuge really safe
-or is it imagination and dreams- left unspoiled?

Either way it's life- and a life worth living
-no matter what despair- no matter what dreams may fade.

(seen at Poetics)


Every kid grows up
afraid of something:
ghosts or
The Boogie Man
or spiders, and most
every adult is scarred
too. The difference
isn't that adults aren't
frightened, but that kids
are too young to understand
things like ghosts and
Boogie Men and spiders
have been around
to scare people forever.
They weren't created
to scare only them,
but it's that feeling
of something existing
only to get you
that is most terrifying.

by Warren Brinegar

(seen at Land of the Free?)

'We learned early that "home" was an ambiguous concept, and wherever we lived, some essential part of our lives was always somewhere else...'
-P. Seaman, "Paper Aeroplanes in the Himalayas"

(seen at The Invisible Sun)

The forgotten aspect of creativity is discipline."

—John Riccitiello, President and COO, Electronic Arts

Monday, November 03, 2003

"Don't pra/ey for me; I'm already dead!"

Friday, October 31, 2003


This Torture Inside

Do you live like you could fail
Or is your heart so caught up in fear of loss
That you throw the chance of life away
While you wait for the perfect moment to pass you by

This torture inside
Only feeds the pain
I know it's not real
It loves to complain
Distractions amuck
Force incredible distress
And with every defeat
I still fear its next success

Is this dream something that's real
Or has the hurt crept in to tell you its lies
And how there's nothing worth fighting for
While you wait for a silent illness to feed you truth

This torture inside
Only feeds the pain
I know it's not real
It loves to complain
Distractions amuck
Force incredible distress
And with every defeat
I still fear its next success

Will the pain begin to fall
Or has it lasted so long that you forget
How it feels to be alive for real
And you wait for the final moment before you die

This torture inside
Only feeds the pain
I know it's not real
It loves to complain
Distractions amuck
Force incredible distress
And with every defeat
I still fear its next success

(from TheyBlinked)

{when repentance follows just on the heels of loss; when desperation and the irreversible collide a staggeringly honest, brutal fetus of a person is delivered from the womb of selfish posturing screeching with lungs unaccustomed to life naked and exposed, wide-eyed and helpless in the divine insanity that is the afterbirth of being born again.}

(seen from The Lingering Lemon of Death)

cold stone seeps as i sit, chilling
morning sun embraces as i sit, warming
i inhale the incense of nothing, clear pure nothing
and the trees stand like columns

troy is singing
singing about the day that the sun didn't come on amelia island
i take a dead leaf in my hand and slowly reduce it to bits
random bits of yellow confetti at my feet

then, like a man who has been squatting, god shifts his weight slightly,
and the trees praise his movement with an offering
and we are undersea, in a golden ocean
as the leaves fall.

i'm bored, so i pick up a leaf again,
this one is yellow golden whatever, just like the last one,
but unlike, as i hold it, not brittle, smooth.
the stem offends me, i move to break it.

the squatting man leans over to whisper
"this is my body, broken for you"
and i hold in my hand the most beautiful leaf i have ever seen
i caress it, i give it all my love.

i want to hold the leaf forever,
but shelly thanks the squatting man for the leaves,
for the mana,
and i know this leaf is dying.

i stand up and drop the leaf,
inhale the incense of nothing, clear and pure,
and thank the squatting man,
for this moment, and for the next one.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Messy and Dangerous

Mike Yaconelli, the author of Dangerous Wonder and Messy Spirituality has died.

For more:

from TheyBlinked

from The Invisible Sun

from Siskiyou Daily News (seen via Jordon Cooper)

from Thunderstruck (referred via Eric from The Door Magazine Chat Closet under the thread Mike's passing)

(seen at TheyBlinked via joi ito)

I think you
should focus
on trying to find
cool things to do in
less crowded spaces.
Don't be worried because
there's no one there yet

(from this post at joi ito)

(seen at Jordon Cooper in this post)

As long as there is greed in the world, someone will find a resource to exploit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Chaos comes from choice, whether you like it or not.

Monday, October 27, 2003

(seen at scratched surface)

I do not pity the lost
as such.
such things must be-

beyond the realm of given sins
withoutt sacrifice-
set free.

while being forgiven is
being given permission
to enter a new pattern

(seen from Pooing in the Woods)

Everybody has their own thing going on. That's pretty astounding, when you think about it. There are 6 billion people, roughly, so that means there are 6 billion different lives and motivations and dreams and you name it.

(seen at the reality-now weblog)

Maintaining security. The striving to maintain this is something that stops me from doing more things than I can think of. It imprisons me in more ways than anything else I believe. It keeps me doing things that bring no life to me. And stirs up fear and doubt on a regular basis. In my life, nothing has paralyzed me more than the perceived need to maintain security. And yet, the whole world shouts at us to have it before we try anything else. The moment we have a desire to do or not do a certain thing, we are hit with the question "What if.....?" (i.e. What if you ran out of money? What if your lost your job? What if you got into a car accident? What if you got cancer? What if they reject you?) We are always encouraged to make sure we have a safety net before we do anything. To not do so would be dangerous. I have a feeling that many people, including myself, spend most of their life seeking to keep themselves as secure as possible. And spend a lot of time doing so always a bit fearful that if they don't, something bad will happen to them. The problem is the "what ifs" never end. No matter what I do, there is always a "what if" to stir up fear in me, to cause me to hesitate, to not follow through with what is on my heart. Most people will tell me that this is just being responsible and using my God-given mind. Yet, if this is so good, why is its main instrument fear and doubt? How is it that something so "good" and so "responsible" speaks such death to me? Maintaining security has become a law unto me.

(seen at The Invisible Sun)

Some days it just hits me that life seems so random; then it's hard to listen to people talk about simplicity. We so often talk as if we know about simplicity and have life figured out (even a little bit), but there is so much that we don't know - so much mystery - that we seem to want to skip that and go right to the conclusion, not doing the work of slugging through the complexity of life.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Friday, October 24, 2003

(since the civic election is done and the provincial election is on it's way...)

What I see in current politics is that platforms attempt to appeal to the selfish side of individuals. My take is that a main deciding factor is what can that person do for ME, not who would be best to lead us in a morally positive direction. It seems that so many politicians build their campaigns on offerings to this materialistic, selfish side of humanity in hopes that they will "bite". I know I may be asking a lot, but if we were to vote for the person that had the city's, province's or country's best in mind, rather than the individual's best, would these places be better places to live? I don't know. But I do know that we need to more often consider our neighbor who lives beside us, than ourselves. I truly believe that the farther we can look outside ourselves, the closer we become to those immediately around us.

(from troyshantz )

Thursday, October 23, 2003


(seen at CruxBiscuit!)

(seen at TheyBlinked)

One good example is worth a thousand theories."

-Lawrence Summers
President, Harvard University

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

(seen at The Invisible Sun)

(picture originally at Small Ritual)

(from TheyBlinked)

A rebellion cast forth in terms of group-style seems the vampirous murder of true rebellion. Brands of rebellion do nothing but give people safe ways to be different in similar ways.

Rebellion is always already a risk for something. There seems little risk and even less purpose in so much that passes as rebellion in this moment.

(from pentemom's comment to this post by Le Sabot Post-Moderne)

Here's a stab: the slippery slope can have the brakes put on at the point where people agree that X does not necessarily imply that X' follows, and where that's a logical position and not merely wishful thinking...

The Pandora's box is when the arguments against going all the way down have been removed by the people by the people who want to take the first step down the slope.

(from cre8d design journal and discussed here)

When does 'innocent until proven guilty' apply? When shouldn't it?

Are you ok with people being locked away without being charged and found guilty?

Are you ok with people not having the right to defend themselves against claims/charges -- and not even know what those claims/charges are?

Monday, October 20, 2003

(seen at my four walls)

We need attempts. We need failures upon failures and the tough nature that is frightened by nothing, that holds firm and endures and starts over and over again until it succeeds, until we are through, until we are unconquerable. Whoever does not take upon himself the danger of defeat, of loneliness, of setbacks, will never attain victory.

We want to create from the heart, and then we want, if must be, to suffer shipwreck and bear defeat until we have the victory and land is sighted.
by Gustav Landauer

Saturday, October 18, 2003

...even though I haven't seen The Door Magazine(formerly The Wittenberg Door) in in Saskatoon yet...

Lampooned Again

Friday, October 17, 2003

(seen at

Sick and Wasted

Sick and wasted
Energy drained
A bitter taste clams my mouth
as thoughts of helplessness cloud my judgement

A rest is in order
A peace must be found
Disillusionment must be overcome
as growing tests of character cross my walk

Change must be done
Again from inside
There's no use fighting an outward battle
as a battle still rages inside

(seen at Knowtown)

"We must not be afraid to dream the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality."
Vaclav Havel

Thursday, October 16, 2003

(seen at TheyBlinked)

Terror is a tactic. A new definition must be created for what is happening in the world at this moment if we are not to simply spiral further down the abyss of crusade vs. crusade.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

(seen at Land of the Free? via Jordon, Wendy and Dan)

There are millions of us out there with these stories. We are wanderers, and yet despite our identity as global nomads, people always want to have the permission to nail us down to what we “really are”. Does my lifestyle strip me of the right to call myself “German” I ask?

Amin Maalouf (In The Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong) has called this a highly parochial and dangerous view of humanity. Anyone who claims a more complex identity than what a particular group is accustomed to is marginalized and this is done not just by the average fanatic or xenophobe but, in fact, rather, "because of habits of thought and expression deeply rooted in us all; because of a narrow, exclusive, bigoted, simplistic attitude that reduces identity in all its many aspects to one single affiliation, and one that is proclaimed in anger."

And where that anger has led us, in our world, is only too painfully evident.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Remember your enemies and tragedies-- they remind us how easy it is to settle down or wander away.

Monday, October 13, 2003

[What part of you is here today?]

Parts of me:

Thanks to those at the Worship Freehouse for the ambient silence.

Thanks to the The Door Magazine (formerly the Wittenberg Door) for helping me laugh and think...usuallly together.

Thanks to The Door Magazine's Chat Closet (and all who are there) for helping me get over myself.

And of course, you...the readers for tolerating or absorbing anything I post.

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

It's very difficult to give thanks when no one else is giving.

Death conquers all, yet love needs all.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

(seen at Searching for a path into the darkness )

The past...where problems are seen clearly, where hope was banished. Where it seemed that the finger was pointed at me.The past... Where loneliness stalks, and the dream of companionship prowls like a inky black leopard. That black leopard stalks today, gnawing at my armor, trying to break in and destroy my heart. Lord Help.

The waves crash in the tide rolls out...but there is no doubt..that the light house will keep shining out to warn a lonely sailor...the lightning strikes. and wind cuts cold to the sailors bones through the sailors soul till there is nothing left to hold except a rolling ocean.

I am ready for the storm
Rich Mullens

Friday, October 10, 2003

(seen at signposts in this post)

While some struggle to provide for their families, others are caught in the grip of rampant consumerism. Concern for others briefly appears at the flashpoint of catastrophe and terror - but quickly recedes. Witness the reluctance of political agendas to advocate spending budget surpluses to fund our hospitals and schools and public utilities. The reason? It is believed this would not be supported by the electorate.

from The challenge for all Anglicans

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Choice or necessity is determined by enforcement.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

(seen at Mike Todd at a post here)

The rule of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth cannot sustain itself forever; ultimately both parties end up blind and toothless

Supposedly Been There...Still There was activated by something I said. Find out what here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

(seen from Cube Reflections)

My compass is my heart, though it matters not. For I sail uncharted waters.

The question is not where I sail, the question is why do I sail? For freedom. I want to be free, free of mind, free of soul, free of thought. Thought is the sail that propels my ship.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Does helping the human condition require annihilating humanity or eliminating conditions?

Saturday, October 04, 2003

True silence is the median between incessant chatter and endless work.

Friday, October 03, 2003


(seen at Reflections of an Urban Pickle)

Poor hermeneutics and dogmatic interpretation of scriptures seem to be at the source of ruined families, civil wars, and broken community. So how can I ensure that I am not fostering this narrow-mindedness? More importantly, can I be open and willing to changing my views without trading my faith and values as many staunch conservatives would argue? I hope the answer is ‘yes’.

Talk is cheap and easy, while action is costly and difficult.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

(seen at Random Segues)

Knowledge and pride seem to walk hand in hand. It is natural for both persons to become more interested in proving their point than discovering truth.

(seen at TheyBlinked)

If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi and nonviolence.
But if your enemy has no conscience like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

(seen at NeoTheo(b)logue)

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say."

J.R.R. Tolkein

Monday, September 29, 2003

(seen from Wendy Cooper in this post)

our lives are full of noise
too much information
too many messages that don't add up to any coherent while
all competing for our attention we can't find signal or make
any sense of our lives

and so we go into the dessert to escape the noise

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Belief or disbelief is rooted in the avoidance of artificiality.

Friday, September 26, 2003

(seen at TheyBlinked in this post)

many get lost in the pursuit of,
or the desire to hold onto,
being first.

no one fights to be last

Thursday, September 25, 2003

(seen from

I'll Be Found

I guess I'll stay stranded
along this winding road
watching those who pass me by
holding on to the slim hope of being found
I'll wait to find if this will last forever
But it won't

I'm being searched for
I'm know I'll be found
I'm not alone in this fight
I'm gonna win this round

I guess I'll burn in the flames
surrounding this firey house
watching those who wonder why
I'm holding on to the slim chance of being found
I'll wait to find if this will last forever
But it won't

I'm being searched for
I'm know I'll be found
I'm not alone in this fight
I'm gonna win this round

I guess I'll get poured on
walking in this cold wet rain
ignoring all those stupid lies
holding on to the slim chance of being found
I'll wait to find if this will last forever
But it won't

I'm being searched for
I'm know I'll be found
I'm not alone in this fight
I'm gonna win this round

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Forgiveness can only happen from a position of strength in weakness.

(seen from OPEN MIC NIGHT)

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

Melody Beattie

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

(seen at wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving)

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.

from "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke, et al.

(a poem I wrote yesterday)


The future always frightens me
For my past is growing dim,
As a novel generation
Presses onward every day;
When in this very pregnant pause
Ambivalence just swells my soul,
And at the point of lost control,
Something has to give.

While much of late has paralyzed
The edge which opens me,
As each decision estranges all
That pulls myself together:
Will maybe some, or maybe none,
Or maybe all gain rest,
Or will I never really know
How torn I always am?

Monday, September 22, 2003

(seen at Le Sabot Post-Moderne)

I'm beginning to see parallels between coming to love and understand another culture and understand a member of the opposite sex.

[read the rest here]

(seen from The Cathy J Weblog)

"Our personal name is at one and the same time the most common element in our identity and the most distinctive... Naming is honoring. Naming is choosing."

--from Leap Over a Wall : Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians
by Eugene H. Peterson

Disagreement or negativity is not always hate, just as agreement or positivity is not always love.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

(seen at TheyBlinked)

Unfortunately, we have only a little control over which narratives master us. But it'd be worth trying...

(seen in this post at The Invisible Sun)

"...there are only two difficult questions. One is sex. Sexuality has to do with intimacy and power; the Bible, so it seems to me, intends covenanted sex and not promiscuity or exploitation. The other hard question is money, for money is about freedom and control, and the Bible is for convenantal economics that are not promiscuous or exploitive. It strikes me as odd - but predictable - that conservatives, people who tend to stress evangelism, care a lot about covenantal sexuality but seem strangely naive about promiscuous, self-indulgent economics. Coversely liberals, who seem to care about social action, have some sense of covenantal economics but tend to mumble about sex."

--quoted by Jamie Howison, an Anglican Priest from Winnipeg

Thursday, September 18, 2003

(a poem I wrote this morning)


Peers apart face to face, reflected
Perfectly; pieces together side by side,
Balanced unsteadily; here and there perspectives
Turn, doubly mirrored; for and against
Positions match, singly twinned;

Twins identical, both becoming all or
Nothing; partners equal, neither allowing two
Or one; segregated images, distinct without
Difference sometimes blend; distant intimates, contempt
Or humility always follow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

(seen at wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving)

Change isn’t that unusual. Change is happening all the time … but when a lot of change is concentrated in a short amount of time, the landscape never looks the same again. Structures that used to help us and maps that used to describe reality suddenly are tourist attractions and artefacts ... to look at with a mixture of sadness and humour and they can’t be taken as seriously as they were before."

-- Brian Mclaren

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

[Note: the following may offend some.]

Distinction and Difference

Traditionally, marriage has been distinctly heterosexual, because it acknowledges the relationship between the genders. Therefore, for opponents of gay marriage, homosexual relationships seem badly constructed for the label of marriage; while for proponents, this is only a distinction without a difference.

To unpack the logic surroundiing these perspectives, ponder the following analogy:

-suppose that two rapes occur, one using contraception, the other not.

-assume society only recognized the latter as rape, calling it "explicitly open, honest and natural", while the former was considered "explicitly closed, contrived and artificial".

And if someone wished for the rape with contraception to be recognized as rape?
-opponents could point to the use of contraception, depicting it as "sensitive" and therefore not rape

-opponents might consider more potential cases of rape as diluting the definition

-proponents could point to the condition of exploitation as the major element of rape, considering the contraception issue as too narrow

-proponents might consider the present definition as oversimplistic

So which is more important in this analogy: contraception or exploitation? Would it be prudent for those who didn't acknowledge contraception to advise those who did to resist or stop, so their actions would be defined as rape? Would broadly construing exploitation miss any important distinctions of the original definition? In like manner, which is more important to marriage: gender or love? Would it be prudent to encourage two genders to marry, otherwise resist or stop? Would focusing on love miss any strengths of traditional marriage?

The sticking point relates to sexual orientation. One thing that people miss in the original definition of marriage is that the sexual orientation of the two persons is the same. It's easy to overlook, considering that it wasn't an issue previously. However, the main strength of the traditional definition of marriage was the concept of transcending differences, rooted vividly by the distinct capacity of the two genders to complement each other (particularly with reproduction). Sometimes the practical application of this fact obscures this broader sense.

In gay relationships, the sexual orientation of each involved is the same, much like heterosexual relationships. Furthermore, having only one gender involved is an instance of transcending differences (although demonstrated uniquely). Perhaps this natural childlessness mainly illustrates the importance of sacrifice over coveteousness. Contrast this with heterosexual relationships, where the explicit symbol of transcending differences may obscure a lack or fragility of love between the two persons, even though the sexual orientation is the same. Since the obvious can be deceiving here, it appears heterosexual relationships primarily illustrate the importance of depth over superficiality. One type of relationship is distinctive without difference, while the other has difference as a distinctive.

Whatever the significance of either type of relationship, the dynamics are more complex than appears evident at first. In homosexual relationships, the lack of difference in gender or sexual orientation could enable unwavering sacrifice. Moreover, the difference of gender in heterosexual relationships may be more distinctly vulnerable, requiring genuine humility. These nuances should not be lost in any discussion about same-sex marriage (or marriage in general). In any case, the essential element for any commitment must be love for each other above all distinctions.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Justice is only as strong as the weakest person.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

(seen in the Globe and Mail, an article by Norman Spector)

The Dilemma

The good news is that an overwhelming majority believe same-sex unions deserve respect and should be recognized in law. The bad news is that some gays and lesbians, rather than valorizing and expressing pride in their distinctiveness, insist on validation by marriage, a traditionally heterosexual institution.
The Sticking Point

Though it's been under attack from many directions (mostly straight), all Canadians have an interest in finding ways to strengthen marriage, given the relationship between poverty and family breakdown. Still, as gays and lesbians correctly note, they too raise kids, not all heterosexual couples have children and society allows senior citizens and infertile men and women to marry.

(seen in the Globe And Mail article Oh, Canada: a divided approach to marriage by JOHN IBBITSON)

In 1988, the Supreme Court struck down the criminal law on abortion.

Parliament, riven by the most divisive moral issue of the day, could not produce a new law that a majority of MPs and senators would support. So today, there is effectively no law at all regarding abortion in Canada, which means abortion is legal.

Exactly the same solution -- if solution is what you would call it -- may be about to befall the issue of same-sex marriage


If so, what would happen then?

In the short term, gay marriage would be legal in some provinces and not in others. Since gay spouses already have equal rights and responsibilities under the law -- thanks to a Supreme Court decision in 1999 extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples -- there would be no serious impairment of gay rights. Same-sex couples could tie the knot in Ontario, British Columbia and probably soon in Quebec -- most of the country, in other words -- and that list would grow as separate court challenges were brought before other provincial appeals courts. Mind you, getting married in Ontario and divorced in Alberta might be an adventure, but lawyers thrive on such things.

Eventually, the issue would land before the Supreme Court, which would probably rule in favour of same-sex marriage. Unless and until that day arrived, we would simply live with a patchwork law

(seen in the Globe And Mail article Gay lobby complacent, law professor warns By KIRK MAKIN)

Gay activists and their lawyers are caught up in celebrating their landmark victory in the Ontario Court of Appeal and have lost sight of the very real possibility that politicians may use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms' notwithstanding clause to reverse it, University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach said.

"I think this is a serious mistake," he told a University of Western Ontario Charter conference.


However, Prof. Roach said advocates of gay marriage have to counteract a wave of anger about the ruling instead of resting in the knowledge that the courts tend to side solidly in their favour.

"Even if you get the biggest win possible in court, you still have continuing work," Prof. Roach said in an interview after his speech.

"I really think the debate would be improved by less incantation of Charter rights and more discussion of what the merits of their case really are."

Friday, September 12, 2003

(seen at Been There...Still There)

The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
--Lucretius. Latin poet and philosopher, flourished 1st century BC

Thursday, September 11, 2003

At the extremes, moderation and mediocrity are often confused.

Sometimes the ties that bind cement rifts.


Terror...Dignifies...Ignorance,...Fear,...Violence,...and Destruction.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Unfortunately, being numb and good is worse than being vibrant and bad sometimes.

True equality requires radical vulnerability.

Reformed does not automatically mean deformed!

Monday, September 08, 2003

(seen at Eden's Dream as dreamt by eric blauer)

"The same blood flows through my veins. The same weakness." -Aragorn

Sunday, September 07, 2003

[ from here to where? ]

Saturday, September 06, 2003

(seen from new rags: the wonder of the gospel of grace)

i am empty and broken
trying to pick up my shattered heart
the wind is blowing but i feel no movement
i've lost the reason for my breath

as the hum
of a neon sign sings a song
to the shadows of 19th avenue
i can feel the darkness pull me in

i'm sitting here
waiting for an answer
that never seems to show its face
and i don't know where to go from here

didn't you see me falling?
didn't you hear me scream?
didn't you see me falling?
into a sea of endless tears

Universal or Orthodox?

Jordon posted recently about the controversy in the Anglican church. (see the article Rowan Williams wrote here. Link provided by Prodigal)

When one keeps everything at arm's length, somehow one seems to end up in the center, good or bad.

The only difference between giving in and giving up is what direction we give.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Darren Friesen liked the stuff that's been featured there. Go to Darren's blog at this post to see what caught his eye.

(I originally was referred to through TheyBlinked.)

(seen at

My Regret

It's out of my control
I don't want to hear
that my life was ending
I feel so alone
I can't stand to think
I was just pretending
that my life was just a wasted sham
I'm all out of breath
but I don't care
cause I'm already gone

I don't want to live in my regret
I don't want to remember what was said
It's something I'll never get over

When the end is so close I can taste it
I can't believe how my life I've wasted
There was so much now it's over

I'm feeling so small
There's no where to hide
I don't know where to run to
I'm blinded I can't see
what I'm leaving behind
I think I'll always wonder
So I'll leave from this place
I'll run where I can
I don't want to be found
I can't ask for help
cause there's no one I know

I don't want to live in my regret
I don't want to remember what was said
It's something I'll never get over

When the end is so close I can taste it
I can't believe how my life I've wasted
There was so much now it's over

How can I pretend that I never knew this
I remember everything that came from it
Maybe I'll come back when
I find out how this all makes sense

I don't want to get used to being gone
I've hid a piece of my soul somewhere along
Something's missing

I don't want to live in my regret
I don't want to remember what was said
It's something I'll never get over

When the end is so close I can taste it
I can't believe how my life I've wasted
There was so much now it's over

I want to start it again from beginning
I need some help from above to start winning
I can't do this alone anymore

With all the crap in my life that keeps me down
I need a voice who can bring me back around
I need life to start over

Sometimes it's not a matter of individual rights versus the common good. It's a problem of bad heretics and stupid conformists.

(seen from Open Mic Night)

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
-- Eric Hoffer

Martyrdom: cleansing the soul by sacrificing the body (The ultimate fast.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

(seen at TheyBlinked)

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

~Soren Kierkegaard
:.1813 - 1855

(seen at Pneumatica in the Attempt at Poetry section)

Do we dare to cross the expanse?
-willing to toss ourselves un-armored into the unknown
-not only unprepared but also extremely afraid?

Not even the best- those who have survived-
can explain, foresee, or comfort
those of us embraced by the challenge.

Yet we jump willingly-
and grow exponentially because of this adventure
that lasts longer and goes deeper than we imagine.

Sometimes what is required is a rest
-a rest of the mind that holds our essence
-our experiences, perceptions and memories.

And while those three things battle
we toss aside our cares and take joy in our respite
leaning on each other- waiting and willing to grow together.

(seen at

(seen at monkhouse blog)

Redemption is the promise that anything sacred, if destroyed, can also be rebuilt.

"Too much unity leads to trivia or boredom. Too little unity leads to chaos and disintegration."

(from Care of Persons, Care of Worlds by Larry Kent Graham, pp. 101-2)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

(seen in the Library News, p. 25)

Paths in space, in time, and from person to person, make the web of life. Often our paths are mechanical and dull, as dictated by the needs of survival. We cross ours with those of anonymous others, without anything remarkable happening. But occasionally, we reach a "station", with which we associate emotions and feelings. Those are special moments in our lives, in which our being comes into focus better than ever. We mark them in our memory and keep going over them, over and over again.

Our lives take place in the perennial cycle of the seasons, at which Nature is always at work. We look around often without paying attention to what we see. But sometimes, slivers of an image stick and become buried in our memory, perhaps without us being aware, only to re-emerge unexpectedly later, after the season is over.
--Gustavo Corelli

[ Gustavo Corelli has an exhibit at the Saskatoon Public Library from October 6 - November 6]

Sunday, August 31, 2003

(from you can't deny what you liked as a child)

Three options:
1. Remove all desires
2. Get everything I want
3. Apathy

I know I'm missing something. Oh yeah...

4. Be content

Disaffection X Zeal + Some Information - Some Accuracy=Prejudice?


Saturday, August 30, 2003


(seen from The Heresy)

In "analog" community we are somewhat insulated from our true nature because most of us hide it. Much of the infighting and politics in our institutions are hidden from view. Sometimes the accountability structures we create actually hide sin in an effort to protect the institution.

(seen from Mark's Blog)

"Remember that your living now not for your future. The future may never come or may not be what you want it to be but at least you lived when you had the chance to live. It's not whats gonna be but what is."

Friday, August 29, 2003

(seen at scratched surface)

Due to the multiplicity of trajectories potentially experienced at any given moment, one could benefit from a philosophy of circles. Circles are made of three hundred and sixty degrees, while being one. consequentially, depending on ones point of view, or vantage point, different vantages spy different things.

The Gift of Tears

(image seen at

(poem seen here)

I've the gift of tears
the cleansing gift
that wastes my fears
Washes my sadness
Keeps my soul new
And free of the tears
Imprisoning you...
The hurt can be huge
But if you are not dead
Stand up to the hurt
Feel your pain
Then bask in the lightness
That follows the rain...

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Recommended by Eric on The [Wittenberg] Door Chat Closet:

The book: go here

A review: go here

(for those Christians who need a good dose of satire, check out The [Wittenberg] Door Magazine)

(seen at LivingRoom in this post)

In stark contrast, here the only interactions we have with local people are with hotel staff and those trying to sell us their wares on the street.

Similarly the places that we are taken here are incredibly 'sanitised'. We only stay in the best part of the city, slums that we pass are explained away and everything about where we visit is 'sold up'. We spend more times in shops than we do anywhere else.

Whilst I understand why this is the case a small part of me is left thirsting for more. I guess I'm realising that the main difference is that in previous trips the focus was largely on 'connection'. Connecting with culture, people, God and even ourselves. In contrast to this the focus of this tour is much more upon 'consumption'. We are here to buy, eat and be served. We even have opportunity to consume the culture and its people.

(seen at LivingRoom in this post)

In stark contrast, here the only interactions we have with local people are with hotel staff and those trying to sell us their wares on the street.

Similarly the places that we are taken here are incredibly 'sanitised'. We only stay in the best part of the city, slums that we pass are explained away and everything about where we visit is 'sold up'. We spend more times in shops than we do anywhere else.

Whilst I understand why this is the case a small part of me is left thirsting for more. I guess I'm realising that the main difference is that in previous trips the focus was largely on 'connection'. Connecting with culture, people, God and even ourselves. In contrast to this the focus of this tour is much more upon 'consumption'. We are here to buy, eat and be served. We even have opportunity to consume the culture and its people

(seen at wanderer :: worshipper :: lover of leaving in this post)

[T]he difference between critical thinking and cynical thinking came up. I found that intriguing. The line is definitely thin between the two ... and I know that I often cross from being a critical thinker to a cynical thinker. It's hard not to be cynical sometimes ... but when that line is crossed, what is said moves from the realm of "constructive" to "destructive".

(seen at Do you really think she'll pull through?)

I could save THOUSANDS of lives with a billion dollars or I commit it to my own self serving agenda. However, we must admit that even with a hundred dollars (which I sometimes have) I could save a life, maybe even two. Do I dedicate my resources to that? No. And once again, I am haunted by the scene in Schindler's List-- "I could have saved one more." So, the game "if I had a billion dollars" ends up being about dreams-- because the reality is, we have money and we play games with it as well. The guilt for some is therapy, for some it's religion, for others it's nausea.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

John Carney mentioned in The [Wittenberg] Door Magazine Chat Closet another book about hospitality that wasn't the one I linked to in this post. Check it out!

If it seems that society is going from God[s] (premodern) to Self (modern) to Environment (post-modern), what's going to happen once Environment is displaced?

How to lose (in order):

1. things
2. places
3. people

How to gain (in order):

1. people
3. things

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Real Polarization

(from The Globe And Mail article Same-sex solitudes by MATTHEW MENDELSOHN last Saturday)

To many older Canadians, the idea of same-sex marriage, which was not a public issue until the past two or three years, comes from out of left field. For most older Canadians, the issue doesn't fit into their mental frameworks. To most younger Canadians, it is perfectly natural. Both groups can become emotional with those who disagree because each side takes its own position for granted and neither has bothered to question its own assumptions.

Why is opinion on the issue so intense? Canada is becoming simultaneously more secular (far more people don't attend religious services), and more religious (more people who do attend services self-identify as evangelical or fundamentalist). The issue of same-sex marriage symbolizes all the differences between them.


To supporters of same-sex marriage, the issue is simply about respect for gays and lesbians as full and equal participants in society (an idea supported by the vast majority of Canadians). But many other Canadians oppose same-sex marriage not because they're offended by the fact that this is a secular country, but by sexual liberalism, hedonism, the decline of the family, and their granddaughter wearing jeans that are cut way too low.