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.