Sunday, June 30, 2013

composition 16

Beyond borders joy flows
Love—it sends trembling birds to the moon
Faithful witness in the sky
Moonlight on feathers caught in the night

Spirit, pour out on all people
Spirit, pour out on all people
We cry for peace
Before the moon turns to blood
Let us gather together
Add to our number

Splatter colours on white walls
Crack the bench on which the "powerful" reign
In our trials we press on
Weak and ill, injured—here we come   

Thursday, June 27, 2013

if the rain wills it

yellow bruises appear on forearms
in the forest
and feasibly
rain washes sneering jokes
away from inky wilderness
into city storm drains

Saturday, June 22, 2013

suggested reading

Hyperbole and a Half: Depression Part Two
"I remember being endlessly entertained by the adventures of my toys. Some days they died repeated, violent deaths, other days they traveled to space or discussed my swim lessons and how I absolutely should be allowed in the deep end of the pool, especially since I was such a talented doggy-paddler."  (read more HERE)

josh barkey: Is the Christian God a Psychopath?
"... I have to be willing to re-examine the way that I am reading the Bible. I have to be willing to go back to my childhood and question if maybe the rigid interpretive framework I was handed for the reading of the Bible is just plain wrong." (read more HERE)

Experimental Theology: The Fence of Matthew Shephard
"People wonder from time to time why I write about the relationship between the gay community and the Christian church. It's not a comfortable topic where I live and work. But the answer is pretty simple." (read more HERE)

Monday, June 17, 2013

This Then That

Gramma, who was still recuperating from her recent surgery, poured red wine into two glasses and sat.  "Before I make a toast," she said, "I have something serious I want to say."

Raymond, who had a napkin over his head, let out a long sigh.  When was she not serious?

"It's important not to behave like a stuck-up brat," she said.

Raymond gripped the edge of the table.

"It's One for all, not One for the 'good' people," she said.

As she began to raise her glass, Raymond slammed his fist down.  "Hey, you're blaming me for causing divisions when you're the one who's so serious and depressed all the time!  It's not only my fault, you know!  I'll tell you what your problem is!  You just don't know that everything is your fault!  The good and the bad... it's all your fault!"

Gramma tilted her head, wishing she could see his eyes.  She paused because of a sudden, incoming headache and said quietly, "I already know I'm not a good person.  You only have to flip through the pages of my diary in order to see that."  She picked it up to show him, even though he couldn't see it on account of the napkin.

"Oh wait, no, that's not what I meant at all," said Raymond.  "Yeah, there's no such thing as a good person.  Look, I just wish you could enjoy your life."

Gramma smiled.  "You know, I'd like to be on your team."

The next day, they were at the table again.  "You forgot to make a toast yesterday, Gramma." 

She got up and shuffled over to the whiteboard on her fridge.  Raymond had a napkin over his head, as usual, but he could notice the faint pop of the lid coming off her dry-erase marker.

She circled an area on her whiteboard and said, "This here is dangerous and futile."

"Ugh, stop attacking me!" said Raymond.  "You're exaggerating and it's getting ridiculous and so much of what you're saying is not true.  I'll even prove it!  I'm actually a really good person!  Can't you see that I'm totally fine?"

Gramma peered over the rims of her eyeglasses.  "I don't think you're fine," she said.  "I think you've been badly deceived."

thanks for the warning

Thursday, June 13, 2013

composition 15

come rest for a while, my love
your shoes look too tight
take them off and spread your toes
here at the ocean's edge
come rest, rest for a while
come rest
come rest for a while
here where the forest meets the water blue

remember the clovers picked by small fingers
pressed into pages beside the faces
beautiful, beautiful faces
love deeply, ever more deeply
love deeper still

does salt water hurt your feet?
lay down here and rest now
though weak i am,
i care for you


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

tabanus sulcifrons

Is this really the message Christ wants us to be sharing?!

You have to attend this specific church.

You have to wear certain clothes.

You have to go to church twice every Sunday, even if the second service disrupts your children's nap schedule and makes your family miserable.

You have to obey your pastor and the elders, even when they're being unreasonable and power-hungry and greedy.

You have to marry only who we say you can marry.

You have to...
You have to...
You have to...

Check out the amazing stairwell illusion

Thursday, June 6, 2013

musca domestica

Diotrephes grew up inside the Enhanced Gravy League, otherwise known as EGL.  He went to EGL school and attended evening classes to learn from the EGL book of precepts.

He wore a white fedora to the three EGL meetings he attended every Saturday.  The meetings were structured and the speaker long winded.  Children were forced to sit through them if they were old enough, and they filed into their seats, unsmiling, like silent robots.

When Diotrephes got older he loved to be in charge.  During meetings, he sat in the very front on the bench designated for leaders.  He doled out punishments for anyone who admitted doing wrong and was sure to inform them of any wrongs that were accidentally glossed over.  He also punished anyone who wouldn't admit the faults he pointed out.  And if someone missed too many meetings she was thrown out of the League.

He was an expert at EGL discipline and the book of precepts could solve everything.  Strict adherence to it could keep the EGL members from peril.  Attention to any outside opinions was prohibited.

That's how Diotrephes became more and more prejudiced, merciless, and scared.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

caught and freed

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery.  They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  Now what do you say?"  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?"
 "No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared.  "Go now and leave your life of sin."  - John 8:3-11
Whenever I read this passage I really want to know what Jesus wrote on the ground with his finger.  I can only guess that, whatever it was, he wrote it in order to dismantle their trap.  I wonder if Jesus wrote with the purpose of exposing the motives of the pharisees and teachers of the law?  Maybe they didn't even comprehend what they were doing so Jesus decided to, in effect, hold up a mirror for them to see their own filth—to see how impossible it was for them to keep the Law they so often harped about.

Another question.  Why would Jesus bend down and write on the ground when he could've simply spoken everything to them?  I think it's because he knew if he shared it verbally they would catch the sound waves, but not actually listen and understand.  It looks like they didn't care much about his writing, though, because they kept on questioning him. 

When he wrote on the ground a second time it prompted them to leave altogether which is interesting.

Next Jesus did not focus on the woman's behavior, but instead challenged her cognitive framework by asking questions.  I think it's not that he didn't care about her behavior, but that he knew her behavior wouldn't change until he helped her clean up her thought processes.