Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life Is For The Living

As he was walking through the cemetery he became aware of how time seems to stand still at times. He knew it was only perception but the head stones seemed to be yelling that in this place time was not moving for those under the stones that stood so tall and bore names, dates and final sayings. Within the gates of the cemetery there seemed to be an eerie quiet that was only disturbed by the sounds that crept into the place from the roads, buildings and people who were moving about on the outside of this place. Out there, on the outskirts and further on down the road time seemed to be moving but within the gates that enclosed all who resided here time had stopped. Time had ceased at different moments in history and that stoppage was well noted in stone at the head of the graves.

He felt strange moving about among those whose experience of time had ceased while for him time was still going on, for how long, only time would tell. This experience reminded him of that time which happened so long ago when his wife and he waited for their Doctor to come to his office. She was holding a towel in her hand which contained the hard shell which came out of her body as she aborted what should have been their eighth child. They called the Doctor and he instructed her to take the remains and go to his office so he could examine her and what should have been their last child. The day was a beautiful sunny Spring day which still had a bit of chill left in it from the Winter which had just past. People were out walking some on business some just enjoying the day, many were couples enjoying the weather and each other. He and his wife were in shock. It was as though time had stopped for them and they were living in space watching the people around them who were not aware of the tragedy which she was holding in her lap. They felt invisible. Their emotions were raw and they wanted to cry out to those who seemed to be in another universe, "Stop and listen we have lost a life and we are bleeding as we sit here with that lost life as we await our Doctor who can do nothing to restore that life rather just bring us back to the land of the living in time to do what we must in order to keep on living.". Eventually the Doctor came and restored order by telling us she had to go into the hospital for a D&C and that life would go on. From that moment the surreal feeling of the day subsided and the clock started ticking and time was moving again. The good thing about time is that it continues to move steadily ahead while one lives and forces you to take care of the business of living.

He finally found the head stone he was looking for. He stopped and looked at it while memory flashes of their time together flashed through his mind. For sure this moment was just like the time of their aborted child. But she was dead and the noise from outside the gates, the sounds of life were starting to beckon to him. He brought his hand to his lips, kissed his fingertips and transferred the kiss to the place on the stone which bore her name. "Goodbye, honey, got to go now there are things I've got to do in the land of the living.". He turned and found the walk which led him out of the cemetery into the land of the living where time moves on and one must move along to where life takes you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Insanity & Linsanity

Besides politics New York, The United States and the whole world, for God's sake, has had their attention diverted towards two budding superstars of the future. One is New York's own newly elevated Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, of The Holy Roman Catholic Church, and the other is New York's own Jeremy Lin, of the New York Knickerbockers. They are both the center of attraction and the talk of the whole world, or did I just say that? The question arises is will they both succeed, or will just one, or will they both fade in obscurity?

Although there is a difference in age there are many similarities between them. Both are very aggressive and attack the basket strongly. Both for the most part lived in relative obscurity. Both came upon the scene by being in the right place at the right time and took advantage of the opportunity presented. Both seem to have a quiet faith but are outspoken about it without being overbearing. Both have seemed to take their team upon their shoulders and lifted them from the doldrums. They differ in physical shape with the younger one holding the better form. The question is whether they can sustain such high excellence without faltering.

One problem facing both of them is ownership and the coaches for whom they play, and the fans who support them. The purpose of both teams is to put people in the seats. As long as they continue to win and show the humanity and faith they have, the people will come. They both have to realize that ownership and coaches will play a big part in their success. The Cardinal must figure out if ownership in in Rome or comes from a much higher place. His coach, and maybe owner, could be one and the same. He will have to decide if his eyes look Eastward or upward. He has to play hard for his real boss or else he will fade and the people will not come.
Lin on the other hand has only to keep his mouth shut or say the correct things and stay fit physically while he continues to play at a high level which will keep the seats filled and the owner happy. It is important for him to continue to please the coaches, whose system fits his talents so well. Any changes in ownership or coaches could jeopardize his future as a budding super star.

Here is hoping both succeed and the insanity and linsanity continue until their respective time in the sun fades to old age and new superstars arise to uplift the base of humanity. Meanwhile let us sit back and enjoy their moment in the sun as it is happening.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Two Sides But The Same Coin

Every coin has two sides, Heads and tails (Obverse). But unless you are a numismatist no matter what side of the coin you are observing it has the same value. Heads or tails  a US Dime is worth only ten cents. Even though the sides look different they are actually the same in total value. I have come to notice that this is the same in observing sides of different issues which seem to take place in the public discourse. Only instead of calling it the Heads, and Obverse we call it Pro and Con. The people arguing the sides are seemingly different but they are very much of the same core.

The Bill Mahrs of this world confess a real dislike for organized religion. Much of what they say has validity but it is cloaked in what sounds like real hate which seems to be encouraging the listener to join them in their disregard for the very religion in which they were reared. They appeal to your intellect and do the utmost to take you along the road of hating because of what history tells us of the many injustices foisted upon humanity from organized religion. They never recognize the good contributed by these groups to the human race. They put forth the argument that the followers are being misled by corrupt leadership. Whoever disagrees are rejected as being duped or stupid.

The other side of this coin are those who are recent converts or returnees to the religion they rejected. They are suddenly "saved" and those who do not follow their precepts are not. Therefore, they set out to evangelize everyone and anyone who they can corner. Their references to written proof, the Bible, The Koran, what have you, is frequently quoted as though they understand that what they are quoting happens to be the result of many translations and handed down stories for hundreds of years before they were written. Thus it never occurs to them that perhaps word for word belief might very well not be the thing to hang one's hat on but rather the intent, the spirit of it all. Further they defer to leaders as though they are infallible even though history, past and present, shows they are far from infallible. The fact is the leaders are very human with human failings and knowledge. Yet the recent converts and returnees say the Lord speaks through them and the writings they quote and if you do not follow it you are being duped (by the devil?) or stupid. In other words follow them or die. Sound like the other side of this conversation? They are really more alike than they think.

Think about it. Every argument has two side but somehow in their differences they sound very much alike. There are blind sides to every argument, the good in the opponent's arguments that the other side refuses to see because if they acknowledged that there is good on the other side then they see it as making their argument less potent. The search for truth must examine all parts of the argument without biases in order to reach the goal but if one is already predisposed as to what answer they want this can never happen. Perhaps this is what is wrong with the American political system. Each side wants to prove their point but not because they are searching for a correct answer to the problem but to keep their position of power within the society. The Democrats and the Republicans are really interested in getting enough followers, voters, to keep them in the position of power and they do not really want to come to solutions which will benefit all, from the poorest to the richest, rather they are interested in only solidifying their power base.

I guess we should beware the ones who claim to be the true believers and search for what truth we can implement in our own lives.      


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Anyone For A Decent Exchange of Ideas?

He noticed that lately those who disagreed with what he expressed disagreed with vehemence and anger. Civility seemed to be lost in the flow of words that came from out from a person, seemingly not from the mouth but from the soul. Everyone wanted freedom of speech but it seemed that freedom only extended to themselves not to any others. Things were reaching a state that he felt he had to keep much of his feelings inside of him, with his ideas, because whenever he expressed them someone was waiting to jump all over him with expletives.

A friend of his recently lost a dog to old age illness. He tried to comfort him but was met with a flow of angry words condemning what was perceived as a lack of compassion and found its way to condemning the Catholic Church for its view on sin, morality and the afterlife. Finally, he felt he should withdraw from this association because it appeared that his friend while mired in the agony of grief was angry at the whole world and really wanted to hear nothing except maybe the possibility of restoring life to his departed dog, who apparently he loved more than his own life.

Since the last Presidential election friends and not really friends of his seemed to want to send him every bit of trash that was circulating around the Internet defaming the President. Now they knew he didn't agree with this junk but they persisted in sending it. He attempted to engage them in an intelligent debate about it but soon found that anger and derision would enter the conversation. It didn't matter that much of what was being circulated, right or wrong, they chose to believe anything that would defame and debase the person they considered to be their personal enemy. So he finally withdrew from any attempt at a conversation that might lead to answers based on fact and not myths, like the President is NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, and he's a Muslim lying in wait to destroy this country with Islam law, and socialism akin to communism. The Rush Limbaugh's of this world have taken over with their rants and raves and he refused to argue ideas with those who only accepted ideas formulated in their own heads that met their preconceived conclusions.

The Public TV production about the Freedom Riders of 1961 and the contribution to this country's advance into the notion that freedom was for every citizen was particularly inspiring for him. He never realized the courage of these relatively anonymous individuals. They were threatened with death, beaten, and jailed yet they remained peaceful and ultimately helped accomplish racial equality, but not really because while it isn't as open as it was and it is a helluva lot better, racism still exists in the good old USA. When President Johnson signed the act that solidified equality within the law he noted that the Democratic party had lost the deep south to the Republicans forever. Today, after almost 50 years, the Deep South is still Republican and will do all it can to defeat President Obama. The Republicans use many reasons but the one they stay away from even though it is the 500 pound Gorilla in the room is because he is BLACK. God forbid, a BLACK MAN leading this country who except for Jack Kennedy has had nothing but WASPS leading it and for many years Jim Crow laws keeping those uppity "coloreds" in their place. He only wished somebody would stop all the flim flamming and just talk the truth for once.

He finally came to the conclusion that rather join all the rhetoric and shouting, he would read, see some great movies like "The Artist", a new silent great flick, and let the ideas ruminate inside his own head until the din around him quiets down. Then maybe before he dies he will be able to have an intelligent, thoughtful, conversation again.