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Showing posts from October, 2012

Slipping into My Mind

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"One could say that the true philosopher does not have to be a great and famous human being. There are thousands of philosophers living quietly among us. They tend to look very much like everyone else. They marry, have families, and hold jobs. They watch football on Sunday afternoons and drink beer." This quote from the first chapter of "Philosophy: Something to Believe In" won me over. It appears on page two and when I read it I thought, well all right then - one does not need to be Plato or Kierkegaard or Facault to be a philosopher - and thank goodness because I've read their writings and they are a little dense.

Actually it is the next quote that got me thinking that I too am a philosopher. I mean I do watch a little football on Sunday's but I almost never drink beer. I might have a glass of wine now and then with dinner. Anyway, there's this idea:

"..They do one more thing, a thing most people don't bother doing: they enjoy slipping into …

Inherent to Who I Am

My seminary advisor and New Testament professor spent time "counseling" me in academics. He was the sort of man who could never look a person in the eye, always had his gaze to ceiling, as if in deep thought. This made conversing with him a little disconcerting. It was especially odd when he preached, his gaze ever heavenward.  I have a clear memory of him instructing the student body on the correct manner of receiving communion. "Never touch the bowl of the chalice. If you must touch it, guide it from the base of the stem...." Apparently we were touching the bowl and mucking it up with our finger prints... I remember him gazing to the ceiling while he told us off.

In his office, cramped and small, sitting across the desk from him,  planning my academic career was no less bizarre. His eyes perpetually gazing some where beyond my head, as he made pronouncements about what classes I should take and why. He was a very well thought of and intelligent professor. He just…

Inspired, not....

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Over and over I think about changing this blog. I don't mean just change the color scheme, template, or photo which I change frequently. I mean change it drastically, change the name and the focus. I've been blogging on this blog, as it is, since 2006. A change seems like a good idea. I even went quiet for a few days and put all of my previous posts into draft form so I could think about it from a blank slate. But even with that, no ideas for "what next" came to me. Nothing inspired me. So, I guess I will continue as is for awhile longer.

Healing Heart

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For the last seven weeks a group of people at the church have been reading and discussing Parker Palmer's book, "Healing the Heart of Democracy." I think this book has worked on my inner being, changing me completely in this anxious pre-election time. While not offering anything I haven't already through about (practice active listening, learn to respond with thoughtfulness not react with emotion, and so forth), it is a steady hand of profound reflection.

The conversations we have had have been engaging, insightful. I am most delighted by a woman who is in her 80's. She comes to most every book discussion and Bible Study class that I offer. She is very articulate and clear thinking, frequently astonishing me with the degree to which she pushes the idea's presented and makes connections that expand all of our thinking on any subject. She is simply brilliant. The other night she came to out discussion and brought a friend with her, a neighbor. These two women …

Eyes Gaze Reflectively

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My earliest memories of yoga are of my college roommate Anita practicing poses in her room. We shared a three bedroom house in 1975. Anita was long and lithe, with a sweet smile and great big laugh, perpetually optimistic and pragmatic at the same time. I was a dance major but didn't venture into yoga until nine years later. By then I lived in Chicago and had a high stress job working for a famous interior designer. This designer was intense, prone toward cruelty, which everyone accepted because he was so famous. This wasn't my first foray into working for famous people. I spent six years working as a Lighting Designer and Technical Director for a modern dance theater in Chicago. I worked with some of the most famous modern dance troupes of the time. Many of them were fabulous to work with, a few were very tough. But none were as difficult as this interior designer. Of course none of the dancers were as rich, either.

My response to the stress of working this job (well, beside…

God, face to face in one another...

Opening

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I'm tired. So much is at stake this election year. Or at least I feel like there is a lot at stake. I worry that the world as I know it, one that is emerging toward greaterequality for people in all segments of society, will snap shut. That we will close our hearts around fear. I am tired of the angst and the language and meanness, of the lies and of the mask we humans can wear over our prejudices. It's not socially appropriate to be prejudice so we mask the feelings with anger, distortions of truth, and veiled accusations. No doubt being prejudice is wrong. It's also wrong to think we aren't prejudice when we are, to not see our behavior for what it really is. Watching the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates is an example of this. I'm tired.

I know I need to keep working for justice, as I understand it as a progressive Christian. And I will. 

But I am tired of how we speak to one another and treat each other. I am trying to be a better person, myself. I am tr…