Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thoughts, Part VI

Is that it, then? Unification through elimination? Keep chipping away at our selves, like Sybil wheedling down multiple personalities, until the real one me is left standing? After all, it is true that I cannot simultaneously live the life of a deconstructive angry self while also being a highly successful achiever full of inner peace. Also, like mixing lots of brilliant colors together results in a murky grey-brown, a composite of all of the me’s tends toward mediocrity and blandness. Or, at best, a me that is ill-focused, never fully present and not quite coherent.

Compartmentalized self? Compromised self? Are these the two options? Surely not, for nothing is ever quite so dichotomized as first appearances often suggest. Then what are the nuances? What is the filament that binds together the “the you which you have just left in one place and the you which you will be when you get to the other place”? Who is the me in between and does the distance between the me I was and the me I will be actually exist?

I’m not sure about all of this. But it does get you thinking and wandering about, doesn’t it?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thoughts, Part V

I suppose that I should take a philosophical stance about it, acknowledge that all are facets of me, a unified yet complex being, just like all other human beings when faced with the fact of being. Or that I should take the higher theological road, simply accept God’s hand in it all and that I shall know only in part until that time when I shall know even as I am known.

But that isn’t really it, is it? That doesn’t get at the fact that if I did “have a family reunion” for all the me’s “with barbecue under the trees”, there would be one hell of a family feud and some one or other would end up getting killed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thoughts, Part IV

This is about those two you’s, the ones to which earlier I said we’d return. I visit mine often.

I say that I visit mine, but it is more like they visit me. Usually uninvited. And it is not only two me’s that I encounter, but more like many me’s with many nuances. I aim to be courteous to others, but the angry me emerges. My contemplative me arrives and I set about meditating, sitting quietly by the fire, sipping tea. The telephone rings and my social me responds, trades tea for vodka and goes to an all-night party. The judgmental me (or is it wise? I shall likely never know.) awakes and sets about listing regrets accrued the night before.

I am attracted to the man who says, “Come with me. Let us live off of the land together in a distant mountain cabin,” and equally attracted to the other who says, “Nothing is of consequence” and the other who claims, “It is good and right to prosper.”

I like my house clean and orderly, filled with beauty and fine art. I like letting everything lie where dropped, dirty dishes piled up and the beauty of care-free, devil-may-care clutter. By equal turns, I want to lead and follow. I like to achieve. I enjoy detachment. Risk invigorates me. I want to be safe. And so on and so on and so the two, the many me’s clamor for light of day. To be known and heard. To live and breathe.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thoughts, Part III

Morning. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Shaving water left over in the sink basin trickles down the drain as I inspect the me that stares back at me from the polished glass. This is a different experience every morning.

Sometimes a hint of recognition flickers faint in the reflective eyes, briefly, then vanishes. Sometimes there is full connection of identity between the two staring figures, seamless and seemingly endless, even if one is a reversed opposite of the other. Sometimes, and these are the most disturbing, there is total lack of unity.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thoughts, Part II

Who are my two you’s, the one which I left yesterday in the grocery store at the checkout counter where I paid the clerk for my box of crackers, and the one that will be me when I next emerge from my home or when someone stops by for a visit? These are the two you’s in relation to others that do what I do and, they say, are me being what I am. We’ll come back to them another day.

For now, is not the small crocus which has emerged early from its winter’s sleep, though alone in the woods, still in relation to me? Though distant, it is a relation, just as you and I are in relation to distant galaxies as yet unknown to us.

And you and I are in relation to each other just now through these words that I write and that you will not read for perhaps another few days. Through communication of thought translated into words on paper and translated into meaning after the shapes of black ink lines commute through your eyes, over optic nerves and into the understanding that you give it. Thus are we in relation. Even when lying alone in bed as it rains in Lent.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thoughts in Lent

I lie prone in bed on the first Monday in Lent, nursing a strained back on a heated pad. I’m thinking about Narcissus and Goldman, who are good folks to think about when lying in bed on your back in Lent.

It is a passage from “All the King’s Men” (Robert Penn Warren) that got me to thinking along the lines my mind is now traveling:
“There is nothing more alone than being in a car at night in the rain. I was in the car. And I was glad of it. Between one point on the map and another point on the map, there was the being alone in the car in the rain. They say that you are not you except in terms of relation to other people. If there weren’t any other people there wouldn’t be any you because what you do, which is what you are, only has meaning in relation to other people. That is a very comforting thought when you are in the car in the rain at night alone, for then you aren’t you, and not being you or anything, you can really lie back and get some rest. It is a vacation from being you. There is only the flow of the motor under your foot spinning that frail thread of sound out of its metal gut like a spider, that filament, that nexus, which isn’t really there, between the you which you have just left in one place and the you which you will be when you get to the other place.

“You ought to invite those two you’s to the same party, some time. Or you might have a family reunion for all the you’s with barbecue under the trees. It would be amusing to know what they would say to each other.

“But meanwhile, there isn’t either one of them, and I am in the car in the rain at night.”

Narcissus and Goldman. Two you’s; one person. It is Lent and so I am thinking. Reflecting and introspecting as to who I am and what journey I am taking. Alone. In the rain. In the night.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blue Goose Update

Side room, facing north, before:


After (orange is on west side of room, purple on east):



Same room, facing south, before:


After:

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm glad that Lent begins this week. In fact, I awoke today and realized that I am already in route for this quiet, reflective journey of 40 days.

We sang our last 'Allelulia' at church on Sunday. Now, we turn towards a more somber time, a time of considering our inner selves, our place in relation to creation and how we choose to live our lives. It is a good season.

Like autumn that becomes winter that becomes spring, then summer and autumn again, the church calendar cycles through this Lenten time to approach new life at Easter. It will return again next year. A circle of life recognized by all cultures in all times, but one has to connect with one of the cycles to experience the benefit.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Trying to revise my budget by cutting $70,000 out of expected revenue. The poor economy has hit individual donors and foundations that we rely on for shelter funds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just a Thought

Since our military is promoted as being highly trained, focused and among the elite, shouldn't they be capable of working professionally alongside openly gay persons like the rest of us do every day?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ofrenda

I'm beginning to install a traditional Mexican Day of the Dead altar, called an "ofrenda" that I plan to clean, update and add traditional foods in the corner annually on the Day of the Dead.



Friday, February 05, 2010

The Blue Goose Hosts

I heard this sound echoing down my chimney this morning. Upon investigation, I found our state bird resting contentedly atop The Blue Goose. His/her voice was loud and clear throughout my home!



You can watch a 20 second clip below from YouTube that shows a Greater Road Runner making its fascinating clacking sound. (However, what I heard was the sound you'll hear in the hotlink above, which is a recording that is hard to find online. Instead, you typically get the dove cooing sound that a road runner also makes.)


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

San Pasqual is considered the patron saint of cooks and kitchens. You may have noticed his image hanging in my kitchen in yesterday's posting.

A real Franciscan friar, San Pasqual (or Saint Pachal) was named for the feast day on which he was born: Pentecost, which is also known as the "Pasch of the Holy Spirit". Pasch, or Paschal, means "Passover" and refers to a time in Jewish history when the angel of death passed over houses in Egypt (the final of ten plagues before the Israelites began their exodus). The firstborn of families were spared in those homes whose doors were stained with the blood of a Passover Lamb. The meal has become a significant feast day in the Christian calendar, and is often referred to as The Passover Feast.

Hence, Saint Pascal--San Pasqual--presides favorably over feasts and food.

It is quite informative to get a sense of how Spanish Catholicism mixed with native cultures as it spread itself throughout Mexico and into what later became territories of the United States. To begin, one need only to trace names of modern tribes. The pueblo of the San Pasqual tribe is the one surviving pueblo of three that were formed around San Diego and San Luis Rey missions to resettle displaced Kumeyaaya in the mid-1800s.