Theme for Our Church This Week is Blessings

A Prayer

The blessings, the beatitudes of Jesus. God bless those who become blessings. You await our blessings.

Blessings to you for earth, sky and sea. Blessings for those who have saved rather than squandered.  Blessings for those In need.  Blessings for those who loved. Blessings for those who Have turned from judging, who chose not to hate.

Love, with all its blessings, let that be us. Let that be here. Amen

Speaking of Arts

From the book Insearch: psychology and religion by James Hillman

“A solution that keeps the intentionality of consciousness yet forgoes its active thrust has been called the art of listening. This art has perhaps fallen into decline along with that of conversation.”

The Kindle edition I am reading was last updated in 1994. Bringing the statement forward and making it as if written in 2014 I ask, “Do you think”

A projection of sort. In 1994 I listened little. Today I feel I do more, but not enough. Still, as I project onto the world my own failings, I claim progress.

Can the world claim the same, even if a little? I think not.

Conversation on a public stage is in remission. My readings tell me that humans do worse in groups. Whatever darkness we have individually are disproportionally multiplied when ever two or more gather as one.

I propose we make listening a graduate degree. I bet those who earn it will become more valuable to corporations than lawyers.

Reality Can Kill Us

Friedrich Nietzsche writes, “We have art so that we shall not die of reality.”

I don’t think of Nietzsche as being the most positive guy I never met, but I like this quote. Since he is dead, I have to think I have changed and not him. Or he actually had a moment of bliss.

I take him to mean that art is as much an outlet as an escape; for the artist and the patron. What say you?

Dancing in The Shadows

In Owning Your Own Shadow, author Robert Johnson writes, “Narrow creativity always brings a narrow shadow, while broader talents call up a greater portion of the dark.”

Most of my life I thought that avoiding my shadow meant success. Now I am distressed to learn how totally untrue this is. It is incredible to me that I have found in my writing a willingness to do just the opposite. More than a willingness, I have an almost panicky desire to dance in the shadows. I can’t get there fast enough.

I hope you learned to dance before I did.

An Edge in the Prophetic

In “On Art”, an essay by Edward O. Wilson in the anthology Biopoetics, Wilsowrites, “I emphasize the expansive role of poetry to argue that whereas art and science are basically different in execution, they are convergent in what they might eventually disclose about human nature.”

How does that happen? Does it happen? What do they disclose about human nature?

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Crafting a Life That Matters

Peter Quigley is his book Housing the Environmental Imagination doesn’t use the word crafting, but rather “fashioning.” Such a familiar word, but one I may have never used.

In The Oxford English Dictionary it offers, “Fashioning is to give shape to, to mold.”

Sounds like crafting to me, but that is not the point. The point is to consider how many of us get there? How many of us fashion a life that matter? Do even we even know when we have?

Quigley writes, “There is so much than conspires against getting it right. Like the crafting of a poem, one crafts a life alone.”

I guess Quigley got to that word crafting too.

He writes on, ” We do it against all odds, and we do it with the crushing likelihood that the project will evaporate, the profile will be blotted out, the language will blur, and all will be subsumed by some governing paradigm; we will fall in line.”

It has happened more than once to me. How about you? How do we craft a life that matters?

Narrative Voice

Dear writers, how many narrative voices do you use? What is the difference between finding your voice and employing a narrative voice? These and many more questions I am examining as I write a book that is fast becoming a memoir.

I work hard to find times of angst. Doing so takes me back in time. Who said there are no time machines?

Some days I flounder against angst’s mother ship. I produce a whiny narrative voice. What is that? Not good I think.

In all instances, I try to include a voice that can express humor. I am hoping that by doing so I will find a sound that can appraise up close and at a distance in conversational tones.