Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Aligning one's self

"Aligning yourself with positive people"...that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith." Romans 1:12

Today I saw Ken Burns "National Parks, our best idea". Having been raised in California I knew about Yosemite being the first wilderness aria being set aside as a public park. I knew of the role of John Meir in trying to preserve it for us 100 years before my grandchildren would be able to see this wonder. The fact that it is still here for us to visit is amazing in itself because, as Chani has said the world's people are self-interested and are not altruistic, but Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Rainer, the Grand Canyon and other places like these prove that there are some who see into the future and are not just here for themselves.

I choose to be aligned with them-- the John Meurs of the world-- those who see the common good and work to preserve it for the future as well as using it for the present. There are not too many for sure but I choose to be with them.

Altruism is a choice. Giving up what would be good for you in the short term for the future of your family, your town, your country, your state, your nation and the world's future--what more could we do for ourselves than to say we have preserved something, taken care of something, saved something, not wasted something and turned it over to future generations for the good of us all?

In my own way I am doing that. Generations of my family have worked to preserve a heritage for our family, some better than others, it has now come to me. I choose to have it to pass on. I hope that the next generation will do the same.

If this is also self-interest so be it. I want to be that kind of self-interested.

Google each National Park, State Park, and County Park and see what others have left for you! And view the memory book I gave each of you and see what these folks have left for our family.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Locked Doors

Do you know who you really are?
How did you get put in the box you are in?
Is there someone else inside you that needs to be expressed?
Self examination, life's precious gift to know one's self.

Today I saw Six Degrees of Separation. In this movie a young man pretended/imagined his way into the lives of several prominent families only to be part of a world he was not born into. His fate was, for many of us, familiar.

This monologue was the most significant:

"The imagination has been moved out of the realm of being our link, our most personal link with our inner lives and the world outside that world and the world we share.

What is schizophrenia but a horrifying state where what's in here(head) doesn't match with what's out there.

Why has imagination become a synonym for style... I believe that imagination is the passport we create to take us into the real world. I believe that the Imagination is just another word for what is most uniquely us.

Jung said"The greatest sin is to be unconscious." Holden says "What scares me most is the other guy's face. It wouldn't be so bad if you could both be blindfolded" Most of the time the face that we face is not the other guy's, but our own face.

And it is the worst kind of yellowness to be so scared of yourself that you put blindfolds on rather than deal with yourself.

To face ourselves---that's the hard thing. The imagination--that's God's gift to make the act of self examination bearable."

In me there is a teacher, a lover of knowledge, proficient in many genera, experienced in many fields, but the door was closed because I am dyslexic. I can't spell. Teachers need to spell correctly; this was the first door that slammed in my face.

The door is closed to me who loves the "art" of teaching and the inspiration of knowing that you can share this love, but for those who can follow a line it is open. Many times they shoot down people like me by telling us we ask too many questions. The threat is that we want to know more than they themselves know.

I am not saying that all doors should be opened, for there are many who do not know and need to be instructed. But, so many of us who genuinely love learning, God, creativity, spontaneity, and life are stifled by those who have not the capacity to enjoy the reality of these themselves. They are in control in order to keep "knowing" under their rigid level of understanding. They should rather be guiding us to go beyond the rote to the abstract that created the rote, thus opening the door to go further rather than only knowing what others have said.

However, these same "limiters" venerate those lovers of life...artists, writers, poets etc... while at the same time try to kill their joy by analyzing their lives and quantifying their work and then closing doors to their participation by finding fault.

Thank God I do not accept their limits, but, boy is it hard to feel OK in a world with these circumstances.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I saw a picture of my grandson that reminded me of the way he likes to be alone. I used to be that way too. I remember sitting out on the rocks in front of Cannery Row finding peace in the sound of the ocean crashing on the big rocks splashing up into the sky and falling back into the foam.

I was the oldest in a chaotic family of 4 siblings. My parents were not happy and there was never a quiet moment. Sitting by the ocean with its rhythmic roar was very different from hearing my parents argue or my siblings constant babble. With a dog, 14 cats, 3 siblings and fighting parents there was never a moment of quiet and then came the television, radio , and phonographs. But by the ocean it was all drowned out, not only from the air but from my mind.

There was always the reentry into the chaos but for a moment I was at peace and one with something bigger than myself, bigger than the goings on around me, just the "isness" of being.

This separateness gave me some comfort, but I really wanted to be part of something. I searched all through my life for the one place I fit in, but at every turn there was someone that wanted my place. Someone who was jelous of what I could do or wanted so badly to do it themselves that they needed to discredit me so they could take over. As I backed down to their greater desire I lost my place over and over until now there is nothing that I want to be a part of.

It took me a long time to give up wanting to be part of something. I wonder if he has given up already.