Jun 242015
 

Mom said Charleston shooter was adversely affected by the internet. No doubt, holed up in his bedroom accessing racist sites for hours at a time, and creating his own shocking site. But this is, of course, a simplistic explanation. Social media can be utilized for good or evil. Depends on the individual, depends on the culture and social milieu. When we lose touch with the outside world, distorted thinking will be enhanced.

Jun 232015
 

In the wake of Charleston, will we step up and do what we can to advance freedom and justice FOR ALL? We are all part of the equation, not mere bystanders observing the nation coming apart at the seams, with the political, religious, racial and economic chasm widening. Will each of us speak out against hatred, gun violence, and intolerance? Will we vote? Will we reach out a hand to help the very poor (and working poor) in our communities? Will we step out of our social milieus to encounter–in a positive way–people of other races, religions, political orientations and economic situations? Each of us–each in his or her own small way–is part of the equation.

Jun 222015
 

The best way to defend against the multiple attacks on science:
*Study science yourself, so you know what you are talking about.
*Gain an idea of what the anti-science people are talking about.
*Be willing to enter into the debate, either through writing or in person.
*Keep your cool.
*be factual.
*Be respectful
*Meditate on the broad interpretation of Jesus’ words: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free..”

Jun 222015
 

Folks with a conscience

Folks who care about self AND others

Folks who abhor violence

Folks concerned about the extreme poor

and working poor…

It’s time, it’s long since time

to borrow a basketball saying

to step up our game

Jun 222015
 

Folks with a conscience

Folks who care about self AND others

Folks who abhor violence

Folks concerned about the poor

and working poor…

Folks who believe “everyone counts

or no one counts”   (Michael Connerly)

Folks who strive to be open

and honest…

Folks who will admit a mistake

and say I’m sorry sincerely…

It’s time, it’s long since time

to borrow a basketball saying

to step up our game

That means to work that much harder

to take positive action and to do what’s right,

live out our values

We don’t live forever, at least in this earthly state

Let’s do what we can to heal our brokenness

and the brokenness in our culture

and the brokenness in the world

time to step up our game

too much violence and hatred

running free

Too much violence and hatred

too much afraid to speak out

May violence and hatred

not go uncontested

May barriers between people

based on ignorance or pride

be broken down

May creativity be encouraged

May we affirm uniqueness

but not forget what unites us

affirming our bond

in a good way

Let’s step up our game!

Jun 162015
 

“You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jesus)

Why would Christians reject science? Scientists seek to ascertain the objective truth about external reality, and about the self, through careful analysis of the object of study, while seeking to eliminate the distorting effect of extraneous factors. The scientist seeks to eliminate the effect of personal bias, in arriving at a conclusion. And what’s wrong with that? Not to say that a spiritual realm does not exist which is not amenable to study through the scientific method–at least not yet. Not to say that a Supreme Being does not exist. Of course erroneous conclusions are drawn through scientists, and that’s part of the scientific approach too, to be open to revising theory based on new findings and modes of analysis. From Newton to Einstein and beyond, cosmological understanding has been transformed. Our understanding of the phenomenon of time, for example, remains in flux. Is all predetermined, as Einstein posited? Or does intelligence, creativity and autonomous decision-making alter the shape of the future? My sense is that the latter position is correct, but of course I could be wrong. We all could be wrong.

 

Jun 092015
 

Sometimes it is best
to stay away from the System
Sometimes the working world
will chew you up
and spit you out because
you just don’t fit in
Don’t cast blame
just accept it

May 282015
 

Blessed are they who seek wisdom
rather than power for they shall
not fear nor cause fear.

Kermit Rose

May 262015
 

A light aimed at one of our spacecraft
from Ceres, rogue planet, aliens stranded
on a dying world, lost in space

Maybe like us someday

 

 

Below the white moon
I fumble for my keys, the motor fires

But no place is open to rest my bones

  

 

     An old cafe customer watches

Supervisors come and go, the good ones

and the bad, the kind and the cruel

 

 

    

 

 

 

     A solitary bird cries out
deep in the mountains

A man with imperfection strives
to find dry kindling, light a fire

The solitary bird survives

So must the man

 

 

     A very old woman
her back is bent, working
the register at Walmart—

The parking lot is empty

Grocery carts stand naked

in the artificial light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the craft fair
deep in the mountains
No one selling anything
People walk around
visiting with others

Money forgotten

 

May 222015
 

Sitting on ther back porch in Asheville, NC, finally, in the spring sun, can’t move far and fast with my knee messed up…

The wind is blowing through the trees and my spirit resonates with the sound of the whispering leaves. Still, the traffic sound is incessant from Route 25; invisible drivers roar from north to south and south to north. You have to wonder once again: what’s everybody in such a rush for?

Asheville is a relatively small city set in the mountains. We have our rich people, poor people and many ensconsed (too often precariously) in the middle-class. The poor are invisible too, like the drivers on Route 25–for the most part–but for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear and a soul to be aware, they are less than invisible.

Faintly, in the distance, I hear the cry of the dove. It, too, is invisible, its beautiful, mournful cry also drowned out by the incessant traffic of midday (for those who live close to 25).

In Asheville, we have so many artists and other talented people, some caught up in the often illusory struggle for recognition, others just happy to get their voices out there to friends, family and a small circle of appreciate fans.

Right now, I am happy to be writing this little essay, happy for the sunshine and happy to be alive and breathing, though I remain cognizant of the severe problems besetting millions of people. I consider what I can do to make things better for them–at least with my still small voice and by lending a helping hand to those around me, when and where I can. As I have said many times before in these short columns, there is far too much acrimony and division in this country and world, far too much schism and finger pointing, and far too much obsession with making the almighty dollar, driving the flashy car, etc., never mind those around who are less fortunate.

It is so easy to blame the poor and homeless for the plight, but a multitude of reasons lead to economic deprivation–drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and discrimination, to mention just some of the contributing factors.

I know. I have been there, having been stepped on but also making some terrible mistakes in my life. Isn’t that the way it is for all of us, regardless of our economic status? So why should we not lend a hand to those who are facing severe challenges in their lives?