Joan Chittister: “The Place in Which I Stand.”

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To be enlightened is to know that heaven is not “coming.”

Heaven is here.

We have simply not been able to realize that yet because, like King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail, we look in all the wrong places, worship all the wrong idols,

get fixated on all the wrong notions of God.

We are always on our way to somewhere else when this place,

the place in which I stand,

wherever it is,

is the place of my procession into God,

the site of my union with the Life that gives Life.

~Joan Chittister, from “Illuminated Life”

My friend Ned put that in a Facebook message yesterday – and it’s awesome.

I don’t know about you but I started out this Lent with all kinds of plans – the kind that involved trying to figure out what I feel guilty about and a plan of action about how to make those wrongs right.

One of our local pastors gave a most dynamite Ash Wednesday sermon, complete with asking us to listen closely to “The Man in Mirror” by Michael Jackson and to come up with some Lenten activities that involve doing something that brings about social justice.

Well….I haven’t done that.

I’ve done a lot of reading. And a whole lot of thinking – particularly about audism (oppression from the hearing world toward the deaf world).

But….nope. The heavy hitting Lenten reads that I signed up for are still in my email inbox – but are dutifully flagged for another time.

My idea to give up TV and listen to music – not really a sacrifice – it was a trend that was already happening. Because of my hearing loss TV is more frustrating than enjoyable most times and I tend to use the head phones and binge watch during school breaks.

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And, I also started out the semester with an assignment in my Linguistics class which was to come up with three MEASURABLE and DOABLE goals. My instructor for that class is fantastically patient – which is good, because the first few things I sent for this assignment were….a little bit over the top shall we say.

After a few weeks she mentioned to the group of us that “some of you might want to consider being a bit less hard on yourselves and adjusting your goals and measurements to the reality of your daily lives.”

So – I asked one of my classmates – the one who is typically quiet, and will be brutally honest if you ask her to be. I wanted brutally honest.

“I need you to red pen this thing” I said to her during break.

She took one look at the goal assignment on the computer screen and, to my delight, burst out in laughter and expletives.

I’m proud to say that the red penned goal list is working quite well. I hit most of the goals but not always, and they include practical things like remembering to do laundry and playing with markers on a regular basis. I’m too embarrassed to admit how complicated and impossible my first list was.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we think that the good stuff is yet to come?

Why do we ask “Where does the time go?” What does that question even mean?

When will we appreciate what we have, right here, right now?

So …thus far…Lent 2016 has been about friendship – and becoming utterly dependent on friends in addition to family. Not just relearning how to make new friends…I figured that out last year.

But, telling the truth to friends, and…I hate this…

 

asking for help.

Here’s the view from my window yesterday morning:

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And, this was the sunset in the neighborhood park last weekend:

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What more could I possibly ask for….

“…the place in which I stand,

wherever it is,

is the place of my procession into God,

the site of my union with the Life that gives Life.”

Thoughts on making a “Nice Please Face”

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“A good thing to think about is

what kind of face to make when you say please.”

~ Ruth Krauss,

Open House for Butterflies

 

So – in a jiff I need to start to catch up  on homework and prepare to deliver our son to a nice snowy hill somewhere, but…

I sort of want to put into a few words why still, in view of this strange generation that my youngest son is in: I really cringe at the phrase,”kids these days are just Bratz!”

It’s what we say – always have and always will. I get that.

But on a deeper level, let’s look at this thing of :”kids these days are selfish brats.”  Maybe, but are they also selfless leaders, or is it some of both?

I say both.

My friend has a daughter that has for, three years now I think, has proudly shaved her head to support the St. Baldrick foundation (a cancer fundraiser).

Give my son a few minutes to spout his thoughts and he will in no uncertain terms tell you about his feelings on why he supports Bernie Sanders. He can back it up with historical facts that tie back to the underground railroad and will make logical ties to the benefits of rap music and storytelling.

And these two young people are only 14 years old.

I posted a quote from a really good article about narcissism a minute ago which includes a link. (Hit the button up above that says “earlier post” if you’d like.)

On one hand, to be honest – I’m less sure every day that when I get my interpreting certificate and/or license – I’m not sure that I want to go back into school work. Is it because the challenges are many these days and I’m not up for it? Sort of – not sure I’m interested in the stress of what childhood and education has become these days. More so, it’s just so loud – literally. Loud speakers, amplified voices, super sonic toilets – it all hurts my ears and grates my nerves.

But – that’s just me.

And,

I miss being on the floor reading Maurice Sendak books to my boys and blowing up wooden train tracks with megazords.

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If you find any good articles about raising teens during this super selfish time of history in the 1st world – please pass them on!

 

 

 

 

Fred Rogers on Narcissism

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( Fred Rogers: March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003)

Raising children in this day and age is no easy task. ~ Kate Cooper

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Narcissism Is Increasing. So You’re Not So Special.

“A healthy self-love that leads to true happiness is what Rousseau called “amour de soi.”

It builds up one’s intrinsic well-being, as opposed to feeding shallow cravings to be admired.

Cultivating amour de soi requires being fully alive at this moment,

as opposed to being virtually alive while wondering what others think.

The soulful connection with another person, the enjoyment of a beautiful hike alone (not shared on Facebook) or a prayer of thanks over your sleeping child (absent a #blessed tweet)

could be considered expressions of amour de soi.”

 

Online Lenten Guide: The Ignatian Solidarity Network

“Following Jesus means to incarnate an attitude, a disposition, an openness,

and a receptivity to the divine offer of grace actuated in loving service;

it means taking up a new way of being in the world for God and for

the flourishing of all God’s creation.” ~ M. Shawn Copeland

Found in The Ignation Solidarity Network Blog

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In Time I Will Fear Not the Day

“You find me where I can’t be seen…

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(my Granny)

 

before you I’m fallin’,

if it weren’t for your wings I’d be gone…

to grow my own wings I have tried….

merton worthy

 

 

in time I will not fear the day…take me to where I can go.” ~ Kate Rusby, Falling

Patty Griffin: When it Don’t Come Easy

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Patty Griffin:

” I don’t know nothin’ except change will come…..time keeps moving….

I don’t know if I’ll ever get home….sometimes you don’t know if you’re walking in the wrong direction.

If you break down, I’ll drive out and find you, if you forget my love, I’m going to try and remind you….

when it Don’t Come Easy.

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I Didn’t Even Know He Was Jewish

linda shoot“Habit is necessary;

it is the habit of having habits,

of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against

if one is to remain

alive.
Edith Wharton

 

 

Apparently yesterday an American candidate for presidency may have made a statement about being so powerful and skilled as a states person that, if he had a gun at this rally and shot it into the crowd he would still win the race.

Last Thursday the nineteen year old, 1st year college student, son of a distant friend of mine fatally shot himself in the head.

In addition, true or not, I just read in a Mother Jones blurb that this same candidate supported an anti Semitic photo by way of re-tweeting (electronically sharing to those that his is connected to in the Social Media site named Twitter) it to his many followers.

Allegedly,

 

it was a photo of Bernie Sanders that had been photo shopped to make it look as if Sanders was on the way to a gas chamber.

Now,

 

I have been told at times that I am a very funny person. And at an American Sign Language Interpreter professional development workshop yesterday I mentioned the true fact that the only rebellious thing I did in High School was to lie to a Ringling, Barnum and Baily clown that I was 18, although I was 17.

I tried to join the circus.

 

And,

for today,

what bothers me the most about that sinful, sinful comment about firing a gun into a political crowd is what?

 

Some of my fellow Americans laughed.

Humiliating.

 

This is not who Abraham Lincoln told us to be or believed that we are as a community. We can do better. I love that quote that my friend shared with me a bit ago and I’m going to use it as a flag to get me through this busy semester. Question your habits American readers of this blog. If your habits are helping you to stand firm in your conviction that we all – all genders, all races, all creeds, all sizes, all states, all children, all adults

and all those who are able or not able to hear what is being said these days …if those habits help you believe that we all deserve a chance to live another day – I personally would like to give you a thumbs up. You are in my prayers.

But if you think that

if your beliefs are

If you think that euthanizing of an entire people in a gas chamber is funny – I consider you a rusty, ratty, rotten, railroading, wrong thinker. Get your act together please.

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