Friday, May 10, 2019

to learn to know.

On a rainy Friday morning a series of sentences about education: 
My one addition to the mix would be to say that a purpose of education is to teach people to find the truth and, more fully, to learn to know.  That is neither happiness nor autonomy, neither citizenship nor employability.  A good university, it seems to me, helps students learn to engage by themselves with truth, goodness, and beauty (theory, practice, and relating) in a dynamic way that opens up and reinforces their being real people who can see what is intrinsically valuable in existence.  A central concern in that pursuit is truth. 
With best wishes,
(Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, Beamer-Schneider Professor in Ethics, Case Western Reserve University,  Cleveland OH
(—American Philosphical Association, APA Connect General Discussion Digest for Thursday May 9, 2019)
 It is about truth, isn’t it? 

Thursday, May 09, 2019

dizzy, to ground

There is a turn to violence throughout the country. And the president is not so much the cause as the symptomatic explosion into the body politic. He appears as carrier. As patient zero spreading the infection.

The mass shootings, the unending and spreading wars, the taking of lives by suicide, abortion, domestic violence, police brutality, environmental cancers, stress related seizures, heart disease, mental instability.

It is a troubling time.

One wonders how sanity appears at all.

Something spirals in wobbly uncertainty.

Capitalism and corporate arrogance grind under heel those not interested or capable in wearing such shoes.

Sexual abuse, clergy crimes, misogynistic rhetoric, rape, sex slavery, prejudice and bias -- along with the fevered escalation of contentious bullying arising with it -- all signal something out of joint reflected in our communal physiognomy.

Hate ascends to surface.

Vituperative speech rolls over airways, launched from lecterns and cable news desks in ever-increasing volume. The swipe, the slander, the slurs, the cynical jargon -- all prevail.

Where are we arriving?

What is it we are cultivating?

When did we become so entranced with the unsightly?

Poet Gregory Corso, from his poem The American Way:
But man is strange and grows where he will
         and chalks it all up to Fate   whatever be—
America rings with such strangeness
It has grown into something strange and
         the American is good example of this mad growth
The boy man   big baby meat
         as though the womb were turned backwards
         giving birth to an old man
The victory that is man does not allow man
         to top off his empirical achievement with death
The Aztecs did it by yanking out young hearts
         at the height of their power
The Americans are doing it by feeding their young to the
For it was not the Spaniard who killed the Aztec
         but the Aztec who killed the Aztec
Rome is proof   Greece is proof   all history is proof
Victory does not allow degeneracy
It will not be the Communists will kill America
         no   but America itself—
The American Way   that sad mad process
         is not run by any one man or organization
It is a monster born of itself   existing of its self
The men who are employed by this monster
         are employed unknowingly
They reside in the higher echelons of intelligence
They are the educators the psychiatrists the ministers
         the writers the politicians the communicators
         the rich the entertainment world
And some follow and sing the Way because they sincerely
         believe it to be good
And some believe it holy and become minutemen in it
Some are in it simply to be in
And most are in it for gold 
(--Gregory Corso, in “The American Way” from Elegiac Feelings American. Copyright © 1970)
The unsightly doesn't see. It flails and rages

It poisons what it hits. 

If everything is turned to gold, nothing will be able to breathe.

I'd like to move on.

I turn and turn, looking this way and that, until landscape becomes blur.

I fall dizzy.

To ground.

was heisst du

A baby is born.

Two young men die stopping murderers from killing more people.

Birds call out from tree.

Monks in France chant psalms.

The day is upon us.

There will be coffee.


Boiled egg.


A walk.

Visit to hospital.

What is the holiest name?

What is: the holiest name!

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

jean vanier dwelt among us

Jean Vanier (1928-2019) has disappeared through death.

Here's America Magazine's obituary.

And from an older interview:
What is love? 
Love is to reveal to someone: “you are beautiful and you have value.” That is the secret of love. It’s not primarily to do things for people, because then we find our glory in doing things. The secret of love is to reveal to someone that “you are precious,” that “you are beautiful.”
(--Jean Vanier, God Chooses the Despised: An Interview with 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate Jean Vanier, by Sean Salai, 5augi5, America Magazine)
We have been fortunate he dwelt among us. 


The color of the mountain
Is the eye of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
The sound of the river
Is the ear of Manjushri Bodhisattva.
- Kyong Ho (1849-1912)
Middle East:
Jesus, God's disappearance
becomes Christ's resurrection, an emptiness
you become what is becoming itself 
The experiment called America
is going into the books --
exaggerated results without proof 
Washington DC
What a wonder!
one man without integrity
trumps and loses a whole country 

Tuesday, May 07, 2019



within and beyond, us

Yes, it does involve sadness.
And, invoking the novelist and theologian Frederick Buechner, Brooks told me that “faith is change.” It’s here one moment and gone the next. “It’s ups and downs, and it’s always movements. It’s a continued journey of exploration.” And it’s a journey that has created in him new desires. “The temptations of worldliness are very strong,” Brooks acknowledged, “and I’m now glad I have another anchor.” Brooks added that in some respects he’s sadder than he was, in part because faith offers a much higher ideal that we’re sure to fall short of, and can make one more aware of the brokenness of the world and more attuned to the suffering and pain of others. 
(—David Brooks’s Journey Toward Faith, In his new book, The Second Mountain, the columnist describes his path between doubt and belief. By Peter Wehner6:00 AM ET, 6may19, The Atlantic)
Perhaps that’s why we cling to a notion of a God who will do it for us if only we’d pray correctly and fervently.

That’s not going to happen.

Think resurrection. It’s something we don’t believe in. If we did we’d be devastated by its reality — namely, that what we think of as God died. That what we call Christ is the embodied incarnation of what we once considered God. That God has disappeared into creation, into someone completely receptive and capable of the transition, the resurrection, the “I have begotten you” of the scripture. The end of other as not us. The end of sending prayer somewhere else. The awful invitation to realize there is nowhere else.

Only here. As God is, here.

Look around. Cringe at the thought. God died. And resurrection is the new and continuing dwelling place of what we once thought of as God.

Completely different.

Wholly another.

Now tell me — is it any wonder so few engage in authentic love with the true, God?

Resurrection is a terrifying thing — but not for the reasons we think it is.

I can’t look at you without wondering who and what you are, whether we are who we might be, and if belief in Jesus has been a diversion from the true reality revealing itself before us, within us, and beyond us.


Doing nothing, going nowhere

Morning arrives —

Ask me if I believe in god

Hard to figure

What the attraction

This charleton 

Several ugly men

Now occupy

The United States

God, if you can

Hear me, remind us

How sin corrupts souls

Monday, May 06, 2019


Sin is heartbreaking absence or abuse of love. Whereas, redemption is healing and rebirthing the heart with love.

That’s what talking with the young woman in Maryland yielded after two hours Monday afternoon.

She has been touched by her church congregation’s anointing her with oil. Her heart has opened, she said.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

out from shadows

Posting to nytimes: 
Bringing a pen to a sword fight is foolish. Unless you think there is hope for latent decency or authentic honesty. Problem is our republican hit men have been flushed out into the open and blatantly threaten the hostages they’ve taken in plain sight daring anyone still burdened with hope to throw down their worn out collegiality, don blindfolds, and face the wall.
 There’s always Latin: current et abscondam!

last night a lovely hospice patient

If you want to remain silent, do so.

If words have spilled out their meaning, just listen.

Tick of clock.

Sound of red Jeep rolling down road.

Thump of cat landing on floor.

Chainsaw as neighbor begins cutting logs, his annual sculpture stacking alongside dooryard drive.

This is no church, this Sunday morning kitchen.

Black plastic spoon stands upright in yoghurt.