Sunday, June 19, 2011

Arguing with God, the Corruption of Leadership, Is There Hope?

Uh oh, I don't have any wisdom in me after all.  Where did it evaporate to?  Wait!  I have the wisdom to know not to worry about wisdom's returning.  I know there is a place I can get to.  It requires work to get there.  Some meditate, some practice yoga and/or martial arts, I just prefer to go about the business of living.  There are always jobs to do.  I could pick up the weed-eater right now and go weed eat around the community center and the kids' play yard.  I've done that before, I'll do it again.  I'm feeling a little guilty that I haven't done much for others lately.  I don't think I need to feel guilty, not by my age after working for other people for 50 years.

So, I'll hang with this writing job a bit longer today.  Human nature is so funny.  I know there are great things inside me that need saying, that will be said, God willing.  I know there are great things that need hearing, by me and by many.  Life is really very simple, too simple for most.  We make the simple things so complicated.  I have to laugh when I fail three or four times at the simplest plumbing repair.  It's because, not just plumbing, but the expert construction trades in general -- I just don't do them everyday.  Shortcuts, necessary steps, whatever, tend to be forgotten.  Or I'm thinking about a song I wrote, an essay I'm planning, and the thoughts get in the way of the work.

Usually, though, I'll get into a job, and thoughts come.  Then it's a question of whether the job can be laid aside for a while, so that I can at least jot down a few notes.  Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I'm working with my emotions lately.  I found an old song I had set aside, it brought up too much pain for me.  Emotional pain takes a lot of energy.  But if there were no pain, life would be an unceasing stream of joy.  What would that be like?  Reminds me of a sign in the old school in my community: "If everyone here were just like me/ I wonder what this place would be."

What of another possibility?  That we could live with a lower level of emotion?  This is indeed what most seem to choose.  Our leaders, politicians, journalists, ministers, seem to choose to try to reason with us.  The age we live in is still called "the age of reason" by many scholars.  "We hold these truths to be self-evident...."  Some have argued that the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution represent the greatest flowering of the human reason.  If only we could get back to that spirit that motivated those documents....

But reason and thinking with only low levels of emotion becomes dry and stale.  Where is our fresh manna?  We have to have some truth here, not just clinging to old truths, political, religious, personal.  If we let them go, will they return?  Perhaps if we get desperate enough, we'll have to risk an old truth.

Some people seem to live at a continual high emotional level, always mad at the government, someone who cheated them, someone who "dissed" them.  Others tend to be fearful, and certainly there is much to be fearful about.

Hallelujah, the plumbing repair seems to have taken!  I'll check it every few hours.

* * * * * * *

O.K., yes, I have returned.  I have been busy, in the writing side of my life, with the New Cafe, which has been undergoing a revolution.  A combination of old and new leadership has emerged after some months of chaos, and that is how it should be.  Some few remain bitter, but we'll live with them.  After all, we enjoy a bitter taste in our food to balance the sweet, do we not?  That makes it more of a full-spectrum community.  It gets dull when you're just preaching or listening to the choir.

I'm reading a book that has been on my shelf for several years:  Frank McCourt, "Teacher Man."  It is very well written and inspiring, about his 30 years as a teacher in the schools of New York City.  Frank is the author of "Angela's Ashes," which became a worldwide bestseller in 1996.  "'Tis" was his second effort, and did not move me as much, for whatever reasons, as his first and third books.  I'm just halfway through "Teacher" so I won't say more til I'm done.  But how enjoyable to discover another great book, and to rediscover this truly great man!

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