May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Friday, August 31, 2012


sfood h "daddy, what did invisible obama say to clint eastwood?"

this post is pre-work for a sermon.  it is not in the order i would present it, nor is it developed at all.  it is basically some ideas i wanted to put out right now.  and posting publicly because in this case, timeliness is more important than a fully-fleshed out and cohesive linear argument.

this is an anti-racist diatribe from a white ally, to be reworked into an "AR(anti-racist)AO(anti-oppression)MC(multicultural)-creating" / "racism-oppression-uniculture dismantling" sermon.

on the screen at the center of the RNC without his consent or knowledge, is president obama, invisible, brought into the room, and having somebody else speaking for him (as if him).  words spoken by a white man, a cowboy, no less.  in a suit and tie.

sorry clint, but you appeared like an unscripted codger.  i know you are a great actor, and perhaps this whole performance -- including the awkward pauses and meandering -- was intentional.  i definitely saw racism at play, blaring actually.  i do not see the racism here as inherent within you.  i saw it within the spirit of the words, and the nature of the presentation.  it was mean-spirited.  and you implied our president saying something that most wise black men would abstain from saying (and obama always has).  i think however that many might want to say it though, after the centuries of inequity and the PRESENT INSISTENCE of inequity.

but here is me -- a white man -- speaking on behalf of what a prototypical black man might say.  i do recognize the irony in that, and i also recognize that this might need to be a dialog between whites, to make space for EVERYBODY's AUTHENTIC voice at the table.

in the past, when black men get angry and voice that anger -- or for that matter, when they express any emotion that could be perceived as challenging -- a chill rises, and white people get scared, and act in strange and scary ways themselves.  we might need some white men to get angry to make that space for authentic voices of anger, of love, and fear, and hope.  we might also need white men to speak to white men to open them to make space within themselves to hear others' authentic voices.

i believe there is a fear in the whites of retribution for the inequalities and grievances visited upon people of color.  there is a fear of sadness when we admit the wrongs of the past and the ongoing wrongs.  when this culture's heart finally does melt -- and i believe it will if we do not destroy ourselves -- i foresee the sadness, but i don't see the retribution.  i see continued forgiveness, and an insistent request for TRUE equity of human relationship.  and more soul for everybody.  our white-person fears tend to keep us from getting down and getting groovy.  IOW, mitt romney could not sing al green, because he has not experienced a life that correlates.  what *would* mitt sing? (WWMS?)

now as regards the unspoken words of the invisible obama: any vulgarity-culture-aware american would know that in the dialog, when eastwood says, "no i'm not going to tell Romney to do that to himself." he is responding to the words he put in invisible obama's empty chair, saying "tell him to go f**k himself."   he was expressing the black man's anger that obama has been so -- just wow -- capable of dispelling, swallowing, or whatever, and really done an amazing job for four years of quelling the racist energy in the room, and in the country, and not reacting to it with hostility.  with as much power as the US presidency still affords, i likely would be very tempted to really use it to go off on those who really need a self-importance/privilege attitude adjustment, were the stakes not so amazingly high.  despite overt racism, both direct and indirect.  perhaps his doctor prescribes good medications that help him to remain so patient, but perhaps he really has an astounding ability to remain under control in the face of the ongoing overt (and underlying) racism....

back to my point, eastwood's words are ironic.  because without speaking them, he created a sea-change, by crossing a boundary, and creating a new atmosphere -- a paradigm shift.  clint eastwood spoke on behalf of a black man, putting angry vulgar words into his mouth.  those words, if they actually existed, would be a fair reflection to white americans who insist on maintaining their privilege.

for too long, the fevered pitch has had an underlying assumption and concern: "obama, a black man, cannot actually be our equal or better.  we cannot allow it."

then again, i'm a fellow white man.  others may see it differently, and they're free to do so and voice their opinions, if this is a democracy worthy of an open democratic media, allowing for conscience to be spoken from a multi-cultural post-modern subjective-experience-acknowledging perspective.

but again, maybe eastwood was just acting.  he's been a good actor.  maybe he was taking advantage of the opportunity to say what needed to be said, so we can move on to the next stage of human relations.  if that's the case, thanks clint.

to close: clint, what is the best thing you can say about your candidate, that is true?

also, here is another opinion from Jamil Smith about this.  as i continue to hone this sermon, i want to go back to it.

lyrics: "fine, i'll play my song when you're not around.  you only want to hear your song.  and you won't know me as you might."

colors: red, white, black and blue
mood: solemn
chant/prayer/mantra: may there be peace within all peoples, and may the glory of love fill all the earth.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

ps - i am being climbed on by my son right now, trying to get my attention. in order to post this important missive. he wants me to look at pictures of tree-houses.  he is three and a half.  it hurts to be disregarding him.  but he does need to learn the value of giving me ten minutes of downtime.

pps - now its later and we got a chance to play airplane and helicopter and read a book together.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


A small piece of the sky

Saturday, August 25, 2012


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Friday, August 24, 2012


Pinto Beans


Black Beans

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Notes from Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach.

**"Are you allowed… I didn't think… you get a job like that, the Messiah, you're supposed to save the world, aren't you?  I didn't know the Messiah could just turn in his keys like that and quit."

"Of course you can quit!  Quit anything you want, if you change your mind about doing it….  So I quit being the Messiah and if I sound a little defensive, it's maybe because I am still a little defensive.  Better that than keeping the job and hating it.  A good messiah hates nothing and is free to walk any path he wants to walk.  Well, that's true for everybody, of course.  We're all the sons of God, or children of the Is, or ideas of the Mind, or however else you want to say it."

"It's not me they want, it's the miracles!… And besides, 'There is no problem so big that it cannot be run away from.'"

**"I wanted to say, for the love of God, if you want freedom and joy so much, can't you see it's not anywhere outside of you?  Say you have it, and you have it!  Act as if it's yours, and it is!  Richard, what is so damned hard about that?  But they didn't even hear, most of them.  Miracles--like going to auto races to see the crashes, they came to me to see miracles."

Learning is finding out what you already know.  Doing is demonstrating that you know it.  Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you.  You are all learners, doers, teachers.

**Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.  Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah.

The simplest questions are the most profound.  Where were you born?  Where is your home?  Where are you going?  What are you doing?  Think about these once in a while, and watch your answers change.

**The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."

You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.  Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.  You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

**There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.  You seek problems because you need their gifts.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each others' life.

**"If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem."

**Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours.

Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect,… Then be sure of one thing: the Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.

"Amazing.  You were so attached to [the cloud] and still it disappeared for you."  
"Attached!  I was whocking that cloud with everything I had!  Fireballs, laser beams, vacuum cleaner a block high…"  
**"Negative attachments, Richard.  If you really want to remove a cloud from your life, you do not make a big production out of it, you just relax and remove it from your thinking.  That's all there is to it."

A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed.  It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now.  But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all the clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond all horizons.

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true.  You may have to work for it, however.

The world is your exercise-book, the page on which you do your sums.  It is not reality, although you can express reality there is you wish.  You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.

"The world is a dream, you say, and it's lovely, sometimes. Sunset.  Clouds.  Sky."
**"No. The image is a dream.  The beauty is real.  Can you see the difference?"

The original sin is to limit the Is.  Don't.

**If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.

**Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness.  Listen to it carefully.  

"He was going to suck my blood!"
**"Which is what we do to anyone when we tell them we'll be hurt if they don't live our way."
…"We choose, ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what.  Us who decides.  Nobody else.  My vampire told you he'd be hurt if you didn't let him?  That's his decision to be hurt, that's his choice.  What you do about it is your decision, your choice…..  We are all.  Free.  To do.  Whatever.  We want.  To do."

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there.  What you choose to do with them is up to you.

"We're magnets… we can attract whatever we want to attract.  A magnet is not anxious about how it works.  It is itself, and by its nature it draws some things and leaves others untouched….  Like attracts like.  Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright.  Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really want to do, doing it only when we answer yes, automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well."

"Just your imagination?  Of course it's your imagination!  This world is your imagination, have you forgotten?  Where your thinking is, there is your experience; As a man thinks, so is he;  That which I feared is come upon me; Think and grow rich: Creative visualization for fun and profit; How to find friends by being who you are.  Your imagining doesn't change the Is one whit, doesn't affect reality at all."

"What you haven't realized is that you're already free, and you always have been.  If you had half the sesame seeds of this… you're already supreme lord of your magician's life.  Only imagination!  What are you saying?"

"I do not exist to impress the world.  I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.  Everybody else is free to do whatever they feel like doing, for a living.  Responsible is Able to Respond, able to answer for the way we choose to live.  There's only one person we have to answer to, of course, and that is ourselves….  I allow the world to live as it chooses, and I allow me to live as I choose."

"Do unto others are you truly feel like doing unto others."

"What's wrong with losing ninety percent of my audience?  What's wrong with losing ALL my audience?  I know what I know and I talk what I talk!  And if that's wrong then that's just too bad.  The airplane rides are three dollars, cash!"
"You just graduated."

"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."

It didn't have to go that way; he could have said the same things differently and ruffled no feathers at all.

In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom.  It is not always an easy sacrifice.

"You said that depending on people to care about what I say is depending on somebody else for my happiness.  That's what I came here to learn: it doesn't matter whether I communicate or not.  I chose this whole lifetime to share with anybody the way the world is put together and I might as well have chosen to say nothing at all.  The Is doesn't need me to tell anybody how it works."

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.  What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.  

Everything in this book may be wrong.

**"Only a few people are interested in what you have to say, but that's all right.  You don't tell the quality of a master by the size of his crowds, remember."

"You don't like crowds…. What is wrong with writing it down on paper?  Is there a rule that a messiah can't write what he thinks is true, the things that have been fun for him, that work for him?  And then maybe if people don't like what he says, instead of shooting him they can burn his words, hit the ashes with a stick?  And if they do like it, they can read the words another time, or write them on a refrigerator door, or play with whatever ideas make sense to them?  Is there something wrong with writing?  But maybe I'm just dumb."

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