Humanarium Revisited

Humanarium (Revisited)

(ˈhjuːmən err-e-um)

n. an abstract but primal place. A place where you can be as human as humanly possible and feel no shame, because even shame is on par with pride, justice, and glory.

  1. : a place where you can lean against your enemy almost as equally as your friend and you have nothing to prove.
  2. : a place where one can talk about holiness and earthiness in the same sentence.
    • a : it is difficult to tell if such places are created only by great effort, or rather by merely forgetting that one ever left them.
    • : a place that a good church tries to replicate, but rarely achieves.
  3. : a place where the only way to offend everyone is by being pretentious. But even then, everyone just shakes their head with pursed lips and then pats said pretentious one on the back and moves on, because they are too busy seeking reality.
  4. : a place where one’s age is meaningless. Where one is a child and a burdened adult and in the twilight at the same time.
  5. : a state in which one understands Bob Dylan songs, and/or feels like they are living in a permanent Bob Dylan song.
  6. : a place where children thrive and move and have their being, and elderly smile like no one is watching.
  7. : a space in which one can be honest, not afraid of the consequences.
  8. : a place where one can lift up their head high and not feel above anyone else.
  9. : a space where one can meet God, herself, himself, or their great love–with equal intensity.
  10. : an atmosphere where it’s almost impossible to tell if one is laughing or crying. Or doing both simultaneously. But you have to let them do it. They need it.
  11. : places where a friend, even for only a few minutes, is a friend for a lifetime.
  12. : a place saturated with that feeling, when one has been drinking, that comes after trying to be the life of the party and trying to run away from the party; when you’re right in the zone of total vulnerability and surrender but have not lost any of your faculties.
  13. a place where your political affiliations mean about as much as your hair color.

Seek these places once in a while. Create them when needed.

 

Shine your Light (per Joni Mitchell)

xshine
[OCTOBER 23, 2016]

I saw a video of Prince accepting an award. Terse as he was whenever I saw him, not seeming to enjoy talking publicly outside of music too much, and not dropping many names, one of the few performers that he propped up and praised in that speech was Joni Mitchell.
I wondered why he mentioned her as a prime influence. Of all the people who had influenced him; I just had never known. Indeed, she is amazing. I’m glad he did it.
I think during this season, in this climate, in this hour, a song like this one is very timely; politics aside. I think it may show part of why Prince loved her so much.
(for the audiophiles, here you go)

Shine

Oh let your little light shine
Let your little light shine
·
Shine on Wall Street and Vegas
Place your bets
Shine on the fishermen
With nothing in their nets
Shine on rising oceans and evaporating seas
Shine on our Frankenstein technologies
Shine on science
With its tunnel vision, tunnel vision
Shine on fertile farmlands
Buried under subdivisions
·
Oh let your little light shine
Let your little light shine
·
Shine on the dazzling darkness
That restores us in deep sleep
Shine on what we throw away
And what we keep
Shine on Reverend Pearson
Who threw away
The vain old God
Kept Dickens and Rembrandt and Beethoven
And fresh plowed sod
Shine on good earth, good air, good water
And a safe place
For kids to play
Shine on bombs exploding
Half a mile away
·
Oh let your little light shine
Let your little light shine
·
Shine on world-wide traffic jams
Honking day and night
Shine on another asshole
Passing on the right
Shine on the red light runners
Busy talking on their cell phones
Shine on the Catholic Church
And the prisons that it owns
Shine on all the Churches
They all love less and less
Shine on a hopeful girl
In a dreamy dress
·
Oh let your little light shine
Let your little light shine
Shine on good humor
Shine on good will
Shine on lousy leadership
Licensed to kill
Shine on dying soldiers
In patriotic pain
Shine on mass destruction
In some god’s name
Shine on the pioneers
Those seekers of mental health
Craving simplicity
They traveled inward
Past themselves…
·
May all their little lights shine

[Read more…]

FaceTime calls with children

I wonder why some of us hang our heads when we grieve

geralt / Pixabay

Today, I talked to my son on the phone (FaceTime) the who is currently 9 hours ahead of me. It was incredibly hard.

 

He asked where I was. When I told him I could see the wheels turning behind his eyes. He looked away. I asked him where he was, how the flight was, what he watched–all questions which he deferred to his mom for the answers. I could see that he was getting a little frustrated. At the mention of bed, he began to get upset. Tears even.

Not atypical young child behavior, right? Right…

Connection lost…retrying…

At this point I’m feeling guilt well up within me. Guilt is a monster that is always rattling its chains but at times like these it takes over. It pulls at my clothing and squeezes my internal organs.

After reconnecting, it is clear that he is trying to talk to me, to do the “right” thing, but just wants to end it. As he cries–through the buffering, freezing segments of video–I look at his face and I just want to touch him and tell him it’s ok. He’s not on a hot seat of any kind and he doesn’t need to be polite for me. It’s hard not to think he is rightfully upset about circumstances. I am sorry for this. I tell him again that I love him and I’ll see him later. Have a good time. Eventually I hang up on the spinning “Reconnecting…” graphic.

Now the monster screams and berates me. It pulls at my hair and punches me in the teeth. I sob uncontrollably.

Eventually

Zauberin / Pixabay

 

One day I hope he will understand, and forgive me. Some day soon I hope that I can reassure him. I hope that he will feel my hope for something better on the horizon. I hope he believes I love him so much. It won’t always be like this.

 

Not Alone

Amazing quote…

A man alone is a neighbor of God.

–From the film, Baran

 

aatlas / Pixabay

No such thing as a Real Job

Always under construction

Confession: I turned my work into a job and the world that mattered the most to me into work.

Lemme ‘splain.

[Read more…]

Mental Illness and the Christian Church

The Church can be a very sorry companion for the mentally ill, but also can be the greatest source of hope

Someone sent this article to me, and I found it short, but so beneficial, that I had to share it here.

Looking at the world through a glass, darkly

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

 

Brandon W. Peach writes about many topics, but his understanding and experience with mental illness and the Church’s broadly (but not always) ill-conceived overall response to it–as well-intended as it may be–is more encouraging than anything else.

[Read more…]

Kurt Cobain’s birthday this past Thursday–he would have been 47

I wonder how the rest of the band members feel on this day (February 20th). I wonder how his family feels. I wonder what it was like to have the stomach pains that he endured, created or given.

Do they drag out the old sad stories? Do they work extra hard to keep them put away?

I wonder how Neal Young feels about Cobain quoting his song at the very end of his life:

“My, my, hey, hey,
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out than to fade away
My my, hey hey”

I wish he had stayed with us.

And he didn’t fade away.

 

Connecting Dots

He doesn't know a way out, but knows a way IN, Precious...

Figuring OUT

 

Sometimes I connect dots, of which I do not know whether they are supposed to connect.

I have to try. If I don’t, how can I make any sense of “supposed to”?

*Warning* If you require only happy posts, this one is not for you. It does have light at the end of it though.

[Read more…]

A Christmas Limerick

Unto us, a Child has been born
Man of sorrows, appearing forlorn
Government on his shoulders
Confounds all His beholders
Roads are broken for those Christ will adorn

Practical tips in managing Depression from Therese Borchard

Therese Borchard: 12 Steps Toward Freedom from Depression

Theresa Borchard’s “12 Steps Toward Freedom from Depression” is a great list of tips. These are things that are good for anybody, but crucial for those managing depression.

There are a lot of great tips but this one is particularly well-put to me. I like her style.

This one is the toughest steps: directing my thoughts is somewhat like a traffic policeman standing out in the middle of a highway during a storm. Some of the drivers (thoughts) get a bit agitated when the dude in the neon vest tells them they can’t go a certain way…that if they do, they will regret it. Oh yes, they will. Because getting their brains out of the gutter (where toxic emotions live) proves more difficult than you think. I have a bunch of creative ways–much like the policeman’s hand signals–in which I like to untwist my distorted thoughts…such as differentiating between fiction (fantasy) and nonfiction (reality) in my busy noggin.

I really appreciate how her tips are not only implementable and practical in the now, but they aren’t magical thinking or fluff. She is honest about how things like this don’t make it all go away. But they do help, they do work, and she has the personal experience to back them up.

Hope is more than wishful thinking...

Hope on…