Thursday, December 28, 2006

Must Love Have All?

Those who hope and dream and look for a brighter dawn may be standing unprotected from the method love will  arrive at their door.  For all the joy of a wonderful Thanksgiving, the first without our parents, my siblings have managed to balance it with a Christmas of confusion, hurt and no clear way to find the light switch again.  One of us, the eldest, has been away in another country for almost 40 years and after Mom's death decided to return and live among us, bringing her own brand of opinions.  She doesn't know most of us at all.

With all good intent, she decided to find our origins, reaching far back into Italy and Ireland.  Facts about your heritage are wonderfully soothing and bring a completeness of being nothing else can.  If only it has stayed a simple framework of our ancestors.

This is the eldest sister of eight, Marianne.  She chose to write a brief description of only one of us, leaving nothing about the others.  Her very basic facts about many were inaccurate.  She neglected so much.  Many were hurt and I foresee months, perhaps years, of open wounds.  Marianne is at a complete loss as to who her younger siblings are, who we've grown into, what we've become in this part of our lives.  Making a very unwise choice, she centered on just one of us and proceeded to canonize him.  He was "most loved" he was most congenial, most handy, most generous, most perfect.  Even if true, it shouldn't have been said.  Leaving nothing about the rest of us and not even mentioning some, such as the children of the children, her good intentions have caused a tornado of pain and harsh emails rushing between us, back and forth, back and forth, and nothing is being accomplished.

Every family trying to introduce themselves after years apart will run into hard facts.  They needn't always be made part of the family history.  For instance, our beloved Father had two affairs in his lifetime which each of us processed differently then filed away.  Marianne chose to include his paramours, by name and deed, which threw one sister into a whirlwind of nasty feelings and regret.  We all got copies.  It reminds me of when my parents would yell and scream, throw things, and we'd all run to our corners, pre-arranged and separate, to wait out the storm.  That's what we've all done - hurt and confused, we've all run to our "corners" to nurse our wounds.

My brothers and sisters are in pain.  I can't help them.  Marianne is in her own hell because she, as eldest, never being present, had myths woven about her life in Canada which we believed when our Mother described them.  "Marianne can't make Christmas this year, her job is to important" and such like.  It turned out to be a lie.  She didn't come home because she wanted to preserve her mental stability.  It seems she disliked our Mother and simply couldn't abide her.  Yet she was there to help when Mom became fatally ill.  Confusing, and brave.  But misunderstood by others who see different motives.  Yes, my siblings are ill.  Very dysfunctional.  Not like other families with problems, not at all.  We've somehow evolved the ability to kill with a word.  Or with silence. 

Here I am in my Journal trying to vent something I don't understand.  People I love are hurting and I can't do a thing, I can barely share my own pain.  What is a family anyway ... we're scattered, our parents are gone, some dislike the others emmensely, I wonder what's next ...


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hopes For You All

May all the beauty and goodwill of this time of year be yours, each  day of every year.  God grant you and yours true peace.  All my love, Cathy


Why Didn't Jesus Write A Book?

Of all the gods of mankind the most enigmatic seems to be our Judeo-Christian God - and no other god had a son who was himself and his own father, dwelling in a trinity of holy mercy, spirit and grace.  But the historical Jesus, born during the harvest season long-established to be October, this son of good, honorable Jews, brought up an obedient Jew, an honorable Jew, who worshipped as he was told his forefathers did, I think of the child growing into manhood - how much did the child Jesus know he was separate, special, perhaps the true son of the one God himself?  He was taught to believe in the coming of a Messiah.  His Mother already knew in her heart that her son was that Messiah, the Savior of whom the Old Testaments foretold would come.  I wonder of his Guardian, St. Joseph - did he ever sit the boy down and tell him the truth of his ancestry?  Would he have believed it?  I wonder, how did he see the world through those 100% human/100% Divine eyes?  And is that to say the human eye is a Divine organ, as are all human organs since they were formed in "His image and likeness.."?  I don't know.  I always thought of that phrase as parable, that God created the evolutionary road stretching millions of years that would eventually lead to the human we resemble today.  But as for "image and likeness" I think those words meant the ability to recognize God in each other, the act of imagining the truth of it, the choice or free will to accept it.  We were made to see the love of God in each other.  For the one thing that set the man Jesus apart from other prophets was his ability to love.  He saw love in everything and everyone he encountered; was he seeing his Father?  Why did he never write of it?  Surely he could write, he was an obedient Jewish child and student who went to Temple and studied the Torah (The Old Testament) abiding by every restriction and rule.  It was when he was a bit older that he found himself lost in a rage seeing the pawn shops and vendors operating outside the Temple.  What would make a nondescript Jewish child so angry at this everyday occurrence of the times?  It's not proof of the Divinity in him, but it begs so many questions.

We choose to pick a day out of many and celebrate "good tidings", well-being in the hearts of men, peace in our inside and outside worlds.  All the things Jesus stood for.  We also choose to honor his birth during this time as a convenience brought about by the need to have a good storage of food laid in for the winters' cold.  For Mary's "confinement" was said to be "uneventful" and is celebrated on 12/8.

All the books of the Old Testament, the writings of the old prophets we believe were inspired to put these words down, can anyone read the Psalms, the incredible love found there, the knowledge that there is a God who will preserve you and protect you; could anyone read Chronicles and not wonder at Solomon?  Chose any Old Testament writing, the God who inspired it is said to be, all at one time, your judge who shall mete out every punishment for the most forgotten of "sins" yet still love you so much as to care for you before your name was formed.  Would this not confuse the scholars, who even took up the study of this document as a science in their confusion.

I believe this is why God chose that time, in that place, to live and work among his favored creation, the only one who could dwell upon itself and make decisions from those thoughts, we humans, confused as to our God, the life we may know after our deaths, all that the Old Testament told the Jews at that time.  His only entree into the world would be as a human being, yet still Himself, both whole and complete, and one day in his later adults years, leave his parents home and fulfill his destiny.  We all know the words that destiny gave us:  "Love thy neighbor as thyself."  "Know that my father loved you before you were born ..."  "My Father's house has many mansions..." it goes on and on, and carefully, ever so gently, contradicts and yet embraces the words of the Old Testament.  I believe Jesus dwelt among us, God himself as His Son, because He saw so clearly the ruinous direction mankind was taking, and needed (as only a God can need and we can never comprehend) to re-direct us toward a more loving, forgiving, patient, caring, "forever" God.  The God of the New Testament is aligned with places of reward and punishment, you can have Him forever or lose Him forever.  Idon't believe that, nor believe there are places where "humans" kneel in humility before a great throne with this God upon it, nor are condemned "forever" to a lake of fire that burns but does not extinguish.  Why would any God be desirous of such a thing?  What is the holy answer and final accomplishment?  How does such judgment enhance the glory of that which created a universe?  To my mind, God must be so far removed from puny things like revenge and punishment that He is the evolution of Love itself.  A God who loves, always loves, under any condition.  We carry the responsibility of free will, to please him or not.  No one on earth needs lessons in what that means.  

So we come back to the young man-child Jesus, a good Jewish boy who may or may not have known who he really was.  For God himself had to take on the cloak of humanness, leaving his Divinity for such a time as needed - otherwise, he would've simply tossed thunderbolts around, he would've stepped down from the cross and said "Look what you did to me, I who love you so."  Had he done that, he would've taken away our gift of free will, the ability to decide for ourselves just who he was.  Or wasn't.  We would've lost our ability to believe or not to believe, we would simply have fear of a power so omnipotent. 

The Old Testament tells me to fear and obey without question.  Embraced with the New Testament, I find I have that one ingredient making all the difference:  Love.  I can love this power, whatever it is, which is better than me, which promises me nothing but continuation of that love, and who I have the freedom to enjoin within my life, or not.

If Jesus had written a book .... it seems to me, there would be no other plausible religions on the earth today, a very sad paucity of human function and knowledge.  Others may feel he did write a book, the New Testament, and in many ways that might be very true.  Though channeled though the memory of fallible men, these Gospels tell the history of the "birth" of a child, in no way resembling a human birth, it tells nothing about the early life of this child as he grew, and after three years of teaching his views about what God really was, given nothing but betrayal and pain for his efforts. 

Could he have written a book?  Would that make any sense?  And since he was both God and man in equal form, what would he say? 

I don't think it really matters to God when or if we observe his birth or death, how could it?  I do know we have the ability to love and to chose - with those qualities, what could any book possibly tell us we wouldn't already realize should be done?  Love, unto the least of us, and love again.      



Monday, December 11, 2006

Instant Karma

I didn't know his true importance until he died, but I knew he was a genius about to enter his second renaissance. I knew his favorite color was "the absence of color" as he once said, meaning he loved all color - since color is simply the reworking of light.

He wasn't my favorite of the four, in fact I thought him rather "unpretty" at first. All the others had a cuteness about them any 13 year old in 1963 would spot and react to, and I did. Tennis racket in hand, I played that 'guitar' and sang "Love, Love Me Do" until the needle broke. We only had 45s and LPs then, and if I had just one of that collection I came to own, nothing could part me from it.

There was a time during the 1970s he confused and maddened me. I wasn't on his level but didn't know that was the reason, even while studying for my future career which allowed me no second of relaxation. I listened to his words, the music he formed, and in frustration would wonder "Why did he say that?" One little thow-off remark and a completely loving world suddenly wanted to crucify him (pun intended). Years later when I had a brain, I realized it was a toss-off thing one says a billion times in ones' life, but he was no ordinary man allowed to make toss-off remarks at his leisure. No, the man who only wanted a little peace started a small war.

There was talk everywhere, even of deportation, so this man of no small street-smarts got out of Dodge.

He left his buddies, his hearth and home, and tried to find meaning and solace in another way of life. But he couldn't make music and it changed him - it pained him. Eventually he returned to the only love he could trust and wrote some of the world's most beautiful songs - love songs, ballads that plead for understanding and acceptance, melodies that forced the listener to really listen this time, here was someone who really experienced a life-change. We knew exactly what he meant. And we were the wealthier for it.

It was 8 a.m. on 12/9/80 when, driving to work, my car radio spat out the incredible news. Later, the newspapers duly gave us pictures of the moment in time the night before when on 12/8/80 we lost a soul far ahead of most souls on this plane. Five obsence bullets ripped the night. His last words: "I've been shot!" A brief look of naked human surprise, then coma. There was nothing heroic about his death. He never regained a second of life.

John Lennon had so much more to do. It hurts to think about the music, the words, books, the voice he gave to the voiceless - all left undone. John was one step from an apex in a career so full of the love of life, of peace, of innocence. Anyone who heard "Double Fantasy" knows the utter frustration and aching tears felt in the knowledge that we'll never have a genius of his kind again.

I could never do John Lennon homage to my satisfaction. So I'll put these words away for now, dust off an old album or two, and just listen. And remember. And IMAGINE .....

Monday, December 4, 2006

"Dare To Meet"

I'm looking for a hug or two

from friends I've known but never knew -

Planning on a long train view

until I get to South Car-loo ..

Can't think what I'd rather do

at end of March, than be with you !