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Showing posts from 2009

You Know, I Miss This Blog

Reading just the "recent" posts here I find that while I love facebook, my fl has grown so large, so many people from work, etc., that even though I have created a little sub-list in fb to talk about more personal things, I am not even sure that is private.

This, this place, this place feels great.

My tone in my posts here is different from either facebook or my new, under my actual name, blog.

Perhaps I will post here again. Who knows. Right now, buried under work and dealing with a lot of issues personally. That is a sucky teaser I know. The recession sucks; my wife is lucky to be working; discernment, priesthood, seems years off, seminary, if ever. I want to write a memoir. Should be writing more poems. My friend J and I even talked about a screenplay today.

Whatever, it is good to write naked, and that is just how this feels.

love to all. more later I hope.

Facebook

For a long time now, months, I have been using facebook to blog and have even created a blog using my real name and workplace. I don't know if anyone who read this blog is not already in my facebook, but it's funny: I find myself checking up on blogs I have not seen in months or years. If anyone reading here wants access to my "real" blog email me at this address.

I may use some of this content here, so much in draft form, cleaned up and republished. We'll see. In the meantime, know that I and my marriage are doing well, and much love to all.

Just a Share

Just an update post.

The last two weeks, since my back injection, have felt like a year. For one, the initial lidocaine injection into the facet worked; I came around with no pain at all. That lasted for a few hours, and it wasn't until Sunday night, two days later, that the sharp pains returned. And then what a ride.

Because Monday was absolutely hell. It caught me so off guard. My pain must have quadrupled, and it was much more constant. I was so shaken up I forgot to take enough vicodin, hardly any. Then Tuesday it was the teeniest bit swollen and I laid on my back for several hours grading online papers; that caused about 3 hours of exquisite pain Tuesday night. Why am I so puritanical about taking Vicodin? I don't know, but if I ever have another injection I am sure as hell going to plan on spending a week on it.

Maybe all the stories my dad told me about how my grandfather got addicted; he lost his hand in some machinery and used to ask my dad to inject him with mo…

Pee girl gets the belt...

Listening to Hole's Live Through This today on an old, burned cd. When that album came out all I could think was, Courtney didn't write this by herself. The lyrics, sure, but not the music. Whether Kurt helped her or not (and how the hell would I ever know) that really is a hell of an album. It reminds me of the days when physicality was my salvation; when going downstairs, numb with pain, and hitting the punching bag till I was exhausted kept the death-wolves at bay. I remember doing that, beating the bag, and screaming to Lithium from Nevermind. I didn't know how to box then, or evenif I had any vague memories, I just swang away...

And running. Before I became a true gym-rat, a stairmaster regular (I didn't really lift then, only a little) I would beat the bag and sometimes run. Not run far or well, but run, and listen to Courtney's album...

For what it's worth, when I saw Kurt on MTV unplugged, half of the time having a fight with Moll on the phone, wh…

Of Nerves and Men

Many people who are in my facebook know most of this story; but here, in blog, I can tell is at leisure and include more intimate feelings. This I like.

As I note in the post below my back pain has indeed flared up. Ironically, it was the week I saw a specialist 90 minutes from my house. That week I was on campus 3 days, and it was driving home that 3rd night that the pain really hit: like a fire below my skin, really, a burning, awful pain. With rest from pressure, either directly on my back or sitting, that eased and I was able to go back to work the next week though I missed my department meeting. What that visit with a genuine orthopaedist led to (as opposed to the utter idiot that I saw twice near my house...the ortho who just kept telling me: exercise, no matter what it is, it will get better if you exercise) what the genuine orth did was set me up for my second spinal injection. I had an epidural to one of the nerve roots three or four months ago and it did nothing. Thi…

The 5

The back injury I have had for two and a half years has flared up and in a bad way. Now, driving hurts it. I live an hour from my job and this is suddenly a critical issue. As much as I enjoy being on campus more, going down 3 days a week for Senate, last week I came home after 3 days going back and forth and was in genuine pain. So much so I saw my doc the next day. I'm trying some new meds, celebrex and flexeril (just one a day) and have yet to touch the vicodin he gave me for times it really, really hurts.

On the plus side I saw a different orthopaedist, convinced the one up here by me is a complete idiot. I drove a long way, almost 90 minutes, but the guy was worth it. This Friday I get another injection into the spine (woot that shit) but in another spot, a different spot. And he's not done with me if that doesn't work; there are a number of other things to try. Thank God.

Oh, and if it really IS just a very oddly unhealed tendon injury from so long ago (which …

Week of Ash Wednesday 09

I have posted before on Ash Wednesday (or during that week). I'd like to continue that mini tradition. As always on blog, I break all rules of writing process and begin with no idea where I'm heading. Kinda like therapy :)

I begin by noting that the post below is mostly rant. That is fine. If I had time, I'd estimate what percentage of the Psalms could be labeled "rant." A fair chunk, I think. So, I continue that tradition, as well.

My spiritual health has improved since I entered discernment in November; I have no doubt. I have more faith, a stronger connection to God (or if you wish, the Divine) and I feel motivated to begin things at my church, a book study for example, where before I had only nebulous goals and a less focused motivation. This summer I'm thinking of using a novel with religious themes; maybe doing that again in the fall or perhaps doing a gospel study. I'd love to do a blended academic/devotional study of Mark where we read the…

Seeing Seminary

I visited a seminary recently, an Episcopal seminary, and those of you who are in my facebook (which is most of the margin) know the gist: well, part of the gist. Overall, the experience was very powerful, deeply communal, and even though I was scared half the time I was there I felt very centered, very home. I thought again: man, this is what I should be doing, this is where I should be using my gifts.

Since I entered Discernment my spiritual life has clearly improved. I was mired in doubt-dialectic, the obsessive alternative to spiritual experience and faith, but discernment has kicked me into a solid spiritual place for the most part. My wife and I are putting more energy into our little parish; we have decided to stick it out and dig in for now. And I already want to use it as a sort of early field education...in the M.Div., one has to do one or two years of field ed, often at a parish, sort of playing priest-ette, assisting, and getting support during the process. On the j…

More From the Rough

I went back and read the post below and really don't like it. If I am going to bring in Paul's comments in Corinthians I feel I should have a library of secondary sources behind me...I don't. But I want to say one more thing (and I really do wish I had more time for this):

As I note below, some of the more moving (for me) ethical passages in the Torah come when Israel is reminded that they themselves were delivered from slavery and oppression. To me, a very similar thing is critical to understanding Paul.

Paul really does seem to say (and I find Horsley's notes in my Oxford study bible very thought-provoking) that singleness trumps marriage unless the sexual passions are just too powerful. Now, this may be in response to some ascetic sexual practices among the Corinthians as Horsley maintains. But it's hard not to see Paul elevating the unmarried state, and suggesting that those engaged (or maybe, I think I read elsewhere, with virgin daughters) remain celibate a…

Some Opening (Rough) Thoughts on the Bible

It seems the only times I get time to post is when my wife is in bed and I am up later, an infrequent thing. But here I am, at only 10:00, been reading about Rob Bell at BW3's site for an hour (and much on homosexuality); a friend gave me Velvet Elvis and I have read a little. The funky format bothers me, but will read more when I can.

So, this little post is not about Rob Bell.

Nor is it a full treatment of the Bible, homosexuality, or any of the other things I have said I would write on here. But is is a beginning. A snapshot of my current struggle/thought.

My understanding of the Bible must begin with how I read the NT. I am no NT scholar, but I know its contents decently well, with maybe a weakness in Hebrews...for some reason I have never gotten around to reading that entire letter. But the four gospels I know, and the epistles, decently. And let me just say this: I think Paul's letters are just that, Paul's letters. Did Paul have a miraculous conversion exper…

Wind Moving Through Branches

I'm sitting in my office at work with about fifteen minutes before I'm "on," teaching Frost and talkin bout writin. My gig. Not a bad gig.

But I wanted to say a few things: one, I am moving toward a fuller committment to writing on this blog. It's good for me, mostly. And it is something I enjoy. As I've been sorting out what I can and can't do in ministry now and in the next few years, one thing I know I can do: spew here. Having to read the entire bible for Discernment is extremely powerful...it is like being immersed to my neck in a fast moving river of ideas; I can't help but need to sort through that. I don't attempt formal apologetics here; well, maybe I did years ago a little, but now I would like to say some things on that topic (main point: in my experience, belief and lack of belief in religious experience go much deeper than clean reason). Oh, well, I just want to write more here is all. I'm not BW3 and will likely never b…

Back Again

I am again up later than my wife; we have fallen into the cycle on the days I work from home (3 a week). I work on the computer, do laundry, clean the kitchen...maybe run errands or shop. She comes home and dinner is usually ready (often from things she has already cooked, especially lately) she has a cocktail/glass of wine or two, we watch tv for too long, she goes to be early reading. I read with her, sometimes fall asleep sometimes come out here. I am the househusband with the full time job, the primary bread winner, but working from home can be rather lonely as I used to say up here a lot (before I was in second life I guess).

I took most of last semester off from sl, mostly so my back could heal (it suddenly flared up in the fall and it seemed very connected to sitting at that computer for two or three hours at a stretch). The old injury which had never healed completely, what I am sure is a soft tissue/tendon injury (not my spine, which has been mri's and xrayed and even…

Late, not Sleepy

Hey all. I've been working on a longish post on the Torah, and I am finding it difficult. Parts of that collection of books moves me with an ominous fear of a moral Divine...parts of that collection strike me as nothing more than very ancient, and painfully human, moral and ritual codes. I ordered two (cheapish) Intros to the OT and am reading Boadt. I like his approach so far. He notes what could only be expected: cultural similarities in the Torah what little we know of that region and time. I read much of the famous Code of Hammurabi, and do not find the regulations in the Torah any more humane; in fact, in at least one place, cursing a parent, the COH is more lenient. It also concludes expressing concern
"that the strong might not injure the weak, in order to protect the widows and orphans." Sure there are things in the COH that I find morally deficient; likewise the Torah. I really am trying to consider the fundamentalist viewpoint, the position the text it…

Onto Dangerous Ground

I don't know much about politics; I know even less about the modern middle east. But one strange phenomenon I see, a result of reading the Bible, specifically the HB, as the literal words of God, is that events in modern day Palestine are interpreted through the lens of the Torah.

And it is quite clear: according to the first six books anyway, Palestine was given to Israel, to Abraham, forever; when they re entered the land after the Egyptian captivity they were to butcher entire cities because of Canaanite religious practices (offering children to Molech and other much less heinous things like tattoos). In the OT story, the Israelites are the intended heroes. Obedience to the Torah their ticket to being a global witness for their God. If a few small civilizations get wiped out, including in some cases the children and animals, so be it. The Holy God has spoken.

Now this is a very, very interesting perspective. And Christians have to concede, for whatever reason, the Savior…

Christmas Rappings

S and I spent two weeks away, Christmas and New Year's, most of it with family in so. cal., three wonderful days in San Fran including New Year's Eve itself. The odd thing is that I got food poisoning my first day back with family (ate out twice, can't say which place) and was sick with that for two or three days. Then a cold set in just a couple of days later so I was sick the entire time in San Fran. Not real sick, a cold only, but not that has (as always) settled into my chest. I beat bronchitis this time, remarkably; I get the wicked bronch. But I took a dose of narcotic cough syrup last night and tonight to help me sleep without hacking still, and my snoring is so bad my poor wife ended up on the couch last night and I volunteered tonight. She goes back to work tomorrow; I'm off for another week or so though I have some work to do to get ready for the semester, not much for at least a week. Heck, I don't even know the exact day school starts. Nice job.