This non-prose world, called unreal by the rulers of this age, but real to people of faith, is the world entered by the mystic, the contemplative, the visionary, the prophet, the poet…For the modern man, truth…is arrived through prose…not intuition, not imagination, not wonder, not awe, not worship, not reverence, not trust, not faith. – Brian D. McLaren.
I tried to read ” A Generous Orthodoxy” years ago as a denominational Christian. I’ve always thought too much, so my days in mainstream Religianity were numbered. I have a reading problem. Books are my crack. I’ve haven’t pawned anything to buy books…yet, but it could happen. In spite of this proclivity, I could not finish Brian’s attempt to reconcile ecumenism with doctrine in a major world religion that has fractured into myriad fragments, with much disagreement and (in the past…right?) bitterness. He was just too blasphemous. That much openmindedness was an antidote to faith, seemed to be the underlying sentiment in my little church. Brian wanted me to entertain the notion that my faith might have a few errors in it, and that when I disagreed with your theology, that you might have a point. My tiny Kentuckian congregation had some firm boundaries about stuff like this, even though one of our cliche’s was “Don’t check your brains at the door”. I did like the fact that McLaren wears out parentheses. Perhaps we are distantly related. When I shelved “Orthodoxy” I didn’t realize how arid the landscape was becoming…
Now, after a little time in the desert, I find him MUCH easier to swallow. (It’s because you have apostasized, Brother! The Corinthians have turned you over to SATAN!). So my inner mystic (we all have one… it’s kinda like an inner butthead. I have one of those, too.) tells me “Your pastor just referred to that heretic you’re re-reading…and for five or six years you have not lost that book. It must be a sign!”
The question is (After all, Jesus performed a sign or two, and then went on to say wanting a sign wasn’t cricket.),” By looking for writing on the interior sky, am I guilty of wanting to be the star of my own story? Or am I disappointed that my life seems to be unimportant in this Grand Epic, and simply hungering for a more significant role?”
I gotta go to work. Unfortunately the mule is in the ditch, and these musing will have to go in my inner “Drafts” folder. Who knows when I’ll get around to cleaning that up?
Suzie, my bitch (lol. It cracks me up to type that.) who usually sleeps diagonal to me on the left side, wandered in and out of the whelping area I prepared for her (a few towels, a couple old sleeping bags in the closet of Kelsie’s old room) earlier this week. She’s done that for the last few of nights, but last night she was unusually agitated. She woke me up about 1:30, and I figured she was in labor. I got threw down my good sleeping bag next to the whelping area, and that calmed her down quite a bit. She’s a daddy’s girl. I fired up the laptop and started re-listening to a podcast. every time I would drift away, Suzie would whimper, roll around, or simply lick my face, nostrils, and closed eyes, until I defended myself. I got a little coleman led lantern and the turning it on revealed that Suzie’s vagina was REALLY funny lookin’. It was swollen (I’ve seen a couple swollen vaginas. This was different.), and looked somehow… too long.
So I touched it ( I know, ewwww!), it was a LOT harder than any other vagina I’ve ever touched. I began speculate and imagine that this is what a canine vagina would look like if it had a puppy in it.
I was right! It spit out a little water balloon that ruptured into what looked like a wet guinea pig in a condom. And since then we have been having puppies.
Six Seven of ’em in five hours. and she’s getting that look again…
I rolled out of bed while the little hand was still on the four this morning, and strapped on my sneakers and went out for a run.
Maybe three hundred of them.
Jesus. The pain was remarkable. I did this the day before yesterday, I went out for a bit of exercise before daylight and decided to run a little bit. I jogged almost to a particular tree on the way to the park. When I approached I was beginning to get winded and said to myself, “I’ll make it to the tree tommorrow, and then go a little further than that on subsequent days, until I regain the ass and legs and lungs I had ten years ago.” I really don’t speak to myself that clearly, but you get the gist. After running the first day, running the second morning was out of the question.
Just walking was something I had been taking for granted. I simply couldn’t get out of the house before before daylight, and I would just like to get to the point where I look just a leetle better before I run primetime, for an audience.
But I got my ass up and out there this morning. I don’t wanna screw around about this. Poor physical health is a guaranteed shitty old age, and you will arrive suddenly, surprised the horizon you’ve been watching approach for years is now in your face, like these last couple of sentences.
Sorry. I was in self-motivation mode. Talking sweet to me is generally not a great policy until after the job is done. I do need affirmation, but you need to shame or embarrass me a little to get me off my ass. It’s my Asian roots, coupled with my western sense of entitlement.
Anyway, I get to the tree, and I’m nervous. My chest is tight, each breath seems devoid of oxygen. My knees are competing to see who can scream submission the loudest (We are your bitches! Please stop this!). I wonder if running during the late morning is a better idea…at least someone might see the beached whale flopping about in the throes of a heart attack ( is that a pain?…shooting down my left arm?…WTF? OMFG!) and as Wycleff asks Mary J. Blige…please call 911.
I think jogging and running, are bad for you. The impact on the knees, that is. Inertia, and the fact that we live so much longer then naturally selected for suggest that we break from nature a little. Especially after middle age*. Running is the is the ideal exercise in terms of body maintnence from a design perspective, but progress has enabled us to outlive the warranty on our knees, so really, I guess old farts like me need to ride bikes and swim.
Or Nordic Trac, which is low impact on the knees.
And hey, that’s cool. I get it.
But running is still the ideal exercise, and from an evolutionary standpoint, running keeps you alive in the whole “Catch food, don’t be food” system. Running is nature’s fitness test. In simplest terms, if you can’t run, you die. I want to be able to pass nature’s fitness test. I will do the biking, hiking, aerobic thing as well, but I wanna be able to run. I haven’t figured out how far this needs to be, but right now… after about half a mile I can look to my left and see a dark figure pacing me, lookin’ like Gandalf in a hoodie with a big sickle, and that aint good enough.
Not for me.
now, you do not have to run…
Hell, you don’t even have to exercise at all.
Have another bon bon.
But my spidey sense is tingling. I add my observation of the the lives of old folks who had a few bad habits to what I learn about the rythyms of growth and deterioration in the human lifespan, and my Ideas of what needs to happen politically in the world if we are going to eradicate poverty, and what will probably happen instead on account of human nature, and I realize:
1. If I don’t get on the ball about some significant changes in my lifestyle, I will have a poor quality of life when I am at my most helpless.
2. This will be followed by a painful death.
3. At my age, It’s right around the corner, If I don’t quit screwing around. In case you haven’t noticed, time is picking up speed.
Stanley, in one of his series (The Path Principle, maybe) talks about praying for God to tune him into potential trainwrecks so that he can avoid them…The ol’ “Lord, keep me from screwing myself through ignorance or inactivity.” prayer.
I have had flashes of insight, and seen where that prayer was answered when I never prayed it. We can probably all look back and see places where we are grateful we chose a particular direction at a fork in the road. Hopefully this will be one of those times for me, as I look back. My father died early because he made some poor cardiovascular choices. He left when he had stewardship of greater resources than ever before. His potential to impact the world for good was greater than it had ever been, and he left at a time when I really needed my father. All of this could have been otherwise if he had picked differently at a couple forks.
* And hey…for those of you who have trouble with the concept…if you don’t expect to double your age before you die….IT’S AFTER MIDDLE AGE!
Suzie is pregnant as can be. I am amazed she doesn’t squirt puppies out with every step. She has been extra needy, underfoot a lot, and prone to lick your face without warning. Debbie makes no attempt to moderate Soozer’s behavior… she just sits there and takes it.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve yours today!
Hopefully Soozers was a little picky, and Daddy was a handsome dog.
Blood Drive, originally uploaded by Christopher Rauch.
I gave blood for the first time in high school as a sophomore in ’84. Needles held no fear for me, the ex Allergy Shot Poster Child, and the novelty of being excused from school to be bussed to the rec department is one of my last memories before being asked to sever my relationship with the Houston County Board of Education. Since then, I have given blood many times. Things are a little different now, They no longer use the blue juice to see if your blood sinks, checking for enough iron. Nowadays they use a device that looks more like a blood sugar monitor. Another thing that is different is the prevalence of invisible death, 2 diseases that will kill you, and that you can only catch by exchanging essences with another human. There is also some brain eating disease connected somehow to spending more than three months in England, and/or having used a certain pituitary growth hormone. It doesn’t seem to make sense to me. The Red Cross site gives some fascinating historical information and some interesting statistics:
- 1pint of blood can save three lives
- Every two seconds, someone needs a transfusion
- In the United States, five million people a year need blood.
- Less than 38 percent of the population can give blood.
- Some blood components have a shelf life of only 5 days
This poses some interesting logistics issues, further complicated by the fact that not all blood is the same, you can’t just suck out some blood from donor 1 and shoot it into recipient 2. This can kill people. The Red Cross has got a big job, and I’m sure I don’t know the half of it, but I wonder about the boundaries, if they are a reflection of politics and marketing as much as genuine safety. If you’ve had a recent tattoo, ever shot dope without paying a doctor to a assist or ever been intimate with someone else’s penis, while possessing one of your own, they would like you to remain a part of the 62% of the population that is ineligible. This is statistics at work. Each donor’s blood is tested for infectious diseases at one of the Red Cross’s five national laboratories. and I would like to think that they are effective. Could we not increase the amount of available blood while decreasing the amount of labor and resources need to obtain it by relaxing these guidelines a little?
Being in the system, I have received 2 phone calls and 2 glossy, very nicely appointed mailers letting me know about this last Tuesday’s blood drive. That stuff is expensive. I wonder if the eligible population was larger, could the Red Cross spend less on marketing, and shift some of those resources to something else? Perhaps establishing caches of disaster supplies near heliports, would be a good idea, as Arod in San Francisco suggested in a recent post. A more efficient disaster response could conceivably reduce violent crime in disaster areas, which would possibly have a slight mitigating impact on blood requirements. I don’t really know the answers to any of these questions, but from a stewardship perspective are we minimalizing our blood supply out of fear for public opinion on Red Cross safety measures or are the disease scanning protocols not as effective as one would hope, and do the risk categories provide a little statistical cushion needed to keep transfusion recipients from dropping like flies from AIDS and Hep C?
Has fear been a factor in setting these guidelines? I wonder.