Monday 5 September 2011

Surrender - Sweet Salvation

 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."  Genesis 22:12

Ah sunday - it's my favourite day.  a day of rest?  (sounds good to me).

the word "re-alignment" comes to mind.  i connect with my daughter Jade in her on-going transformation, into a new world that is filled with hope and love.   we have lunch and talk - a healing time.  She's 25.

today, we went to church (not something i've done since i was a kid), with her mom (my ex) and Jades cousin Byron who invited us.  Saint James Cathedral downtown Toronto (King and Jarvis - ok just a coincidence).   "ok - let's go to church".  no crowds, very simple.  it was wonderful and beautiful, in a broken weather forecast that shed a dry warm late summer ambiance, just at the right times.  there came that approaching appreciation settling in by late morning - breath-taking music from a historic church pipe-organ, inspiring words, respectful reflection/resolution with a choir of angels singing in praise of redemption. 

church felt really good.



we live in a tangled weave - filled with apocalyptic imagery and we are persistently bombarded with bad news - every day - we feed in the shadows.

the hurricanes, the earthquakes and the tsunamis - the nuclear melt-downs - watcher of the skies - the anticipation ... waiting.

"there - up there - can you see it"?  impending doom.  "that jet - flying into that building - see it?" on this 10th anniversary of 9/11 ... ah that gentle reminder of what happens to those who don't follow the rules.  the punishment.  the verdict is IN.  "your honour - we the court, find the defendant - guilty".   just who's rules should we be following again?  i need a reminder refreshment - this is confusing.  the word hypocrisy comes up over and over again.  who do we believe?  i don't trust you anymore.


and so ... welcome back my friends,  to my new muZE - thoughts in the fragmentations in every day consciousness creating chaos, and a short essay on the virtues of patience, self-discipline and deliverance.  In my ongoing struggle to find peace in this world as a maturing male human … in my growing realization that it's all in understanding the importance of … coming to terms with …

Surrender - Sweet Salvation
(a shift in contemporary spirituality)

we learn to defend ourselves at an early age.  like i put out in my last blog, we men inherit our fathers karma and we proudly carry the torch - in uncertainty - in duty to the cause.  we fight for what's right! - even if it's a lie, then we protect our inheritance in a shield of armour - unconscious, even from the ones we love - from the tragedies and injustices of this world - turned inward - mistrust.   shame and blame are instilled in us as children (especially us boys), trying to figure out what's wrong and learning to navigate - ongoing, relentless tiring torture - that fear of failure - trying to find our place in this maze of on-going confusion.   we develop "weapons of mass destruction", early on - out of necessity,  first, in our "terrible two's"  - our first outburst of rebellion.   just to get through the torment of school a few short years later - teen rebellion, shrouded in dark music and reclusive repugnance.  we construct our battle plan, just to get through another day, then later evolving into a tenuous occupation that is fused with strife and despair, late student loan payments and plunging markets - rising costs and divorce statistics.  

sometimes we are forced, to make some difficult decisions.  choices we don't want to make.



hidden agendas

in dealing with the stress of life, sometimes we create hidden agendas - meticulously documented in medical volumes, holy bibles and in science fiction novels (are we vampires or werewolves)?  - whatever - and yet what does it matter?   our refuge - a place to get away from it all (our secret place), and all propped up with justification mechanisms, deceptive diagnoses - in carnal constructs and doped out denial.  ok, sometimes healthy … usually not.   there are no road maps into maintaining a sane balance sheet - that ultimate plan on differentiating our profits from our losses - where to constructively place our bet in this game of russian roulette.  what works verses what doesn't remains elusive.  in the torrential introspection that exists in the masculine massacre, particularly in our interaction with our feminine counterparts on this physical plane - we men (for the most part) remain lost - and yet we must remain - in total control.

welcome to the lie

ok guys, it's not something you down-load off the internet, nor is it an "app" you can get for your iPhone or google the answer to.   real redemption requires real work - and embraces surrender - only the right kind of surrender (and not just acting it out).  it means getting down and dirty and showing people your shit, in a supportive environment that is open to the idea of that.  i myself have become a good preacher and diligent observer, but a hack practitioner in this regard and, i'm in good company - here at Saint James Cathedral - that "saintly" salutation - feels GREAT!  beautiful bells ringing from the tower and a new calling ... 

church was nice but a somewhat deceptive theatre play - the communion is in sterile cleansing - largely based on the "assumption" that you are a "sinner" and that the participant in observation needs to confess - ok, a righteous presumption and very well positioned - all cloaked in "state of the art" diaper technology and in pristine institutional grandeur.   no dirt here.  beautiful music - but no "shit".  

constructed spiritualism ensconced in a ritualized religious practicum - i like it, (and it's easy on the eyes and ears)!

i saw some things today, going for lunch later - with Jade, Jody and Byron - sitting on rain soaked patio seats and consuming our rewarding organic burgers and hot-dogs after the service.  yuM (mystery meat - ok - "organic" mystery meat - no pseudo-religious cross-referenced innuendos intended). 

later, i went to an AA meeting (Alcoholics Anonymous) down on Bloor and Spadina with Jody and Jade, and watched a different kind of service unfold.  in a hot, badly ventilated room - in yet another church in downtown Toronto but in a worn adjacent hall lit by florescent lighting and hard fold up chairs, bad free coffee and bland packaged cookies - the late summer week-end drawing a different crowd - worshiping the same god, only differently.  ok, this is clearly lacking in style girls and boys.   My daughters boy friend was receiving his one year medallion.  a time to celebrate.  

people got up and addressed their unsettled congregation, practicing their new faith, in vulnerability and in total fear - everything is shaking like an earthquake that could topple everything around us any second, in that familiar sweat that drips out of every pore - the familiar discomfort - in the smell of the fermented toxins - years in the making.  the tears of joy and a reminder of our fragility - surrendering yet again - in a humble gesture - to find peace.

unlike the impeccably choreographed religious service in an impenetrable protective structure earlier that day,  AA openly and humbly acknowledged god's presence (our higher power), without the guilt and without the pretense - inviting participants who wish to change, in support and yet without attachment, without the pomp and the promise - without the insulation.  rising to the occasion - is in short supply.  no judgement - in a new sanctuary.  spirituality and religion are two completely different things and god is real. 

inside the mine fields and behind the barbed wire fences, piled up so that they are no longer climbable - there remains that friendly signal - returning again and again - always there and open to us - should we be willing to accept the challenge - a totally new one.  real redemption?  it's all in surrender.

letting our "guard" down to let some real light in and showing the world who we really are - and yet - finding the courage to stand up for ourselves in a din of the repressive noise pollution?   caring for others … takes practice and requires help and spiritual guidance.  i'm working on it.  i believe in a higher power and i believe in god. 

no school-book (or bible) can ultimately teach you what to do or where to go.

faith is multi-dimensional and is contagious - and it doesn't need to be a "religious experience" but maybe ... just maybe appropriate nonetheless.

thank you for reading …

bump this up to 720p (lower right) and turn it up.


Wednesday 27 July 2011

Accountability - in an age of false reasoning

- the state of being accountableliable, or answerable.

"I'm the commander ... see, I don't need to explain ... 
I do not need to explain why I say things  ...
that's the best part about being president." 

(as quoted in Bob Woodward's Bush at War)

the new testamant

it's a simple concept really - when you're accountable, you are being true to your given nature.  you are, in essence "honoring" your desire to "rise to the occasion" and to take a stand for what you truly believe in.  a rare opportunity - it's a testiment of our foreboding commitment to our higher power and into an elevated awareness and a challenge to those we care for - to do the same.  it's all in the ritual - written in stone ... biblical.

to love and obey - ok work with me here. "to cherish and serve",  what?  i don't think so.   "till death do us part??"  i didn't agree to that!  ...  "our father who art in heaven"???  ah ok - maybe.

ok WAIT a minute!!  this is getting complicated!

back it up -

welcome to my rant in the rubble - and a few thoughts on the truths and lies, that teeters on that fine line that separates them - an easy essay in masculine dysfunction which explores the bi-polar shadows of the modern male psyche - all in this brief instalment i call ...

Accountability - in an age of false reasoning

all too often, it's all too easy to slip into the lie - yes brother, you know what i'm about to put out here.  "gimme a high five!  toss me another beer".  lies are convenient, quick and brings about immediate results - RELIEF!   life is difficult.  lies often get us to where we want to go quicker and with a lot less hassle - to circumvent the shit that get's in the way.  rules?  fuck the rules.  rules were meant to be broken.  rules of engagement? - bullshit!  i make my OWN rules!  yeah that's right. i'm not the problem - YOU are the problem.

ah - that was easy - too easy


tips and tricks

we men learn to hide and lie at an early age - tips and tricks - from our forefathers.  it's all in the timing - exit stage right (when no one is looking).  "shit -  incoming pressure - launch default - code sequence - alpha charlie one - ABORT -  get me out of here"!   ah daddy - you were THE master manipulator of deception and delusion, an elusive slippery eel - squishy and transparent - an aging ally in denial and i loved you.  most importantly, you sir ... were an excellent educator who taught me well.  i'm ready for my next lesson.  where are you?

this is a common theme.  it touches most men deeply, though most would prefer not to think about it.  that fear, shame and blame all so meticulously incubated, in the juggled dark cracks of our empty underworld - in the slivers of distant recollections and entrenched in our institutions.  you see - our fathers actually believed their lies and created their own religion, and continued the experiment - blessing their willing innocent disciples to seed, where we fertilize and familiarize.  it's working.  it's DONE!  it's crazy thinking back on my childhood.  where's dad?  


even when he was around he was still gone.  no love - no care.  scared away.  the burning question is ... why?



my dad actually BELIEVED that it was totally ok to be unaccountable to anyone but himself - and even that was sketchy - kind of pathetic actually, but it's all he knew - i mean that's what he picked up as a kid himself from the men around him at the time - "it's a cruel world son".  what are you talking about?  the contagion seamlessly passed from generation to generation.  storm on the horizon.   why does everything have to suck?

i could never see it coming - until it was too late. 
it was in all those simple sermons, lectures  - drenched in the patriotic prose, the presumptuous posterings and in the reluctant rhetoric ... here it comes again - and again ...

"good guys?  finish LAST"!  he would often say to me as a kid myself.  "get used to it - get with the program" - baby branded - and so ... in a single thrust of unconscious narcissistic masturbation, my dad succeeded in alienating everyone around him - his friends and relatives, employers, wife and family / his sons - from ever wanting anything to do with him and died alone.  but alas - the perfect victim in a perfect crime - the liar - the thief - the displaced shadow magician and the tormented martyr.   the self inflicted "torture" ... the measures and the counter measures -  all justified in an empty thread of addicted avoidance - taught to him ever so eloquently and with immaculate precision - by his father ... handed down by his father before him - and so on.  strategic - clockwork.

genetically pioneered insanity

and in the ongoing chaos that we call home ...

i often think of what it would have been like - to have had a father who actually cared about himself.  what that would have brought about.  the benevolent, intuitive guidance, idealized on TV and in movies - carefully woven in reflective self-discipline and determination - that passion / desire, to "get it right".  to raise the stakes in integrity and deliverance.

in the lies, the deception and yes ... destruction, you would think that one might learn what the difference is between resistance and resolve.  i think it's a no-brainer but my demons remain - in a dark thunderstorm surrounding my cerebral hemorrhage, the moment comes and goes.

- Default
failure to act; inaction or neglect, ie. They lost their best chance - to make a real difference - by sheer default.

maybe later


we either get it or we don't ... i still don't get it
and most men around me who "think" they get it - don't
ultimately, it's in the clues and sign-posts we encounter along the way 
left in our legacy - for now ...

we still have a choice to make in this moment - to live or to die


it's all in the choices.  i choose to live

dedicated to Glen James - G.J. (Jim) LaMarche



these clips below are natural extensions on the theme ...
this blog was inspired by my childhood experiences and by the book  -
"prisons we choose to live inside" by doris lessing.