26 April 2012

Fiction!

HT's a writer, a real writer to me, as in, author. She’s published a thriller/mystery book. Mine is not a backhanded compliment; I know it might sound like one; it’s not. A writer has kicked it up a notch if a book is produced and published; it’s difficult, real labor, and it’s competitive; it’s major-league. SweetWilliamNow's a sorta writer. I like it. I have fun. Who cares?
HT gave one of my posts a comment. Comments are a fun validation, as in someone notices; so I read her blog; I’m cheap and easy. Anyway, I was reading a post; it’s good. I hear her heart. I commented; dashed it off. I hope for a response, but it’s not like I really expect one; it’s the Internet; she could be a shape-shifter, or something, a data-miner. Whatever. But I felt badly because I could’ve said more. I was hooked. HT’s post touched where I’ve experience. I poured my wisdom out. I wanted to be helpful.
Nights later I woke up and I’m layin’ there thinking. The post was a fiction. She made it up. Oh my God! She’s playing; that’s what writers do; like practicing scales. I poured my heart out to a fiction. Sweet!

24 April 2012

Recovery


It had been an abundant day; lots of energy, and I’d spent it. I radiated vigor. I’d competed with a looming rainstorm, and I’d achieved my task ahead of the soaking.
My truck’s wipers don’t operate too good in a drenching. I took shelter under a banks’ 3-lane drive-through teller canopy. It was closed; no worries or traffic, and sitting I waited. I started to chill and stiffen. I got out and began some jongs; twenty of different ones with five sets of twenty Don Yu-s in between; perfect for warding off chill and stiffness.
I was flowin’ and goin’. Within this one-in-a-thousand moment they’re infectious, rain’s flowing down building’s gutters; none had downspouts. The gutter-water-falled to ground; I was pourin and splashin!
I woke, my knee stiffened, `bout locked up. It took a week of recovery.  I was pourin’ out all right. I think therefore I am. I feel therefore I am. I think and feel like 40; my body says, “No, your knee is 62. Snap out of it!” 

21 April 2012

Formation's Seed

We were at table, eating food, and visiting. It’s a safe time and place. Conversation turned to Bill Moyers. The Rector was speaking of the veteran journalist, presidential spokesman, social and economic advocate, and chronicler of humanity’s spirit life. Our table companions didn’t know of Moyers. The teacher was enthusiastic and infectious. Our table companions, with their newborn, were interested, maybe curious, to learn more from him.
In 1964 – ‘68, I was too young to see Moyers as LBJ’s press secretary. I grew into Moyer’s resistance to RN’s policies and actions during the time of late Viet Nam and Watergate. I take for granted people know Bill Moyers. Wrong.
“Yeah, he was Johnson’s press secretary, and worked for Nixon,” the Rector said, . . .
I reined in my impulse to correct historical fact; more like stomping it down. The Rector, sitting next to me, turned to me for confirmation. He was including me in the conversation, and so he honored me. I held my silence, busting to escape, in the moment.
 “Yeah, Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell about his book, The Power of Myth. It’s a great video series!”
I deferred; not to push back; the seekers were learning. All information is better than none; the Rector has standing in our eyes; I do not in theirs. Moyers’ introduction to humanity’s spiritual formations, via The Power of Myth Joseph Campbell interviews, is informative and enchanting. I want seekers to find them. Listening and holding back I feel my age behind me; another era, the people and events of my time, behind me, and unknown, to the seekers. Their baby whimpers, is hungry.
The conversation lasted a moment. The moment moved past. Over a table of food, fellowship, and a flawed historical narrative, spiritual formation’s seed was cultivated. 

14 April 2012

Class Note ~ '69

Dear Roger,

I was sorry to hear of Tredway's death and the death of Hoke's son. Alas, such sadness.
I did make photographic WRA images, for which I still have the negs.
I was the only ‘69 class member who was not profiled senior year in the Reserve Record. I cannot imagine what I'd now report that would peak interest; perhaps a schadenfreude of, “I knew it!”?
I hardly blame editors. I graduated in the lower fifth of the lower fifth of academic rankings. I distinguished myself as socially unskilled, unathletic, introverted, and both too-dull and too-sensitive. I didn’t distinguish myself or excel in a manner any of us might recognize as accomplishment. On the other hand I never was thrown out for the rich-white-boy-behaving-badly sort of thing. 
I did like Laurel girls, and some seemed to like me.
In time I produced photographic images, in all formats, for marketing sales support materials, in studio and any-and-all on-site locations, as well as manage and maintain all operations for in-house black & white and color transparency film processing for a global consumer electronics corporation. I didn’t go on as C.G. did to distinguish myself with vivid journalism images. I walked away from analog images and the digital revolution.
My second wife Angela Sue Livesay and I live in a purple-ish social, economic, and cultural ghetto within Knoxville, TN. Knoxville is delightful and vital. But it’s some sort of Jekyll/Hyde purple-ish urban center, that’s the heart of one of reddest counties in one of the reddest states of the 50. Creationism is alive & well in the majority of people and in government halls of the great State of Tennessee. This despite the fact the region would be economic toast if not for all the Federal and State tax dollars that support deep scientific, technical, engineering, mathematic, military, academic, and athletic institutions. I consider myself part of the cultural force so resented for our triumph and beloved for the wealth of business and commerce that trails behind occupation. LOL! I've lived here 32 years.
My 2 children are alive, healthy, well, and all things considered, thriving. There are many life-traps and there's much life to be thankful for. My son Townsend graduated Magna Cum Laude, political science, from the University of Tennessee. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., is married to a terrific Knoxville gal, and is employed by Mecklenberg County; he's some sort of quantitative analyst. He leaves me in his dust, for which I’m quite thankful.
Today I provide lawn & garden care to folks who don't like to get dirty. I call it 1Man/1Mower. I practice living the baptismal covenant found in The Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. I’d been deeply immersed in diocesan stewardship formation for the Episcopal diocese of East Tennessee. I’m in my 4th year of practicing Taoist Tai Chi; I recommend it.
I blog at www.sweetwilliamnow.blogspot.com. I practice spiritual renovation and renewal. If a classmate reads it I’m confident it will reinforce an “I knew it!” response. I recall spiritual arts and manual arts playing an ultra minor role in the WRA curriculum; a saddening educational oversight.
Thank you for offering your service to our WRA class of ’69. I think you're perfect!




03 April 2012

Lent List 8 ~ Transformation


What is your relationship with Christ? What is your relationship with prayer? With scripture? With worship and the sacraments? With the reality of your own sin?
I’ve written before about question eight here. A Christian relationship is about transformation into discipleship; its cumulative. It's not a Harry Potter’s magic-wand event, and it doesn't happen with Christian habituality. I've found it happens with practice, cultivation, agape, and in community.
If praying, listening, writing, speaking, or working with any one of these questions facilitates spiritual transformation then the work to begin to ponder and answer any of the 6 questions of Lent List 8 is worthwhile. Just like the monks working their garden for food the fruit of spiritual transformation is cumulative.