Tonight I went out & looked for you in the night sky, Dad. You left this earth in physical form 2 years ago tonight. It is still hard to find you in the night sky, but tonight I looked hard & long for you.
From Joey Castillo
The sky is clear at the observatory that you loved so much. People use the telescope that is in your name there every day, looking up in to the sky for meaning or for direction. Some folks stop long enough to look at the metal marker that memorializes you.
We remember you today, Lobel Alva Carlton - you would have been 82 this past Saturday. We miss you. We'll keep looking in that gorgeous sky you loved so much.
Last week, I finished reading Scott Bader-Saye's Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear, which is a wonderful book about the manipulation of fear in our times of perceived insecurity. I was reminded of what Bader-Saye describes as "this destructive force" of fear when I watched this loop from the candidate I hope will win the Dem primary:
“One of the things the next president has to do is to stop fanning people’s fears. If we spend all our time feeding the American people fear and conflict and division then they become fearful and conflicted and divided. If we feed them hope and we feed them reason and tolerance then they will become tolerant and reasonable and hopeful.”
Bushs daughter denounces the views espoused by her fathers administration on abstinence-only policy
Of Narratology and the Fraying of the Posted Bill
Indie Rock T-Shirts That Would Never Sell
Earnest wingnut kids’ books or parody?
Anthology of Conceptual Writing
Work, Play, Sex, Work, ...
nakedpastor: 10 suggestions for keeping your sanity in church
+++++ my fav: Peacocks and pulpits do not belong together.
America’s Top Seven Most Hated Substances
Screw the Plan
Boys have biological reason to be troublesome
Oliver Sacks explains how your brain does music
I ran away from home.
Not to join the circus, or hop a train.
I ran as far away from being from Texas, being a graduate of Texas A&M, being from Dallas, graduating from WT White High School.
It's hard to place yourself in some type of witness protection program - it looks so much easier & more interesting to don an identity when you see it on TV or in the movies. I developed a taste for thrillers, particularly those where identity was switched or multiple identities were the core of the story.
My investment in therapy could probably fund a minor league hockey team, or at the least the local girls roller derby squad. From one doc to another, we'd always getting around to my flee or fight choices. I usually went with flee - in fact, I am skilled at that.
Five years ago, I went to the 20th reunion of my high school graduating class. I can not honestly tell you why - it entailed flying half way across the country, so it certainly can not be seen as just accidental.
I knew a lot of people in high school, but I remembered it as a story where I had 100s of acquaintances and very few friends. I walked in - and I saw friends. Now don't get me wrong - this is not some Pat Conroy novel or some Lifetime movie, where the resolution was neat. It was a fun night, fun in a away that upset my recollection of the story I was running from.
Over the last 5 years, well - my life sounds like some warped country music song. I went to seminary, fought like hell with stuff, struggled thru a depression, lost my dad, dove deeper into a depression, left seminary in a truly unusual way, realized how close I came to losing my marriage. As I type this, I realize the genre of country music just is not a match for this - more like gothic graphic novels or the sci-fi channel.
Today, we are driving up from our new home in Austin so I can attend the 25th reunion of my high school graduating class. At the 20th reunion, a friend told me "We did not think you would come. We had heard you could not get away from here fast enough."
This coming year has 2 silver milestones - silver being the marker for 25th anniversaries - for me. In addition to this reunion, my wife & I will celebrate 25 years of being married.
In poking around on the web, I was fascinated to find this:
Because of the mysticism surrounding silver's lunar associations, as well as the aesthetic qualities of the white, reflective metal that cause it to be associated with purity, silver in European Folklore has long been traditionally believed to be an antidote to various maladies and mythical monsters.
I do not pretend to understand all the reasons that I run so often, why the monsters & maladies scare me so. That said, embracing a reflective aspect of my life is a gift from the last 5 years, one I am certain I would have never recieved without all the pain & junk that accompanied it.
I am old enough to know that mostly days are just days. But it does feel really good to be home, to be walking towards instead of running away. I have no idea where this ends up - but I do know that I am humbled by 25 years of just about anything.
Last night, Donald Miller came to Journey. If you are not familiar with Miller, he is one of the most successful authors in the recent spike in spiritual memoirs. He is best known for Blue Like Jazz, which became a New York Times bestseller. Two years later, Miller released Searching For God Knows What - in 2006, he added another book, To Own A Dragon, which offers reflections on growing up without a father.
Miller sat on a stool in front about 70 folks - and captivated us. He started with a self deprecating anecdote that involved the greatest bookstore on the planet, a pretty conservative girl and a mishap involving lesbian erotic poetry. He talked a bit about his story, particularly his recent foray in translating Blue Like Jazz, adored by many, into a film with Steve Taylor.
This experience seems to have deepened Miller's sense of story-telling, which is the focus of the new book that he is birthing. He read two chapters - still in rough form - from that book. I must say, they were crafted in a way that reminded me of Buechner and Bird By Bird - rich with irony and wisdom, written in a way that struck me as far different from Miller's earlier work. I hope Miller stiff arms his publisher as long as necessary on this book, taking time to hone it.
He took questions from all of us, providing insight into:
Miller wrapped up by talking about the foundation he has helped found, The Belmont Foundation, which provides a path for men to invest richly in the lives of boys who are growing up without a “Big Man” in their life.
I am hoping you might join in a grid blog next Tues, Sept. 25. The topic is deceptively simple:
what does the year 2107 look like from your vantage point
Using your blog, or some other social media (video, podcast, slidecast), frame what you think our world will look like in 2107, 100 years from now. Focus on whatever aspect(s) you want – personal, educational, technological, environmental, theological, financial, political or cultural. As a frame of reference, this is what the world looked like 100 years ago.
If you are planning to join this grid blog – just leave a comment below, with your site url & email.
The specifics of why the metaphor of a horizon and how a grid blog works are below. 2 additional points: