Tag Archives: Faith

Bye Bye Boys

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There’s a certain timbre in the coffee shop this morning. Porcelain colliding with wood, with more porcelain. Hushed voices. Whispers mixing with the steam of hot coffee rising.

As I glance back over my shoulder, I think of 2017. I see a mental billboard – a roadside advertisement featuring the famous bad boys. The lineup of naked egos exposed in their full self-glorification. 

Some courting felonies, some hoping for misdemeanors.

 

It was a year of cause and belated effect.

It was the truth of existence in operation, and a multitude of us watched with consciousness and remembrance of our own battles with the many flavors of abuse.

It was the year that Newton’s third law was made apparent to all.

It was a moment of satisfaction for me.

And to those celebrated offenders, I say:  “Bye Bye Boys. You’ve had your day. Now it’s time to go away.”

 

For all the unknown, the unexposed – may you wrestle with you consciences, have tea with your demons, and learn your lessons profoundly. Police Mystery Man

I am cordially indifferent to your individual plights.

 

I have only one sorrowful loss in this whole mess:  Garrison Keillor. He’s been my inspiration and a source of cynical, wickedly humorous Americana entertainment since 1980.

I’m angry that his fictional small-town tales and homey music have been removed from the terrestrial radio waves and the intergalactic currents.

Radio theatre is a dying art, as is impromptu storytelling.  I want the best to remain for as long as possible.

So desperate was I to find a replacement, I searched Podcasts and settled on “Welcome To Night Vale.” It seemed like a strong contender until I reached the episode of the three vomiting dogs.

Too rude, crude, and unattractively graphic for my taste. I unsubscribed.

Now, I’m back to the eloquent emptiness Garrison left behind.

And my anger deepens. I don’t know if it’s directed more at him or at Minnesota Public Radio. It’s a selfish and selective anger – Yes.

I want my small-town fantasy safely back on the radio each week, while I want him to scurry along and correct his wrongdoing.

Just get it right, Mr. Keillor. You’re an Anglican, a man of fair faith and intelligent virtue.

Just get it right with the Lord and get back on the airwaves.

Please.

From all of us at the coffee shop .  .  . we thirst for your witty gossip, disguised as provincial-minded chatter, to stimulate our decaffeinated minds.

One smart conversation begets another. And soon we can again have a community of cafe culture that enlivens the imagination.

I raise my cup of mocha chai to you. I need this gift restored.

 

 

Killing Faith

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I set up my writing materials on the picnic table at Abó, one of New Mexico’s more obscure Pueblo ruins.

This had been my Sunday ritual for a year or more. I was both seduced and inspired by the crumbling red rocks of the former Spanish Mission church. The rocks that are as red as dried blood; as red as the passion of a savior.

I’d been so enthralled by the tumbling rocks, in fact, that I wandered well off the path several times and was caught, reprimanded, and placed on probation by Officer Lopez, who was protector of the sacred Indian ruins.

It was a humorously embarrassing moment. He wanted to restrict my presence there; I fought for compromise. Eventually we agreed that I must check in with him at the Visitor’s Center each Sunday before entering the grounds.

I wanted a solitary place to pray and seek peace. He wanted to enforce justice. We coexisted for a few weeks with the tension of warriors. But I softened one day and decided to attempt a truce of faith.

As he was making his rounds one Sunday morning, I inwardly willed Officer Lopez to come to the picnic area and talk with me.

I gathered up all the juju and prayer power I could, placed it in a mental bouquet, then set to work typing.  Within thirty minutes, I heard him call out, “Hello Jayni!”

He waved.  Asked how I was.  Faltered a bit.  I coaxed him on with conversation.

We talked for nearly half an hour.

I learned that he was a marine for five years.  Officer Lopez stated that when he was in the Marines, he and his buddies wanted to go to war…wanted to kill.

I have never met anyone who actually wanted to kill people.  Someone who was excited and eager to not just exercise his military training – but wanted to kill.  His body vibrated as he spoke those words.  His face animated.

I am awed.

I crave to crawl behind this man’s militant majesty and find out how it feels to want to kill.

What animal instinct inspires a person to be excited about killing?

What is the thrill within the kill?

Why am I intrigued enough to pursue the conversation further?

Why do I want to learn about raw emotion at this coarse level?

Because it is pure – clean – honest. Untangled from the bullshit psycho-spiritual labyrinth I’ve walked my entire life.

This man knows who he is, what he likes, what he wants, and takes it without apology.

I’ve spent a lifetime apologizing for myself and trying to understand why I exist.

Of course his surefootedness grabs me.

It’s simple and solid.

It offers stability and a point to rebel against.  And rebellion has always empowered me.  I was my father’s little anti-soldier.

 

But now I want to be neutral and understand the operations of my former enemies.

I don’t want enemy lines drawn.  I want lines erased.  But I also want my own truth to emerge.

I listened to Officer Lopez speak with such strong conviction.

I wonder if I will ever be able to stand even half as self-assured and state my beliefs.

I may not agree with his faith, but I admire and envy his rootedness.

His rootedness reminds me of rocks.  Of the rocks he protects.  Of the rock I want to be protected by.  Of some rocks I’ve known and wanted to live under or on the edge of.

He’ll live long in my memory .  .  . as I keep practicing the art of crawling into the light and exposing my lies and my truth.