Tag Archive: radical theology

Nov 27

Three Things To Remember

As long as you’re dancing, you can
     break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just
     extending the rules.

Sometimes there are no rules.

— Mary Oliver

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2012/11/three-things-to-remember/

Aug 06

Cut the World [Video]


Antony and the Johnsons – Cut the World.

Originally composed for Robert Wilson’s play “The Life and Death of Marina Abramović. (From Wikipedia: Abramović’s work explores the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind.)

Haunting, melancholy, bleak to say the least.

Also beautiful (as Antony’s songs often are).

[From Gizmodo]

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2012/08/cut-the-world-video/

Jan 25

is this christianity?

A two part blog post about the Mars Hill church in Seattle and Christian discipline from Matthew Paul Turner:

Part 1: Mark Driscoll’s Church Discipline Contract

Part 2: Mark Driscoll’s ‘Gospel Shame’

Do we really wonder why people don’t like church?  This seems to me about as far from Jesus’ message of love as you can get.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2012/01/is-this-christianity/

Jan 16

Steinbeck on Falling in Love

Something for all of us to remember…whether we’ve already found love or are still waiting for it to find us.

Originally posted at Brain Pickings:

“If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

Nobel laureate John Steinbeck (1902-1968) might be best-known as the author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, but he was also a prolific letter-writer. Steinbeck: A Life in Letters constructs an alternative biography of the iconic author through some 850 of his most thoughtful, witty, honest, opinionated, vulnerable, and revealing letters to family, friends, his editor, and a circle of equally well-known and influential public figures.

Among his correspondence is this beautiful response to his eldest son Thom’s 1958 letter, in which the teenage boy confesses to have fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan while at boarding school. Steinbeck’s words of wisdom — tender, optimistic, timeless, infinitely sagacious — should be etched onto the heart and mind of every living, breathing human being.

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,

Fa

via Letters of Note

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2012/01/steinbeck-on-falling-in-love/

Jun 25

Tree of Life

“Many films diminish us. They cheapen us, masturbate our senses, hammer us with shabby thrills, diminish the value of life.”
– Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert calls the film Tree of Life a prayer…not asking for something, not to someone or something, but a prayer for everyone and everything.  It most definitely is not your typical Hollywood fare.  It is a film that is beautifully shot and for the most part edited (I did think one sequence was a little long).  It is a film the plays with the idea of what the beginning and end actually are.

This isn’t a film for everyone though. Which in some ways can lead to that “I’m a genius film maker and smarter than you” vibe. The way it plays with time can make it difficult to follow.  In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about it.  I mentioned above one sequence I thought could have been edited a little differently (I think it could have been a little shorter without affecting the impact of the sequence).  I do think that one of the ideas was to keep you questioning, both when and where you are, but how we are connected with each other and our world.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/06/tree-of-life/

Oct 05

Ego(n’t)

From The Naked Now by Richard Rohr:

“For some unfortunate reason, complaining, rejecting, or fearing something strengthens your sense of ego and makes you feel like you are important.  You contract back into your small and false self, and from there, unfortunately, it becomes harder and harder to reemerge.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/10/egont/

Feb 24

Giving up God

The thing that sucks about being a Christian is that God actually lives in other people.

– Sara Miles in Jesus Freak:Feeding Healing Raising the Dead

The community I am a part of is giving up God for Lent.  No, we haven’t all decided to give up church for hedonistic pleasures.  What we are doing is giving up our notions of who (or what) God is.  The goal?  To be open to new ways God can manifest in our lives.  As part of this exercise, our 10:15 community (along with the rest of the parish) is reading the book quoted above.  Unfortunately, because of a prior commitment, I won’t be able to participate in the discussions.  It’s going to be an interesting read (and Lent) based on the quote above from the books introduction.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/02/giving-up-god/

Sep 10

Loving Everyday

I think I need to spend some time sitting (reading) with Richard Rohr.

Graciously stolen from this post by Gareth Higgins: How are We Present to Reality?

A remarkable thought from Richard Rohr, which, if I read it thoughtfully enough, I think might get me through the day:

“Somewhere each day we have to fall in love, with someone, something, some moment, event, phrase, animal, or person. And it must be done quite definitively! Somehow each day we must allow a softening of our heart, which usually moves toward hardness and separation without our even knowing it. We can now prove neurologically that it is easier to move toward cynicism, bitterness, fear and despair than it is toward goodness, beauty, or appreciation. All spirituality is intended to help us recognize and counter our downward spiral toward smallness.

The world often tries to conjure up life by making itself falsely excited, by creating parties, even when there is no actual reason to celebrate. I have often noted in poor countries how people create fiestas because they have survived another season or even another day. We create fiestas to create fiestas, which I guess is not all bad; but after a while the ungirding of joy and contentment is not there. We have to create and discover the parties of the heart, the place where we know we can enjoy what is, and that we have indeed survived and even flourished another day of our one and only life. Just make sure you are somewhere, and always, definitively in love! Then you’ll see rightly, because only when we are in love can we accept the mystery that almost everything is.”

(Read the rest of Gareth’s thoughts)

An interesting thought indeed.  It seems somewhat appropriate for me in relation to my recent spiritual struggles.  Living in a place like Los Angeles can be quite the beast.  Its a tough place to find your niche.  At least for me it is.  I’ve been here just over two years now and still haven’t found my “community.”  Sure there are a handful of acquaintances and even a few friends, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t gelled into a community for me.  Perhaps the comparison to my community in Portland gets in the way of this.  Perhaps the struggles of my first nine months working here and what that did to my confidence in myself…to my self-esteem…is sub-consciously hindering me in my relationships.  I don’t really know for sure.  I know my internal life has struggled and I’m sure it has affected my external presence.

In reality, things aren’t that bad.  I’ve got a job that pays well enough for a level of financial security I haven’t really had since leaving my parents house.  I’ve found love that is amazing and surprising in so many ways.  I just sometimes need to remind myself of that.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/09/loving-everyday/