My day Wednesday 22June2011

I have a long historic pact with my cousin Mike. We would swim each year, in Lake Michigan, on Memorial Day. Time has tempered our resolve and our first swim this year was today. It was still cold. It was probably in the low sixties. Swimming in the cold is a bit more macho than other items on our list like: having a chocolate soda at the Saugatuck Drugstore. History, agreements and family connections are important to me.

I started walking Aunt Joyce’s dog. Carmel is a beautiful, but aged caramel colored Labrador. By doing this, Aunt Joyce gets to keep her dog with her with a bit of help taking care of her. I get exercise walking every day on the beach. There is a surprising other advantage. People come up to me and engage me in conversation. I had forgotten this part of walking dogs. It has been a while since I had a pet.

For some strange reason, it is easier for me to do right for myself when there is some altruistic purpose. It is so good when it is good for me to do good for others. Having extreme restrictions due to nerve issues in my back, it is so good to get out of myself and think about other people.

I walked down the beach with Caramel. It was after my swim with Mike. The sky was misty on the Northern and Southern horizon. The sun had just cleared the trees on shore and there were scattered clouds in front of an even blue gray sky.

A hundred yards ahead of me the sun shown in a bright pool moving toward me fast. Another pool of light formed on the beach and I looked up. The sun was peeking through clouds moving across its face. I wrote this Haiku:

along the Spring shore
now light like a living thing
warms me as I walk


A Few Thoughts on Katherine and William

It is three o’clock in the City of the Village of Douglas, Michigan USA. My interest in the April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, your wedding, was piqued by a BBC America airing of documentary about the royal princes William and Harry.

I am in the generation of your father Prince Charles, just a few years younger than he. I humbly offer this encouragement and advice. The BBC reported that you, William, were a sensitive boy who supplied tissues to your mother, when she cried from arguments with your father. I was there empatheticaly.

I can understand that kind of pain, conflict of loyalties, and desire to comfort those you love. The documentary intimated your path to manhood and the integrity of your intentions and footsteps.

I had contained my emotions as a young man and young adult. When I saw you, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk out of that gate to lead your mother to her funeral, I cried. Sitting at home, alone, I was overcome with the idea of the men of your family, standing together, and walking together to satisfy your duty of love.

I was gratified and thankful of the support of, especially my men friends, who stood with me, when my sister and I memorialized the death of my older brother, father and mother, in their turns. I am impressed with the value you and Katherine put on friendship. The deep connection with your close circle. They, and your choices of them, is so much more important than the more superficial connections with your thousands and more acquaintances. Living life only on the surface is so singularly unrewarding. Nurture, and don’t forget that circle of friends.

Kate, you seem to have the glow of the beauty of your womanhood beginning from the inside out. The out is so lively and gorgeous. You are now walking the aisle to join your prince. I pray that the community of the friends you have chosen, the community of the United Kingdom and the communion of all men and woman of good will pray for you and the endurance of your marriage.

I love your English music, especially John Rutter. It celebrates the fragile beauty of youth. I pray that you develop the patina of maturity and age, that your beauty endures and your bodies continue to reflect the morality and integrity of your choices and actions. May any of your wrinkles be smile lines. Music is a gift of a creative community. Working together in focused unity is an ancient tool of peace and progress. I see that intention in you both.

My personal reflections and advice originates in my own successes and failures. Please be free with your confessions of fault and your forgiveness. It is possible to survive a relationship with anger and resentment. We know its cost. A broken spirit, willing to say, “I am sorry, forgive me.” is a Godly thing that is a tool to build unity and peace with someone who says “I forgive you.”, freely.

You are kneeling before the cross of Christ on the altar of Westminster. I pray that that act of faith grows from your actions to your heart. That you set boundaries and personal space to grow and more importantly the open hearted empathy to bring you closer together.

God’s own example in his son gives us a perfect image to fill in the imperfections that we learn from our very human parents. We are not doomed to any historic path. Please continue to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. No advice can consider the complexities of choices and consequences of action and inaction like the whisperings of the Spirit to our hearts. “Wither you go I will go.”

When the congregation sings Jerusalem, comparing England to the city of “God’s Peace” the lyricist chose a perfect vision, maybe unattainable in one lifetime or more. Just please take care of England. It is the original home of my ancestors.

William, I saw you so attentively taking care of your wife, Katherine, that she not stumble on the steps. Please continue to take care of each other. Love each other. Be happy.

I thrill at the Battle of Britain flyover. I remember the English boy seeing, in reality (according to the movie Empire of the Sun) the plane that matched the toy in his hand. That movie moment made me cry. It was a vision and beacon that prefigured his freedom from a prison camp. A boy that always took care of others. His empathy converted to action and reality, a survivor.

As Duke and Duchess of Cambridge you are associated with the center of intellectualism and reason. Like King David in the bible, quest to be a “man (woman) after God’s own heart.” He was man forgiven not perfect. Doing good is a thank you for that grace. One receiving mercy not just justice but mercy and grace. Continue following your heart not just your intellect.

You kiss sweetly on the balcony. Keep it up. Grow like the green trees inside Westminster for your wedding. Put your roots down in the earth for nourishment. Reach for the sky and make oxygen. Intertwine your arms and branches. Synergy of two individuals may make something stronger as one than two.

I presume a lot to give you advice. Don’t be afraid of doing better than your parents. I admire them. It is time for you to shine. I desire, from my heart that you do well and that together.

Partying Beyond Redemption

I once heard a sermon. The preacher said that the devil tempts us into evil then beats us up over our complicity. He should be happy that we do evil. But he is at war with our conscience. He enjoys making us feel bad about our failures. You don’t have to believe in a personal devil to know about the devastation of shame.

Some people seem to enjoy doing wrong. Four teens, in 2003, in Fishtown, Pennsylvania, lured a classmate out with promise of his first sexual experience. They beat him to death and stole his pay of about $500. They then bought alcohol, heroin, and xanax and “partied beyond redemption”. All downers, these children numbed themselves into catatonia.

To be human we think that our fellows should have remorse for what we do. Two of these imprisoned kids said they had flash backs of the murder and they enjoyed them. I have always thought that anything that pairs sex with violence has a bright line to cross. Sex and violence pairs such a powerful hook to my hormones, emotions and erosion of my self control. Young sex, drugs, alcohol and violence practice to rip down a person’s morality.

It is the parental nurturance or lack of it encourages or tears down the growth of empathy. One of the boy murderers was once the best friend of the victim. This group centered on a girl, offered him sex and drugs. The girl did this not out of love, or even lust but to control. I wonder what happened to a normal boy who betrayed his friend by being the first to strike with his hatchet. The boys had a frenzy of violence that crushed the victims head.

How do you recover these children when some of them report enjoying their atrocities. I still maintain that, contrary to their own belief, no one is beyond redemption. I rest better that they were put in jail. My Christ, must know how to embrace them. I have the personal belief that even Judas could have had forgiveness if he had not given up and committed suicide.

It is a long way back to humanity for four teenage perpetrators in Fishtown. It is the government’s duty to protect us from them. I have the belief that no one is beyond redemption. We don’t like the feeling of shame, but at least it shows our conscience is still at work. We are still human. I hope we can share that empathy and humanity,

The four fishtown murderers

New Blog

This blog is a part of my growth as a creative person. Journaling is how I have recently discovered private strengths. It seems the time to go public with thoughts that have lived inside my heart and head. Please have the liberty to respond to what I write. My first page is called From An April Morning. It is available by pressing that name next to the Home key at the top.