Posts Tagged ‘Reflection’

Writer’s Block

Posted: August 5, 2021 by Ty in Spirituality
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It is a bain, I neer had to worry about in my younger more prolific days of writing. Wonder if this is why I never had to create a practice of writing if you will. Now as I am not so young in my writing it comes in fits and gurgles. Which can be a bit tough when trying to bring focus during a time of discombobulation like we currently exist in. As we exist in or on the precipice of a fourth wave in Alberta (as we wind down tracking cases, one has to wonder where exactly we are). As health authorities continue to state at us puzzling, with our return to “flu” language, or we need to move resources to the opioid epidemic or syphillis’ outbreaks (because of course, we cannot do what our system should be able to do and respond appropriately) we continue to play roulette with who shall live and die.

Much as one existing in the disability community, regardless of age, does as we role back supports and make life harder for them and caregivers, all under the fallacy of belt tightening.

I sit, in an aging home, looking out at the landscape, one that is drastically shifting to a province I do not recognize.

Simply wonder, do I still belong? or is it time to move on? But if it is time to move on, where to even begin?

These are the thoughts rolling, along with concern for loved ones, disconnect with others who may be fearful of where some family member’s health is, and simply the ableism and prejudice revealed in others during this time.

Coupled with the simple exhaustion of a re-open non-plan, where many expect we will simply step our of our homes, and to step back in as the cogs of the machine as if nothing has happened over the last almost 19 months.

And then I no longer wonder, why I struggle, to write…to create… rather, some days, I need to stretch into soul care, if only not so exhausted.


Ah been a while since I shared some insights from my rolling through works picking out gems for the book on community building that will begin to hopefully take shape in the Summer 2021. Also, coupled with just the ongoing life of teaching post-secondary online as semester’s wind up my reading has defaulted to more popcorn for the brain in these moments (and with Dollarama’s having graphic novels for $3-4 it has been quite fun).

But here we are with a few thoughts, and the amazon links to the books for your own further reading. We will go from most recent to oldest. Which brings us to the Sabar’s (2020) Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife an intriguing mystery-conspiracy that truly reveals the prat falls and traps of being led down the garden path of our own bias. It explores an emerging and leading scholar in feminist Gnosticism, the impact of the continuing well fictionalized accounts of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code with the ponderance (that comes from Holy Blood, Holy Grail) about Jesus’ marriage and bloodline.

This crafted bias, wanting to humanize Jesus, which makes sense as the balance of Christ’s celibacy was more of an appeasement than a gospel truth (Re: Jesus Seminar & Vatican II). Why is this book worth the read for reflective practice? Simple, it takes one through exploration, unpacking and verification process of evidence based belief praxis. It illustrates the importance of the word gospel, and how to ensure we take the steps of critical thought even with something that fits our belief system still needs to be taken through a process.

The next step book I enjoyed, was from a bible college professor of mine, Tim W. Callaway’s (2020) from a new Calgary based publisher, God is Loser Friendly: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & Me, a redeveloped sermon series and research to explore what it means to authentically follow God. Rev. Dr. Callaway’s humour shines through, as he walks through the stories of Genesis, the patriarchs, matriarchs and what they mean for our current walk in faith. The concept of loser here is not something of a mocking, but rather pointing out that there are those moments in time when we all fall short or may not make the cut, but in the grand scheme there is growth and life happening.

The practical applications and discussions found within the Hebrew Bible texts that are all to often glossed over, or so heavily sanitized to pass the “holy” test of church is refreshing. Whether reading by yourself, or as part of a household or a skype/zoom/teams discussion group it will be a fun and insightful ride in 2021.

The final work is a second edition of a book on endings, or rather death if we want to extend the metaphor that churches are the Body of Christ. It is Rev. Michael Jones’ (2020) Empty Houses: A Pastoral Approach to Closing Congregations. The author shares the journey, that touches on an intersection with my own, he was the minister when Trinity United closed in Calgary, for those who may be familiar with this congregation’s closure many moons ago, what sticks out the most is the news story of the locked out congregation by the denomination. Is this touched on? Not in so much sensationalism, what is touched upon in the work is the process, and within the process of closure the hard conversations that need to be had. In my reflection, like the discussions around end of life, and the grieving that ensues. How to move through the grieving, hold firm within the process, the answer, and the plan. Also the important side bar around media messaging, which has taken on a whole other layer with the 24-7 instant world of online platforming.

It is a practical and reflective tool for anyone involved in human services. Yes, it is church centric, but as we enter a new emergent reality. Where many institutions whether religious, political, or service are struggling. It is a process of reflection to outline the problem (is it a lack of time, talent or treasure in the mission? Or all of the above)? Thinking of mission and legacy (that is what can emerge from the end)? Is it time to merge with other organizations to continue forward or is that simply postponing the inevitable? Is it time to reach out possibly (my own thoughts) to other struggling institutes to craft, as those in palliative care speak of, ending well. Sharing resources to collectively mourn and release, but also take the treasure and create a healthy legacy plan.

Take time as 2020 and all it brought comes to a close, and we emerge into what ever is to come in 2021 to understand and become who you are being called to be.


a day of errands,

understanding that physical distancing

no longer understood,

for ease of restrictions–was heard as “We’re open as normal”

Face palm the selective hearing of a society

as many still thrive to protect through safety protocols.

Wondering if this means a shut down for Christmas?

But it causes a pause

for reflection

on a life having been lived to build a Kingdom

Brother Jesus stated was near,

and in the thin space,

one were everyone belonged, was loved, and honoured

for simply who they are

was possible.

A life of blood, sweat, tears and death threats

tearing down prejudices

bigotry

ableism

queer hate

speaking out, supporting social safety nets

serving the vulnerable

the Sacrament of Service

Love of the beautiful Imageo Dei

int its wonderful mosaic here on earth…

Just over a year from being elected

watching

as elected members of governance exist under a cone of silence…

environmental protections stripped away

children with disabilities, passively placed back into isolation

supports of belonging removed without a tear or a word

but a key stroke tweet

Hard fought for equality

to finally belong

living that love is love

and now under the faux cross

of Christo-fascists

they want segregated humanity

money

power

rampant individualistic

trollism

out to harm citizens

one would say called to serve,

and I ponder,

as the rain of the last 2 days recedes

an ark not necessary today

the new sun emerges

the grass is greener

but will those who say they rally under a belief ethos

actually read the source documents of the Master Teacher?

Or are we to be a part of a Roman Occupation 2020.

Where only some are allowed to be seen as

H-U-M-A-N.

At this time,

choose love

choose advocacy,

Choose to love yourself, and your neighbour…

 

 


A bit of humour in Brad Meltzer’s story faster than a speeding bullet celebrating 80 years of the Man of Tomorrow, the Man of Steel…from fighter of social injustice to crime to war and back again. I do not have to go into full out fan boy geek mode.

First all, I want to give the 1000th issue a full 10/10. I had to go track one down as I believed Amazon that the Action Comics 80th anniversary deluxe included said issue, but no, it did not- bad Amazon. BUT find I did, and $10.00 CDN + GST not so bad for what I would sum up as a fun romp through who Superman was, is and will be (and yes the trunks are back).

But here is a ponderer for you dear reader (and I encourage you to buy the issue and read it!!!): Who inspires you?

At the end of the day who has renewed your hope in humanity? Shown you the good?

Who are your heroes?

For that is the question Lois poses to Clark at the end of his day, for who that day was the one for him. The one that showed the good summation of humanity.

Who showed you the good today?


Why can’t there be a big red button?

-War Doctor

           Like any good science fiction questions around the essence of us (humanity) should be brought forward. This is at the bedrock of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary movie (watch trailer here), Day of the Doctor.  It is the deepest plunging into the hardest thing to  comprehend for any person… ourselves.

As the regeneration who chose themselves undeserving of the name, but asks the question as in the clips above, the Warrior Doctor, “I am looking for the Doctor.” The one who is called to heal, to help to aid…or as Clara will note the thrum of the Tardis is a sound of hope. But this is about that corner of the mind of the Doctor, no, the heart where hope has gone out.

For it was in the 9th regeneration that the fabled time war happened. When Daleks and Time Lords went to war to end all wars. Where the rest of the universes saw the Time Lords just as evil as the Daleks who view anything outside their race as need to be exterminated, which this mini-episode Night of the Doctor expertly portrays as the Doctor must make a choice to not be apart of the war or to be apart of the solution?

The haunting begins.

Much like we make choices within our own lives at any given moment with the information available. Whether it is good, bad, horrible or indifferent. It is what is possible and probably for us at that moment. Much like moments in human history (very hard to bring 21st century morals onto situation 400 years old or 150 years old as we try to erase instead of critically teach history so the cycle can be fully broken. Just ask any abuse survivor, the story and triumph need to be spoken so that it will not be repeated, in all its darkness).

This literally becomes the story. As the device designed to end the Time War by the Doctor is AI with a conscience and brings the Doctor to begin interacting with his decision. The decision? At that moment and time in war as the Daleks are all gathered at Gallifrey—to end it all, Daleks and his people. The haunting ripples this will bring through time.

The decision driven by the motto burned into a wall by him “No More.” The war must end.

The journey forward form that choice showing the grief cycle. The short regeneration shortly after not even there. The true shock.

But the struggle between who are known as the Tenth (David Tenant) and Eleventh (Matt Smith) Doctor’s to forget this period in time. How it shapers personality. One who lives in pained regret and the other who lives to forget, to move forward.

The haunting question answered by 2.41 billion.

But with the Eleventh Doctor being 400 years out…is there another decision that can be seen?

What if that decision can be tried?

What if in your moment of darkness your future selves could stand with you and you would not have to be alone?

What if, you live in acceptance of the choice and find hope in spite of it to move forward in a better life for yourself and others?

This may seem like nothing more than a toss away sci-fi movie from the BBC. Apart of geek culture and nothing more.

Yet we live in a time of reconciliation.

A time when groups who have been oppressed and the former oppressors know that something needs to change.

But how do we get there?

Sometimes a science fiction story can show us the interior and exterior journey in a way that creates conversations that can create the space for critical discussion and active listening, that other venues cannot.

Just think of using this in a religious or political or classroom setting with the Time War as the metaphor for residential schools, Canadian Eugenic practices for those with disabilities, the destructive LGBTTQ2+ laws; the dying with dignity or abortion laws; slavery, the list can go on…

For what questions would haunt our journey where the answer 2.41 billion could just be as haunting.

But even more so.

What is the new life?

What is the regeneration that awaits each one of us?

Where does hope exist?

Do you hear the thrum of the TARDIS? Or are you blocking it out?