Posts Tagged ‘children’

Ask not what the world can do for you

April 12, 2017

If the mandarins of this world want to manage everything from their databases

if they wannna fix everything so everyone is the same and everyone has the same

opportunities and all are equal in the eyes of world and all hues and colors and

shades of gray and shades of brown black and white blend together having the same

access to all the good stuff that this managed world has to offer such as

access to all the education, employment, electoral, and economically elevatable

opportunities that can be put together by the Fed and the IMF and the UN and the

G20 and the G-hundred and the G-thousand and all the world together appointing

managers who assure that everyone is on the same page and nobody

gets blowed up and and everybody is safe and secure and fat and happy

or slim and lean as the case may be

If the bureaucrats and the directors of this that and the other feel like they need to

manage all this stuff and turn back the rising tide of climate change

and the ancient, undeniable, irrevocable urge that rises between a man

and his woman

and  therefore the renegade loins of men and women who unite in their beds every night

and ever day bringing forth all these children and this family

busting forth out of their mama’s womb and then growing up in Africa or Indonesia

or Uruguay or Gary Indiana or Mesa Arizona or Mexico City or Moscow or Orlando

and if they feel the need to put a rein on all our emissions

all our carbon spewing forth from all our cars and our planes and trains

and our monorails and our leaping’ lizards and leviathan whales and

our males and females,

and if they think they can manage all this and

turn the unquenchable tide of the life force and and the gaia

so that it becomes something other than what it is

which is the life force itself that comes

from the loins of a man

and the womb of his woman,

and then those subsequent young boisterous bucks and does

who spring forth from the loins of mankind

then let them come to Mickey’s place and see

what its really all about.

Let them discover that the proletariat has now become

the bourgeoisie

with every man chomping down on his family’s piece of the pie

and every woman bringing forth her children and proud

of it

and all those neuters who wish to not participate are

free to do so because

we’d all like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony if

we could, buy hey

we’ll settle for the next best thing, which is having youn’uns

and watching them grow and if you don’t believe me then

come to Mickey’s place and see

what’s really going on.

You can’t put a tether on this thing. We must be free

to live and work and have our being and have

our children and watch them grow

and hohoho every Christmas

and hiedee ho gonna get me a piece of the pie

you don’t need to get it for me

gonna get it my own dam self

and for our kids too.

What’s it to you?

Let them come to Mickey’s place and see what’s

really going on.

Earthship

Ask not what the world can do for you,

but what together we can do for our children and our children’s children.

Glass half-Full

Advertisements

Time and Towers

March 4, 2016

In this life, things aint what they used to be. In fact, they’ll never be what they used to be. Things are–have always been–what they will be.

My life, for instance began as a gleam in my daddy’s eye. That shining life force moved, somehow, into mama’s domain, then emerged nine months later as me. My entrance into this world was  really a stretch, like maybe a kid passing through the eye of a needle. But I got through it all right, mama did too, and here I am still kicking, sixty-four years ago.

I remember hearing a special song almost a half-century ago; Joni Mitchell sang, “Something’s lost and something’s gained in living every day,”

Which is so true.

Now the something lost could be something small and insignificant, maybe a coin, or a hat, or a credit card. Or the something lost could be something important and irreplacable, maybe a rare work of art, a diamond ring, or a person dear to you.

In this picture from the year 1997, you see two buildings that no longer exist.

NY'97

To reflect on the their absence, maybe we could think of it this way: the two are gone, but today one is erected where the missing two once stood.

This is a little bit like life itself. In my case, probably yours too: there were two that stood for awhile, mama and daddy. But now they are gone.

In their absence, I remain, a tower of my own imagination and God’s enabling grace.  There I am in 1997 on the right side of the pic.

On the other end of the picture, my nephew Erik stands next to my son. But something tragic has happened.  As of yesterday, Erik is gone. Like an early March bud taken by the last frost, he was suddenly taken from us.

But that young man had become a father. So, while he sojourned with us for a while before departing,  now two children–a boy and a girl– remain in his absence.

This is the way it has always been for us. Mothers and fathers can procreate and love their children. Children can honor and cherish their parents.

For the children who remain, life as it is now will not be the same as it was for mom and dad. The world is a different place.

But however it turns out for you, I hope you can agree with me: Life is, by God, pretty dam good. Live it while you can because one day it won’t be there for you any more.

 You may be one of those stubborn persons, like me, who believe life goes on after death.  I know someone who has actually gotten through that whole death thing and lived to tell about it.

As for me and my nephew, I look forward to seeing him again on the other side.

Glass half-Full

Fidelity is the way to go

July 12, 2013

A man cannot

love all the lovely women of this world.

What’s best is to choose

one,

and love her well.

Then she is satisfied, and he is taken care of,

while God is pleased and

society hums along more contentedly.

Oh and btw,

along the way

children are born: this is the real

miracle.

The sacrifice the man makes, being faithful and

fatherly,

becomes a tribute and preserver to his own ongoing

sanity

and the children’s

stability. It is a win-win

for everybody.

You see, the man would go crazy trying to love all those beautiful

women out there. Really,

The only way to love all the women of this world is

to love one woman well, and smile at

all those others. Then say to them:

Peace be with you.

 

Glass half-Full

Haight Ashbury

March 30, 2013

At Haight Ashbury yesterday

we walked through

an I be blinkin thinking

was it raunchy like this

from the beginning?

From 1967 love revolution summer

to devolution sleaze street bummer

the magic’s gone

maybe puff the dragon’s on

methadone

or did the neighborhood fall into some

huckster hole?

Go ask Alice; I think she’ll know.

Was descent from hippish sniffin

to hypish hawkin a given?

like destiny, always there to begin with

in the you-cant-put it-off-forever

headache stems and seeds,

Or did somethin fundamental change between then

and now?

I guess Life magazine left town

when the turn-on tuned out and dropped off;

the radicals crashed, their rose-colored dreams

trashed.

After the serious communards got their fill

of castles in the air and starshine dreams,

after they flipped out on fickle fellow-man,

fed-up with hangers-on and turn-offs,

they flew the coop.

No more roll-another-one-my-friend;

you gotta take this rough life by the scruff, and fend.

 

But then we passed into a Park or Golden Gate–

it was some everland beyond the Haight–

where there is music of the ancient human soul;

there breezes blow and children go.

Their parents’ call out gentle admonitions

that seem to banish old perditions.

And I hear trusty horses as they carousel around,

while mamas give loving nudges in the playground.

Cool breeze beneath sequoia boughs then reassured my soul,

after we had passed through Alice’s raunchy rabbit hole.

Glass half-Full

Rwanda 19 years later

March 24, 2013

Somewhere in the world today, it’s time for gifts to be opened, because the twelve months of Christmas just keep  rolling on and on.  This year,  Samaritan’s Purse presents more than 6 million gift-boxes to children on every continent.  Probably every day of the year, a few of those presents get opened, somewhere.

Last week the celebration of gift-giving was in Kigali, Rwanda. My daughter, Kim, was there; she works for Samaritan’s Purse, the distributor of yuletide surprises that extends generosity everywhere across the world, especially in developing nations.  Kim’s UNC photojournalism training launched her into a career where she could share these moments:

1316RW-D-102

It may not be five golden rings inside the box, or a partridge in a pear tree. But whatever the surprise booty turns out to be, my guess is that the immediate benefit of each shoebox-gift being opened will be a pound or two of joy.

1316RW-B-107

That’s quite a change among the children in Rwanda, compared to the class warfare and genocide that was happening there nineteen years ago.

1316RW-D-153

I would not suggest that Operation Christmas Child is responsible for ending the tribal strife that tore Rwanda apart in 1994; that peacemaking task was surely accomplished by the good people of that country who made some good decisions and then acted resolutely upon them. But now Christian givers throughout the world, whose presents were prepared last fall, are happy to have contributed some fun items there– toys and toothbrushes, jump-ropes, dolls, crayons, cracker jacks and God-knows-what-all, along with the good news of our Creator’s presence among them on this troubled earth.

Glass half-Full

Growth is good, or bad?

September 8, 2012

When I was a young man, I found this seed inside myself, and I wanted to plant it, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know what to do, so I cast my seed on the ground; I flung it all around.

Then I met my woman, and she received my seed from me and made it into something beautiful–another human being.

And this was good.

Then we made another one, and another one after that.

And these were good.

Life is good, yes?

So we discovered, my woman and I, that working and loving together, we could make the world a livelier place, by bringing new life into it, children, who would grow, and bloom like beautiful, tender flowers, and then grow up to make the world a better place.

Growth is good, yes?

And considering all the stuff we bought along the way, we did our share to contribute to GDP. And considering all the stuff our kids bought and built along the way, they did their share to contribute to GDP.

GDP is good, nest ce pas?

Now along comes my g-generation and makes an announcement to the world. My g-generation announces that, along with all that great prosperity-building GDP–all that good, coveted, economic growth that keeps everybody fat n happy,  or lean and mean as some prefer, there is something else coming out of it all–something that is bad, not good, spewing forth from every exhaust pipe and every flue and chimney, from every power plant and from every rhetorical mouth and every bipolar human heart and indeed from every anus that requires wiping on the planet:

Carbon.

Carbon, which is at the core of every living thing. Carbon, which we send up through the chimney as waste, or spread on the ground to make our roads, or put in our steel to make it stronger. Carbon, that we use to write messages to each other, or to connect our marvelous social networks together. Carbon, which, in its purest, most dazzling form, we cut into a precious gem, and place it on the ring finger to signify fidelity and fertility and creativity and all that is good in this life.

Carbon is good, nest ce pas?

It is as good as life itself.

Life is good, no?

Yes. Life is good. It is for us; how about you? Life is so good that I rejoiced at the revelation of its unique DNA identity– its miraculous beauty, when my errant seed found its destined place of fertility and joy, deep within the love of my woman.

As for the GDP thing–and how good or bad that is–that may change as more men choose to cast their miracles into dark crevices of carboniferous death.

Glass half-Full

August 2, 2012

It was a defensive strategy, a collaborative act of popular protective custody.

Yesterday in my hometown, Boone, North Carolina, hundreds, possibly thousands of people ate chicken at Chick Fil-A.

We gathered and ate there in defense of:

~Dan Cathy’s constitutional right to exercise freedom of speech by expressing his opinions

~Marriage, a sacred right and institutional rite acknowledged since the dawn of civilization as a union between one man and one woman.

~Children, lots of children, and their privilege to receive moral instruction from their own God-given parents

~The reasonable privilege of a private company to prosper by marketing a popular product in a free country

~The constitutional right of the people to peaceably assemble.

And peaceable it was. I noticed this while enjoying lunch there yesterday, August 1, 2012.

The gregarious crowd reminded me a herd of cows– contented, spotted cows. Moving patiently in long lines, we spoke amicably. I think I even heard a moo or two. We waited with hungry expectation and shared tasty food. A jovial ambiance of procreative celebration prevailed in the order lines, the packed dining room, the crowded parking lot and drive-through outside, and the half-mile or so of stopped traffic on the highway. The place was about the same later in the day when Pat and had dinner there after work, but without the stacked traffic.

This collective mood was quite different than I had experienced at Occupy Seattle and Occupy Vancouver last fall. The Occupiers, as an identifiable group, are not like cows at all; they are more like hawks, with an edgy, confrontational air about them that demands social justice, and yearns for enforced equality.

My belief is that it takes both kinds to occupy and sustain a healthy, free nation. To each his own, as the sage hath said. And to each identity group their own way of expressing what they believe to be necessary and true, as long as they are peaceably assembled.

I  suppose  the ambient difference between these two movements is like the difference between being well-fed and happy, or forever carrying (as Shakespeare’s Cassius) the lean and hungry look, which pleads for enforced equality and demands social justice.

Now for the Chick Fil-A set, the statement is: let us marry, have children, and eat chicken joyously.

And let  the LGBTQs have their civil unions.

Don’t mess with marriage. That’s the message.

Glass half-Full

All Girls Allowed

May 21, 2012

I highly recommend that you read the long story of Chai Ling’s 22-year attempt to bring freedom to China.  She writes her account of it, including her strenuous leadership role in the the Tiananmen Square events of 1989, in her book, A Heart For Freedomrecently published by Tyndale .

If, however, you must settle for the long-story-short version, you may find the essence of her message in this passage, which is found in the beginning of the last chapter:

“In the twenty-first century, America will have no relationship more important than its relationship with China. Our leaders must have their eyes wide open and know whom they’re dealing with as they build this partnership. The best way to protect America is to help transform China into a peaceful and benevolent society. Respect for basic human rights, the freedom to worship, rule of law, and free media are all part of that necessary transformation. Still, the true transformation of China will not be political or social; it will be a reformation of the heart. The next revolution will not be fought in the streets; it will be won within each individual As I’ve learned through my own experience, when we’re confronted by the evil inside us and have to ask Jesus to cleanse us so we can receive his grace and forgiveness, then we can truly heal and move on. The same is true for a nation.”

Chai Ling had to switch nations, for reasons of personal safety. Now she lives here in the USA. But her lifelong  quest to bring deliverance to the people in her native land has led to her founding All Girls Allowedhttp://www.allgirlsallowed.org/ , an organization to support the restoration, value, and dignity of girls and mothers in China, by confronting the issues of gendercide, girl-child abandonment, trafficked children, and forced abortion. May God be with her, and with those whose protection she has accepted as her life’s project.

CR, author Glass half-Full

North Carolina simplicity

May 10, 2012

Among the institutions and opinions of mankind, marriage has been, for millennia, acknowledged as a natural arrangement that is beneficial and productive.

When a man and women hook up and thereby create new life, society itself would do well to encourage and enable the parents to act responsibly toward their offspring, lest the burden and expense of child-raising fall upon society as a whole. When a father and mother commit themselves to each other and to their children–to love, teach, and discipline those children–this is better for the child, for the parents, and for society in general than what otherwise might happen if the father and mother were to just  do their own thing apart from the family they have created.

Sure, it takes a village to raise a child. But that’s the big picture. At the heart of a healthy, progressive society is a child who is nurtured and trained in the love, discipline, and education of mother and father. This is why marriage, in its original naturally-occurring state, needs to make a comeback in the modern world. Otherwise, all hell could break loose. And I’m not kidding.

A resurgence of marital commitments between fathers and mothers would actually solve a lot of societal problems. Think about it.

There are many ways, of course, to think about this enduring cultural arrangement called marriage. But lets just choose one analytical approach, to define what marriage actually is. A logical analysis, for instance, may demonstrate that:

if A+B=M, where A is man, B is woman, and M is marriage,

can A+A=M, or B+B=M ?

No.

A+A is not the same as A+B; nor is B+B the same as A+B.

A+A is something else.  B+B is something else. These two collaborations, being qualitatively different from A+B, require their own definitions.

Therefore, let us say:

A+A= P (partnership), and B+B=P (partnership.)

There is, in the real world, empirical evidence for the validity of this reasoning.

When you observe A and B in their natural habitat, it can be seen that A and B fit together in a certain way, somewhat like a screw and a nut fit together, and that they can be threaded together as one integral unit. Furthermore, the combination of A and B has biological potential to yield newborn A’s and B’s.

This procreative manifestation cannot happen when A and A are combined, nor can species reproduction occur naturally between B and B.

Therefore, A+B remains as it has been for so many thousands of years: marriage.

A+A we will name “partnership.” Likewise, B+B we will call “partnership.”

This is the way we in North Carolina, or at least 61% of us, think about this. It very simple, really. Some may say its simple-minded, or too simplistic.

Whatever. Down here in the state of North Carolina, we prefer this arrangement, as has recently been seen in the voting booths.  Speaking of “state,” let me remind you that we do have fifty of them. And they are all different for a reason. Let each state decide for itself how it wants to live and reinforce certain familial arrangements. We don’t need the Feds making these determinations for everybody. What works in North Carolina may not play out the same way in Oregon, or Maryland.

For more about the state of North Carolina, listen to this song I wrote about our state:

my silly North Carolina song

CR, with new novel, Smoke, in progress

the children of the world play in spite of it all

June 25, 2010

Somewhere in the world today a child lives and breathes. But not all is well.
But the child doesn’t know it.
Somewhere in the world today a young one cluelessly entertains himself in the dusty rubble of an  earthquake aftermath. But the child is unaware of the extremity of its need,

because…well, it is only a child–innocent, unaware, having  little previous standard of comfort with which to compare its present dearth.

In Haiti, not so terribly far from the atrocity of deepwater oil that devours our attention, not so terribly far from the spewing hydrocarbonous monster… in the next oceanary body of water over, beneath the last planetary disaster that engulfed our pathos…in the place called Port au Prince…

a child picks up a cast-aside, one-quart oil container–an empty, black plastic Havoline bottle–and fashions a toy truck out of it…

an imaginary model of the truck that will one day haul away the rubble?

a plaything to carry the audacity of human hope through the midst of chaos?

A photo of this child’s toy, this plaything improvised from beneath the wreckage inflicted by some immense, far-flung planetary fault, is but one of many images that Stephanie and Lesa share with us, the comfortable online world, from their collective  efforts to assist Haitian recoveries.

They saw what they saw and they can’t deny it. Maybe you should see it too.