Night Shift

When I was living with my parents, my mother would always stay up when I went out at night, not going to bed until I got back home.

Sitting at the kitchen table, smoking, and waiting.

Particularly important during high school. Always knew she would be up, waiting.

She never went to bed immediately upon my return. Asking how the evening went, what I had been doing.

Often turning into larger conversations.

Thinking back, probably the most significant conversations. The time available at 2 a.m., 3 a.m. Longer conversations generally not possible during the day.

The revelations. Said one night he loves you, but you don’t love him. You respect him, but you don’t love him.

Maybe 16 years old. Referring to my father.

She responded with silence, and a smile.

Admiration in perception.


Posted in Family | Leave a comment

In the after


Catholic Herald (UK)
August 12, 2015

Show up at the church after the weekday afternoon service.

All these people still there, in the silence.

Staring ahead, or down.

No 24 hours, unless formalized adoration chapel. Give you that special ticket.

Still, for some period of time, be there apart, and together.

Posted in Catholicism, Christianity | Leave a comment

Anthony Van Zant: Low Down




In the crowd:

On the street:

That very next step in the actual moment
Was going to be me

Posted in Challenges, Homeless, Music | Leave a comment


This issue of too much time on one’s hands. Or too much slack in the organization. Slights become larger, with more time to escalate conflict, with self or others. Find in the law firm that people are too busy to become engaged in major interpersonal conflict. Firm culture is such that interpersonal conflict is not favoured in any event (though where would it be…), and people simply are too busy, and move on. Lots of self-deprecatory humour to further dilute negatives.

Much different in larger organizations, with more slack. More time for organizational wars.

Busyness as a form of removal. If can’t remove oneself physically from the source of conflict, remove oneself, attitudinally.

Busyness also as a means to remove self from self. To avoid excessive and exaggerated focus on perceived life negatives.

Experienced the differences in perceptions, through form of bicycle of busyness.

Knew someone who dealt with personal upset through power cleaning her house. Resolution of conflict through moving furniture.

A limit, when busyness is in furtherance of indifference or avoidance.

What line and where…

Posted in Various life philosophies | Leave a comment

Know This Place

Visiting terminally ill client at the hospice. Meeting with coordinator of volunteers. Volunteers everywhere, it seems, at all times, in multiple roles.

Say to one that it seems that those volunteering are there helping others because they have been there before, helping terminally ill family members or friends. Volunteer nods.

We’re all like that.

Seems that if one is touched by loss, part of the turnaround is the giving back. Loss could be of a family member or of self. The one from the shelter going back to help, once out.

Wanted to do this in relation to crash, burn and recovery.

Different result.

Posted in Volunteers | Leave a comment

Vase II

Linked this video in “Vase“, relating to theme of religious hypocrisy. The speaker is Breanna Lynn, also known as Breanna/Bre Podgorski, of Pepperdine University, affiliated with the Churches of Christ:

Neil Remington Abramson, who is also a Presbyterian Elder, commented on the video, as follows:

The first thing that strikes me about the video is that, despite the speaker’s sarcasm, cynicism, gestures and frowns, I wonder about her life experience and whether it is sufficient to trust her condemnations of organized Christianity. The second is that her evidence is one male chauvinist from an outlier church I’ve never heard of, and that from that single case she is generalizing to 2.14 billion people she says allege they are all Christians. I wonder if her condemnation of Christianity is akin to her chauvinist’s condemnation of women’s voices.

It’s not that I am unsympathetic. Kierkegaard talks about Christianity and Christendom. He argues that most Christians are cradle-Christians, born into a tradition but not really practising Christian values as defined by Christ, and I more or less agree. He argues there are very few truly devoted Christians trying to model their actions after Christ’s recommendations, and again, I more or less agree.

What I do disagree with is the general condemnation. Christ/God forgives when people repent. If everyone lived perfect lives, what would there be to forgive? Or repent? But when people don’t live perfect lives, as they don’t, and the institutions they staff are also not perfect because they are created and staffed by these same humans. This speaker suggests we should condemn them, as opposed to trying to help them to see how they are in sin, and should repent, and try to do better. In my opinion, hers is not a Christian attitude. Not what Jesus was about, though common enough as an attitude among those – all of us – in need of improvement. Most of us certainly feel free to condemn others, though usually not so freely ourselves.

What does it mean, in your original commentary, about “not living the substance?” Are you referring to people who are not living up to Christ’s expectations? I thought I had been taught that no one was living up to those expectations. In the end, a person is forgiven and “saved” by God’s grace and not by his/her own efforts. I thought one of Christ’s issues was with Pharisees who believed that if they followed all the rules, they could guarantee their own salvation, regardless of God’s will. Jesus was there to argue that many of the rules themselves were inhumane in their treatment of others.

Who am I to condemn “traditional rituals” as ridiculous if the people following them aren’t living “the substance”, if that substance is an unattainable ideal that will require forgiveness through grace? If the rituals give people comfort, or like the confessional might motivate even just a minority to behave more ethically, then isn’t that of value?

The video speaker sounds quite Unitarian. I have had much experience both being a Unitarian, and being with Unitarians. Unitarians believe they have the right and obligation to define their own theology. Not a problem. The speaker could readily leave the chauvinist church. She could join another church more to her liking, or follow some other source suitable to her spirituality. That’s surely the part of free speech that doesn’t deprive others of their free speech. However, who is she to condemn so many that God may forgive, based on their whole lifetimes of experience, that she will never see or know.? How is she so better than those she is condemning?

I hope I am not regarded as condemning her, simply by disagreeing with her.

Curious if she would disagree. I guess.

Posted in Christianity, Religion | Leave a comment


In relation to “Confessional II” and the comments of Neil Remington Abramson in “Confessional III“, it seems a bit ridiculous or contradictory to favour traditional rituals, when not living the substance.

Would be worse if one favoured the traditional rituals and misrepresented, through adherence to same, that one was living the substance.

True religion is living with one’s soul

Posted in Christianity, Religion | Leave a comment