Monday, November 28, 2011


This was written by Thomas Merton, a Cistercian monk, social critic and prolific author, as a preface to his collection of essays in Faith and Violence. He wrote it for the Advent season of 1967. His last as it happens, before his death in Thailand in 1968. Merton was writing at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the beginnings of the opposition to the Viet Nam war. Now we’re faced with the one percent vs the ninety nine percent, occupy Wall Street, the war on terrorism; doesn’t seem that much has changed in the forty odd years since Merton wrote this essay.

“The Hassidic rabbi Baal She Tov, once told the following story. Two men were traveling through a forest. One was drunk and the other was sober. As they went, they were attacked by robbers, beaten, robbed of all they had including their clothing. When they emerged, people asked them if they got through the woods without trouble. The drunken man said: “Everything was fine;; nothing went wrong; we had no trouble at all.”

They said: “How does it happen that you are naked and covered with blood?”

He did not have an answer.

The sober man said: “Do not believe him he is drunk. It was a disaster. Robbers beat us without mercy and took everything we had. Be warned by what happened to us, and look out for yourselves.”

For some “faithful”-and for some unbelievers too-“faith” seems to be a kind of drunkenness, an anesthetic, that keeps you from realizing and believing that anything can every go wrong. Such faith can be immersed in a world of violence and make no objection: the violence is perfectly all right. It is quite normal-unless of course it happens to be exercised by Negroes. Then it must be immediately put down instantly be superior force. The drunkenness of this kind of faith-whether in a religious message of in a political ideology-enables us to go to life without seeing our own violence is a disaster and that overwhelming force by which we seek to assert ourselves and our own self interest may well be our ruin.

Is faith a narcotic dream in a world of heavily armed robbers, or is it an awakening?

Is faith a convenient nightmare in which we are attacked and obliged to destroy our attackers?

What if we awaken to discover that we are the robbers, and our destruction comes from the root of hate in ourselves?”

Abbey of Gethsemane
Advent 1967

I read this for the first time several years ago. Rereading this tied to my own searching it really shook me this time.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


On a day that involves pumpkin pie and whipped cream I remembered something that happened when one of my nephews was still small, say about three or so. We were babysitting and I was whipping some cream and there was Tim, looking up at me. Looking very hopeful.

“You like whipped cream?”

Nod yes.

“Does your mom let you have a beater?”

Nod yes.

“Do you want one of these?” (silly question)

Nod yes.

“Knock yourself out kid,”

Big smile, messy kid. I made sure to load up that beater before I gave it to him.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I shied away from making home made pizza for a long time. Just mom and me, we couldn't really go through the kind of pie I make before it got stale. And then boing, sound of hand hitting forehead. We have what we want, slice the rest of the concoction, put the slices on an old cookie sheet (which just happens to fit in the space above the ice cubes) and freeze them. And you have the second favorite word in the house: LEFTOVERS.

So it was thick crust pizza for dinner. Garlic and herb crust. Turkey/Italian sausage with peppers, mushrooms, and olives. And genius here FORGOT the onions. With an apple celery salad that mom came up with. Chopped apples, celery, raisins with greek honey yogurt for a dressing.

Actually we use the freezer trick for several things. This summer's green peppers were sliced, frozen and bagged. Zucchini shredded or diced got the same treatment. I've even taken a loaf of homemade bread, thick sliced it, and double bagged it after it was nicely frozen. Works very well. Only right now the freezer is full of fruit and vegetables. LOL


My sister bless her heart is probably more conservative than mom and I are. She posted a link on my Facebook page this morning and I followed it. Went looking through the postings and found something that I did not need to see on the day before Thanksgiving. But, the cartoon looked familiar. I'd seen something like it within the last couple of days. I was right. The original cartoon with Jim Morin's byline was published in the Eugene Register Guard yesterday. The Miami Herald probably published it the 20th. It didn't take long for someone to photoshop it, take out Morin's byline and come up with this abomination is the kindest term I can come up with.

And this is the website I found the second cartoon on. Ironically the website is titled Truth, Justice and the American Way. You'll have to scroll down a bit find the cartoon. Let 'em know what you think.

Cross posted in Women On.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It is night.

The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the Creator's presence.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done.
What has not been done, has not been done,
Let it be.

The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.

In the name of the Creator we pray.


Found the original in the New Zealand Prayer Book. Yes, I sprang for a used copy and I believe I may have finally, finally found what I've been looking for for a very long time. I've adapted the wording just a little bit.

Monday, November 14, 2011


This is the best shot I could get through the window. Since Amber discovered the extra carpeting she just "loves" her corner. I think I can do a little bit more to make things as nicer before the really cold weather hits. I wish she'd use a kitty condo or something like that, but this little girl makes very sure she always has a minimum of two exits at all times so a condo with one door is out, at least for now.


Been spending too much time following the slow motion train wreck that are the Republican party's presidential hopefuls. Darn it the whole crew wouldn't make one good candidate. Phooooey.

Anyway Amber is settling in in the back. Mom and I took some carpet scraps and fixed up the corner a little better. It didn't take her long to figure out that the carpet made things a little bit better. She still won't let us get very close. But, she camps out in the back regularly. She likes the back and there's an added advantage. She can boogie under the enclosed deck in a flash and make her way to the other side of the yard before anybody who makes her nervous can catch up with her. She's had time and peace to work on her grooming. Aside from one mat on her back she's much fluffier and looking pretty good.