LoV-Write

The World is Ending! It’s Over!

Oh, wait- we’re still here.

The election cycle is over, and in two months our 45th President will give his inaugural address, and we can, at last, start to see what manner of President Donald John Trump will be.

Please, take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and calm down.

He’s neither the antichrist nor Hitler reborn; he’s not going to destroy this country any more than Hillary Clinton would. What we’re experiencing is the result of the campaign these two nominees waged: a campaign of slander and bigotry on both sides.

If Trump is a Niagara Falls of mean remarks and nasty names- spewing them constantly by the hour; Clinton was the Old Faithful- gushing from time to time with her own deplorables. It’s little wonder the transition of power is accompanied with protests from the Clinton supporters, and, I’m sure, Clinton would have faced protests as well if had she been elected.

After a year of our candidates brawling in the mud, they seem to have taken the time during the count to wash it off and put on the “good job” face. Clinton ceded, and said “Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead”. While Trump said Clinton “fought hard” and thanked her for her service to this country.

Meanwhile, we citizens who live on the battlegrounds still have mud on our faces. We need to pause. We need to remember that the experiment that is our country forces us to confront opposing views, and that it is our duty to walk a mile in those ill-fitted shoes.

We need to breath- the world is not ending. Our republic is so constructed that executive power is balanced by congressional consent. Yes, the Government is Red- but it’s a red of many tones.

Red or Blue, a full house means we have the opportunity to change our country and defend what we believe is right, and what we believe is good for our country. We will have conflict- but let’s commit to resolving conflict even if our adversary wants to argue.

It is time to turn protests into propositions- how can we improve our nation? Let’s stop being spectators and start being active in our self-government.

When we want change let’s write letters to our congress; let’s propose strategies to improve our lives, and petition our State and federal government for the changes we want to see; let’s move forward together and discuss and consider each other’s views until we know for certain that what we are doing is in the best interest of our country.

We will have the voices we’d rather ignore. The White Nationalists say this campaign has opened doors, and misogynistic minorities think they’ll have leniency in this term to harass women. They have a right to believe what they want to believe, but we have the right to resist them and show them that they are a minority in this country.

Because a country is inseparable from its people- and people are flawed and multifaceted. We, the people, are the country, and any government in place is one that we’ve put there by explicit choice or implicit consent- let’s work to improve our situation, and become involved. “Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time.”

Coffee Flavored Water

“I expected a lot of things; I didn’t expect this.”
Zard’s romantic evening turns into a week-and-half adventure in a world called Mooz when he comes home to an insidious intruder accosting his wife.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Coffee-Flavored-Water-Phil-Thoreau-ebook/dp/B01CDGRY34/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476727857&sr=1-1&keywords=coffee+flavored+water

There Are More Than Two Parties

Just a reminder to the Voters out there that these is a third party: libertarian with Gary Johnson for President, and Bill Weld for Vice President. I’m still researching his policies, but he looks good so far (one slogan is “Make America Sane Again”). Johnson was Governor of New Mexico 1994-2003, and weld was Governor of Mass. from

Here’s some of what I’ve found so far:

The Johnson Weld Site: https://johnsonweld.com/

A Reddit Column where a Cali. resident asked NM residents at large about Johnson: https://www.reddit.com/r/NewMexico/comments/3zs8g7/how_was_gary_johnson_as_governor/

A New Yorker Article on Bill Weld: http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/bill-welds-libertarian-conversion

 

Keep researching, and vote this year

Ubi Sunt Qui Ante Nos Fuerunt?

There once was a lad who wore a camouflage hat, and wandered around at state fair.

While waiting in line at a vendor there, intended to get a few snacks,

A magician approached him and asked why he wore such thing.

The answer is simple, the lad replied, if I’ve cause to go through a jungle

It wards off the coconut throwing monkey attacks.

Alas, Poor Adam

Alas! Poor adam, who God knew once:
Formed from dust and breath and words!
He was the creature that strolled with God,
Crafted in likeness of the divine-
Humble dust exalted.

Alas, poor adam, (who knew God, once)
Frames himself in cosmic dust!
He calls himself a breeding beast,
Built in the likeness of environment-
Humble dust Evolved

Alas, poor adam, God knew him once:
Flowering grass that gave delight-
The word has lost the meaning
And the Likeness returns to dust

Dear You,

It’s been a long week. Stressful and trying in many ways, but it was, as so often happens, educational nonetheless.

The week (Sunday the 18th) started with an encounter with a woman named Bess. She’s homeless and working her way back to a state of solidarity. I talked with her awhile that day and we discussed God, and how these events teach us to know God and trust God, and realize the transience of this world. From here, the week rotted. It was busy at work, stressful all around, I’ve lost my patience on a few occasions and failed a time or ten. But, as they say, it works out in the end.

Now, in the quiet aftermath, I’ve had time to better digest these events and I’m left with this image: a figure, who is me but not me, hanging on a cross, while I look on with scars on my arms.

If this were a story, Bess’s conversation would be the foreshadowing; the week of conflict the journey; and the final image a resolution. Bess’s conversation points to God, as though to say “Listen, you are about to endure some things which will cause you grief, but will also temper you and your faith.”

The conflict acts as a microcosm of how it is to live in sin (which is to live for oneself and not for God). Because living a life of the self, by the self, for the self, leads only to malcontentment.

And the image of the cross is the completed idea that the old self is dead, and we have been resurrected with Christ- bearing the marks of our crucifixion and our old life, not as marks of condemnation, but as testimony to our transformation with and through Christ.

But this is the ongoing process- we learn by seeking God in all things, both good and bad, that we learn to pray (which is to turn our thoughts to God and speak to a friend). We learn to pray in triumph, in failure, in peace, in war, in calm, in chaos- in all times, at all times, praying to know God and seek The Kingdom, praising God that we may bless the world; all sinners and saints, friends and enemies.

It’s Ephesians, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” (Ephesians 2:1-5 )

And you know, as is usually the case, all these sequences are just a reminder of what has been said and resaid: I am a sinner in need of help, full of flaws and imperfections. I cannot save myself with 10’000 good deeds or by any act of piety. I am saved by grace.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Galations 2:19-21 )

I hope things are well with you,

Your Friend,

Food is Pleasant

I’ve just finished First Bite: How We Learn to Eat By Bee Wilson. It was an interesting read which has given me plenty to think about in terms of how I eat and how I compel others to eat. There are a number of things I could reflect on: how to encourage guests to try new foods, how individual background influences choice, or how presentation and company changes the taste of food.

Instead, I’m left thinking that the core idea of First Bite is that food is pleasant and eating pleasurable- and that all our various diets, eating disorders, and malfunctions are signs that our relationship with food has lost sight of this fact.

To me, as ever, it all relates to the Beginning where God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food” (Genesis 1:29).  This direction from God comes in the broader context of Creation, where God blesses Adam and Eve and tells them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28).

This blessing is like saying “Enjoy this inheritance I have given you. Take what I have made and tend it, nurture it and help it develop.” Which is to say, that Adam and Eve were meant to find their labors pleasurable, which were multiplying and tending the garden; and find the fruits of their labor pleasant, which were the children their raised and the foods they ate.

You Touch It You Take It

I’m reading a book called First Bite: How We Learn To Eat by Bee Wilson. It’s an interesting discussion on the psychology of eating.

I’m on page 72 and she’s been discussing Children’s Health, namely: how should children’s diets be governed? She tells of a 1912 meeting of British educators who gathered to discuss the problem of children’s health in Britain. Because public education had become mandatory, they knew the problem was to find what to feed the children during school lunch and how to make them eat it.

What this episode did, according to Bee, is challenge the idea that, in children’s food, pleasure and health are enemies (71). Basically, how we tell children what to eat, and how we talk about what to eat, creates responses to the food we eat.

This information can hardly be read without remembering my own experiences growing up- the fusses I made and the food I liked. I hated lima beans, and though I’ve learned to eat them, every time I see them I remember an episode in my childhood where I sat, alone, at a friend’s dinner table, crying over a plate of lima beans because I had to eat some before joining the birthday party.

This bland memory contrasting the savory flavors of my family’s home cooking- mom’s spicy spaghetti, dad’s stir fried beef, my brother’s hot curry, sister’s desserts, and a family adage: You touch it you take it, you take it you eat.

The Road Goes On, Ever Ever On

A Draft From nearly two years ago, sometime late July.
******
Today I’ve realized that I want to be an adventurer when I grow up.

I’ve realized this, because in the last seven weeks I’ve traveled nearly 20’000 miles, visited two foreign countries and ten of the 50 United States, and flown from one side of the U.S. to the other; I’ve seen the Northern coast of Ireland and the faint outline of Scotland; I’ve walked the streets of Dublin, Salt Lake City, and Roswell; I’ve seen the lights of New York and Portland; I’ve waded in the Atlantic Ocean off Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula, and swam in a creek on the Big Horn Mountains 7500ft above sea level; I’ve driven from Southern New Mexico to North Central Wyoming in a single day, sleeping little en route, then worked a 10 hour shift as a waiter; I’ve visited the Green Giant, the Corn Palace, and Wall Drug, and soon: Chicago.

I’ve broken down, been caught in traffic, stopped to reminisce, and consumed coffee. I’ve written opening chapters, closing scenes, and wallowed in the divine frustration of writer’s block. It’s like the Walking Song from the Lord of The Rings (musical):

There’s a road calling you to stray, Step by step pulling you away,
Under moon and star, Take the road no matter how far.
Where it leads, no one ever knows, Don’t look back follow where it goes,
Far beyond the sun, take the road, wherever it runs.
The road goes on, ever ever on.

 

So I’ll follow on this journey, and continue to follow these never ending roads, and may God grant me the strength to live, and more, to write.

A New Beginning

I’ve been editing a short book by my relation E. Phil Thoreau, and today marks the completion and publication of said novella. It also marks the beginning of a minor scheme to employ Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for a full canon of Thoreau / LoVato works. Time will tell if this scheme (the result of poor funding, and over confidence in our combined editing abilities) will actually work.
In the mean time, do have a look and purchase your eBook copy of Coffee Flavored Water–  A referential, pun infested, epic that chronicles the adventures of Zard, Ascha, Gig, and D as they are pulled into quest to save a land called Mooz from the terrors of Rebmuc.
 

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