Two worlds

The Two Worlds

 

Gonefront porch

Summer nights

Gentle breeze

Smelling grass

New mown

 

Seeking cool

Savoring twilight

Resting outside

Quiet after day

 

Life is sweet

Neighbors close

Porch swings rocking

Voices mingling

 

Time for friends

Chatting simply

No distractions

Evening settling

 

Time past

Slower, calmer

In tune

With the earth

 

Here

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Today’s time

Faster, hurried

Evening coming

Unnoticed

 

Media blaring

Phones beeping

Family each

In confined space

 

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Conversation?

On line

Can’t see

Faces

 

No listening

Mind cluttered

Little calm

New world

 

Choose!

Joy and sorrow

This morning our church celebrated the life of St. Francis as our church is named for him. It was a joyful day much needed after the last few days. We ended the service by singing a fun song called “all God’s critters got a voice in the choir?”

The young father in my prayers died last night. I will offer what solace and help that I can.

We do have the joy with the sorrow. The two are inextricably connected. Without one we don’t truly experience the other. How can one understand joy if one has not felt the impact of deep sorrow.

This wonderful quote from Henri Nouwen sums it up beautifully

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Life is full of both and we must live it out.

Watch out judging others

It has always fascinated me that people who I know and who condemn any kind of sexuality other than heterosexuals can sin so freely in other ways. Adultery seems to be fine, hatred, unkindness, greed….actually many of the 7 deadly sins are fine. Sexual differences are the one unforgivable sin. My aunt used to call this “swallow an elephant, choke on a gnat.”

judging others

They seem to feel that some sins are ok and others are not. A kind of hypocrisy that I find particularly abhorrent. It is so easy to condemn others and blithely  carry on with our hurtful ways.

Judgement is mine says the Lord and the rest of us need to back off.

Find your path

College freshmen are people running around with their umbilical cords in their hands looking for some place to plug in.    unknown

This can be true of college freshmen but also a lot of young people. There are also those who don’t know what they want to be when they grown up and are at least 30.

ApprenticeWe have developed a society that thinks everyone should go to college. We have also equated intelligence with college. So untrue. What a mistake. There are many people who are so much better working with their hands. We have devalued physical work to the point where no one aspires to it. There is also the thinking that no decent living can be made that way. So untrue. We have friends who are plumbers and electricians who started out as apprentices and now own their own business and make a very lucrative living.

There was a book a while back that talked about two different types of people: farmers and hunter/gatherers. Farmers are content to work in areas where patience and consistency are needed. Hunter/gatherers are more physical. Initially they were required to keep multiples things in their minds at once in order to survive. Active people fit into this. We have created schools that force everyone into the farmer pattern. This may be why so many people have trouble in school.

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Somehow we need to go back to the medieval method of apprentices who study to be skilled workmen and are appreciated.

Why that decision?

irrational

I have been listening to a most interesting book called  “Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.”

 

 

While talking about the many reasons why people make these kind of decisions he talks about the diagnosing of children with Bipolar Disorder. There was a tremendous rise in the diagnosis from 1993 to 2003. In 1993 there were 20,000 diagnosed with the problem and in 2003 there were 800,000. What happened?

To diagnose it before 1980 most doctors were expected to see someone admitted to the hospital with a manic episode .  The DMS III guide updated in 1980 added less severe symptoms for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  The new criteria includes feeling sad, tearful, fatigued, having insomnia, indecision, more talkative, distratibility, and inflated self esteem. Symptoms that are not uncommon in teens.

DSM

At the same time pharmaceutical companies were developing medications they wanted to sell that could be used for this diagnosis.

(He talks about the other reasons we might have seen a rise such as more people seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist and several other reasons that he is able to discard.)

His conclusion for the rise comes under the idea of diagnosis bias. First off the symptoms could be found in most teens and secondly the pharma companies were pushing for drug use.

Whether Ori and Rom Brafman (the authors) are right or not it is an interesting idea. It does make you wonder how many individuals were and are receiving diagnoses because of diagnosis bias. I am not as familiar with the idea in mental health care but I have certainly seen it work with physical symptoms.

There is no easy way to know if a mental illness diagnosis is correct. We certainly understand that once the person is labeled it would be difficult to erase it. As I have said before my physician was hesitant to use the diagnosis of anxiety for me due to the stigma attached. We want no stigma attached to a mental health diagnosis. Doctors also need to be careful about coming up with the right diagnosis.

We all need to rid ourselves of our own bias regarding labeling of any kind and work to reduce labeling due to mental health issues.

Here are some reasons why irrational decisions are made. Not just regarding bipolar disorder but any decision.

irrational-behaviour-list

I am enjoying this book which goes into many different ways that  irrational decisions are made in a wide spectrum of places. A good read.

A wandering mind is dangerous

Warning…today I have wandered…like a train of thought novel. Sorry

Today, in church, I started to think about the trappings of religion. No matter what faith each has customs and symbols that are used. In Christianity there are many. Everything we say in church, everything in the church has meaning. Even the absence of things can have meaning. For example, the Roman Catholic community has many statues. They frequently have a Crucifix ( a cross with Christ on it). Some churches don’t have a cross at all. Some churches are plain and some are fancy. These kinds of symbols have grown up around the practise of each persons faith.

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This is also true of other religions. A Jewish Synagogue has the Torah. Hindu temples have images of God. Buddhism has the absence of objects or statues of Buddha. There are many other examples.

Where did these things come from? What was their origin and idea behind them? For me it seems that over the centuries we have found things or ideas that we feel will draw us closer to the God we worship. We create an environment that we hope will enhance our experience of God.

Today I thought about how, in some ways, we have watered down symbols for convenience. We have let them become less than they were. In my faith communion is frequently given at a railing in the front. Ceremony has blessed the elements used and each of us takes them…essentially bread and wine. But can we see in this ceremony the event that precipitated it? I imagine most people do but I was distracted today by the communion wafers. Flat, tasteless representations of bread instead of the real thing. Most times this doesn’t concern me but today I wanted it to be nourishing and tasty as I am sure the original was.  For convenience we have replaced real bread with something easy to use. We do use real wine. Some churches use grape juice. Maybe they do use bread.

holy shroud

 

How many other elements of worship have been changed over the centuries? I bet there are many.

I know that somehow I have gone off the track today but I can’t help wondering what would happen if this were really like a meal. I know that is illogical and that sometimes churches do an agape meal (communion at a meal). I suppose today I would have liked that.

Religious Literacy

Religious illiteracy is a luxury (we) they can no longer afford. Barbara Brown Taylor in “Holy Envy.”

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I am loving the book “Holy Envy” which is Taylor’s  reflections on teaching a course in World Religions. This really jumped out at me. In today’s world we cannot be ignorant of the tenets of other faiths. No matter what our job other’s beliefs will touch us in some way.

Years ago, when I worked in the hospital, we had to be aware of the needs of the Gullah people who live off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina on small islands. Much of their culture has now been lost due to encroachment on their islands but they had ideas that impacted their healing. Blue is a very auspicious color for them and selecting a blue hospital room, when possible, could enhance their recovery.

The world has grown so small that we can’t afford to discard other beliefs just because we don’t agree with them. At some time we will be interacting with those of another faith and would do well to understand backgrounds and customs.

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Placing other faith’s tenets beside our own can expand our understanding of our own…..that is if we are not afraid of really exploring with an open mind. Being fearful or unwilling to step outside of our comfort zone exposes how little we have tested and explored our own faith.

Don’t be afraid to talk with others openly about their beliefs and be willing to accept where they are.

Entrenched

It is interesting to note that if someone disagrees with you in today’s world they may not be willing to discuss it.Instead they may get angry and yell. Divisions are so apparent and people are entrenched so deeply that there is no reasoning with them. Can’t we learn to allow others to have another idea?

Could we remember?

Birth – Death

 

enjoy the journeySafe in the womb

the pressure rises

forcing us out

 

There is life now

there is no escape

no way out

 

When do we know

When do we understand

life is a journey

 

a journey

that only ends

in death

 

if only

I could remember

the journey into life

 

I know that

the journey into death

will be the same

 

Will I be as

reluctant

to face death

 

As that infant

in the womb

facing life

My view

It’s Winter

dark-gloomy-day-on-a-uk-beach-m-s

 

outside the flag whips in the wind

bleak and grey the skies loom overhead

the tide in the river fights to retreat

but the wind pushes up waves to impede

 

my view causes me to shudder

as if the wind can slide into the room

and bring its chill within

cold, cold, its mood is bleak

 

cold, cold my mood in response

mirroring the withering view

waiting, the kind sun to return

and bring its joy to lift my soul

 

© Suzanne Boyd 2018