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Last night at Harpoon Harry’s open mike, after waffling because of the background crowd noise, I sucked it up and recited two poems:
I happened upon a mockingbird
singing its fool head off.
I asked it how and why it sang,
But all it did was look ahead,
All it did was sing.
It never turned to see if I was watching,
Or listened for money jingling in my pockets,
Or asked if I liked its music,
Or expected a recording contract -
It was too busy singing
to pay any attention to me.
Who invented the rule that poetry must rhyme, have pentameter, be cast into verse, be politically correct, stay on the safe side of the fence? Yes, please tell me who invented that stupid fucking rule?! Surely is wasn’t the maker of the first stone – otherwise, there’d be no stones to break all those stupid fucking rules!!!
Before reciting the poems, I told the open mike host, a great singer looking for day gigs, that I don’t sit down to write poems, I don’t think about them. They sit me down and burst through me onto the paper, like an orgasm. He said that is a gift, that’s how song writers tell him their songs come to them. I don’t know if it’s a gift, but that’s how it happens, and poems that burst out of me are road maps for how my life will go.
Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, of Key West, replied to yesterday’s When are we ever not in church? – Key West, and beyond post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
Sloan: Jesus seems to be a model of empathy,
forgiveness, understanding and extreme
sensitivity toward all human beings.
I am afraid the same cannot be said of
Something of interest: we saw the movie
“Gravity” last night—the 3 D special effects
are phenomenal —MUCH MUCH BETTER
within the first 5 rows. THE REAL MESSAGE
IS HONOR THIS INCREDIBLE BLUE PLANET
BECAUSE THAT IS ALL WE HAVE —ANYTHING
OUTSIDE OF OUR EARTH WE CANNOT BEGIN TO
SURVIVE—-we saw it at 10:30 and walking outside
the Regal the earth seemed WONDERFUL.
WE should respect this earth—and probably have
overpopulated and shredded it too too much already.
Bio=sphere protection –Stewardship !! no more
Ran into Michael Shields at K-MART yesterday. He said the new movie I reported recently, claiming Jesus was invented by Romans, as psychological warfare against the Jews, to try to get them to be more peaceful toward the Roman Empire, intrigues him. But more than that, he is intrigued by something he read saying there were two Jesuses, one Lucifer-like, one God-like, and the Christ was realized by the merger and reconciliation of the two. I said that was what the three temptations in the wilderness were about: Jesus dealing with his own Lucifer side. If he had a Lucifer side, what does that say about the rest of us? Michael said, amen.
Peggy Butler, formerly of Key West, now of West Palm Beach, replied to yesterday’s post:
I agree with you on the dogma, Sloan. If MCC [Metropolitan Community Church in Key West] were not all about the service to the community, I would not have attended services there, either, but that was the attraction for me, in addition to their inclusiveness. I find spirituality in nature more than in bricks and mortar, also. There are three kinds of ‘churches’ outside of nature, as far as I’m concerned – the ones where the rigid dogma is everything, the ones where making money is everything (especially those televangelists who prey upon lonely poor viewers) and the ones where service to one’s fellowman is everything. I found MCC to be the latter.
I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail (found it in the Key West Library several years ago), but I believed that about Jesus and Mary Magdalene for years before I ever heard anyone utter the words you just wrote. I was invited to leave a family member’s home once for saying what I believed to be true, because “you have defiled the name of my Savior.” Of course, we all know, if we’ve half a brain, that there have been many translations of that bible, but most of them still having Jesus referring to her as his “companion”, which in my private research years ago, I found the ancient meaning to be “spouse”. The O’Neals document that, also, in their book. Half the time I don’t feel like I’m from the planet, so maybe I’m in the bloodline:)
Amen to what you wrote about the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s child,
“I imagine a good many descendants of that child are mentally ill, addicts, homeless, due to inability to cope with mainstream society. Jesus in the Gospels didn’t seem to cope well with mainstream society of his day, nor did it cope with him.”
Sloan, your mentioning hearing the police warn the homeless outside the grocery store against drinking in public and then seeing Mayor Cates and his wife drinking from their open containers out on the sidewalk in front of the Green Parrot really raises my ‘ire’! That is exactly the reason I’ve always advocated Key West wipe that ordinance off the books. If a law is written for the benefit of a few, instead of the whole of the population, it is a bad law, an unfair and unjust law. Shame on the mayor for making it so obvious to everyone that he and his wife are above the law, that the law is only to be obeyed when it comes to the homeless population, not to him or any other non-homeless person in Key West! I’m sure, since Fantasy Fest is coming up this weekend, there will be open containers being carried by everyone on the island who is awake during the nighttime hours, as well as during the day, and I’m further sure that unless a non-homeless person is disobeying another law, no one will be harassed by the KWPD for breaking the open container law. Yet, they will harass and yes, arrest, a homeless person if he or she is doing the same thing by carrying an open container on the streets or on the beaches of the city. The city commission needs to get that law off the books or have the police enforce it on everyone they see – and I’m sure Chief Donie Lee does not have the manpower to do that, even if he wanted to, because he’d be arresting everyone on the street, local and tourist!
Amen, LOL them getting rid of their open container law, though.
I can only wonder what Magdalene washed Jesus with in private, if, according to the Gospels, publicly she washed his feet with her tears and hair?
According to the Gospels, on the third day, three women went to the tomb, Magdalene, another woman, and, I think, Jesus’ mother. Jesus spoke with Magdalene, then told her to go to the disciples and tell them she had seen him and he had said for her to come to them and tell them he would be with them soon. As I recall, Peter was really upset, said, why would Jesus send a woman to tell them?
Jesus never did anything by happenstance. He sent Magdalene to tell them to make a point, or to make points, about where she stood with him, and the importance of women, which later went right over the top of Paul’s head, when he wrote Christ was to the head of a man as a man was to the head of his wife, and only though her husband could a woman know Christ.
I told lots of Christians, who quoted Paul to me, but seldom, if ever, Jesus, that they ought to stop quoting Paul and start reading up on and living and quoting Jesus. Never seemed to make any headway, but I kept telling them that.
The only church I actually was ever kicked out of, though, was the Unitarian Universalist church in Key West. I wrote of that a few times in the past, so not right now, unless the angels tell me to go there.
The other churches, I suppose it could be said that I kicked myself out of them, by saying all I was supposed to say and then leaving.
I attended MCC once, liked its minister, his name now escapes me; he was strong on ministering to homeless people; then, that church let him go. He told me it didn’t work out, but not why.
Twice in the Glad Tidings Sunday soup kitchen line, I verbally and loudly stopped them from preaching down to homeless people by telling them they would not be homeless if they accepted Jesus and Lord and Savior.
The first time, I hollered, “What’s wrong with being homeless? Jesus was homeless!”
The second time, I hollered something like, “There has been quite enough of that! Every person in this line, except one who is Jewish (Frisbee Dave), accepted Jesus at least once, often several times, and we are still homeless!”
The last time I was in Glad Tidings, at the insistence of Sandy Downs, who begged me to give Pastor Ernie and his church another chance, right out of the chute, after the half hour of singing and swaying while standing ended, Ernie told his flock that they were “the choicest of the choicest of the chosen.” I left, called Sandy, told her I was there to hear that and report it back to her.
I should stop now, before I get wound up and tell about telling a Sunday school class that I really did not think Jesus would be okay with USA killing every last single Muslim, after the class teacher had said he wished for it. “What about turn the other cheek, pray for and do good to your enemies?” That was in the summer of 2004. The room did not stop breathing entirely, yet.
Then, I hollered, “Don’t Christians read the Bible?! God told Abraham that Ishmael’s seed would cause Isaac’s seed trouble. God predicted the the war between Islam and Judaism, and between Islam and Christendom, so what’s the big deal?!” The room stopped breathing.
Well, maybe I need to say what got me kicked out of UU Key West. I came to know their interim minister, first name Barbara, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I attended law school, where my first wife and daughters moved after she and I split up.
Soul drawings showed Barbara inviting me with a smile to play football and engage her, as did dreams. Football is rough and tumble spirit work. She got a high-paying job with a UU church in New England. She loved Key West, was happy there. The angels told me to promote her staying in Key West, staying on with UU as its minister. She ignored me. The angels told me to start an email writing campaign to Barbara, copied to the UU directors in both churches. I did that. The UU in Key West convened a new committee, named something like the Committee Against Permanent Insanity. They met, banned me from UU KW forever. I was advised of it from the one dissenting board member, who was a friend. During the think of the fracas, I dreamt of UU’s board being the Luftwaffe. Nazis, in other words. I wrote of that in emails to Barbara and both UU boards.
Before Barbara left for New England, the dissenting board member and another congregant, also a friend of mine, got fed up with how Barbara was behaving during a church service, and got up and walked out and banned themselves from UU KW. The board member was their primary financial contributor. Barbara went to New England, and I heard nothing further about her.
Money was more important, is why I told this story, which relates to what you said about one of the three types of Christian churches being how how much money they can make. Barbar was raised Baptist, I think. In the Baptists’ bible, in Matthew and in Luke, Jesus tells a fellow, and his disciples and others listening, You cannot serve two masters; you cannot worship God and mammon …
Yes, I agree with your reason why he sent Mary Magdalene. He was always elevating women to a place other men did not appreciate. And I always thought the same thing about Paul as you pointed out, and it upset me that the Community Christian Church I belonged to, taught children’s Sunday School, played piano and organ in and sang in when my girls were little, always seemed to elevate Paul so much. They didn’t like it because I called him anti-woman. But it was the truth. He was anti-woman. I told them Paul contradicted what Jesus tried to teach about women and children, but they never seemed to get it. Or maybe they didn’t want to get it.
I stopped going to that church after eleven or twelve years. My husband at the time (the girls’ father) and I helped build the beautiful new sanctuary, he was the music director and like I said, I played and sang there all those years, never missed a Sunday even when I was working 3-11 at the hospital. I enjoyed the church, because they weren’t always asking for money, the congregation was small and all of us just pitched in as we were able and worked together. I went to a social work workshop one Saturday and because it ended pretty late, a social worker friend asked me not to drive back (from Miami) but to stay at her place and drive back to West Palm after lunch on Sunday. I’d never missed a Sunday playing in the church, and knowing they had a woman who used to teach organ for my back-up (I did not know music, was self taught, but could make that cathedral organ talk, because I practiced at least half a day every week and experimented with all the different stops, including chimes which I played softly during communion every service), I called my husband to tell him the circumstances and asked that he call her. Well, needless to say, he forgot to call her and the pastor was so furious with me, because of it and her refusal to just get up and play anyway, that after the Sunday service, he called the two elders into a meeting and promptly fired me (from my totally unpaid job as organist). My husband even told him it was his fault for forgetting to call Peg, the other organist who’d never had to play before since I was always there. The pastor didn’t care to listen and my ‘firing’ stood.
One day after I’d become a single parent a few years after this ‘firing’ took place, I was selling Amway for a while to supplement my hospital income. Apparently one of the elders had called the house and told my daughters they wanted me back and without my knowing it, they agreed he and the new pastor (the one who’d fired me had an affair with a woman in PB – he had a wife and children – and he had a fatal heart attack when he was with her one night) should come over to talk with me about it. When they came to the door, I did not want to see them, but my girls convinced me to at least hear them out. The elder tried to convince me he’d argued with the pastor to let me stay because I’d always been so faithful to the church. It made no difference to me. The new pastor tried to bribe me with the promise to get everyone in the congregation, because he said they all wanted me to come back to play the organ, to buy Amway exclusively from me. I told him no thanks, I had no desire to come back and I didn’t.
It broke my heart, because music was my first love and I loved playing that organ. I went back only once to play for my youngest sister’s wedding, but that was it. After I moved to Key West, and was back up here visiting my girls, I thought I’d visit the old church one Sunday. I walked in toward the end of Sunday School and sat quietly on the other side by myself listening to the adult Sunday School teacher. After about three minutes I walked out because he started talking about those “homo perverts” to the chuckling of the men and women sitting there, and I never went back, even though the church building moved five minutes from where I live now. I have no desire to go back for any reason. I never went back to any organized church (except to visit the Methodist, where my granddaughters grew up and my daughter was the children’s music director, when they’d have a performance) until I went to MCC Key West. There is a UC church on the other end of the block where I live who say on their website that they welcome the members of the LGBT community and all others to their services, but I’ve never visited there, yet. Maybe I will someday, because of their inclusiveness and since they are into growing crops to feed the down and out in the community.
I once convinced several younger gay men in Birimgham that Paul was gay, as part of my invitation that they try out an electic Sunday school class in the old-line inner city Southern Baptist Church where I had started out as a boy. The gay men came to that class, liked it, joined that church, became valued members thereof. At one time, both of my grandfathers were deacons in that church. At one time, the church was a white church. Time changed that, and many things about that church. Yet, they still believed only Christians, and maybe Jews, would go to heaven after they died. All others did not go there. Am pretty sure my grandfathers learned otherwise, after they passed over.
Good for you for getting them to accept that. As for who goes to heaven, I think a lot of Christians are going to be shocked at who they meet there:)
Key West amiga Erika Biddle started a new Facebook mischief yesterday, which somewhat prickly rose garden I felt compelled to engage:
Let’s come clean. Let’s tell the truth about Christopher Columbus. Let’s boycott this outrageous holiday because it honors a mass murderer, slave trader, rapist, gold greedy, brutal christian terrorist.
Highly recommended, open the Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not) – The Oatmeal link, and read about a Christopher Columbus you never heard about in school, and maybe nowhere else, either.
In the Gospels, Jesus said, Hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly enough to help your brother remove the speck from his eye. Likewise, Jesus said, Let the one who has not sinned cast the first stone. I suppose if that advice was followed today, this would be a very quiet world, don’t you think?
Maybe my dreams would be a lot quieter, too.
I dreamt of sleep deprivation in the wee hours today, and then was treated to sleep deprivation. Lying awake, it occurred to me that I failed to say during Jenna Stauffer’s interview of me at Comcast on homelessness, that the worst thing when I was homeless was being hounded and threatened with arrest and jail by Key West police at night, because I was sleeping.
Sleep deprivation is torture. Key West still practices it against homeless people, who do not stay nights at KOTS. Recently, John Benson, who has lived at KOTS seven years, and is on Southern Assistance Homeless League’s Board of Directors – SHAL runs KOTS for the City of Key West – told me that KOTS is dirty, not a nice place to live, and, for that reason, it would not be fair for Mayor Cates and the city commissioners to stay a month at KOTS, to learn about it and about homeless people.
I wonder how Key West officials torturing homeless people will be dealt with in the afterlife? Or maybe even before?
Whatever, being homeless, including being hounded and threatened by police, was rather tame compared to having a son die, losing my daughters for why I know not, losing women I loved, being rejected by my father, being put through several dark nights of the soul, being tortured by psychiatry, never being able to make a living using the gifts I had, or were given to me, and other wretched experiences not told today.
God never promised me a rose garden, but I got one anyway, thorns and all. As I read the Gospels, it was about the same for Jesus. Or worse.
Blood of Christ
Living water without which
there are no rainbows
and God is dead.
The sacred prism
through which souls are refracted
into their elemental parts,
Purified in Holy Fire,
Then one-forged and sent on their way
to not even God knows where,
Simply because they are all
unique emanations of God,