On dealing with sorrow

preacherSorrow is the greatest challenge in the world today. I’ve had some experience with it. I would be comforted to know how you deal with it.

I discovered this insightful TED Talk by Timothy Ihrig on the subject. It is a worthy investment of thirteen minutes.

If we do not make sorrow our top priority I think all will be lost. It might all be lost already.

There are many counselors in this field. John Bradshaw. Pema Chödrön, J. Krishnamurti, Paramahansa Yogananda, and the mystic poet Rumi. But the material they present, in my view, is challenging.

And there are movies. Groundhog Day, Doc Hollywood, The Wizard of Oz, and It’s a Wonderful Life. And eight minutes of pure joy with the Beatles.

I welcome comments. How do you work with it?

On celebrating gender

img005I have devoted considerable time to browsing the photo galleries on Tumblr. There are thousands of photos of women celebrating who they are. Use your imagination, please. You will get the idea.

I have not had the experience, online or in person, of men celebrating their masculinity apart from raising a glass at a party. And, in my experience, we do not discuss or explore our reluctance to do that.

In such an environment a figure such as Donald Trump, or George W. Bush, can be accepted as a masculine role model. It shows how little we know about being male. We once had television shows about being male. Examples include Gun Smoke and Bonanza.

Consider this fact about Gunsmoke.

The television series ran for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975, and stands as the United States’ longest-running prime time, live-action drama with 635 episodes.—Wikipedia

We have, in my opinion, lost our touch.

My biggest concern is that it is not a topic for discussion. We don’t meet for a beer and talk about being a guy. Or if that happens, I’m not invited.

I have published more than 800 posts on this blog, and the best I get from guys is a like. Point made? Talk to me, if it matters to you.

On the greatness of our nation

the endIt’s a grim presidential election coming up. There is no Abraham Lincoln, no Franklin Roosevelt.

Donald Trump says he wants to return this nation to greatness. I would like to know when that was. We “won” World War II at the price of great cruelty to others, and perhaps that was our moment of greatness.

The sweetness since then, in my view, comes from musicians and film makers. We are great in those limited areas of life. My previous post linked to a gorgeous rendition of Hey, Jude. Take a sad song, and make it better. That is our challenge today, as I understand it.

My friends forbid me to say I am old, but I will share with you that these are the saddest times I’ve ever seen. Hillary and Donald lack the qualifications to change that. They will only deepen our sadness.

The people who guide us in this area write and sing music, and they make films. I recently watched Doc Hollywood again. He learned to take a sad song and make it better. It shocked him, as it often shocks the rest of us. That is what we should all concentrate on if we want to save this nation and our planet.

I fear for our nation. I think we are sinking into greed, and that is followed by despair. Your comments?

Defining bad taste

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I am fascinated by pretty feet, and I have always felt guilty about it. I’m done with guilt in some areas of life. It’s a very common affliction. We would do well to be more open about guilt.

Whatever power has charge of these decisions sent me to be born in a deeply confused family. My uncle spent years in prison for his sarcastic outburst during a rape trial in which he was one of the accused. My dad paid his legal fees out of his meager earnings.

My dad was an alcoholic. Another uncle, I am told, abused his own children. My grandmother was a religious zealot and very judgmental. My dad’s friend was an obsessive Mormon. He insisted that I be baptised. You get the idea.

For many years I felt condemned to be among these people. More and more I consider this less a punishment and more an invitation to be unique. I was invited to learn to “deal with it.” I’ve been working on that for a long time.

Today I saw a porn film that was new to me. It is my new favorite, and it breaks many rules. The concept in this category is women who have sex with their step children. This one featured Brandi Love and an actress cast as her step daughter. Of course there is the element of betrayal to the father/husband for the viewer to deal with. There is the whole question of being defiant. It raises the whole question of loyalty to rules.

My family members could not trust one another. They served as a classroom exercise in honesty, or the lack of it.

I acquired a deeply confused notion of loyalty and correctness. With experience I have become more an advocate of boldness, and less an advocate of obedience. I think that is the way we all must adjust in order to save the world.

It is difficult to measure harm. Pornography? Wall Street banking? Politics? Hard to measure. My current standard is if it feels good, do it.

Your thoughts?