Who IS Demetrius Anderson? And Why Should I Give A Shit?

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Ask yourself that question, then go to my article here….

I Dreamed A Dead Dream

I dreamed a dead dream.
They’re all dead, aren’t they?

Isn’t a dream a not-live thing
that seeks our attention,
that begs for our breath?
It needs these to spring,
as Athena did,
from the head of Zeus
(she arrived dressed for battle),
breathing, awake
and ready.
Or, even to come as Aphrodite,
floating gently on the foam of the sea.

My dead dream, devoid of color-
like the world in The Flood
became the gray and angry, hysterical sky.
Does it remember life
like a shade 
of the Underworld,
restless,
 unsure of itself ?
Or does it see the world,
perfect, and simply waits
with the pain,
waiting for whatever it needs
to make its own fascinating entrance?

Is my dead dream closer
every time it is dreamed-
closer, closer
no matter who dreams it?
Less lifeless, somehow
in being seen by me,
by you,
especially by you.
Do you remember that your
dream is dead-
that it needs you to live?

Or do you forget,
rubbing your sleepy eyes?

~D Gregory Smith

Much more to come

…on that Hate Crime posting I had on Bilerico last week. Been talking to the attorneys, and it’s pretty reprehensible.

I’m going through some of the court documents and have calls in to the Blue Island PD and the Blue Island Mayor’s office, as well as the defense attorneys. So far, none returned.

I’ll write the story with or without ’em.

What is it you plan to do…?

This is one of the most poignant and beautiful poems I know.

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

from New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA

Copyright 1992 by Mary Oliver.

All rights reserved.

Cardinal vs. The Gays

My Bilerico article on Cardinal George and New Ways Ministries is here.

If you haven’t already, please register at Bilerico and join the conversation!

Abandonment

I watched a film biography of Thomas Merton last night while I was folding laundry. I like to watch slow, thoughtful things while I do menial tasks, and I will sometimes save up all my laundry to fold when there’s a short movie or something on TV I want to catch- something that I can listen to and fold at the same time.

I’ve always been attracted to Merton because of his earthy, practical and deep sense of life. His spirituality transcended his Trappist Monastic situation and embraced all forms of life and prayer: Hindu, Buddhist, Islam/Sufi, Native American to mention a few. Plus, he was a poet, a really excellent poet- and much of my inspiration poetically comes from him, Auden and William Stafford.

His Prayer of Abandonment has always been a favorite of mine, and after hearing a monk read it again last night, I was moved to post it here because it works on so many levels. It still speaks to me, maybe it will speak to you.

Wishing you a peace-filled weekend,
Greg

Thomas Merton’s Prayer of Abandonment

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following you
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you
does, in fact, please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

~Thomas Merton, Thoughts In Solitude

Of Manners, Waiters and Grace

“Saying ‘Thank You’ is more than good manners. It’s good spirituality.” ~Alfred Painter

I’ve always been one to think manners make the man, er, person. If there’s a tipping point between liking and respecting someone for me, it usually comes down to how the person treats others. I guess it’s not so much manners per se, it’s a type of respect.

Dave Barry once said, “Anyone who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”
I agree.

Whether it’s about intentionally making someone else look inferior in order to feel superior, oblivious rudeness or just plain meanness, they’re all still behaviors that bespeak a lack of awareness, grace and respect-  not character traits I’m attracted to.

I’m much more drawn to gracious persons- people who go out of their way to be kind and gentle, generous, honest, passionate and funny (and not at the expense of others). There’s so much strength there. And, I suspect, a life of grounding gratitude- and that, my friends, is Grace.