Friday, May 29, 2009

Immigration, Taking Guidance

I don't know why, really. The core of me is bewilderment. I know that is very old, perhaps the oldest. It is quite possible that is the first response I had at being born. Perhaps it is older than that. I favor reincarnation, do not care if it is really true. Reincarnation is just too elegant a solution to the "not fair" problem in a universe run by a perfectly just God. This planet at least is breathtakingly, amazingly unfair. This cuts all ways.

I have heard people say they were grateful they didn't get what they deserve. Yes. Me too. Also, there have been times when I get far more than I deserve, and so do you, and so does the little child who starves to death, or dies in some horrible way, like being born with AIDS. So yes, this cuts in every way. The bad guys win, the good guys lose, and every variation in between. And so reincarnation allows time for the tendency of the good to actually win out in the long run. Because we see that too. We control and diminish disease over time. No question this happens. We have managed to avoid world wide war after having it twice within fifty years, now avoiding it for over 60 years, even though we were beligerent enough in that time to threaten it. So if we can weather the latest threats, we give ourselves time as a species. And that may give time for reincarnation to keep us coming around and participating, reaping some benefit as we go. Or not.

In any case my mom and me we agreed. We have had enough here. We don't want to come back here, we want to go on somewhere else. We both agreed with the other end. Mom always used to say, "where does an alien go to register?" I say, "when's the bus coming back?" We both mean we want out. Not that we don't enjoy the good stuff, but that we disagree with the chaos and the unfairness. We both lived fairly successful lives in certain ways, and effing disasters in others. She died well. I hope I will. It is no accident that I live in her last house. She set that possibility up, though if my marriage had survived it wouldn't have happened this way. If I ever marry again I will sell it because it is really a one person house, how it is laid out. I live here quite well, me and the cat, but I don't really feel at home. It is after all, still her house.

Oh yeah. Neither my mother nor I either blame the human race or God for this. We have different stories about that, she and me. For my part, I suspect it to be the cost of inserting free will into things, and I actually believe that quantum mechanics demonstrates that the precursor to free will shows in the private lives of fermions and bosons, especially fermions. We have a little trouble getting them to be definite. They are always going, "but on the other hand..." If you want free will in a universe, it has to be made like this to be lawful, and then in the aggregate of distressingly huge numbers unfairness develops right along with creatures who exercise the image likeness of God. This all lies at the heart of everything, and we are a very small part of that.

This is getting too long. What I wanted to say, I quite genuinely feel like a stranger here. I tell stories about that many different ways. Here's one.


I'm standing in line,
The new immigration queue,
Looking for the man
Who will stamp my heart
With welcoming ink and show
Me the ropes I need
To take the high road.

January 8, 2009 3:52 PM


I do so love some of you. I love Frances, my last lover because she is so infuriatingly optimistic. She so loves it here, especially in the natural world. She simply has to have adventures. My old friend Phil stands alone. He taught me one fundamental. I know he's right in some way. We either all go to heaven or we don't. Period. That's actually the old Universalism side of Unitarian Universalists. So many people in AA, and now on the blogs, so many of you teach me some one thing that is immensely important. So I witness. That's my main job I think, that and the ongoing training so that I witness better. I am in training right here, right now.

Taking Guidance

That you stretch the lines
Is one reason - I never
Color well between
Lines myself. I watch
What others do and decide
What my life will be,
How I should cherish
Your heart, how to say this thing,
How to love this world.

January 9, 2009 7:31 AM


  1. Christopher

    Interesting post as always.You and who you are are deeply appreciated here in this universe of blog. I expect very little would change that.

    I see us all as witnesses and learners although I think you would prefer that I not note that to be so.

    I spent half a lifetime being established as one who is different. I find now it is not as important as I once thought. Perhaps that is not at all what you meant.
    Thank you for the poems

    In any event this is a post I like.

  2. Oh are speaking my mind again!

  3. Linda, I have tried three times now to reply to your comment and have got nowhere. The computer ate the first. Just now it spun out into crap not useful to anyone. I guess I am not required nor do I even want to clarify what I think you think I am trying to say. We are not currently parallel enough to trust this conversation. I am just glad you visit and want to comment.

    Michelle, how odd that an Australian girl and an old American man can share sentiment across the seasons and time zones.

  4. Ah, you say so much. For now i stay with part one. I like what you say about reincarnation. I always say; hey i don't recollect any past lives, so i have no opinion on the issue.
    And your 2nd paragrapph, makes me think again; are we going anywhere in this life, learning or really or we going nowhere?
    And about the immigration queue;
    i was in there recently(literaly) after he first didn't want to stamp my heart, while waiting in queue again the next day, i send him some Love energy(literaly).
    he turned out to be the sweetest man ever, and i am able again to take the high road.:)

  5. I love that at your core is bewilderment. I am not sure why. Maybe because I often feel that way. With your poetry sometimes the bewilderment seems to turn to wonderment:)

    I also love that you write such a long piece for a short precise poem:). I wonder about reincarnation too. It would be the fair solution... I like the poem...the stamp on the heart...nice :)

    The second poem speaks so well of how I wish my heart was... to listen like that...sometimes I find that I turn away from people, that I am too shy to listen. But at the same time...I have never "colored between the lines" -- I am not sure... I have read the poem a few times and I seem to get different messages from it...hmmmm...pondering :)

    I think your poetry is like call and response. You bear witness, yes. And then respond and then we listen back...or at least that is how I have felt:)

  6. That first bit, it reminds me of the sense of bewilderment kids with asperger's have. Adults too, but we have no excuse once we grow up. We're supposed to have figured out how to play the game by now.

  7. Oh, and the love? It's too much, sometimes. More than I can bear.

  8. Jozien, I recall that you had an immigration issue a little while ago. It is nice to hear how that came out. Sting sang about being a legal alien. Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to be one of very few people like that. Other times I am sure I know. There are many reasons someone gets singled out. I was the picked on kid in my first two years of high school. My dad was Vice Principal, Dean of Boys. Until I got my growth, I paid a big price. Later it continued because kids were slow to befriend me. Even when I got my growth, I was still a strange kid.

    Faith, that is interesting, to have my poetry take on features of call and response. Many years ago I got the sense that I was writing psalms.

    Rachel. Asperger's began to appear in my life a few years back when a woman spoke of her child. Since then more people have brought it up. I have no idea what people did with these kids before the diagnosis came out or if we do any better now. Certainly one piece of my experience is that I don't seem to have good filters. Too often I am either in something approaching obsession, or else dealing with too much stuff at once and then can't move. This has colored my career where I now have the permanent reputation with my boss that I can't do too many things at once. Because that is true in the social realm. It is clearly not true in other realms. My ears especially have this filter trouble, where it is really easy for all the noises to become all the same chaos. I like the sound turned up not because I can't hear but because then I don't have to work so hard to make sense out of noise.

  9. As always, Christopher, your posts are thought-provoking and so darned smart! You are a deep thinker, my friend, deeper and more caring than most, I think.

    I think I've told you this before, but sometimes, I think life is a matter of accident - wrong place, wrong time. This is the negative part of me, the one I battle to keep away, because this one tells me that no matter what I do, there is no hope in it. The other part of me says that it really does matter what I do - that no man is an island, and that what I do will affect someone else. This is that part that has kept me happy in my work for 30 years and in my marriage for 35.

    I have never felt like a visitor or an immigrant, but I do try and desire to take the high road!

    I love the second poem. Reaching out. Yes.

  10. Christopher
    I expect we are not as far apart as it might seem. In any event I deeply appreciate your work and your thought provoking posts.

    Thanks for the time and efforts to reply. Love the visits. I tend to think out loud when I am thinking deeply. Both poems are beautiful

  11. Karen, I am grateful that I never had that accident thing as part of my soul. My deepest soul pain was in my late teenage years when I knew my life was a dead end. Well. Those are the words I use now. Then it was inarticulate and terrible. What I knew then is I needed an "answer" and I had no idea what the question was so I couldn't ask, even if I thought anyone nearby would have the answer, which I didn't.

    I had almost died of a meningitis which fried my brain when I was seventeen. Two years later I was descending into despair. But even then I did not think everything was accidental and wrong. I thought I just couldn't get it, whatever "it" was.

    I lived like that two more years.

    On my 21st birthday everything changed, but also in that start up of my life the very first thing was to deal with the aftermath of four years of profound failure to thrive. I spent four months in a mental institution and then two years in a family imposed exile overseas.

    When I came back I had the ability to go forward. But I wasn't done with consequences and am still not. One of the things about my path that cuts both ways, I do not have the privilege of refuge in traditional dogma. I cannot write FAITH as the large light in my sky. As such I am not really anything, too religious for a science based agnosticism, too western to really be Taoist, Hindu, Buddhist, too modern and scientific to really be a good shaman or warlock, and far, far too all of those things to be a Christian. The Christian thing is a matter of first principles...I don't need salvation, I've already been saved, and not in Christian terms. There was a time years ago that question came up directly and I consciously and deliberately choose more Eastern terms for my spirit. Recently, I tried Unitarian Universalism for ten years, waiting for a sign that never came. No. It did come. The sign was a stern command that my time with them was over so far as I could see.

    I would never dare to suggest that this personal path has any singular significance beyond my own life. I am under discipline fashioned in the fires of my own experience. I "know" that God and I have an agreement.

    Still, I miss the refuge of a dogmatic life. I have no authority in mine, not like that.

  12. Yes, how odd indeed :)



  13. On immigration, I should hope to immigrate to somewhere richer, or at least other.

    Free will, I just can't understand the why of total predestination. Why not let it sit there as a forgotten book if it is all written out?

    Rules are only in perspective, I think. Once perspective changes, oh boy, don't the rules!


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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