Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Adam & Eve in Love!

March 31, 2017

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Tine Turner: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

The idea for this blog dawned on me in SoCal (southern California) on one of our many trips down to visit relatives and of course get away from the @#$%^&* rain for a few days – I do love that natural  vitamin D! One morning I was enjoying an early breakfast and reading the Wall Street Journal (provided by the hotel). In the “Review”, section was an essay written by Bruce Feiler. It was adapted from his forthcoming book (March 21), The First Love Story: Adam and Eve and Us.

By the way, my recommendation is that you read the article if you’re a WSJ subscriber, or just use this link and check out the video interview with Bruce Feiler. I think the essay is a very thought provoking piece, especially if you’re married and (hopefully) in love or perhaps recently fallen in love. Rather than get off on a side trail about my opinion of how important love is or what it means, I’ll just let Bruce Feiler’s ideas speak for themselves. I may summarize his ideas along the way. Also, if you have a Bible handy, it might help you to better understand if you read Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and for good measure 1 Corinthians 13 (the “love” chapter) in the New Testament. It’s a lot to digest, but I’ll provide some bullet points that might help.

Here’s a totally irrelevant (but wonderful) quote to get you started. I saw this on a napkin dispenser at MOD Pizza in Beaverton, Oregon on March 28th while I was eating my pizza, enjoying a beer, and making some notes in my blog notebook.

Bob Dylan, Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016:
“May you’re your heart be always joyful.
May your song always be sung.
And may you stay young forever.”
Karen O and the Kids: All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

Quoting from Bruce Feiler’s Essay

“In December 1867, Mark Twain was touring Jerusalem when he visited a room in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre identified as Adam’s tomb. He was overcome with emotion. ‘The fountain of my filial affection was stirred to its profoundest depths,’ he wrote. Twain became obsessed with his oldest ancestor, at one point urging planners in New York to replace the Statue of Liberty with a monument to Adam. He went on to write a half-dozen pieces about the first couple, including Extracts from Adam’s Diary and an Autobiography of Eve.”

“Adam, in Twain’s retelling, is initially uncomfortable with Eve. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here, he says, ‘I foresee trouble. Will emigrate.’ Eve is equally unimpressed with Adam. ‘He talks very little. Perhaps it is because he is not bright, and is sensitive about it.’ (who says Twain didn’t have a sense of humor!) But slowly the two come around. ‘I see I should be lonesome and depressed without her’, Adam says. Eve echoes his feelings: ‘I love him with all the strength of my passionate nature…It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this life together.’”

Patti; Tuck & Patti: Love is the Key

Adam and Eve in love? Really? Who would think such a thing?”

Feiler goes on to say that several very famous people would agree that, yes, they were in love, and that, given the transitional state of the family for the last 30 centuries – major changes with high divorce rates, lifestyles in our hyperconnected world – maybe Adam and Eve could offer some guidance.

Some Bullet Points in Summary of Feiler’s Ideas

Obviously taken out of context (you really need to buy the book or get a copy of the WSJ essay), here are some more thoughts, quoted and/or paraphrased from the essay.

  • The first couple have been victims of a long campaign of character assassination. One reason is that we rarely read the opening chapters of Genesis with the idea that Adam and Eve might be in love. He goes on to explain this important point in detail.
  • Who is God’s chosen sex, man or woman? If you read and compare Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, the answer appears different. Feiler elaborates, then concludes by saying they are entirely equal.
  • In support of the equality idea, if you look at Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel, it is Eve, not Adam and not God who occupies the exact center of the room. In the third panel, the two figures (Adam and Eve) reach together for the forbidden fruit. They are not estranged, they are partners.
  • Milton’s Paradise Lost was a step-by-step argument that Adam and Eve were equal.
  • In Shakespeare’s words, “Love is not avoiding conflict; it is about overcoming it”.
  • The most underappreciated aspect of Adam and Eve is how they continually return to each other after periods of separation. They start life united, then Eve goes off alone. She could remain apart but instead returns to Adam. Once out of Eden, they could split, but instead they stay together.
Beatles: And I Love Her

Some Final Thoughts

The Bible is the first to put a man and a woman at the start of the human line. God can’t procreate. He needs human partners – starting with Adam and Eve – for humanity to succeed.

Feiler concludes his essay by saying that the first couple struggled too, yet they found a way to heal their wounds and forgive their wrongs.

Some More Music

Eagles: Love Will Keep Us Alive (Hell Freezes Over album)
Del Shannon: Sea of Love (really old song)
Karen O and the Kids: Building All is Love (from Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack)

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Birthday Blog: 2017

February 23, 2017

Another birthday, another year, I won’t tell you my exact age, but I’m right on the line between “baby boomers” and the one before that, which Tom Brokaw calls the “Greatest Generation”. But this blog isn’t about me; it’s about and for my folks.

Blogger disclaimer: I wondered in the past about social media, about very personal information, Uncle Jack’s favorite chili recipe notwithstanding, actually I thought it was very tasty :), or other more intimate information. Being a private person, it didn’t sit well with me, telling the world those things that should be reserved only for the person who is sharing or for their family and close friends. Breaking through that shell of privacy, in this blog post I’m sharing very personal information. It just seemed appropriate to say it after all these years, as a tribute to my Mom and Dad.

Don’t Ever Take Them for Granted

Taking parents for granted is not something anyone should do. When they’re around, you should appreciate and cherish them. My Mom and Dad have both been gone a long time, my Mom in 1964 and my Dad in 1985. When I hear people talk about their parents, no matter what the context, it makes me think of my own parents.

First, and most important, they were good parents, in all the ways parents should be good parents – disciplining, education, providing a home, and more. On Sundays (and other days), my Mom always had dinner ready on time. With my Dad, it was doing stuff like hunting and fishing, which we did a lot of. I had many wonderful father-son “bonding experiences” with my Dad.

Rites of Passage

Pow, the loud sound broke the silence of the cold morning air. My Dad had driven us out to one of his favorite spots on the deer lease, called “Devil’s Hollow”. The lease, a big ranch probably 500-600 acres, was in the Texas hill country near Mason many hours drive away from our home in southeast Texas. All layered up to ward off the sub-freezing cold, we trudged up the hills with our rifles until we found a good spot behind a scrub oak tree. I got settled in to wait, and my Dad left. The viewpoint was great with a clear view across the draw and to the left and right. I was about 14 years old at the time. I had my hand warmers going and my multiple layers of clothing but was still cold. Soon a nice 8-point buck stepped out about 90-100 yards away across the draw. I took careful aim with the scoped rifle and shot him through the right shoulder. He took a step or two and went down. I stayed in place behind the scrub oak, and the “buck acres” started (see note). Basically, the shakes, it happens to hunters, athletes, etc. after something exciting just happened. Another buck materialized on my left, possibly a trophy buck, within easy shooting distance, but I missed (too much excitement). My Dad, who had barely enough time to get down the hill, came back to help me. We went over and field-dressed the deer and packed him down the hill. My first deer, it was a great morning for a young kid!

Note:  OK, “buck acres” is a colloquial expression, hopefully I spelled it correctly, but deer hunters are familiar with it. I couldn’t verify it online.

One of my big regrets in life is that I didn’t do more of the “man thing” with my son when he was growing up. Oh we’d set off rockets, take the skiff out on the lake to fish, and stuff like that, but that was about it. All Dads should be aware that once those years are gone, they’re gone. If you’re a Dad, don’t mess up, and I’m not excluding daughters, spend quality time with them too.

A Belated Eulogy for My Dad

I don’t remember my Dad ever saying I love you, but I don’t begrudge him for that because I know he loved me. I loved and still love you, Dad. So this is my belated eulogy to you, Dad, perhaps to make up for the shaky knees and quavering voice that I had at your funeral service in 1985, reading some Bible verses, and wanting to say more. This is my testimony to you 32 years later. Rest in peace, Dad.

1 Peter 1:24: “For all men are like grass, and all their glory is like flowers of the field, the grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

A Belated Eulogy for Mom

Her passing was more than 20 years earlier than my Dad, in 1964. The details of her personality and her life are not totally clear in my memory, but some things stand out. I mentioned her dinners (we used to say “supper”) were consistently on time. On Sundays after church, as I recall it was usually roast beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans. My love of cookies comes from my Mom – she’d make peanut butter cookies with the impressions made with a fork and homemade tapioca pudding, yum! The house was always neat and clean.

I’m going to quote from an old letter (January 21, 1959), just an excerpt, which I think speaks volumes of what kind of person my Mom was:

“Dearest Elaine,

How are you? I’m so ashamed of myself for not writing or calling. I think of you many times a day and pray that you are adjusting yourself to your aloneness. No one can know what you are going through until they go through the loss of their loved one. I do feel that you and Edwin had something within your own lives that few, few married people ever find. It seems very ironical and sad that mortals cannot express themselves naturally and freely. I have never learned to show or let others know how I feel.”

1 Corinthian 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Liberty, Texas Memories

Interestingly, in 2013 I went back to Liberty for my 50-year high school reunion. Besides seeing my friends that I hadn’t seen in a half century, a couple of other notable events happened. Going to a pep rally at the new high school and a Friday night football game was a real treat, and it seemed like I was back in 1963 (Back to the Future) sitting in the stands cheering for the team (they won). But more importantly as planned, I went to see my Mom’s grave site (pictures of both my Mom’s and Dad’s grave sites are below). I wanted to decorate the headstone and found the red flowers at a store in town.

The other thing that I had planned on my trip was to go see my old house. I knew that it was still there because I Googled it before I left Portland. As I zoomed-in in Google, I was kind of amazed to see it after so much time had passed. One day I drove over to the house. It had a For Sale sign in the yard so I called the agent to see if I could look at the house. She made a call; I went over, knocked on the door, and was greeted by a friendly face. The woman living there went to high school with my younger sister, which at the time I thought was an amazing coincidence, but you know Liberty is a small town. That and good ole Texas hospitality might have been the primary reasons why I was able to visit my old home so easily. Walking in the front door, I experienced one of those serendipitous moments, like I was time traveling back to my earlier life. The furniture and decor were different, but the floor plan was the same. I walked past the living room straight into the kitchen where my Mom prepared all those meals for us. The door to the garage was on the right, more memories of pickled snakes and of freshly killed deer hanging from the rafters waiting to be processed for the freezer. Not my Mom’s favorite place to hang out. We took the stairs to see my sisters’ bedroom and my brother’s and my bedroom at the end of a long hallway. This was the same room where I had to repaint the walls and ceiling in one corner because of a disastrous lab experiment with my new chemistry set, a Christmas present.

I’m going to wrap this up with pictures and music.

Links to previous blogs about Liberty, Texas:

Growing Up in Texas

Pep Rally and the Game

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young: Our House

 

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Welcome to 2017

January 7, 2017

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True to form, I’m six days late getting this new blog done – oh, by the way, Happy New Year!

“I’m your Uncle Ernie, and I welcome you to Tommy’s Holiday Camp . . . never mind the weather, when you come to Tommy’s, the holiday’s forever! WELCOME!!!” (excerpt from Tommy)

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The Who: Tommy’s Holiday Camp

A Musical Interlude

If you have headphones, you might want to use them.

I guess the inspiration for this bit of creativity would be receiving a Christmas gift from my wife, who is a very creative gift giver – a turntable. The size of a small suitcase and portable enough to take over to family or friends’ gatherings so that we can bore them with music almost half a century old. In this box of records – vinyl LPs, what a concept – was music that I had not listened to in a long, long time, and quite a variety.

The Who: Overture, Tommy

Just to name a few oldies but goodies

Tommy was released in two versions, the original version that I’m including and a second version that was produced with the London Symphony. I didn’t find that one, although it’s probably out there. I had a lot of classical LPs in the box, including some Bach and Vivaldi played by Julian Bream and George Malcom. I put that one on when I got up this morning. Some real oddities like Firesign Theatre (Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him) and The Monkees. Actually, the Monkees aren’t an oddity, I remember taking my daughter to see them perform in Dallas, Texas in the 80’s. Also in the box are some lesser known jazz groups like Weather Report and Chick Corea and some of my favorites, a 4-record album Wings Over America (Paul McCartney) and Chicago (of course).

The Who: Pinball Wizard, Tommy

Millennials vs. Boomers Defined

The blog idea that struck me was exploring musical taste according to generations or age groups. I thought I should include music from my generation (Boomer) and also Millennials. Obviously the first problem was what music I should include. Not exactly sure why I chose to focus on Tommy for Boomer music, but it was always a favorite.

In doing some research I found a site, cheezburger.com, just scroll down under Beyoncé to the long list of music (pardon all the ads and other distractions). Interesting to note how much “Boomer” music is listed in first 20 of the “top 500” songs.

OK, just for the record “Millennials” were born in 1982 up to 20 years or so after, “Boomers” were born 1946 to 1964.  I consider myself a Boomer (sounds cool) although technically I’m in the Greatest Generation because I was born in 1945. Those born before 1946 are referred to as the “Greatest Generation” (according to Tom Brokaw). Someone dubbed Millennials as “the next great generation”, no argument there, just ask a Millennial. Sorry for getting down in the weeds, time to get back to music and pictures.

A Few Pictures

No surprise I’m including some new Rufous-sided Towhee pictures, but also a few other bird species. The doves I don’t see that often, but they’re beautiful, as are the Flickers.

The Who: Sparks, Tommy

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You Thought I’d Forget, Eh!

OK, I was totally non-plussed to decide on my “Millennial” music, but here it is. I found a couple of versions of Rachel Platten’s song, “Fight Song” and decided I liked the acoustic version better.  I think you’ll like the music no matter  how old you are.

Rachel Slatten: Fight Song

A Pictorial and a Musical Finish

One long song by The Who and one photo of my son and I looking west, think of it (symbolically) as a sunset. By the way, there are absolutely no political reasons for my choosing the last Tommy song.

The Who: We’re Not Gonna Take It, Tommy
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Dad and Son

A quote to start the new year:

Bill Vaughn
“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

Click here for more BrainyQuotes to pick and choose from.

The Blogger’s Dilemma: What’s the Hook?

July 22, 2014

The “hook” is a journalistic reference to the part of an article that grabs and holds the reader’s attention. Without a hook, the article may only get skimmed or not read at all. The hooks for any of my blog posts hopefully will get your attention long enough to have you benefit from what is written, to learn something, or perhaps be entertained. That’s a tall order, and admittedly, sometimes I just write for the pleasure of writing. I do like poetry too, and dabble in it just for the fun of it.

Ferns proliferate.
Ferns are cool and lush.
Ferns catch the rain.
Ferns catch the wind.
Ferns catch the light.
Ferns are a green carpet.
Ferns take root.
Ferns fill the void in the earth.

Did I mention that this is also an experiment for me or better said an audience survey? I have always approached social media hesitantly thinking that I may not want the world to read my writings, baring my soul. Perhaps if my subject matter is consistently informative, inspiring, and entertaining, then it will have served a purpose, and I should not worry about baring my soul. So, I’ll go with that. I suppose “Rule#11” was an introduction to my blog, and this post sets the tone for future blogs.

I will end with some thoughts from a Silent Unity publication that I read every day. The following is an excerpt from the Daily Word reading, July 20, 2014. Actually, I’ll give you their definition of “affirmations” first.

“Affirmations are positive statements of Truth. Each time we pray affirmatively, we are lifted into a consciousness of Oneness, calling forth the divine activity within us.”

Here’s the affirmation for July 20th:

“Divine Order: I joyously participate in the orderly unfoldment of good.

Divine order is always at work. It is the eternal and exquisite process by which all things come into existence. My very life is evidence of the graceful movement of God.

Each one of us is an essential participant in Spirits orderly creation. We each have a role to play in the creative process – the dynamic and continuing manifestation of God’s infinite good.

I surrender to divine order by aligning myself with Spirit. Through a regular practice of prayer and meditation, I intentionally open my life as a channel through which God’s order, love, and light radiate into the world.”

The Bible verse given is Romans 1:20. My fingers are tired, so you’ll have to look that up. This was all of the July 20th reading, not just an excerpt.


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