Monday, December 17, 2012


NOW 12/16/12 Reflection
I'm feeling positive that I'll survive this bout with cancer. It's a sense that comes partly from the knowledge that I'm proactively engaged through diet, exercise, research and attitude. I'm not passively awaiting the next step from the medical community nor giving unquestioning credence to its methods.
There's also an intangible sense about the positive feeling, maybe akin to a "knowing," like a conversation with the body and its immune system, the efforts I've worked on to enhance it through exercise, diet, spinal column improvement and a mental and spiritual effort.
With that said, today is also the grieving and terribly sad day's aftermath from the massacre of 20 schoolchildren, six elementary school staff and the mother of the young mentally ill man who murdered them in Newtown, Connecticut with a semiautomatic assault rifle and killed himself with a pistol.
It seems incongruous to have a positive feeling about my situation following that. Hopefully responsible leaders will again ban the kind of assault weapon the young man used and as well take substantial and rapid steps to provide a far broader mental health care system and insurance coverage needed for such care.
That seems a faint hope given the polarization in government and among the people in this country. It seems faint, too, given what I've grown to understand from my years in journalism and the research I'm undertaking now.
Another twist in this day helped me to engage what I'm going through positively as well. Occasionally I've helped convene a group of churchgoers called "The Seekers" who question the mythology in Christian scripture yet want to yet find something meaningful in its language and faith expressions. To me, the recovery of the language of faith through the language of scripture is difficult because of the near impossibly of verifying the authenticity of what the person Jesus was reported to have said and accomplished. Yet Seeker members are not willing to give up on their faith in a divine presence that is beyond understanding but yet is applicable in creation and their lives. If this is so, then the question is how and to what extent.
I offered several books written by liberation theologians who speak of a God and a Christ who offers a special option for the oppressed, downtrodden, poor, disenfranchised, broken-hearted, who lives in them because of the special option. It is a way they recover the language of scripture to give them hope in their struggle.
We also spoke of what is considered the misuse of this language by preachers, churchgoers and politicians who absurdly claim the murder of the 20 children resulted from the banning of prayer in schools. In fact, it's not banned. What is prohibited are school-sponsored rites to prevent partiality toward one religion over another.
The conversation with this group energized my positive sense about my situation as well.
An afterthought:
The mystery is enigmatic ... an inscrutable that theologians try to name, offer attributes and dogmas for, and claim as their unique religious province ...
Said one theologian to me once: "You cannot appeal to mystery." Me, a theologian, thought: "You cannot name the unnamable." It's a matter of respect for the limits of human understanding.
Yet, I want to assume it has something to do with the grace of the humanitarian impulse that guides human-rights and social-justice efforts, a within that is also beyond.

The Cancer Hole - An Asymmetric Journey

(A draft excerpt)

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