Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Assertion as Digital journalist:
Because I write and have filmed nonfiction and documentary work I've decided to classify this part of what I do "digital journalism" to assert the protections allowed under shield laws, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the "reporter's privilege" aligned with the amendment. This includes what I may post from other media sources.
A helpful website in this regard:

Friday, May 17, 2013


I am feeling so much freedom reading Adrienne Rich this time. What a stimulus to loving language (and thus to write).

Excerpt 1:

“... when fear vacuums out the streets
When the whole town flinches
blood on the undersole thickening to glass
Whoever crosses hunched knees bent
in a contested zone
knows why she does this suicidal thing …”
- Adrienne Rich, from the poem of the same name in “The School Among the Ruins”

Excerpt 2:

"... I need the border-crossing eye of a tornado
I need an ancestor fleeing into Canada
to rampage freedom there or keep on fleeing
to keep on fleeing or invent a genre
to distemper ideology."
-- from the poem “Variations on Lines from a Canadian Poet” in  “The School Among the Ruins”

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Sugar Mule Literary Magazine notified me that it will publish my short story “Pickpocket” in its upcoming themed edition “family secrets.” This is the third short fiction story accepted for publication since I started writing fiction last year. The other two: “Halloween Eve 1945” in October’s Faircloth Review and “Scooter” in July’s eFiction Magazine.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I convened and guided the Seekers Class this Sunday morning in church around the day’s topic, the Lord’s Prayer, and challenged some common Christian interpretations as well as Marcus Borg’s more liberal ideological interpretations in his book “Speaking Christian,” the consensus text the group has been working through.
We covered this part of the prayer, presumably taught by Jesus: “Our Father who art in heaven hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven …”
* Challenge One: The gender of the holy name - how is it that anyone can adduce from the mystery of a divine a gender and make that gender’s name holy. Christian differences are sharp on the gender question.
* Challenge Two: Why the necessity of “on earth as it is in heaven.” If heaven exists, why is not “earth” created as part of it.
Why the need, thus, to go through struggle at the human level? How could an omnipotent God devise such a cruel separation of two places, one a milieu of pain, violence and injustice contrasted to a place presumably of bliss and peace? Borg is silent on that question and insists “heaven” in the prayer is not about an “afterlife,” his interpretation, which is a speculation, just as conservatives speculate that it does address an “afterlife.” To him, it’s about working for the “kingdom” via justice-efforts for God’s vision and compassionate feeling toward the world.
Really? God’s vision and compassion? Again, what does this say about God.
One theological thought is that God is not omnipotent after all; another, that in order for there to be choice and free well, this was the only way creation could be devised. There are other rationales as well, including one that makes the divine egotistical -- God wants us to choose “him.”
* Challenge Three: “Your kingdom come …” Even if one takes a progressive peace-and-justice on earth understanding of a “coming” worked through by efforts here; or in contrast, one particular conservative understanding that speaks of the “coming” as a “second coming” that lifts humans out of suffering, the word “coming” is operative. Or a third, that speaks of the afterlife in its interpretation that “comes” when we die and will thus be free of misery.
But why a “coming” and the wait, and the necessity to toil as part of the “coming”? Did God choose this way for humanity? To suffer? Again, the question of divine power and intention.
* Challenge Four: Ideological differences among Christians -- how disparate are they when humans amidst these different understandings do similar work among suffering humans (in fact, it might be that conservative Christians do more “kingdom” work among the poor and the disenfranchised on person-to-person levels than liberals, and have a more cooperative communal way to operate and share despite Borg’s assertion that those of this ideology are prone to stress “individualistic” ways of living and understanding the teachings and its promises. I haven’t seen that individualistic stress so pronounced at the ground level where the word “sharing” is noted. Both liberals and conservatives, though, proclaim their ideological bent at times amidst this work, though. Really! Who’s more wrong in the efforts to persuade about an ideology?
* Finally, the person of Jesus as the Christ. What does (my term) “Jesusness” mean in the struggle and the work? If liberation theological Christians say “we are part of Christ and work to foster our liberation from oppression as part of the Christ of the Poor” on the one hand, and conservatives do similar work because they have “accepted Jesus as their Savior” who compels them to do this work, what does the presumed difference mean, or how different is it?
This is a short résumé about the morning hour’s conversation, which was more subtle that I’m able to summarize in this short space.
The Seekers meet Sunday mornings in the basement of St. Luke United Methodist Church in the Stuart Heights section of Chattanooga TN. I get a chance to guide it once in awhile.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


Going through the news and the lists of news and analyses that come via email and apps is a disheartening but necessary process. Such an intensity of war, violence, expropriation of land and people, violations of human rights, environmental depredation. And the constant propping up of the international economic structure so dependent on consumer behavior when consumer incomes are descending.
And what are so-called “developing world” populations called? -- Emerging markets … For who? For the global economic elite ...
Then, there’s the US war machine and now its government efforts to wedge US fossil fuels into the global market to create a dependency to help counteract its own international economic perils. Plus, the rampant tunnel vision of “first world” consumers even as they’re preyed on.

Forebodings …
Pyramid schemes abound ...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Back deck, swallows piecing together a nest in a roof overhang section, carpenter bees flitting and buzzing, squirrel on the bird feeder, Mercury aware and at the screen door, robins feeding on the ground, chickadees and cardinals zipping around, an occasional wasp -- the wasps haven’t stung in years so they must be non-stinging; slightly cool for me, somewhat overcast-sunny day on this half-acre site backing against woods and a power line cut; Spring, Eileen’s gardens sprouting, an easy spot to sit and let be.

Our Chattanooga house is a melange of worn carpeting, the former owners odd taste in wallpaper, Eileen’s paintings and others on the walls, my photographs, too; a mix of furniture styles, some cheap some costly; Eileen’s office (once a spare bedroom) and her studio (once the dining room) with things spread around on tables and floors, my create room (also a spare bedroom) also similarly endowed; a basement with a garage converted into a workshop, shed, bookshelves and storage space with piles of stuff on the concrete floor in disarray, with another bathroom with clothes washer and dryer and old rust-colored tile floor, and a large living space with exercise apparatus, futon, couch, more bookshelves, old computer on the old rug floor, old TV on an end table, my paintings and others on the walls.

Jillie, our other rescued dog, enters the back deck and Mercury, barking, now needs to chase the squirrel vertical and upside down on the bird feeder, both dogs rushing off the back deck. And here I write to the punctuations of a woodpecker, the sounds of bees, bird utterances and barking.