Ode To OCD #1 — Fractured Faith Blog

From the folks at Fractured Faith Blog.

I know what this feels like.

You let me binge And now I’m singed Unhinged. Swinging from the gallows that I constructed for You. As you look on The idle god of all you survey. You smile As I decay Dismayed and flayed. Splayed in my grave Of rotating routine.

via Ode To OCD #1 — Fractured Faith Blog

Milestones

We were having a picnic, the late summer, ’93, a milestone barbecue birthday.  None of us had to cook, which is no small thing when you’re all in the food business, mobile concessions with hot flattop grills and fryers throwing off wavy lines and bad skin.

There was a tent in the yard with circus stripes, yellow and white like a hard-boiled egg.  My friend Dwayne, who was called Bubba, brought the October solicits from the comic book shop.

Batman #500 was gonna be big.  New costume, new bat-#&%! and broken jawn under the hood. The Knightfall arc was long and exhausting, for Bruce and for us.  500 was the payoff, the resolution, the all-new Batman in an era when all-new anything came with variant covers, pre-boarded and bagged, everything die cut and metallic.  I think Cable #1, with its hologram cover, came out the day of the party.  Comics were events, and huge stories were everywhere.

I was reminded of all this today by a post from Graphic Policy looking back on the milestone Batman issue. It’s hard to believe everything from 1993 will be 25 this year, things like the death of Superman and Batman #500.  Me turning thirteen, my Dad turning 40.

You only have to write one true sentence, Hemingway said.  I’m trying to write one true sentence a day.

The Healing Power of Dogs

I don’t always know what to do with all the media options available to us now.  It’s a contradiction, I know, because I have very recently complained to friends and to myself about the lack of good things on the internet.  I’m always skating very near the edge of the end of the internet, like Francis Fukuyama with much smaller stakes.

Then I find myself as wrong about communication as he was about history.  The cycle hums, the weekend comes, and these days are yours and mine, these happy, happy days.

I have OCD, so sometimes I get stuck in loops.  Sometimes I’m just loopy.  But what happens is this: I fall in love with WordPress or Twitter or Reddit for awhile.  I start again with poetry and prose.  By the time I go to bed I’m embarrassed by my enthusiasm.  There’s some kind of chemical remorse for having celebrated life.

Which is odd, because this is not how I live any other part of my life.  There are loops and loopiness, but never nagging guilt at having spent time on good things.  It’s tough for me to figure out, though I understand some of it.  A lot of it has to do with sometimes just not wanting to be bothered.  OCD is an anxiety disorder, and there are others, and if you have them, you know they love playing with each other.

This morning I was sick.  I had plans to write and work and clean, but my stomach felt in a mood to drive the balance of the action.  I laid down, and my German shepherd and my cousin’s beagle, whom I have adopted, laid on top of me and let me sleep for hours.  The sick part of feeling sick never, ever came.  The healing power of dogs.

Nothing against cats or their people.  My cat has done this, too.

Rested and busy (busy writing, busy reading, busy with the details of ministry and business and all the snow we’re having) I have today seen some great things on my WordPress feed, and so I share them.  One is a poem by Robert Okaji.  Another is this drawing by Luther Siler. He was sick today, too, but drew a fox, and it is awesome.

The healing power of (goats and cats and) dogs.

 

 

 

 

Did Jesus Have an Anxiety Disorder?

Food Truck Pastor Podcast Episode 4 is up and running. Episodes 5 and 6 are in the can and look at the “nuclear option” in the Senate/the Biden rule, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt respectively. I’ll post Ep 5 tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, I’d be interested in your food back on Episode 4.

Blessings!

Karma Police

police-869216.jpg

I love that song. I love the video.  I love everything about it.  The car. The spooky headlights. The words, the way Thom Yorke sings it, everything.

A few years ago I heard or read Bono talking about the Christian idea of grace, which he says is the opposite of karma.  Karma is about the balance sheets and grace is supposed to be about ripping them up.  If you’re like me and struggle with anxiety, even the freedom of grace can feel like karmic obligation.  I know that’s strange.  I don’t always feel that way.  But managing and overcoming my obsessive compulsion means looking at my own feelings and actions more closely than is often comfortable.  I believe in grace, but sometimes I let my brain chain me to things my heart knows are silly.  I don’t believe in karma, but sometimes I let my brain say “well, just in case…”

Also, “Creep.”

Review: “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke

The StarThe Star by Arthur C. Clarke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted more from this story. More nuance. More suspense. More length, really. The ending comes much too soon. We need much more space and breath after the penultimate paragraph.

The story’s brevity also means we don’t come to the Jesuit’s crisis of faith as honestly as we ought.
In the end, he doesn’t stop believing in God….he’s simply unable to believe in God’s goodness. In another setting, on another world, in the debris of another supernova, he might just as well have kept believing in God’s goodness and stopped believing in God’s omnipotence. Either are perfectly logical solutions to the problems of evil and entropy. I would have liked to see him wrestle with that. I would have liked some more evidence of his prior dark nights of the soul, or some more filled-out allusions to that tradition.

Like I said, the ending comes far too soon. I’m shocked that this story, in this form, won a Hugo Award. I suppose it was considered groundbreaking in 1956. It feels to me like a missed opportunity.

View all my reviews

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen. Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring.

Leonard Cohen is trending on Facebook.  I hovered over his name in my newsfeed to find that today is his birthday.

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen.

A few days ago, a friend sent me this:

I had been reading the Louise Penny trilogy
(A Trick of the Light, The Beautiful Mystery [monks term for plain chant]
and How the Light Gets In.)
Her inspiration was Mr. Cohen.
She prefaces the one book with the following acknowledgement:
“Finally, I’d like to thank Leonard Cohen. The book is named after an excerpt from his poem/song—“Anthem.”

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.

I first used that stanza in my second book. When I contacted him to ask permission and find out what I’d have to pay for it, he got back through his agent to say he would give it to me for free.

Free.

I’d paid handsomely for other poetry excerpts, and rightly so. I’d expected to pay for this, especially

given that at the time, six years ago, Mr. Cohen had just had most of his savings stolen by a trusted
member of his team.

Instead of asking for thousands—he asked for nothing.

I cannot begin to imagine the light that floods into that man.

And now you’re holding my imperfect offering.

It was written with great love and gratitude and awareness of how very lucky I am.”

Leonard Cohen is 82 today.  I hope you’ve been blessed by his mind and his words like so many others have.