Thundering velvet hand

He earned his love through discipline, a thundering velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand

…his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man…

[No, my life has NOT been a poor attempt to imitate my Dad. I don’t believe “imitation” was ever his wish…]

I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go

[He sculpted my soul to be my own. No one else’s. So that when I did go, I would be ok.]

I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
[His sculpting hands]

[I don’t believe he ever wished for imitation. Instead, his only wish:]
And papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough

[I love you, Dad.]
[And we are OK. Rest in peace.]

Father’s Day 2020

“Love and acts of love are so profound because they are utterly original. They arise from a purely unique creator. YOU are unique. YOU are a creator. You do not need to imitate other creators or creations.” (source)


Angels In the Mist

Hours earlier, these droplets formed out of the morning mist. Settled here, they endow even greater beauty to an already beautiful image of God’s presence in nature’s cathedral. On this altar, these droplets are separate, yet from and of the same substance. The same essence. They will, hours from now, be transformed, imperceptibly, still the same substance. Mist has so many forms…

Moments after this photo, an insect alighted on a pink petal. I missed the shot, instead watching it lap a delicious droplet. It departed, the droplet smaller, but the mist’s heart enlarged, and its substance expanded to whereabouts unknown by a six-legged angel earlier drawn by a colorful and soft and fragrant fountain, I having enjoyed a glimpse of life’s circle that enfolds us all magically by one common Mistery

Neil D. 2020-06-20

A response to religious bribery (corruption)

It’s deeply interesting to me that the religious corruption cited here is largely, to me, indeed a corruption of religious traditions themselves, and by the most visible/vocal religious adherents themselves. This is what gave rise to Nietzsche’s announcement that, “God is dead.” And it is the corrupt God-following zealots who killed God—who corrupted the wisdom on which the greatest traditions were built.

To me, it is a misrepresentation of perennial wisdom traditions to say that they are founded on bribery. But it’s not unfair to say that that is how those traditions have been corrupted. What I mean is that the best of these wisdom traditions do not have at their heart a message of asking God for what one wants. Instead, they are rooted in the surrender of those wants and the discovery of a loving contentment with who one is, and what one has, already.

I’ll also offer partial agreement to the notion that the most religious youths grow up to be the most corrupted, in terms of their attempts at bribing God. Only partial agreement, because if those zealots continue growing, typically into middle-age, they are made aware of their own corruption in various ways. These authentic wisdom traditions hold up very, very few heroes who came into their own before middle-age. As success is built on failure, love is built on suffering. One must suffer enough before one knows what authentic love is. And only to the extent that one knows authentic love can one know God, uncorrupted. Within one’s soul.