Morning musing 4.24.16

Early morning musing 4.24.16

I’m thinking of writing for my eyes only an ongoing narrative called “What Bothers The F*** Out Of Me” or WBTFOUM for short.

Now while it might appear to be over the top, after all I’m using a variant of the “F Word” in the title, it’s a strong word because I have strong reactions to some things; such as social injustice, food deserts, racism, grace and forgiveness being withheld on my part, responding out of fear and not love, mental health stigma internal and external, et al.

All of the things that bother me in this life mainly pertain to human behavior, and not the human in and of himself/herself. Which I think is good, because I can work through reaction and respond with action.

I don’t see human beings as issues, their own or imposed, we all have faults and cracks. Yet this is how the light gets in (as so elegantly sung by Leonard Cohen in Anthem), and so I want to expose my cracks and be illuminated.

I have cracks, I have faults, I have an inner darkness, I have fear of true intimacy. But I have a desire for the light to expose all of me, I want to be seen for who I am and not some cheap imitation that’s “socially accepted” and that’s it.

I was made for more than that,
You were made more than that ☺

Onward and upward,
Nathanael

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Questioning everything as a spiritual exercise; day 20 of Ramadan

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Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

The other day my small group and I started a new book together; David Dark’s The Sacredness of Questioning Everything. I’ve read parts of this book before, but I am excited to go over it in a group context, for discussion and dialogue’s sake.

I have been in this community for a while now and I already have gathered that we’re from different places and perspectives in life. Different places and different perspectives aren’t bad things, it’s just part of life and it happens because we our experiences and perspectives make us inasmuch as we have influence (to a certain extent) to shape and create our experiences and perspectives.
One quote from the book that has resonated with me since reading it again is this:
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Questioning is okay, do you know it? Do you accept it as so or do you just let the chips fall where they may? Because whether you do or don’t allow room for questioning, even if you don’t there will be others who do! And how then do you live with that tension that might come out of questioning? Do you allow it or do you snuff it out before others start questioning as well?
I hope you allow room in your life to question and to allow others to question because it is human to question. Questioning spurs us on to seek out resolution, to not stay complacent and seek out better, it is what propelled us to explore the world and it is what still propels us to space exploration.
Questioning keeps things afresh, anew. It helps us to realize there’s more to life than just us, it helps us grasp that we’re not alone in this world, it points us to an interconnectedness between ourselves and others.

So with questions about life, question them, questions about where we’re going, question them, questions about heaven and hell, question them, question about God, question them, questions about whether God exists, question them, questions about what this is all for, question them, questions about love and goodness and beauty and hate and evil and why things go awfully wrong sometimes and other times it seems all so perfect, again…question all of them and question everything.

We might find the answers we’re looking for, we might not find the answers we’re looking for, and perhaps we’ll even have no answers to our questions…but regardless of what we may or may not come up with at the end of our questioning, we shouldn’t stop for anything, we shouldn’t feel like questioning puts us at a bad place. Questioning is human as I stated before, but it is also divine, and I believe God beckons us to question it all.

So with all that being said, questioning was my keyword on the 20th day of Ramadan. Thanks be to God, The One Who Can Be Questioned, who instills within all of questions that further our existence as well as humanity’s. May we never stop questioning and pursuing answers, but within that may we accept that not every question has an answer, and we know that when the time comes.

Salaam alaikum be yours now and always,
Nathanael

Living life as a spiritual exercise; day 18 of Ramadan

Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” – William Wallace (Braveheart)
How terribly sad it was that people are made in such a way that they get used to something as extraordinary as living.” – Jostein Gaarder

Yesterday was my 31st birthday, the start of my 31st year of life, and so I decided that I would go to Lake Geneva Wisconsin. Lake Geneva Wisconsin is a place I have been going to nearly my entire life, and even on my mother’s side of the family they’ve been going there for a long time.From where I live to where Lake Geneva is is about 70 miles. So I loaded up some stuff (no food mind you!) and I headed there for a day of swimming, relaxing, having fun, and being at Lake Geneva…


I knew I wouldn’t be the only there; gorgeous weather paired with Independence Day falling on the weekend, yeah it was quite crowded. But still I was able to find a spot for my stuff, and once I we as settled I jumped into the water.
Now the thing about bodies of water and I is this- I will not tiptoe, go slow, gradually get in…but I will run full force head on into the water. And so, I did! It was cold but not unbearably so, and once my body grew acclimated to it I had a fun just floating and swimming around, being tossed about by the little waves.

As I floated in the serenity of it all I found myself offering up thank-you’s to God; thank you for another year of life, thank you for the capacity to work and do what I love, thank you for the opportunity to go swimming, thank you for the ability to swim, thank you for warm summer days, thank you for little glimpses of heaven found in nature, thank you…and so on, and had I not been swimming I could’ve been sleeping as the ebb and flow was calming to me, calming all the way to the center of my being.

After several hours of swimming, I dried off and made my way to town. Not a shopper, but as a reprieve to my feet for the time spent swimming as well as the time spent driving back to my apartment. Another facet to why I like Lake Geneva Wisconsin so much is there’s a good deal of design architectually-speaking as well as manicured gardens. My apartment isn’t anything fancy, so to see good examples of architecture and gardens whets my appetite for when I am to have some resemblance of the “American Dream”.



It, as my coworker is quick to prompt students and staff, was a great day to be alive! I recognize within my being that sometimes I let the world go by me as if I was stuck on autopilot, stuck in cruise control, and if I am not mindful of time passing I will be passed up by time.
I don’t want to live that kind of life, and so I need to fight against the current that tries to drag me back to a place of complacency, a place that says ‘why fight it? Just do nothing and you’ll won’t have so many hardships.’ But it’s not true, to me doing nothing means not living, not living means merely existing, merely existing means I will never enjoy life to the fullest because the time I am allotted to has become a countdown timer until I have shuffled off my mortal coil. I want to live life, not merely exist!

So with all that being said, living life were my keywords on the 18th day of Ramadan. Thanks be to God who the giver and sustainer of all life. May we be mindful of the time given to us because none of us really know how long we’re going to be alive. And may we be alive than simply exist, may we give in to rejoicing than rambling, may we share the life we’ve been given with others.

Salaam alaikum be yours now and always,
Nathanael