happy place

3 01 2010

a place where i can sink

deep inside where vitriolic spill

sloshes against epidermis walls

as i find protection

within my hypodermis sanctuary.


another day, another intersection

2 01 2010

‘so it goes’, say those who’ve reconciled their past dreams of future planes with present folds and seizures. lately i’ve been encouraged to read (as best as i can describe them) current stoics masked as theologians, priests, Buddhist monks or simply spiritual teachers seeking a less complicated perspective along this journey. Anthony de Melo for one has provided me with a deeper understanding of how my expectations of others simply illuminate their continued failure to meet these expectations. That is, all i can expect is for others to fail me and for me to ensure their failure if they are to live for my expectations. I may think or hope that they can achieve X only in light of the fact that i have at some point discerned that they’ve only truly excelled to O; or as Wilbur would suggest, i see purple in their current redness. We all do it and are, as a result, forced to deal with this imperfect truth.

But that is simply apart of life. And while i find De Melo’s prose somewhat inspiring as well as enlightening, it is clear that he has never been in love; truly in love, where he allowed himself to be naked in front of his lover with the sincerest and most profound trust for this person’s ability to see past the mud and mire to his core and meet it not with measured expectations, but with grace. Yet maybe what De Melo is suggesting is that since we are so enraptured with the hope of this preternatural notion of love that only in the removal of expectations can one truly experience love in the form of grace.

I have always been a sucker for the intersection of theory and praxis, although in looking at my life, one could easily surmise that i find more comfort in the theoretical.

There is so much romance tied up in the potentiality of grace, for instance, that its expression may never actually look anything like what theoreticians have proposed. And yet it exists; it moves; it becomes others experiences; and others experiences become grace.

I so long for grace. To see it; revel in its stories; meet it; own it; and pass it on as my own.

However, if i am to reconcile what i once understood of this grand notion called grace, i must first unpack what it once meant in my life and reform it to my current context.

i have the sinking suspicion, that is, that it starts with me reconciling me with me, and not with any other fucking individual i may come in contact with.

Today, i came to this very intersection, slide my right boot out of its stirrup and swung it up and over the hind quarters of a colt that had neither been broken or wild and in one motion glided to the ground. Unfortunately the intersection was quite nondescript like the northern hinterlands that form the landscape of a McCarthy novel. As I surveyed the ground and options that i ostensibly lay before me, some things were clear: the carrion littered road i once traversed was not an option.

Job related

26 06 2009

I now have a J. O. B. yes, it’s true, i am among the working stiffs. and although this job is merely a cafe job, it’s a paycheck and i am better off than most due entirely to friends and family.

however, today i received one of those ‘you are not a good fit for this company’ type emails.

here it is:

Hi Joel,
Thank you for your application for the Portland site coordinator position. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you an interview at this time as you are not a good fit for the current needs of Sports4Kids at this time. We encourage you to continue to gain experience working with groups of youth and reapply in the future. Good luck.
The Team at Sports4Kids

And so i decided to respond in kind (i’ve wanted to do this for oh so long and i applied here like two months ago):

Hi Jonathan,

and while I thank you for your timely reply, I can honestly state that you can’t possibly ascertain my qualifications from an online application and some ostensibly appropriate questions regarding how one might deal with youth. However, if you were to interview me, or even better yet, speak with the past leaders I’ve lead or the dozens of youth who I now consider my friends, you’d most likely think otherwise. But discerning from the fact that this post is still up, your hiring practices have yet to properly evaluate potential candidates.

Joel Brady

Yes, it felt great!

Thoughts on perception 2, our environment

3 06 2009

Recently, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Wendell Berry’s Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community. Thus far it is an excellent read. This same friend took this picture (i think) somewhere along Oregon’s scenic coastline. 3391775620_ef96c078dc_o

I want to quote Berry here, ‘[…] the love of nature that limits itself to the love of places that are ‘scenic’ is implicitly dangerous. It is dangerous because it tends to exclude unscenic places from nature and from the respect that we sometimes accord to nature’ (28).

images This is highway 84 in southern Idaho. It is arid and profitless lanf.  And yet, this barren stretch where seldom is seen a valley dwelling deer or low lying hawk, hoping for prey to fall victim along this asphalt wonderland, is quite captivating. But despite this captivation, and according to our modern understanding of our general use of the word, scenic it is not.

Creepy robot and hilarious spoof (but you must watch the real one first)

31 05 2009

& now the spoof

trust me, they’re both worth it.

A thought on perception, 1

25 05 2009

I think Maurice Merleau-Ponty conveys the intelligibility of history perfectly in his short but sweet The World of Perception as such:

The physics of relativity confirms that absolute and final objectivity is a mere dream by showing how each particular observation is strictly linked to the location of the observer and cannot be abstracted from this particular situation; it also rejects the notion of an absolute observer. We can no longer flatter ourselves with the idea that, in science, the exercise of a pure and unsituated intellect can allow us to gain access to an object free of all human traces, just as God would see it.

He goes on, however, to suggest that this doesn’t weaken the veracity of science or even the need for scientific research as much as curtail the dogmatism associated with the notion that only science can obtain ‘absolute and complete knowledge.’

Nada Surf : whose authority

23 05 2009

i stumbled upon these guys while borrowing a friends car the other day…nada surf is one of those bands that i’d heard of but never truly listened to; aside from an older hit, ‘popular’. anyway, i am really digging their albums Lucky (from which this song is from) and Let Go.