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Archive for May, 2012

A SWIMMING HOLE IN BELIZE

No matter where you are in Belize–even if you’re tramping around in the jungle or living in some laid-back village or popular ex-pat retirement community like San Ignacio or down on the islands or the coastal environs–you’re never far from the sea.

And can always slip down by the water . . .

Reason enough to follow the larger voices calling me there.

It’s just the kind of place that rocking old sailors like Stephen Stills take a shine to . . .

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Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

— John 15:13

Thanks and many thanks for so many who sacrifice so much and blessings on those who have given the ultimate.

(For Adam McKay, blood of my blood; Semper Fi!)

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Let us not misunderstand the nature of prayer, particularly in Jewish tradition. The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song, and man cannot live without a song.

Prayer may not save us. But prayer may make us worthy of being saved.”

— Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel,
from “Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity:
Essays by Abraham Joshua Heschel”
(1996 Ed. edited by Susannah Heschel)

HIS GREATNESS MR. BURT RECEIVING HIS DUE

I recorded the PBS tribute and awarding of the esteemed Gershwin Award to Bacharach at the White House and viewed it last night and Burt Bacharach, who apparently plans to live another vigorous hunnerd years in spite of finally showing some advancing age, still oozes with class and taste.

(Click here for more.)

Of all the cool guys who came out of the sixties there weren’t many cooler cucumbers than Mr. Burt, This Bacharach number is a great hymn, a great prayer, more than just a great and enduring sixties pop tune.

For me, anyway, it’s impossible to hear this without feeling hopeful, without feeling the holiness in it.

It’s been covered by countless artist but none could ever top Jackie or Dionne . . . .

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“That crazy white boy can’t help his self–he got them jitterbug legs and gotta keep moving on!”

So I know it’s now Wednesday afternoon and we’re way late with the regular Tuesday Afternoon Music Therapy featured most weeks here at jitterbuggingforjesus.com, the blawg that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole towns, nations, cities and states.

That would be the blawg that is in the process of relocating its world headquarters, quite possibly permanently, to western Belize, a country famous for the best diving and snorkeling in the world, rain forests, Mayan ruins, friendly people who speak English and extremely inexpensive living for one like the leader of the Jitterbug Cult who has little money but no debt, no one to feed but himself– and wanderlust and a sense of adventure, both of which need to be quenched while he is still able to thrill-seek while also (always, of course) finding unique ways to serve Almighty God and others.

Belize is no Plano, Texas, but it’ll do.

Meanwhile . . .

People say to me, so how’s the health care in Belize, Pawl?

And having researched the matter, this video below appears to pretty much illustrate the cure-all for most maladies down there.

(And you can get hit in the head by a coconut on the noggin down there if you casually stroll under a coconut tree and then you’ll need to call de doctor.)

But people say, won’t you get bored down there after a while?

Right.

But what about clothing, people ask–being the clothes horse that you are, where will you get threads?

I know, I have a weakness for a nice, tailored, charcoal grey suits and shiny shoes, but will be mostly going all-out fishnet shirts down there, I’m thinking.

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I’m in the moment,
On the edge,
Over the top,
But under the radar.
A high concept,
Low profile,
Medium range ballistic missionary.
A street-wise smart bomb.
A top gun bottom feeder.
I wear power ties,
I tell power lies,
I take power naps,
I run victory laps. . . .
And my inner child is outward bound.

— George Carlin,
jammin’ on Jay, c. 2006

So it’s not like I was a fan of George Carlin’s pathological and militant hatred of all things Christian.

I was, however, a huge fan of his creativity and originality and amazing insights into the human condition in America, and his ability for 40-plus years to be relevant and keep it real.

I saw the wonderful documentary about the life of Johnny Carson on PBS’s marvelous “American Masters” series recently, and even Carson, by his own admission, lost his comic edge and energy and had to give it up.

Carlin never ever lost his razor sharp edge and energy.

A true American original. . . .

I’m a modern man,
A man for the millennium,
Digital and smoke free.
A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist,
Politically anatomically and ecologically incorrect.
I’ve been uplinked and downloaded.
I’ve been inputted and outsourced.
I know the upside of downsizing.
I know the downside of upgrading.
I’m a high tech lowlife.
A cutting edge state-of-the-art bicoastal multitasker,
And I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.
I’m new wave but I’m old school,
And my inner child is outward bound.
I’m a hot wired heat seeking warm hearted cool customer,
Voice activated and biodegradable.
I interface from a database,
And my database is in cyberspace,
So I’m interactive,
I’m hyperactive,
And from time-to-time,
I’m radioactive.
Behind the eight ball,
Ahead of the curve,
Riding the wave,
Dodging a bullet,
Pushing the envelope.
I’m on point,
On task,
On message,
And off drugs.
I got no need for coke and speed,
I got no urge to binge and purge.
I’m in the moment,
On the edge,
Over the top,
But under the radar.
A high concept,
Low profile,
Medium range ballistic missionary.
A street-wise smart bomb.
A top gun bottom feeder.
I wear power ties,
I tell power lies,
I take power naps,
I run victory laps.
I’m a totally ongoing bigfoot slam dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach.
A raging workaholic.
A working ragaholic.
Out of rehab,
And in denial.
I got a personal trainer,
A personal shopper,
A personal assistant,
And a personal agenda.
You can’t shut me up,
You can’t dumb me down.
‘Cause I’m tireless,
And I’m wireless.
I’m an alpha male on beta blockers.
I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever.
Laid back but fashion forward.
Up front,
Down home,
Low rent,
High maintenance.
Super size,
Long lasting,
High definition,
Fast acting,
Oven ready,
And built to last.
I’m a hands on,
Foot loose,
Knee jerk,
Head case.
Prematurely post traumatic,
And I have a love child who sends me hate mail.
But I’m feeling,
I’m caring,
I’m healing,
I’m sharing.
A supportive bonding nurturing primary care giver.
My output is down,
But my income is up.
I take a short position on the long bond,
And my revenue stream has its own cash flow.
I read junk mail,
I eat junk food,
I buy junk bonds,
I watch trash sports.
I’m gender specific,
Capital intensive,
User friendly,
And lactose intolerant.
I like rough sex.
I like rough sex.
I like tough love.
I use the f word in my email,
And the software on my hard drive is hard core, no soft porn.
I bought a microwave at a mini mall.
I bought a mini van in a mega store.
I eat fast food in the slow lane.
I’m toll free,
Bite sized,
Ready to wear,
And I come in all sizes.
A fully equipped,
Factory authorized,
Hospital tested,
Clinically proven,
Scientifically formulated medical miracle.
I’ve been pre-washed,
Pre-cooked,
Pre-heated,
Pre-screened,
Pre-approved,
Pre-packaged,
Post-dated,
Freeze-dried,
Double-wrapped,
Vacuum-packed,
And I have an unlimited broadband capacity.
I’m a rude dude,
But I’m the real deal.
Lean and mean.
Cocked, locked and ready to rock.
Rough tough and hard to bluff.
I take it slow.
I go with the flow.
I ride with the tide.
I got glide in my stride.
Drivin’ and movin’,
Sailin’ and spinnin’,
Jivin’ and groovin’,
Wailin’ and winnin’.
I don’t snooze,
So I don’t lose.
I keep the pedal to the metal,
And the rubber on the road.
I party hearty,
And lunch time is crunch time.
I’m hanging in,
There ain’t no doubt.
And I’m hanging tough,
Over and out.

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Here’s the prayer that is like a lantern to my feet, from my main man the mystic Mr. Merton–the prayer that became famously known as “The Merton Prayer,” from one of his greatest of his many books “Thoughts in Solitude”:

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

– Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
© Abbey of Gethsemani

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My cyber friend the photographer and blogger Francine up in Pittsburgh shot this photo of hands at a wedding and is in one of those photo “challenges” that photographers have based on some theme. She submitted this pic in a challenge where the photogs submit pix of hands–and hands have long fascinated me.
I notice people’s hands, and sometimes look long at hard at people’s hands.
And sometimes study long and hard on my own hands and see wrinkles and other signs of, uh, advancing age, as they say.
Anyway, hands are much more interesting to look at than, say, feet.
Most of us don’t want to look too long at hard at our feet, do we?

Francine In Retirement

The Daily Post at WordPress.com has given us a very handy challenge for this week in the form of “HANDS”.  My selection this week is called “UNITED HANDS” in recognition of the wedding I had the honor of shooting last month.  See above link for other entries to challenge.

UNITED HANDS

“Relationships-of all kinds-are like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled. A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.”  Author Unknown

BE ENCOURAGED!  BE BLESSED!

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