My list of things I am grateful for, living in Minnesota. The Mall of America is on there. This place is such a blast. I enjoy looking for things I might like to buy or be given should I be fortunate enough. There is also the opportunity to buy presents for those I care about. There is also a place at the center of it all, created for children of all ages. That being Nicolodeon Universe, a full-sized amusement park.
Here are just a few places I like to shop for myself and others. I’ll leave it up to you to ponder, which are for who.
I was here over the weekend and wanted to express my gratitude for being close to the wonderful place. I know that the time to be here is when most are still getting up. Of course, there are many other places of interest and utility, too many to list in my brief post. It’s just fun for me.
Or perhaps, for you, not so much. Today or I should say. Beginning late last night I went to Christmas midnight Mass. I felt led to participate in this blessed tradition and am not sure of why. I went embracing the mystery of it all.
I am not Catholic and am still mystified by all the gestures and rituals. I have found great value, though, in ritual. It has become the foundation for improving my life, from my however flawed, perspective. I did feel a bit out of place but welcome none the less.
I attended the celebration at The Cathedral of Saint Paul. What a magnificent place! I can only imagine what it must have been like in 1915 when the first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 14th of that year. This is the biggest Church I have ever been in.
Nothing out of the expected occurred. There were carrols, prayers, readings from scripture, a homily by The Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Arch Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. A profession of faith. The offering, and of course Communion. I did not take communion as I am not, or do not consider myself Catholic. I did, however, go up for a blessing Arms crossed over my chest.
I am still processing the occasion and take away these
All are invited
I am flawed and in need of forgiveness
I am forgiven in Christ’s Life, death, and Resurrection
His Spirit as God Lives in me
I am to give as I have been so graciously been given
Merry Christmas until then enjoy divinely inspired Rock Guitar
I am reflecting on this year. I started writing here about this time last year. My eyes and being have been subject to a wonderous eco-system of artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and downright hilarious expressionists. All here to get out what can no longer be contained within.
Mine is a journey of ongoing and perpetual self-discovery and, hopefully, growth. None of which occur when things are going according to my particular sensitivities. I have found that before I have exhausted all of my self-determined solutions and am in complete despair I am unable to surrender.
Upon the occasion of surrender and acceptance of my inability to do anything of my self. That part of me must be demolished in order for a renovation to begin. Recovery does not take a linear path. There are pauses and serious faults found along the way where construction is halted, the architect is consulted and a diversion in the path is found suitable. The result, though is spectacular. An ever increasing gratitude and willingness to embrace the mystery of this mortal sentence is uncovered.
I am so blessed to be alive, willing and able to feel and express how lucky I am to be here. I wanted to be different than I was. I surrendered, asked for help performed the demolition, evaluated what was of any use, repaired the fractures in my relationships and am growing up.
Merry Christmas the wait is nearly over and All you have needed and will ever need is inside you right now. If only for the obstructions built by self-will. Ask for and accept help…Cry Out! Help is only too ready to assist.
I have all my needs provided for or acquired. I find myself craving more. As the result of paying close attention to my desires and potential drives behind them. I have found that I can never really have what I am hoping to possess in some way. I have yet to figure out why I become obsessed with what I can really never have in the way I imagine.
I am in fact sure that if I did get it, I would no longer want it with the same passion that I wanted for it in the first place. What is it about me that I contort my principles to appeal another that I might be found in their favor, while at the same time the reaction to me is one of ambivalence or perhaps even indifference. It leaves me wanting it even more
While all along there are those that are available, yet there is only mild interest on my part.
I think I am afraid to make authentic connections and receive the Love an appreciation that I’m not sure I deserve but should.
Allow me to introduce you to the Yellow Jacket Wasp.
These little bastards are fucking mean! They are considered to be beneficial because they eat other insects like mosquitoes, apids and the like. I have become acquainted with them, quite painfully 6 times in the past week.
They will defend the colony very aggressively. A giant, pushing/chasing a lawnmower over the nest is to be attacked mercilessly. The sting is painful initially leaving a sharp ache the rest of the day.
When the ache subsides, what you are left with is not unlike a large mosquito bite that itches for a week or more. I am amazed at the tenacity and courage of these little fuckers. Imagine giving your life trying to kill a creature several thousand times your size to defend the queen and her brood.
What I have learned.
They only nest annually
Only the inseminated queen survives the cold winters (not sure how I don’t care)
She starts a new colony in spring
Late summer the nest is at its highest density (ah now I am beginning to understand)
Upon discovery stay away, let them settle down and take another pass if necessary.
The Takeaway. I have a profound curiosity for all of God’s creatures. There is something to be learned from nature that I can apply to the miracle of life and existence.
Courage, what are you willing to give your life for? Survival of a representative republic?(that’s a worthy blog post by itself) Tenacity, How adamant are you about your faith? I feel I could be better. Defense of your family. I know I can be hard on them, but I only want what’s best and will expect the same in return.
God bless all of you and thank you for reading to the end.
I notice this on my way home this afternoon. The evidence of the Saint Paul Police Mounted Patrol is in the neighborhood. This actually brings a smile. I love horses and I enjoy seeing them on their companions patrolling events, like today’s historic homes tour.
In other news, I am embarking on a pilgrimage of sorts. It has become painfully apparent the I have no idea, what I want to do. I know I want to help. There is a problem though. I seem to lack passion for anything. I am just finishing No Man is an Island – Thomas Merton and next in the queue is The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho I am praying and meditating on my contribution and the fears I have that interfere with me making a bold move for my own benefit. I will be making updates along the way sharing and soliciting for suggestions and experience from all who care to contribute.
“You can call it fall if that’s what you please…” Barney Song
I’ll leave you all with that for now except for my musical thought for this post.
Today I am in a state of immense gratitude for the Grace of a loving God.
It started as a peculiar smell that was reminiscent of burnt sugar turned to carbon, that I remember from elementary school science. From where the aroma emanated was a mystery. My roomy and I searched high and low, checking the stereo equipment, the fridge, among other things. The smell did not seem to be getting worse so we concluded that we would monitor and hope for the best.
We both went about our usual Saturday activities, for me, that is, on this weekend. One when I get to spend time with my daughters. I attended to a couple assignments (work) and had a plan to drive up to an event known as Game Fair. It was something I had not heard of and that it was mostly hunting related and featured events with dogs.
My older child was reluctant but was interested in spending time with me so off we went. It was moderately fun and the girls and I loved seeing all the dogs and especially puppies. Watching trained hunting dogs was fascinating and great fun for me.
We returned to my place as we had a few hours before time to return the lovelies to their mom. The smell was seemingly about the same but was stronger in a different part of the unit. Closer to the living room and I thought that maybe it was coming from the ceiling fan. So we turned that off and plugged the stereo system back in and proceeded to find a suitable movie to watch, one that the three of us might be able to agree on.
I took the young ladies home and returned to catch up on my reading of followed blogs. My roommate was engaged in a rather animated phone conversation, that I was doing my best to filter out details of but concluded it to be work related.
It was then that the smell took on an ominous new characteristic. It was smoke and it was in the hall and kitchen I called out to said roomy and saw flames coming out of the microwave oven.
Rapid action ensued fire extinguisher was located flames were doused and unit evacuated as the smoke had within less than 90 seconds filled the unit to about chest high. We went out onto the deck/balcony and went in periodically to open windows and attempt to air the place out. I was fairly sure the threat of reignition was past but my pal was not so we emptied the remaining product from the extinguisher onto the source of the still evident smoke.
Eventually, the smoke cleared enough for the alarms to stop and assessment was warranted.
If we had been asleep, out of the unit or had it been able to burn another 2 minutes the entire house would have been involved. Thank you, God!
We were saved a great deal of loss and certainly, even more, inconvenience had the whole dwelling been affected. Now only clean up and tolerance of the aroma of a camp fire inside my place.
Was going to use On Fire by Van Halen from their first CD/Album but I like this better