Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, September 17, 2012

More thinking.. and events...

We are one...
Today was my day off. I did receive a couple of phone calls, and I went into the Church to do a couple of jobs from the computer there and to re-install a light fitting I had brought home to repair. (You did not know this plumber/minister also did electrical work did you? - don't tell the building inspectors!) I spent most of the day doing stuff around home, repairing some furniture etc. I enjoyed that, but I also find that I continue to think and cogitate on things. I was thinking about the words of the Dalai Lama that I quoted in my last post, and the general directions of that post. The Irish lady, Maureen who went back to Ireland to be with her family once sang a song at our Christmas Day dinner, and again when I interviewed her in Church. Here are the words to that song; (I have quoted it before on my blog site)

By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one 
The air that is my breath is the air that you are breathing
And the air that is your breath is the air that I am breathing
The wind rising in my breast is the wind from the east, from the west
From the north, from the south, breathing in, breathing out 
By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one 
The water that is my blood, my sweat, tears from crying
Is the water that is your blood, your sweat, tears from crying
And the rising of the tide is in our veins and in the ocean wide
We are in the rising steam, rushing river, running stream
By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one
 The earth is dust, the earth is clay, flow’rs blossoming and fading
We are dust and we are clay, we are blossoming and fading
Every color, every sound, every place is holy ground
Oh, every living thing, can you hear it laugh? Can you hear it sing?
By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one
The fire in my heart, my soul flame burning
Is the fire in your heart, your soul flame burning
We are Spirit burning bright, by the light of day, in the dark of night
We are shining like the sun, and like the moon, like the Holy One
By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit, we are all one
The song is composed and sung by Sara Thomsen. I tend to think that a Spirituality and ethical base for life can come from a deep recognition that we are joined together, essentially one with each other and one with the universe. I think this is implicit in the Biblical creation myths, the emphases of Jesus, and even in the life of the New Testament Church. (e.g. The dream Paul sets forth in Ephesians is the whole of creation in harmony under God.) But beyond specific religions, I think this is a base truth to be discovered, experienced and lived. There are further implications tumbling into my mind but they need to evolve some more.
Disharmony..and involvement? Yesterday afternoon my friend and I went for our traditional Sunday afternoon walk. We had just finished and were saying our farewells when all hell broke loose down the road on the other side of the road. Up against a car two couples were screaming at one another. All the "F" words, the choicest gutter insults and real rage. We moved closer to make sure they knew we were aware and close at hand so that it did not escalate into violence. Other people began to ring the police. It was so loud that quite a bit further down the street a householder screamed abuse out her window at them. As things calmed down a man from one of the couples came over and explained that the other couple had stolen their kid's soccer ball and had turned their dog onto them. They had got their ball back, and I weakly suggested he walk away. I was shocked to see that this couple's children had watched the whole thing... mum and dad screaming obscenities at two other adults who were screaming back at them. It wasn't really an adult way to get your ball back, and gave a sad atmosphere to what was quite an idilic park area, with families playing and walking in the afternoon sun.  I must admit to feeling uneasy for sometime after wondering what more I could have done. It is often an issue. How much do you interfere? Do you stick your head up to be knocked off, or do you stay clear, and pretend it doesn't exist or it is not your problem? I read the paper recently and a regular columnist commented on marriage, old and modern, and gay marriage. As I read it I found it to be arrogant and insulting. I struggled with that. Will I write a letter to the editor siding with the gay perspective? Will I speak out? I may face rejection in my job? I may lose friends? It will be for me a public "coming out", risky... it would be easier not to? Well I felt compelled to write so I blasted off an email to the editor. They have not published it. I do not know if I feel relieved or disappointed... both I guess. What battles do you choose to buy into?
I can't force you to be right...
With a twinkle in his eye my son put the photo and slogan above on Facebook. I had to chuckle. We perhaps don't say it out loud, but I admit I sometimes think similar thoughts. "Its OK if you disagree with me, I can't force you to be right" 
In the hurly burly of conversation after Church a man handed me an envelope saying, "Just an anonymous donation to the Night Shelter". I thanked him and put it in my pocket. He had given $20 or a little more from time to time so I expected something similar. When I later looked in the unsealed envelop I discovered a cheque for a few thousand dollars. I feel a bit overwhelmed and deeply moved by this support. Sometimes people really do surprise you with their goodness. It is so needed and such an encouragement at many levels. That's why I pass on the good news.

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