Confederate Etc…Stay? Heck Yeah!

Life and Liberty, God Bless America

The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

I have more than one family tree.  My tree consists of four grandparents and my parents were cousins.  My grandfather was on dad’s side though he was a model citizen here in the USA, was not so in the old country of Italy, oh no. His daughter, my aunt, many swore was Satan’s child, vindictive bitch sad to say.  Her brothers, not model citizens, except for my dad who couldn’t hurt a fly, break a law even if you twisted his arm, but RIP, was a bit of a wuss, never quite stood up to his kin, his sister, a bit too much of a mamma’s boy.  My mom’s dad, a bit of a temper on him, no saint, my mom’s brothers and sisters, all good souls, and her mom, and mom’s mom, model’s of charity and goodness. The family tree is not perfect, got some real blemishes I could tear up dad’s photos that I have in my wallet, could tear up all photos of me as a kid with Dad’s family, but I refuse.  I don’t have to like that there are all these blemishes, all these stains.  I can hate all of that, hate what any of them did in their life, and that’s fine, but what I must never do is erase evidence of their existence in my history, in my life because then I create a lie, a false life, a false narrative.  I won’t do that.  My mom was very much hurt by my dad leaving and by them in different ways, so she had done her best to erase them, pretend they never existed and I respect her right to do that, but she has also never been able to forgive, and it has hurt her, this inability to accept them as part of history, our history, this inability to forgive.  How does this influence my view on Confederate and Holocaust symbols etc…? It does so 100%.  

History must be told, preserved good bad and ugly, visibly so and conveyed from a human emotional and also purely factual intellectual point combined.  It must not be eradicated, wiped off the map pretending it never happened, it did.  What counts is that we stick to the facts, even within the emotional context of it all, and we learn greatly from it, that we come to a point of unity rather than greater division.  Tearing down history because one group is offended by it is not unifying at all, and they should understand that and find a way to come to terms with that history, still keeping its’ existence visible to all as a lesson in time.  Also, a good point was made in this article http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450500/destroying-confederate-statues-whats-end-point-washington-monument , the point being where does it end? Mike Huckabee brought out a good point about well if abortion clinic offend Christians, can we just go destroy them?  What if Conservatives feel offended by Roosevelt as the author of the New Deal and Progressivism?  Can we just to tear his statues down? Atheists hate God, Christ, Christianity, religion, so can they demand all faith symbols, all churches with crosses be torn down because crosses offend them?  Can Muslims make similar demands and start tearing stuff down?  This opens up the door to anarchy and it violates our Constitution.  Erasing history is not something the Feds or even state officials have the right or authority to do.  As much as I might not be thrilled with everyone in my family, their background, I don’t have the right to erase them from my family history or tree because like or not they are the family God gave me.  Does that mean I have to speak to them, hang out with them, be buddy buddy, no.  However, I don’t get to erase them from history, my history, not how it works, not how life works, or how history works.  Hitler, Tito, Stalin etc.. they did horrific things, but we must never forget them, those events and the horror of Communism, Socialism etc…, those symbols must be visible to all always and forever.  The same goes for our Confederacy and history of slavery, not pretty but it is our history, part of our fabric and must never be erased or buried, ever.  If it offends, sorry, tough, get therapy, create a successful life, show you are not a bitter, chip on your shoulder snowflake big baby!!! Don’t try to escape by erasing anything from history, or the public square!

Amen

 

Won’t Apologize For Being Tough Cookie

soaring eagle

I realize I can be a lot like a hurricane, a tropical storm, a strong wind, all those things, and I can be a tough cookie when working on any project, can really be a tough one.  To those who take life as easy breezy, whatever so what it happens when it happens, want to fly by the seat of my pants, don’t see any reason for planning way ahead, weather any storm as it comes, I can be a handful.  I can be in your face, hawk flying over you, hovering all that. Should I apologize, hmmm…

Some might think I should, but I won’t.  I won’t apologize for being me, for being a tough cookie who has learned that flying by the seat of your pants is a bad way to do businesses and makes you look like a fool.  People will walk away if you don’t have your act together, so now I want to make sure that in any venture I engage in I have my act together, and that everyone I am dealing with has their act together.  This week when I meet with a particular artist, and arts director, I want to make sure that I have all the elements together for this meeting.  I don’t want anything left to chance.  I want to make sure that we have a clear path laid out before us of direction for the organization.  I don’t want her to think we don’t have our act together.  I don’t want what I have deemed another “Eugenia Moment”.  I don’t want to have anyone back out, or cancel or anything like that because we are not fully prepared.  Am I a hovering hawk, tenacious in wanting answers ASAP, and all that stuff?  Hell yeah, you bet!  Do I apologize for it?  Hell NO!! I expect people to have it together, and myself to have it together, for all the pieces to be in place before meetings, before doing any event, before anything.  Flying by the seat of my pants may have been cute years and years, ions ago, now it wouldn’t be cute, it would be foolish and make me look foolish and incompetent and I refuse to do that to myself.  I refuse to work that way, to be put in that position, so I can be a handful, but I make no apologies for that, never will. 

Amen!

Consistent Noncuranza, Immaturity?

a dark room

There is a phrase in Italian Noncuranza, which refers to not giving a damm, not caring, whatever, that kind of attitude, ignoring things, issues etc… Is it a problem, big one?  Well…, yeah.  

Granted, there are times when life can get nuts and we don’t get to things, to emails etc.. to respond, or to sort things out in a timely manner.  However, if one sees this pattern of ignoring, not responding, of noncuranza consistently, then something is screwy in St. Louie and wherever you happen to be.  Something is not right, just not. We then have to wonder, what is the root of this noncuranza?  The root could be any of these:

  1. Immaturity, not having a clue on what Italians would call il galateo, etiquette
  2. Burying ones head in the sand, not wanting to deal with the issue and thus not wanting to deal with you
  3. Not having answers to what is going on or any definitive anything about it organized, maybe too many ideas not enough focus, hence number 2
  4. Don’t want to be bothered until they want to be bothered with it, or work on it until they want to work on it, no matter how close it cuts to things, time wise etc…
  5. They may think you should just be able to go ahead and take care of it, not realizing that no, it has to be direct collaboration, coordination for it to work, duh

Some may say that any of these are legitimate reasons for this noncuranza, this non responsiveness.  However, if one is working on long term impact projects with another, that requires very strong day to day coordination and collaboration for things to run smoothly, then no, none of these are legitimate reasons for the noncuranza.  It puts the other person in a position of feeling like they are hitting a brick wall in what they are doing, trying to do for the organization, or project.  This will end up leading to that person walking away because they won’t want to deal with brick walls.  What do you do in this situation?  You try your best to get the message across in a non aggressive way that this noncuranza and lack of timely response or response i not okay.  If that doesn’t work, you can go lone ranger in making decisions and implementing stuff, which can cause friction, but if you have sent emails etc.. and you can keep a log of what you have done, then you can explain why you had to do it.  If it really affects your mood, really gets you down etc.., starts to make you miserable having to deal with this continuously and it is an option, you may have to walk away.  It may pain you, but you may end up feeling the frustration is not worth the impact on your well being, especially if you are passionate about the project etc…  If you are, it will get you down in the long run to have to deal with this.  If it’s important to you, very much so but not to them apparently and the noncuranza is continuous, that is not a good thing for anyone.  Pray, yes, keep insisting on what needs to be done and in a timely manner, but if no change comes after a certain time, a decision may have to be made as to what do to, sad as it might be.

OY!!!

Echoes of Path Not Taken

Garden Path

As I work with the church, as I realize I am on the right path as an artist and minister, as I connect with these artists I see echoes, the path not taken.  Why was that path not taken?  As I said in a previous post, this year my birthday has been a somber one and unlike ones in the past three years, I din’t really have any smiles or anything like that, just lots of somber reflection.  I guess over 50 will do that to you.  Why was the path of artist and minister combined not taken?

Baggage and fear at the root of it.  How?  I carried baggage from childhood with me into my young adult years and up until a few years ago.  It was a heavy load and it created also fear, fear that I wouldn’t be perfect enough, get things perfectly right on the one hand, but so anxious to do that I didn’t really listen to the Holy Spirit as I should have for my own life.  My intuitive side was great when it came to other people, dreams of foreknowledge about friends and family, discernment for them, all great, but for me, for my own life, the baggage, thus the fear, and thus not such great decisions were the result.  If I had been able to let go of the baggage, the fear from that, and discern, I probably, even without any support from the family for my artistic bent, or from mom, I could have done the following.  I could have joined a church choir, stuff like that and with that compensation, since college paid for private voice and acting lessons, since music is also in a way theatre.  I could have built a career as an indie artist and songwriter.  I had so many negative voices from that baggage and also some negative external ones, which I allowed to interfere.  The arts has its’ pitfalls, no doubt, so a strong faith life, a strong boundaries spiritual and faith life, as well as community of like minded people of strong faith etc… are the way to keep you grounded.  You also have to really let go of baggage, fears and pre-conceived notions of fame, fortune, success all of that and do it for the love of the arts.  You also have to have a life and other interests outside of that, again to keep you grounded.  

This birthday, my life has had echoes, echoes of could have, should have, wish I had done.  I can’t change what was, but I can change what is and what will be, this is my opportunity to help this parish thrive, and also to put down the echoes.  I also need to find ways to earn my daily bread with these gifts and then those echoes will be further put aside and dissolved.  Life has been quite a journey and I don’t want anymore echoes unless they are of my having realized my full potential in this area and come into union with my truest soulmate, the man who is my truest soulmate at all levels including creatively.  Now, I need to totally trust The Lord, not the voices of a negative nature.  Don’t get me wrong if people see a pattern that is not healthy for you, even in terms of the projects you are doing not being right in line with the Lord, or not succeeding and requiring an overhaul of some kind, that’s different.  I am talking about those voices that chip away at your confidence, self esteem, that do not value your talents in full or at all, may even mock them.  Those voices you need to drown out with the Holy Spirit’s voice and solid scripture, prayer, poetry, music that will uplift etc…  May all listen to and fully precisely discern it and our path early on in life, that is my wish for all.  I look forward to great work at Most Precious Blood and also in ways that will earn me my daily bread in spades as they say.

Amen

 

Frustrated Collaboration, Balloon Deflated?

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The Journey That is Life.

You can see clearly what great potential things have for being a star spangled banner so to speak.  You are doing everything possible to make it happen, it’s your heart and soul, you can see all the potential.  You are really excited about the possibilities. Yeah, right? 

Well, then you are hit with collaboration, with coordinating, with meshing your focus etc.. with that of others, and if the others are like flitter flutter butterflies then you end up with what could seem like a burst ballon, a deflated raft or balloon.   When the ballon gets deflated because though you are focused, doing everything possible to make something a star spangled banner so to speak but the coordinating is not coordinating as it should, that aspect is not gelling, what do you do?  You hope, pray that your able to make it all work in spite of the coordinating etc.. not gelling on the other end, but a part of you, small part, as much of an optimist as you are that thinks if we can’t coordinate, collaborate and gel with synergy and timing, quickly and efficiently, this whole thing may never happen, may never see the light of day of success.  What if this is your calling, this path, what do you do?  Contingency plan.  You always have a contingency plan.  A contingency plan does not mean you are giving up on that project, that great vision for whatever, vocation wise, career wise, creatively.  However, it does mean you understand that what you are working on, as much as you are working on success, if you can’t coordinate with the other parties, rather they can’t coordinate etc… with you in synergy, then it may not see success, not for lack of effort etc… on your part.  

I truly hope and pray that the work I am doing at Most Precious Blood Church and my efforts at coordination efforts will bring it to success, thriving, prosperity, the Italian Catholic heritage preserved.  I hope it is an anchor for conservative traditional Catholicism and values for many generations to come.  As I do my best to coordinate with others, a small part of me is concerned.  What is the contingency plan, something akin to meet up for Catholic Artists.  I am not giving up on MPB, on that dream of it being a star spangled banner of faith and culture, but life has taught me to have a contingency plan.  The artist circle would be the alternative to raise funds and more for this parish and other parishes, organizations, uniting catholic artists to come together in the arts, particularly with A Capella and Improv skills.  I will do that after Labor Day, get moving on that.  May I have excellent coordinating partners and artists on my team, that is my prayer. One could be reactive, just give up be all angry etc.., but that is not what God expects of us, doesn’t expect us to be quitters at the first sign of glitches, or people that are tough to coordinate etc… with.  He expects us to be creative, proactive and figure out how to work through that, and as I said have a solid contingency plan.  If you always give up when there are difficult people etc.., trust me on this, you don’t get far.

Amen

Chivalry and Gallantry, Duh, Good Thing!

garden

The beauty of a well tended and cared for garden, lovely isn’t it?  The garden did not get this way on its’ own.  Feminism, modern feminism fails to understand that relationships are all about gardening, not about winning, not about what they think it is.  What does this have to do with chivalry and all that? Plenty.

Women decided they didn’t want to care for or be cared for, that it was sexist, a sign of times of enslavement to the male species to have a man truly care for and take care of them and I don’t mean in an unhealthy dependency way.   It’s akin to a garden where both parties are the gardeners and as they tend to each other with great care, with great integrity, ethics, chivalry and all that jazz, the garden produces beautiful fruits, flowers, a beautiful place for peace, so much joy.  This also includes any long term work relationship and friendship.  If you are going to have a long term working relationship or friendship, then both parties need to be in a place where they recognize the beauty of the compliment of male and female as created by God, celebrate those compliment and synergy differences, not hate on them, try to destroy and eradicate them, not try to redefine sexuality.  When a man brings up an event, the courteous thing is you take her, you pick her up, take her home, especially if it is out of her immediate living area, like another county, don’t have her take buses and trains and all that.  The lady may say no thanks, which I don’t see why she would, but at lease the chivalry was extended.  Opening doors, holding doors, including car doors, so many little things that are not done and part of it is the “women’s movement” crazy notion that if you let a man do all this stuff and if you have a man take care of you in any way, worry about you etc..you are setting women’s lib back or some other stupidity.  Women also need to tend the garden, whether it’s romantic union or friendship, once the man has established a solid base, clear boundaries, but has shown he is ready for a mature, deep friendship or other type of union.  The garden should be mutually beautifully nurtured, chivalry should extend both ways in different ways because it’s the right thing to do.  I went through a short phase of “women’s lib, modern women’s lib mindset” luckily, I got of it, got some common sense.  I hope I will find others who think this same way and we can create a beautiful garden in life.

Amen

Comes Naturally, Likely Your Calling

soaring eagle

September 22nd we have our Concert at Most Precious Blood and it is in connection with San Gennaro, and as I began taking the information I had found and working it into a poem, it was so easy for me to do, happened immediately.  Then from there I started thinking of song, of improvisational song stuff.  I thought of the importance of music to share the faith, how important the arts is as a tool to share the faith and culture.

Taking something, turning it into a poem, a song, improvisational performance, coming up with a song on a theme right there and then in the moment with just a single line or phrase given to me, no problem, easy breezy.  Give me a bible passage with some basic background on who the intended audience was at that time and right then and there, I can give a lesson on that passage, on the layers of meaning, come up on the spot with a song.  A show, spoken word, song, lecture, no problem, give me six weeks, preferably eight and I can put it together, fine a venue to sell tickets, promotion, not a problem.  These things feel second nature to me, and when I am doing them, they bring joy to me, true joy, not for me alone, but because I feel I can impact lives for good, not out of some sense of anger, bitterness and all that.  That is never a good reason to do anything, not anger that comes from bitterness, not destructive hateful anger.  I realize that if that is the case, that if all this brings me joy, and I feel I am impacting etc…, coming from a good place, then that is my path, vocation.  As for anger, yes there is righteous anger, but even that you have to be careful how you respond.  Creating further division, separation, hate all that is not okay as a response.  Forgiveness, educating, working to bring unity in and through Agape Love, mutual respect, also change in one’s own behavior and community behavior is crucial.  Even when we use the arts as a way to impact, we need to be careful what we are transmitting to youth, to millennials.  Are we teaching hatred, anger, division, violence to others as a way to handle any rejection of sin, or current political activity for example? I realize that my path in the arts and ministry means I have to really be aware of how my artistic work and all I do is presented.  It is I think a wonderful calling and I hope I do The Lord proud in my journey.  I hope I am blessed soon with a life partner to share in this journey with me, a man of faith, of the arts.  

Amen