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

 

Seeing It Through

Life and Liberty, God Bless America

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

 

Life is a rose with thorns, it is never just the rose, and we must accept the thorns as we embrace the rose at times.  It does not mean that we must allow the thorns to piece us or that we must necessarily bleed to where we lose sight of the rose, the beauty of the rose.

Sometimes the Lord will call us to something, to a vocation, a calling, a project a path, something that will be a beautiful rose with so much potential, so much potential for growth and faith development, but have thorns and we can get deflated, we can get discouraged.  Some might even see that others seem more apt to move thing along, to know what to do with the situation etc…, have a better grasp of things, feel they can’t do this, while other person seems to feel easy breezy know exactly what needs to be done and how, the whole enchilada.  The Lord may have you in a situation where you see clearly what has to be done etc.., the other person/s don’t and it’s frustrating, so you lose sight of the rose, see only the thorns that pierce your heart with frustration and anxiety.  That has been the case with me and a current endeavor the Lord has given me, a gift, a rose, beautiful rose with so much potential to blood into a full garden of roses.  I can’t see that garden bloom if I walk away, if I have no firm staying power, so I have to stay, nurture the garden of roses.  Even if there are thorns, I have to shield myself with the Golden Armor of God, with Prayer, Meditation, Faith and move forward.  I can not give up, can not walk away, have to see this through for myself, for the church, for this great gift and opportunity that God has given me.  There are some really great people I am seeing coming to the church wanting to work with us and teaming up with them, great stuff can happen, and I would hate to lose that opportunity because of a thorn or two, because of others not getting it, not getting what’s needed for the church to thrive and succeed.  I would really hate to see that happen. I will pray, meditate, work around all thorns, obstacles etc…. and thank the Lord every day for this gift, opportunity to use my gifts for his glory and for the faith community and my heritage.

Amen

Won’t Apologize For Being Tough Cookie

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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!

What Do You Do With…?

Holy Ghost

As I was realizing that the Festival of San Gennaro was right around the corner and I had done all I could to coordinate things,  all I could, to get things moving as quickly and efficiently as possible, but was not getting as far as I should, things not moving as they should suddenly I was taken back in time.  

I was reminded of the movie The Sound of Music and when she is walking down the aisle to get married, the nuns start singing “What do you do with a problem like Maria?”  The song goes on to say that there’s many a thing you ought to tell her, many of thing she out to know, implied that she just doesn’t get stuff she ought to get.  Again it asks what to do with a problem like Maria.  The nuns had to acknowledge that you can’t really do much.  There are those who will never be focused, never be like a laser beam with their ideas, quick to action when action is what is needed.  There are maybe lots like Maria out there, who ought to get it, from how to treat friends and colleagues etc.., to how to be timely in their actions, reactions, have a sense of things, but don’t.  Often as a result projects that we may have been really hopeful about, had lots of enthusiasm about in the beginning, that can get crushed when you feel you are dealing with a Maria, male or female, that type of situation, person.  This birthday could have been one with a few smiles for me, but frustration from feeling like a lone ranger in getting things off the ground, moving etc.. take away the smiles this birthday.  Add on top of that the fibromyalgia acting up, and my frustration with this Pope, the “social justice, PC” confusion he has created, other factors and not feeling very smiley.  I realize also that I view Catholicism really more as a culture aspect, an aspect of heritage.  My true Christian soul is perhaps more in line, tune with let’s say the Neighborhood Church of the West Village, that Protestant, Congregational type of Christianity, a strong sense of the church being the one to foster the arts.   I guess my conflict or so called conflict, which I thought was about Jesus and who he was is more of one within my framework of faith as a Christian, in terms of “Is my soul Catholic or Anglican Conservative.  That is really what I need to explore and I intend to, but how?

I think that seeing how I would feel, fit into someplace like the NCGV and still respect my heritage, including the Catholic faith, but really see where I feel truly authentic and myself, where I feel I can fully embrace the theology.  The exploration really is about my Christianity, what does that mean to me, how do I identify myself, in terms of being Christian.  This is going to be interesting, but necessary.   As for my role as Arts Associate at MPB church, let’s see how that goes, if we can get organized for the arts program.  Not holding my breath on that, not totally.  I hope the church survives and thrives, really do.  There has to be a lot more of everyone being proactive, efficient and organized, moving at a solid fast pace to accomplish what is to be accomplished.  We shall see, only time can tell.  One thing I do know is that the ballon of hope for great collaboration etc…has been somewhat deflated.  Who knows it might just turn around right?

Amen

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

The Church, Cultural Center, Why Not?

thumbs_light-pink-musical-notes-and-butterflies-background-header

The church is often mocked, the Catholic Church in particular, as well as the conservative evangelical.  That is quite funny considering.

The church was since Biblical times, as was the King’s court, the main patron and supporter of the arts, the talent that was present in those times with the writing of the psalms, and if you read the Catholic bible additional poetic books, you see how the prophets, and those anointed in the faith were great patrons of the arts, since Saul was the initiator of Patrons, calling on David to do his magical thing with music. As I realize this and as I look at the history of classical music, the beauty of it, seems to me that churches should be patrons of the arts and sciences, but in a way that connects to true and conservative biblical principles. This is what I hope my work with my colleague Bill will achieve, this creation of a church that works with nearby colleges, artists that have connection with foundations for young people and even older people looking to start a second career. The potential is tremendous, but it has to be done with good planning, even obtaining sponsors, has to be done in a way that is well organized, solid proposal.  Can the church be a beacon and center for the arts, for true formation of a right mindset in the Word?  Yes, it can, it was in the past, and it can be again, but it needs to avoid being Liberal Progressive Social Justice to the hilt, or to any degree.  If it does and stays true to conservative Biblical truth, makes the arts a vehicle for that, it can achieve that and celebrate the cultures of its’ members.  It can be done.

Some links for your reading on patronage of the arts and the church, Catholic Church:

https://www.ncronline.org/news/media/vatican-revives-its-ancient-patronage-arts

https://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/2792/the-churchs-role-in-art/

Amen