Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What I Say

From Monday's mass readings (emphasis mine; probably goes without saying):
When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  
And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  
And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

If anything the historical person Jesus of Nazareth claimed about himself is true, then he is the most significant human ever to live. I happen to believe everything he said about himself, and consequently that the fact of his being is the most significant fact about all history, all reality. That, along with a lot of massive implications, is who I say Jesus is with my intellect and my words. I've thought about it a lot, as most of you will know. I'm convinced. I believe.

And yet: Do I? How should I live if I believe this? How does my awareness of the fact of Jesus shape my life?

I wonder about this every time I hear this reading. It might be the most uncomfortable line in the Gospel for me.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


I was thinking I really liked my outfit today, and then I noticed it matches the blog.

Irrelevant, except it's a fine excuse to post a song...

Also, despite being almost 31, I continue to look 12. Just a very tired 12 year old.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On generative times and when it's not one

Author John Green and his brother Hank make videos in which they address each other, and lots of people have watched them for quite a few years now. Their most recent is my favorite in a long time:

It reminds me of a period when both John and Hank were churning out vlogs that hit me in my gut the way this one does, and how that was (probably, if I were to guess) tied to a particular set of circumstances. Once those circumstances went away, they continued making worth-watching vlogs that just happened to not hit me in quite the same visceral way.

And then that hit me, too. There are stretches of time when, for a magical chemical mix of reasons, I feel like I'm onto something, like I'm on the verge of encountering something really marvelous. I can write, think, do, whatever else with energy and direction and inspiration. Then, on the other hand, there are stretches where... well, where that's not the case. It's just ordinary doing stuff.

Right now is a not-onto-something phase. Everything is dandy, and it also seems sort of faded. That's fine. I don't like it, but I'm not worried about it. Maybe this should prompt me to go looking for something to be excited about, but I'm pretty sure that's how I got here - I came for something exciting, and it's the same thing it ever was. Meanwhile, the alchemy of the moment happens to be such that I'm not feeling on the verge of something marvelous.

I'm pretty sure my mom started worrying about me about a paragraph ago, but my point is not that there's something wrong. This video reminded also me that the goodness and wonder of the world aren't dependent on how spunky I feel. There's nothing I can do to make them not be there. I'm in kind of a slogging along time, but there are always little wonders on the way.

P.S. A belated happy birthday and much Brownsville love to Sean.