Monday, October 6, 2014

Realization of the Weekend

There is no twelve-step program for pride.  The sins of the flesh, while destructive, are not the worst, as is the spiritual sin of pride.  That it's invisible and can be mistaken for good makes it that much more insidious.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Good-bye to All That

Old Flatt is as dead as a drywall screw.  My father is dead.  I'm not sure when it happened, but I believe it was sometime last fall.  I don't know what happened; I only found out about it in a Facebook post.  No one told me.  No one has yet told me. 



     I believe I've revealed on this blog about my origins: that the man who holds held the title of father to me only did so because he was a rapist.  Someone who claimed to be a good friend to my mother chose to take his anger and God knows what other thoughts and emotions he couldn't handle out on my mother by asserting his sexual power.  His fecundity was forced rather than as a loving act of self-donation.

     Which brings up a side point.  I can't tell you how prickly I get whenever I hear some pro-abort talk about the importance of being able to kill the Lebensunwertes Leben.  I get, more than most men, the pain and shame a woman receives from rape.  Yet, I also understand more than most women, that the rhetoric thrown around about killing children conceived in rape and incest is pretty damn insensitive to mildly state it.  I'm not sure how killing your child--even a child with half the chromosomal signature of a rapist--alleviates the situation.

     A few years ago I hired a PI to find out about grandparents and siblings.  In a matter of minutes, the PI informed me where my father lived and where my two younger sisters lived--they were only a county away.  The sisters, that is.  The Father resided in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. 

     After some back and forth with the PI, one sister AB, the younger, finally agreed to meet with me one November night.  I thought it went well.  She gave me a hug at the end and then asked if we could meet again.  

     I had informed her that her father was a rapist and shortly after that meeting I provided some legal documents to remove the doubt's shadow.  She did send me a Christmas card that year--three years ago this December.

      Then it all seemed to fall apart.

       She never accepted my "friend" request on Facebook--though we did communicate a few times through the messaging feature.  The older sister, NR, has yet to write a word to me.  The last time AB said anything was last Christmas in a very short Christmas greeting--responding to what I sent to her.

     I've checked in on her Facebook page, simply to see what she might be up to (yeah, yeah, Creeper) or to see if we might at some point have a friend in common that I can communicate through.  That's when I saw a post, a photo only of my father, dated June 25th, with some one responding "Hugs" on her wall.  

     I surmised "Uh oh." and looked through more of past postings to find some post about supporting people with brain tumors.  Did RDF aka The Rapist die of a tumor?  I wasn't gloating at all.  It was anger that was becoming palpable.

     The Father had divorced the mother of my sisters sometime ago--probably the early 80s and at some point supposedly sobered up and remarried.  My sister is Fb friends with the new wife.  I checked out her page--she is now listed as widowed.

     A quick obituary check on the interwebs pulled up that he actually died 1 October 2013.  I found this out about two weeks ago.

     After consulting two sage people, I was given conflicting advice.  One was to ask the widow (for whom I bear no malice) about what happened.  Did he ever acknowledge my existence?  I don't want any money that might be had--I just want to know did he ever mention me?  Did I matter to this cretin?

     The other's advice, which I'm following (apologies TG) is to let the whole affair slip under the waves.  Forget contacting the sister(s) anymore, don't bother the widow.  Their silence (and the widow's probable ignorance) is the answer to my question. 

     Even though I gave AB a way out: "Look, if you want me to leave you alone, just say so and I will," I still got nothing.  Her mute passivity is rejection.

     I can't figure it out.  If someone came to me and announced that he or she was my long-lost sibling, I would warily embrace the person.  I might not want anything to do with him or her based solely on their character, but I would find out all I could before that rejection happened.

     Not so with AB and NR.  Ladies, you probably won't ever read this, but you are HORRIBLE PEOPLE.  Your friends would console you with platitudes and say, "Oh, that's not true, you are wonderful," but that's because you probably never told them you had have a brother who wanted to get to know you, but for reasons unbeknownst to him, you've rejected him.

     Is it that hard to say, "Get out of our lives!  We don't want you!"? 

     If I've offended them, I have no idea what I said or did.  I bounce between Philo of Alexandria's dictum, "Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle" and wanting to publicly curse them (yeah, sort of like this).

     The Father aka The Rapist has gone to his grave without reconciliation.  I've prayed for his soul.  I have no idea in what condition he was spiritually before he left, but I can guess given 45 years of no looking back on his part.

     I've quoted this before from Nick Cave:
People just ain't no good
I think that's well understood
 You can see it everywhere you look
People just ain't no good

     And it's true.  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."  I hate these two women (for now) and I desperately want to embrace them.

     God have mercy on us all.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Worth Quoting

For whatever reason, I find Orthodox authors resonate with me much more than Roman Catholic authors--I'm a Roman convert from Evangelical Protestantism.  Perhaps it's their reliance on stories of saints past, like the following.  Nonna Verna Harrison recounts this story of a young monk (from the desert, probably Egypt) asking an older, wiser one for guidance:
A brother asked a hermit, "Tell me something good that I may do it and live by it."  The hermit said, "God alone knows what is good.  But I have heard that one of the hermits asked the great Nesteros, who was a friend of Anthony, [Anthony the Great, foremost monk of the Egyptian desert--SFM] 'What good work shall I do?' and he replied, 'Surely all works please God equally?  Scripture says, Abraham was hospitable and God was with him; Elijah loved quiet and God was with him; David was humble and God was with him.' So whatever you find you are drawn to in following God's will, do it and let your heart be at peace."

                --From God's Many-Splendored Image: Theological Anthropology for Christian Formation 



Friday, July 11, 2014

Worth Quoting

Phillip Blond is talking about Britain, but his point could be taken here in America.
In essence, the left needs a conservative account of society in order to create the vibrant civic space through which its goals can be most ably achieved.  At the same time, true conservatism needs to recognise crushing economic inequality and its harmful effects on precisely those institutions which conservatives instinctively cherish.  This requires dedication to equity and fairness, to distributed wealth and asset ownership, as much as to inherited culture and ethical traditions.  Social harmony does not flow from centrally enforced unity, and social justice does not spring unaided from libertarian indifference.  If the health of society is the common goal, then society itself must be valued higher than both state and market.
--From Red Tory 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Babies

     Having children has to be one of life's top three pleasures (also one of life's top five annoyances).  Guiding them as they grow, watching how they navigate the wonder found in the world is a slow-burn of joy.

     In addition to one's own children, joy is found in the babies of creatures we share the world with.  If one can combine animal babies with one's own, one may have stumbled upon an alternative energy source that cannot be usurped by corporations.

     My children and I have watched infant praying mantids leave the relative safety of their egg case and venture into a world of danger, and for a fortunate few, maturation.  We've set a luna moth free that we observed from caterpillar to cocoon to adult.

     Most recently, we've watched Eastern American toad tadpoles (Bufo americanus americanus) metamorphose into tiny toadlets.
At the toad "delivery room"

It's hard to believe these tiny creatures can survive.  That's why hundreds of eggs are laid.





     Some wish their children could remain forever babies; not me, I was glad to be rid of the diaper pail.  It's much better to watch them journey from strength to strength accompanying nature's babies as well.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"I'm My Own Person" and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

I used to teach mass media to high school students and it never surprised me when most of them, when asked, thought that advertising (and pop culture in general) had little to no influence on them.  Adults, quite often, tell themselves the same thing.

If advertising didn't work, however, it wouldn't exist.  Those billions spent would be wasted money--which isn't to say that all advertising works all the time--it doesn't.

An old acquaintance was on Facebook asking about getting a tattoo.  I replied that the response was merely bandwagoning--tattoos have been so mainstreamed that many who have them now are the same people thirty years ago would have turned their noses up at them.

Artifacts, ideas, attitudes: these are in our ecosystem and all influence us for good and ill.  To think otherwise is simply fooling oneself.

We pride ourselves on originality and individuality, but I find those to be overrated.  One, it's damn near impossible to be completely original and it's damned foolishness to think you exist as a hermetically sealed sui generis being.

Family, friends, media diet, physical surroundings, the supernatural all affect us in ways we don't fully understand.

You can make your own choices, but they don't appear from the ether to your mind not previously digested by others.