Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A little light reading

I read two interesting pieces online today both on the BBC. Thought I'd share the links. One is about why we follow celebrities and the other on gays opposed to gay marriage given the SCOTUS ruling and all. I hope you're well!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Ouditt

Images from Steve Ouditt's talk on his exhibition Proceeds to Mental Health at Medulla Art Gallery. He was joined by Professor Gerard Hutchinson and it was hosted by Melvina Hazard.

Melvina, Gerard and Ouditt

Gerard and Ouditt

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strange encounters

If I see a single sequinned glove I think of Michael Jackson. There is that image of a man flying though the air with a ball in his hand that connotes Michael Jordan. I'm saying this to say that someone can hold a place in our minds without being present. Yeah its even simpler than that because we may not even need those objects to conjure thoughts of them.

There are two individuals I have met whom have held a place in my mind, a strange place. The encounters with them happened years ago in New York and were brief, however, it's like they live with me every day. I wish I could say that these were encounters that I cherish and I that i recall lovingly and warmly. Its almost to the contrary.

I met Brett at Sound Factory, a club me and my friends went to on Saturday nights. I won't get into unnecessary detail if only in the interest of space. The club was geographically stratified with different sub-sects inhabiting different parts of the dance floor as if by rule: the voguing kids were just as you entered on the left, my friends and I, call us the cool kids, would be just in front of the indoor bleacher like seating, the kids that danced Runway were just on the other side of us and so on. Then you had a section that was almost ostensibly white men who worked out, held corporate jobs and partied in Jeans and no shirts, it was from that section that Brett emerged.

Brett was different. I was first taken by how handsome he was, in a classic American way, like a Kennedy. He was of lean frame and light hair. He didn't party shirtless and was not a gym bunny as we called the muscled set.

At one point after seeing him he sat next to me. I was sitting on the stairs where many sat to watch the dance floor and take a rest from the pumping action fuelled by the music of Junior Vasquez. It was still legal to smoke indoors and in a moment of chivalry I had my lighter out and ready to light Brett's cigarette before he could find his. We struck up a conversation. One of the things he said to me that still haunts me to this day was that he is/was a Yankee. To this day the New York Yankee's logo makes me think of Brett and oddly enough sometimes before I see the logo he would cross my mind and sometimes soon after thinking of him the logo appears.

There have been other little things like that that keep me connected at least in my mind to this man who I had drinks with one night at a SoHo Hotel.  I can't say if its for better or worse but all these years later i still feel that Yankee's hand in my life at times.

Sometime later I would meet Pete Mac Namara. This was even stranger an encounter. I had gone to hear my "cousin" DJ at what was then called Global 33, an East Village restaurant owned in part by a fellah named Miguel. It was the home for many years to a pumping Monday night party called Sugar Babies. The party started when the space was called Sugar Reef and attracted an eclectic downtown set who attended religiously.

This night in particular it was just Emjay, my cousin, and the bar staff at Global 33. In walks Pete a towering man of burly frame. Emjay whispered "Coke is it" as Pete entered and for me that had many connotations.

We sat and spoke in that sparring way that conversations sometimes go. I remember challenging him but not emerging victorious as I would for years after believe this man to be a supreme being: somewhere between a super hero and a god. It was easy for that to happen as then the concept of man as god was popular, I just wasn't sure and still grapple with it especially given the First Commandment. It was this encounter that led me back to Christianity.

I was into numerology and one of the things that came out in this meeting was that there was an 11 year age difference between us, thats when the domination started as in Numerology, 11 is a Supreme Number, like 22. When in a reading these numbers appear they don't get reduced to single digits as is the case for all other numbers. It was my vulnerability at the time given other circumstances like my unemployment and other personal battles that triggered a series of events that would lead to me being sick and hospitalised.

Both these men have represented things that may lead some to question my faith in God. They both seem to have power that I may have but not recognise, I have to be reminded sometimes of what is termed my agency. I woke up this morning said the Rosary and thought what else can I do? I have a family crisis that seems without solution and right now even magic would be a welcomed option. I say magic because we are all connected by Spirit and while I can't change anyone else's behaviour I can trust my instinct that tells me that things change.

I have to let go of the things inside of me that control me and I have to say that which i fear most saying and in doing that I hope there is magic and in doing that I hope there is a solution.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

From the writer of The Secret - Secret Scrolls

A Secret Scrolls message from Rhonda Byrne
 Creator of The Secret

From The Secret Daily Teachings

The process of creation is the same for all things, whether you want to bring something to you or remove something negative from your life.
If you have a habit you wish to break, or anything negative you wish to remove from your life, you must focus on what you want. That means you visualize and imagine yourself in that negative-free state right now. Imagine yourself in as many scenes as you possibly can where the negative situation is completely absent. Imagine yourself happy and free. Eliminate any picture from your mind of you with the negative situation. Just imagine yourself in the state you want to be in, and feel that you are that, right now.

May the joy be with you,

Rhonda Byrne
 The Secret... bringing joy to billions

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hot topic: Church talk

I am so excited I don’t even know how to begin writing this post. An alternative opening line was, Roman Catholics are not a homogenous bunch. They both speak to recent experiences involving the church that have been on my mind.

Yesterday a story broke after Pope Francis in “open” discussions with a group of Latin American clerics told of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican. Now I’m not sure what the group is advocating for but there is something wildly interesting about the disclosure given that it is the first that I have heard of the Vatican having support for gay issues. Honestly the news was immediately comforting.

Mass on Sunday was very good. The Entrance hymn was Wake up My People. The lines go “wake up my people, wake up give a shout, wake up my people, Know what life’s about, And wake up to the needs of all the one’s who suffer sorrow, Wake up promise now to do your best to change tomorrow…” Most of the hymns sung during mass were among my favorites and I enjoyed the service.

Then came the Readings and Fr. Brereton’s homily. Both readings spoke of miracles performed by Jesus. The First was from 1 Kings (17:17-24): Elijah cries out to the Lord to bring life back into the son of a widow, which he does.

The Second Reading was from St Luke (7:11-17).  Again, a resurrection is performed, this time by Jesus. It was again the son of a widow. The point was made by Father Brereton that in the patriarchal biblical times a woman without a man in her household was vulnerable and it was not a desirable situation. Gender politics creep in as we see that most resurrections if not all are of men, reinforcing the importance of male life over female life.

This was an aside, despite its great significance. What that Second Reading also said was that when the Lord saw the grieving mother he felt sorry for her. He said “Do not cry.” To quote the scripture he then “went and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still and he said “Young man I tell you to get up.” And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother” The reading closes off with the lines “Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.” And this opinion of him spread throughout Judea and all over the countryside.”

Anticipating what Father was heading to proved an error. Here I thought we’d be hearing of the miracles performed by Jesus with a call for restored faith in the Shepherd who by the power of God as his Son could return life to the dead, but no. Father said that in Jewish religion it is taboo to touch a dead body so that when Jesus laid his hands on the bier, he was in fact being a rebel as his actions went against the teachings of the dominant Jewish culture.

Father also talked about a series of fora that the church had been hosting where discussions were held on thorny issues like gay rights and abortion. He said it went against the teachings of his mother who always told him “when you see too too in the road don’t touch it” lest you get too too on you too. He said, though, sometimes we have to touch those messy things that might stink us up. He elaborated on this point in defending Archbishop Harris who it seemed got into a pickle after his comments on “emailgate” during a Corpus Christi Service.

The church he said must comment on issues that are political marking a distinction between those and issues of party politics. I have noticed in recent years and around elections priests veer into the political albeit within their ascribed guidelines: the church being concerned with humanity and the societies they exist in.

So these are interesting times. I may have lost my point, no stranger to that, but I liked the message of the homily last Sunday and the honesty of Pope Francis.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Random shot

By Steve Ouditt from his exhibition Proceeds to Mental Health

Sunday, June 2, 2013

thinking of home

Being away from home is interesting in more ways than one, but related ways. It helps me get perspective as I view somewhere new and have distance from that to which I am accustomed.

I have been in Guatemala for just over a week. My school, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business organised a study trip, a Spanish immersion. We also visited businesses and attended the opening session of the Guatemala Investment Summit.

As I write this I sit in the dining room of a hotel on Lake Atitlan. The Mayans still exist here. This is not the site of ruins but of an ancient civilisation living amidst development as defined by a different ethic, no judgment.

The traditions are alive in the food and the clothing most obviously. But poverty is also quite evident: young children beg on the streets and work by shining shoes and helping  their mothers sell wares of all sorts.

I have pictures and will get around to posting them eventually.

I miss home, though, even with all its problems.