Friday, October 15, 2004

The mailman rings

When you meet someone with similar views, you relax. Yes! you understand what it's like to think and feel in this way. May we walk together for a while and talk about things?
I can't tell you how I've valued these relationships. Sometimes have overvalued them. But, an appreciation lights up the value of the companion tremendously, and so I'm not regretful for any of these types of people. They've been sent my way I do believe.
Many of them have only been sent as word carriers. Mailmen of their own spirit and discoveries. Here, here's my post. Read it quicky because I'm moving on to the next box. I'll be by your house again, but I can't stop because I'm busy, and, really, do you want rumors of tea chats with me, a mailman?
He has a point, and, therefore, distance, propriety, full friend lists already, necessitates that I simply buy his (or her) book without reciprocal conversation. Darn, but acceptable.
I just read a chapter in the book mentioned before in which Jones tries to piece together the patterns of history (by way of a tour to historical sites: Israel, Egypt, Athens, Rome, England) to understand himself and the existence of God. All last year, I did this too with my World Studies material that I tried to teach well to students. But, I was impacted beyond the preparation. My "why" questions were bounding off everything. My intellectual and faith companion teacher also asked questions but his didn't resonate as much in his emotions as mine. Or, in a sense of activism, which was a strange and powerful thing for me. I know that I was difficult at times.
Anyway, Jones encounters the same questions as he thinks about the patterns in history and of the paradox of progress on the back of despair and conflict. The Sistine Chapel, for example, portrays this as the finger of God and finger of Adam almost touch at the ceiling's centerpoint. Then as the the painting plunges down the wall, the figures are more distorted, contorted with greed and self-importance and subjugation. And then Jones, in Africa, ruminates on the imperialism, the rape, of this people and country for the more 'civilized' countries who need Africa's wealth at any cost in order to fund their own self-interests. I learned all about this in greater detail last year, and it bothered me greatly. Yet, you move over to India, China, Haiti, the U.S. in some of our globalization plans, and similar things happen. The nature of man becomes the question. Why do we have so much greed? Why are there such opposing forces?
Jones concludes, "What happened is that wherever I went, I was confronted by my own face-to-face enigma writ large....every change and every advance simply poses more graphically the paradox of human existence."
I'm wondering "but what does that call us to do"? Focus on ourselves? Increased activity in social justice?
As you can see, I identify with this author. I've been trying to make sense of my last year in terms of the knowledge that I was exposed to. Perhaps this book is to help prod me along.
By the way, I was able to get out of bed today. Prayed, journaled from 5:30 to 7. No feeling of exalted nearness. Just glad I plowed in the early morning light. Thank you, God.

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