Blogging and Learning Together

Thanks for the comments. It is amazing to me that people actually missed my blog. I hope to be more present from now on.

In the past, I often used this blog to comment on the books I happened to be reading. I am a ferocious reader. I read mostly in the wee hours of the morning, usually two or three books at a time. One book is always geared toward my spiritual growth. I recently read Matthew Fox’s book Julien of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic-and Beyond. You can imagine the timeliness of this pick by my spirituality book club. I also took another look at John Shelby Spong’s book Resurrection: Myth or Reality? Spong is one of my favorite scripture scholar and a man of deep faith.

In addition to spirituality, I like to read non-fiction works that help me to understand the world I am living in. Over the years, I have read many biographies and histories that focus on specific themes, such as the history of violence. I am currently reading The Narrow Corridor by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. The subtitle is States, Societies, and Fate of Liberty. I am hoping this one will help me understand something that has gnawed at me for a long time. That is why some democracies have worked and others not. Now 100 pages in I think this book may be the one I was looking for.

So what is the point of this? I am not really sure. I mean, what is the point if all I am doing is stuffing my brain with no-one to share with? At my age, I will not likely return to school. Yet it would be lovely to be able to talk to others about all that I am learning. I would have loved being a teacher. If I had chosen teaching as my career path, I would still be in the classroom. I can’t imagine ever tiring of teaching.

I am not likely to change now. My eyes are still in good working order and my brain, I think, is pretty sharp. I am pleased to be back in this space. Blogging can be both a place for discussion and an opportunity to teach.

One thing I have not done in this blog is look to readers for ideas. Maybe that is what I can venture here and now: What would you like see and hear about? What are your questions about life or spirituality?  What is your wisdom that you might like to share? I may not have any thoughts on what you bring up, but I am very interested.

I Found Myself…I Think

I thought I had lost my blog site permanently. Today, by some miracle I found it. The address for my work page has been changed by one number. Why that happened and how I managed to get in anyway is some sort of accident.

So, does this mean that I am back in the saddle? I hope so. Not writing has made me feel like I don’t have much purpose. Most of you know that I am a voracious reader and blogging has been one way to share some of the things I am learning. I hope to return to that…assuming that I can return to this page on another day.

For now, I will just share with you the joy of finding myself, that is, my blog. I will be back tomorrow…with some words of wisdom if there are an left inside of me.


Writers often carry notebooks with them much like a visual artist might carry a sketchpad. I will often take notes during meetings which I sometimes have to explain to people. “I may repeat what you said, but no one will know who said it.”  It is my way of gleaning knowledge. People don’t know that they may have been quoted in my book coming from the lips of Jesus or Matthew or Mary Magdalene. Nice, thought? I hope so.

I keep a notebook in my purse, one by my reading place in the morning and one by my chair before the TV. Some of what I record are books I want to some day read or movies that sound interesting. I even recorded categories and answers from Wheel of Fortune. They came in handy when our family turned to zoom during Covid.

When a book gets filled up, I will go through it before tossing it to take out notes that I might still use and put these into a new notebook. That is what I did yesterday with one of these notebooks. As I went through it once again, I thought that some of the ideas I had were worth keeping so I thought I would share them here with you.

At a recovery meeting, someone commented on slips: “We start to depend on being able to come back until we can’t.”

“There is a committee in my head.”

“Your need is God’s Opportunity.”

“We want to be perfect so we don’t have to deal with the consequences such as humiliation, guilt, people not liking us, and harm to self and others.”

“Praying for someone I dislike is an act of humility – I admit that I don’t really know this person, but I trust God does because I believe in God’s love. I trust that there is something there to love.”

“If I am drawn to the black, I have to choose to move to right thinking until that becomes as automatic as the black thinking.”

“By avoiding someone I am giving that person power over me.”

“Of all the things I miss most in life, I miss my mind the most.”

“Capitalism is better when you mix in a little morality.”

“Sometimes discussions are more performative than informative.”

“Life is not fair, but government should be.” Anne Richards, governor of Texas.

“There is no community unless between equals.”

“The purpose of art is to describe hell and heaven as experienced in life.”

The first person to get the Covid 19 shot was Sandra Lindsey.

“Donald Trump is the Confederacy’s last stand.” Joy Reed.

“Just because you have a broken system does not mean that the everyone in it is broken. Stop defending bad cops. It is not a reflection on good ones.”

Thanks. Now I can toss that notebook in the trash.


TESTING – TESTING – 1 – 2 – 3

It is taking some time to get my blog up and running again. My manager/son made some changes in providers ( don’t even know if provider is the right word). Today we talked about guests being able to subscribe so that they will be notified every time I publish a new post. Magically, he was able bring that object back from oblivion. So notice on the left the opportunity to leave your e-mail. I asked him about the folks who used to subscribe that have been wondering where I have been for the past four months. He found the number of subscribers, 43, but couldn’t discern whether they are still getting notifications. So this is a test. Those of you who used to subscribe and see this blog posted in your e-mail, let me know so we know that the master has succeeded.

I am happy to be writing again. So much is going on in the world. I like to ponder these things with my readers. I continue to read for my own enrichment and do research so that when I do launch out to comment on the affairs of the world, my thoughts are informative and contribute to unity rather than divisiveness. As the title of my blog implies, I am a peacemaker. I am also a person of faith who believes in the Creator/Power of Love that desires that all human be happy.

So, join me by submitting your e-mail and you will be notified whenever I post. And please, if you have agreements, disagreements, added insights, your own stories or expertise, share these. I love interacting with my readers.

Again, this is a test…if you are a former member and you get a notice of this blog, let me know by commenting below. Then I know we are fully back and running.

On Negative Posts on Facebook

It has happened only a couple of times since I began blogging that I began a response to a comment and decided that the response is a blog. This blog is one of these. The person who comment was kind. She was concerned that I was taking negativity too personally, messing with my own sense of peace. If you want to see what she said, look at the comment section in yesterday’s blog. Here is my response to her:

Thanks for the constructive suggestion. The fact is that I am not personally bothered by the kind of posting I talk about here. If you note the topics I choose to write about on my blog, you can see that I am very interested in politics and religion. I don’t even mind extremist views. Extremists actually help me think. I ask myself questions like “Is there some truth in their position?” or “Why are they so angry?” But extreme and negative statements like the ones I cited in my blog fail to solve any problems. They only push people to further extremes because they are on the defensive.

The really strange thing is that often people have no clue they are doing this. They see a post that is a bit sarcastic, maybe funny, and post it. The problem is that they may be bashing people that they actually like in their day-to-day goings-on. I read over and over again statements that demonize liberals. I mean, DEMONIZE. I am a liberal. I think I am a nice person. Those who know me might even say that I am a loving person. I just have a particular opinion on ways to solve some of our social problems. To me that is what liberal and conservative or libertarian is about…problem solving.

In my blog writings, I often address the issue of extremism, usually launching from a particular situation. I do this a lot during campaigns. As we gear up for another election, i anticipate a lot of hate speech to fly around again. I try to use my writing as a way to make people think about what they are actually saying. We need to be conscious of the words we use and who they hurt. This time, I thought I would just tackle a whole bunch at a time. I want people to see what they are doing when they post things that demonize others. Just because they are wrapped in humor or pictures of animals or babies doesn’t mean they can’t be used to reinforce hatred and fear that is festering in peoples’ hearts.

Some of the people who post these kinds of things are dear friends or relatives. Often I don’t respond at all. Occasionally I comment but try to be as respectful as possible. I do my best.

The New Year

When I neglect my blog, it locks me out. The little “edit” option disappears from my page and I have to go through the process of seeking out my administration page and proving to WordPress that I am who I say I am and not some kind of blog robber. My blog guru son as finally taught me how to do this for myself. Oh, he taught me many times before now but he finally got the process through my thick skull.

Christmas was the distraction. My blog is not the only thing that suffered neglect. So did my eating program, my exercise regime, my sewing, and any other of my usual life activities. Yesterday, Bernie and I took down the Christmas decorations and today threw out the tree and vacuumed up the pine needles. The house looks a bit naked after all that dingle-dangle stuff draped on the beams, banisters, and window frames, the little ceramic Santas and angels on end tables and book cases, and holiday towels on racks in bathrooms and kitchens. It seems we keep adding stuff each year. I prefer naked, at least as far as my living space is concerned.

About a week ago I bought a new 2019 calendar and spent a couple of hours bringing forward events such as birthdays and all my weekly and monthly meetings. I complain a lot about how busy my life is, but in doing this meditative activity, I realize I rather like the things I do, my daily routine of reading and writing, the groups to which I belong, and the family events including holidays and kids concerts and sporting events. At 74, I still get around pretty darned good.

So I made a promise to myself that in 2019 I will complain less and try to walk through my days with an attitude of gratitude.

Happy New Year.

My Life is Raw Material

When I run out of books to read, I find myself going to my own bookcase and searching for the ones I bought with good intentions but never got around to reading. A few days ago, I pulled from the shelf Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I bought it about a year ago after a friend commented that he was reading Emerson. It is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics collection. One can get it inexpensively through Amazon. A while back I read Varieties of Religious Experience from this same series. It is easy to see why these are considered classics. They speak universal truths. I find myself penciling a sentence in just about every paragraph and writing my story in the margins.

Having complained about how my life seems to get into the way of my passion, I find this morning that this is a universal problem for artistic people. Emerson offers comfort as he shows how important life experience is to the artist. I love this quote from his essay, “The American Scholar”:

Only so much do I know, as I have lived.

Simply put, if I don’t live my life, there is nothing to write about. I believe this applies to all artistic expressions including visual and performing arts. Watching the The Kominsky Method on Netflix last night, lead character/drama teacher, Sandy Kominsky, made this exact point to his drama students. Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, says the same.

More Emerson wisdom:

The world, – this shadow of the soul or other me, lies wide around me. Its attractions are the keys which unlock my thoughts and make me acquainted with myself…I do not see how any man can afford, for the sake of his nerves and his nap, to spare any action in which he can partake. It is pearls and rubies to his discourse. Drudgery, calamity, exasperation, want, are instructors in eloquence and wisdom. 

Gads, Ralph! You have been reading my blogs from your heavenly place and noting my constant complaining about having so much to do that I can’t get around to writing! If I were George Bailey you would be my Clarence.

I guess I should say, “Thanks for dropping by and helping me to appreciate my life as…

raw material out of which the intellect moulds her splendid products. 

Today I go to watch my grandson Jackson’s Christmas concert. Raw material at its best.