Archive for November, 2007

Ephesians 5:22

November 29, 2007 2 comments

This is something i wrote for my batterers group after one of the guys brought up that whole wives should be subject to their husbands thing.


Ephesians 5:22 “wives should be subject to their husbands” in context

Ephesians 5:21-33 (emphasis added)

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subject to their husbands as to the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church is subject to Christ, so should wives be to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives, just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy by washing her in cleansing water with a form of words, so that when he took the Church to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because we are parts of his Body. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh. This mystery has great significance, but I am applying it to Christ and the Church. To sum up: you also, each one of you, must love his wife as he loves himself; and let every wife respect her husband.



Some commentary:

 There is a saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” or too put it more bluntly “Drink deep from the well of knowledge or don’t drink at all”. Wives should be subject to their husbands is the most quoted thing out of the Bible I have ever heard but it is obvious from the context that is not at all what it means. Did you know in the Bible it says “there is no God”? Of course the whole context of the text is “The fool says in his heart that there is no God”. Taking that one verse out of context is the exact same thing. Paul clearly states he is talking about Christ and the Church using the traditional view of marriage as an analogy. He is explaining a religious mystery that I am not going to go into and is not talking about marriage at all. When he sums up he restates the commandment telling men to love their wives as themselves and merely telling women to respect (not obey, not subject themselves) to their husbands. This verse is so popular because it appears to say what we want it to say, what leads to our own benefit. In fact its meaning is just the opposite.

Categories: religeon

Travels with Trevor

November 28, 2007 Leave a comment

So i have been back from vacation for three days and work hasn’t left me beaten down as of yet, a new record. Reviewing our trip after the KOPN interview last night left us both surprised we found the experience relaxing. We journeyed over 1,500 miles and clocked an average gas mileage of 44.2 mpg in Trevor’s Honda Civic. Our pentultimate location was Farmington Hills Michigan, which some would shorthand into Detroit, but FH is really more of an anti-Detroit, like a photographic negative it is everything Detroit is not. We ended up pitching in on our friend’s “re-branding” of the historic Farmington Bakery into the Sunflower Bakehaus, which mostly entailed a paint job, as they have been moving their menu to wholegrain goodness for months beforehand. Painting was pretty fun with Trevor being especially hilarious. Once it grew quiet and Trevor exclaimed in a total deadpan that “the agency promised i would be given positive feedback every hour”.

Our biggest impression of the Michigan leg of the journey was the economic depression in the area. My sister Betty and her husband Bill have been talking about selling their house and buying a business “Up North” as long as i can remember but no one is buying houses their anymore so those plans were shelved. Jeff and Becky were talking about selling the bakery and going back to school, but no one is buying bakeries anymore so those plans were shelved for a “re-branding”. Its interesting to see how these macro-economic trends play out in the real world of individual lives, not destitute, but changing everyone’s plans, touching their lives.

On the drive back we stopped and got a room in Cloverdale Indiana. We decided to go and see Indiana’s largest waterfall Cataract Falls the next morning and take a little break from the interstate. On the way the local High School caught Trevor’s eye and we drove over for a closer look thinking it looked like it came out of the WPA era. It was just an art deco facade but they had paper recycling which we had collected a bundle of and on such a series of coincidences a dog’s life lay in the balance. As we were recycling we saw some serious smoke and decided to investigate. We found a house seriously ablaze and called 911. We had to drive down the street to find a street sign and we were not sure what to do after reporting it so we just continued on our journey. Neither of us were eager for a contact with law enforcement as you never know how those encounters with the men with guns are going to go so we just drove on down to the falls. Thanks to the wonders of the internet we learned it was a blocked up chimney and the front page follow up story talked about the rescue of the family dog. We took a little bow for being curious and brave enough to call “The Man” if not stick around to talk to him.

Cataract Falls was beautiful and taller than i was which was pretty good for Indiana. There was also an old covered bridge there which was lovely. In the shadow of the new bridge the surface of the water froze into this intricate spiderweb pattern which reminded me of the hidden evils of modernity spreading out in near invisible webs until they are irrevocably frozen in place.

As our trip ended Trevor proposed I come on KOPN and do an interview. I ended up talking about my work with individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues and the holidays. I like to think i went beyond the obvious of making sure everyone has a cozy fire to gather around and to think of sober alternatives for those of us with a problematic relationship to substances. I also talked about listening and being supportive and how to break down people’s ambivilance towards postive change. I might write a post on that topic later. I ended with a poem, my whamo poem, which Trevor and the next guy who has a show enjoyed. I will check back and see if i have posted it yet and if not i will knock it out for you all.

Categories: travel


November 27, 2007 Leave a comment

For anyone who may be interested I will be on the 5:00 news show on KOPN tonight (11/27) around 5:30 for 15-20 minutes. I think I will be talking about co-occurring disorders (mental illness & substance abuse) and the holidays. I may try to sneak in a poem at the end. They stream live on the internet if your not local.

Categories: Uncategorized

more thanksgiving travels

November 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Day two on our Thanksgiving journey fortunately involved less driving. Trevor and I went for a hike in Oregon (Pierson Park) with Chad and his dog Nakomas. We drove out the “Greenbelt” Parkway and talked of our efforts to keep that boondoggle from coming into being and came back over the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge which had better memories. We then drove up to my sister Betty’s and visited with the family. It was interesting having an outsider’s perspective on the typical family drama and we had a nice meal. Heather took Trevor and I on a tour of downtown Ida which hasn’t changed much although I was pleased to see the new library. When I lived there it was in a trailer and i remember having read whole sections of it. After saying our goodbyes we drove up to Monroe and checked out downtown which was quite still on a Thanksgiving evening and ended our sojourn at the truckstop for a bowl of chili and oatmeal respectively. Trevor’s biggest observation was the gaps in Toledo, the vacant houses and buildings and empty lots like broken teeth in a formerly perfect smile compared to all the new construction in my former country home rapidly joining the world of exurbia.

Categories: travel

thanksgiving travels

November 22, 2007 Leave a comment

Trevor and I set off on our journey to the heartland yesterday at 6:00 am. We drove straight through, with a lot of rain, but had some great conversation, and arrived in Toledo with only a little discombulation navigating about the city. Having lived in a number of places its my theory that our navigating grid that we use to get around gets recycled. The plus side of getting around CoMo better these days is Toledo got a little fuzzy and i ended up on the wrong side of the Maumee and taking a little longer to get to Chad’s and Melissa’s then necessary. Chad Olsen made us a great dinner and all of my favorite people came over. It got a little overwhelming but was a lot of fun seeing everyone, and all the T-Town crew looked happy and healthy. Trevor and I had been talking and he had asked me what was the key to the Toledo character which i couldn’t really answer but having spent an evening back I think its a level of parochialism thats higher than most places. There was just a lot of Toledo-centric conversation that I probably wouldn’t have been aware of if Trevor hadn’t asked me how much of the conversation i could follow having been elsewhere for the last several years. Nonetheless, Trevor was impressed with the Urban nature and thought everyone was really interesting in ones and twos but 20 of them at once is a little overwhelming. Today we are going to Ida to have dinner with my family and then back to Toledo in the evening. Tomorrow we venture deeper into Michigan to Farmington Hills. After our visiting there we are going to shoot down to explore Cincinnati/Covington and check out the serpent mound, before heading home. More travel updates to follow and Happy Thanksgiving to all family and friends.

Categories: travel

I did not vote today

November 14, 2007 1 comment

Good morning, i am afraid i lost the brilliant essay i have spent two long sessions working on and planned on finishing off and posting today. Apparently I didn’t turn the computer off and lost it to a dead battery. Its weird because i distinctly rememeber saving it when i took the break i never got back from. Also i had opened up a previous saved version to work on it so that should still be there right? But its not. So since i have had a fairly difficult week already i don’t feel like coming up with something original i stumbled across an essay i wrote last year for the election and with the presidential hoopla nonsense gearing up i thought it was kind of relevant for now, so enjoy. I’d like to hear your comments on this piece and on where i should go with this blog. What do you want to read, dear readers, poetry, essays, stories, something else?

I did not vote today. I chose not to get my hands soiled in a dirty irrelevancy that frightens me to be forced to live in and observe its operations, let alone meaningfully engage it in any voluntary way that is not destroying it, setting it back, limiting its scope. Fundamentally law is unjust. Law inherently lacks the necessary understanding and compassion to account for every possible condition, circumstance, and type of individual to be anything more than a “bull in a china shop” when provided with any ability to coerce, imprison, or deprive of liberty. I have no need of laws. I engage the world in a just and equitable manner whether the law tells me too or not. I pursue pleasure and avoid pain in a safe and reasonable way determined by my own reason and conscience in any way I see fit regardless of the law. Not only do I prefer not to choose someone to invest with power to abrogate my potential freedoms, I would consider it wrong to appoint someone to abrogate yours. I would prefer to live in a world where both you and I are free to determine the entire nature of our lives without coercion; the only limitation being our love and respect for the other occupants of our shared planet and a commitment to sustainability for future generations. I am grateful to live under the rule of law. It is a more graceful and accommodating form of institutionalized-potential-slavery than the previous power structures of enforced hierarchies of times past, but not one capable of real justice and equity, even in ideal circumstances, let alone in our actual world dominated by historic oppression. If I lived in a land without at least the semblance of the rule of law such that we struggle under I might not be an anarchist. I might be a republican, a democrat, a revolutionary constitutionalist trying to enshrine a rule of law. There are warlords, bandits and dictators I know but I live here, now. I dream of living in a better world in a society where we care about each other and voluntarily organize to solve problems and see our needs met in a totally non coercive manner. I believe we can only reach that world by building it now. The system only inflicts its harms and injustices through the participation of not only its law wielders and gun bearers but all of its contributors of energy and resources that we could be contributing toward a world of mutual respect and cooperation. I believe for me, right now, that world is more likely to come about through my not voting than by my voting. Not because I don’t care, but because I care so much. Not because I feel powerless, but because I feel powerful. Not because I have no hope, but because I believe a world of gentle sustainability built upon cooperation is inevitable. The only alternative is complete destruction. I, at least, refuse to participate in anything less than what is good, which is after all, ultimately, all that will last.

Categories: philosophy, politics

Hi Trevor

November 9, 2007 Leave a comment

I am hanging out at my friend Trevor’s waiting for him to finish up with the plumber. I was showing him my blog and wanted to impress on him the immediacy of the thing so i am writing a quick mini-post. Trevor are doing a trip to Detroit for thanksgiving. We are going to visit Jeff Pavlik and Co in Farmington Hills and running by my old stomping grounds. I think i will have to retract any commitments i’ve made to do any particular thing and freestyle it. He is going to Eastern Europe in the peace corps in March and needs to see a doctor the day before turkey day. Do you know anyone who wants to rent his house? It comes with a cat named Ms Fezziwig. There is a lot of stuff you have to do to go to the peace corps. Thats why i’ve never joined. I have pledged to visit he and his wife and am hoping for kazakhstan or lithuania, now that Fiji has been ruled out. I will tell you all about the trip as it develops.

Categories: Uncategorized


November 5, 2007 2 comments


You were asking me on the phone about bi-polar disorder. I am going to run down some general thoughts on the disorder and some thoughts on dealing with it. Identifying your symptoms and coming up with a plan for each is a good start. As a rule that’s how you beat this “disease”. If you treat it as a thing in and of itself like cancer then the words a psychiatrist said to me are basically true: “You have a serious mental disorder and it is never going to get better”. The best you can hope for is a good psychiatrist and more agreeable than disabling medications for symptom control. A bleak picture and one I would not accept. When that psychiatrist said that to me I already had a Masters Degree in Sociology and was steeped in the idea of labeling theory the idea that mental illness is a socially created stigma far more than anything to do with brain chemistry or mood disregulation. So I refused to accept that guys label but I still had a bushel full of negative symptomology to deal with. So I broke it down, and enacted some cognitive behavioral interventions I knew from my mental health days as well as managing my environment I got better.

A diagnosis does not have to be a determinant of who we are as people. It also doesn’t let us off the hook for managing our lives. We are the ones who will benefit if we change and we are the only ones who can enact positive change in our lives so it makes since to accept the hand we are dealt, ferret out the part we have control over, and apply the force of our will only on that part. Fortunately science, metaphysics, and personal experience have taught me that our thoughts, behaviors, indirectly our emotions, sometimes our environment, and to a much larger than most suspect, our very physiology can be put under our conscious control.

All change comes through what I call the 4 “A”s: Awareness, Assessment, Action, and Accountability. Recovery from bi-polar disorder comes from becoming aware of the nature of our symptomology, assessing its impact on our overall well being and intervention strategies, implementing those strategies with constant measurement of success and reassessment of strategies along a coherent plan, and maintaining our plan through a systematic format of accountability (literally to count) with ourselves and sometimes others.

Fundamentally our personalities our sense of being our consciousness arises out of constructs; memes, scripts, patterns of operations, we had no hand in creating and accepting without question because to a certain extent we are made of these things. But at some point we reach a point of accountability. We are compelled to know who we are and perhaps more importantly to know who we want to be and make ourselves in that direction. The world of thought is malleable, adjustable, compliant to the will, evolutionary. Applying the 4 “A”s could look like this: Awareness – Becoming aware of our patterns of thoughts, the things we believe, the things we give meaning too, how we interact with others, how our self-observer treats our self, competing thoughts, adaptive and maladaptive thoughts, etc. Assessment – Identifying and prioritizing areas of out thought-life, identifying problematic or maladaptive thoughts, scripts, voices, habitual responses, behavioral choices (I will call all these things constructs as a reminder they are created things etc. and also identifying core thoughts, scripts, voices, habituated responses, behavioral choices (constructs) to build upon or unleash upon our maladaptive constructs. Assessment is a good time to write things down, awareness as well, but I know you are already journaling. Action is the time you enact your assessment. A lot of people stop at self-analysis and never identify and institute changes, which is the greatest gift of self-awareness. Accountability is measuring that action. Staying the course. Keeping track of your successes. It is a promise to yourself and others of the changes you are making. It creates someone (even if it is only yourself) to say, “Hey did you do that thing?” It allows us to know what we have done.

Most of life is obfuscation, a means of obscurement of truths we would rather not face. I propose we should boldly face who we are and why we are where we are so that we can enact who we want to be and where we want to be at. The means are myriad and widespread. Any self-change system can be effective if applied with diligence over time. Some you already know the basics of. Devise a plan, implement it, measure your results, and make changes as necessary based upon your outcome data. If it is so easy why isn’t everyone successful. Some of it is ignorance. People don’t know who they are or why they do things. Some of it is feeling comfortable, nesting in who we have been because who we might be is too frightening. Its worth some thought to ask yourself why you put yourself where you are right now, this is worth asking wherever you have chosen to put yourself. What do I believe about myself is incompatible with success? What am I really trying to do by failing all the time, and what is the easiest, or the quickest, or the surest way to change it?

In future posts i will add emotional, behavioral, environmental, and physiological management strategies as well as provide more details as folks raise questions or make comments. As a treat for reading this far here is a new poem i am working on:

Am I any less real when I am asleep

The world it keeps on turning

The sun still shines when its dark outside

But we don’t see its burning.

And if i die today

Will my soul pass away

Or is it gonna keep on living

If will if it just resides

In this meat-machine

But souls are made for giving.

Categories: feelings, health, philosophy, poetry