Monastic Skete- Daily Living A Hermit Lifestyle of Meditation
I am retired now, a full-time writer. I still actively do retreats. I love the works of Thomas Merton and my new book, "Spiritual Journaling -God's Whispers in Daily Living" is available on Kindle and Amazon. http://amzn.to/qQz6Ng
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Emergent Christians - Nashville, TN
Ray Waddle, semi-whatever-editor of the religion section in the Tennessean, has written a great article on the EMERGENT CHURCH. READ !!!!
Country Music Hall of Fame - Noon
Finally I go through the country music Hall of Fame for the first rime,
although I have been living here for 24 years.
Elvis Gold cadillac to the famous Rhythm and Blues years, 1945 to 1970,
at WLAC. Four of the major jocks at WLAC were thought to be
African-Americas but all were white. My favorite was John R. I wish I
had a recording of him
Hard Rock Cafe Nashville TN
Nashville tn 10 am sat.-the capitol
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Nice Tripping Across You Again
Hi, Dan. I'm Fran from Redondo Beach, CA and I remember several years ago tripping across your site when I was linking on my then-website about Thomas Merton. Then I lost track of you.
Today, on my own blog Sacred Ordinary I write of World Within Worlds and I reminisced about Thomas Merton's 4th and Walnut ephiphany. I did a quick Google on Merton to get which book it came from--and I rediscovered you. When I have time tonight, I'll add you to my blog roll and see what in the heck is going on in your world--which overlapped my world today.
Fran -- Sanctuary Center
"ASacred Place to Tell Our Stories"
FRAN, SO NICE TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN !!! I ALSO LOVE YOUR BLOG. WILL ADD IT TO MY BLOGSLIST.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT AND WARM SPRINGS GEORGIA
Recently there has been a new special on HBO about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his stay in Warm Springs, Georgia. You might remember that after he got polio he went to Warm Springs, Georgia, and, because of the healing waters there, tried to learn to walk again.
The thesis of the special is that those “tough days” of struggle at Warm Springs, Georgia, gave him the stamina, the vision, and the perseverance to eventually become a four-term president. The qualities that endured him to a nation were developed at Warm Springs.
Growing up in Georgia, Warm Springs was a place we on occasion visited. It was a quiet sleepy town, a place you could eat a good breakfast nearby, and one could take a quick trip to "The Little White House," the small cottage where FDR stayed when he came there.
It was not a busy place in those days, just a quite unassuming town that happened to be in south Georgia with a radio station with the call letters WFDR after Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the average visit to the Little White House one had few visitors and one could go through it and spend as much time as one wished because there was rarely anyone else around.
A SPECIAL REMEMBRANCE
In the spring of 1990, 10 years after the death of my father, the one who often took us on these trips, I took my Mother, wife, and daughter on a small trip through south Georgia. It just so happened that we ended up near Warm Springs and decided my 13 year-old daughter might enjoy seeing The Little White House and the hand-driven car FDR used and even the wheel chair he used while there.
When we got to the home, we were surprised. There was a larger crowd than usual at the Little White House, a couple of big buses, lots of people walking around, and even some television cameras.
When we asked what was going on, someone said, "Don’t you know? Today is April 12 and 45 years ago today Franklin Roosevelt died here. There is to be a special memorial service in his memory today. Why don’t you stay and take part?"
So, we stayed. There were many dignitaries at this event. Former governors of the state of Georgia, Generals during Roosevelt’s presidential days, Celestine Sibley the Atlanta Journalist Columnist, the United States Army Band, and common folk like ourselves who just happened to be there by accident (or was it accidental?).
Anyway, it was cold. I put my jacket on and we sat the third row from the front. There were empty seats around us, but it was one of the most meaningful things I had ever been a part of in my life.
After the memorial service was over, I interviewed a former General who was a friend of FDR’s and who had been with him during some of the great events of World War 2. Also I interviewed an African-American who told me he was a young boy in those early days at Warm Springs and how well FDR treated all of his family. "Yes, we received a special invitation to be here today," he said. ("He must have been a young boy when FDR first came," I thought.)
Somewhere in my vast collection of videos is that tape. I hope someday to find it again.
When Roosevelt died my grandfather, who worked for the Southern Railway, was asked to make sure the railroad track between Macon and Atlanta was in tip top shape. The train carrying FDR came that route. When it passed Ellenwood, Georgia, my Mom carried me on her shoulders and we stood in reverence as the train passed.
A few years later, my Dad’s sister, Martha got polio. She went and stayed at Warm Springs, Georgia, for a period of time. One thing I always remember was after her stay whenever it came time for her to get out of a car, she would never let anyone help her. It was quite an ordeal. She would have her braces on as she maneuver to thecar door very awkwardly with her crutches. I always was afraid that she would
fall. Maybe sometimes she did but I never saw it happen.
After the closing scene of Warm Springs I found myself unable to talk for a while. Tears filled my eyes and for the first time I realized, "if it hadn’t been for Franklin Delano Roosevelt my Aunt Martha may never have walked again."
A QUESTION FOR TODAY:
"How many times have our lives been influenced by others yet we have not realized it?"
What does that say about our influence?
Monday, May 23, 2005
For some reason some of my posts are not going on the site. Have I overloaded Flickr? Whatever---------
Made it back from Dayton on Sunday afternoon. Tired. Lots of rest. Worked today (Monday) It was a nice time this weekend. Enjoyed time with my radio friends.
Got sort of interested in The New Monasticism. Interesting read. Check it out.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Who is this?
I met this lovely young lady hawking t-shirts at the convention. I believe she is a famous writer. Do any of you know who she is?
Emergent Prayer Chapel
My favorite place is the emergent prayer room. I found myself going from station to station and praying according to the guidance given. Here are a few of the
1. Draw or sculpt a prayer....express your prayer thru symbols and images. Sissors, crayons, and pieces of paper were provided.
2. Drink water out of a glass. Receive Jesus as a gift ..."Sir give me this water" was the theme. A lite candle was.near.
3. What does God want to teach you with this mustard seed? 1000s of
mustard seeds were available.
4. "Consider the lilies." Mt. 6:28 -A beautiful bouquet of Lilies were on a table.
5. Give you rest....pillows were near to lean.on.
6. Praying with images. Numerous pictures were on the wall. ..."Gaze, choose one you are drawn to and spend time with it in prayer.
7. Poustinia was my favorite."Desert." Come in, close the door, just you and God.....In the small room was a icon, a lighted candle, and Peterson's the Message Bible. This is a beautiful and meaningful place.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Tuesday - Wish Day
It will be the last Emergent Convention here in my hometown and I will miss it because I will be going to the hamvention in Dayton, Ohio. What does that say about my real values?
"Wind and sun. Catbird bickering in a bush. Ringing bells and blowing whistles and then squawking in a lamentable fashion. Trees are clothed and benches are out and a new summer has begun."
THE SIGN OF JONAS, page 103
Will I take time to hear some of the sounds and see some of the lovely
sights of summer beginning?
From Wayne Burns
Monday, May 16, 2005
In a couple of days I will be on my way to the Dayton Hamfest. I have been a ham for over 40 years and this is the highlight of the year ham wise. If you are a ham you can call for N4NU on the simplex frequency of 146.745 while you are at the hamfest. I look forward to hearing from you.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Bloggers in Heaven
In Sunday School this morning I asked, "Will there be any bloggers in
"No, said David Stabnow, "if there were, we would have already heard
Sunday Afternoon - Pinkerton Park
"The odor of burning juniper is the sweetest fragrance on the face of the earth." Edward Abbey
A lazy beautiful spring afternoon. We have walked the mile trail slowly. Walkers speed past our chairs hidden in the shadow of the sunlight. Parents walk with their babies in strollers and pulling a couple of dogs behind. Sixteen boys play a game of frisbee. A young couple passes a frisbee between them. Kids play on swings in the playground.
On my sony mini-disc I listen to B.G. Adair's movie theme, Diana Krall, Ian Tyson and read Desert Solitaire.
A dad passes on his bike, tiny girl, age 2 with helmet, riding on the back. Reminds me of those days in Angel Grove, 27 years ago, when Melinda rode on the back of my bicycle.
The breeze picks up. It is getting colder, perhaps time to consider an exit !!
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Morning - The First Day
"I am here not only to evade for a while the clamor and filth and confusion of the cultural apparatus but also to confront, immediately and directly if it's possible, the bare bones of existence, the elemental and fundamental, the bedrock which sustains us." Edward Abbey (The First Morning)
"This is the most beautiful place on the earth," he begins. That is exactly the same words Thomas Merton used when he went to the Abbey of Gethsemani for the first time. Interesting !! The homing instinct is what Abbey calls it. A place on earth that is uniquely ours, a home, the place where our existence has meaning.
Question: What is the most beautiful place on earth for you?
Edward Abbey - A Season in the Desert
Sometimes, usually at the beginning of summer, I re-read Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. It is a pivotal book in my philosophy of life, much like Merton's Seven Storey Mountain.
The book was published in 1968. My paperback edition was published in June of 1980, probably about the time I discovered Abbey. The book centers around Abbey's summer job as a park ranger at Arches National Monument in Utah.
In his purpose for the. Book Abbey says, "I have tried to create a world of words in which the desert figures more as medium than as material. Not imitation but evocation has been the goal."
There is remarkable similarity between Thoreau's Walden and Abbey's Arches. They would have been kindred spirits, much like Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables. So lets get on with it.
Abbey's quote of the day:
"Those were all good times, especially the first two seasons when the tourist business was poor and the time passed extremely slowly, as time should pass, with the days lingering and long, spacious and free as the summers of childhood."
Question: In reviewing you life, what was your favorite time?
Answer: For me, those years at 445 Eagle Bend Road in Clinton, TN.
Lengthy days of bike riding, little league, corkball playing, listening
to KFI and KFWB, and talking on my ham radio to friends around the
Friday, May 13, 2005
From My Friends Joy and Rick in Rome
(Joy and Rick are in Rome. We have been friends for many, many years. Here are some details of their journey received today.)
Hello, we are here in Rome without the use of our phone, trying to figure out how to get phone service. We have been wandering the streets of Rome and taking buses everywhere looking in shops and mingling with the locals, at least thoses that will let us mingle with them.
Actually, the romans are very nice and helpful and Rick mixes his spanish and italian to communicate. The taxi driver and Rick had a spanish-italian conversation. The buses are confusing but boy are we seeing a lot! The weather is fantastic and we have been eating outside and people watching.
Using an italian computer is interesting... Dana, you are in fashion, all the young italians dress just like you. All the men carry purses so Im letting Rick carry my purse. We are matching in our green shirts and jeans today, ha! We are off and running to tour St Peters and the Vatican.
Joy and Rick
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I am absolutely worn out ! Just to much to get done and I never finish
anything without something else happening: instructions to fill out,
insurance forms, a funeral to preach, sick people to visit, people to
encourage. The days grow longer.
I need some rest. Some time off. Maybe the beach. Sunshine. A friendly
face. A smile. Laughter in three quarter time. A good baseball game. A
swim after reading a good book.
What is your favorite thing to do when you have time off?
Monday, May 09, 2005
I did not have any time to blog today. Tomorrow I am in a conference all
day with Naomi Tutu, daughter of Desmond Tutu. It should be interesting.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Blognashville Closing Curtains
This bear was given to Belmont University in 2003. It sits in the entrance to the center where the conference was held.
I missed the morning session. Spent the morning moving dirt.The afternoon sessions on podcasting, faith based blogs, and the Dave "Whiner" hour were a mixture of argumentive bloggers, superficialarguments and misguided conceptions. Even John Jay Hooker, who once ran for the senate in Tennessee 40 years ago, entered the fray. I tired of the arguments and I left early to watch the Kentucky Derby and prepare for our Mother'sDay bash tonight.
Blognashville - Mark Griffith
Mark Griffith (pictured above) and I were the first bloggers to arrive, at 5:45 pm --early. We found each other because we both looked like lost souls. In fact we were lost. It took entrance to several wrong buildings before we succeeded in getting in Massey Hall's auditorium.
Mark drove 4 hours from Livingston, Alabama, to be there. He is Professor of Political Science at The University of West Alabama and he is official:
THE POLITICAL MAN !!!
It was fun listening to him woo the other political bloggers and we sat together and watched all of the cameras explode.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Blognashville - The Truth About Glenn Reynolds
The thing that surprised me most about the Blogging convention was the number of cameras exploding at every moment. It was like Babe Ruth had returned for one more standing ovation. Every blogger has a camera. I wanted to take a survey to see which was the most popular camera. My eyes are full of blind spots.
The Truth About Glenn Reynolds
And the truth is I know nothing but Glenn Reynolds and his
Instapundit are given credit for starting the blogging revolution. Everyone speaks of him in soft tones, punctuated by whispers of envy.
In person he is younger than I expected, has a fluent style and presentation, a wicked sense of humor ("the number 1 blog is run by some type of Chinese Sex Slave"--or something similar) he says. He does have a clear understanding of the blogging media. His observation that if a person concentrated only on the local school board, interviewed everyone related to it, and did proper research, he would have great credibility in the local community is certainly credible.
The whole evening was interesting. One came to the conclusion that some of the local media were clueless, the bloggers somewhat jagged, and everyone had an opinion --perhaps a trait of the bloggers. But since this is a blog concentrating on Monasticism and Thomas Merton I was reminded of a story Merton once told of some of the monks trying to help the cows give more milk. They devised a scheme of changing the music while the cows worked. Most of the time there was religious music, supposedly to get the cows to meditate properly. Little modern music was used, although some was tried. The result was inconclusive: it didn't matter what the music was, the cows gave the same kind of milk. That sorta reminds me of what this evening was really like. Think about that.
I am eating supper at Wendy's near Centennial Park. In the park is a
gigantic craft fair which will be here until Sunday. I am killing time
until the beginning of Blognashville in a couple of hours.
I haven't a clue what it will be like tonight. I don't think I have ever
met but one blogger before. I have no idea whether I will feel out of
place or feel I have discovered a lost tribe of brother and sister
The best thing about this is it is free and I hope to learn a few things
that will challenge me in doing better as a blogger.
National Day of Prayer
We went last night to the Ryman Auditorium and participated in the National Day of Prayer. Steve Green led the music and Henry Coles, one of my Tres Dias buddies, was one od the co-leaders. It was a meaningful evening.
I like the statuettes of Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl in the Ryman. Oh how I miss them
Tonight I plan on going to the .Nashville blogging Convention. Hope to see some new blogging friends there
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Cardinal Ratzinger and his Twin Brother
The Nashville Scene has a fascinating picture of Pope Benedict XVI and someone who looks like him. Check it out.
Monday, May 02, 2005
A Year With Thomas Merton by Jonathan Montaldo
Accent, an online literary review, has an excellent article by Wayne Burns on A Year With Thomas Merton by Jonathan Montaldo. Worth reading.
There is also an excellent recent article about Father Matthew Kelty in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Who's Packing Your Parachute
Who's Packing Your Parachute?
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"
"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.
"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked !"
Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today."
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor." Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your
parachute?"Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory -- he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason. As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.
I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in
Packing my parachute. And I hope you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours!
Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it: When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do -- you forward jokes.
And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still
important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke.
So my friend, next time when you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you pack your parachute.
BRO.Dan and thanks to each of you who helped me pack my parachute.