Archive for the ‘Spirit’ Category

Nicotiana Rustica

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

nicotiana.jpeg
I love tobacco. I grow it in my garden carefully, protecting the young tender plants from the late frosts of Spring. I clear away any competing weeds so the plants can grow with out competition and produce the right amount of leaf.
I follow a religion that prohibits the recreational use of this plant whether as smoke , chew or snuff. I agree with those prohibitions.
I also give my time every Friday to a group of American Indian inmates at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison. I serve as a spiritual advisor to roughly 40 native men. I carrry tobacco and other plant medicines in to the facility. Tobacco is not allowed into the any UDC facility except for the purpose of prayer by Indian inmates. Even staff have to go out of the facility to have a smoke.
water-drum.jpg
Last time I was in it was near 15 degrees in temperature. I watched as several Dineh brothers prepared a water drum in the bitter cold with bare hands. They drummed and sang with wet fingers, glad for the chance to pray in this way. Between songs they shared tobacco rolled in a corn husk according to their traditions. I was awed by their devotion. My hands ached for their frozen finders. I thought about all the times these ceremonies were outlawed. I thought about them going underground with their prayers to survive the prohibition of our government.
I hate tobacco as product and the way it is pimped to our people by conspiring men and women who only see potential profit in its leaves. I hate what the smoke does in the body when used in a way unintended by its creator. I hate the way it seduces our young men and women and traps them into years of addiction and disease. I hate how our government colludes with big tobacco and refuses to really get serious about stopping this evil industry. I want to tear them down. I want to see them fall. I want freedom and health for our children. I am at war and will not rest until this happens.
This ad from Australia is over the top and perhaps a bit gross. I don’t care. Mouth cancer is ugly. Lung and throat cancers are less visible but just as deadly.

I think that we will live in a smoke free world someday. The way it will happen is through LOVE.
I love all of you.

Joseph’s Birth

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

(This entry was written December 23rd but not posted until the 26th due to technical difficulties.)
Everyone is all about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth these days. So am I. I love the Lord and enjoy Christmas for that reason. It is also a cool family time. We had Christmas two weeks ago when all three of our daughters could be here at once. We are now up to our ears in moving and have no Christmas plans other than packing and moving 29 years worth of accumulated stuff. Lee took down the tree yesterday and put it in the yard. Who knows what the neighbors think we are up to.
joseph_smith_jr_1843_photograph.jpg
Today, in addition to being the first day past solstice, is the anniversary of the birth of Joseph Smith in Sharon, Vermont. I visited his birthplace quite a few years ago with my daughter Louisa when we were out east looking at potential colleges for her. Joseph is easily the most controversial figure in American religious history. I count Joseph as God’s prophet, the first with all keys and authority since biblical times. This year I have been reading Richard Bushman’s biography of Joseph sub titled Rough Stone Rolling. I come away with the deeper feeling of his genuine calling and of the fact that he is fairly universally misunderstood even by the people who belong to the church he founded. I can’t say that I understand him well either but my attempts to understand him have been adventures in deed. He was a radical, a mystic, an alchemist, a visionary, a charismatic leader and a revolutionary. So, happy birthday Joseph and thank you.

To Be Welsh

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

“To be born in Wales, not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but, with music in your blood and with poetry in your soul, is a privilege indeed.” Brian Harris

This pretty amazing. My only question is why do they follow Paul’s performance with Steven Tyler?

Lee’s Virtues

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Lee6.jpg

Lee and I were asked to speak in church on the topic of Virtue and Vice.
Lee spoke briefly but very powerfully on the topic of Virtue. She listed the virtues she values. Here is her list. I see it as descriptive of her and a laundry list for me to work on. Oh Well…

Virtues

  • To be patient and kind not only when things are going well, but when things are tough. This includes people and animals.
  • To give service, especially when not asked or assigned.
  • To be sensitive and observant with those you live and work around; Those who are easiest to ignore or take for granted.
  • To pray everyday.
  • To not take offense when none is intended.
  • To be honest with yourself. Do not make excuses or justifications for thoughts or actions you know are wrong. Live in integrity.
  • To hold your toung and not speak guile.
  • To not judge others.
  • To practice repentance .
  • To be industrious; physically, mentally, intellectually, civicly and spiritually.
  • To be modest in action, speech and dress.
  • To be humble in your countenance.
  • To be obedient and submissive to God’s laws.
  • To be generous with your time, heart, back, arms and all of your wealth.
  • To forgive with your heart, not just with your lips.
  • To be grateful and express your gratitude.
  • To be a peacemaker and diffuse or deflect contention.
  • To have faith and to share it with others.

Truth Restored

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Thanks Kevin. This one works for me.