Tuesday, June 27, 2006

CrossWalk America: Day 72

CROSS-WALK AMERICA: DAY-72
MONDAY-26-JUNE-2006

WELL, WE WALK'D ON OLD U.S.RT.40 TODAY, THRU LAWRENCE,KANSAS,
+ SOME LOCAL-FOLKs JOIN'D US A WHILE, BUT I FORGOT TO KISS THE PAVEMENT LIKE I WANTED TO: BY THE TIME WHEN I REMEMBER'D TO DO IT WE HAD ALREADY TURN'D RIGHT + LEFT RT.40 BEHIND US ... DANG!!!
SO I KISS'D THE PAVEMENT ANY-WAY, SO HAPPY TO BE BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN, AFTER A 4-DAY REST ... TOMORROW + THURsDAY WE WILL PASS THRU THE SOUTH-SIDE OF THE KANSAS-CITY METRO-AREA, WITHOUT EVER BE-ING IN KANSAS CITY IT-SELF ... WEDNEsDAY IS A REST-DAY ...
THEN WE WILL FOLLOW OLD U.S.RT.50 THRU MISSOURI:
THIS IS THE ROAD WHICH WILLIAM LEAST HEAT-MOON FEATURED IN HIS AWARD WIN-ING + MILLION-SELL-ING BOOK "BLUE HIGHWAYS IN AMERICA"
... HE SAY'D THAT HE DID-CHOOSE ! THIS LESS-TRAVEL'D ROAD TO WRITE ABOUT PRECISE-LY BECAUSE IT IS LESS-TRAVEL'D, + GO's THRU SMALL-ER TOWNs THAN IT's COUSIN TO THE NORTH, RT.40 .....

PEACE+LOVE + BEST-WISHs TO ALL !!

SINCERE-LY, MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, KANSAS, USA, AMERICA

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sophie Rogers: Q & Peachy in "Reasons to Live"

What's this generation of Catholic artists up to? Check out Sophie Rogers' short animation on YouTube. Two monsters walking in the desert encounter a third monster who's about to commit suicide. Deep issues of religion and gender identity!

Sophie is the daughter of University of Delaware philosophy professor Kate Rogers and fantasy/horror/SF author and artist Mark E. Rogers. Kate is an Anselm scholars and one of my buddies in Catholic Scholars of Delaware, and Mark is the author of the Blood of the Lamb trilogy that re-tells the story of Jesus in Mark's savage imagined world Thorgon Karrelssa.

Sophie, who also goes by the name "Moro Rogers", is studying character animation at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).

The apple does not fall far from the tree. I'm sure she'd love feedback on her efforts.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What is going on in that tiny little brain?

I called home from work yesterday and talked to my husband Bill. I needed some computer information. As I talked to him I noted an odd note in his voice, like he was deigning to talk about some insignificant topic while in reality he was off in Mount Olympus or Valhalla or Paradise. In the background I could hear these very sweet little cooing noises.

"Is Owen there?" I asked.

"Yes, and you wouldn't believe how he's grown since the last time we saw him."

The last time we saw him was a week and a half ago. Last weekend, Reetie and Em took all three kids to the beach. Walter and Carrie joined them. Emily had come back and reported that Owen had changed, that he was calm all the time and hardly cried at all.

Now he was cooing from his granddad's arms. It wasn't the first time I had heard him coo, but I was pleased by Bill's words because they went along with Em's report from the weekend.

Later, Emily called me at work to say she was going to pick me up instead of me walking home. She'd been asked to bring me home sooner, so I could see Reetie and the kids before they left.

Ruth was playing on the computer when I arrived. Wade saw me and ran behind a couch to hide. "Where's Wade?" I asked as I entered the living room, and he popped out of his hiding place saying, "Here I am, I was hiding from you, Grandmom!" and laughing like he had put a good one over on me.

Owen was lying on his back kicking and cooing. I called to him and as soon as he heard my voice he looked at me, then broke into a big smile. I played with him, picked him up, dandled him. He didn't show signs of sensitivity to environment as before. He was engaged and interactive. He looked and acted for all intents and purposes exactly like a four month old baby in the pink of health.

I was having fun enjoying an exceptionally lively time with him. I thought I had lucked out, like Bill that morning. But the minutes rolled by, and he continued smiling and cooing, waving his arms around, responding while we did the sort of silly things grownups do to delight babies.

Reetie was watching me.

I said, "He seems different."

"I know, Mom, I know."

"Is he still keeping you up at night?"

"He's sleeping five or six hours at a time."

"He seems so... I don't know... he seems completely normal."

"I know, Mom, I know!" Reetie started chuckling, in wonder. She was obviously delighted that I was noticing a change she had deliberately not said a word to me about. Glad to see my puzzlement. Her "I knows" were full of happy puzzlement, like what the heck is going on here?

There was no telling myself I was imagining things, no exaggerating his progress. He was indistinguishable from any other baby. Continually alert in a way he had been sporadically alert before. Completely engaged with his environment instead of engaging when we coaxed him out of himself. Babbling, imitating us, reaching out to grab, in general behaving exactly like a four month old.

I wanted to run out and do an MRI, call the Daughters of St. Paul and have them get a doctor who was looking to certify a miracle for Fr. Alberione. Or Pope John Paul II. Bill said, "You can't do an MRI for no reason." Reetie said, "This is still consistent with what they said might happen, best case scenario, that he might show normal development in the early months."

But she told me what the CHOP doctor who came to the house with the NPR crew for the interview said.

"I won't lie to you," he said. "This baby is doing very, very well. By this age we could be seeing signs of rigidity that go with a brain injury, we could be seeing spasticity. I don't see anything like that. His hamstrings are a little tight, but that could just be a matter of some physical therapy."

She also said, laughing with that happy puzzlement, "Do whatever you want, Mom. Call those people if you want."

What is going on in that tiny little brain? Will it continue? We are in the middle of a suspense story, and I am eager to see what plot turn will happen next.

Thank you, Lord, for Owen's progress. Thank you for Your kindness to his parents, to Owen himself, and to all of us.

Today was a remarkable day.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A goofy side of prayer requests

I think I'm getting the hang of the basics of podcasting. I'll bet there's a cleaner way to use a blog as a podcast interface.

podcast 2: a prayer request for a 16-year old, nephew of the friend who roped me into the Pauline Cooperators

Sister Margaret Charles Kerry's nephew is in need of prayer. Click the link above to hear a podcast of Sister's request.

Here it is in text for those who cannot access audio files:

Date: Fri 16 Jun 15:03:33 EDT 2006
From: "Sr. Margaret Charles Kerry, FSP"
Subject: FYInformation: Prayer Intention Sr Marg Chas Nephew
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
Prayer Intention


My sister Cathy just called to ask for prayers for my nephew, Joseph Chrisco. He was on a mission trip to Peru and came down with a sickness. He lost consciousness and they were able to get him back to the United States. He is now in the ER in a hospital in Houston. My sister isn't able to get to Houston (she is in Florida) and is asking all of us to pray for Joe and his recovery. Joe is 16 years old and wants to be a Franciscan brother.

Thank you!
Sr Margaret Charles
Mkerry@paulinemedia.com

PS if anyone has friends or relatives in Houston that can visit the ER at the Northeast Hospital in Houston we would be grateful.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

dipping my toes into podcasting

I am co-principal investigator on a project involving students of Italian producing weekly radio broadcasts. So I am entering the world of podcasting. Scary but intriguing. I'm using PODCAST SOLUTIONS by Michael W. Geoghegan and Dan Klass as my bible.

My boss Tom McCone had the great idea of me recording myself reading my own poems, as the way to get into the recording phase. I love the idea. Hearing my own voice while scratching around for content would add obstacles to the learning of the recording and podcasting process. I love my poems, and this offers a venue for them.

So I'm going to upload an MP3 recording of me reading Just for You:Yahweh II, one of my favorites. Hope that this first attempt works. If not, well, Bill Stabosz my husband always says, "You have to do it wrong before you do it right."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mark writes from CrossWalk America, now in Kansas

OKLAHOMA WEATHER-REPORT +
CALIFORNIA BOOK-SIGN-ING EVENT

MY GOOD-FRIEND IN BERKELEY+OAKLAND, CA---WHO
TRACES HIS ANCESTRY BACK TO THE BLACKFEET-INDIANS OF
MONTANA---ASK'D ME TO PLEASE TELL THE AMERICAN-INDIAN
STORY WHEN I WAS IN OKLAHOMA---ALSO CALL'D "NATIVE
AMERICA" ...
WELL, I'M IN KANSAS NOW, BUT WILL TELL THE STORY
ANY-WAY:

AMERICAN-INDIANS HAVE SEVERAL NAMES-FOR-"GOD" --- JUST
LIKE CHRISTIANS DO: NAMES LIKE "WAKAN-TANKA" +
"TUNKASHILA" + JUST-SIMPLY "GREAT SPIRIT" ...
WELL, WE WERE IN TULSA,OKLAHOMA LAST WEEK-END:
DRIVE-ING OUT MONDAY-MORNING, BACK TOWARD WHERE WE HAD
STOP'D WALK-ING, THERE IN TULSA WAS LIGHT RAIN-FALL +
A HEAVY DOWN-POUR-ING OF RAIN A BIT NORTH-WEST OF THE
CITY ...
THEN APPROX. 24 HOURS
LATER---TUESDAY-MORNING---THERE WAS A
REPEAT-PERFORMANCE OF RAIN-FALL-ING-DOWN-IN-TULSA,
PLUS SOME STRONG-WINDS, BLOW-ING DOWN SOME LOCAL
STRUCTURES THERE, INCLUDE-ING A FERRIS-WHEEL-RIDE
@ AN AMUSEMENT-PARK + A ROOF @ A BAPTIST-CHURCH ...
AND GUESS WHAT ?? THO TULSA IS A BIG CITY,
THOSE STRONG-WINDS HAPPEN'D, LIKE, IN THE SAME AREA
WHERE WE HAD BEEN, LIKE, 24 HOURS BEFORE ...

THE NEWS-PAPER HEAD-LINE WAS: "STORM SURPRISES TULSA"
... THE STORY SAY'D: "POWERFUL STORM EARLY TUESDAY
... FROM 11TH TO
31ST STREETS,
HARVARD TO YALE
AVENUES"
... LIKE, EXACT-LY WHERE WE WERE: OUR HOST-CHURCH WAS
@ HARVARD AVENUE + 27TH STREET, + AN OTHER CHURCH
WHERE WE APPEAR'D SUNDAY-EVENING WAS @ YALE AVENUE +
APPROX. 21ST STREET ...
SO I RECKON THIS: PERHAPS THIS "GREAT SPIRIT"
--- THIS "WIND-OF-GOD" --- MIGHT HAVE BEEN TRY-ING TO
SAY SOME-THING ... AND SO NOW I WONDER: WAS ANY-BODY
LISTEN-ING ??

FOLKS: I RECKON IT'S AS THEY SAY:
" GOD IS STILL
SPEAKING"

-----UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

*** BOOK-SIGN-ING ***
SPEAK-ING OF SPEAK-ING: THE PASTOR @ OUR
HOST-CHURCH IN OKLAHOMA CITY WAS SPEAK-ING AT A
LOCAL UNIVERSITY RECENT-LY + HIS SPEECH WAS SO-GOOD,
FOLKS PICK'D IT UP + PUT IT ON THE INTERNET + SO
THOUSANDS OF OTHER FOLKS DID-SEE IT + DID-GIVE LOTS OF
FEED-BACK---BOTH POSITIVE+NEGATIVE: SO HE EXPANDED IT
TO BOOK-LENGTH + THE BOOK WAS PUBLISH'D THIS
YEAR(2006)
AND SOON HE WILL BE IN BERKELEY,CA TO PROMOTE HIS
BOOK:

SO I WANT TO INVITE ALL MY BERKELEY+OAKLAND FRIENDS TO
GO
TO CHECK IT OUT:
PLACE: CODY'S BOOK-STORE, 2454 TELEGRAPH AV,
BERKELEY
TIME: 7PM-SATURDAY-8-JULY-2006
BOOK: "WHY THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT IS WRONG"
AUTHOR: ROBIN MEYERS

SINCERE-LY, "PERFESSER" MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, KANSAS, USA, AMERICA

Saturday, June 10, 2006

politics & zombies

Most people who think President Bush stole an election, got us into a war under false pretenses, and keeps us in the war by lying to us just bitch and moan and do nothing constructive with their criticism. Writers Sam Hamm and Dale Bailey, along with director Joe Dante, crafted a witty zombie horror story called "Homecoming" out of it. "Homecoming" was broadcast on the horror anthology MASTERS OF HORROR whose track record is wildly uneven and whose guidelines seem to be to include one graphic portrayal of fornication per episode.

"Homecoming" was set in a US pretty much like our own, where an Ann Coulter type conservative appears on a Larry King type tv show to skewer liberals while defending the current conservative administration which has gotten itself tangled up in a war in Iraq which grows ever more unpopular as the body count of American soldiers rises. A Cindy Sheehan type mother who has lost a son in the war goes on an anti-war tirade, the Ann Coulter type is brittle instead of warm, and a PR guy high in the ranks of the battle to re-elect the President tries to teach her the fine art of getting your point across without alienating people. The election is just days away, and they need her to win them new voters without alienating others.

This PR guy gives a touching speech in which he says that if he could have just one wish granted, it would be that the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country could come back and tell their mothers, their families and the rest of us exactly how they felt about giving their lives for such a good cause as their country's freedom, and freedom throughout the world.

So what do you think happens? Cut to Dover Air Force Base, where the latest shipment of American dead have been flown in and warehoused in flag-draped coffins. We hear a hollow banging sound, one of the coffins starts to move, and pretty soon a zombie soldier is walking around scaring the pants off of the military guard. Then another. Then more.

Pretty soon the Larry King guy is hosting some folks trying to figure out what the zombie soldiers want. They don't want to eat brains. They don't want to attack the living. What they want to do is... vote.

Then we get some cool riffs on election rules and media coverage of elections as the nation debates whether undead soldiers have the right to vote or not. The conservatives spin the resurrected soldiers to their advantage, citing them as heroes, until the more vocal of the zombies says that in fact they died for nothing and are NOT happy about it. Then they spin it so that the zombies are brain dead and incapable of making a rational voting decision.

The episode thoroughly entertained me, even though I am more conservative than liberal when it comes to the war, and I like Ann Coulter. But wit is wit, and this was splendid, hitting satiric marks over and over again.

As my husband said, it could not have been fun for anyone who actually has lost a loved one in the war, although the dead soldiers themselves are poignantly rendered, wanting to get in touch with loved ones as well as let their voices be heard at the ballot box. But for lovers of horror, it combined a good story with some actual logic to explain -- sort of -- why it was that this particular wish came true.

I thought of The Da Vinci Code afterwards, and wondered if I would have been so entertained if the skewering had been of Catholic doctrine instead of political viewpoints, and if the satire had been directed at religious leaders and not politicians and pundits. Would I have taken offense if it had been Pope Benedict appearing on the Larry King type show? Likely, I would have.

As always, I find myself perplexed by the question of what are the legitimate boundaries of art. Politics and art have always lived in an uneasy tandem, no?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Let's stop the demonization of illegal aliens

Amid the hysteria that's been sweeping the conservative landscape over the immigration issue and “reconquista”, Chuck Colson offers a welcome remedy.

Among other things, he writes:

Now, there are a few fringe Latino groups that talk about “reconquista”—that is all they are, however: fringe. To judge all Latinos, including illegal aliens, by the words of these groups is as fair as judging all Christians by the actions of clinic bombers or Fred Phelps.

A concern for fairness isn’t the most important reason that Christians ought to oppose this demonization of “the strangers in our midst.” As theologian T. M. Moore recently wrote on BreakPoint Online, “God defends strangers. He has compassion for those who have left all and risked all to find new lives in a strange country.”

Moore reminds us that God expects His people’s “attitude toward the strangers and sojourners in their midst” to reflect His own concern.

Now, this does not mean that Christians ought not to be concerned about the massive lawbreaking, by both illegal immigrants and those who employ them. We must! The rule of law is a Christian contribution, coming out of the Reformation, and it requires respect for law, just as the Bible does. Nor does it mean that there’s one particular immigration proposal that Christians ought to be supporting.

Read the whole thing.

Thank you, Mr. Colson, for speaking up.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Walking in 96 degree Oklahoma weather!



CROSS-WALK AMERICA
DAY-52 TIU's DAY** (TUEsDAY)-6-JUNE-2006
**TIU (OR "TIV" OR "TIW") WAS A GERMANIC
(OR "NORSE" OR "GOTHIC") "GOD" ...
LINGUISTIC-LY RELATED-TO "TUEsDAY" ...
GREETINGs FROM OKLAHOMA ... WE'R SHUTTLE-ING A LOT DURING THE PAST WEEK, BUT WE ALWAYs GO-BACK TO WHERE WE STOP'D WALK-ING, TO CONTINUE ...
TONIGHT + TOMORROW WE ARE IN OKLAHOMA CITY: WE PLAN TO VISIT THE MEMORIAL TO THE BOMB'D FEDERAL-BUILDING, DOWN-TOWN, TOMORROW ... PLUS WE HAVE A POT-LUCK SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW-EVENING, AT OUR HOST-CHURCH, WHICH IS, LIKE, THE MOST "LIBERAL" OR "PROGRESSIVE" CHURCH IN TOWN: IT's A "CONGREGATIONAL" CHURCH OF CHRIST, LIKE EAST-BAY FOOD-NOT-BOMBs's TUEsDAY-KITCHEN, IN OAKLAND ... EXPECT-ING 100 OR MORE FOLKs, INCLUDE-ING SOME LOCAL MEDIA-FOLKs, FOR OUR POT-LUCK ...
TODAY's WALK WAS HOT-HOT-HOT: 96 FAHRENHEIT(36 C): THERE WERE 3 CREEKs-WITH-WATER-IN-THEM, AND THE 3RD WAS DEEP-ENOUGH TO GET IN-TO THE WATER, WHICH I DID ... PLUS, I RE-FILL'D MY WATER-BOTTLEs WITH CREEK-WATER + WAS DRINK-ING IT AS I WALK'd .....

SINCERE-LY, "PERFESSER" MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, OKLAHOMA, USA, AMERICA

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oglala Tribal Council at Pine Ridge Bans Abortion


You may have read about how President Cecelia Fire Thunder of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota announced plans to open an abortion clinic on reservation grounds after the state banned all abortions recently. I followed that story, including Planned Parenthood's polite "Thanks, but no thanks," and Fire Thunder's solicitation of funds on her own web site.

Rock for Life reports now that the tribal council has outlawed abortion on the reservation. It has also suspended Fire Thunder from the council in anticipation of impeachment procedures, saying that she had no authority to accept contributions on behalf of the tribe. Cecelia Fire Thunder denied that she ever used the word "abortion" or accepted any money in donations. "Her stand, by what we read and what we hear from all accounts, was to support abortion. I've never seen such a turn-around," said Will Peters, tribal council representative from the Pine Ridge district.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mark & Company



DAY-48 FREYA-DAY** (FRIDAY)-2-JUNE-2006
**FREYA: GERMANIC (OR
"NORSE" OR "GOTHIC")
"GODDESS" ...
LINGUISTIC-LY RELATED-TO

"FRIDAY" ...
?? WHERE IS BENT CREEK, VIRGINIA ??
ACTUAL-LY, IT'S IN OKLAHOMA: IT'S WHERE OUR HOST
---WHOSE NAME IS "VIRGINIA"--- JOIN'D US TO WALK WITH
US A WHILE:
WHAT A TROOPER !!
AFTER WE WALK, WE RIDE BACK TO HER HOUSE FOR AN
EXCELLENT DINNER IN THE COOL + WONDER-FULL COMFORT OF
HER BACK-YARD PATIO ...
WALK'N BY DAY + SLEEP'N IN-DOORS BY NIGHT IS
BETTER-THAN
WALMARK CREEK-WATERK'N BY DAY + SLEEP'N OUT-DOORS BY NIGHT !!
PRAISE GOOD-NESS + PRAISE GOD + PRAISE GAIA + PRAISE
JAH + PRAISE ALLAH + BUDDHA + KRISHNA + VISHNU +
MOTHER-NATURE + FATHER-TIME + THE GREAT SPIRIT + THE
HOLY SPIRIT ETC ETC ETC ETC

MORE INFO AT: www.CrossWalkAmerica.org
AND 1-877-CWA-WALK

SINCERE-LY, "PERFESSER" MARK CREEK-WATER
PEACE-WORKER/WALKER, OKLAHOMA, USA, AMERICA

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Things just get more and more mysterious


I have been lauding Debra Murphy's novel The Mystery of Things since I read it last year, saying that at last a bona fide Catholic novelist of excellence has emerged.

Now Matthew Lickona has written a review of Debra's book for Godspy.

Matthew Lickona is the author of Swimming with Scapulars: True Confessions of a Young Catholic, a book that has received generally favorable reviews although I have only browsed it on amazon. In reviewing The Mystery of Things he gives you his complaints before he gets to the good stuff, and tells you how his complaints were modified as he read. I had an experience similar to his. I even wrote to the author, asking about her unfashionable use of adjectives. Yes, she did it on purpose and yes, she knows it flies in the face of contemporary wisdom on fiction writing.

I do recommend this book because it works as a murder mystery, it works as a look at contemporary Catholicism, and it works as a fictional exploration of JPII's Theology of the Body.