Friday, September 27, 2013

Goodnight John Boy…

Dragging myself out of the depths of depravity I venture, once more, into the literary world with full and earnest intent to become a “writer of note.”  To accomplish this task I must drag my big posterior end into the world that exists at this dimension and away from that despicable den of depravity, dishonesty, dissipation, decadence, debauchery, and dissoluteness that exists at the other end of my sanctum sanctorum.  To wit…my easy chair with the remote control sitting on the table next to it.  “Onward Christian Soldier” or some other contrived construct that will allow me to put words on a page that makes sense or amuses.  It is a wish that I must force into existence that I find a way to put words down in some sort of fashion that pleases me.  For that is the essence of a writer, is it not?  Does not the scribe first please his own palate first before invading the rest of the universe?   

Long term sloth and conflicting emotions all play landlord to the address where a writer can find himself blocked.  I have sat in the despicable den and dreamt hundreds of deliberations with which to amuse.  I have even outlined what seemed to be great works of literary art using ideas garnered from the electronic contraptions that exist in my world.  Even as I sit today, I type with one of the instruments of indolence within reach.  Oh woe the day when a device as simple as a telephone could be as tempting as the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil.  Should I capitulate and reach for the device every time it buzzed, bleeps, or otherwise makes its presence known?  Can I please narrow my world to the rectangular object before me holding the encrypted letters and numbers with which enlightenment for eternity might be found?  Lord?  Are you out there?  Can I please have a bite of this apple?

To liken the ever expanding world that is reality in this day and age, to a simple concept seems infantile, and ever more somnolent.  Exploring the great beyond that is the universe and all its interconnected components seems a noble quest.  The journey in search of elucidation and comprehension must move beyond the wisdom set down in reruns of “The Walton’s.”  

That has been my literary refuge of late.  The rest of the world is absolutely insane, immoral malicious, malignant, vindictive, spiteful, foul, revolting, and downright sinful.  There are many more words that express everything that is wrong with the world, but that will not get any of us anywhere closer to understanding the most complex issue we all face…what am I feeling?

I used the television show to attempt to find muse again after the loss of My Sweet Deifiúr, but have failed in this.  I have come to realize that the show simply displays for us, or leads the three senses that it can effect, back to things that are well known, or should be; love, kindness understanding, compassion, passion, evolution, life lessons, and the overwhelming certainty that life is assuredly a journey and not a destination.
My thoughts were that the vision of that young boy sitting at his desk in that old farmhouse, the only light still burning late at night, writing down words that are bursting out of his heart and into his mind before ultimately finding their way to the page would reawaken me.  What I did not realize came to me just this morning when I read a posting I had written for a blog of writers who are enjoying the gifts of advanced experience and age.  I have been a contributing writer for this blog for a while.  I have let more than one posting fall by the wayside and felt apologetic and irresponsible in that laziness.  I force myself to get off my duff and take my place in the queue as expected.  What I discovered was that I have not lost my proverbial edge; I just haven’t been using it.  I sit here today and seem to be finding words and phrases just fine.  This is not cause for celebration or jumping up and buying myself a milk shake.  It is just something that I am supposed to be doing.  

I am at rest while plinking away at the keyboard.  I am at peace when I am deriving the next adroit alliteration.  I am fulfilled when I think of my Sweet Deifiúr looking over my shoulder and smiling.  It is not for her memory that I write today, although I could, both today and for a thousand more nights.  I write today for the simplest of reasons…I am a writer.  I care not what is thought of me as I publish these words on my blog.  Pronouncements of one’s talent or expertise may elicit derogatory ideas or remarks but these beliefs matter little to me.  The idea that any talent needs to be expounded on profusely is and never has been my intent.  If someone reading this believes me conceited or narcissistic, then by all means move on and go with God.

If you know me and love me, then you will rejoice in my contentment, love me as you have, and hug me when you see me.  


Thursday, May 2, 2013

“Is Timothy Reilly an Irish name?”

This was a question I have been asked every June 21st for the last forty years.  It is part of a ritual that grew out of a query I once presented to a nun/teacher at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic School.  I was of indeterminate age and have no personal recollection of ever saying it.  My Dear Sainted Mother started and maintained this potential urban legend that has become ritual and nurtured in the ensuing years.  My Sweet Deifiúr maintained it.

I will no longer be hearing that question on the First Day of Summer.  The latter perpetrator of this questionable legend passed away on April 16th after a protracted war with the disease of Leukemia.  My darling Sweet Deifiúr, Paula, no longer walks this plain, and I am bereft and overwhelmed with the enormity of my loss.

The name which caused a level of uncertainty as to its ancestry was given me by this gentle woman.  I enjoyed the comfort and love of knowing that the world will be bearable and good as long as I had the ability to speak with my sister.  She always watched over her little brother and now is guarding over me from a place I hope and pray we both inhabit in the future.

She was the embodiment of every good feeling someone can have.  She never looked at anyone with an undeserved harsh view.  Even those she found lacking in this world had, in her mind, something that was special and fine within them.  She was fiercely loyal, and overwhelmingly dedicated to those she loved.  She loved more people than she did not.  Even those she found disfavor with were never loathed.  Hate was not in her…ever.

There were constants in this life that are no longer as tenacious as when she was with us.  As mentioned, the dubious inquiry every June 21st, the greeting every March 17th with an offer of Irish Soda Bread and a joyous “Erin go Bragh,” and the passionate belief that her brother was the best writer in the world are but a few of these constants.  Said constants that are now memories and, hopefully, fond commemorations after the grief dissipates.

I admit to sloth in the writing of this piece.  I have wandered around my house in a daze.  I have avoided the phone and allowed the Internet to dissuade me from this writing.  It somehow does not seem to be of any importance right now.  My love of, and ability to, string words together into a cognizant and attractive manner pale in the face of the loss, to the entire world, of this wonderful woman.  I search for muse and find it absent.  I wish to regale you with memories of her and find that there are too many to list.  From the dedication to those she loved, the good she did, to the pecan pie she was never able to bake without it coming out as hard as asphalt, there are just too many to fathom at this moment.

While my distress is at the top of my feelings, I have responsibility in me to honor her.  Everything I learned about responsibility as well as the difference between right and wrong I learned from her.  The lessons every man should learn about being a gentleman and respecting women, I learned from her.  The ability to have and live by values and principles that are greater than me, I learned from her.  The fear I have ongoing is for those things in life I have yet to learn and who is going to teach them to me.  A better teacher than my sister does not seem to exist.

What I do know, more than anything else, is that my sister did not lie to me.  The last words she spoke to me were – “I love you.”  The last message she asked Captain Domesticado to relay to me was - ”Tell Timmy that it is going to be all right.”  Both declarations that I cannot doubt…after all…my sister did not lie to me…ever.

I love you Paula!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Meet the New Boss...

Apologies.  I have been absent since before the anniversary of the Birth of Our Lord and have felt remiss in my dedication to the enlightenment of the masses.  Not that I am the all-knowing, all loving God that I have some understanding of, and from whom you must take heed in your daily struggle to discern right from wrong.  I am more akin to the “All powerful OZ” who plies his trade behind a curtain while admonishing others to pay him no heed.

In that light I must admit to a period of sentient ignorance whilst I saw to the infirmities from which I suffer, chief amongst them being apathy, sloth, and idiocy.  In this time of bliss, I have not found anything telling to write about.  I have endeavored to focus on the amazing male bovine excrement from which I have finally found to be a source, if not small, of income – fiction.

While I believe in the power of the message one might convey in a good old fashioned yarn with an origin coming out of my hellishly active imagination, I have found muse for another scathing diatribe on the state of affairs on the third planet from the Sun.  There is a new Pope.  Unfortunately for those of us that like to peer into the future, there does not appear to be very much change in store for the One True Religion that I was born into, baptized, educated in and grew into adulthood in.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I have always wondered why the Lord Jesus saw fit to command us to love one another.  Somehow I am befuddled that the progenitors of my faith have consistently and systematically chosen to ignore that simple mandate from the one person they proclaim to be magnificent, glorious, superlative, and totally worthy of worship.  Why is it so difficult to give our neighbors a break and allow them to live happy lives in the same manner that is our aspiration, and ambition?  

Right out of the gate, this new guy has renewed the hate, indifference, and institutional bigotry that  is  in contradiction to the vehemently strong stance Liberation Theology which has been championed by many of Latin American clergy?  If he is not of a mind to agree with his own people, how can he lead a religion with the diversity present in modern day Catholicism?  Why must we condemn gay people, why do we have to conceive children we are not able to care for?  WWJD?

I think he would tell them all to go someplace and sell earth shoes instead of trying to lead a religion. 
I like to keep things simple and not ask too many questions.  I am, after all, a civilized man.  Or am I? The things that I learned as a child such as being polite, and being respectful to my elders are great lessons to live by.  At least, that is, until one learns to read.

 “The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.” ― Sigmund Freud
Speaking of being civilized elicited a further need in me to delve into the manner in which we treat each other as members of the same “civilized” species.  Going to the “Devil’s Diatribe”, or, anything that has anything to do with the news media, I found incontrovertible proof that we have, in fact, become “civilized” as based on Sigmund’s belief

At this point in my research I thought the clearest avenue to elucidate my beliefs was to write a scathing indictment on the state of the world and how the world is wrong.  Then I happened upon another quote that literally yanked my fingers up off the keyboard;

"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12, King James Version.

The Golden Rule in all its glory.  I then embarked on a quest using the World Wide Web for whatever wisdom lived there about how humans treat each other.  According to Cambridge University, 83% of the world believes in some form of deity that embraces spiritual tenets that speak to how we treat each other:

"…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.",
Leviticus 19:18 
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the
law: all the rest is commentary."
Talmud, Shabbat 31a.
"And what you hate, do not do to anyone." Tobit 4:15


"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for
his brother what he wishes for himself."

Confucianism -  
"Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to
Analects 15:23
"Tse-kung asked, ‘Is there one word that can serve
as a principle of conduct for life?’ Confucius replied, ‘It is the word ‘shu’ –
reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire
.’" Doctrine
of the Mean 13.3
Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated
yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to

Christianity -
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men
should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
Matthew 7:12, King James Version.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to
them likewise
." Luke 6:31, King James Version.
"…and don’t do what
you hate…
", Gospel of Thomas 6. The Gospel of Thomas is one of about
40 gospels that were widely accepted among early Christians, but which
never made it into the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). 

Buddhism -  
"…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I
inflict that upon another?"
, or “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

 "This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would
cause you pain if done to you"

Bahá’í Faith –
"Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not
have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.
" "Blessed
is he who preferreth his brother before himself.

Ancient Egyptian –
Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus
to do.
" The original dates to 1970 to 1640  BCE and may be the earliest version ever

Humanism –
"Don’t do things you wouldn’t want to have done to you,”

Native American –
"Do not wrong or hate your neighbor. For it is not he who you
wrong, but yourself

Shinto –
The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there
your own form

Sikhism –
"No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my

Unitarian –
"We affirm and promote respect for the
interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

"An it harm no one, do what thou wilt" (i.e. do whatever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself).
"What you hate, do not to another. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."  Hillel the Elder at the turn of the BCE-CE millennia

If people regarded other people's families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself.
Mozi regarded the golden rule as a corollary to the cardinal virtue of impartiality, and encouraged egalitarianism and selflessness in relationships.

The Golden Rule appears to be present in at least one of Plato's dialogues:
One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him."
Plato's Socrates (Crito, 49c) (c. 469 BC–399 BCE)

"Oh, do as you would be done by. And do unto all men as you would have them do unto you, for this is but the law and the prophet." Postscript to the Quaker peace testimony, signed by George Fox.

Consistent with the observation by Walter Terence Stace "that 'doing as you would be done by' includes taking into account your neighbor's tastes as you would that he should take yours into account" (see Criticisms and responses to criticisms), Scientology addresses the issue concerning differences in values or interests by focusing on the values and interests of the recipient of the conduct:
Thus today we have two golden rules for happiness: 1. Be able to experience anything; and 2. Cause only those things which others are able to experience easily.
—Scientology: A New Slant on Life, Two Rules for Happy Living

The Way to Happiness
The Way to Happiness expresses the Golden Rule both in its negative/prohibitive form and in its positive form. The negative/prohibitive form is expressed in Precept 19 as:
19. Try not to do things to others that you would not like them to do to you.
The Way to Happiness, Precept 19
20. Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you.
The Way to Happiness, Precept 20

Pop culture
Be excellent to each another.
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.
Monty Python's Meaning of Life

Don't be a dick.
Wil Wheaton

And finally, in the most important way to put it:

“Do the right thing” Spike Lee

This “ethic of reciprocity," is a foundational instruction for nearly the entire world and still, we keep killing, separating, excluding, secluding, shunning, demonizing, estranging, and discriminating against people based on their actions and not on a principle which is a cornerstone of human spirituality.

I could probably go on forever in my dissatisfaction over the election of a new Pope that is apparently no different, ideologically, then what my religion has been spewing for centuries.  Going on about how I can no longer participate in that religion.  Go on about how it must all change.  But, I think not.  I am just another guy with too many words and not enough actions.  After all, I do not love the Conclave of Cardinals today.  Shame on me.  I think I will shut my Gobshite mouth and try to go and do what my God commanded me to do;

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-45