Monday, December 31, 2007
"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was." -Anne Sexton
This is Frederick Christian Blauer III, my father, or more acurately...Dad.
I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV and my eldest son is Frederick Christian Blauer V.
I am proud to call myself a Blauer and to call this man my father.
Not because of who he has been, as much as...who he has become.
Isn't that a more worthy test of a man's life? Anyone can point to moments of goodness, seasons when he was better than at other times. But it is the fruit of age that proves the healthiness of the tree. This man has grown more into a man worthy to follow the older he has become. I think that is wisdom. Not that I don't treasure many times past, reflections on the way he was with me as a son. The countless hours of talks, prayers, enjoyment, adventure and ministry. I do.
When my parents divorced, I chose to live with my dad...I never regret that choice.
I love my mother and she was a gift from God for my childhood, and I am forever grateful for who I am, that is part of her.
But I needed my Dad to become a man...and he came through for me. Thanks Dad...for showing me Christ in human hands and in a human heart. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Having someone who wants to talk with you, is a gift in this world. I treasure talking to you and listening...I will remember that above all.
Frederick Christian Blauer IV
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Delve deep, roots of my inner life, intertwining with stability.
Branches ascend higher, than I can see from below...inviting wind to come.
Water passes...memories rush by withstanding my grasp.
Slipping through my fingers, washing over my grip...all is vain.
I am a tree that finds itself in both places at once.
In time...the moment at hand.
In eternity....the moment that has not yet come.
In memory...the ghost that passes.
In hope...that which swells towards me, untamed, unseen.
In reflection...the leaf that floats off in traces.
Fruit comes even as the taste fades.
Seeds they fall...hope for tomorrow,
unsown but plentiful for chance to find.
-Eric Blauer 12.07
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
"If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman" - Socrates
I've been pondering why I was so moved by the movie "Once". I've noticed that for some reason I am somewhat alone among friends, as far as how deeply stirring that film and more so the music was for me. It's melody has been haunting me. It seems to unlock my heart somehow. Scary, how it seems to do so, so easily. One moment you fancy yourself to be so safely locked up and secure then some poet comes along and turns your water to wine and you find you were far more thirsty than you feared. And you greedily drink up the offering with lips that seem parched for anything that can heat up the blood again....or at least make it run freely in your frozen viens.
I think am at a place that I am feeling the weight of eternity in the moment to moment. I've been carrying something within me that wants out and hearing another brother express his inner turmoil in such a raw way...resonated with me like a tuning fork splits crystal.
For me...this movie was a small bush burning. I heard a voice in the voice...a wheel within the wheel. Two normal people intertwined by music...helping one another along to the next step. Simply a living word for this traveler.
"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet." Thomas Merton
If in the melancholy shades below,
the flames of friends and lovers cease to glow,
Yet mine shall sacred last; mine undecayed
Burn on through death and animate my shade.
-From Homer's Iliad
I had a distant friend that shot himself a few months ago, leaving his daughters to figure out all the pain and confusion of life after suicide.
Today, I visited my second former youth that attempted suicide a few days ago. I got the news down in Portland that she had tried to kill herself and was in the hospital. I visited her today and was yet again, reminded that we live in a culture that is suffering from deep pain, emptiness and for some it's a life and death issue.
This last year, I've been to the funeral of another former teen I pastored and visited another in the psych ward after an attempted suicide. It's been a tough year.
-Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents ages 15 through 24.
-Suicide is ranked number 11 in the leading cause of death of Americans.
-There are nearly one million suicide attempts in the United States each year.
-A suicide occurs approximately every 17 minutes in the United States.
- Women attempt suicide as much as three times more often than men.
I have suffered over the years with depression and know it's hard grip.
If you are suffering and contemplating suicide. Please...seek out some help.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” -Elizabeth Lawrence quotes
My favorite part of our holiday trip to Oregon, was getting to meet and spend time with my newest niece, Ginger. My younger brother Marc and his wonderful wife, Angie, made a star. She was a much needed reprieve. Nothing is more softening to the hardening soul, that surprisingly, can grow tougher than sun-dried leather...than a child who can still eat their toes.
Here she is, trying to be bigger....oh, dear child don't...it's better under the table.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. -Proverbs 13:12
My hopes were dashed on the rocks of consumer madness reality, as a book lovers vain pursuit for the elusive "2 books" was ended in the aisles of not one but TWO Powell's book stores in Portland. Yes, there I sat, dumbfounded, mystified, disillusioned and dare I say...crushed, as I discovered that my always faithful, ever fruitful dealer of all things paper...was barren. Yes, the great and mighty Powells books, a massive three story multi-city block Valhalla of literature...was nothing more than a cheap all talk, no show book pushing hussy. I was furious with her...luring me with promises of bibliophile ecstasy. Like a mariner mesmerized by the soft siren call, I braved miles of nasty weather, mind numbing and butt cramping driving, child bickering insanity...just to be let down. Passed by like a buck toothed freshman at a senior winter dance. Oh the agony, I was so disappointed I wandered around in a jaded lovers daze and in the end walked out of the manuscript mecca...with nothing.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Ft. Stevens, WA
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.
Short update...lots more to follow.
I am in the great Pacific Northwest on a little me and the 4 kids vacation, visiting family. Here is a shot of our afternoon trip to Fort Stevens. I will post more pics later, but here is a shot of one of the replica cannons that manned this huge bunker that overlooks the waterway. There was actually a Japanese Submarine attack in 1942 right here. Pretty cool place to visit.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
"When you do something, you should burn yourself completely,
like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
This movie grabbed me like no movie I have seen in a really long time. I am going to be completely honest...I felt like I was going to cry so many times watching or listening to this movie. In fact, I wish I would have...because not crying was harder than just diving into the pathos that was all over this movie. I was emotionally mesmerized by the songs...Glen Hansard ripped me open with his singing and left me bleeding for a day now. When he was singing his song "All the way down" in the street at night...I wanted to stand up and shout and...I dont know what, kick something, i guess, just to express the pent up emotion that he unleashed by his voice and guitar. Damn....can one man really pack that much emotion in one small moment without causing some kind of nuclear reaction in the elements around him? And Markéta Irglová....wow has there been a woman on film more attractive or more beautiful in all her simple womanly charms? Not the Hollywood stuff but the real stuff...the things you stay with a woman over...smiles, nose crinkles, head tilts...the way they walk or listen or care for their kids....the charm of one deeply in love with an instrument...liked she loved piano.
This movie might be more deeply felt if you have ever wrestled through any of the sufferings that were at the heart of this story. I don't know if you can appreciate the song "Lies" if you have never tasted the bitterness that such a betrayal or the sorrow that a crumbling relationship produces.
The movie capture the mysterious moment of creation that happens when a song is played by a group and they enter that place that seems almost holy in it's perfectness. When the song and the heart and the moment all come together in a way that seems touched by the eternal. Musicians often call it being "In the pocket" but that seems far to simplistic to describe such a gift.
I think the summation of his elderly dad in the end, after he listens to the recording sums it up, best...you will have to see the film to see what he says.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Crowd: Middle age women
Question: What do a group of middle age women talk about?
-Dieting & Weight
Thought: Do today's women care about anything other than stuff that primarily revolves around their personal domain: ie. Butt, Gut & Hut? I read a quote the other day that said: "Well behaved women never make history".
Agree or disagree...?
Friday, December 14, 2007
What is a Green Card:
A United States Permanent Resident Card, also green card, is an identification card attesting the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States of America. Green card also refers to an immigration process of becoming a permanent resident. The green card serves as a proof that its holder, a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to conditionally reside and take employment in the USA. The holder must maintain his permanent resident status, and can be removed if certain conditions of such status are not met. An LPR can apply for United States citizenship after 5 years of being in the permanent resident status through the process of naturalization (or after only 3 years if married to a US citizen). Citizens are entitled to more rights (and obligations) than permanent residents (who are still classified as aliens in this respect). Some of the rights include: the right to vote; the right to be elected in federal and state elections; the ability to bring family members to the US; and eligibility for federal government jobs. Other citizenship benefits include no visa requirement for several countries in the world. Certain conditions that may put a permanent resident in the deportation proceedings do not apply to US citizens.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire.
This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
One of the gifts I have been receiving for the last 2 years is something that could only have come from a group of struggling refugees from the distant jungles of Burma. I've been able to see my own life, my american life, up against the backdrop of another culture. A community of people that have lived without all the complexities of our consumer culture.
The way the Karen refugees from Burma celebrate holidays is communal, not private. They share their lives together. They celebrate not by giving gifts but by sharing a moment together. They have a wonderful way of keeping the focus on each other instead of what people do or do not bring. Sure giving is an integral part of their shared lives...you wont be in their home 5 minutes and not be given a drink and snack...but it's never about stuff. They celebrate relationships beautifully...not in a Hallmarkish way, not full of cheap sentimentality but in a simple, gentle way.
An example: A few days ago, I helped a couple of the families with various household and business stuff. Phone calls, car repairs, instruction, computer set up and training, appointment setting, showing them how to use a dishwasher, a thermostat, a gas pump, a Oil Lube center, a fuse-box...general living stuff. Many things, that in all honesty, they have no way of really repaying in kind. At least they might think that. So yesterday it snowed and I happened to look out my window and there is one of the Karen I assisted...shoveling the snow off my walkway and sidewalk. Then later, I saw another one shoveling the snow off the sidewalk around the church.
A simple gesture of thanks, in return.
I was moved.
Helen Keller was once asked, "Is there anything worse than losing your sight?" "Yes," she replied, "Losing your vision!"
It amazes me how we can lose "our vision" in the day to day chaos of this American life. I saw it, when I asked them if they would like to go and get family Christmas trees again this year. Instead of each family buying their own, they came together, discussed, and decided to forgo that and instead they are going to buy one tree and come together on Christmas Eve as a group and decorate and celebrate...together.
I received this photo of a Christian relief worker who serves the people of Burma. I wept when I read of how they choose to celebrate Christmas...the sacrifice and the simplicity. I see a family that is being influenced by their Karen friends just as I am. I was challenged by the "way" they are living. I pray to be someone who embodies these values that I am seeing before me in this refugee community. I hope to learn how to live more communally and less individualistically.
That's one gift I have received from my Karen friends...one they don't even know they have given me.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
My daughter Destiny is on the Varsity Volleyball team at her school and here is a short clip of her serving and hitting the ball and then her teammate slamming the ball into an opponents chest....good serving but oh, the poor girl was hurting :)
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Yesterday I spent hours driving around this town trying to find two books that I want to look at. (What Was I Thinking?: Things I've Learned Since I Knew It All by Steve Brown and Jesus Drank, Judas Repented and God Divorced his Bride by Steve Brown) I want to buy them but I need to "LOOK" at them first. I need to peruse them, look at the chapters, read portions and make a decision to buy or not depending on the weight of what is written inside. Not on the cover, not by the publishers, not be reviewers but by the AUTHOR!!!! That means I am at the freaking mercy of booksellers and what they decide I or fellow Spokanites deserve to have access to. And there lies the source of my vein popping storm of emotion. Nobody in this town has a clue as to what religious books, spiritual books, christian books....need to be available to the public.
I am being abused!!! Call the authorities...I am being starved...mentally, spiritually...experientially. Why can't an area of over 500,000 provide a bookstore that has guts, that has literary kohonnas. I despair of looking to the church to provide anything more than a grandma in jammies bookstore experience. They are lost in a religious la la land that bows to conventional thought, marketing restraints and is pushed around by bully legalists that have their over caffeinated jittery fingers on their wallet book and book burning torches. Please send us a pagan that understands the need for books from many different streams of thoughts. Please let the heretics tomb of thoughts sit next to the saints scrolls. Let the buyer decide for himself what is good to read.
Above is Powell's bookstore in Portland, Oregon. The best bookstore in the Northwest, that I have been able to find. Look at that shot of just one aisle! God above have mercy on us...there are are more books in that one shot than most "christian" bookstores around here! I am going to Portland for Christmas and all that present stuff and family is fine...but one thing is for dang sure...I am going to buy books and do it with an addicts melodramatic flare!