Wednesday, October 7, 2015

heaven dawning

It isn't morbid to notice in passing that each of us will have our last day. From my seventh floor porch I can look into the past, including the past in which I myself was begotten, but we cannot look into the future. It doesn't seem fair, does it, from here I can look east and west and north and south and past and present but not ahead. I guess in Saying, the Creator didn't think of that?

Or maybe he did. My favorite theologian and thinker may be, the obscure to all but seminarians, Friedrich Schleiermacher who rather dismissed the church's creeds as making assertions about God that are beyond human knowing; but who most memorably said, overagainst the sophisticated naysayers of his day and age, that there is (I don't remember his exact words in German or translated English) implanted within each of us a "Sense of the Infinite." 

Schleiermacher is on my mind this morning as I look at the brightening sky and pray that the Infinite dawns lovingly on that day.

Thos+ patiently in +Time+

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


It does not particularly bother me that, at the wickedly bewitched hour of oh-one-fifty-six I'm sitting out here on my seventh floor porch looking out into the past. It's the nineteen-teens, a hundred years ago out there, and facing east I see the long wharf with a tin structure, Bay Fisheries, my grandfather's fish house.

It's across from the house I just sold, where Mom and Pop live with their four children (Marguerite won't be born until 1917, a few months before tragedy strikes), Alfred, Evalyn, Ruth, and Carroll (my father, named Thomas Carroll Weller, GOK why they call him by his middle name Carroll instead of Thomas or Tom). 

BTW, I'm not making up a a story, nor even telling a story, I'm simply here in 2015 looking down to the east along the Bay shore, taking note of what I see, and don't be irritated or distracted if, since it's exactly a century ago, I drift in and out of tense, including the historical present; because after all this is part of the history of my own present. But it's not long anyway: the hour is wicked and in spite of two cups of hot, black coffee, I'm going back to bed momentarily, for a nap.

As I say, there's that wharf with the tin buildings. The 1936 hurricane will sweep it all away, but I can't control the past, much less worry right now about what happened in the past's future. 

Wharf, buildings, I can see a couple of fishing smacks from here in 2015, one of them the twin-masted schooner Annie&Jennie, just returning to port from the gulf with a large catch of snappers and groupers. Most interesting is that large squarerigger tied up at the wharf, a handsome seagoing vessel she is. 

It's certainly a peaceful scene. Quiet. Dark. Nothing out in the Bay except just flashing navigation lights, red ones and green ones. This is definitely not a story, it's just a scene and I'm there, here actually. If it were a story, this would be one of many ways into Narnia, and I could be drawn

 into the past and Aslan give me the task of preventing tragedy by making sure certain things don't happen after all. There's plenty of time.

The only sound is the whispering roar of air conditioning compressors up on the roof of this castle. And waves lapping the shore below me. 

God rest ye.


Monday, October 5, 2015


Quietly, privately, my heart is broken."Doctors Without Borders closes Afghan hospital, says U.S. may have committed war crime." LATimes, Sunday, October 4, 2015. 

Somewhat, somehow, actually, factually, in reality, like the archaic notion of heresy, the reality of war crime evaporated with the end of WW2 and trials, sentences and executions of vanquished German and Japanese. It is not possible for the winner to commit war crime. Realistically, politically, impossible. A war crime is an outrage the loser is charged with and hanged for. Nor can an extant superpower commit a war crime, be charged, brought to trial, found guilty and executed. Otherwise, My Lai, and the Iraqi War that began with Shock and Awe in March 2003. History may find otherwise, but only in retrospect long and far hence. 

But given precautions and competence, and reports to date, not the tragic accidental bombing of the hospital in Kunduz, as anyone will realize who can visualize the risks of combat air control in such an environment. Given integrity, investigations will clarify: horrific accident, miscalculation, incompetence, but not deliberate, a war crime, notwithstanding understandable outrage of survivors on the ground. Children are dead. Heartless as the term "collateral damage" is, nothing to do but weep. Nothing to do but weep?

From a wise commentator, “The bottom line is that this is a political problem without a military solution.” Russia found this out and withdrew years ago. In due course, we also may wisen and leave those folks to their own incompetence, self-hatreds and cruelties without our blood. In due course, or hopefully, surely, at least in Time.

Perhaps in another few thousand years, mankind will have become less barbaric, more civilized and civil. Perhaps, but not probably. Meantime, prayers for peace will not stir Heaven to create peace on earth. If prayer for peace is efficacious it will only be to any extent it stirs those who pray.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bang & Being

Last evening when I started this blog, the score was 13-0 Florida, then half-time 25-0. TV on and I could see it through the sliding glass door, but not watching because dreading the storm after the calm, like waking up and finding out that Dewey isn't president after all. So instead, sitting on the porch contemplating the perfect weather. 

In another lifetime, perfect weather was defined in terms of school's out. Summer vacation, Christmas vacation, Thanksgiving weekend. Saturday morning. Afternoon off for the homecoming parade. School no longer a factor, perfect weather now means it’s slightly too cool to sit out on the porch without a light blanket across lap and bare legs, as now 201510040354CDT. Or last evening --

The day we were moving in here, I met a young man on the elevator, seems to me an Air Force officer, who told me, “You’re gonna love it here, this is a beautiful place.” It’s a wonder to be so enamored of a three-room condo way up high. What is it? It’s my history, it's the darkness before dawn, it's the Bay and its Davis to Courtney expanse, it's the sunrise, the clouds,

it's the sunsets. Were this a spiritual blog, I’d mention the wonder of God’s creation and post other people's Facebook pictures

of the blood moon

and something about the universe. 

But it's only a faith blog now and then. It’s Bang & Being, the mystery of λόγος that’s so faith challenging from where I am. Turns out that my God was too small, as J. B. Phillips put it. Faith was simpler, easier, as a child when, Easter mornings riding to church I’d be shocked at people going about life as usual and think reprovingly, “why aren't you on the way to church -- don’t you know Christ is risen?” The Thomas of Faith is age’s realization that I didn’t know either. I believed, I faithed, but I didn't know

Which is why as a creedal Episcopalian I’m more interested in exploring what and why faith's Church calls me to believe than I am in the actual believing. Having lived in the faith house all my life, now I'm looking out the window and wondering what lives in that dense forest outside. It's not just the whip-poor-will and bob white, there are bears, raptors, big cats, predators. It's the far right end of our little saying, "The Episcopal Church: where you don't have to check your brain at the door." Do we mean that, or not? I don't think so, not really. Or Mark Twain smirking, "Faith is believing what you know damn well ain't so." My enemy is certainty. I didn’t, but a student wrote that people who are absolutely certain that what they believe is true are fully capable of engaging in “willful ignorance” and “beliefs can be excuses to stop thinking,” so I read and question and offer Sunday School classes and Tuesday morning Bible Seminar, to explore with others. Maybe they're wondering too.

There’s my vulgar slogan rearing its serpentine head again, just because you believe it, even believe it fervently, even believe it with every fibre of your being, that don’t make it so. So I think for myself, read and study to find out what others think and thought.

Come to Sunday School. I'll learn something from you. HNEC parish library, 9:15 to 10:15.

Don't remember if I posted this --

38-10 and 28-0 but every team's victory is someone else's rainy day. Sadness, Amy. I hope we have another Steve Spurrier at Gainesville.

Morning is breaking


Saturday, October 3, 2015



What a relief, not to have to pretend to be profound or even of sound mind. To reach the stage and age of life when/where eccentric is norm. I'm thinking anomalous. A heteroclite. Nobody has to like what I do, say, write, think, post, believe. The candidates ignore us, we are no longer the majority voting bloc, most of us are dead, the next two generations down can smile knowingly, tip their hat, shake their head, roll their eyes and press on.

Knowing that if we stumble off the deep end, there are places they can warehouse us. 

It requires no effort getting here either. Hang in there, eat fair reasonable, walk an hour a week, love chocolate, have a glass of dry red, drink strong black coffee, keep reading the funny birthday cards; as with the dawn, you just sort of grow into it and before you know it, you are there.

It's nice, too, from my side, backing slowly away, easing into the shadows and giving you the con, because most of you are nuts.

Link to an intelligent article this morning. . It will infuriate the worst of you lot, so I tuck it under your doormat, ring your doorbell, run for my car ...


Different bunch of pelicans out here this morning. Our regular pelicans never stop here mornings, they're always on the way to their daytime hangout. These are different, fishing just below me, couple dozen of them. I wonder if they're migrants, soon on their way to their winter fishing grounds.

Small container ship just passed on her way to sea. 

Cool out this morning, autumn is arriving piecemeal.

Friday, October 2, 2015

quaff or scarf?

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. - Mohandas K. Gandhi (2 Oct 1869-1948) 


20,129 messages, 1359 unread

68F  87%  zero precip

Life is Good and nearly every day brings its blessings and has its goodness. Except for the ship’s WestPac deployment during the Vietnam War (and even it had its good days), I’ve liked every age I’ve been, and hope to experience a couple more. For highlights, seventeen was good, graduating from BayHigh, getting away from home and eon with my real life. For all the medical issues, 75 was especially good, and if I can find it, somewhere on this computer I have a picture of me on the roof of Cove School HNES in August 2010 when I spent the entire summer supervising work on the Bill Lloyd Building, rushing to make sure everything looked nice for Bill.
 Looking at the picture, what comes to mind is the unstable angina that was almost constant by then, including the reason for my sitting down up there on the roof and smiling while Amy snapped my picture! and my foolishness of chuckling at how I was fooling everybody when I would stop and pretend to look up at the clouds or into the trees while the searing pain subsided. My God, what an idiot! Yet the year played out savingly into 2011. It was all good notwithstanding, and inaugurated my +Time. This dark predawn I’m loving being this age and wishing we could have moved to this condo fifty years ago.

For all the goodness of life, the school shooting in Oregon irrefutably tells rational people yet one more time again that not just the nut-cases, but the nation itself is mentally ill, obsessed with rights and oblivious to any sense of responsibility; and there is no cure: obdurate selfishness is a terminal illness.

Sitting at the bistro table alone somewhere in France, is the World War One fighting ace quaffing rootbeer or scarfing down rootbeer as he sobs with melancholy, ogles mademoiselle and, raising his empty mug tipsy-ly, signals her to bring him another? 

Thos+ in +Time+ 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Miserable Offender

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid …

That’s the address to God, the theological assertion in the Collect for Purity, our opening cleansing rite for Holy Eucharist. It says we believe God knows everything that’s going on inside of us. I forget and sometimes muddle on as if it’s part of the innermost crevices of my mind where deepest longings abide and most guarded secrets are hid, that this is a blog, a web-log, not a diary or journal; that it’s as open for public ridicule, disgrace, scandal and shame as the sewer cover I can see from up here looking down to the street at the corner below. Cloaked in a holy man’s garb, profane, obscene and earthy behind the charade of black shirt and white collar, I’m not the pious creature that many expect and some seem to see. I have left undone those things which I ought to have done, and I have done those things which I ought not to have done, and I may be fooling everybody but the one who tolerates my snoring. Her and Almighty God unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid.

There’s a bad guy here, a miserable offender. One of these days some cleric will pat his hand on a box containing what never was me in the first place and intone the words “Into thy hands, O merciful Savior, we commend thy servant Thos. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech thee, a sheep of thine own fold, a lamb of thine own flock, a sinner of thine own redeeming.” And I will be standing in the shadow knowing, “you got that right.”

Thos+ in +Time+ and counting

201510010700 Davis to Courtney. Not so pretty this morning, but it’s mine, all mine.