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What's in a name

There are lots of theories about what names do to us.  The trends in the naming of babies also say things about what is happening in our culture. 

It was only about a decade ago that "Noah" suddenly took the lead as top boy's name...suggesting to me that a lot of people from a Christian culture were getting worried about some great catastrophe like maybe sea level rise.  Instead of thinking that your kiddos are going to suffer because of global warming, it's much more enjoyable to convince yourself that they will be saviors.

I just read that since 2015 the name "Donald" is down by 11%, whereas "Melania" is up 227% and "Ivanka" is up 362%.  Guess the women in that family are more worthy.

Book: Pure Land

Just finished this book by Annette McGivney.  I ran across it because of a review in the Boatman's Quarterly, and got it from the local library.  It tells three parallel stories which all intersect: that of a young Japanese woman who was murdered, a young Havasupai man who killed her, and the author's story.  What brings the three stories together, aside from the murder, is a history of trauma.  Annette gives a rich and sympathetic review of the horrific history of indigenous tribes in the US and lands at the end on generational trauma which impacts the modern culture of all of our tribes.  She is respectful of Japanese culture and the drivers that brought the young woman into contact with the landscapes and people's of North America.  And she is honest in telling her own tale, superficially at first then deeper as her memories return of her own childhood abuse.  This is a worthwhile read for all those who enjoy broad cultural perspectives and those wishing to grasp the origins of violence in our culture today, and specifically that of the tribes.

Psalm 102: A prayer in times of distress

Hear my prayer O Lord and let my cry come unto thee.  Hide not they face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incilne thine ear unto me; in the day when I call answer me speedily.  For my days are consume like smoke and my bones are burned as an hearth.  My heart is smitten and withered like grass, so that I forget to eat my brea... I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert.  I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.
--Quoted by Annette McGiveney on P148 of Pure Land

QotD: Defining Success

What is success?  To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
Ralph Waldo Emerson

QotD: Life is like jumping from a plane



Life is like jumping out of a plane.
The bad news: there's no parachute.
The good news: there's no ground.

--Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

QotD: Tradition

 Tradition is tending the flame, not worshipping the ashes.
--Composer Gustav Mahler

QotD: A Crack in Everything



Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.  

---Leonard Cohen (Anthem)

 Voters overwhelmingly approved an update to the Irish constitution that removes a stiff penalty for blasphemy.  Score one for freedom of speech and one for atheism!


QotD: Morality in Animals

...just like us, canines are animals whose evolutionary history as a social species has given them an essential sense of what in human terms we would call "right and wrong."  Numerous studies have demonstrated that both canines and chimps know when they are being treated equitably among their peers and when they are not, and their behavior registers this knowledge.  According to Bekoff, much as humans use prisons and enforced socialization, wild coyotes have a sense of proper coyote behavior and ostracize individuals that fail to observe it.'
--Dan Flores in Coyote America, p 93.

Coyote America book cover

QotD: Normal is not the goal

 When you focus on being normal, you exclude the possibility of being extraordinary.
--Ann Yoshida



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December 2018



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