To get to know you is my aim, for I believe you and I will find more in common than we don’t. We have much to gain from each other, especially from the few things we call differences, those distinct experiences each of us carries, those things that teach not only ourself how to live better and more fully but teach those around us with whom we dare to share them. Stick around, and I’ll share with you some of my personal mountains, as I hope to hear you tell me yours.
You see, I believe we rather assist each other in this journey on earth, despite our differences, our antagonisms, our disdains, or even because of our radically biased opinions that don’t mesh. When you incite my bias, I will try to tap my “Pause” button, to listen to understand, to discover that oneness I know is somewhere in this garage, because, as I see it, your quirks actually assist my heart to grow, despite my initial resistance.
Gotta live with it. Our planet is like a stadium filled with funny looking people, who insist on their hodgepodge of ideas, their own spicy ingredients and peculiar interests, rooting for their own team.
If I had to squarely target my life quest, it’s to “bulls-eye” our human oneness. To pop it in the belly. You see, I might disagree with you, or maybe I just can’t stand the way you are, or maybe your sword sliced me up from a previous battle, it’s at those times, when I doubt the veracity of the human frame, meaning you, my neighbor, when I question your sensibleness, att such a time, I remind myself of our common human link. Oneness cannot be seen by merely looking inside our humanity, for it comes from outside our shell, from outside of this earthly plane, in fact, our common human oneness comes from Heaven, from that someone Whom I’d like to refer to as my Heavenly Parent, from God. He and She (don’t ask me how) believes in you as much as in me. This Divinity that is outside yet common to each of us is parental in nature, meaning… we are siblings. We gotta get along.
I live in Alaska and am loved by the most opposite woman for me, my Japanese wife of 30 years, with whom I was uniquely matched by my favorite pastor. Together we have had five boys, who compel us to be viable, breathtaking parents. Honestly, you’d have to ask them if we’ve won that challenge. I am a believer in what is the most difficult task a man could ever attempt, that is, to build a good family — the proof is in the custard.
I’d like to confess something to you: my chief personal problem in life. It is my bottomless supply of indecision or re-decision, or could I call it having “a transpiring decision.” For an example of my nature, I love to “hour” away time in book stores, and then I like to translate the wisdom.
Another big problem for me: I am not prepared for all the paperwork in life. Why paperwork exists is totally beyond me.
After turning fifty, unusually, I feel extremely youthful about my prospects in life. I believe creativity is a natural gift of everyone and keeps us young. It just takes damn practice. After fifty, it gets better. Energy no longer gets wasted. I can focus.
Greatness is not my aim. Living to my fullest is. I check each day to make sure I’m knocking on the correct door of destiny.
Okay. I do believe God is in everybody, so my mind looks for traces, if not cartfulls of Him in you; and I will find Her in you, too, this I have no doubt, even if I have to toss away all the crap you could give me. Well, not you, but others, those other rascally creatures that look human, not you, of course. Sometimes life is just too painful to expose. We prefer acquiescence to revelation.
Indeed, I believe that lasting goodness is about keeping going. Time is a good oven. The temperature is the heat of perseverance. It takes time to know the Love underneath.
Finally, I’d like to share one of my favorite Good Book verses, “… in that day, you will know that I am in the Father, the Father is in you, and I am in you.” That day once flooded me like a waterfall. I’m still beholden with awe.
A little about my journey so far: I love my Unification community of faith, now for over thirty years. Here’s some places it took me:
- I traveled to Russia in 1991, where I taught university students at the “perestroika moment” for their country. I witnessed their historical coup and the smoke of their tanks.
- I was lucky to share Christmas Eve service at Westminster Cathedral in London, when returning from Israel, after having befriended Palestinians, Jews, and Moslems while there.
- I served grandmas “halmonies” in Korean villages, tucked away in mountains, surrounded by ginseng crops and rice fields, in “the land of peaceful calm.”
- I dreamed at night that I’d see a certain person while in Tokyo, then to actually meet them outside the busy crammed subway system shocked me.
- I savored breakfast and dinner with meals of borsch, while serving in a grey town of Lithuania. A simple life. (Much too simple.)
- I bonded in heart with partners of faith from Germany, Austria, Ireland, England, Italy, France, Japan, Korea, China, Israel, Palestine, Ghana, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and other countries, people who became, not like, but actual Family to me.
- I witnessed from 43rd Street on that fateful day the Twin Towers crumbled in Manhattan the gaping dust hole that the afternoon sun was now able to crinkle through that hadn’t been there before.
In America, I marched with blacks in Chicago; I learned phrases to get by in Polish neighborhoods; I picked up some Spanish; I memorized Japanese idioms and greetings; and I figured out how to count in Korean. As I traveled from sea to shining sea, I got to know Florida’s lightning storms, Washington D.C.’s political grip, and the Big Apple’s nighttime sirens. I got to know the sheep in Oregon pastures, the rain splashing on bricks in Seattle, and wild moose roaming streets in Anchorage.
…as well as fish jumping on my line on the Sandy Lake River.
I am a work in progress. Let me know when I’m done, cuz I’m just not finished yet.