Monthly Archives November 2015

Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse and Its Cover-up: A Review of “Spotlight”

“When you’re a poor kid from a poor family and a priest pays attention to you, it’s a big deal. How do you say no to God?”

That’s the trap door that thousands of children—young boys mostly, but plenty of girls, too—fell down through over only-God-knows-how-many years, centuries, even, of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, a particular historical epoch of which has been captured so stirringly in the movie Spotlight, currently in theaters.

The question posed above comes from one of the priest’s victims who operates a survivor’s support network that has long been mostly ignored by the media.

The movie follows an investigative journalism team for the Boston Globe that in 2002 pursues an appalling story of widespread sexual abuse by Boston-area priests...

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Thanksgiving Haiku

A moment of pause…

…Before gathering at your Tables of Gratitude.

(And please permit me to express my own gratitude for your engagement, your commentary, your kind words of encouragement.)

Thankfulness always,
for the watchful clouds and sky,
your fierce heart aglow.

****

Check Facebook for this blog’s public page featuring daily snippets of wisdom and other musings from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied by lovely photography. http://www.facebook.com/TraversingBlog

Gratitude for photographer Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos grace the rotating banner at the top of this page. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhaslam/

Cirrus clouds photo by Andrew Hidas, with a serious assist from his iPhone and the heavens. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr...

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Choosing Hope Amid the Heat of Global Warming

It seems to me our wounded planet is a perfect and inevitable reflection of our own woundedness as human beings. As goes the inner, so goes the outer.

We are flawed and confused, we want conflicting things. In the developed world, we want to drive our fossil-fueled cars to the protest against fossil fuels. Even the most conscientious of us, living by the most modest means, outdo all the kings and queens of history, consuming massive amounts of natural resources compared to our ancestors and the entire third world today.

Yes, we are all part of the problem. All that messiness with Adam and Eve, banished from their perfect garden into a world of conflict, fallenness and self-destruction? That is us—the Christian myth has it exactly right.

Now: Let us all take ourselves a deep breath...

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Thoughts on Paris

It’s almost impossible not to talk about Paris, is it? The imagery so stark, the evil so dark and unmitigated. We have a sense of our world upended, our way of life and broadly agreed-upon civilizational values suddenly all a-jumble.

It doesn’t add up in any readily, rationally explainable way that people—people with legs and arms and smiles and parents and probably siblings and their own recent memories of enjoying cafe dinners with friends and loved ones—would hatch a plot to come shoot us dead. Us, whom they don’t even know, who are good people, who would be kind and gracious to them if they’d walked in with a mutual friend that night to shake our hand and make pleasant small talk before heading to their table.

But they weren’t going to any table. They had instead made their own private reservation to kill us in hot spurting blood without ever having said a word to us in this life.

We try ...

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Decay and Renewal: An Analysis of Walt Whitman’s “This Compost”

Some 16 months ago (about 60 posts in BlogTime), I feautured Robert Ingersoll’s eulogy of Walt Whitman, with a brief commentary indicating I would return to Whitman’s work, it being the inexhaustible centerpiece of American poetry that it is.

So, following the advice of reader Robby Miller at that time that I keep a copy of Leaves of Grass always handy and open it at random moments to a random page and read for a spell, I did just that the other night and landed on “This Compost.”

Such an ecological theme for these times, yes? Conjuring images of all those nice organic carrot peels and lemon rinds we lovingly transport to our backyard compost bins, there to mix with leaves and the miraculously multiplying worms to eventually create a teeming dark pile of life-giving soil.

But Whitman takes a different, slightly darker tack in “This Compost,” where there is not a carrot peel or zucchini tip in sight...

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