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Blog of the Grateful Bear

ramblings of a freelance panentheist {"all things are in God, and God is in all things"} . . . musings on Emergent spirituality, powerlifting, LGBTQueer issues, contemplative prayer, mysticism, cats, music, healing, and more. I like my coffee and my existentialism dark-roasted.

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Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States

I'm an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), in private practice in Marietta, Georgia. My writings on queer spirituality have been published in Whosoever and several other magazines. I live in a house-in-the-woods (Bear's Hermitage) in Marietta with Leonidas (Lenny) and Guy, Mighty Warrior Cats, and way too many books.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

To Be Blessed, and To Bless

I came across this little poem by William Butler Yeats this week, while re-reading Iron John: A Book About Men, by Robert Bly:

My fiftieth year had come and gone.
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.

While on the shop and street I gazed
My body for a moment blazed,
And twenty minutes, more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed, and could bless.
I haven’t reached my 50th year yet (I’ll turn 48 in a couple of weeks), but this seems like a wonderful poem with which to end one year, 2009, and begin a new one. This has been a challenging year in many respects, but throughout everything, that sense of blessing – “That I was blessed, and could bless” – remains.

I was reminded of a conference I attended on St. Simon’s Island in 2007. Marcus Borg, one of my favorite biblical scholars, talked about a spiritual practice he had picked up from his fellow presenter, Barbara Brown Taylor. It’s a very simple practice. As you go through the day, silently bless every person you see: just say “Bless you,” silently to yourself, directed at one particular person at a time.

Sounds easy, almost simplistic, but I’ve found it to be a very moving and profound practice, the times I’ve remembered to practice it. The people at the coffeehouse and at your place of work, the people you see walking across the street, the people you see as you conduct your everyday business, even the crazy drivers in traffic – just offer each person a blessing in silence. “Bless you.”

Blessings to all of you as 2009 ends and a New Year begins.

Darrell {Grateful Bear}


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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Eternal Christ in the Cosmic Story

Here's a wonderful interview with Fr. Richard Rohr that helps us see what the Incarnation (i.e., Christmas) is really all about.

The eternal christ in the cosmic story | National Catholic Reporter

From the interview: "Once we restore the idea that the Incarnation means God truly loves creation then we restore the sacred dimension to nature. We bring the plants and animals and all of nature in with us. They are windows into the endless creativity, fruitfulness and joy of God. We assert that we believe in the sweep of history, humanity and all of creation that Christ includes."


Friday, December 18, 2009

Dad: In Recovery from Surgery

I'm very grateful to all my friends who are continuing to pray for my Dad. His surgery went very well yesterday (Dec. 17th), and he is now in the ICU for recovery. He will be in the hospital for 10 to 30 days, and he will still be in need of continuous care after that, either at home or at a rehab center. We'll be celebrating Christmas Day at a hospital for the 2nd year in a row, but our family will be together and it will still be a very merry holy-day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dad in Hospital for Surgery on Thursday 12/17

My father, Lloyd Grizzle, was admitted to the hospital yesterday, this time for a planned surgery on Thursday, Dec. 17th. The surgery is to repair a large hernia on the surgical scar on his abdomen, and also to rebuild part of his abdominal wall (using cadaver muscle and tissue).

Dad's medical odyssey began in July 2008, when two gallstones got lodged in his pancreas. This started a domino effect of medical problems over the past year and a half, including acute pancreatitis, kidney failure, respiratory failure, a series of hospital-acquired infections, and a cardiac emergency last December that left him with brain injury. He has been in and out of six different hospitals and physical rehab centers, and he has been limited to a wheelchair and hospital bed at home, receiving home health care, when not in a hospital or rehab.

Dad's surgery on Thursday is extremely risky, but it's also very risky for him NOT to have the surgery. As always, I am grateful for the many friends, both online and off, who have continued to keep Dad and my family in their thoughts and prayers.

~ Darrell