The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.
- Name: RWC
- Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Moby Dick by Herman Melville, 1851
This is my third and best reading of the book. I chose to read slowly and read every word not skipping parts I found boring. I noticed this time how funny and amusing Melville is. The scene of Ahab and Queequeg meeting and sleeping in the same bed is quite funny. There are remarks and little satires through out the book that one misses unless reading slowly and deliberately.
Moby Dick, the whale, is truly a sign of evil and Ahab the captain is truly a sinner. He has a monomaniacal desire for revenge on the whale who bit off his leg, his refusal to help search for the missing boys from the ship Rachael. His petty cruelties and vicious comments to his crew are merciless and thoughtless. He does adopt the black boy Pip.
The cruel joy of the captain and crew in their wanton killing of the whales reflects the disregards for the creatures of the creation. But those were the times of the whalers and their owners.
Evil swims through the tale, yet life goes on and on. The work of the sailors, the easy banter of the men, the life of money, trade and human intercourse goes on all the while the world is a sinful and an evil plaice too. The whale kills Ahab and his crew, destroys the ship and only Ishmael survives to tell the tale.
Melville shows us the perversity of evil in the created world but there is resurrection and new life and Ishmael survives and presumably writes the book through Melville. The book is both a warning of the perversity of human sin and reflection of all the good things that rifle through humanity. Melville’s book does not reflect all the full joyousness and creativity of human life. He is more interested in the evil.
His art as a story teller and describing of the sea, sky, water, birds, fish, animals and the ways and whiles of human beings is magical.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Dear Mr. President,
Please not let our American self-righteousness pour us into war over the Ukraine. It is not our business to supervise and manage the countries of the world.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I HAD A LITTLE STROKE
Thursday, 2/6/, 2014
Suddenly, I couldn’t speak clearly. My mouth was full of saliva; my tongue wouldn’t work so I could speak my thoughts when I spoke to Ann. This was Sunday night 2/2/14, at 11:00 PM as I was getting into bed. Ann asked, “Have you been drinking?” I thought, I wish I had been. She quickly asked if I was having a stroke. I mumbled. She ran to the kitchen for the fridge magnet message about strokes. FAST meaning. F “How is your Face?” she asked. We agreed it was not drooping. ARMS - ”Lift up you arms.” I did so showing no weakness, SPEECH. I could speak but, with difficulty. T-TIME to call 911. Ann did so immediately.
Within ten minutes the San Francisco Fire Department was in our flat, two women and two men firefighters. The woman in charge was quick and efficient asking all the FAST questions again and some others. She confirmed that I should go to the hospital immediately. Two minutes after the Firefighters came the Emergency Transport Team with two more women and two men. At one point there were eight emergency people in our bedroom.
The ambulance team walked me down the stairs and into the ambulance and whisked me to the hospital, Ann riding in front with the driver.
I am so grateful for their quick response and sensitive caring to me and to Ann. They are to be commended and congratulated for their expertise and humanity.
The Massachusetts General Hospital, Institute for Vascular and Stroke Care put out this item which we had on out fridge door in case of just this emergency.
I spent from midnight Monday February 2 to 6:00 PM at the California Pacific Medical Center.
I was immediately placed in an emergency room single room. The nurses administered IVs and drugs. I saw Dr. Duncan, a cardiologist, within ten minutes. He, Ann and I consulted on Skype with Dr. Yee, a stroke neurologist, to determine a course of treatment.
I was then sent to a regular intensive care unit to await a C-Scan and MRI, and a barrage of other delicate and indelicate tests. I was a specimen for a team of internists, medical students, neurologists and cardiologists.
Final results indicated a small stroke in the cortex on the right side of my brain. I was essentially told to go home and enjoy my life with a full recovery from that stroke.
In an interview with Dr. Zumwalt, I told him how grateful I was for the quick, efficient care provided by the nurses, nurses’ assistants and doctors. I was quite choked up as I expressed my gratitude.
Monday, February 10, 2014
OLYMPICS AND REPUBLICANS
Monday, February 10, 2014
The Sochi Olympics besiege us now. The athlete’s and their skill are dazzling. Ann is fascinated by them and watches way more than I do. The hyper sports announcers grate on my ears and nerves. I do love bitching. The pro-American and anti-Soviet angles are annoying. American media still reports Russia as if it was the USSR. No thing good can come out of Russia. Americans hear reports from Russia as bad – corruption, overspending on getting Sochi ready for the games, runaway capitalism, poverty and things don’t work as well as they do in the US. The same reporting goes on about the Chinese and China. Poverty, merciless capitalism, corruption of government and business leaders. How quickly we forget the conditions in the US with huge unemployment, poverty, broken healthcare, stalled government, pollution and global warming from our factories and cars.
I suppose there will always be the rah-rah for America and everyone else is inferior coming from the mass media where there is no longer fairness in reporting doctrine.
The constant commercials on Olympic reporting are disgusting not only because of their interruptions but because they are so stupid. I know they are aimed at a lowest possible education level of viewers. I congratulate them for their success in making their commercials unbelievable, irrelevant and sometimes dangerous in what they urge people to eat. How many times do we see fat filled burgers oozing grease? Pizza slices with slimy ribbons of cheese dripping off the slices and tomato and mushrooms looking like cardboard called delicious?
Of course that is not just the Olympic commercials but also what I see on regular network TV.
On other matters:
Republicans don’t see unemployment as a human issue but an economic issue or laziness. Their constant attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act do the same. They seldom talk about human beings who need adequate health care. The Republicans only rant about possible economic and money problems.
As a Christian, I must see the human problem first while taking into account the economic concerns. Banks and businesses rake in huge profits. 1% of the population holds the bulk of the money. Workers are underpaid and there are fewer jobs for many more unemployed people. The leadership of our country is focused on money with human beings falling far behind their concerns.
All the more appalling to me is that so many Republicans and Tea Party members call themselves Christian. Obviously, it has been quite a while since they have read the words of Jesus in Matthew 5 or Luke 6.
Our beloved Episcopal Church still ministers to a great many rich Episcopalians especially in the large urban centers. St. Thomas, 5th Avenue, St. James, on Madison Ave. Grace Church, on Broadway, Ascension on 5th Avenue all in Manhattan. In San Francisco there is Grace Cathedral, St. Luke’s, and St. Mary the Virgin. Some economic leaders attend these churches. There are others in Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas.
Our Bishops and clergy seldom preach sermons on the economic responsibilities of rich church members to the society. They fear that such preaching would have people fleeing out the doors. Where are the sermons on the healings of Jesus and Affordable health Care? Where are the sermons and seminars on the relationship of Jesus welcoming the outcasts and strangers and Immigration reform? Where are the sermons and seminars on Jesus teaching on the poor and the hungry in relationship to the massive wealth of some and poverty to many?
I am proud to go to a church where we regularly hear that kind of preaching. St. John’s on 15th Street in San Francisco, CA and Fr. Richard Smith our Vicar.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
SAVED FROM WHAT?
All during the Christmas season we blithely sing
Christ Our Savior is born, Christ our savior is born.
Saved from what, a close friend asks?
What does salvation really mean?
Salvation literally means to save one from harm.
In Baptism we will be washed from the taint of original sin and be saved. Saved from the harm of eternal damnation in hell, says the old literalist view of salvation.
That view continues that one must be baptized and accept Jesus as you lord and savior.
What about people who have never heard of Jesus? Will they not be saved but be consigned to hell.
The all-loving God loves, forgive and holds us in his love. “There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop God from loving you.” That is the God I believe in.
Salvation Army – Faith in Jesus and Good works.
The Salvation Army evangelical religion that does god works around the world. You are saved when you believe in Jesus. It is very much like a monastic community. They expect absolute obedience to their leader, wear a costume or uniform, live simply, celibacy before marriage, anti-LGBT. And collect money, do incredible good works around the world.
Years ago some Salvation Army captains Captains came to see me about gay rights. I did not convince them.
“Sal’ ve” is the same word as salve, a healing ointment. Salvation means to be made whole, full, healthy, strong and also vulnerable.
When I choose to follow Jesus I am on a path to be saved from a broken and sinful human condition. I am not without imperfections. I can still be stupid and make lousy choices but I am moving along toward a healthy and wholesome life.
Here are a couple of examples of people who follow Jesus:
A woman said her life is “mainly involved bringing up the couple’s children as part of the church by teaching them Bible stories, bringing them to church, and helping them learn what it means to be a member of the body of Christ. I know it is not much, but right now I think it is what God wants me to do.”
“…next a young man, a bureaucrat in a state agency, told his congregation that he comes to church to be reminded that Christians don’t lie. Every day I am surrounded with lies, and it is hard to resist becoming part of the system of lies. I know I am not going to get ahead in the government but I can’t lie without God making me tell the truth.
Janaye Murphy, you will be baptized today. You will become a follower of Jesus.
Her is what I believe following Jesus means.
My life works best when I follow Jesus.
That means I want to be:
Fully forgiving – even loving my enemies
Fully thankful for all the unearned gifts I have been given
Fully serving others
In our church –Julian Pantry, El Por Venir, pastoral care, immigration reform etc
My salvation comes, my health and wholeness comes by following Jesus life and teaching.
That is what I mean by Jesus is my savior.