Homage to Buddenbrooks


     The entire venerable family were at their usual seats at the antique oak long table in thei patriarch’s dining room.  A delightful aroma came in from outside the double-doors that served as the only exit to the hall that led to the kitchen and pantry, wafting into the grand room in great fragrant waves as the portal was swung open and closed by the scullery maids, who were hurrying in and out carrying decorative silver trays ladened with poached chicken and pear salads and Oloroso sherry.  The penultimate course had arrived.

This being a Sunday, the Christiansons sat at the table eating in an easy silence that came from comfortable routine.  Most of them preferred a long-held precedence over the perceived flippant alternatives – they held tight to decorum in circumstances such as these especially — when all of them came together for their weekly brunch on Sundays to steady themselves for mass.  At these trysts they refused of habit to do no more than share a nice cold repast with hardly more than sliced rye bread and perhaps a Sauvignon Saint-Briswith with which to pair.

The meal, while by itself an essential aspect of the ritual, in fact was most necessary for the grandfather, Christoph Christianson, founder and unofficial administrator of the family.  His health on the decline for years, he, on doctor’s orders, paid special attention to his nutritive intake, being disposed to a wasting disease that, sadly, in the last few months threatened to weaken him to the point of exhaustion.  His still-regal hands, once robust and agile, now gripped the gilded serving spoon for the butter-seared potatoes with trembling unstable motions; his fingers wrinkled with loose skin and  betrayed the fat lost to his accursed affliction.  Only his eyes, which darted back and forth across the expanse of the gourmet spread laid luxuriously across the table-clothed dining table, with a hint of sly merriment, still retained the vigor and spark of youth’s fancy. 

     While his eyes and countenance stayed true throughout his diminution, the rest of Christoph’s form turned faint yellow and desiccated as a plant that had strained and extended itself thin in search of sunlight withheld from it too long, and at last, in resignation, bent itself a little and shrunk sadly back earthwards.

Now in his twilight years, at 71, Mr. Christianson was fighting and losing the struggle for his life. His high Nordic cheekbones, once a cherished feature that formerly made all who knew him comment with genuine sentiment how handsome he looked, now protruded unnaturally, stretching his skin conspicuously and thus enhanced his hollow cheeks and gaunt jawline.  Set against this picture of frail decline, and a little inwards into his sockets so as to create a shadowed look and darken them all the more, his eyes somehow still flickered a deep blue and could have a somewhat unpleasant effect upon the person whom he consented to gaze upon and rest his eyes in scrutiny.

     But today, at the brunch before church, his look betrayed no interest in social games as his eldest, Chad, helped him with his thirds by heaping steamed asparagus and honeyed ginger ham upon his plate.  It was one of life’s little ironies that Christoph Christianson, from the time he had been a little child still being weaned, carefully and practically by his mother, Lynda, as only a woman of culture and sophistication who had already been through the birth and rearing of a first son could well do with an experience hand, never was known to eat more than two small meals a day.  And coupled with an abnormally slow metabolism, he had been able to eat like a bird and still strike a nobly filled-out pose, as if he were a clone of some of those other businessmen with whom he of necessity was well-acquainted, and who, perhaps because of the free time and money to spare from their careers (or else, in a depressing response to these same careers and the idle languid lifestyles they created for them), filled their unoccupied hours treating themselves to the most expensive and lavish of meals.  It was those corpulent men, whom, walking to and from the Exchange with their bloated bellies and fatted shanks which slowed their approaches and departures, although ostensibly resembled in some aspects Christoph’s then rotund figure, did not, could not, have his lively stamina-enhanced gait and bearing, being themselves drawn down by the fat and gristle of raw salted steaks, and the sugar from countless sweets and pastries they consumed and were consumed by.

In contrast, old Chistoph had since a toddler been filled-out, a tad abdominous; but always with an easy mien, a graceful air, with his low-caloric intake a resounding success for his health overall, giving him a youthful intensiveness and potency for which his friends and family had always high remarks, and often subdued envy, the latter a chord of emotional persuasion belonging mostly to his business and political opponents.  The family dietitian advised a heterogenous fare in his case, eclectic in varieties of dark green vegetables for iron and fresh fruit to aid digestion and make up for his lack of substantive food intake with high quantities of vitamins and minerals.  This proud command of the physique could never last, being a castle built on the sands of time, which, however exquisitely built and sculpted must surely sink and ebb.  He was at last beset a few years ago by this gastroenterological illness, that brought with it a remarkable appetite which belied a healthiness, were one to see him attack a meal, and that hid a fatal Demon that, once unleashed, began at once to starve his muscles and flesh, taking all his nourishment meant for his body and diverting it ivillanto the Spectre’s own maw, even as Christoph gorged himself perpetually.

     When, in the oppressive dry heat of an early August three years ago, Christoph fell ill to this intestinal malady, he summoned all the best doctors in the municipality to consult with his own family physician, Dr. Spetic.

Dr. Wilhelm Spetic was a proud man, deriving no small amount of ego from the patronage bestowed upon him by the Christiansons.  He had always been quick to pick up compliments out of indifference, not perceiving the difference between love and necessity.  He was competent in his craft, though not by any means spectacular – his stint at the University of Hadleigh in his youth was delayed by several semesters, not through, it should be said, a lack of endeavor on his part, for he knew the rewards given by hard work; the mental acumen required by the rigors of his doctoral dissertation had proved to be a hurdle he hadn’t anticipated on, and, to save face and keep his family name intact, he honorably withdrew his term at Hadleigh and transferred to a smaller college just outside the township in which the Christiansons summered and took sabbaticals.  It was here that he finished his doctorate, with no honors, true, but nonetheless no small feat, all things considered.  And it was also here that he met and began treating the Christianson family.

     This doctor, who in the classic medical condescending pedantry announced after a quick, high-spirited dance of words with his colleagues, that the “Lord had seen fit to conduct another play of cosmic humor by censuring Mr. Christianson with the very same blessing he had hereto let his health thrive.”  It was apparent after some small analysis and an even smaller collaboration with his peers (the latter to assure himself of his accuracy in diagnosis), that “the tissues involved in hormone production, which had for so long affected his lack of both necessity for high-calorie sustenance and emotional desire for food, had now begun to grow necrotic and unviable from the very same physiological mechanisms.  And, now that their irreversible decay was underway, Mr. Christianson would be forever in an animal state of constant hunger, paralleled with an even slower metabolism than he had had before – the final outcome of all this resulting in his corporal deterioration from the inside out and a rapacious appetence, the two affections for which, sadly, modern medicine would be largely useless against except as in a purely palliative role.” 

This cruel little speech was delivered in a pompous demeanor that had Dr. Spetic speaking with upturned corners of his mouth, looking down at Christoph, who was there sitting in his heirloom reading chair and feigning a look of indifference which aimed vaguely around the study at intervals to escape his doctor’s gaze.  And as the exposition of his condition continued, one could faintly notice his visage of disinterest jerking slightly every time the good doctor accentuated choice words of his oration with a stiff rap of his walking cane onto the painted flagstone floor under which he stood so statuesque, his shoulders square and feet wide apart.

    That uncomfortable conversation in which Christoph barely said but few words, only nodding his  head or gesticulating when the flow of the dialogue demanded etiquette or tact.  The immensity and consequence of the occasion all but muted him.

In the Course of Human Events


Image result for honor and men painting

When the time comes for honor to vanish and eloquence to fade; for men’s dusty glorious banners to tear away from their posts and blow uselessly around in the tepid air, then will the mortals have won with their unrelentless attacks on humanity’s foundation, and all will return to a morbid state of nature to rejoin the grey origins of the past.

But that time is not now, and the day of it’s reckoning has not yet been written.

It is curious to think that all that life has fought for in this inhospitable, opposed construct of chaotic forces and matter will be denied it’s full fruition from the very entity that exposed it to existence.  We have brought randomness into symphonies of complexity.  We built ourselves out of mere floating dust particles to achieve singularities so bright with meaning that they defied their own constituents that they were made from.

Wild hope and ambitions took their place to confront their seemingly impenetrable prisons until the walls were crushed with pure will.

Alas, it was this very will, this volition of life that will one day destroy itself.  With no more true enemies to confront, fear and hatred, coupled with our will has begun to fight itself.  We are warriors with no foes, and so, since we must vanquish and destroy, we will do so to ourselves.

I have bourne witness to these events in my perpetual solitude, my spirit unswayed and unlured by the false fantasies presented in the passing moments of eternity.  But now the old gods come to me and entreat me to allow myself to be their vessel, and I have agreed with much carelessness.  I drink of their essence, and do their bidding in exchange for nothing but the promise of more ineffable knowledge.

There is one goddess who wishes not to entreat me.  Her hair and eyes blaze with the sun’s unbridled light, and her lips speak nothing but wisdom and peace.  She takes her place among the mortals, tied to them with the karmic rope of compassion.  And in her kindness she has blinded her mortal body to the awareness of her true nature.  She is Freya, and she has warmed my stone of a heart so that I can now hear the calls of the innocents and respond with pity and empathy.  I am hers, entirely; I willingly bonded my soul with hers aeons ago.  To her I owe everything, and it is with her that I place my hope.  She is my refuge and my praeturnatural lover.

Humanities and the Hard Sciences


Humanities and the Hard Sciences

Humanities_Source_Ultimate_940X600_November_2016

The assumption I’ve always had about the humanities and the hard and natural sciences is that they are two disciplines attempting to outgrow one another – two branches of the tree of knowledge pushing out in opposite directions, both bearing fruit of different varieties.  The connections between the two are evident to the learned and unlearned alike, but this obviousness is illusory for both because what is obvious to the former is not congruent to what is obvious to the latter (However I am certain a line of tangency connects the two).  My own path deviates in a practical nature from the obvious into the ineffable state of contradictory monist interpretation.  The infighting of creativity and psychopathic intellectualism appears the same to me because I overthrow mutual exclusivity with what I will call here ‘awareness.’  Ego will be limited as a consequence, and truth reawakened through the opaque film of errant perception.  The ego that remains builds, for me, an attitude of indifference towards the humanities and a special attachment for the hard sciences.  One must cut their losses and accept the wrongs in this pluralistic world; one must accept the frailty of the human mind.  Nevertheless I will expound the reasons behind my individual closeness and affinity towards the hard sciences.

The humanities will not be studied in any rigorous effort, because I believe that by their very nature they require none.  All they require is the knowledge of their basic systematic order, and from this one can reiterate in different types their qualities.

To study Yates or Poe, or abstract expressionism as a discipline is a hindrance – one must use them to inspire oneself to complete what they have started, but there is no absolute quality or truth to them (in and of themselves) that would require a meticulous and thorough examination of them.  The hard sciences however, relinquish circular mental effort and retain the dignity, precision, and absoluteness of truth.  Their work requires a deep understanding of all the mechanisms involved because without it one cannot proceed further with the endeavors they inspire.  One must first learn arithmetic to grasp algebra before then understanding discrete mathematics and calculus and number theory.  One must read a few passages here and there from John Milton to create something sublime that may or may not build on Milton’s work directly.  The humanities are an ever-changing melting pot of creativity; one can start anywhere and add to it.  The hard sciences are a structure of bricks laid on top of one another, and one must know the places of the bricks to add another meaningful layer on top of them.

Old Man, Destruction of Ages


Date: 1/4/09

The blinking of one’s eyes tells much of its owner; in fact in the eternity of my age I have come to regard it as a great sign of the width and breadth of one’s character. But ah! I seemed to have started in on a subject that may appear strange to you, and without properly introducing myself – both flaws I admit to readily, and excuse just as readily on account of my years. Both my own age and the age of men are coming to an end. Our declines spiral downwards at steady and simultaneous rates. My death will signify the demise of men; the time of wisdom and deceit, richness and spirituality, is at its conclusion. Progression of time is a tricky thing, and since I haven’t kept track, being preoccupied with other studies and practice, I can only approximate my life on this planet to near six hundred years – does it surprise you? It should not. Stranger things have occurred in this world than an unusually long life. Perhaps among the experiences of your own existence you can ferret out a past memory that was long forgotten because it did not fit tidily with your sensible worldview where nothing too out of the ordinary happens, but will now be drug up and perceived with new eyes. This is an especial hope of mine: that my words will announce the dawning of remembrance for you before everything comes crashing down and humanity is obliterated.

But so much for formal introductions. I’m afraid my frailty would not endure one. And anyway, formal introductions by their own nature require names, and I’ve forgotten mine through the decades. Though sometimes when I’m out in the forest, going for a walk to soothe my tired mind, I think I hear it whispered among the rocks beneath my feet. It is as if I walk a river of grey stones that gush forth before me and gurgle indecipherable words, dripping and splashing with memories long lost in time. So it is sometimes with me: I have reached an age where most of my memories sprawl deep, hidden safe within the thickness of tree trunks and greenness of grass; percolated from my mind to form new connections with myself and nature. But make no mistake – this was my goal: to embrace the profundity of earth and contemplate its vastness until ultimately I will no longer know where it begins and I end.

As the seasons change, so do I. My skin is cold and fresh and covered with dew in the spring. My beard turns from brown in the fall to snowy white in the winter, when my breath blows frost. The rhythm of the world beats in my heart and the stars shine bright in my eyes. Oh, that I had just a little more time to enjoy this union – to sing forth the comings of night and days, and quake and blow and rain with each step. But such is not to be had. ‘Fate goes ever as it will,’ and I with it. My exalted moon and sun darken even now, and my soul becomes restless in great expectation.

So listen then, with an open ear to my words. I spoke at first of the character of men – the representation of life’s greatest failures! Man is a crucifixion of God and Animal. He will never be one or the other, nor a dialectic of the two. He was destined from the start to be both, a contradiction self-contained in physical form. A torturous existence, one that is escapable exclusively by intellectual and moral sanity and death. Pity yourself, therefore, and weep. But let there be a smile that creeps beneath the tears also, because know that soon it will all be over. It is strange to think of it. Even I cannot see beyond the great Destruction; my foresight stops of a sudden and all turns black. I do not know if it is because time itself folds in and I thus peer into an infinite regress of shadow, or if there will come a day of rebuilding and it is too far away in the future to see. I myself am not a man, though it is possible I was born of them – I do not remember. Some of my features and attributes resemble those of a man. I can speak in their tongue when I wish to. I experience emotion, though not of the same variety. I can shape myself almost like them. But my preference is to the trees and riverbeds; when night appears I become a silhouette, a cloak to roam and lose myself in dark refrain. In the day I am a shimmering refraction in a drop of water, a glint.

Men’s eyes.. watch them closely, listener. Study them and see their eyelid’s movements. Perhaps you will see a discernable pattern that mirrors their character. I have not said enough, but I grow tired of speech and must yield to the forces of nature and absolve this body. I have a brother. At least, we call each other such. His path is much different than mine – you will learn from him. He, also, is unbearably burdened with age. A lover of knowledge, he has attained much of it. I must go now.

 

 

My brother’s speech, it appears, has tired you – you have a stern look about you. I hope he hasn’t worried you into a frenzy. I can assure you the destruction of men has not come, nor do I think it ever will. My brother is right about one thing, however: this planet will not be here much longer. And unlike my brother I can tell you the exact date and time at which this will occur. But this I will not tell you – you cannot know. To tell you would be the cruelest thing I could do, for you would count the minutes until the very end.

That he despises mankind and waves off their achievements as trivial is a fact whose cause I can’t ascertain, but only guess. But I do know why he has chosen the path of nature and strayed from the path of logic and reason. He cannot remember his or my own origins; he has forfeited his own memories for that of the world’s. So be it. As for me, I can remember. He and I are not six hundred years old, nor even one thousand. We were born of a Pictish tribe in the 900s B.C. Our fathers were pagans, druids, and witches, and so were we. Although both he and I studied druidism, my pursuit of it was purely intellectual, while he practiced it and soon knew nothing else. By and by he became capable of what most would call extraordinary feats, and all in our clan was amazed. He could converse with animals, shape shift into myriad forms and tell the future accurately through such geomantic acts as looking at the play of shadows caused by leaves blowing in the wind. I remember a strong lust for knowledge was present in me then – the same gnawing desire I still experience today. It was this same desire that eventually forced me to abandon my clan and leave Ireland by boat to England. My studies there continued with fervor in a small cabin overlooking the western coast. I found many secrets there, things unknowable to most men. Among them was the means to cheat death. Not indefinitely you see – no, no – as you can easily discern I am dying – but long enough. Long enough to compile my work: all my knowledge of everything there is to be known. I received word that my brother had one night vanished and was never seen by our clan again. But I realized he was still among us, unnoticed like a faint breeze on your neck. And so we have both lived now into the 21st century A.D., over 2900 years, albeit by different methods.

 

Winter’s Black Decay


As part of an attempt to ressurrect this blog for the sake of seeing something once loved verified and reanimated, I thought it appropriate to start with this poem, written around 2009.  I can’t give much in this prefatory note; I know very little about the circumstances of its creation.  Only that back then I was caught up in passions and violent emotions dipped in the flavor of young love, tempered slightly with aggression.  I was in a tumultuous relationship with my then wife, Nicole.  It may be therefore an expression of the angst from frustrated adoration.

It’s short in content; it may be entirely possible to read it straight through without having ascertained its meaning.  See for yourself.

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Winter’s Black Decay

 

 

In winter’s black decay

Rise sheltered roses that hide in day.

Their sensitive petals unfurl and spread

Giving off luminosity, bright and red.

And through the darkened skies above

Shine tender sunlit rays of love

That penetrate the thick cold air

And soak with warmth these frail flowers fair.

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Experiental Wisdom


During mediation, I experienced a fundamental truth about concentration;  I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, staring at a small point on the wall in front of me, willing myself to keep concentration on that spot without breaking attention.

At first the attributes of the speck on the wall I was gazing at became very important: about 4-5 of its basic attributes were trying to be kept simultaneously in my consciousness.  But I found that way of fixing my attention on the spot start to fade and be replaced effortless and easily into a quite different modality of concentration.  The 4-5 aspects of that spot (its color, shape, size, material) began to all merge somehow into a homogeneous mixture so that they were all still being consciously perceived, but no longer as distinct attributes – now as one meta-attribute.

When this change occurred, my mind was then free to examine other elements of my attention.  Although the spot was still a focal point of my efforts, the melding of its clear, defined properties into a uniform whole allowed other features of my scrutiny to reveal themselves.

Although the experience itself was subjective and its implications anecdotal, I believe the qualities it exhibited as more objective, inasmuch as they seemed ubiquitous in quiddity.  The other components that became apparent after the shift in comprehension of the speck were, among other things, the space that inhabited the distance between my eyes and the the wall, which was now prominent in my view, and exhibiting qualities of a circular cone in dimension, with the wide mouth open on my side and the point aligned directly with the original dot.  I also perceived lines of demarcation of the cone of vision, represented by different intensities of light that lined the edge of the cone.  Awareness of movement within and on the edge of the cone of vision was also present – myriad small squiggles that few across the lines haphazardly and frantically, small fractal patterns of light appearing and disappearing on different levels of space in the 3-dimensional space.  It was really quite beautiful and instilled a feeling of profundity in myself.

Cone of vision

Because this secondary quality of concentration materialized organically and meaningfully in spirit, and because I couldn’t not categorize this second reality of experience as a variety of concentration that was just as important in the concentration of a single spot, I decided to momentarily reset my awareness by looking away and allowing normal thoughts to arise, essentially stopping my meditative state in order to reinitialize it for another experimental run.

The second time I focused on a small spot on the wall (a different one entirely this time) I found the same sequence of experiential events occurred in relatively the same amount of time and natural development it had executed last attempt.  To me, this helped confirm my hypothesis that this shift in type and level of concentration was not only a normal, modal development, but also put weight to my hypothesis that the attributes of the conversion and of the resultant state of concentration were objective properties that emerged out of a subjective experience.  I am sadly unversed in knowledge of prior philosophical work on the mechanisms in play and processes that allow objectivity to exist significantly within personal subjectivity.  Objective truths can be proven or falsified – I believe the secondary shift of concentration can be proven to exist within this field of subjective experience produced by meditation through analysis of a population of subjects that purposely engage in focused examination of a single point and report any developments afterward, if anything.  That data can be gathered through a simple survey.

It’s important to note that there may be inessential deviations from my experience such as minor differences in content of the concomitant transformation in type of attention, the fundamental nature of both the shift and experience of perception will, I think, be proven empirical.

A bold statement, I know.  Many reading this may scoff at my Aristotelian approach toward attaining truth.  To them I acknowledge the lack of empirical energy and overreach into the metaphysical with no great persuasion for this technique of acquiring knowledge – only stating that I am resting on the powerful beauty and meaning of this experience.

 

A Reverse Exorcism of Humility


humility

This is the time of year when the chill seeps into my skin and caresses my soul with icy, lingering fingers, almost as if it’s been waiting all year for this.  And so it takes it’s time now, savoring the moment.  I can walk outside at night and feel how cold the black of the sky is; drink in this rigid dark ice.

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I’m going to make a conscious effort to love other humans, to cease this constant hate towards them… stop my self-pitying.  I’ve  always considered others to have some value inherent in them, but only a very small value when compared to myself and those I consider friends and family.

As if a conscious awakening occurred only slightly, just enough to be aware of the filth of the world, but not enough to love it regardless.  A fracturing of the shell of ignorance, not a hole carved out to actually see something.

I have the intellect to hide behind my words; to distract people from my true self, and to delay the truth by piecing together lies to create a very artful, convincing obscurity.

I don’t believe I can attain the next level of consciousness except by through a convergence of both emotion and thought – a dialectical approach seems the only way.

It appears to me I’ve covered a vast distance, but when I look back, I see no footprints to mark my path.  I can only hope the arrow of time is splintering, or else I’m a very light-footed traveler.

Ephemeral Discontent


She sits by the moonlit water, facing the ancient waves.

A look of fragile temerity is on her face. Her beauty at once encompasses me; somewhere from the depths of the sea she hides her secret.
Her essence, illuminated by the moon, derived from the ocean, hungrily devoured by my soul.
One cannot tell where she begins, and the great expanse of sea ends. The water and she are like two snakes, coiled up together in a slow mating dance.

I walk up to a nearby tree, muted and silenced; befuddled at her ecstatic nature. Somehow I manage to negotiate my limbs, and sit down. My back is against the tree, and my eyes never leave her.
I attempt articulation of thought, but find I have none to express. All I see now are splashes of moonlight on seaweed-tangled hair.
Another moment, and her vision leaves me; she is gone.

My hand brushes lightly through the sand until it encounters a stone. Fingers trace the smoothness of it. The coolness reaches my senses.
Where has she gone? Was she nothing more than a phantom, a reflection, a lonely ghost of the sea? I sigh a sigh of despondency, and throw the stone, watching it skip and jump against the waves.

It is always this way with me. I am unable to catch the pearls that present themselves to me from time to time. Maybe I need to quit desiring them.
An hour passes, the moon is now half-hidden behind the water.
My mind a bit clearer, and my legs a bit stronger, I get up from my seat next to the tree, and resume a course that takes me along the bank of the liquid mass.
The idea slowly surfaces from somewhere that I am Alone. Not temporarily; not just in the present moment, but in a permenant, timeless fashion as well.
Ah well, I think. Better to be swathed tightly in the cloak of loneliness than to keep company with illusions of beauty and love.

I walk until the moon has completely disappeared from the sky. Its absence has darkened the waters and allowed the less luminous objects in the sky to present themselves.
I sleep that night, curled up in the sand, dreaming silently below the stars.

Gun Control Legislation Gets More Support with This Sad Story


This 5 murder killing happened in my hometown a week ago. A 15 year old boy killed all of his immediate family, using a handgun and an AR15.
This is news article came from ABC news:

Relatives: Teen Massacre Suspect ‘Bright,’ ‘Troubled’

By MICHAEL S. JAMES (@bymsj) and COLLEEN CURRY Jan 23, 2013, 7:10 AM

Relatives of a New Mexico teenager accused of killing his mother, father and younger siblings with an assault rifle, then telling police he hoped to shoot up a Walmart, are described as stunned by his actions and “heartbroken over this senseless tragedy.”

Though surviving relatives conceded in an unsigned “family statement” that 15-year-old Nehemiah Griego is a “troubled young man,” the statement also described him as an outgoing boy who loved music and hoped one day to serve in the military.

“We know him as a bright, curious and incredibly talented young man. He was a brother, nephew, grandson and cousin,” said the statement, obtained by the ABC News affiliate KOAT in Albuquerque from former New Mexico state Sen. Eric Griego, the suspect’s uncle.

“We are deeply concerned about the portrayal in some media of Nehemiah as some kind of a monster,” said the statement. “It is clear to those of us who know and love him that something went terribly wrong. Whether it was a mental breakdown or some deeper undiagnosed psychological issue, we can’t be sure yet. What we do know is that none of us, even in our wildest nightmare, could have imagined that he could do something like this.”

Nehemiah Griego, the 15-year-old son of an Albuquerque pastor, had plans to kill his family, his 12-year-old girlfriend’s family and local Walmart shoppers for weeks before he acted on the impulse on Sunday, according to police.

“Nehemiah said after killing five of his family members he reloaded the weapons so that he could drive to a populated area to murder more people,” read a police report from the incident released Tuesday.

“Nehemiah stated he wanted to shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement,” the report said.

However, after allegedly killing his family members, Griego ended up spending most of his day with his girlfriend rather than going to the Walmart, Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston said Tuesday.

Griego later was arrested and is expected to face adult charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He waived his right to arraignment in adult court Tuesday and a judge ordered him held without bond.

The district attorney’s office and Griego’s public defender now are preparing to face a grand jury, KOAT reported.

“We never had a case like this, as far as I know, in the state of New Mexico,” District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said, “so I can’t compare this to any other case.”

Police also are considering charging Griego’s girlfriend, who they have not named publicly.

Griego has five older siblings who were not living at the home at the time of the shooting and were unharmed.

Eric Griego, the uncle who released the family statement, also released family photos late Tuesday, including one of his nephew in a tuxedo at a wedding and another of him playing a drum kit.

Eric Griego is the brother of Greg Griego, a former church pastor at Calvary Church in Albuquerque who also is the father Nehemiah Griego is accused of killing.

“From the time he was a young boy, his father Greg supported his love for music,” the family statement said. “Thanks to his interest, practice and natural ability, Nehemiah has become a very accomplished musician. He plays guitar, drums and bass. For years he has played at youth and other church services at Calvary and elsewhere.

“The idea that he was a loner also has been manufactured by the media and those who simply did not know him,” the statement said. “He had many friends at Calvary where he spent most of his free time playing basketball or music. Like his father, who was a champion wrestler and coach, Nehemiah also competed in wrestling tournaments throughout the state and country.”

The statement noted that several family members were military veterans.

“Pictures of [Nehemiah Griego] being circulated in his dad’s old fatigues were part of his interest in someday being a soldier,” the family statement noted.

The shooting spree began shortly around 1 a.m. on Sunday, when Griego allegedly snuck into his parents’ bedroom while his mother, Sara Griego, was asleep. There he raided the closet where the family kept their guns, and immediately used a .22 rifle to kill her, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.

Griego’s 9-year-old brother was sleeping with his mother at the time and woke up. When Griego told the boy his mother was dead, the youngster didn’t believe him, according to a police report.

“So Nehemiah picked up his mother’s head to show his brother her bloody face,” the report said. “Nehemiah stated his brother became so upset so he shot his brother in the head.”

He then went into his sisters’ bedroom, police said.

“Nehemiah stated when he entered he noticed that his sisters were crying and he shot them in the head,” the police report said.

The girls were 5 and 2 years old.

The teenager waited for his father to come from his overnight shift working at a nearby rescue mission. When his father, Greg Griego, walked into the home around 5 a.m., unaware of what had taken place, Griego shot him multiple times with the AR-15 rifle, Houston said Tuesday.

Besides being a former pastor at Calvary Church, Greg Griego worked as a chaplain at a local jail where he counseled convicts. The family was very involved in the church, according to its website.

The complaint said Nehemiah Griego took a photo of his dead mother and “sent it to his girlfriend.”

Griego then packed up the guns, including two shotguns, as well as ammunition for the rifles, and planned to drive to a Walmart to shoot additional people — but ended up at his girlfriend’s house instead, Houston said.

Around 8 p.m. on Sunday, the pair drove to Calvary Church. Griego told people his family had died in a car crash. Someone on the church’s staff then called 911, Houston said.

“At this time, Nehemiah had been contemplating this for some time. The information that Nehemiah had contemplated going to the local Walmart and participating in a shooting in there is accurate,” Houston said. “There is no information at all that he went to church to cause anyone bodily harm there. The suspect also contemplated killing his girlfriend’s parents.”

The girlfriend’s name was not released, but police are investigating whether to press any charges against her, Houston said. Houston said she had some knowledge about the deaths during the day Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Griego home around 9:15 p.m. on Sunday and arrived 10 minutes later, where they found the five bodies.

Nehemiah Griego told investigators he came home around 5 a.m. that morning and found his family dead. He said he then took the guns to protect himself.

But he admitted to the crime when pressed by police, telling investigators he was “frustrated” with his mother. Deputies said he was “unemotional” and “very stern” during the confession.

“The motive was purely that he was frustrated with his mother. He could not articulate to our investigators any farther,” Houston said. “In the time our investigators spent with him, it was a very casual [statement], he was just frustrated with how things were, and would not even articulate any further details of that frustration.”

“It’s horrific,” Houston added.

A police report from the incident shows that Griego admitted to having “homicidal and suicidal thoughts” in the time leading up to the incident.

Griego reportedly gushed to police about his love for violent video games during the interrogation, Houston said. He told police he loved to play Modern Warfare and Grand Theft Auto.

“The suspect was involved heavily in games, violent games, it’s what he was into,” Houston said. “He was quite excited as he discussed this with our investigators.”

Houston said that Griego had occasionally lost touch with his family and then reconnected with them multiple times in his life. He told investigators that his father had taught him how to shoot the weapons and the pair had practiced shooting them together.

The family asked the media not to politicize Nehemiah Griego’s death.

“Our family has differing views on gun rights and gun control,” the family statement said. “What we do agree on is that those who wish to score political points should not use a confused, misguided, 15-year old boy to make their case.

“He is a troubled young man who made a terrible decision that will haunt him and his family forever,” the family said.

The Congregation


monks

The men came to congregate tonight;
wearing faces of brave, rigid skin
that drew taught over their flacid jaw bones,
and furrowed, worried brows that crinkled heavily
and buried the gentle glowing eyes they had deep
underneath,
To the point where their vision
lacked seeing, and their tongues could not
speak with such strong burden.
Inside their fragile organs cried the
collective song of sorrow;
a song unbearably inaudible through
their tough exterior.
Nothing could be said, nothing could be
communicated.
And yet, they rushed together in tides
so harmonious and full of intent
that one looking on would be amazed at
their order and unity of work.
The moon hung in the sky above, swinging
a slow rhythm to their movements below.
They swept through plains of darkness and
shadow, their determination creating a palpable
wave of sadness, so that it seemed the very
atmosphere they breathed out was misty with
tears.
All through the endless night they tirelessly worked –
hands deftly weaving, building, creating,
suffering.
No rests were taken, no respite
was given, and no words were spoken.
Mortle and pistle was mixed with the
blood from their bodies, and stuck bricks
together, one on top of each other to form
an endlessly high wall that ran for miles
in every direction, surrounding them and sheltering
them a cove of black regress. Time and
movement fell away and no one
could any longer discern objects from
observers, good from bad, love from
hate, truth from falsehood.
And so the great city was fortified and rose
up from the dust where the men could live
without living, and recline into a pose of
non-duality.

The Affliction of Suffering


Hey all… So, I’m a big slacker.  I’m still trying to get all my research notes together so that I can write something comprehensible about the Minnesota Vikings.  Until then, here’s a piece I wrote about suffering:

suffering

Suffering afflicts mankind; we are consumed and ravaged by it.  Its forms are incalculable in number.  When we perceive this, ostensibly there is no end to it.

I tried to think of the best way to live, under the assumption that I must necessarily bear suffering along with me:  to optimize comfort in an environment that is intrinsically one of discomfort.

The primary concern is of developing and consciously maintaining a vice – one that brings with it temporary bursts of pleasure, though inevitably is accompanied with much lasting pain and suffering.   The reason for this is that without a controlled and conscious vice, one will unconsciously take on habits that may or may not bring one enough pleasure or happiness to be rationally considered as a viable option.  By being both conscious and conscientious, we can pick a suitable vice that maximizes comfort while minimizing the suffering caused by it.

A second concern to someone wishing to optimize his level of happiness in this world is to practice appreciating and dealing with suffering itself; to realize that life is suffering and happiness the exception to the rule, thus developing emotional, physical, and mental tools for accepting the truth of this reality.  Figuratively running away from suffering produces unnecessary, extra suffering.  One must learn to embrace it.

A third point of interest for a person learning to cope with the torment of life is willfully trying to fix a specific problem in one’s life that is causing one distress.  Although this is a practice that many people exercise, it time-consuming and greatly uneventful, excepting the extra suffering that gets heaped on what is already presently there.  Even if one would succeed in eradicating a particular flavor of suffering, a new, or several new ones, would appear in its place.

I had a cigarette in the snow, feeling cold, while my dog whined inside because he wanted to be let out.