Category "Love your Neighbor"
October 31, 2005
Writing about Life
Words about life tend to be like photo snapshots of life. I like writing. But sometimes I feel that words written down on a page are not real. They especially don't feel alive anymore once put out there to read. I think it's because words, just like a snapshot can never show the entire picture. There is so much to life that to begin to describe it is to fail to describe the rest of it.
When I have an experience and write about it, there are hundreds more experiences I am not writing about.
This is one reason why it's so important to not judge other people based on one impression, or even two impressions, or three. This is why it's important to get to know people before coming to any conclusions. We often discover that the 'other person' really is just another human being trying to figure out life, just like we are.
When I sit down and write about a situation, it is also just one situation out of many that might be going on in my life or someone else's. It's not a complete picture. I can pick out one bad event each day for two weeks and complain about them in my blog entries and it would seem like I've had a horrible two weeks but still go home each day and watch movies, work in the garden, play with my dog, eat great meals with my family, read a good book, write and have all kinds of wonderful experiences. A snapshot is not nearly lifelike, though it may be a good picture of a moment in time.
Today I was looking through old blog entries I've written, trying to pick out a few good ones to rework into my next issue of the "Attitudes" Zine. I'm looking for things that might be interesting to read that convey a sense of purpose in life, of love and hope. Then I realized that many of the things that I've written about seem empty and hollow when I am so distant from the experience that prompted the writing. I believe it's because once I put the words down, they are no longer alive. This is kind of the meaning of the 'Living Word of God.' God's words are life and love and hope in practice. We put the words to paper and it's a snapshot of the real thing. Our love for each other cannot be in word only. It has to be in action. This is the living word that is not hollow and empty. Because it's life, not just writing about a part of life.
I don't have anything magical or insightful or full of wisdom to teach anyone that they don't already know about life. For one thing I cannot live life for another person and their experiences are not going to be the same as mine. But I can tell you that your experiences are as real as mine. I love life and love other people. That's who I am. To me that is very hopeful. I like this part of my life.
When I went to the movie the other night with Tom, that was equally interesting to me as the movie itself. I didn't write too much about my experience with Tom mainly because I have limited time and can't write about everything that happens in a day. But to me it was equally important part of my day and maybe more meaningful than the movie. For instance when we saw the part of the movie where the kids were being abandonded and abused, Tom started growling. No kidding. I asked him what was wrong. He was just reacting to the movie in that way and was feeling the impact of what was going on. It was deeply effecting him. He was reacting in a very primal way. At other times he was lost by the movie, and it meant nothing to him. Tom lives in a tent and only has a few posessions. He gets around by bicycle or bus. He doesn't even have a driver's licence. Tom may have a rough exterior but I know his heart is in the right place when it comes to abuse. His heart growls in displeasure and it escapes through his lips. My words about the movie almost meant nothing compared to Tom's reaction at that moment. Living life and experiences it is much more real and vivid than any words can be. It's like that with the living word also. We can say whatever we want and even mean it, but living the words is so much more real and vivid. Alive.
October 30, 2005
Lost and Found
Haha, I don't really know what category this belongs under, as if we can really classify and lump our life experiences into one category anyway. As I was cleaning out some old boxes of junk from ages ago, I found some pieces of history. My history from early teens through the birth of my first child was contained in pieces of paper, folders and envelopes all in a big cardboard box. When I discovered this box I was mezmorized. There were old photos, report cards from high school, get well cards, an old scrap-book filled with cards, pictures and handwritten notes about my life, and there were many other treasure objects so long forgotten. Now it's 1:40AM and I'm writing this before I collapse. It's late but I lost all track of time digging through this box! Here are two things I will share with you:
1. I found my Linoleum Block Print that I made in 1976, which I wanted to use as the front cover of my next Zine issue but couldn't find before. I was thrilled to find it. For some reason I felt like I should use this picture and knew that I had it somewhere. I stopped searching for it a few weeks ago, but here it is! Now I proceed with the project.
2. A High-school Newspaper written I believe in 1980 had an article about the gas prices. This one you have to read! It sounds like it could have been written today but these thoughts by a high-school student were penned 25 years ago!
For your reading pleasure I present you with "Cottage Grove gas Shortage" by J. O'Boyle
"In the last six months, we were led to believe by the big oil companies that there was a very serious gas shortage and that if we didn't change our driving habits and lower our rate of gas consumption we would face the possibility of a severe gas shortage.
By June, proof in the form of gas lines, rationing, gas at over $1 a gallon, stations shutting down their pumps earlier and earlier, killings in New York and California over positions in gas lines, convinced the public that there was indeed a shortage, and people tried to conserve whenever they could. By August and September, the gas situation "mellowed" out somewhat and gas was plentiful again, prompting people to return to their old driving habits.
After the increase to over a $1 a gallon, people said the "Hades" with the gas shortage, they called it an excuse for the oil companies to jack up the prices and increase their profits. Now, due to the Iranian situation, we face the same situation again, only this time it could be for real.
The gas shortage may be an illusion created by the oil companies, but it is here to stay, and there isn't much that anybody can do about it, except to live with it and try to conserve as much as possible."
Ok, now I'm delerious and going to bed. Enough archeology for one night. Those fossil fuels are not quite enough to keep me going all night! Sweet dreams. ;-)
September 20, 2005
Veggie Van and other Greasecar adventures in the Land of Oil
Today I received a Zine in the mail called Adventures in the Land of Greasecars and Fireflies, by S. Scatter. In his Zine, the author talks about how he converted his diesel Volkswagen Jetta into a vegetable oil burning car. They call this biodiesel. Evidently you can buy a kit for about 800 dollars that will allow you to burn pure vegetable oil, or any other kind of oil instead of (in addition to) diesel fuel. The author gets his from fast food restuarants for free.
Check out these links:
It may not be for everyone, but it could be really cool for some people while free supplies of veggie oil last. It's cool these people are taking advantage of it.
If anyone is interested in buying this Zine, it's a good story. Send a few bucks for the Zine and postage to:
P.O. Box 18
Spring Glen, NY 12483
or order it from Microcosm publishing.
September 7, 2005
When I was at the Acadia Cafe on Monday night I picked up the Stinky Grrrl zine, Issue 6, June 05. I really liked it. One idea she wrote is the need for us to be stripped of the identities we create when we come to God. God already sees us naked of those and there is no need to prove anything to God.
You can get your own copy of this nicely produced Zine by writing to her. A little cash might help also to cover the printing and mailing costs.
P.O. Box 581882
Minneapolis, MN 55458
August 30, 2005
The Birth of a Zine
I donít know how many of you have heard of a ĎZineí before, but itís basically a self-published, not for profit mini-magazine, usually photo-copied onto plain white paper and stapled or tied in the middle. I think Zines are like blogs in a lot of ways, except they are not online and they often include hand sketches and handwritten text. Some are more formal than others, created on a computer and focused on a specific topic, like many blogs are, but some are like handwritten journals or scrapbooks about any topic scribbled on the pages. That could also be like blogs. As I looked into this Iíve seen that some covers look like Ďprofessionalí magazines, and some are simply the title of the Zine on a blank page.
Considering that Zines are self-published and the budget is usually low, the quality of appearance and format is determined by how much time, effort and love a person puts into their project. How often are Zines published? That depends on the author. Iíve looked at one that was published 4-6 times per year and one that was published once every year or so. It may take the Author that long to gather enough material, create enough artwork and put it all together.
Most Zines Iíve seen now have either been given away free, or with a small charge of one or two dollars each to cover production (photocopy) costs.
After a conversation with a friend about blogs, the internet and Zines (which I had never heard of until I got some handed to me at an event last week), I decided that it would be cool to take some of this stuff Iíve been blogging and put it into a Zine to be given or sold somewhere to people who donít use or have the internet. Itís a way to put the same material to multiple uses using a different media. Of course I had to come up with a name for it, and since I talk a lot about attitudes in life, you are witnessing the birth of the ďAttitudesĒ Zine. It will be mostly taken from things Iíve written here, but as I found out while putting it together, Iíve had to fill space with other comments about the topic. Also I found myself editing my previous material for better presentation.
Right now I donít know where Iíll be distributing my Zine yet, but it will be probably be downtown St. Paul. Seeing that I am down here a lot I thought it would be a good place to start. Since Iím new to this whole Zine world, I would also like to know if there are other places in the Twin-Cities that sells or distributes Zines. Iíve never seen them, but maybe I havenít noticed them because I havenít been looking for them.
The self-published, not-for-profit idea is really cool, just like these blogs weíve been reading and writing. But as my friend pointed out, not everyone has a blog, and many people donít have adequate access to the Internet. I see Zineís as another way for individuals to have a voice that they might not otherwise have. I also see a Zine as a way for people to read other peopleís personal thoughts without having to go onto the internet.
Attitudes, Issue 1 Ė Death - Starting at the beginning
For copies, information, contacts, ideas, etc., send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org