* The healing powers of a drug store cashier

(From an April 2010 e-mail to my family:)

Dad was still in good health back in ’83-85, when I became so deeply interested in spiritual healing.  He maintained a pragmatic skepticism about it throughout; in essence, “What’s the use?  We’re all going to die anyway.”

I recalled that Monday night 12/07/09 on my way home from Rite Aid, where I’d had to go buy a few things.  I was having pretty severe pain in lower left abdomen, after having had several “difficult” eliminations earlier in the day.  I took the pain for infection-inflamed ureter; later concluded I was passing a stone.  Long time since I’d passed a stone. Long time by my standards, that is.

The state I was in at that hour, I was inclined to cancel all appointments and errands for the next day, and plan to spend all day Tuesday flat on my back in bed.  With pain like this, you can’t do much more than just stare into space and feel miserable.

I would recall one author’s answer to Dad’s argument; Lawrence Althouse is the guy’s name.  He said the sheer alleviation of pain — without opiates — is justification enough for the practice of spiritual healing.  Pain occasions loss of productivity, as just described.  It also stresses relationships; with any less self-control as to these things than I’ve learned in the past few years, had anyone crossed my path the wrong way on that trip home, I might well have snapped at the person.

That’s not something you want to do in the ghetto.  Especially at night

There are other was to effect spiritual healing, besides prayer.

Just being nice to people, as opposed to choosing, say, to inject needless pain (“static”) into their world — that’s one.

Crystal happened to wait on me at the Rite Aid; she’s my favorite clerk, and I’d not seen her in months.  Damn if she didn’t smile at me and give me a cheery greeting as soon as I came in the door.

Damn if my pain didn’t go away — completely — for some time, later after I got home, as I recalled that encounter.  “Spiritual” — healing — indeed.

Every word can work good or ill.  My choice; your choice.

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Marketing strategies, part 4: Jillions of details

I’ll begin by quoting the e-mail that started all this. Brian said:

Bill – You have some very good points in this article.  I wonder how we can increase readership of your blog?

Two ideas come to mind:

  1. Consider changing the name of your blog to something like “The Homeless Blogger”
  2. There are a number of newspapers that are by homeless people for the broader community.  We have one here in Columbus called Street Speech.  You could submit a weekly blog there.  Here is a partial list:  http://www.homeless.org.au/directory/news.htm

Some background: WordPress gives me very detailed stats about who visits my blog: where they are; what posts or pages they read; where they clicked on a link, if they did, to get here; what search engine terms they used, if any; and more.

The quickest way to increase my readership is for my readers to link to and quote from the blog early and often throughout the day. Incorporate links into your e-mail signatures. Regard any Facebook post or Tweet as incomplete until it includes a link. Do the same with comments on other blogs or news articles …

I have the conviction that the right eyes will find the blog at the right time. That doesn’t mean I should do nothing.
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* I really have nothing better to do

(Transcribed from a letter to my mother dated 25 September 2007.)

This conversation yesterday with a co-worker astonished me.

“Peaches” is a 42-year old, very short woman, certainly a grandmother and very likely great-grandmother, who has about half her teeth. She works principally as a cashier, and is a really good worker and co-worker. She constantly teases me by pretending to flirt with me.

I was stocking the trash bags shelves, and became aware that she was in quite a pickle. Her shift was over, and she had appointments she had to keep at a certain time across town; but she also had assembled this bag full of items she needed to buy at once and before leaving the store. And the line at the cash register was quite long. (Long lines at cash register are a constant, intractable problem at this store.)

I told her facetiously, “Just go down there and push ’em all out.” She said, “No, that would be unmannerly, and that’s not like me.” (Conduct that can be called “unmannerly” is a big, big issue in this community, and a big issue for me personally since I see so much of it and find it offensive.) She went on: “Now, I like your manners. You speak to the customers …”
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* Jesus’ outrageous parables

(Transcribed from an e-mail I sent my mother 24 August 2010.)

Jesus said any number of things in large part, at least, for shock value.

Their outrageousness is easily lost on 21st Century students, for two reasons. First, we have heard or read these things so many times that any shock value they might have at first had for us — when we first heard them, say, perhaps at age 4 or age 5 — has long since worn off. We’re not likely to remember it, and also not likely to give the opinions of our 4- or 5-year-old selves, the credit they, in this case, deserve.

Second, by virtue of “respect for authority,” for centuries students of Chrstianity have trained themselves to ignore, deny or suppress any outrage they might feel at anything The Teacher says. Instead, one expects oneself and all one’s fellow students, approvingly, to “tip my hat … take a bow … smile and grin …”[*]

[*]The Who, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again.”


“BLESSÈD ARE YOU POOR.”
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* “Alice in Wonderland” had a Tea Party, too.

I’m angry. I don’t usually talk this way. But for better or worse, for the moment, I will.

I don’t know the numbers, and I’d welcome if someone would tell me. I also don’t understand how the numbers work here, and I’d also welcome if someone would tell me.

How is it that the Tea Party has not just hamstrung the Republican Party, but also the House as a whole?

Let’s say the President proposed that “tomorrow” be defined as “the day after today.”  Let’s also suppose there are 100 Tea Partiers in the House; of 235 Republicans; and that the remaining 200 House members are, you know, Them.

Obviously, the 100 Tea Partiers will oppose the President here, just as they do as to anything else.  But how can the remaining 135 Republicans, along with the 200 Them, fail to pass such a thing?

Call it kairotic, call it synchronicity, call it whatever.  I am working on the “substantial response” mentioned here, specifically just now on a passage about how the emotionally needy, the infantile, those who stomp their feet and throw tantrums like two-year olds, lack the wherewithal to learn problem-solving skills, being intransigent and unwilling and unable to compromise or negotiate.  I’m speaking there of what may be called the “underclass,” but the equal pertinence to the Tea Party leaves me speechless.

Marketing strategies, part 3

Every month I send my brothers an e-mail to catch them up on the latest news in my life. The quote below comes from the one I’m sending them today. This is definitely not the last word on the matter. The detailed response I promised at first is still to come.

Brian and others have suggested I rebrand myself online as “The Homeless Blogger.”  Then my work might get more of the attention they think it deserves.  But I don’t want to be “The Homeless Blogger.”  I want to be William Tell the talk show host (New idea: a homeless talk show host?), William Tell the secretary or cashier or grocery store clerk.  I want to become one of the 53%, and a.s.a.p.  Ironically, once I do enter the 53%, I’ll probably still be homeless.

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