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How can you not like Run DMC?

And, athletic, albeit un-ballerina-like dancing?

Just watch this video. Do it!  It starts out great, and then gets better and better. I’ll swear to God that it’s worth your time:

…just so you know… It’s Like That is/ was a fan-fave Run DMC, certifiable hit.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

many people do, though.

but, prayer is for everyone regardless of how or what people define faith – theirs, or otherwise. it focuses the mind and aligns it with heart and spirit.

I tend to pray most when I want something, or think I need something. I used the word “something” twice in one sentence because the concept of the what ever it is renders itself huge.

just like God.

lately I’ve been praying (or, mumbling) quite a bit because of what’s been happening to my Shockers. I’m going to lose a bunch of them and a dream long worked hard for. it feels like treachery and satan and all that stuff. I face a genuine Kobayashi Maru. however, I know darn well that change can be a good thing. it really comes down to what you make of it. character seems to be part of the definition.

so… I’m pondering the whole prayer thing. my question is now this: do I, or that collective we, pray for the things we think we want or need? Or, does He have us pray to align our minds, heart, spirit and actions with what He wants or needs from us?

my eyes are welling up as I tap these words gently into a keyboard. I’m so incredibly blessed, lucky and fortunate . my family is happy and healthy (other than some challenges with school and grades). business is great. and, I feel pretty good as my training continues. so, that list of positive adjectives could run on for some time. but, suffice it to say that the ball has bounced in my favor many times – and, possibly because I always try to do the right thing.

this post is already being populated by words that I had not planned in advance. so, maybe God is carefully at work, because, as I create this message, I’m thinking my prayer(s) need to be that God have me do the right thing(s), soften my heart, and simply steer me where I am actually needed and wanted. I’ll raise my hand.

I just need a path and an opportunity to be a beacon to light that of others.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Evil might be over-rated. At least when it comes to intent.

I’m pondering what it means to: “do the devils work”. I believe innocent people can do evil things – just like evil can happen to good people.

Meanwhile, as most of you know I don’t lay claim to being a Christian. There are many good examples of those people in our world. But, there are likely an equal number of them that aren’t – just like any faith, and especially religion.. But, that’s all a matter of perspective, as well.

God likely dropped discernment in most of our DNA and allows that to help sort matters out.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I’m doing that very thing. My heart is open and I’m looking around myself and seeing a great deal of inspiration. So, ironically, I’ll include some effort from the Bible, here. Some call it the Word, others a rule book. For the most part I find that it covers a lot of common sense witnessed and reinforced by many generations of people that realize the worst mistakes your can make are the ones you repeat.

The point I’m trying to make, here is: A word of love can make a world of difference.

According to the Bible, God calls us to love one another, which requires living in a way that is for one another – because love apparently puts others first. Throughout the Bible, we are called to put others first, and live in a way that blesses other people.

For example, God calls us to be devoted to and honor one another (Romans 12:10); to live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); to love one another (Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:11; John 13:34-35); to accept one another (Romans 15:14); to care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25); to serve one another (Galatians 5:12); to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to one another (Ephesians 4:32); and to bear with one another (Colossians 3:13).

Putting another before yourself – that is, loving other people, can possibly  transform us because an act of love has the power to change lives.

I don’t know if Christ rose from the dead to make God’s point. But, I do know He set the stage for change and that message impacts us all daily, and only for the better. There’s the thinking of a Heterodox, for you.

I can’t find it, but I think the Bible offers some passages around the notion (wording?) that God “spoke” his word of love in the form of Jesus into the world. It was, thusly, transformed.

I’m listening  to John Lennon, today – and, his song: Love. I’ve done that before. I’ll do it again. And, I’ll share a video of that live effort for you as well (sorry about Yoko; so say we all):

I’ll trust you all to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

“Love is real. Real is Love”.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I had this thought recently: “I could easily beat up T. S. Eliot.  He was sort of an effete, elitist, fragile weenie”.

I actually meant it.

So… I’m building off a very similar post I built late last week.

I’m a socially awkward person, and this blog helps me. I almost lost it. but, I was okay. I am somehow still connected to all of you. And, I’m a better man for it.

And, I’m grateful for so much in my life. Especially for the events surrounding, and relative to last Monday night. Only God knows.

Meanwhile, my brother Greg recently reminded me there exists a certain poem.

Have you ever read the The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?  It’s a classic and wildly complicated poem – a meditation on aging and the aching disappointment of being human (especially male and human) – by T. S. Eliot, arguably the greatest literary observer of the first half of the (or maybe of the whole) 20th Century.

I don’t particularly have an issue with being fifty (50). I do have an issue with the human race, apparently.

I am familiar with the poem. And, it’s quite a bit about being authentic, or living the authentic life, says, or interprets, I.

Isn’t there something in it relevant to Kipling?

All men, and the women whom love them, should go find that book. Do it!

I do have many regrets. But, I’m not ready to be weary. I understand the messaging around decay, but I take that more along the lines of the moral, as opposed to temporal. There is no sense of emasculation or sexual frustration. And, I’m convinced my own immortality will have me long thumping my chest at the redoubtable Mr. Eliot (thusly, I never have an issue with speaking my mind). I’m also skeptical of anything that speaks to multiple personalities. I am who I am. And, I’m simply a dark-minded man with a willingness, if not a penchant, to put on the air of bravado.

I like the way the poem is formed though. If memory serves there are references to other literary targets (Dante, Pope Boniface VIII, Ulysses,  to name just a few of the more interesting). So, if nothing else, it’s fun by association.

Go read it. Do it!  Will the mermaids sing to you?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

so…

I learned another lesson recently (okay… yesterday, in fact) about things that appear to be important; or, perhaps what we think might be important.

…perspective, if you will.

such a simple thing, really.

I’ve worked for about two weeks, rather strenuously, to research information around an obnoxiously epic post (just scroll down, it preceeds this hardly erudite offering). there are a good number of people that have been waiting for it to see electronic life. this morning I arrived to the offices, fed the fish, and fired-up my computer to start checking out comments. although I don’t approve most; while allowing a few, I enjoy the repartee they offer. in any event, there was an ugly banner (in red, no less) splayed across the top of my control panel. the gist of the message was that I had apparently violated some uncertain policy and my blog was banished. just like that. several years of effort. a lot of caring. stories about Haley Anne and Emma Jo, agonizing cultural commentary – just gone. and, to make it worse, I was deemed bad, possibly evil by the WordPress powers-that-be.

amazingly enough, perhaps only to myself, I found that I was unconcerned. I did some pull-ups and contemplated investigating the new Windows phone (problem is only AT&T currently offers that – so, forget it [see aforementioned epic post]). I decided karma might be a bicth, but God had decided He needed my focus, somehow, elsewhere.

then Anthony, from WordPress itself, sent me an email:

“Hi,

A mistake was made in the system which we have corrected. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s a mystery. The blog is back just as you left it.

We are really sorry for that happening and the inconvenience it caused you.

Anthony

WordPress.com”

[…]

I failed to hesitate in my response:

“We are useless without some form of forgiveness.

Brian”

[…]

I actually meant it.

I’m a socially awkward person, and this blog helps me. I almost lost it. but, I was okay. I am somehow still connected to all of you. and, I’m a better man for it.

and, I’m grateful for so much in my life. especially for the events surrounding, and relative to last night. only God knows.

meanwhile, my brother Greg recently reminded me there exists a certain poem. I may go into more detail about this later, but have you ever read the The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?  It’s a classic and wildly complicated poem – a meditation on aging and the aching disappointment of being human (especially male and human) – by T. S. Eliot, arguably the greatest literary observer of the first half of the (or maybe of the whole) 20th Century.

go read it. do it!  Will the mermaids sing to you?

peace be to my brothers and sister.

brian patrick cork

Last week, I recalled that, during my many visits to the desert (you’ll ask: “metaphorically speaking?” I’ll respond: “does it really matter?”), I met a wise man named Buck O’Neil – a prophet, if you will – and, asked him the secret to a long, successful life.

“Good genes,” was all he said, at first.

Buck left us all behind October 6, 2006 – the day before my birthday, just like Dad. There is a rhythm and pattern to life with that. But, we’ll discuss it some other time.

His hair was white and his face was mahogany, calling pleasantly to mind a pint of Guinness. “I’m ninety-years old,” he continued, then pressed his fingertips to unlined cheeks, which shone like polished apples.

“Good black don’t crack”, he mused (I’m not sure he actually mused, but that word works, here).

With that, I was fully prepared to move on, and thanked him. In fact, I was already rising halfway from my seat, like a bluffing panelist on To Tell the Truth, when he said softly: “There is one other thing.”

So, I settled back, curious, I might add, and he said:

“I never fill my stomach. My mother was a great cook, but my father told me, ‘She’s only filling your stomach so another woman never gets to. She’s just trying to hold on to you.’ Ever since, I can eat more, but I never do.”

Look… The stories around Buck are countless. Many of them will bring a tear to your eye. Others will make you slap your thigh with joy in preparation of laughter. He was a black man, and it never mattered to him, even though it did to everyone else. But, everyone respected and loved Buck (Note: That might be a vital difference between men like Buck and Barack Obama. By the way, did you know that  Obama high-tailed it to Asia, pouting over his loss of the House Tuesday? Other than a vital need to drive home a point, here, I’m loathe to include Buck in the same story as Obama. But, the only real difference Obama will make in our lives is he must now change his plans to stay in power).

Let other, more articulate folks tell those stories. Especially those that lived them alongside Buck. I never had that privilege. But, I try to learn from men like him, every day, and any way.

Part of that is my on-going efforts to live the Authentic Life. And, that includes having a life well-lived, and worth remembering by those I’ve lived amongst.

So… What, then, is the secret to a life well-lived?

Here was another hint. “Don’t hate another human being,” said O’Neil, whose father was the son of a slave. “Hate cancer. Cancer took my mother, took my wife four years ago. Hate what happened on September 11. But don’t hate another human being. God made man.”

…oh wow.

I did, in fact, find myself thinking: But God made men who denied you, at various times, a toilet, a hotel room, an education, a living, your very humanity. And, of course, I voiced those thoughts, because that’s what I do (“oh really?[!]”, you exclaim. “Brian has opinions he foists on people?”).

“My parents always told me most people are good,” continued O’Neil. “Even when I was young, (Note: he lived his early days in Carrabelle, Florida), most people were good. The thing was, good people sometimes let the bad people have their way. But who wrapped their arms around Jackie Robinson in his time of need? Pee Wee Reese of Louisville, Kentucky, did. The commissioner of baseball in 1947 [Happy Chandler] was a man from Kentucky.”

With this, his left hand grabbed my forearm, and his right fist rapped his own breastbone as if it were a door.

“It comes from in here,” said he. “Doing the right thing. It takes somebody to change something. My grandfather was a slave. And God saw it wasn’t right, so he sent Abraham Lincoln. And Abraham Lincoln joined hands with Frederick Douglass, who joined hands with Sojourner Truth, who joined hands with Harriet Tubman – and, so on.”

Apparently, and thusly, human progress, in O’Neil’s view, is a chain of men with virtu (the Greek form, mind you) in their hearts (the word virtu always has me thinking of Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford University), linked at the wrist and leading to you.

O’Neil paused, and I could only sit quietly in wonder through what must be churning through that lovely mind, and then he added:

“This is the greatest country on Earth, but we can be better. That is going to be your job.”

He held my forearm like a bat. “In my day we changed some things. Now it’s your turn to change things. And you’ll do it. I know you will.”

I did pause. And, when I confessed that I struggled, with my generation, challenged to change our channels manually, much less to change the world, he invoked the memory of his grandfather Julius, born into slavery in South Carolina, and owned by a man with the surname, O’Neil.

“Grandpa used to tell me he loved Mr. O’Neil,” he said. “And I would ask him: ‘Grandpa, how could you love a man who kept you as his slave?’ And Grandpa said, ‘He never sold off a mother from her children, he never sold off a husband from his wife.’ And Grandpa, this is before all the doctors and all the medicine we have today, lived to be one-hundred-and-two years old.”

Was this good genes, I wondered, or something greater? I was merely seeking the secret of a life well-lived – how to progress – and, felt I was getting closer. So, I asked about that. And when the old man, once again, took my arm in his hand, I felt physically linked in that chain-of-virtu to all who had gone before me…

“Love,” he half-whispered, as if sharing a confidence. “Love, man. This is the whole thing.”

So… You gotta be a “Love Kat”. It’s been awhile since I invoked that one. It’s timely to be sure.

Peace be to my brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

If you’ve followed this Blog, or are my friend (and, sometimes it’s hard to do both), you know that my earthly father took his own life back in 1986 – most likely because he was heart-broken over the loss of my mother. If you’re so inclined, you can indulge yourself and learn a bit more about that by reading: My Dad: Story 22 – Married For Life.

That tragic reality is relevant to this current post for two reasons relative to myself, although it may well be relevant to you for more, other, or no cause or effect. One reason for me is that I can, or could, relate to my Dad’s mourning of Mom. I could never abide a life without Joanne in it. And, apples come from trees, as it were.

I don’t discuss it, broadly, but Dad might have been manic depressive, as well. I doubt I’m afflicted with such a curse. I’m generally much too optimistic for such things. In fact, my recent post: optimism is apparently quite popular with you, collectively. It’s hard and cruel to label people. And, probably unwise to attempt uncertain diagnosis. But, Dad was clearly head-and-shoulders above the crowd when it came to intelligence, drive, ambition, and a capacity to love while also being mean (but, like a lot of high-ranking Air Force Officers of his era, he drank a lot as well). And, that appears to be part of the profile. To be sure, the branches of my family tree (we seem to lead by many examples, with more good than bad) certainly have their own demons.

Me? I’m open-minded, pun intended.

So, that might be my lot. Maybe not. And, I don’t mean to over-analyze. I wonder if one can be a hypocondriac when it comes to mental illness? Or, is that paranoia? I’m trying to be light-hearted. But, God help me with both the journey and discovery.

One of the ironies, here, in this line-of-thinking, might include: if you have a form of mental illness, how could you, or would you know? Also, would you care? Or, if you did, would you be inclined or inhibited to take positive action? If conscience is involved, how would that be separated from “voices”?

But, I also have scienter. You see that term referenced on this Blog, fairly often. I think it’s part of living an authentic life (yes, another recurring theme), and being accountable and responsible. But, that torch brings with it a burden, of sorts. Just because there might be the potential for mental illness, or any problem (it took me ten minutes to ponder the word problem because I detest it, and strive to avoid using it. however, it’s apropos), for that matter, this doesn’t mean we can use it as an excuse – and therefore can’t be absolved of accountability. Thusly, It’s my position that if we know there might be a problem, we have to be willing to account for it and seek ways to overcome that challenge. Furthermore, if we’re to think such a burden exists, then I’m confident I have to realize extremes, if required, to compensate for it, for the betterment of others.

So, and ironically, this test might qualify as a form of super powers that must be used for good. Or, I’m just being delusional. But, I mean well.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.