Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Typical Saturday

Saturday morning at 6:30AM, I glanced at my watch and went back to sleep. I had the following dream:

I was with Dr. B. I started to tell him that I loved him, I was grateful to him, and I had deep respect for him, but he stopped me short. He told me he was preoccupied with his own difficulties and I then noticed that he had been cut off at the knees (as in his lower legs were missing) and was struggling to move himself with only his arms. I went inside a small, messy office trailer. On one table off to the side there was a statue, about 18” tall, brown with yellow spikes on top, like a stylized tanned troll doll with blond crystals for hair. Dr. B. came in.

The office was on a huge mound of dark, fertile earth. There was an industrialist/capitalist outfit that was mining the fertile earth, looking for valuable treasure. A man came in. He wanted Dr. B. to direct him to the buried valuable treasure. Dr. B. gave him some instructions and sent him back out to his mining. The capitalist/industrialist had already found many valuable treasures in the fertile earth and Dr. B. directed him to other small pieces. Dr. B. and I looked at each other and somehow I understood that the statue on the table was the really valuable treasure and Dr. B. had uncovered it and set it aside for me. It would not be given to the capitalist/industrialist.

I woke up around 7AM and had the thought, “Dr. B. has died.” I prepared myself for Greg Foraker’s ordination ceremony at Saint Philip’s. The ceremony started at 10AM and I was the thurifer, so I was robbed in a cassock and processed with the alter party. It was a beautiful service and I was terribly moved by the symbolism. At one point, Greg lay prostrate on the ground while the congregation chanted in Latin Veni, creator spiritus. I remember thinking that the creator spiritus is also the eversor spiritus.

Midway through the ceremony, during the Peace, I went to greet a deacon and he told me that Dr. B. had died at 10:10AM.

So Dr. B. was still alive between 6:30 and 7AM when I was dreaming, but he was preoccupied with his own difficulties, cut off at the knees as it were.

I have not yet grieved Dr. B's death. I need a bit of distance and I need to be able to go "off-line" for a few days.

A little bio on Dr. B. that St. Philip's published today:

The Rev. Dr. Dan Behling died on Saturday, June 25, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He served as an Affiliated Clergy at St. Philip's since his ordination in 2006. Throughout his illness, he maintained his optimism, faith, and good humor.

Dan was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin. When the Korean War began, he joined the Navy as an enlisted medical corpsman. He attended officer-training courses and received his commission. He rose to become a hospital administrator and was stationed in such faraway places as Morocco and Alaska. He also worked for a time at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. Through all of this, Dan studied psychology and counseling.

When he retired from the Navy in the late 1970s, he became a psychotherapist. He moved to Laguna Beach, California, and took over the counseling practice established by Bob and Jeanette Renouf when they went to Nicaragua. His work there was especially with recovering alcoholics. During the summers, Dan often studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich, stopping to visit with Bob and Jeanette now in London. When the Renoufs moved to Tucson in 1992, Dan came also. They worked at La Casita and built a counseling practice together.

As a young man, before going into the Navy, Dan had considered becoming a Roman Catholic priest. He attended high school at the Carmelite Seminary in Oklahoma, but ultimately decided that particular life was not for him. Around 1980, Dan became an Episcopalian and was very active in his congregation of St. Wilfred's in Huntington Beach, California. He knew he was not called to be a priest, but still felt the ordained ministry was calling to him. The Diaconate seemed to fit the bill, and eventually he moved forward on that lifelong call. He was sponsored by St. Philip's, and was ordained as a deacon five years ago.

As a therapist, Dan's focus had been on emotional healing. As a deacon, it was a natural step to focus on ministry to the substance abuse community both at St. Philip's and in the wider Tucson community. As such, he led many workshops and wrote articles in various professional journals. He spearheaded a Twelve-Step Eucharist for the Tucson community at St. Philip's.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 21, at 11 a.m. at St. Philip's. A reception will follow in the Murphey Gallery.
The Reverend Dr. Daniel Behling
Love. Gratitude. Respect.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula, shot from a parking lot in Tucson through terrible light polution. I can't wait to get my telescope to the dark skies around Elko.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Birthday Dreaming

Background: I am 45 years old this morning. I have a beat-to-hell 1985 Toyota 4Runner that LAG calls “Junkasaurus” and Angel calls “El Confiable” – Old Reliable. I also have a ridiculous, over-the-top Toyota rock crawler project that I called “Truckasaurus” for many years, but now that it is almost finished, I call “El Borrego Cimarrón” – Mountain Goat. Someday I would like to outfit a sailboat for expedition, sail to the south Pacific, and make documentaries like the BBC’s Planet Earth, or perhaps visual meditations like the movie Baraka.
Last night’s dream:

I drive the 4Runner to a car wash, but the 4Runner has been so extremely modified, the car wash, made for conventional autos, cannot wash it. I cannot even reach the carwash controls to start the carwash. I look at the 4Runner. I have converted it to a boat with a white hull and blue trim. The car wash attendant opens the doors at the far end of the carwash so I can drive through and exit. I drive in, stop to visit with the car wash attendant. I get out and check the outboard boat motor. The car wash fills up with water. There is a motor, or something useful on the floor of the car wash, and outside, around the building, more useful equipment for my boat.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Little Father's Day Story

Dad haggling over produce, Selçuk, Turkey


Dad learned a bit of Turkish in the early 60's when he was stationed in Izmir. Twenty some odd years later, he was building a geothermal power plant in the southern California desert. Most all of the laborers on the project were Hispanic, so Dad bought some "Learn to Speak Spanish" cassettes that he listened to commuting to and from work. My sister and I studied Spanish in junior high and high school and we would roll our eyes at Dad's terrible accent.

One day they were pouring concrete foundations at the job site and the workmen were doing something too fast so Dad accessed his foreign language memories and told the workment to "slow down" in Spanish. Everyone looked at Dad in confusion, so he thought about what he was saying and realized he was speaking in Turkish. (I had a similar experience in Thailand. I spoke to our waiter in Thai and then accidentally switched to Spanish.)

A few years ago we visited Turkey. The first day, we somehow missed our bus, so we jumped in a taxicab. Dad was in the front seat with the driver. Mom and I were in the back seat with a little old lady from our tour group that had also missed the bus. Our driver spoke very little English. I was rummaging through my tour documents, thinking I could show the driver where we wanted to go, and Dad said "blablubblablubub."

And the taxi driver said "Blahblububblahbub."

And Dad said "blublablubbaba."

And the driver took off. It was a 15 minute trip and Dad and the driver conversed the whole way. I'm sure at some point I turned to my mother and told her how impressed I was with Dad's Turkish, especially given that it had been 40 years since he had used it.

We arrived safely at our destination.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring Arrives in Elko

Georgia O'Keeffe in my front yard