Announcement: Welcome

This Website will be devoted to essays and insights related to diversity, addiction/recovery, psychological growth issues, global perspectives, the disenfranchised,  aesthetics, and cultural values. The core value streaming throughout the essays I write will be about returning to our innocence, which sometimes requires a trauma, a jolt, an invasion of the “other,” or a paradigm shift.

Many of my comments will sometimes reflect a more radically progressive approach to an idea. At other times, I may very well see some healthy alternatives in a more reactionary, conservative approach. There will be few areas, if any, that I hold sacred, taboo territory.  In that sense, everything will be up for grabs.

I am also interested in international film narratives, stories whose voices are too often left out of the more powerful voices of the international film industry. They have much to teach us about aesthetics, cultural values, and morality.

For those wishing to participate, enjoy the ride!

John T. Marohn

Share

My Enemy, My Friend

How should I react to those, I believe, don’t like me? Especially, the corporate, four-testicle, country-club guys who who love to be master of their fates and everybody else’s?

I read, today, Pema Chödrön’s phrase, “the sweet spot,” giving me some clue about the need to live on the mountain of kindness, no matter how craggy. Maybe even to accept my enemy’s perception of me as too cocky, too self-assured, too sarcastic, too intellectual.

Where can I retrieve that soft spot from when I feel judged? Too often, I pull back. I start to invent an image of my enemy as a cold, detached, cruelly confident man, who beats his wife; says “fuck off” to his kids at least once a day; argues with a Mercedes Benz salesman to include, in the base price of his new car, a flat screen on the backs of the driver and passenger seats. As an added resentment, I will probably hold him responsible for the 2008 Great Recession. Continue reading

Share

Capitalism and Corporatism

All My Sons, Big Business, Moral Responsibility

I recently saw the Arthur Miller play, All My Sons. It reminded me of how much Miller was in tune with so much of American culture.

The play revolves around Joe Keller, an entrepreneur, who owns a factory that shipped out cracked warplane cylinder heads during World War II. Twenty one pilots died in crashes as a result. His associate, Steve Deever, warned him of the defective engines, and Joe told him to seal the cracks. Deever tried to call him, not wanting to take sole responsibility for the shipment. Joe, later, claims that he had the flu and was not able to answer the call.

After a courtroom trial, Deever is sent to prison. Joe is exonerated in an appeal of his case. The rest of the play is about all the collateral damage Joe’s big lie has on his own family and the family of his associate. Continue reading

Share

Natus Est

Things are due,
Never in the same way,
The rent, a child,
One imposed,
The other called
By its own schedule
Into the world,
A cut chord
Of fragile attachment
To its refuge,
Temporary hostage,
Learning timed deference
Or quick rebellion
Against check-ins
And the agony
Of the hurried

Share

Another Wreck

One more ascent
To success.
Bruised before
It’s opened,
By your insistence,
The tired claim
Of another’s failures
And cat hairs
Of false promises
In your warrior’s
Muscled strength.
I’ve heard it
All before,
My love,
Closing my eyes
On your descent
Into another wreck.

Share

Transgendered Me

I dedicate this poem to Kricket Jerná Nimmons, a black low-income New Yorker, who recently had genital reconstruction (From the “New York Times” article, “‘A Whole New Being’; How Kricket Nimmons Seized the Transgender Moment” by Deborah Sontag—12/13/15)

Swimming against
The orders
Of others
To be
Who I am not,
Body parts
From my mother’s womb,
Gifted back
To the cruel source
Who made me
What I never was,
The old world’s contract
Broken by my
Own stern will,
Penis as memory
Vagina as hope,
Breasts mounted
To my willing chest,
Hair shaven
From my bony legs,
Communion miracle,
The old host
Disappearing
Into new flesh
And flowing blood
Of this, the
Ever sweet
And tender me,
My new occasion.

Share

Simplicity

I need to forfeit
All the reins
Of what I control.
Simplicity I am told
Cools the blood
Into small units.
All love, after all,
Is weighed
With equal vigor,
No one desire
Mortgaging my path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, a Review

Fates and Furies
Lauren Groff
Penguin Random House, 2015
359 pp

On one level, Lauren Groff’s novel, Fates and Furies, is easy to write about because it has a fairly straightforward plot about a very modern couple who fall lustfully in love, marry, and experience all the travails of a typical marriage—money, trust issues, psychological insecurity, secrets. The husband, initially a struggling actor, becomes a famous and successful playwright but dies an early death. The wife lives out the rest of her life on the wealth she’s inherited from her husband’s family and the financial success of his career.

That, of course, would be the Cliff Notes summary of the plot. Continue reading

Share

The Journey Continues

The Realm of the Spirit in AA

The other day, someone at an AA meeting asked me what part I played in my relationship to the concept of God. Several years ago, I came out at as a non-theist, even after thirty-one years in the program.

I became defensive because I believed he was making every attempt, in a non-threatening way, to gently admonish me for my “profound problems with the theology of the ‘Our Father,'” the statement I made at the 12 step table that night.  It was clear to me that, in his view, I had not really “surrendered” my own non-theism, even though I have been consistently open about being nurtured, in and out of the rooms, by other people’s faiths, while, at the same time, saying that those sky-god faiths don’t represent my own spiritual journey in the program.  Nor do those faiths embody my notion of “The Realm of the Spirit” that I find in Steps two and three.

I would have agreed with him if I believed all sky-god followers to be fools. I do not. However, my experience with human nature tells me that, in any group, there will be some who are really, really naive. And yet, I know many theists who are intelligent, compassionate, and self-reflective. They strive to be good and be of service. They bend the rules when life kicks them in the ass. They often love diversity because they have big, inclusive hearts. Continue reading

Share
1 2 3 25