A.M.D.G.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam or Ad majórem Dei glóriam, also rendered as the abbreviation AMDG, is the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus, an order of the Catholic Church.

It means “For the greater glory of God.”

On this thirty-first day of July, designated by The Church as a feast day to celebrate Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.

Let it be so, that we seek God in all things; let it be so, that each action be a reflection of that journey, that goal.

And when we fall short — and no doubt we will — let us reset to this simple pledge, this simply commitment Ignatius expressed near 500 years ago.

“Ad majórem Dei glóriam.”

Lyrics Post: “Winds of Change” – Scorpions

Thirty years ago this song came out. It spoke to the times, spoke of change, spoke of one person’s experience, mirroring the feelings of many. Including me. I was deep in that time of change. I had walked the same paths. Wondering. Longing. Wanting.

Thirty years later, the song still captures that time, that hope, that belief that change is possible.

And then I heard this news: there’s rumor that actually the CIA wrote the song’s lyrics, and fave the song to the band to help move along the end of the Soviet Union. Verdict’s still out on that one!

But whether written by the CIA or rock musicians from Hannover, the message is the same:

Change is possible for the better. Winds of change guide us. Let us follow together.

Winds of Change

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me
Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change

Writer(s): Klaus Meine

Stringer

On a truss, under a train, I remain, help me sustain the run.

Near a year I’ve been showing up here, more frequent, daily, it’s been mainly, a nice string.

Stringer of sorts, blogger, writer, whatever, the point is never, never stop jotting down, sharing out, living up to the dream,

I mean, for a long long while I’ve loved the act, the effort, the outcomes of writing. And so, as my dream unfolds, I know it’s up to me to see where it goes, keep it going.

Thus this blog, this space, six years running, picked up the pace in the race near a year, ago, and still I’m a go,

Think it, feel it, share it, make it,

GOOD.

[That was fun.]

Fatal Flaw?

A lifetime of ups and downs; when I reflect back that’s what I see.

I don’t suspect it’s anything special really; my experience like many other folks; in fact, I often reflect and return to the perspective that I’m particularly lucky, particularly blessed.

And yet I’ve had my failures, aplenty. I’ve made mistakes; I’ve made knowingly poor decisions; I’ve hurt people, people close to me.

What is this fatal flaw that makes me so, that allows this evil in? I suspect we all have these moments, we all have these flaws; it’s when the circumstances meet the flaws, that’s when it can prove fatal.

But fatal, really? If you’re still breathing, it’s not fatal yet. Try again.

TRY AGAIN.

Walk In Peace, Five Lessons

That phrase, “Walk In Peace”, seems a little (or maybe a lot?) over the top, philosophical, high-minded, maybe unachievable. It’s so simple. And yet so hard to do sometimes.

I think motion helps us find peace. I think motion helps create peace, sometimes. And thinking about my days most mornings, if it includes a walk with the dogs, that creates a better start to the day.

This morning was no exception; in fact, it might have been an exception, in the positive. Somehow I found particular peace, particular confidence, very early.

As I walked along in the predawn half-light, I watched the dogs crisscross the sidewalk, to black images across grey pavement, sniffing left, then sniffing right, then left again. I thought about how these two dogs of ours approach life; yet again, a dog-owner gleans insight from their canine companion.

Each day, look forward to what you’ll eat, whatever it is.

Drink water often and plentifully.

Stretch your body whenever you get up.

Check in with your people.

Walk around and check things out every day.

Those five tips? A baseline for more peace in your day. Each day. And those can be the foundation. Those can be the baseline from which you do everything else to which you aspire.

Listen, Learn, Let’s Go.

GOOD.

It’s Fundamental: Serve Others

Not everyone proscribes to this philosophy; but as for me well, I do what I can.

It really is fundamental to my thinking; I certainly fall short plenty, but I keep returning to the basic edict: Serve others.

“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This passage from the Book of Matthew captures it.

And that’s the guiding light, the basic ethos, the measure I use most repeatedly.

Can I help someone else? And if I can? Well, I think it’s the right thing to do. And when I do, and if the outcome makes someone else’s life a little better?

Then I feel good. Until the next time. And then I want to do it again.

Maybe Melvin Jones said it best: “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.”

YES.

The Weekend

Just another pandemic weekend, with a few bonus tidbits.

One I’ve shared here the last couple weeks: another Friday/Saturday combo camping with the kids; a twist this time, so stay tuned on that front. Getting the used to sleeping outside; helping the cope with the low-level stress of sleeping on the ground; and dealing with outside noises in the dark. The Saturday twist will y’all you more about this weekend learning.

The other special tidbit? Baseball opening weekend, SF Giants v. Los Ángeles Dodgers – most everyone masked; no fans; Universal Designated Hitter; only 60 games ~1/3 a regular season; and I’m not really all that much of a fan, overall. But it’s something familiar in a funky time, something enjoyable in an old-time way.

Humbaby. We are Giants. Giant Together. Vamos Gigantes!

Good for sure.

Listen to Them Sleep

Listening to my kids sleep always brings me joy. There’s a few reasons, at least.

Mostly it’s because they’re so peaceful, steady breaths in and out. If there’s enough light to see their relaxed faces, all the better.

And as they can create a whirlwind of activity sometimes, it’s nice to see this other, less chaotic side.

In the tent of our backyard campsite, in the pre-dawn hours I lay awake listening to them sleep. It gives me peace. It reminds me of hope. It fills me with love.

Lyrics Post: “Release”

29 years ago. This song goes back. Hard to believe. Speaks to me more now than it did then. From Pearl Jam, “Ten.” What an epic album that was; is. GOOD.

RELEASE.

“Release”

I see the world
Feel the chill
Which way to go
Windowsill
I see the words
On a rocking horse of time
I see the birds in the rain

Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow
I’ll ride the wave
Where it takes me
I’ll hold the pain
Release me

Oh dear dad
Can you see me now
I am myself
Like you somehow
I’ll wait up in the dark
For you to speak to me
I’ll open up
Release me
Release me
Release me
Release me

Writer(s): Eddie Vedder.

Words: Attitude & Spirit Fortitude

No big revelation, I think that on the regular: I’m not like most folks. I fall into the lyrics of songs pretty easy.

That’s part of why I post lyrics so often. Easy share, easy way to let you in; if you want in, that is.

So this isn’t a regular lyrics post; more of a little explanation on the why.

And so this one from last week, this FB post…

This in my head when I woke up: “…it’s not as if this baracade, blocks the only road, it’s not as if you’re all alone, in wanting to explode, someone set a bad example, made surrender seem alright, the act of a noble warrior, who lost the will to fight…” — Truly, Neil Peart’s lyrics will live on forever. #gratitude

An expression of commonality of struggle. Naming the struggle. and a nudge forward. A nudge to never give up.

These little nuggets of fortitude I often get from the lyric of song.

What fortifies you?