The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

my daughters name is not Charity

January19

…it is, in fact, Emma Jo.

And readers of this Blog know it.

And, what a terrific kid she is.

She’s proved it, in spades again, today.

But, allow me to digress with some background information…

Haiti was recently hit with the biggest earthquake in that part of the world over the last 300 years. Big. Seismic scale of 7.1 is the order-of-magnitude it’s been assigned. As of the drafting of this post the death toll is anticipated to reach the tens of thousands.

I’ll be asking questions around Haiti representing a comparative Babylon, perhaps, in another post, some day. There may be some rvelance to the Book of Daniel, in there. Possibly Isaiah. Because there is a vision involved. That’s unsettling. Maybe it doesn’t need to be. After all, we’ll know one way or another, possibly not – and, then it won’t matter.

As esoteric as that thinking might be, later, Haiti is in our faces, now.

Haiti is something of an enigma. Apparently the country’s leading religions are Catholicism (not Christianity) and Voo Doo. And, depending on whom you ask, it’s uncertain which of those two views prevail. In fact, if you are interested enough, google: “voo doo” (but try Vodou as well), and the majority of first page hits (other than Wikipedia) relate directly to Haiti – oh, and Louisiana – and, that means New Orleans (where as it turns out, many Haitian slaves found themselves around, well, 300 years ago). Along the way, and if you care to investigate – and, I have – because, well, that’s what I do, you’ll find, maybe discover, that many Haitians are finding creative ways to combine Catholicism with voodou – and, they would call that Christianity.

Pastor Pat Robertson (who might be looney (“while teaching karate, avoid inhaling demon spirits”), and he might be right) thinks the people of Haiti cut a deal with Satan to rid themselves of the French in the 1800’s. You can learn a bit more about that, here (listen to Kristy moan when Robertson makes a point. Have you noticed Christians do things like that during forms of sermons?).

dude… This is fun for me.

In any event, Emma Jo and friends like Claire (whom you’ve also followed on this Blog from time-to-time) don’t know much about voo doo – or Catholicism, for that matter. Although Claire’s family are full-on Christians.

But, over the last few days they’ve heard a lot about Haiti.

I have many opinions around Haiti. And, it’s “pirate government”. I won’t, even though keenly tempted, go into much detail around that, because I want the focus to be on what I’ve observed in my daughter that has softened my heart… Even for Haiti.

Here we go. Hang on.

We have many strong British influences in our household. So, we get television and related feeds from Europe. This means, amongst other questionable benefits, the information is censored in ways that are different than you might be, otherwise, accustomed to seeing here in the United States. Think in terms of graphic. Once you’ve accomplished that, all manner of awareness creeps into your thinking.

I’ll step back into some background, just once more (you’ll not be fooled by that, certainly not), to inform you that Emma Jo has been saving her money to buy, yet another, American Girl Doll (she already has fifteen – and, that adds an ironic twist to this story, I feel). It’s Lanie she wants now. This is no mean feat for a seven year old. American Girl Dolls cost more than $100.00. And, it takes a lot of effort and concentration for a seven year old to be that “good”, and to accomplish that many chores.

NOTE: Just in case you are reading this and, possibly, breaking out with a cold sweat with the prospect, I am not going to level you with some argument that American Girl Dolls are voo doo dolls. But, as I tap these words into this post, the hair on the back of my next is rising, and I sense some form of inspiration tickling the back of my head. Book mark this post, but only if you dare.

So… We were watching some raw television footage from Haiti. And, to be candid, I was not prepared for the absolute devastation that has surrounded those people. The anguish is indescribable as you see entire families piled up on street corners with, essentially, little hope of burial, let alone identification, imminent.

I found myself thinking to myself: where is God in all of this? My mind did venture, briefly, to Daniel and Isaiah (my recent vision, again), and then of course, John Stein (for that to make any sense, you’ll need to revisit my recent post: there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questionsand focus your research in the comments, mind you. Warning: This effort will, decidedly, distract you from some of the uncertain merits of this current post).

Emma Jo and I had been discussing a trip to Learning Express (terrific store), and bowling (she likes to bowl). So, this was all about Daddy and Emma Jo and bonding, and love, and security, and happy things.

That’s when the horrific (I’ve cast about for a more dramatic word, but it eludes me) image of a young girl, seemingly Emma Jo’s age, draped across the body of a wood-like and dust covered figure of a man that was likely her earthly father. The child is wracked with greatly evident agony. She is wailing. And, there are no other people around her (other than a television crew, I’ll suppose). Utter, and complete desolation of spirit. Despair reigns, there.

Emma Jo has gone stiff. She’s mesmerized. Selfishly I am berating myself for allowing her to witness this horror show.

She gently leans back into me, and very quietly asks: “Daddy, can we save her?”

I’m at a loss of words. I want to think fast and come up with some analogy that might create a call-to-action that might soothe her. But, before I can draw a breath to start some ramble, she reminds me that she has money saved up for her new American Girl Doll. She’s a bit subdued, certainly. The heart-felt, and so little-girl-desire for the new doll is clearly under siege from a HUGE heart breaking with sadness for the, not quite comprehensible, agony of another child (and, a doomed one at that, I’ll wager).

“Daddy, can we send that little girl my Lanie money? Maybe she can buy a doll that will make her feel better”.

I’m reasonably certain, at least some people are going to roll their eyes over this. …how quaint, you might smirk.

But, in the eyes of this earthly father, my own princess realized another person in distress; and, her immediate reaction was to try and help – with the only resources she, not someone else, could bring to bare.

That’s it for this post.

I bring it to an abrupt end.

Emma Jo is behind me, working quietly on some project, happy and content to be around Daddy. I think she’s online navigating Club Penguin with Claire, and also, Emma E.

That little girl in Haiti has likely never heard of, let alone played, Club Penguin. And, every time I see an American Girl Doll I might think voodou. So, it’s about perspective today. Also my own heart being softened. Thanks to two children, mind you, that care little for religion. But, I have faith in my daughter.

Emma Jo’s name might not be “Charity”, however, it could be legion.

This abrupt end is also, likely, due to the simple fact this story is not yet completed. So, stay tuned. Do it!

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questions

January10

By the time your finished with this post, you’ll have realized it’s less a book review, and more a reminder that I often feel lonely in a crowd of my Christian brothers.

Demons was written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. As an aside, he is much better known, in North America, anyway, for his frustrating and authentic The Brothers Karamazov, and the much lesser known The Idiot.

And, surely, you must read them all! And, on your Amazon Kindle, no less.

In any event, Demons is, essentially, and this is my interpretation, about how liberalism leads to socialism, then leads to nihilism, and how life, according to Dostoevsky, boils down to a choice between Christianity – and… suicide.

Well… Mister, that’s a barn-burning, possibly teeth-gnashingly dogmatic, position (if this makes you think in some terms of anything related to doggy-style, it might be appropriate, and you might have the emotional maturity of a twelve year old [like me, some times], but not in the immediate context).

Demons is a very engaging novel. And, more suspenseful than the others, as relayed above, of Dostoevsky – both because it’s more violent (being about socialist nihilist anarchists and all), and because it takes a long time to get a sense for what motivates the main character, Nikolai Stavrogin (and, that’s where I might draw a comparison to myself and my titanic and transparent struggles with Christianity as it related to the Jesus Christ element).

However, Dostoevsky clarifies his thinking, interestingly, through his mouthpiece Tikhon, in that absolute doubt immediately proceeds absolute faith; thus Stavrogin, as the quintessential doubter, is also the closest among the main cast of characters to true Christianity.

To wit…

This idea, that a person must not give in to his ideas; must strain against them to be a person, is a fascinating one…

But, see… There’s no word for it, this, effort. And, that my be the core of my own struggle. I can’t put my finger on what’s missing. Or, maybe why it’s missing.

Unfortunately, there’s probably a really good word for it.

It eludes me.

Not much does. And, this is a big one.

However, I think caring is important; as is the search for that word – possibly it’s meaning, all the more.

Stick with me. And, feel free to come and get me.

Along the way, I’ll likely read everything, and talk to everyone, I can to find that word. And, the light and truth I learn gives me scienter, and the necessity of my own requirement to be naught less than a beacon, for all. My Kobayashi Maru, perhaps not?

Listening to: Heartbreak Warfare and Free Fallin’ (the Live version) by the much too underestimated, John Mayer.

By the way… Look at the “possibly related posts” (below, minds you) automatically generated by the WordPress gods (demons?). What a hoot! Is irony afoot?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

no body is home

March27

We were on Martha’s Vineyard for a family holiday. The local weather was fair enough. But, apparently storms were raging amidst the distant seas.

The waves were fierce, and certainly well represented.

And, there were warning signs (literally).

“Dangerous Waters”

“No Life Guard On Duty”

“Swim At Your Own Risk”

So, naturally I was free swimming amongst the boarders.

The water was chilly (that is how my Nana would have described it). I recall it’s color; gray cast with patch’s of green and black, mixed with foam, made me think of the words anger and foreboding. But, soon enough, that element would best be described as uncompromising or, perhaps exacting that day.

I had an immediate sense of depth, and then vertigo. I had not realized how far I had been pulled out until I really felt the empty cold, huge and vast, lurking beneath my feet. My estimate now is over two hundred meters. I could see the tiny people in the distance on the beach, so very far away, and growing ever smaller (can you grow smaller?), diminished by the mounting abyss. In some distant sort of way I understood I was in trouble. I struck out for the shore with steady strokes, but quickly realized I was not getting anywhere. And, my breathe was getting shorter. Fear?

Most of my life, there has been a central theme around being able to “make it home (this could be an entendre)”.

That was about when the first wave crashed down on me and drove me deep into very cold water. By now I could see Audra Bucklin (Haley Anne and Emma Jo’s God Mother) waving frantically on shore. Fatigue was creeping along my arms — and, my shoulders felt numb. It was hard to breathe as the cold water relentlessly sucked the warmth from my body, pressing on my chest and forcing precious air from my labouring lungs.

Another wave hammered me. No… It presented hell to me in the form of brine and angry froth.

I clawed my way to the surface with the dawning horror that I was not going to make it. I had an image of them pulling me from the waves and laying my slack body at Joanne’s (my baring point) feet.

Determination now? Possibly will – mixed with the shock of understanding I was actually going to die, and I had not expected it to be now.

I grimly dug deeper. I could see a boarder about 50 meters away trying desperately to make his way in my direction.  But the undertow was fierce. Troughs created by the waves, powerd by those distant storms were deep. I could see it (the real fear) in his eyes.

Another wave.

I could not breathe. I had lost my barings. I was not going to make it home. It was hopeless. No trite cliche this, I had nothing left, and I was sinking…

…I only asked for courage.

Now, I have to face the grim reality that Joanne and I are in our own death spiral now. I am so tired. I can’t fight. I always fight. But, not any more.

I am not going to make it. No barings. And, it’s not the same.

I am not lonely. I have my demons. And, oh, we are dancing.

Ripping What Ever You Like with T.I. (as an aside, this is such an important iTune for a hard run in drizzling rain).

However, all the drama aside, there will alwys be James Taylor with Up on the Roof.

Peace to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

have Faith in your demons

January25

In a recent email exchange, my friend PJ Bain said:

“On another topic, don’t lose your Faith – you seemed to be bending gray matter and fighting some demons around this the other day.”

I am always fighting something.

I am, I fear, my own demon.

However, I am also convinced this is how God keeps me sharp and on my toes.  I never rest and am always vigilant in my quest and commitment to serve others.

This often comes in the form of “stirring the pot”.

Fortunately, this has become a terrific filter.  Men who care to know me are often drawn to my heart, and then later, my deeds.

I work so very hard to reflect and represent what I feel is the “image”.

More later.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

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

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

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 - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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