From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier

From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan" by Andy Couturier

Pages 264-265



“Sooo..” I begin to ask him, a bit apprehensive, not wanting to be insulting, “Gufu-san, why write all this stuff down?”


Unperturbed, he replies simply, “To make a record. If you don’t record things, you start to lose your sense of the place. It’s also interesting when you talk to other people, or when I want to look up something later. But it’s mostly just to make a record, even if I don’t use the information.”

“Yes, but how do you decide which things to write down?”

“Whatever is possible to write down, I write. How much the bus cost. How much the movie was, or how much the hotel was.”

“But why?” I ask.

“I didn’t have any purpose in doing it.”

No purpose? Perhaps I’ve been too attached to all my own actions being done for a reason. Utilitarianism is so deep in my culture I don’t even notice it. Listening to Gufu it occurs to me that it may not be so good to be always reaching ahead in time. Sitting here with my friend in a farmhouse in the mountains of Japan, I find my way of seeing the world start to deepen and change. All these little, unlooked-at details create the fabric of memory. By writing them down, we are refusing to let the experiences of our lives get subsumed in the tsunami of time, the onrush of the next, and the next, and the next. I think of so many travelers (myself included) zipping from one location to the next, taking photos of scenery or a building. Have I been missing the beautiful in the obvious?

Gufu is showing me--not that he’s trying to show me anything--that the whole world can come alive with these tiny details, ephemera, you might call them. But not just a generalized “world,” but a specific world, an India of a particular time, and, as it happens, an India that is disappearing every day.


Monday, June 16, 2014

McIver cut the ribbon to start the annual march organized by Pawlowski, who claimed last year’s flood in southern Alberta was caused, in part, by God’s unhappiness over homosexuality. “He is weeping for the perversions of homosexuality,” Pawlowski wrote in his blog.------------McIver responded to a social media storm with a statement Monday on Facebook that explained he was merely celebrating his Roman Catholic faith with other Christians.----

Although I do believe in free speech there is no room in our democracy for hate speech or any sort of blathering about the religious right disdain for homosexuals.
I have never understood this crap.
Why is everyone so offended by the same sex love business?
I know most kids don't give a darn and all the adults I know think it is the business of the private citizens and not of any group to decide what is acceptable sexual behavior among consenting ADULTS.
The fact is adults can and will do what they wish to do in the privacy of their homes and in this regard I do not think it is productive to urge them to change their "ways". Why should they?

Ric McIver seems like a nice guy.
I don't know why he would associate with any group with these sorts of inflammatory language which in my mind is hate language.
I think you can be a Roman Catholic without associating with such oddball groups and why any sane politician would go out of his way to promote his religion with groups who are looked at by most Albertans as folks with outdated views--well it is odd.
The only reason it would make sense for Mr. McIver to associate with a group of such disgusting chatter is because he actually believes this crap himself.
Does he believe this kind of rot?
If so he should not be in public office of any sort.

I don't think we are being mean to Mr. McIver for saying that when he is in public office he must abide by the rules of conduct and association that are set out by the majority. The majority of Albertans are nice folks who are deeply concerned about the poor, the sick and the folks who are targets of hate for whatever reason. We are most especially concerned that our most vulnerable children and youth don't become victims of targeted hate by groups such as the one Mr. McIver is buddy buddy with.

I think Mr. McIver would not personally spew out the vitriolic chatter of the group he is buddy buddy with but certainly I believe there is a credibility gap in his inclusion chatter when he says that he is merely expressing his Roman Catholic faith by marching with a group of people who apparently hate homosexuals to the point that they aren't ashamed to print their words of hate for all to see.  It is a shame that religious expression by Mr. McIver requires any sort of contact with such a poor group of people who seem to lack the generosity of spirit and love that would make Christ's words true.  Love each other. Hate is not part of the book of faith he gave to us.

There are better ways to celebrate your Roman Catholic faith Mr. McIver.
Work at the Bissell Center.
Donate to them so that they can help the homeless.
Help out at an extended care where the most vulnerable citizens are dying without company or love.
Be a message for the world in every act of kindness you do.
Write on a blog like I do and ask for the meaningful change that will alter the hearts and minds of Albertans so that the most disadvantaged among us rise up from their knees and join us at the table of plenty.
Be a warrior of god.

But do not pretend to us that you work for your god by joining other small minded insecure people in their witch hunt of the most marginalized citizens among us.
Never lie to us.
We are done with the lies.


http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/alberta/McIver+taking+heat+from+sides+after+March+Jesus/9944538/story.html

McIver draws fire for part in march with anti-gay group

2
McIver draws fire for part in march with anti-gay group

PC leadership candidate Ric McIver said his attendance at the March for Jesus, led by a vocally anti-gay religious group, was a day to celebrate his Roman Catholic faith with other Christians, and insisted that if he becomes premier he will “continue to defend equality rights for all Albertans as defined in the Charter, including sexual orientation.”

Photograph by: Mike Ridewood , THE CANADIAN PRESS

EDMONTON — Albertans will decide whether it was a mistake for Tory leadership candidate Ric McIver to support a march led by a vocally anti-gay religious group, says one of his contest rivals.
Thomas Lukaszuk said Monday he has turned down invitations to participate in events involving the street ministry headed by controversial pastor Artur Pawlowski because it promotes views that are not inclusive of all Albertans.
But Lukaszuk declined to call on McIver to drop out of the leadership race over his participation in the March for Jesus in Calgary last weekend.
“That decision actually has to be made by Albertans,” he told reporters in Edmonton.
However, the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta issued a statement Monday condemning participation in the march by party members.
While it didn’t name McIver, it stated that “individual members are expected to follow our statement of principles, which includes that of being an open party that’s accessible to all Albertans.”
“Closed-mindedness or intolerance have no place in the PCAA,” said the statement from party president Jim McCormick.
McIver cut the ribbon to start the annual march organized by Pawlowski, who claimed last year’s flood in southern Alberta was caused, in part, by God’s unhappiness over homosexuality.
“He is weeping for the perversions of homosexuality,” Pawlowski wrote in his blog.
McIver responded to a social media storm with a statement Monday on Facebook that explained he was merely celebrating his Roman Catholic faith with other Christians.
“If chosen premier, I do and will continue to defend equality rights for all Albertans as defined in the Charter, including sexual orientation,” he stated. “I deplore discrimination against all groups and individuals, without exception.”
A spokesman for leadership candidate Jim Prentice said he “stands firmly against any form of intolerance, and his record over a lifetime shows that.”
Justice Minister Jonathan Denis was also caught up in the Twitter outrage when a letter he wrote in 2012 commending Pawlowski’s March for Jesus was posted.
His office said he was photographed with Pawlowski in 2012, but has never participated in March for Jesus events.
“At the time of the photo, he believed the walk was an opportunity for believers to publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ,” his office said in an email. “Minister Denis finds the language used on the website . . . to be deeply offensive and does not share those views or beliefs.”
Mount Royal University political analyst David Taras said the situation is highly problematic for McIver’s leadership campaign.
“We’ve seen what happens in Alberta politics when you identify with causes that are inflammatory and repugnant to large parts of the population,” Taras said. “It goes to inclusiveness. . . . He’s put a question mark on himself.”
NDP MLA Rachel Notley said the controversy will remind Albertans of similar views that came to light during the last provincial election involving a Wildrose candidate who blogged that homosexuals will perish in a lake of fire.
“Many Albertans are frustrated when they see that kind of debate and conversation getting as much time and attention as it does here in this province, because most Albertans believe in equality,” Notley said. “What Mr. McIver’s actions demonstrate more clearly than anything else could have is that the Conservative party is almost indistinguishable from the Wildrose party.”
Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman said McIver made a “big mistake” that reflects badly on the PC party and all politicians.
“To participate in a public event with a group that openly promotes hatred . . . is wrong in so many ways because we expect our government officials to be leaders,” she said. “Shame on you Minister McIver. You should know better.”
In September, the Tories will select a new leader, who will automatically become Alberta’s next premier.
With files from James Wood and Don Braid, Calgary Herald and Mariam Ibrahim, Edmonton Journal

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