Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Music

You died.

Originally published June 13, 2013 on Medium, but was removed for being posted in the wrong place—oh, well, I tried.

“Your granddaddy don’t dance, and your grandma don’t rock n’ roll like mine…”

What would it take me to speak up, to hoot and holler and say “hey, y’all I have a story to tell”?

They killed my clown. Oh, it’s just this fantasy in my head. They didn’t really kill my clown, there’s not even really a ‘they’. My grandpa died is all. He was a clown, and he died, and that damn near killed me.

But that’s not this grandpa, and that’s not this story. Oh, honey, ‘it’s complicated’ could never quantify a relationship in this family. But, if you stick with me, I’ll tell you a story that’ll blow you away some day…So back to this grandpa, and this story. He’s dead, and that did it. It was this one, this guy, the one that walked into my day dreams a few summers ago and made me believe in God.

And the curious thing is, I have no idea if he believed himself. I mean, I know grandma does?—?she’s that whole evangelical pentecostal holy spirit healing and hoopla kind of religiousity, something that I saw plenty more of being raised in the South.

… but that’s not the point either, the point is simply, you died.

Grandpa died. Grandma Hilton is all I have left.

It’s time to start telling stories.

— I’m testing my voice. I’m testing with a tease. Please offer critique, I get by with a little help of my friends. My friends have always been on the internet.

Standard
Ancestry, Culture

The Siege of Jerusalem, AD 70 by Josephus

But why dwell on the commonplace rubbish which the starving were driven to feed upon, given that what I have to recount is an act unparalleled in the history of either the Greeks or the barbarians, and as horrible to relate as it is incredible to hear? For my part I should gladly have omitted this tragedy, lest I should be suspected of monstrous fabrication. But there were many witnesses of it among my contemporaries; and besides, I should do poor service to my country if I were to suppress the agonies she went through.

Jerusalem fell, after a siege, to a Roman army under Titus. Josephus was a Jew who had gone over to the Romans as a historian…
Continue reading

Standard
Ancestry, Religion

Enemies

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life.

I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families.

Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?

That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God.

Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.

That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you;
toddlers shout the songs
That drown out enemy talk,
and silence atheist babble.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

He makes the magicians look ridiculous
and turns fortunetellers into jokes.
He makes the experts look trivial
and their latest knowledge look silly

who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,

“‘How can you say,
“We know the score. We’re the proud owners of God’s revelation”?

Look where it’s gotten you—stuck in illusion.

Your religion experts have taken you for a ride!

Your know-it-alls will be unmasked,
caught and shown up for what they are.

Look at them!

They know everything but God’s Word.
Do you call that “knowing”?

The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the LORDE, what kind of wisdom do they have?

It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise,
truly educated, truly intelligent
in this day and age?

Hasn’t God exposed it all
as pretentious nonsense?

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God,
God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb
—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But  you’ve  seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets  us  in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.

What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Listen, dear friends.

Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently?

He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges.

This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God.

And here you are abusing these same citizens!

Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind?

Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms?

Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

The mark of the beast is coming.

The beginning of religion was the first lie.

Standard
Ancestry, Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Music

Closed Head Injury

Letter to a Friend

I graduated to a larger keyboard in procrastination.

I went back to do the dishes and thought to myself, ‘this isn’t the life I want’. Did I tell you? I had even tried to convince myself that I just had to get things all in order so that everything in life would be ‘ready’. See how that worked out? Needless to say these hands have yet to hit dishwater. So much for Southern.

But is there really anything wrong with that?

If someone would give me just one cup, plate, bowl, spoon, fork, mug and what else do I need?

I’ll tell you what, just a really cool place to put them!

I need to figure out how to be happy, or this is going to suddenly feel like a very long life, I get the feeling, from here on out…

Today is the day that my daddy died, 30 years ago today, or some time within 12 hours or so either way, because I can never quite remember if the accident happened the night before, or if it was already considered the next day, and when it was that he died, or rather, how long it took him to die. And since I move so damn often, the paper which answers this question every year when I inevitably go searching for it to determine once again, for another year, just it was ‘when’ that ‘what’ happened, is buried in boxes which are worn and disheveled from the packing, repacking, and moving again, again, and again.

Any way, I’m listening to Yo-Yo Ma do Johan Sebastian Bach while considering doing my dishes, or just throwing out all my clothes, …or just moving to a life I’d prefer to be living?

It wouldn’t take a psychiatrist to be able to tell you that if I could have anyone with me here tonight to have a glass of single girl microwaved a few seconds to knock the chill off red refrigerated wine it would be my dad. No, not the one who called yesterday to make sure that I was okay, I think because he knows even if only from the signs from my mother’s odder than usual behavior triggered by it nearing that day again… No, I mean my father, the one who gave me life. He was an artist and a lover, a singer and a movie maker, although I have to tell you his song in the band is pretty much dreadful.

Here’s Dog Sweat, by Matthew Raymond Morris Michael Niblick. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, you’ll want to cover your ears. But to me, it’s music. That’s my daddy’s voice. When I heard this ‘song’ this past year, it was the first I’d heard my daddy’s voice, since he died thirty years ago. Still, Dad! What were you thinking?!

My Daddy, the artist Matthew Raymond Morris Michael Niblick (movie footage 1979-1983) from Angela Baxley on Vimeo.

Standard
Ancestry

For Daddy: There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.

Daddy Matthew

This looks familiar, vaguely familiar,
Almost unreal, yet, it’s too soon to feel yet.
Close to my soul, and yet so far away.
I’m going to go back there someday.

Sun rises, night falls, sometimes the sky calls.
Is that a song there, and do I belong there?
I’ve never been there, but I know the way.
I’m going to go back there someday.

Come and go with me, it’s more fun to share,
We’ll both be completely at home in midair.
We’re flyin’, not walkin’, on featherless wings.
We can hold onto love like invisible strings.

There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.
Part heaven, part space, or have I found my place?
You can just visit, but I plan to stay.

I’m going to go back there someday.
I’m going to go back there someday.

Standard
Ancestry

Family Tree: Magog

Eve the First Woman (4026 – 3074 BC) is your 133rd great grandmother (through Cain and Magog)

Son of Eve
Son of Seth
Son of Enos Enosh ben
Son of Cainan (Kenan)
Son of Mahalaleel
Son of Jared
Son of Enoch
Son of Methuselah
Son of Lamech
Son of Noah
Son of Japhet (Japheth)
Son of Magog
Son of Boath
Son of Phoeniusa Farsaidh (Fenius Farsa)
Son of Niul
Son of Gadhol Gael Gathelus
Son of Easru
Son of Sru
Son of Heber Scot
Son of Beouman
Son of Ogaman
Son of Tait
Son of Aghenoin
Son of Lamhfionn
Son of Heber Glunfionn
Son of Agnan Fionn
Son of Febric Glas
Son of Nenuall
Son of Nuadhad
Son of Alladh
Son of Arcadh
Son of Deag
Son of Brath
Son of Breoghan (Brigus)
Son of Bile
Son of Milesius Galamh
Son of Heremon
Son of Irial Faidh
Son of Eithrial
Son of Foll-Aich
Son of Tighernmas
Son of Enboath
Son of Smiomghall
Son of Fiacha Labhrainn
Son of Aongus Olmucach
Son of Main
Son of Rotheachtach
Son of Dein
Son of Siorna Saoghalach
Son of Eochaidh Oilioll Olchaoin I the Heremon Prince of the Scarlet Thread
Son of Giallchadh mac Oilioll Olchaoin
Son of Nuadhat I Fionnfoil mac Giallchadh
Son of Áedan Aodham Glas
Son of Siomon Breac mac Aodhan Glas
Son of Muireadhach I Bolgrach mac Siomon
Son of Fiacha Tolgrach
Son of Duach II Ladhgrach mac Fiachadh Tolgrach
Son of Eochaidh Buadhach
Son of Úgaine Mór King of Ireland
Son of Cobthach Cóel Breg King of Ireland
Son of Meilge Molbthach King of Ireland
Son of Irereo Fáthach King of Ireland
Son of Connla Cáem Cruaidchelgach King of Ireland
Son of Ailill Caisfiaclach King of Ireland
Son of Eochaid Ailtlethan Foltlethan King of Ireland
Son of Óengus Tuirmech Temrach King of Ireland
Son of Énna Aignech
Son of Labehra Labhra Suire Lorc
Son of Blathucha Blathacht
Son of Easamasn Easmhna Easamhun Ruadh
Son of Roighnen Ruadh (Rorzhmen)
Son of Feneogha Finnlogha
Son of Finn (Fian)
Son of Eochu Eochaid Feidlech
Son of Lugaid Riab nDerg
Son of Crimthann Nia Náir
Son of Feradach Finnfechtnach
Son of Fíachu Finnolach
Son of Túathal Techtmar
Son of Fedlimid Rechtmar
Son of Conn Cétchathach “of the Hundred Battles”
Son of Art Óenfer mac Cuinn
Son of Cormac mac Airt ua Cuinn King of Ireland
Son of Cairbre Lifechair King of Ireland
Son of Fiacha Sraibhtine King of Ireland
Son of Muiredach Tirech King of Ireland
Son of Eochaid Mugmedón King of Ireland
Son of Niall Noígíallach “Niall of the Nine Hostages” King of Ireland
Son of Eoghan Foghan Owen mac Néill King of Ireland, King of Tír Eoghain, and Prince of Inis Eoghain
Son of Eirc (or Muredach) King of Dalriada in Ireland
Son of Fergus Mór King of Dalradia in Argyleshire
Son of Domangart Réti mac Ferguso King of Dalriada in Argyleshire
Son of Gabrán mac Domangairt “the Treacherous”, King of Dalriada
Son of Áedán mac Gabráin King of Dalriada
Son of Eochaid (or Eochu, or Eochaidh) I Buidhe King of Dalriada and the Picts
Son of Domnall Brecc (Dongart) King of Scotland and Dalriada
Son of Dongart (Eugene VI) Macdomnail Domongart
Son of Eochaid II (Findon) of
Son of Eochaid III King of Scotland and Dalriada
Son of Aodh Hugh (Aed Find)
Son of Eochaid Achaius IV
Son of Alpin mac Echdach
Son of Kenneth Kinet I Mac Alpin
Son of Constantine I
Son of Donald II Dasachtach
Son of Malcolm I
Son of Kenneth II
Daughter of Malcolm II Mac Kenneth
Daughter of Doda
Daughter of Harlette
Son of Adelaide Adeliza of
Daughter of Stephen Blois Champagne Holderness
Son of Ada
Son of Walter IV
Son of Walter Thomas
Son of Walter
Son of John
Daughter of William
Daughter of Dorothy
Daughter of Margaret
Daughter of Elizabeth Harmon
Son of Dorothy Margerie
Daughter of Robert
Son of Anne Marie
Daughter of Thomas
Daughter of Elizabeth
Son of Elizabeth
Daughter of Elijah
Daughter of Christiana
Son of Anna
Son of Robert
Son of George Willick
Son of Rufus Clarence
Son of Roger Dale
You are the daughter of Matthew Raymond
Standard