Heather King Fire

Heather King Fire

I would like to introduce you to the writing of a dear friend of mine, Ms Heather King.  Heather and I have struck up a bizarre and delightful friendship over the years and she has been one of the greatest joys and lights in my life.  Our first time meeting (when I knocked on the hobbit-like door of  her cottage tucked away in the heart of Los Angeles, having mostly no clue who each other were… but that’s another story…) was one of those rare instant spirit/soul/vibe connections and I knew she would be a life long friend, and here we are.  I’m not quite sure how to begin to describe a woman of her magnanimity and character and utter incapable-of-being-labeled-as-anything uniqueness.  Some describe her as a modern day Flannery O’Connor, yet I still am hesitant to box her in to a category of even such stature.  So, I will suffice it to say that I believe she is one of the most important voices of our times for this wild and confusing world that we live in and it is my joy to share her writing here and let it speak for itself.

heather

The One and Only, Heather King.  She’s gonna kill me for all this flattery.

This is from one of my all-time favorite blog posts of hers.  It’s from many years ago and I still think of it often.  The post is titled “The Homily I’d Give if I Were a Priest”:

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Head in the Clouds?

Head in the Clouds?

Sorry for the absence again.  Midterms. Happy Hours. Papers. Camping. More papers. More happy hours.  Life.  Busy and full and good.  Happy to be sitting to blog again.

Regarding my previous post about The Lumineers, a friend of mine texted me and said:

“Your blog is called Risking Reality but you are also super idealistic.”

I told them that I couldn’t adequately respond to this via text, and that it would probably end up in a blog post, and well, here we are.  I see how the over-sensationalized music video and the unusual Pope Benedict XVI quote could give off the “idealistic” tone, and I’m glad they shared their opinion with me because it gives me the chance to clarify and distinguish- which is always a good thing.  I have a lot of thoughts so I will do my best to order them and contain them but no promises 🙂

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The Lumineers & The Open Road

The Lumineers & The Open Road

In anticipation of the raucous Lumineers concert I will be attending tomorrow night here in New Orleans, I want to share the music video of probably my favorite song on their new album, Sleep on the Floor.  I still remember exactly where I was when I first heard this song, driving west on 8th Avenue in downtown Covington towards Tyler Street right at dusk. Windows down, sunroof open.  This song reached into my insides and electrified them, launching me into a world far beyond this one.  I didn’t know quite why at the time- I just knew it had something to do with being young and having an open road full of life and potential ahead of me.  I proceeded to listen to it on repeat for an hour straight the next day while driving to Baton Rouge. And loved every minute of it.  I’ll let the song speak for itself here, followed by a brief quote from a talk I heard Pope Benedict XVI give in Madrid in 2011 that I think encapsulates the spirit of this song.  It’s one of my top 3 favorite quotes from him.  And the dude said a lot of things. Like we’re talking dozens of books worth.  Anyways, here is the song: (maybe another day I’ll dive into the lyrics)…

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Why The Pope Loves Mardi Gras

Why The Pope Loves Mardi Gras
For Christmas, the only thing I asked Santa for was a book which has a brief reflection or essay by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) for every day of the year (when you know you’re a geek).  Santa delivered.  Score.  Reading this book every morning is like shotgunning 3 Starbucks espresso double shots and experiencing a momentary metaphysical brain swap with good ole Will Hunting (to put it lightly).  A couple weeks ago, I came across this reflection and it obviously stuck out to me.  I figured I would share it here below as we head into the wild and whimsical final weekend of Mardi Gras.  Also, I would very much like it if Ole Benny decided to sneak out of his Vatican retirement home and come have a papal vacation in sweet Nola this weekend.  If anybody can arrange for this, give me a call and I can work out a deal with you.  I will make a special throne for him at my Bacchus tailgate, complete with a Mardi Gras Papal tiara.  He would love it… And probably cozy up in this sweet little pocket of America and live the rest of his life in quiet on a simple diet of Old Fashioneds and Seafood Gumbo…
ratzinger
“Throw me something, mister!”

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Pilot Me

Pilot Me

 

Another talk I heard at the New York Encounter Conference (see “Reality Has Never Betrayed Me” post) was a discussion between Rusty Reno (editor of First Things), David Brooks (Editorialist for The New York Times), moderated by Maurizio Maniscalco, the president of the New York Encounter.  The talk was entitled: “Are the American People Betraying Their Dream? Or Is the American Dream Betraying its People?”  It was a thrilling discussion and I again would highly recommend it (shocker) as a good use of your time at some point this week to watch the talk  which I will include here:

Here are my not so brief comments on the talk that I jotted down later on that week (these are my comments on only one small section of the talk, which is why I would advise watching the whole thing):

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The Danger of “If Only…”

The Danger of “If Only…”

 

Dr. Tom Neal is one of my favorite people in the Milky Way Galaxy and one of my best friends.  I could write a book on the man: the legend that he is and the way that he inspires me and all around him to be a better human by the way that he loves every person he comes in contact with and the way that he is able to shed meaning on seemingly meaningless situations and the way that he has saved my own faith from the brink of Nihilism, but that book will have to be for another day.  He blogs over at Neal Obstat (<–yes, you should click on that, but only if you’re ready for your world to be turned upside down) and I don’t recommend that you follow his blog, I mandate it.  Because it’s just what every rational human should do.  His blog is raw, real, down to Earth, up in Heaven, and everywhere in between.  I would be perfectly fine with you leaving my blog for his, never to return, because the vast majority of anything meaningful I have to say comes from my friendship with him, and I want the whole world to soak in the wisdom that gushes forth from his heart and mind.

tom

The man, the myth, the TNeal (AKA T-Pain, T Diddy, Snoop Tommy Tom, Jay-T, (Lay)Mystikal, Trance the Rapper, Tommy Bahama, et. all)

Anyways, I am in awe more or less daily when I read what this man has to say, so it is hard to pick a piece of his writing to feature here on my blog, but when he posted this post titled “Let Go” a few days ago, it was just too freakishly connected to my previous post “Reality Has Never Betrayed Me” to not share here.   This is the second half of his post which conveys the trap of these false realities that we create for ourselves:

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