Tuesday, May 29, 2007

connecting

happy day-after-memorial day! i feel like i say that in a way that i couldn't yesterday (by that i mean the 'happy' part - of course i couldn't say 'day-after-memorial day' yesterday since it was memorial day). anyway, memorial day is a strange holiday, to me. every year, right as spring fever has really hit its full stride and lawns need mowed and flowers need tending and barbeques need fired up, we hold this day that is intended as a kind of rememberance of those who have served in battle and lost their lives. yay, death! "let's go get a hot dog...."

i think you see what i'm saying here. its hard for me to wake up on this day and roll over to my wife and say 'happy memorial day, honey.' it just doesn't feel right. it seems like we should be a bit more sad and somber. the day shouldn't just be an excuse to shop and eat, should it?

but wait, there's more. this memorial day seemed a great deal harsher on my spirit than memorial days of yore. now i know you are not supposed to talk about religion or politics and any faithful reader of my blog will know that i religiously honor one half of that principle. i talk about religion all the time, but i almost never (have i at all?) talk about politics here in these digital pages. there are a variety of reasons for this, not the least of which is that i begin to feel an overwhelming sense of disgust and apathy when i start thinking about politics. i am afraid that my cynicism wouldn't come across as latent with the same hope that my writings about religion do. i realize that there is a disconnect there, and that i have far to go and much to learn when it comes to politics.

all that being said, i still want to say that i am tired of this war in iraq. was it the best thing to do at the time that we began? i have no idea. i had my doubts then, to be honest. is it the best thing for us to be doing now? i don't think so. i really don't. i'm tired of the numbing numbers that appear on my home page every time i get online, calmly alerting me that 21 more people have been killed in a car bomb. eight more were killed yesterday (americans, that is. all the news every wants to report is how many americans died that day, as if iraqis don't count). i am overcome with the death, overwhelmed by the loss of life that we have taken part in. i'm all for there being fair governments in the world. i'm all for us helping nations who are in tyrannical situations. but i am not in favor of us policing the world. i am not in favor of us trading lives for oil. i am not in favor of us seeking revenge for 9/11. and, to be honest, after these last few years, that is what it is come to look like to me.

if i have offended anyone, i'm sorry. i actually like president bush, and i hate that people think it is so cool and trendy to hate him. that is ridiculous. i don't pin this on president bush. it is WAY more complex than that to me. so, for me, this isn't a conversation per se about republicans and democrats and so on, but more just a mourning in my soul for the terrible cost this demanded of us and of iraq and of britain. when will it be enough?

and so it wasn't exactly a 'happy' memorial day for me. however, when i could tune my mind out of that wavelength and start being with my family, i was able to relax a little and enjoy the day- off. shannon's been craving pancakes ever since the baby was born, so we went up to a town called hackettstown and ate a late breakfast at IHOP. if you don't know what IHOP is, please consider taking a road trip today to the nearest Internation House of Pancakes and ordering a very large plate of pancakes. as someone who loves pancakes, i can tell you that these are the best pancakes that have ever been in my mouth. i don't know what they put in those puppies, but they are incredible. please, go today. and write me a thank you note after you have recovered from the drug-like high (and the carb overload).

after pancakes, we just spent most of the day outside, playing with jack, and doing some yard work. last evening we had a little fire and made mountain pies ( a.k.a. pudgie pies) for dinner. we had a couple of roasted marshmallows for jack. and we had a nice day just relaxing as a family. cade slept alot. here is a picture of the little bugger, who at a month weighs 10 pounds 9 ounces.


this will most likely be my last post until at least sunday, as i am headed off to king of prussia, pa, tomorrow for our annual conference. in case you don't know, john wesley, founder of the methodist church, thought it was absolutely essential that those who were in ministry stay closely connected with one another (this emphasis is still a strong emphasis in the united methodist church today, as i am constantly being evaluated by my superiors in terms of 'connectionalism'). one of the ways he proposed to keep that connection was to make sure that leaders got together at various times for what he called 'holy conferencing.' not just a convention or a religious meeting, but a time of holy conversation, led by the Holy Spirit. all of the regions of the united methodist church (which happen to be called 'conferences' - i work in the "Greater New Jersey Annual Conference") continue to meet yearly in these conferences. and so i will spend the next 4 days at conference, worshipping, discussing issues that are relevant to our conference (including theological issues and mundane ones), eating, celebrating, and being connected. and while that is great, it will mean that i am disconnected from all of you. unless i can find a computer somewhere....

finally, as i end this lengthy post, i wanted to share these collages with you this week, since trinity sunday is this coming sunday. i made these collages about a month ago, right around the time of cade's birth. they bear various symbols for me, but they are meant to, in some way, call to mind the trinity, and so i leave you with them. have a great week and i'll connect with you when i get back.

peace,

greg.
"father/red"
paper, paint and wax on wood
gregory a. milinovich
"son/orange"
paper, paint and wax on wood
gregory a. milinovich
"spirit/yellow"
paper, paint and wax on wood
gregory a. milinovich



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

great picture of the family! you have cute kids. i didn't realize how much Cade looks like Jack until this one.
Karen G.

Mary said...

I LOVE those three collages. They would look awesome lined up next to eachother on a wall. nice work brother :)

greg. said...

you think cade looks like jack? i don't really see it...

thanks, mary. they are hanging up in shannon's office, now, and they are lined up. that was how i designed them to be when i made them. glad you like them.