Friday, August 21, 2009

I am of "The Accepted Way". Join me.

(image from here)

As readers of this blog know, I own and operate a Greek restaurant in Henderson, Nevada with my brothers Constantine and Ioannis.

Today my youngest brother and I talked at work as we always do. We talked about all the usual things that brothers may be expected to talk about at work.

He and I were putting the finishing touches on our set up of the restaurant just after 10:00 a.m. which is our showtime.

Usually between opening time and 11:30 a.m. is a lot of down time. Anticipating the action of serving the larger crowd after 11:30 produces a sort of quickened thinking and nervousness, much like what is experienced before game time or going on stage or before combat. This time is marked by conversation punctuated with short undemanding exchanges of words. Experience has taught all of us brothers and our crew that each of us is preparing to deal with the day in his own way. We tend to adopt a stoic disposition for the waiting of the action to begin and roll over us.

On most Fridays, as today, Ioannis and I are alone in the front until 12:30 p.m. when our other brother Constantine arrives to take his place on the line.

On this particular day Ioannis told me that some old friends of his and Constantine's from high school were in town. These friends whom I shall call Lance, who Constantine and Ioannis went to school with and Emily, who he married after high school, are also my friends by extension and I feel warmth towards them on many levels.

Lance and Emily have become fairly successful artists and at one point in their careers left for New York City. Living several years there and after having children, they moved to Los Angeles.

During this time in Los Angeles is when I and my brothers at different points returned to the Church. Lance and Emily have no spiritual leanings of dogmatic nature and a vague "every body's cool" notion is their general stance towards pretty much everything including religion.

Now Constantine and Ioannis are much closer to them and as my brothers began taking their spiritual life seriously, they underwent many changes including their topic of conversation at any given time involved matters of the Church and of faith and these innocently became second nature to them.

Lance and Emily are not too crazy about this and when pressed apologetically by my brothers in the past about perhaps believing in Christ were afraid that the title "Christian" should ever be attached to them.

Ioannis is an artist in his own right as well. Not long ago Emily gave him one of her pieces which Ioannis loved. Her piece was done with love and given to him with love. In gratitude Ioannis had for some time wished to as well give them one of his pieces but self consciously vacillated which one to give because he felt that none were good enough for the caliber of the art his friends produced.

He saw them last night and presented to them one of his pieces.

Several weeks ago Ioannis told me about his dilemma about wishing to present them with one of his pieces and his fear about which one. I saw one that really caught my eye and in excitement exclaimed "That's the one! If you don't give them this one I want it and will pay for it and will not accept it for free as you have given me some of your work for free before."

The piece I was excited about is the one he presented to them last night.

He and Lance and Emily caught up with their respective lives and they told Ioannis about the recent art show they attended and participated in with some of their own work, "The Blab Show!, Los Angeles" and they showed him samples of the work to be found there. The painting shown on this post is the one that adorned the show and was the show's theme. The show itself was named "The Apocalypse".

It struck me a bit that a show with this theme and this particular piece as it's official piece should not in any way be thought of as evil, satanic or wrong in any way. "The Apocalypse" and this piece just simply were what this particular show was about in a very casual manner much as the sky just happens to be blue. Lance and Emily ribbed my brother with the piece in a good natured way, "Oh, you're a Christian, isn't this evil? Ha ha."

It just makes me think some is all. Evil is not at all anymore some nefarious being holding a human child. Evil is actually thinking there is evil. Nice. The reversal is so subtle and low key.

I remember several years ago being angry with our older generation of persons in their 60's and 70's for not holding the tradition which had been in their generation when they made their mark in the world. I remember cringing to see men wearing earrings that were newly pierced showing thier solidarity with the age of today. Much the same way it bothered me to see fresh tattoos on the men and women in this age group. I just thought that they should know better, they should have because of their advanced age and wisdom have known better.

Somehow I expected that this generation that had been closer to the struggle of the Second World War and the ethos of that day, which I had thought of as somehow being purer than the ethos of our own day, to rise up and look on with disdain upon the rampant tattooing, piercing and the feminization of our men and the masculanization of our women.

But there was no voice of dissent.

And then I began to understand the Mystery of Iniquity.

It is not a sudden assault on the bulwark of tradtion but rather the slow acquiescing of those who hold any tradition within the larger masses who eagerly lick up like dogs whatever is currently fashionable and accepted and attach themselves to The Accepted Way because to not be of this way is unacceptable. choice of words, forbid, to not be of The Accepted Way.

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