Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

Thursday, July 08, 2021

UNHOUSED NIMBY

 So sad that people in San Francisco and the Bay Area complain about homeless but mightily resist low cost housing in their neighbourhood. Recently Livermore, CA and San Francisco’s Sunset District have loudly protested plans to build low cost housing in their areas.


Black and Hispanic men are the image of a homeless person. Racism keeps many from education, jobs and health care. Women, children and the elderly are also among the unhoused.


Expensive and luxurious apartments and condominiums are built but low cost housing is not. Even so called low income rents are often two thousand a month.


Serious Christians support low cost housing. People who live on the streets are hungry, cold, in physical danger, often sick and infirm. They are in the prison of having no shelter. Many have serious mental and emotional problems. Drugs and alcohol plague their lives.


Of course we need to feed the hungry with soup kitchens and free groceries. But only the government can help with providing food, health care and shelter to the vast number of unhoused people in our nation.


Followers of Jesus support all programs to heal the sick, feed the hungry and work for justice for all people.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

FOLLOWER NOT BELIEVER

 





I am More a Follower of Jesus than a Believer

    •       - Leah Forbes


The doctrines about Jesus’ life and history give me lots of trouble. Was he born of a virgin?

Did he walk on water? Did he raise Lazarus from the dead? Did he feed four or five thousand people? Was there an empty tomb? Was Jesus truly human and truly divine? Is he part of a trinity?


I regard the stories about Jesus life as story, myth and tradition. There is some historical evidence that he did exist in history. The stories have been part of my life since my birth, baptism, confirmation,Sunday School and upbringing in a Christian home.


I was challenged at New York University about the existence of God. Professor Sidney Hook, chair of the Philosophy Department, took us through the five arguments for the existence of God proclaimed by Thomas Aquinas, and then tore them to shreds.The seminary forced me to think deeply about my beliefs in the stories of Jesus.


What made me a follower of Jesus was clergy including my father who spoke and acted to feed the hungry, heal the sick and fight for justice for all. I made the connection between my religion and worship and the needs of the people of the world. I heard a white priest say it was ok if his little daughter married a black man. I heard a black priest cry with pain and frustration because he could not eat in restaurants or get a hotel room because of his skin color. I saw a priest deciding to become a therapist to aid the mentally and emotionally ill.


In 1952 I decided to become a priest because I saw that vocation as a vehicle for social change. I saw that as a follower of Jesus I had a responsibility to care for the world. 


The gospel stories of Jesus show him healing the sick, having little patience with fools, caring for the widows and women and little children who had no rights. The story shows how he fed 4 or 5 thousand people, believe it or not. He fed people. He told powerful, moving stories like the God Samaritan and the Prodigal Son, full of deep understanding of human nature and compassion. He spoke in challenging and ambiguous parables to make us think and ponder nature and human nature. He spoke of a coming time when healing and justice would imbue the world. It did not come in his lifetime as he had predicted. He had a strong connection to God as he understood it as a religious Jew of his time.


In worship and teaching we tell the rich stories of Jesus and their relevance to today. In worship we offer the context for a divine life, a sense of the sacred and holy and the deep mystery of life. With that depth, it becomes all the more important to care for  the people and the universe. In Eucharist we taste and see the human and divine in action.


I liked the stories and their impact on me and others. I soon tired of discussions of the truth or reality of the stories. I had little patience for the debates about doctrine and dogma, virgin birth, bodily resurrection, trinity, incarnation, eucharist and later the assumption, divine rights of kings and queens, infallibility and birth control, abortion, homosexuality and pre-marital sex.


Jesus was a man of love, compassion and peace.


I am more a follower of Jesus than a believer.


RWC

Saturday, March 27, 2021

HOT TUBS

 


Hot Tubs


Seeing women nude was the main reason I liked hot tubs. I loved the hot waters, even the sulfrous smell and the over all the body immersion in the hot water. The lure of naked women made the heat and immersion experience all the more delicious.

Nudity wears off. When we see naked people bathing even after an hour or two the sexual tension diminishes. So many breasts, pussy patches and smooth bottoms become part of the natural scene. Men’s bodies were often beautiful strong and smooth but never aroused me sexually. I liked to look but not touch. With women I always loved to look but only touched them when I was invited.


People who tried to have sex in the hot water often found erections hard to sustain and bodily juices lose their effectiveness.


The baths at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California was where I first sat in the hot springs there in 1965. As Esalen grew in fame and drew media attention, the hot tubs and Esalen became synonymous. Michael Murphy, funder of Esalen has said he wished Esalen did not have the baths. He probably felt they took away from the more serious aspects of he institute. Exploring the human potential, spirituality and the arts were the basic purposes of Esalen.


The hot water relaxes tension, physical pain and makes one sleepy. Mixed bathing in the tubs often produces interesting conversation and playful antics. I one saw Alan Ginsburg plunge is hairy body into a hot water tub and immediately jump into a tub of cold water. He did this several times. Perhaps it changed his consciousness. His antics made me laugh.


My friend Sherri had a round wooden hot tub in her back yard. It easily held eight people. A nude gang gathered for easy talk, ribald humor and warm flirtation. It is hard to keep secrets and hide emotions when one is naked with friends or even strangers.


The close physical connections between bathers made for easy touching kissing and caressing. Friends became lovers. Others became better friends. Clarity emerged when people were naked and in the tub. Do I really like her or him? Maybe it is time to move on from this relationship.


Having drinks and a good dinner became all the more interesting when we we removed our clothes and adjourned to the hot tub on a clear starry  evening. After an intimate time in the hot waters, crawling into bed and having sex with a beloved made a perfect end to the day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

CROMEY AND COOKING

My Cooking Life

The first thing I ever cooked was a fried egg. I cracked the egg and put it in a frying pan smeared with melted butter. Mom and dad cooked in the kitchen. I saw how they cooked eggs and copied them. One morning I did it on my own. I was 8. Also I could shake cereal into a bowl, slice a yellow banana and pour creamy milk in and eat it.

Mother and Grandma Cromey did the dinner cooking. Dad, brother Edwin and I joined in for dinner. I learned to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on white bread to take to the beach in summer. In high school, camp, and college I ate institutional food paying little attention to what went onto my plate or into my mouth, so long that it was plentiful. I liked to eat and ate mountains of food as a teen.

When Lillian and I married in 1952, she cooked and I washed dishes. She was a good conventional cook. Meat, potatoes, frozen or canned vegetables and puddings or jello for dessert. She made a really wonderful beef stew with potatoes and orange carrots. She did all the cooking for us and our three daughters. Attention to fresh foods, French, Italian and California cuisines were not popular or fashionable yet.

I was a divorced bachelor from 1970 to 1983 and continued to cook for myself, my daughters when they visited. I dated a number of women and I cooked for them. 

Judith Ets-Hokin came into my life and I learned from her about fresh replacing the canned and frozen vegetables I was using. She showed me how cooking fresh asparagus and broccoli was just as easy as opening a can or frozen packaged vegetables.Steaming vegetables seems like the healthiest  way to cook them. I replaced steak and chops almost every day with chicken and fish. She made zucchini flowers for me and other unusual foods. Sometime I just watched her cook in my home or hers and learned about chopping, slicing and dicing.

She also invited me to dinner parities where soup, salad, main course and dessert were served preceded by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Well prepared and elegant food was a natural part of her life. She went on to teach cooking classes, write cook books and even selling cookwares. I learned to appreciate good food and cooking just hanging around with her. The fact that we were ardent lovers did not hurt my attention to her fine cooking. I even attended one of her cooking classes where we learned to cook a veal ragout.

In 1983, Ann and I married. Early on I discovered she was a fine imaginative cook. She is a slow and patient cook turning out fine meals. She  worked full time as a high school English teacher. After a long day teaching, she took her time preparing meals. I wanted to eat earlier. We decided together that I would do the shopping and cooking as my schedule give me more time to do those chores. The fact that she was a wonderful lover made the transition smooth.

Ann was careful about what she ate as she wanted to remain slim and healthy. I quickly adapted her preferred  way of eating. We eat mostly chicken and fish, lots of grains, vegetables, salads and fruit. We eat lamb, an occasional steak or sausage. We also enjoy frozen Indian dinners. We sometimes send out for Chinese, Thai food and a pizza.

We used to entertain a lot with other couples or single friends and family. In recent years we usually order meals to be sent in when we entertain.

I love to read recipes printed in on line, newspapers and magazines. Some guys read the sport’s pages, I read the food section.

Cook books I find useful are Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, Julia Child’s The Way to Cook, Diana Henry’s A Bird in the Hand, Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, Jack Bishop’s Vegetables Every Day. Judy Wardell’s Thin Within taught us to eat until we are just satisfied. Sadly, we generally eat until just stuffed. We have an array of other cookbooks we dip into regularly. 

There was a time when I cooked using Rummertopf Clay Pots. They cooked whole chickens, leg of lamb Calypso and corned beef and cabbage beautifully. They were heavy and too hot to handle as I aged. 

My meals have become simpler and easier to put together. I like chicken that has been in a marinade and then sautéed, a vegetable and rice or a roasted yam. Marinaded lamb chops are delicious, pasta with smoked salmon, garlic, olive oil, lemon and capers is a favourite. Pasta pesto is an easy one.   

Asparagus, broccoli, snow peas, beets, and green string-beans are among our favourite vegetables.

I like to make soups. Borscht, vegetable and chicken and mushroom barley are on the list. Desserts now included strawberries, papaya, blueberries and of course my favourite, ice cream. We are not wild about cake but I do love apple pie. Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream is my absolute favourite.

I like cooking because it has a beginning, middle and end. As a pastor and therapist helping people and their problems often leave loose ends and incomplete results. Cooking calls for concentration, enjoyment and a good taste in the mouth and tummy when it is complete.  

SEX IN A PANDEMIC

 Sex During Virus Lock Down

For couples this is a good time to take a fresh look at your sex lives and practices. With more time together at home couples can make love more often. Perhaps try some new positions. Take more time in foreplay.
Talking about what you’d like your partner to do or not do. Touching too hard or too softly. Having a loving gentle non-judgmental chat about sex can be a delight.
How about giving each other a full body massage with a fragrant oil or skin cream? Take a bath or shower together. Just spend more time just cuddling in bed.
For people living alone. This will be a good time to remove your clothes and take a good look in a full length mirror at your body. What do you love about your body? Look deeply and enjoy its beauty. What don’t you like about it? What can you do to improve it. Lose weight, stop smoking, use more skin lotions or go to the gym.
This is a time when you might masturbate in leisure. Take a warm shower, relax, moisturise you body with lotion. Wash away any guilt feelings you might have. Then lie down, take your time touching yourself all over. Breathe deeply. Touch your penis or clitoris, slowly and gently and then proceed then to orgasm if you wish.
Alone in your own home, you may want to look at photos and books of nude, men and women alone or enjoying each other.
Viewing a porn film or video may enliven your erotic nature.
This is a special good time to enjoy your body and sexuality.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

90 YEARS OLD I AM

 Sunday, February 21, 2021


ON -  NINETY  - 90


I looked forward to being 90 and now here I am. I don’t see and clear goals for my future. I am not planning on becoming 100. Nagging pain in my back and left hip are a burden but manageable now. Chances are my eyesight, mind and balance will not improve. I plan to live fully each day, stay in the here and now and enjoy every moment I can. I enjoy looking back over my years and take pleasure in most of them.


I plan to stay healthy, keep my weight stable and eat enjoyably and sensibly. Staying home more is always pleasant as we have a lovely warm and comfortable home. We have wonderful colors on the walls, rugs, furniture and decorations that are pleasing and in good taste. Our home makes me happy and comfortable.


The key to good and healthy living is to be thankful for everything, especially for the unearned gifts - our bodies, brains, arms, legs, sex parts, sight, hearing, taste and touch and vision. Certainly we are thankful for our loved ones, friends, family, work, money, art, music and homes. I am thankful for our country, political stability and safety. Being thankful keeps us from the arrogant notion that we are owed anything or that we earned all we have. Some of us thank God for all our gifts.


The greatest unearned gift in my life is Ann. I did not earn or deserve her. We met and married about two years later. She loves and supports me. She showers me with kisses, affection and delicious sex. She tells me she feels like I am a gift to her. At my age I am above fortunate to have her as my wife, lover and companion. She is a grace, God free gift to me, undeserved and free. I am eternally grateful.


Friday, January 15, 2021

ON VIOLENCE

 


On Violence -  I was much more fearful of violence while DJT was resident president. He was Commander in Chief, could go to war, order the troops to do his will and had his finger on the trigger of weapons of mass destruction.


The current  explosions of violence will play itself out during after the inauguration of Biden. Violent groups are now limited in a few  states like Texas, Michagan and some others. There is little chance they will unite and form a real military force. The US military, FBI and CIA  under Biden will outsmart, undermine, and limit the violence perpetrators. I don’t see the vast majority of the DJT followers supporting mass violence. The middle will hold.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

REBEL JESUS

 

REBEL JESUS


All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

                  Jackson Browne