Cromey Online

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The Palestinian murderers of the Rabbis in Israel have been summarily executed at the scene of the crime. Then the Israeli government ordered the homes of the murderers to be destroyed leaving wives, children and elderly people homeless now. This cruel vengeful terrorist action is presumably to stop so-called terrorism. Creating more homeless people, creating chaos and contributing to the already beleaguered people are not the answer to intractable problems of Israel and the Palestinians

Olive Kitteridge
by Elizabeth Strout
Random House (Paperback) 2008.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
A wonderful book about a strong conflicted woman living in Maine demonstrates the complexity of human behavior and spirit. Olive may be of a mixed race and is so good and so awful all at the same time.  Her color is darker than most and her character equally mixed. She is so dense and yet so insightful that this reader was constantly bewildered and delighted by her.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


The horrific attack this week on Israeli Rabbis in their synagogue by Palestinian murderers is abhorrent to me, to Israelis, Palestinians and all people who care about peace and justice. Mutual vengeance is the easy solution many think. We all know it doesn’t work to bring peace to all. Solving the problems of hunger, housing and equal justice for all is the way, the truth and the life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


1. Surely it can’t be true that the only democracy in the Mideast punishes people before they are convicted. Is Israel going to act like brutal dictators by demolishing homes of suspected attackers? Certainly, endangering Israeli lives and property is evil. The democratic way is to try suspects and, if found guilty, punish them and not the wives, children and elderly. The Israeli government’s policy of destroying the homes of only suspected criminals creates more bitterness and hatred. There are more humane democratic policies to deal with lawbreakers.

2. Americanah
Chimanda Ngozi Adichie
Anchor Books, 2013

The author writes of racism in the US, England and in Nigeria where she was born and raised. It is linked together with a haunting love story full of pain and surprising. Many characters men and women reflect on life for black people in these three cultures. Adichie use humor and irony to make her points, She uses her successful blog as a tool for commenting n the many forms of racism encountered by black people. Her long discussion of black women’s hair, language and coupling were all new to me.
It is a long sometimes funny, painful and clever book that kept me enthralled.

3. Coming into Church
Here are some suggestions for entering the church.
Greet friends, put food in the kitchen if your group is up. Take a seat, sit quietly and say a prayer, perhaps the Lord’s Prayer. Listen to the organ prelude and prepare yourself for worship. Follow along with the service bulletin. Sometimes it is a good idea just to watch the actions of the clergy and acolytes as they swing the incense and watch and smell the incense smoke as a it rises to the ceiling. Let that sight lift us into God’s presence. Listen to the words of the priest and readers as they say the sacred words of the text. Listen to understand. Sometimes just listen to the sounds as they waft through the church. In worship we use our minds and intelligence and also our senses of smell, seeing - colors, architecture, windows and always the people. We use our hearing for the music and words offered in worship. In worship we can just open ourselves to the mystical presence of the Creator.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


The Cane

I have put my cane out so I remember to take it when I leave the house this morning. Despite the new balance exercises, I still feel uncertain on my feet especially in public. Falling is letting go, losing balance and grip. Falling is a sign of helplessness and the eventuality of even more dependence on others. Death is the finally letting go. Many people are drugged, in coma or unconscious when they slip into death. Some die in fatal accidents, but others may be conscious enough when very ill to just let go. Good caregivers can tell a patient it is OK to let go. On these happy thoughts I am now going swimming.

I used the cane the other day when I visited the Fromm class to visit Ann. AS I went up the steps, a gentleman of my age held the door open for me. Very nice. I note that I actually do walk a bit faster with the cane in hand. I feel more steady and confident.

As I have aged I notice women don’t look at me the way the used to. Now with the cane they look at me with care and pity. Well maybe not pity. Clearly I am no longer an attractive dude with a gleam in my eye. The gleam is still there but the look of an 83 year old with a cane is not exactly seductive. Emi, Ann’s niece, used to call me frisky. I like that and I still am.

Walking along 24th Street I saw some people being cautious around me. Other louts sped past, narrowly missing me as they jostled past chatting and laughing and then looking at their cell phones.

I mistakenly left the cane in the car when I got home yesterday afternoon. It seems like a good idea as I mostly use it when I get out of the car.

I adopted the cane as a way of surrendering to the power of gravity.