“And how can man die better than facing fearful odds.” — Horatius (the phrase ‘Romans on the Bridge’ is used to refer to a valiant defense against impossible odds)

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Tom Cruise quotes Horatius (above title)  in movie Oblivion    

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblivion_(2013_film)

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatius_Cocles#Later_uses_of_the_theme

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Tom Cruise is my favorite movie historian    (Cruise on Leonidas at Thermopylae

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonidas_I  ) 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQeKlL0fOaU

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Cruise’s Oblivion movie co-star —

Olga Kurylenko
Olga Kurylenko by Mikolaj Kirschke Wikipedia cropped.JPG

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http://onetheology.com/2013/04/29/discovering-desire-in-oblivion/

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In a sense, Harper’s quest is our quest. Inside all of us is a cry for something more. A desire that doesn’t find its fill in our world. Tom Cruise’s character asks the same questions we often ask ourselves, “Is this all there is?”

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The idea that says this world is all there is, just doesn’t line up with human experience. We yearn for something great. Our desires cry out for it. Oblivion is, unknowingly, a reflection of that search for truth.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/in-praise-of-hawaii-greatest-leader-curtis-piehu-iaukea-1855-1940-by-way-of-progeny-sydney-lehua-iaukea-born-1969/

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Sydney Lehua Iaukea

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlJpqnv5T08

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Go to timeclock   6:206:48   to experience the ontic of metaphysical purpose

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destiny reveals itself when fate finds Sydney.

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Sydney’s great-great-grandfather Curtis Piehu Iaukea 1855-1940 is Hawaii’s most extraordinary leader and statesman, yet unknown to kama’aina, not to mention malihini.

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Sydney’s own odyssey to self-actualization also is beyond compare.   Like her immensely gifted ancestor Curtis Piehu Iaukea, Sydney is today’s pathfinder in emotional maturity.   Thank you, ‘Ehu Kekahu, for featuring our contempo Piehu in Sydney Lehua Iaukea.

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http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520272040

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http://honoluluweekly.com/story-continued/2011/11/truth-seeker/

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Iaukea

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Piehu stood for our commoners, especially with Piehu’s formulation of home rule to our individual islands in 1905 via County governments.  

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Piehu himself participated actively via open elections (but at the territorial/federal level under D.C. Dept. of Interior  — only our non-voting Congressional delegate was elected by commoners), losing in an acrimonious re-election battle for Honolulu sheriff to Piehu’s deputy sheriff & upstart eventual 1st Democrat Congressional delegate Kanaka Billy Jarrett who was 22 yrs. Piehu’s junior. 

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Piehu was ever the composed & classy executive, in contrast to impetuous volatile firecracker Jarrett.  Turk Jarrett’s time bomb personality populism resonated with commoners, who saw elder leader/visionary man of equanimity Piehu as too passive & submissive.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/augustinian-meme-tear-down-the-wall-of-fearpretenseself-importance-no-not-from-reagans-1987-berlin-wall-crucible-but-from-pink-floyds-roger-waters-1979-the-wall-movie-tribute/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/love-hate-dynamic-of-mob-hysteria-in-praising-then-killing-jesus-all-within-a-weeks-time/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

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I write to live authentically — “having been” is the surest kind of being, per great sage Viktor Frankl

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/a-writers-life-list-listen-more-than-you-speak-engage-with-the-world-thats-where-ideas-come-from-ohh-so-true-these-are-where-ideas-manifest-beautifully-lori-nelson-spielman/

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Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness [the “now”] 

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and

overlooks

the full granaries of the past [reflective lookback] –

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wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys

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and also his sufferings.

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Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with.    

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[for example, I dream of being loved & wanted in the most beautiful way, & even if this dream is not reality, such thought/”unction” comprises my strength & “positive/right” attitude, even in the starkest moment of despair/seemingly hopeless predicament/state of nonexistence-nonbeing closest to death itself, having been forsaken all the way around   —

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which is why Jewish Viktor Frankl’s dream amid the Holocaust even when facing down the death chamber/firing squad was “the angels are in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”   Ohh, so true!!]

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I should say   ”having been”  is the surest kind of being.

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2782.Viktor_E_Frankl?page=2

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‘Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved –

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but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.’ “

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From “Logotherapy in a Nutshell”, an essay” Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

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The reality of life is the luck or unluck of the draw [a crapshoot]  —

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“fair” & “unfair” are nonexistent in life’s vocabulary —

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life “just is.”  

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Thence, how I deal with setbacks is the key to existence, not the external factual triggers [to despair/hopelessness of predicament].  

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/54285947.html

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In this gaping hole of despair & hopelessness of one’s predicament is a crushing emptiness and an aloneness that can make you lose your mind and a sadness that can make your heart question the wisdom and the relevance of continuing to beat — a sadness no person thinks one can bear alone.

On some days, very much to wish it would stop beating.

To die of unrequited love.  Van Gogh didn’t shoot himself in the head.   He shot himself in the heart. He saw reality so deeply and clearly, yet could not ultimately disconnect his heart [“be not of this world” — self-respect despite this indifferent and tragic sentient life] from this reality or the other people in it.

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Van Gogh died because, in the end, he could not differentiate himself [self-respect] from the Collective Unconscious [our indifferent & tragic lack of empathy/compassion in our broken/flawed sentient nature] into which he was compelled to wander.    

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My own epiphany, but I always was a wanderlust, dreaming of beautiful landscapes and never-seen places.   Last night I dreamed that my long ago deceased uncle from Kona [symbolizes the love which my ohana/kazuko progeny Minnie/Donna still have for me] showed me a breathtaking vista of a mountainscape ahead of us as we gazed from the seashore toward the distant horizon.    This “awesome dream come true” despite my 3 other Hilo family members having ignored me yesterday at McDonald’s in Hilo.    I could’ve unconsciously nightmared over forsaken-ness, but such did not manifest.    Wow!

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

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sharing grief puts a healing distance between us and the pain — this is why storytelling matters

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Share the suffering. The opportunity to tell the story of our suffering to a compassionate and skillful listener is helpful beyond measure. Simply in the telling and retelling, we begin to shift perspective, to put a healing distance between us and the pain.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/10174701.html

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Great journeys in emotional maturity are walked alone

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When another man’s life forces you to behold your own smallness, all you have to do is retro-narrate pathologized stories about him. Just like that, your world is a safer, happier place.

Your friends who are simply gone? You force me to behold, J.K., something I hate to think about:

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All great journeys in emotional maturity are ultimately walked alone.

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The archetypal picture here is probably Jesus, whose friends agreed to accompany him into the garden of Gethsemane that night to pray. Jesus is scared. Anxious. Asking God if there isn’t some other way. He looks to his friends for support and encouragement.

And they are sound asleep. And Jesus asks a rhetorical question into the silent night air: “Will no one stay awake with me?”

As a matter of fact, no. Tonight Jesus will suffer, and he will suffer alone.

How to maintain some sense of respect and optimism for humanity? I can only tell you what I do.

When I’m feeling low, when I’ve lost track of why I keep putting one foot in front of the other, when I am sick and tired of paying the price for living out values about which no one else appears to have much if any investment, when I can no longer argue with Protestant theologian John Calvin who used the word “depraved” to describe the essential nature of human beings …

… well, J.K., that’s when I think of people like you [who suffers alone in ennobled integrated fashion to care for his incapacitated wife].

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9380491.html

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Mystery surrounds deep connections we make with others [making friends with “Alone”]

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An old friend writes from far away. Oh, not that old. She’s 48. I mean we’ve been friends a long, long time.

There’s this bond between us. A connection. I felt it the first time we spoke, which is funny because the first thing she ever communicated to me was disdain. I was 23, so I reached into my repertoire for managing repartee with beautiful women and selected “boyish cockiness” for my retort.

When you’re 23 and male, boyish cockiness is pretty much the extent of your repertoire.

But that was it for us — bonded. A connection that has survived time together, protracted times apart, even years of no communication whatsoever. The friendship has survived love affairs — not with each other — marriages and becoming parents. We’ve been drunk together. And sober. It occurs to me that I’ve never seen her cry.

She was 20 when I met her. Once, on a whim, she sent me a picture of herself at age 5. I smiled. Somewhere inside myself I knew her then, too. Recognized her. In some alternative past, she and I played together in a sandbox (until she made me cry because she was so bossy). Like the bond between us contains secret passages that defy time and space.

She writes to me: “I get you, Steven Kalas.”

Her words strike me like thunder. Truly awestruck, like the way you fall into a spectacular sunset, or the way you stop breathing when you’re standing in a barn at 2 a.m. watching the birth of a calf. I’m focused in a point of time, staring at my monitor. It’s like she’s right here. Right now. I have a friend who gets me. She sees me. I jumble a few words and she says, “Oh yeah.” She not only understands, but understands why and how things matter to me.

Amen.

Then I have this other friend. Or did. Or thought I did. Could’ve sworn we were friends. Soul mates. Years we were friends. Across passion and victory and folly and failure. Across celebration and loss. This friend knows me. And doesn’t know me at all.

We’re not connected anymore.

And I know as much about why we’re no longer connected as I do why I’m still connected to the other friend. Which is to say I don’t know anything at all. And I’ve been railing against the disconnection, like, if I protest loudly and long enough, my erstwhile friend will snap out of it and be connected to me again.

I’ve decided to stop railing. Sad, yes. Probably sad forever. But pounding on it serves all the purpose of pounding on a grave. Why would I look for the living among the dead?

See, both connections and disconnections deserve the same responses. Awe. Respect for the mystery. Even I, a man who believes his gifts and his calling to be teaching people how to be in relationship — well, I can’t tell you much of anything about why some connections happen and some connections don’t happen and still others disintegrate.

The most terrible thing my therapist ever said to me was also the most important: “Steven, we’re alone. No one has anyone.”

Yikes-oi. (Sorry. This sort of thing happens when a GoyBoy tries to express himself forcefully in Yiddish.)

I hated what she said. Railed against it. Argued with it. She had thrown existential sand into the gas tank of my fine-tuned DeLorean of delusion. And my pricey car would go not one mile farther.

My therapist was right. And, as with every other time when she is right, it’s time for me to grow up. We’re alone. No one has anyone.

Strangely, this new truth, while initially a scalpel slashed across my chest without anesthetic, did not burden and depress me for long. Surrender to separateness and aloneness quickly began to create a new space in me. A space for … for …

… relief. A kind of peace. And, most precious, gratitude and humility. Relationship is a grace. A kind of miracle. Human communion emerges as a gift. An unmerited joy. Yes, there are ways of living more conducive to forging and maintaining lasting relationships than other ways of living. I’m not saying there’s nothing we can do. Just that, in the end, I no longer think I have earned or deserved the people who stand in the inner circle of my life.

I just give thanks.

We’re alone. No one has anyone.

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Human beings cannot be possessed. They cannot be apprehended. They can only be respected and enjoyed. Or respected and bid farewell. Relationship is mystery.

Who really sees you? Who gets you? If you need more than one hand to count those people, you are rich beyond your dreams.

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Individualism as ego overpride is not the solitary reflection of an authentic life   –

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http://www.lvrj.com/view/steven-kalas-we-are-individuals-in-consequential-relationships-162688016.html

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/culture-s-approach-to-suffering-only-prolongs-pain-129608658.html

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And, for those kinds of sufferings/losses that can never be entirely healed, to bear it. To find meaning in it.  To turn that suffering into some transformative work in the world.

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And the truth is this: The human journey includes suffering. No one comes to ask for help who isn’t suffering.

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But, here’s another truth: In any given time in your life, the number of people who actually, really, honestly want and

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are willing to grant you an engaged and healing audience for your suffering/loss  is      …     

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small!!     Or nonexistent!!    

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Even people who sincerely love and adore you might find themselves ambivalent about really engaging and listening to the part of you that suffers. See, the people around us have egos, too. Their egos mobilize to protect them just like your ego does. “Cheer up … get over it … God has a plan … everybody is doing the best he or she can … don’t cry” — the felt motive for these messages is to help you.

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But each of these messages also contains the anxiety of the messenger: 

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Please stop bothering and disturbing me by suffering.

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And that’s what most modern people do. They try to stop suffering. They “get over it.” They build layer upon layer of pretense and persona over their wounds, because it’s, well, the sociable thing to do. Most of us, then, suffer unconsciously. Because that’s the way we’ve been taught to suffer.

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/9146411.html

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Lots of people don’t want to be present to sadness — their own or anyone else’s.

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Other people would like to be present to their bereaved friends and family, but don’t know how.

We live in a culture where grief is treated as a disease to be “cured,” or a weakness cursed of shame or self-loathing.

Contrarily, grief is the holiest of human journeys.

One of my favorite Friedrich Nietzsche quotes is, “Everything holy requires a veil.” Now, modern Americans might think he means that we should keep things covered up because those things are shameful. Nope. He means that some things are so beautiful, so huge, so powerful, so naked, so intimate, that to gaze casually upon them would be injurious to their meaning and value. Injurious ultimately to us.

Grief is such a thing.

I concur with your observation that people around us are largely inept at befriending us in grief. Yet I also encourage people like you to remember to veil (protect and value) their grief. Keep the circle of confidants small. Pick two and no more than five people who will hear the depths of your pain.

There are two ways to read your question at the end. Literally you ask how you might numb the heartache. But I’m guessing you aren’t being literal. In fact, it’s not a question at all, is it? It reads more like an indignation. Like, how dare anyone ask you to numb the heartache! How dare the medical community suggest drugging your bereavement!

See, J.R., you know how precious your sadness is. A breathless, crushing burden, yes. But precious.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/alienation-i-dont-belong-and-estrangement-getting-dumped-because-i-dont-belong/

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alienation [I don’t belong] and estrangement [getting dumped because I don’t belong]

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Alienation & estrangement   –  the results of Loss  [e.g. getting dumped]  by your beloved  [lifemate/soulmate]   

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http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/kalas/_Retirement_leaves_time_for_pondering_self_relationships.html

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Question: What do all people seeking release from personal despair have in common?

Answer: They are suffering some combination of alienation and estrangement.

Alienation means a crisis of belonging. We are alien. We don’t belong.

Estrangement means the painful disruption of the bonds of relationship. Interpersonal injuries and injustices. To become estranged is to become a stranger to the one we love and by whom we are loved.

I’m saying your use of the word “misfit” sounds like a crisis of alienation and estrangement.

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27 Responses to “And how can man die better than facing fearful odds.” — Horatius (the phrase ‘Romans on the Bridge’ is used to refer to a valiant defense against impossible odds)

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  3. Pingback: Aquinas is equidistant to early church father Augustine 800 yrs. before Aquinas — and to us 800 yrs. after 1200 AD Aquinas — yet, nothing has changed in us — we still are as depraved today as we were when we crucified Jesus in our sensel

  4. Pingback: Aquinas is equidistant to early church father Augustine 800 yrs. before Aquinas — and to us 800 yrs. after 1200 AD Aquinas — yet, nothing has changed in us — we still are as depraved today as we were when we crucified Jesus in our sensel

  5. Pingback: Nothing has changed in us — we still are as depraved today as we were when we crucified Jesus in our senseless mob hysteria — Aquinas is equidistant to early church father Augustine 800 yrs. before Aquinas — and to us 800 yrs. after 1200

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  14. Pingback: Mind-blowing Jesus stands inexplicably before us, and Jesus turns common-sense ideas upside down, confounding us all! Dedicated to authentic Ri-in!! | Curtis Narimatsu

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