Wednesday, February 29, 2012

They lengthen shorter

It seems I should have known this, but the light does not move forward in even increments, until June 21, when it begins getting shorter, but not by even increments.  I suppose the scientists among us can explain.  That is not my bent.  I assumed evenness, regularity.  No.  I just watch the days grow longer. Probably they are even in some predictable way... just not even in the way I thought.

I watch the days lengthen
One day at a time
Almost three minutes a day
This time of year.
They lengthen less and less
As they come to summer.
The Sweet Williams in the front pots
Are still green.
Usually they do not overwinter here.
The sparrows sound different,
More chirpy.
It seems the ducks are off
On other errands.
No lady in red or denim.
Already the morning light
Angles different.
I watch the light lengthen
One day at a time
They lengthen shorter and shorter,
Until summer finally comes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


As I think about temperatures in the 40s and 50s this week, I find the thought of early spring appealing.  This morning I heard about the warblers coming through early.  That appealed as well... until I heard about the possibility of them starving to death.  So much depends on timing.  This morning I am praying for warblers and bugs and timing.

The thought of an early spring
Warmth and sun
Early crocus, daffodils
Even forsythia shining
Sooner than expected.
This morning I heard about
The possibility of an early warbler
They come through every year
At the same time,
A particular insect hatches
Just in time
To feed them.
This year they may not synch
With the insects.
An early spring appeals.
Trees filled with hungry warblers
Does not.
The air filled with particular insects
With no bird to eat them
Does not appeal
I so often forget:
Timing has so many

Monday, February 27, 2012

While I wait

This morning I wait to hear whether a second interview is in the works.  I wait to drive later this week.  It seems I always wait for the next thing.  Yet things continue to happen all around me.  

While I wait
For something to happen,
Things happen all around me.
I do not count them.
The black gorilla
Walks through the black and white uniformed
Focus on how many bounces
Of the ball,
They say.
The person
In the black gorilla suit
Goes entirely missing.
Unlike the gorilla film,
We don*t get do-overs.
There are black gorillas in the front yard.
They sit in the snow,
Play with the rabbits.
The black gorilla feeds the ducks
Across the way.
The lady in red or possibly blue
Has taken a vacation.
She has left her bags of corn
For the person
Who wears the gorilla suit.
I wait for the lady in red.
I think the ducks
Will never be fed.
While I wait
For something to happen,
Things happen all around me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Waiting for the train

I know there are many who go out of their way to avoid the trains on Main Street.  They have multiplied in number since another company bought the tracks.  Now it*s not just passenger trains, but seemingly endless freights.  It means more waiting these days.  There are lots of ways to wait.  Sometimes it means paying attention to those who wait with you.

The possibility of crocus
Brings longing for spring.
The homeless man next to the Prairie Path,
Layer on layer on layer
To keep him warm,
Still clearly
As he waits for the freight train
To pass,
As we wait for the freight train
To pass.
The man carries the longing
For the possibility
Of spring.
The days grow longer in hope.
The crocus sprouts
For spring.
All of us wait
longer hopeful days
For spring.
All of us wait for the train.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What it isn*t...

Lent, almost like Christmas,  has accrued its own oddities.  Whoever came up with all you can eat fried fish was probably a marketing genius. 

Lent is not
The Friday
All-you- can-eat fried fish
Even if it is
All cod.
Or Sunday off
To fulfill every chocolate
Before Monday comes
Even if it doesn*t count
In the number of days.
It is not 
forty days in a wilderness camp
With hot running water,
Sherpas who schlep everything
For us.

Ah the temptations
Mostly unnamed
In this wilderness,
Life with the wild beasts,

Even though

I am able this morning to pay attention to the small things.  I am able to name the wellness, come to terms with the way things are, see where God is alive among them.  All is well with my soul.

Even though it is Lent,
All is well with my soul.
The sun shines,
Glistens off the snow.
Rabbits live
Under the bushes
In front.
Even though it is Saturday,
The lady in red
Does not take a vacation.
She also spreads corn
For the ducks
On weekends.
The family sleeps;
They breathe warm in their beds.
Even though it is still
I am warm with coffee
In my favorite earthen mug.
My thumbs find the place
The handle broke off,
Rough where all
Used to be smooth.
Even though the handle
Is no longer present,
I remember it
In its absence.
It is Lent and Saturday,
Sunny and snowy and warm.
The family sleeps safe upstairs.
Rabbits and ducks live near.
My thumbs find the rough place
On my favorite cup.
All is well
With my soul.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February snow

This morning I am grateful for safe and warm and dry, looking at snow pictures out my window.  I am blessed.  Even as I look, I see the lady out back who feeds the ducks every winter morning, snow or not (and snow makes life more difficult for ducks).  I also know that snow makes life more difficult for those who have no regular safe and warm and dry as I do.  

From inside
It is gorgeous
White and thick.
From inside the warm and dry
I name it soft and fluffy
Even though I know
It isn*t.
From inside
I see the way
The snow lights up the world,
The morning.
I glimpse the lady
Again in red.
She stands in the middle
Of the ducks,
Flings corn.
From a distance
Even from a distance
The ducks look concerned
About their next meal.
From blessed inside
Warm dry inside
I note the light
The trees caked with frosting
I see it white and also wet.
There are many more than ducks
Who pray for warm and dry,
A quick melt,
No puddles,
The next meal spread
Before them.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Walk for short, drive for long

Often I do not figure out what I need to do or not do for Lent until Lent actually arrives.  Lent has now arrived.  I will blog in a separate space for Lent (  but because I am one person, Lent will most likely permeate this one as well.  Next week I will move back to driving myself (Yeah!), but I am also aware of what I have gained in walking places.  For Lent I will continue to walk those shorter distances, and drive the longer ones.

They say it will snow today.
We will see.
The duck lady across the way
Wears a red vest.
Perhaps she knows something
I don*t.
Perhaps she prepares for the winter
We have yet to really see.
Perhaps she has an extra supply
Of corn.
She waits for the snow.
Today I am home.
I savor my last week
Of chauffeured freedom.
After next week
I will maintain the freedom
To walk,
To see other walkers,
To note the time it takes
To go from point A
To point B,
To pay attention to the line
That connects
The two.
For Lent I will walk
For short,
For long.
Every day
I will walk for short.
Every day
I will drive for long.
Every day I will endeavor
To savor
The choice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Costume changes

Ash Wednesday.  First a client (no collar), then speaking dust in English and Spanish in the library (collar), and  now a job interview (no collar, and on third thought, no ashes).  Costume changes, but still the same underneath.  Dust, even shining gold dust.  Like everyone.

This has been a day
Of costume changes.
I feel like the child
Who goes through the dress-up closet
To find the right fairy princess
No tiara but still a day
Of costume changes.
I wash my face
Change out of the clerical collar
For the job interview.
I do not know what I will wear
For dinner.
It remains to be seen
Or in this case

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Late valentine to the chauffeur, for all the world to see

I come to an end of my time as only a passenger.  My beloved has been my chauffeur.  I am glad for the coming independence.  I am also grateful for morning and evening conversations, the ways we both point out particular birds or signs or possibilities, the talk of the day ahead, and the day behind.  Most of all I am glad for the talk.

No one sits in the front seat
With the chauffeur,
Plays footsie or alternatively
Comments on the odd street signs,
The way the clouds move,
The particular order
To the day ahead.
Shall I pick you up at 4:30?
He says.
4:30 is good,
She says.

No one kisses the chauffeur
Then waits to kiss him hello
When he returns.

No one that is,
But me,
Sits in the front seat
With the chauffeur without a hat
Plays handsie,
Waits to kiss him hello
When he returns.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Wow.  Last week a teenage girl from North Caroline ranted on Facebook about her parents. Then her father saw it, taped himself on YouTube reciting what she had said, and then shot her computer with nine hollow-point rounds.  Wow.  I have read many things which name what was going on here. The expressions include everything from horror to justification.  I suspect our personal experiences have something to do with our reactions.  It usually does.  Mine was closer to the horrified end, my daughter*s reaction, not as much.  I don*t pretend to know what this means.

I grew up
We grew up
With a gun in the house,
Carefully stored away
For possible protection
Against unknown intruders.
There were none.
I grew up
We all grew up
We knew guns were not meant
To kill anything.
The gun lived in my father*s
Bottom drawer
Cleaned and primed
Never aimed at anything
Or anyone
Except perhaps
A target on the range.
My mind tries to wrap around
The teen*s computer
Shot to death
By her father.
It was punishment
For misuse.
It was rage.
It was shot to death
By her father.
Nine exploding hollow-point bullets.
The computer was killed
Nine times over.
Perhaps it*s understandable
Where I grew up
The gun
Was kept in the bottom drawer
Under my father*s underwear.
It was never used to kill

Sunny with possible pancakes

It*s not even the official pancake day yet.  It is a day off from school, however.  It is sunny, bright, and now it*s time for pancakes.

The morning is bright
With sun and birds.
She chirps in the kitchen,
Begins to pour pancakes
To be sacrificed
To the gift of maple syrup
On the dining table altar,
The gift of maple syrup
Decanted from trees,
Cooked down
From the north woods
Of Wisconsin.
It came with a story.
The pancakes develop a story
Of their own,
Finally perfect brown,
Quite a story of their own.
The maple syrup
Waits on the table.
It is sunny today
With very possible pancakes
And syrup
Of course

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ready or not...

Maybe there are people who have it all figured out, who can name what they are doing or not doing for Lent long before Lent arrives.  Me?  I rarely know.  Some years I even figure it out after the fact.  I know people who give up chocolate or alcohol every year. I wonder if it makes a real difference other than: if I can*t have chocolate, it must be Lent.  

This year I am doing something a little different.  I am blogging Lent.  The priest part of me has a lot of ideas.  I have no idea how consistent it will be.  But there it is.  I expect it to start Ash Wednesday, maybe even Shrove Tuesday.  I expect it to last through Holy Week.  Then stop.  I have it set up as Consider this: Skip through Lent.   If it seems like a helpful thing, join me there too.  If not, I will still be here at:  All will be well.  Period.  Because no matter how we do or don*t do Lent, Easter still comes.  God continues Wonderful.

I am not quite ready
For Lent to begin.
I rarely am.
The post Ash Wednesday plan
Of what to do
Or not to do,
The different ways to think or be,
Or not,
The several ways to prepare
For the Crucifixion
The Resurrection
As if there is anything
That could truly acknowledge
Such things;
As if preparation
Was entirely possible.
I am not quite ready
For ashes,
For Lent to begin.
Of course every year
I never am.
Every year I need the kick-start
The Ash Wednesday deadline.
Every year I am reminded
This is about way more
Than an absence
Of chocolate.
Every year I wonder what God
Will offer next.
I am not really ready for Lent
To begin.
Not ready, I tell you,
Not ready.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Soon enough

Today is sunny and snowless.  I know the winter is not over.  I have discovered we live in a decent place for someone who needs to walk places.  Amenities (grocery, drug store, hardware store, train station... not to mention the library and Starbucks) are in easy walking distance.  When it snows?  Not so easy.  The temptation is to focus on spring, particularly in this unseasonable winter that masquerades as spring.  Soon enough I will be driving.  I will most likely lose the perspective of the walker, the perspective of the one who needs to be driven.  Maybe I will remember some pieces. Already it begins to fade.

Soon enough
I will be driving.
The streets will look less dark.
When it snows,
The uncleared sidewalks
Will give me no nevermind.
Now I know the property
No one claims.
Soon enough
I will not pick my way
To the library
To Starbucks
As I skirt
Humps of ice
On unclaimed sidewalks.
I will not be eye-level
With those who walk.
Soon enough I will
Be driving.

Now I walk street-level
With those I never used to see.
Each of us a different story.
We are more
Than a motley crew:
Like everyone else
Even those who drive.

Soon enough I will
Be driving
Soon enough it will be spring
Soon enough it will all
Be different.
Soon enough
It will all be
The same.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Miracle in blue

It doesn*t matter if anyone else names this a miracle.  It is small... yes.  Even tiny.  I name it a miracle.  God has gladdened my heart.  I am grateful.

Yesterday I saw the duck lady
Out back.
She wore denim
Blue yes blue
As she spread corn.
The ducks waited
Not so patiently
But the lady
She wore blue yesterday.
I had not seen her this winter.
Maybe she only wears red
Against the snow,
Like the cardinal against the pure white snow
Black branches
Posed for a picture of Christmas.
But the lady…
Back to the lady:
She wore blue.
I named the possibility
Of blue
Last week.
It is a small thing
A tiny thing
I know many wear denim jackets.
Perhaps I have seen her before
Without note
Wearing blue.
Yesterday the lady in red
Wore blue.
I saw her.
Yesterday she was a miracle
In blue.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lent for sale

This is the assignment I have before me this afternoon.  Write one or two paragraphs to describe the season of Lent: what it is, what it means, what possibilities await us.  Say it in a different way.  All I can say is: I*m sure it will be different.

The assignment:
Sum up Lent
In a paragraph or two.
Say it in a different way
Than usual.
Make it understandable
Make it appeal
To all who might read
The web page
The bulletin
The Lenten brochure.
Sum up Lent
In a paragraph
Or two.
I dare you.
I invite you.
I appeal to you.
All of Lent.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thin places

I really did google thin places as if there would be some sort of thin place directory.  There wasn*t.  I only found people arguing about its origins and who owned it.  I was looking for a map.  No map.  I knew my experience in Santa Fe was of a thin place.  But is it for everyone?  Probably not.  I list the responses I got from four separate Navaho about the Corn Dance.  I think about the Eucharist and our attempts to describe it.  Perhaps the only real answer is How was it for you?

While I wait to find out
About Iona,
I wonder if there is a map
Of the thin places
Of the world,
The places where heaven and earth
Or at least breathe
into each other.
Perhaps I can go
To one of them.
My research says
There is no common mind around
Who has ownership
Of the term
Thin places.
Certainly no map
I smelled heaven*s breath
When I stayed in Santa Fe,
The scent at morning*s arrival,
The thinner air,
Two coyotes passed me by
At dusk.
The indefinable Corn Dance:
No one would name its meaning
I don*t know
I*m not allowed to tell.
And finally
How was that for you?
What did it mean to you?
No one owns the thin place,
The meaning
Of the thin place.
There is no map.
I am told in Iona the air
Is thin.
Perhaps I will see
What it means to me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Waiting list

I added myself to the waiting list for a pilgrimage to Iona yesterday.  I have long wanted to go to Iona on pilgrimage.  In the midst of everything else, of all the uncertain things, it seems counter-intuitive somehow to be adding more things to my personal waiting list.  Shouldn*t I be doing something more productive?  Still, there is a lot worth waiting for.  I have also discovered such things will not be forced into being at particular times..  Oh yeah, that*s right.  I forgot again.

Some things are worth
Waiting for,
But really
How ironic
With the number of things that remain
On The List:
To add one more
By intention,
Give the credit card number
Just in case
Someone*s plans change,
Allow myself to hope and pray
This dream will come true
Without ill wishes to anyone else:
Only good things:
A family wedding,
A baby to be born,
Only good things,
A lovely turn of fate
For all involved
Including me.
I wait
Really I wait
For things to happen
As they are meant
To happen.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Time to focus on the ducks

Back before the blog I wrote about the ducks out back ... a lot.  They are still there every morning, part of the  morning landscape.  Because I have been paying attention to other things, I have not really seen them for awhile.  For quite awhile.  This morning: there they are again.

Time to focus on the ducks
Some are hunkered down
Across the way
Drop in their flight angled,
Land heel first
Do ducks have heels?
Land heel first
Skid on the creek
Duck waddle up the hill
Figure where the corn is
The perfect spot to hunker down
The spot the corn landed.
Most likely thrown
By the lady in red.
This year I only conjecture
She wears red.
Maybe this year it is someone
Entirely different
In blue.
I only see the ducks
This morning.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What counts as going to church?

I spent time with church people at church today, but I did not attend worship.  I know the rules.  I grew up in the Church.  If you skidded into the pew just before the Gospel, you*d made it in time.  This morning I went to two adult forums on politics and faith, taught by my husband.  I went to the annual meeting, voted, and balanced everything on my lap.  Did I go to church?  I read the lessons in the bulletin, and ate a meal with the congregation.  We balanced and ate our food, together.  We stood in line to fill our plates.  Did we go to church?  Did we all go to church?

I went to church today
But not
To Church.
I did not sit in the pew.
I bought tickets
For the fundraiser.
I found people who hang
Around the edges.
Some never sit in the pew
At all.
Well, hardly ever.
Any Sunday.
I drank too much coffee,
Listened to
The financial report,
Balanced food and annual report,
A bottle of water,
On my lap.
I did not go
To Church
But I did.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Urban Meadows

What are those things that bring us closer to health, closer to living more fully?  Today*s newspaper brought the story of a florist shop in Chicago which was created specifically to provide jobs for those with severe mental illness.  In warmer weather I garden.  It is no surprise to me that flowers may bring out the best in us, even grow us into fuller human beings.  Here is a link to the article:,0,5750000.story

She learns to stick with it
Longer and longer
As time goes on:
This woman who arranges flowers
For her life.
She has talent
Yet flowers
Give her reason
For living;
Flowers offer the entirety
Of what they are
To her arrangements,
Value displayed
In each arrangement.
There is little suspicion
From others
She has not arranged flowers
For hours and hours
Every day
For years upon years.
She learns to offer each arrangement
She has talent
The flowers fill more and more of the spaces
The voices filled.
Now she is filled more and more
With flowers.
She has talent
And flowers.

Creativity speaks to the presence of God

A middle of the nighter, this one.  Sometimes I get a one-liner that kicks me out of a warm bed.  There in the backyard the moon shines so white on the snow... it is simply simply stunning.

Speaks to the presence of God:
The voice that awakens
In the middle of the night.
The moon:
It shines even whiter
On new snow.
The voice:
It commands us to look,
To see
The sheer whiteness,
Not think of snow shovel,
But Moon and White and Snow
The voice that says
Look and know
In all combined:
This is the Presence of God,
The way it all connects.
I woke you up
So you could see,
My voice loud yet
Whisper soft,
So you could see Moon and White,
And Snow
See what I have done
So simple
So simple
I woke you up
So you could see
And Name Me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ecclesiastical Acts

This is the season of parochial reports.  Every parish needs to file a parochial report.  There are numbers which must to tallied, people counted. 
For those of us ordained folk without a parish, we need to name and number Ecclesiastical Acts.  Have we been out and about?  What have we been doing?  This is a good thing, I think.  But it seems that it might be a good exercise for all of us ordained folk, inside and outside parish ministry.  A good thing to report where we are, what was important last year, what are we looking forward to this year.  Maybe something along the lines of a Christmas letter so many used to write.

It is February again,
The time for all non-churched clergy
To report their activities
Of the past year.
We are invited
To fill out a form.
It asks for the naming of
Ecclesiastical Acts,
Where we did them.
They will not be part
Of any databank
Of ecclesiastical acts.
There is no definition even
Of the term.
We are supposed to know
What counts.
I have never known
What counts,
Even in my parish church days
I did not know what counted
I continue not to know.

I choose the letter format.
I can write what needs to be said.
The Bishop may read it.
What did I do last year?
What are my hopes and aspirations?
In the larger scheme of things:
What counts?
In the larger scheme of things
What deserves
To be highlighted?
What deserves
To be mentioned?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The trick is to love anyway

What*s to say?  It*s been quite a week.  I have learned some things about the way in which the brain works in my life, from neo-cortex to amygdala to neo-cortex to anterior cingulate (great names for great brain parts... see this link:  by way of longer explanation.  I have watched it illustrated in myself and others this week.  I have learned the trick is to love anyway, no matter what.  The trick is to stay engaged and love anyway.  Certainly not always easy, but sticking with it, no matter what it is until it reaches the empathy spot... that*s the ticket.

The trick
Is to stay engaged.
The trick is always
To stay engaged
For the long haul.
The trick
Is to watch the logical brain
Move to primitive response,
Maybe back to logical,
Then hopefully
Down to the source of empathy,
Allow mirror neurons to speak
To mirror neurons.
The trick
Is not to get stuck
In fight or flight
Or freeze
But to keep moving,
To stay engaged.
The trick
Is to love anyway
No matter where the other
Is stuck.
The trick is to notice the stuckness
And to stay
When all else fails
To notice
And notice
And notice
And love

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The world is a Petri dish

I don*t think it*s the flu, but almost everyone I know seems to have a cough, congestion and even dizziness. There is a bottle of hand sanitizer outside my office door for all the parents and teachers and children of the morning nursery school.  My son*s father is a tumor immunologist at NIH.  I can still ask him medical questions, if necessary, but now I am married to a political scientist.  The world being a Petri dish has taken on new dimensions.  It*s been a mild winter.  It seems like all the hand sanitizer in the world just won*t do it.

The verdict remains unknown:
Whether hand sanitizer,
Disinfectant wipes,
Make the world
A safer place
or merely
Don*t give our immune systems
Once we went to the local pond.
They had stocked it knee deep
In fish.
Every small boy had a fishing pole.
It was sunny and warm.
All the parents
Were lined up behind the boys
With buckets.
I sat next to the mother
Of my son*s friend.
She had the biggest bottle
Of hand sanitizer
I have ever seen.
She cleaned her son*s hands
After every fish.
The world is a Petri dish,
The whole blooming world.
The whole blooming stinking wonderful world
Is a Petri dish.
It is impossible to clean our hands
After every fish.
The world is a Petri dish.
It is impossible to know
What might grow.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Collected in the palm of God*s hand

This is in part my vision of Heaven: People and all the world hanging out in the palm of God*s hand.  Sure some are still hiding on the edges, but perhaps in time, perhaps in God*s time, we*ll all find our way to the crossing of the life line, and the heart line.

Once again I see disparate people
Collected in the palm
Of God*s hand.
The hand is calloused
From hard labor.
Forget all the cartoons
About the different rooms
In heaven,
The dividing walls that allow everyone
To stay safe in a home
Of their choosing.
Heaven is that hand outstretched,
Calloused from hard labor.
Disparate people:
They believe disparate things.
One hides in the shadow
Of the thumb,
Another hangs out
With the little finger.
A number have found the life line,
The heart line,
The places the lines come together,
Disparate people
Collected in the palm
Of God*s hand.


So many kinds of treatment seem to bear the stamp of common sense.  When has mindfulness not been a good idea... in therapy, in relationships?  It now has a fancy new name, and there are proponents lining the streets and giving workshops.  It seems to be the new magic penny, the treatment of the year.  Being present, as fully present as possible, continues to be vital in our work as therapists, in our work as clergy... really in our work being human.  In that, no one has a corner on the market.

Mindfulness seems to be
The treatment of the year
As if it sprung new and whole
Like cropped pants once known
As pedal pushers,
Half socks now
Now Knee highs
Mindfulness comes on the scene
With a new name:
Being present
Here and now,
Really present
Here and now.
Mindfulness claims
The treatment of the year award.
Workshops upon workshops
They teach us to be fully aware
To teach our clients
To be fully aware.
Mindfulness comes on the scene
Yet older
Way older
Than the hills.

Monday, February 6, 2012

When I let it out to breathe ordinary air

I have begun reading Awaken Your Senses: Exercises for Exploring the Wonder of God by J. Brent Bill and Beth A. Booram.  They are offering a contest and a challenge for the next five weeks.  This week involves paying attention to how the sense of taste enables a deeper understanding of God.  Join them and me this week.   I understand there are prizes.  Prizes are good (and fun).  This also seems a good pre-Lenten activity.

Many of us  
OK, I*ll admit it,
All too often
Engage in the practice
Of disconnection
From the world
From God
From self.
I am good at it.
When many of us
Have everything beautifully ordered
In my head
It usually enters chaos
When I let it out to breathe
Ordinary air.
It goes from tightly ordered
To anything but ordinary.

Connection swirls it around to be something
I barely recognize
When I let it out to breathe
Ordinary air
There is no telling
What might happen.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I regularly forget what I have known forever

Sometimes, caught up in what passes for adult living, I forget what I have known forever.  Sometimes all it takes to remember is watching a small child at church during coffee hour, secure and laughing behind his daddy*s legs.  Sometimes it still takes an hour or two, shoes and socks off, feet up, to remember. 

I regularly forget
What I have known forever.
Then I return home again
And again,
Sit and let my pores breathe,
Take off my socks and shoes.
I remember
What I have known forever:
The small child this morning
Hanging behind his daddy*s knees
Laughing with that small child
Then I remember
Back to days hanging behind
Daddy*s knees
Full out laughing
With abandon.
Regularly I forget
What I have really known
I forget until
I remember.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Waxing gibbous

Language is a funny thing.  I think our brains work to find the connections, everything with everything else.  I think they are meant to operate this way.  I think God made us this way, to see our connections, one with another, our infinite connections one with another.  Forget the six degrees of separation... that*s a lot.  No, we are all connected, here and now and forever.  You and me, the chief of the Kayapo people of Brazil, the new Brazilian president, and species heretofore unknown, and even the waxing gibbous moon.

I am back to the weather page                                             
On the web.
It is 36.7 degrees Fahrenheit
Where I live.
Apparently it feels
Like 34.
The moon
Is waxing gibbous.
Waxing gibbous…
It sounds like an animal
From the rain forest.
It lives in the trees of Brazil.
Even when I dally,
When I hide
On the weather page,
I am brought back
To less ordered,
Less safe topics.
This morning the moon
Waxes gibbous
On the weather page.
The thought of waxing gibbous
Returns me to the picture
Of the chief of the Kayapo tribe.
I see the chief.
He weeps for his people.
They will lose their home
When the river is dammed,
The rain forest is flooded.
They will lose their home
So the third largest hydroelectric plant
In the world
May bring progress.
Many species will also disappear.
Perhaps the waxing gibbous
Among them.

Friday, February 3, 2012

When I find it especially hard to keep still...

I don*t believe that God wishes any of us to be sick.  He doesn*t work that way.  Sometimes, though, it seems I am given things to tie me down, so I can hear Him/Her? breathing.  Today it*s a cold.

When I find it especially hard
To keep still,
I am given things
To tie me down.

The message seems to be
Don*t go gallivanting about.
Have a cup of tea.
Here*s a blanket.
Put your feet up.
I*ll just sit here,
Keep you company.
I will be so quiet
You will hardly know I*m here,
Unless of course
You keep really still.
Then you will hear me breathing.

When it is especially hard
To be still,
Like now,
I am invited to sit down.

When I don*t listen
I am given things to tie me down,
Like now.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I always recognize the mourning dove

Social media: I*m learning a new one.  I know I am way behind a number of folk.  I just got a new cell phone.  The last one was four years old.  It is a simple thing compared to most.  Still, it is a few generations beyond the last, so it takes figuring out.  I like the bird clock, the mourning dove that coos at 7 AM and 7 PM as long as the battery lasts.  Now I am learning how to use Twitter, and tweet.  I have no idea how long this will take me.  Still, it is important to learn new music as we go.

The bird clock
Offers a different bird
On the hour.
I always recognize
The mourning dove.
The challenge for me today
Is to figure out
How to twitter and tweet.
There is whole new vocabulary
No mourning dove, just
New etiquette,
New ways to sing, to warble,
Way more than twelve different birds
On the face of the clock.
When I learned Facebook,
I had to go back to kindergarten,
Ask people to be my friends
All over again.
It got easier
With time.
I always recognize
The mourning dove.
She sings her song at seven
In the morning,
Seven at night.
I always recognize her
Even as I learn the new birds
In my life
Way more that twelve different birds
On the face of the clock.

Today Jonah is my kin

I am glad the book of Jonah is contained in the Bible.  Jonah*s recalcitrance, his reluctance to follow what God would have him do, gives me hope.  On days when I know God has placed me where He wants me, and I have a better idea, which of course, is not better, Jonah gives me hope, even when I don*t see the way home.

Today Jonah
Is my kin,
My brother under the skin.
I sit under the plant
On the beach,
Look out to the sea
Under the plant
God has grown
To give me shade.
 I sit in sulk and sorrow and anger
Yes, anger.
People hear
What God wishes them to hear.
They hear a voice.  It sounds like mine
At my best.
They repent.
Yes, I admit it:
They repent.
I know the right response is
Awe at the beauty of it all.
I know the right thing to see
Is the graced beauty
Of it all.
Today Jonah is my kin,
Brother under the skin.
I watch the plant shrivel
As the worm chews.
There is no whale waiting
To swim me home.
No ship.