Sunday, May 31, 2015

Something else

After my first double seizure I introduced my beloved to my therapist, thinking I had no idea what was next, and perhaps the two of them might need to interact if this seizure-thing moved on to something else. What was this something else, you might ask? I had no idea. I still have no idea. That's what makes it a something else.

When I sit with you
I figure I must make the most
Of the money I am paying.
This seems to mean
I must fill the air
With the most words possible,
To get the most
Out of our fifty-five minutes.
This morning I wonder
About my beloved.
He says he would like to sit
In a corner of your office
Perhaps even on the floor
Watch the light
Come through the windows
Drink in the possible
Fifty-five minute stop
To the usual
Before moving on
To the next thing.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Different ways

I have written about green before. I just listened to On Being, an interview with Jean Vanier. A friend from school, a missionary who served in Guatemala, is now considering Tanzania as her next mission field. My daughter has the whole world at her feet, in her hands. They all feel green with growth. I admit to feeling green... in other ways.

I find myself envious:
Green with the experiences
Green with the opportunities
My friends face:
Mission fields beyond my capacities
Except for the experience
Of prayer,
The opportunity
To stand on the sidelines,
Cheer the possibilities,
Witness the realities
Of wider life
Beyond my own.
After all,
Isn’t this
What it’s all about?

There are different ways
To be green.
I tell myself
I proclaim
There are different ways
To be green

Friday, May 29, 2015

The morning holds

Every other Friday a woman arrives to help us begin again with a clean(er) home. While I am not an early morning person, when I do get up early, I appreciate it... eventually.

The morning holds
So much
To awaken to:
The cat asleep on the bed upstairs;
The family on the road somewhere
Between here and Ohio;
The woman who helps us
Begin again
With clean floors,
Clean surfaces;
The false blue indigo,
Curling in the clear glass vase;
It seems wrong to name it
This morning holds so much
To consider:
The hum of the air conditioner
So many people
To pray for,
People on so many roads:
May they all arrive at the next place
May they all find home
Oh yes
Me too.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Yes, I worked out this morning. On my way out of the parking lot, I saw a monarch. Made my day. Both of us flew on.

The first monarch of the year.
I’m sure it was a monarch
Not a viceroy.
He or she sought
Possible milkweed
In the sculpted landscape
Of the fitness center.
He or she flew on.
So did I.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Morning thought

Listened to Fresh Air yesterday, with Terri interviewing a brain surgeon. I admit to ongoing interest in the brain. My fun fact for the day was that the brain requires a ton of blood to operate. Of course it does.

I wonder if
At night
The brain still requires
A quarter of the blood
The heart pumps;
Or if maybe
The rest of the body
Is able to store up
More blood at night.
I know
It probably doesn’t work that way
This is just me wondering
In the morning
With a brain
Pulling new blood
And a cup of hot coffee.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

We each have our own interpretation of days such as this. Each of us with our own memories, our own interpretations. No right. No wrong.

This is a day for
Remembering, oh so much,
Each one to her own.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pentecost efficient

So many ways to define efficiency. We are still wearing our red. though now a nap break has overtaken us. Still...we feel efficient. Who else has run the same car (red!) through two different car washes before one in the afternoon. Yes... I know there are more expedient ways to do this. But still...look at all the time left in this day?

We managed to wear red today,
Make it to a middle service,
Have four good conversations,
Fill up the gas tank,
Get the car washed,
Order and eat breakfast,
Get the car washed again,
Then home before one.
We are feeling efficient:
Pentecost efficient.
Holy Spirit efficient.
Here we are at home,
Just after one.
We consider
What’s next.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hear me out

Hmm. I had settled into a potential two seizures per year. Not bad, I thought. Not bad. Particularly with a one or two hour lead-in. I can list a wealth of potential triggers. Hear me out, says the neurologist, Hear me out.

Hear me out,
I say to the brain doctor.
Hear me out,
He replies.

Both of us,
The idea,
Is to have
No seizures at all.
The idea is to live in the world
As it is
Barometric pressure
And lighting

Hear me out,
He says.
Hear me out,
I say.

I do.
He does.
I figure,
Like all doctors,
His goal is for me
To live forever,
Even perhaps,
Dancing in the rain.

Friday, May 22, 2015

God's ideas

Wow. What a morning. So much in bits and pieces. Then there are the lilies of the valley, the stray white violets, more columbine in front. All God's ideas. God spreads them out in places I least expect. I remember the free haircut lady from Wednesday.

The messages:
They come
In whole:
In bits and pieces.
The messages:
Some are cause for joy
Some require time
On the knees,
Then more time
On the knees
Before getting up,
Getting dressed,
Noting the lilies of the valley
Spread behind the peonies
Behind the garage;
Noting the wild strawberries,
The white violets
All unplanted by me;
God’s idea it seems.
God has good ideas
Sometimes it’s important
To find them
Even when they hide
Behind the garage.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Free haircut redux

Sometimes, no often, the holy is found in such exchanges. This was the real thing.

This was the real thing.
No dream with lines of past clergy friends
Waiting for their free haircut.
Only me
On a very real, chilly day
Taking my wallet out to pay

Clergy are free,
She says.

That’s not necessary
I say.

She says,
Clergy are free.

Thank you,
I say.
I tip her.

That’s not necessary,
She says.

Yes it is,
I say.

Thank you,
She says.
Don’t wait so long
To get your hair cut
Next time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Five minutes now, then out the door.

And so this morning
In exactly fifteen minutes
I will leave to drive
To my familiar Wednesday place
On familiar Wednesday roads.
The light is not too much
Nor is it
Too little.
I must pay attention
To such things
These days.
And so
In eleven minutes now
I will leave to drive
My familiar car
On familiar Wednesday roads.
This is what it is
I am grateful for this beginning return
In nine minutes now.

Monday, May 18, 2015

They return

I am a mother and a wife and a priest and a therapist, among many other things. I watch people come and go. I come and go. So much happens in the unseen places. Every now and then someone returns and I glimpse the work that's happened in between... unseen.

So much happens
Then they return
To leave again.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

We wait

Some times feel more full than others. I am grateful for this fullness.

I awake with the utter reality
The certainty
The authenticity of those
With whom I spent the week:
Driving back and forth
Texting single words and phrases
Caring over miles and miles.
Here I am with the cat
In our calm,
Waiting for the plane to land,
The cab to be taken,
The feet to walk through
The front door
To me and the cat
The cardinal singing its heart out
In the back yard.
Here we are in our utter realness
Our certainty
Our authenticity
Waiting to greet you
In yours.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Follow the dreams

This morning I slept and woke and slept and woke. I remember a number of dreams: Little girls in colorful patchwork dresses sitting in my office at church. Past classmates who have come to me for therapy. And others. Today I follow the dreams. They are sufficient.

Today I follow the dreams.
They people my head
With those long gone
Or going
Or simply dancing
In my office.
I slept in
This morning,
And woke,
And slept,
And woke.
The cat stood next to the bed,
Blinked at me,
Then accompanied me downstairs.
Today is a day for dreams.
No more input
Is required.
I will work with what has come.
It is sufficient
And even more
Than sufficient.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Free haircuts

In the morning space, I dreamed of getting my hair cut at the salon across the street. I've been told clergy get free haircuts there. In my dream I went in and all my clergy colleagues were waiting for their haircuts

In the morning space
I dreamed the list
Of things to do,
Even added some.
The possible haircut became
A gathering of all the clergy
I have known
Waiting for their free haircuts
Across the way.
I wondered how this business
Made any money;
All the chairs were filled
With waiting clergy
Across the way.
Then I woke up
And began the list again.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Instead of going back to sleep

Amazing how much clearer the world appears when I do not turn over and go back to sleep. My usual Wednesday morning routine is different this week. I do not have my usual 9 AM appointment because I have no way to get there. My daughter is gone now. Instead of going back to sleep, it's me and the cat... in the sun.

Instead of going back to sleep,
I get up.
The morning is crisp.
I accompany the daughter
Before the cab arrives.
Instead of going back to sleep
I write this.
My head is clear.
The daughter is now gone.
The sun shines.
Instead of going back to sleep
I have three un-programmed hours
To accompany the cat.
He is grateful.
Three hours
To be whelmed in the sun.
Instead of going back to sleep
I am gracefully awake
Whelmed in the sun
Accompanying the cat
Just the two of us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Not right

I think...some day I may handle all of this with more grace. Of course some days are better than others. 

On the other side of the world:
Another earthquake.
It seems
Not right:
Two earthquakes
Within three weeks of one another
Not right
As if even one
Is right.
On this side of the world
My friend tells me
She has planted six birch trees
On her lawn
They remind her of the presence
Of God.
On this side of the world
I cannot drive for now
So others drive for me.
These things are not right or wrong
They simply are:
Like earthquakes.
Like birch trees.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Oh thank God

I awakened this morning with a slightly clearer head. To help it along, it feels I was gifted with a cancellation of the first scheduled thing for today. Now the cat and I... we are in our respective cozy places. Oh thank God.

Oh thank God
You subtracted the first scheduled thing
From my day.
Now there is room
For another cup of coffee,
Space to consider
Unscheduled things
Time to calm
The squalling cat
Oh thank God
There is room to warm my hands
On my favorite mug
With the broken handle.
Oh thank God
It is Monday
And the first scheduled thing
Is now
At 6 PM.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Frozen blueberries

I woke up with more humor this morning. I am grateful.

The ten pounds
Of frozen blueberries
Arrived during Spanish class
Last week:
Berries azules.
I divided them
Into twenty manageable bags
Of two cups each.
This morning the Groupon offer arrives
For twenty units of Botox.
I know what to do
With the blueberries.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

No words

I have not written in the last couple of days because no words have come. So I wait.

I would like to write
But it seems there are no words
For this. No words. None.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tut tut

Ah yes... the barometer brain is back in operation. Spring

Tut tut it looks like rain
The barometer in my brain
Says it’s coming
The red wings out back
Sing its arrival
Any minute now
The crab apple is pinker
Than it’s ever been
It feels like rain
The barometer
In my brain says
Any second now
It will be wetter
Than it was.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

North Dakota Day

My heritage.

My father was born
In North Dakota.
My beloved spent a year
In Fargo.
Being a definite outsider
He found it strange
Chickpeas were found
In the exotic food aisle.
No one liked when he made coffee
For his department.
He added way too many
Extra scoops
To fix the usual pale concoction.
Returning to my roots
(It seems)
I made the coffee weak.
I don’t usually do this.
I declare today
North Dakota Day.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Closer to glory

You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.

From Easter Exultet in James Broughten, Little Sermons of the Big Joy (now, unfortunately, out of print, but widely quoted)

This is not mine
But I wish it were oh how
I wish it were.