Friday, February 23, 2018

Lent

We wait
the way others waited
We help
to push aside the stone
to open the tomb
We too meet
him in the quiet
of our day,


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Revelation.

       My computer turned gray and then turned black. A sudden and heart rending condition that left me feeling at sea. I make an appointment at Apple’s Genus Bar for 11:30 and pace in front of Flannery ( the computer’s name) until it is my time to leave for the mall. An aside—I dislike malls.
      This, my second time at Apple in a week. The first time a kind member of their team diagnosed  Flannery and declared software the culprit—not hardware. Diagnosis—my system quit and the machine needed a new system which meant that my computer, save for the new system, is scrubbed clean.
      All my documents, applications, photos—gone unless saved in that amorphous cloud. Were all the little boxes checked for iCloud?  Had I saved all my documents to the external drive—Millie?
     It took four hours of waiting: waiting to be seen, waiting for my computer’s documents, applications, apps, and assorted sundry items to be transferred to my external drive.
    I walk both floors of the mall, up and down stairs, have a burger for lunch, people watch, check my watch, listen for a call, share a small frozen yogurt, and finally the call. I need to check that everything had been transferred. 
Then more wait time before Flannery returns to her perch on a small table. 
    Too many people roam around the mall, too many teenagers spend their time at malls, and how do some of those stores stay open. It’s impersonal opium for some people— I expect that not everyone agrees with my perception.
   Once home I realize that I still need  to spend hours putting things back on—even the printer needs to go through the hoops before it can print. 2687 photos had been stripped down to 28. The photos weren’t in the cloud nor on an external drive. Most were landscapes and macro photos. At first I blame myself for not looking in the photo folder. 
    After checking everywhere, behind each icon and bemoaning the loss of the  ocean photos I snapped on a cloudy day or the twenty photos of lupines I had an epiphany. 
   Clean slate. I remember how I meant to include info about each photo— where taken and a short descriptive fragment. Now was the time to start that process with new intentions. 
   Fortunately many of the people photos had been printed. They wait in a box for a permanent home.
   Clean slate. New Beginning. The shedding of the old way. Maybe I even can delete some of the many replications and become more selective. Did I really  need twenty photos of the same lupines?  
     I’m open to change.
   

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

77 degrees in February

                                Walden Pond
                                Concord, Massachusetts


 Children filled pails with sand and emptied them and filled them again. They swished the water with tree limbs and waded ankle deep
    A thin layer of ice melted leaving holes for the water to seep out
    Mothers shared their beach blankets with coolers and tote bags filled with  sandwiches and snacks
    Four boys cast their fishing rods into open water and waited for nibbles
   Walkers circled the pond, some sat on rocks, some settled down and read,a few brought sketch pads or journals—perhaps to record the day 




Tuesday, February 20, 2018

An Open Invitation

my bones warmed
by the sun
and temperature
beyond February’s
usual range
reminded me
that spring
always
appears
even when
it drags
some
winter—but
today winter
dipped into spring



Monday, February 19, 2018

Be Open to Change

     After the last shooting
     After seventeen dead in school
     After nothing is done
     Students rally

if the adults can’t get anything done
if the politicians can’t get anything done
if the gun lobby buys everyone off
and the adults act like children 
then the children need to take over
and tell it like it is—
they need to shout,stomp, stamp
their feet and demand change
and they are beginning 
they tell the truth
call out the politicians
who grumble
who argue
who offer prayers 
without feet
who accept gun money
who turn their backs
and simply offer
condolences

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Open and Shut Case

     My computer presented a gray screen and then turned black—India ink black—and then the screen flickered, shimmied, and grew unresponsive. I turned it off, waited a few moments until it lost its petulant exterior and turned it back on. As if to punish me it grudgingly started and immediately turned to gray.
     So I did what any one would do— put my laptop in its case and headed over to the geek group at the Apple Store. An exceedingly helpful computer expert turned on the recalcitrant machine and it performed slower than ever and proceeded to prove that it was ill. A diagnostic test was run and something on the software was corrupted. At this time it appears as if the hardware is still chugging on.
     I’ll be returning next Thursday with Flannery, the name of my machine, with both Flannery and an external hard drive. According to the expert they’ll strip her of her innards and then reboot her. This entire project is fraught with angst.
      I asked if there was any other way  to get her up and running. No. A simple no. “ You’re fortunate,” the computer expert said, “ that this is a software problem and not a hard drive problem.” And I am thankful that my hardworking and congenial hard drive continues to power on.
   

Saturday, February 17, 2018

It’s Not Enough



    And for me, that utterance may be given unto me,
    that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known
    the mystery of the gospel.
       Ephesians 6:19


it isn’t enough to tell the mystery 
if you live as if nothing’s true
just words, you need to live
the gospel, every time you
see anyone as less than, each
time you forget the hungry, or
when you forget the homeless
or when you deny others their beliefs
you deny the gospel—
the gospel changes lives
if i don’t see that 
your bold words
carry little weight







Friday, February 16, 2018

Live the Word

         ...God will open up to us a door
            for the word...
                    Colossians 4:3



and they invited God
to have a seat at the table 
to partake in the conversation

it’s hard, they said,  to speak 
of violence, of children 
dying by gunfire, it’s hard
to listen to the babble
of a people who don’t
listen to one another—
deep listening is hard

and God listened to their
anguish, heard their pleas
and reminded them that
they needed to do more
than read his word
they needed to live
the word in the world  


  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Intransigent

     not everyone is open to compromise even when  the choice between refusing to move a bit toward the center creates a dire situation for 800,000 young people who wait and wait to know what tomorrow looks like
     sometimes it’s necessary to take an absolute moral stand—but this is not about taking such a position—this is about demanding your way, about holding hostage to get what you want— this is about forgetting the other
     have we forgotten the stories of welcoming the stranger, of being open to the other
     have we forgotten that we or our parents or their parents or back to the first settlers were once strangers in this land
     have we lost our way, mired in a place where guns are worshipped, violence in the media is commonplace, where the alt-right gains followers, where racial and anti-semitic remarks are made too frequently, where people are demonized, where white is lionized, where discrimination against LGBTQ people is acceptable, where the rich get richer and the poor lose out, where too many people are homeless and we call hunger food insecurity instead of hunger
     have we lost our way 
     maybe we can begin finding a pathway back by welcoming the dreamers, by remembering that we were once strangers
     “ ...you know the soul of a stranger”  Rabbi Sacks 

     


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Indoor Botanical Garden

a fish shape emerges 
amid corkscrew tendrils
without a marker to reveal
the name or natural habitat
is this jonah’s whale 
will the wind howl
will the ocean churn
does this fish bare a message
will i be open to the words

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lesson on How to Atone

     
        O Lord, Open my lips,
        and my mouth will declare
        your praise

               Psalm 51:1

It’s time to clean up
change my ways
find those I dissed
and get it right
Walk right up to
those I ignored,
those I laughed at
and set it different
Find those I need
to say sorry
Loosen my tongue
let me set it right
and then just watch
me raise my arms
shake my hands
shimmy and shout
and offer you praise

Hallelujah 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Atone I

        O Lord, Open my lips,
        and my mouth will declare
        your praise
               Psalm 51:15


O Lord loosen what’s inside
hidden beneath the detritus
of time, of the everyday
Who can on their own
uncover, put to light
what they need
to before they
go forth


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Fellowship

Not everyone knows how to read
A few read words with a staccato
tempo while others stand mute—
spoken language too complex
They share their worship 
We sing the hymn they sing
How much does God love you
and they spread their fingers
inches apart and by the time
it is sung a third time 
the congregation opens
it’s arms as wide as possible
We are all God’s children





Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Realization

 Open the door
to possibilities,
to the unexpected
to having the world 
tilt, to discovering
the smell of a flower
the sound that the wind
makes when it surrounds
the cattails around the pond

Open the door

Friday, February 09, 2018

Of a Certain Age

I discover the I within—
dance to my  own melody
My feet trace the edges 
of the past 
I touch 
familiar ground
stare at exiled places
Time collapses
and I stand before
open memory


Thursday, February 08, 2018

A divinis

they stand 
in silence
wait
with bowed heads
until the music 
calls for voices
space opens
and they enter





Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Open vs Loose Words

my father loved words
their sounds when spoken
how they looked on a page
when he wrote a note
one letter sliding into the next—
each word, he said, plays a role
he knew arcane words, simple
words and those with complex
family histories and pedigrees—
he said to find the apt word
you need to soul search
words, he said, tell the truth
but sometimes people choose
words as a way to alter
or masquerade the truth 
when a politician says  
some people 
live with food insecurity
we mean that they
know how hunger tastes
to say food insecurity
camouflages the truth 
with loose words—





Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Open-Ended

     tomorrow the meteorologists predict snow,
     snow that turns into sleet and ice—
     before it ends unexpected events
     will happen and lives may change
     uncertainty follows behind us
     dragging stories 
     along with endings
     we can’t imagine
     we live in this moment
     we create our lives 
     from single moments
      single moments
      create our lives
       
       
    

     

Monday, February 05, 2018

I Too Stood at Sinai

     following an online art assignment i wrote out a page of exodus ( my choice of what to write ) and then turned the page upside down and continued copying exodus eighteen and half of nineteen  by writing in between the lines until letters merged and formed an unknown calligraphy
     then i superimposed a large hebrew aleph—a soundless letter—on top and added a light red wash to have it stand apart from the script letters 
     i posted it on the art group’s facebook page just after a page of shakespeare’s sonnets 
    the act of copying began by looking for something long enough and  turned into a meditation upon the words, a connection that drew me into the story, that set me down in another place and time until i became part of those who were in the wilderness—the more i copied and the slower i wrote the greater my sense of being brought into a holy place
     but i am not a sofer stam, a scribe of the torah, nor do i write on parchment, nor do i use a turkey feather, nor do i know how to create a crown to embellish some of the letters, nor do i test my pilot falcon pen by writing out the word amalek before i begin writing—i am just a wanderer in this open and holy space




Sunday, February 04, 2018

Preperations

Super Bowl List

purchase a just ripe avocado,
but not too soft
find the last bunch of cilantro—
not as crisp as i wanted
select a small lime—on sale
buy rubber banded green onions 
and one small non-fat Greek yogurt
munch on free cheddar cubes,
crackers and soft cheese,
as well as spicy crackers
buy store cooked roast beef
pass the pizza area and  select
a white pizza— warm it in store
microwave until the cheese
bubbles and the box gets soft
lost one glove
check my route
lost
divide the pizza in half
and eat in the car
Home and Open the computer
find a recipe on the Internet
for guacamole and make
a few changes, add more 
spices, forget to wash
the tablespoon of cilantro
add green onions and garlic
to the yogurt— top with pepper
prepare carrots, celery, and mushrooms
cut tomato slices and cheese
to ready for half time creation
of a panini roast beef sandwich
race down to the post office
to mail a postcard 
come home and take four
slices of rye bread out of 
the freezer to thaw
write one postcard
drive down to the PO
ready with two minutes to spare 
for a half hour of pre-game



Saturday, February 03, 2018

Open to the Spark of the Divine

         All the people saw the sounds and the flashes, 
         the sound of the shofar and the mountain smoking…
          (Exodus 20:18)



Imagine standing at Sinai
standing on firm ground
the feel of earth beneath your feet
a hard connection to place
You hear the whispers, a  woman
standing behind you tells her child
to hush, another says she’s thirsty
They wait and watch, listen and stare
although they cannot see what
happens on this mountain
Perhaps says one woman whose
body wears her years we will
get a glimpse, a quick hazy look
at God—just enough to desire 
Then they saw the sounds—
Each sound turned into a color,
an image, vivid as the child 
who clapped when seeing 
the color of words and the sound
of the shofar 
Imagine awe