Archive | September, 2019


30 Sep

I’m not sure which way the wind
will blow today, but it doesn’t matter.
I will stretch out on a friendly current and
ride into the NeverBefore, a place
uncharted, off the common map
where nothing is right
and nothing is wrong
and everything is possible.

Would you like to go, too?
No ticket required.
No plan allowed.
Just a willingness to discover and
the ability to say

Hard Decisions

26 Sep

Today hard decisions are going to be made.
I may not make any, and maybe you won’t either.

But somebody will agonize over a decision about
divorce and breaking up a family.
And someone will tremble in fear about chemotherapy
and what that means.

And parents will lay in bed holding hands and wondering
where their 14-year-old child is at this time of the morning.
And a middle-aged woman will wonder how many more
days she can carry the shame of something that never
should have been done.

A 16-year-old boy will sit on his bed and look at a bottle
of pills on the bedside table and wonder what he’s done
to be so unloved.

There is more suffering around the corner and up the street
than you and I can imagine.  No one is exempt.  Seems like
everybody is about two steps away from an unbearable load.

While comfort won’t solve the problems, compassion doesn’t
cost anything except some time, and you’ve got some of that,
don’t you?

Today some folks we know are going to make some hard
decisions.  To the extent that we can, you and I ought to
be part of the equation as light and as love, in prayer
and in presence.

The load is a bit easier to carry and the hard decisions
a little less painful with a friend.

Spirit Life

25 Sep


Hospitality takes many forms.
She sits on the porch to welcome friends
and strangers to the home.
But her expression never changes,
once bright flowers fade in the hot sun.
Where is the life, the genuineness?
The animation of Spirit?

Today, in all my contacts with people,
I will remember that a hospitable
spirit is one energized by

In my speaking and in my listening,
in my working and in my resting,
in the heat of conflict and the joy of cooperation,
in every turn in the road today,
animate me, Ever Present One.
Live in and through me.
May it be so.

Spirit Dancing

23 Sep

Through eyes just opening to see first light,

the Spirit looks out upon the world

In the song of the dove calling her mate,

the Spirit sings to all who greet the day.

In the hands of one who comforts the sick, tending, caring,

the Spirit flows from one to another,

blessing in the new day.

Wind and stones,

Wild animals that share the earth,

Neighbor known and neighbor unknown

A smile

An embrace

A kiss,

Soft morning light on the mountain,

a single breath drawn into the uniqeness of my body,

formless Spirit, beat of my heart,

dance with me today,

dance with me.

A Day In The Life Of A Sorcerer

17 Sep

A sorcerer’s life, in this day and time,
is not what it used to be.
I’ve razzled and dazzled and conjured up spells,
made an elephant swing from a tree by his tail:
what a marvelous thing to see!

The people applauded when smoke and quick hands
produced an illusion divine.
They brought me their wealth, paid me in gold,
hounded me daily and begged to be told
the secrets of my line.

I once was a god, but not anymore
since Peter and John came to town.
They’ve turned all the people against my routines
by showing a power beyond any seen.
My business has surely gone down.

Perhaps if I said I believed what they taught
they’d count me as one of their own.
Then I’d offer a deal they couldn’t refuse,
for some of their magic I’d happily choose
to join up, not go it alone.

What a team we would make as we captured the crowds
with sorcery, potions and spells.
Our wealth would increase, our fame widely spread;
we’d offer a franchise for those who felt led
to practice the art and the sell.

“Dear Peter, my friend, I’ve a question to pose
about the power you wield.
If I were to offer a dracma or two
would I be able to do what you do?
Can I get in on this deal?

“Hold on there, Peter.  You’ve no right to say
such arrogant things to me.
We’re both in the business of pleasing the crowd;
we both use our tricks and whatever’s allowed
for all the people to see.

“I’m bitter, you think?  Well, maybe that’s true;
I envy all that I see.
You seem so assured, incredibly strong,
while deep inside me there’s something so wrong.
Maybe the trick is on me.”

(Reflection on Acts 8)

Thank You Note

12 Sep

My Dear Friend,

What a remarkable gift I have received from you.
It is so infrequent that the gift given
matches so beautifully the need
of the moment.
Yours did.

The pathway for several months has been ill-defined,
so few signposts along the way.  My roadmap
blew away with the strong winds of
disappointment and doubt.  The
brilliant blue skies of the past
turned to muddy, gray
blankets of suffocation.
No rain.  No washing.
No relief.

It is so difficult to breathe in the darkest caverns of desperation.

And then you came to my door.  You smiled.
And as we sat in conversation, no, as we
sat in communion, I felt the first hint
of a breeze, the sweet smell of wet
meadow grass after a night
of spring rain.
You unwrapped the gift without
ritual or pretense.  You
blessed my weary soul
and my worried mind
as you placed the
offering before
and I knew a Sacred Breath has passed
through the room.  Light began to
change from a resistant dullness
to warm, soft rays of sunshine.
How will I ever thank you
for this remarkable

You listened.
You heard my heart,
not just my words.
You responded to my spirit,
not  to the circumstances
of my despair.

You listened.

For that gift, I am ever grateful.

Most Sincerely,



10 Sep


But the sea is so big
and I am so

I’ve never…
What if…

Do I dare?



28,510 And Counting

9 Sep

I’m betting that today will be the best day of all
28,510 days I have lived on the planet.
Something today will remind me to:
Deal gently with all who hurt
Say a kind word that is not expected
Create something with my hands or my brain
Offer a hand to someone who needs to hold on
Hum a tune
Be genuine
I hope to look back from 28,511 and say
“Yes, sir.  That was the day.”
So far.

My Pal, Sal

6 Sep


Meet my Portland pal, Sal.
So gentle, so calm, so docile.
So wrong.
Inside that fur is a calculating canine whose sole purpose
in life is to rid the earth of all edible substances.
It doesn’t even have to be food.

She almost burned the house down once when trying
to get to a slice of pizza on the kitchen stove.  Who
knew that a dog’s paw could turn the burner knob
to the “High” setting?
The firemen said “that is one determined dog”, especially
when Sal tried to lick the cutting board the firefighter had thrown
out into the back yard.  It was still burning.

Sal has big, pleading eyes.  Don’t all dogs?
She tries the famous “stare down” technique
at meal time.  I’m never quite sure if she’s
looking at me or the hamburger in my hand.
Sal is intense.  Do dogs blink?

So, here’s to  my pal, Sal.  May Beagle heaven be
made up of burgers and bagels. In the meantime,
if you’re ever in Portland and you see a bouncy,
little Beagle approaching,
don’t turn your back on your hotdog!

Ah, these wonderful animal
companions.  Don’t they make life sweet?
And expensive.

Warning! Strange Dog

4 Sep


I thought about leaning over the fence to catch sight of this “strange” dog, but I thought better of it.  He is strange, you know!  And the sign clearly says: “Warning”.  Still, I would like to know how and why he is strange.  Does he walk on his front legs, or does he have four ears, or maybe he knows how to tap dance?

It does occur to me that the poor thing is labeled for life.  “There goes old Charlie’s dog…he’s strange.  That dog is mighty strange, too.”  I wonder what people in the neighborhood would think of Charlie’s dog if the word was changed to “unique” or “one-of-a-kind”, or even “special”?  What if strange, in this case, meant “exceptional”?  Old Charlie’s dog can recite the alphabet!

Well, I’ll never know because I took the “warning” part seriously and I didn’t have the backbone to discover the dog’s “strangeness.”  As I walked away from the sign on the wire fence, I thought to myself “Isn’t it a shame the way we label people these days.  WARNING! she’s strange because she speaks a funny language, or she doesn’t believe in my religion.  Her skin is so dark.”  I guess the next thing we’ll do is hang a warning sign about her neck so everyone can be suspicious.  Come to think of it, we did that once with a Star of David less than a century ago.

I’m going to believe that the dog behind the wire fence, the one I’m warned about because he strange, is, in fact, exceptional…of value and merits the same respect and care given to little “FooFoo”, the pampered Pekinese who lives next door.  Now, there’s a strange dog!

But, I suppose, in some ways, we’re all a little strange, aren’t we?