Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Walt Whitman sampler

Today was a day to celebrate art. Our writing workshop at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport featured a look at the poem by him, A Poem to Myself . It was of his life as he worked on the Blades of Grass. We explored how grass relates to our liives.
Good to be in Dianna's poetry group again-a good way to end 2006.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

It is Christmastime

When I think of the word, light, this is an appropriate image I can find for Christmas. From the first Christmas,9 months after the angel announced the birth of the savior to Mary and Joseph, a star appeared in the Eastern Sky to guide the magi to the creche where Jesus lay. Light serves as a spotlight to significant events in history whether it is a new store opening up or to commemorate an important celebration such as Christmas.

Lights bring back memories of when I was a kid growing up in Fairfield. After thanksgiving, my dad would go to the attic and bring down the boxe which had the artificial Christmas tree and the ornaments. We would open up the boxes that had an aroma from being in the attic during the year. We took the garland , ornaments, stars and homemade treasures from my brother and myself that I made growing up at the Henry Viscardi School in Long Island. We would put on some Christmas music and laid the branches to the tree and the base of the tree on the floor and assembled the tree according to the color codes-red being matched to red and green to green. Then we strung the lights around the branches and then the garlands. The stars and balls were hung in between the lights and the garlands. Mom and I had to be careful not to miss any spots and to take turns to carefully rest the angels and the stars so that they would not fall off or get hidden by another ornament. We enjoyed doing this as a family in the living room each year.When looking back, I miss those days of trimming the tree as a family on a Saturday morning after thanksgiving.
Another way that we decorated our home in Fairfield was with lighted candles. Dad and I took the candles out of the boxes and placed them on 14 white window sills of our home. I placed a piece of masking tape around the base of each candle to hold it in place at the center of the narrow window sill. Each night at dusk,after turning on the tree, I went around the house and turned on the lights and looked outside the window onto our street dimly lit by a streetlight.

When I have been on vacation for Christmas break at work, I have enjoyed seeing the christmas lights that others have put up at the retirement community of Arizona and Maine. There seemed to be a competition amongst the retirees in Arizona as to who was to be the brightest and boldest. There was never a scrimping as to the amount of lights put up or the boldness of the displays. There were plenty of Santas and reindeer and snowmen on display. Luminari lined the sidewalks of the homes and signs of lights that said, "Noel" lined the displays. Lights also were on the pilings from the mining of shale that southern Arizona does. These tailings had a christmas tree perched on them and was lit from the distance as we approached.
When I have been in Maine for Christmas, some of the docks are lit with lights for the holidays and the homes had more modest displays of lights without the garishness of a competition since the homes are not as densely packed together and Mainers are known to be a little more frugal and careful with their money. I am glad that I have this annual pilgrimage of almost 19 years in enjoying the celebration of Christmas in either Arizona and Maine.

Currently, when I walk home at night from the bus, I look forward to the moment of seeing our Christmas tree lit at Cartright Park. The tree holds its shape well as the wind rustles through its branches. I like seeing the lights dancing and sparkling from the tree. As I walk down my street in the snow, I see the glistening of the snow next to the tree. I also see lit windows in some of the apartments with a lit tree in some of the apartments and lights lining the balconies. In our lobby,the tree is lit and decorated with angels and balls. As I make this walk down my street, these are a very welcoming sight as I come home from a very busy day at work.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Changes take time

This is the first post on the new apple. Unfortunately, a line appears down the screen. Not a a quick honeymoon with the machine as I thought. But it will not crash and give me a great pleasure with the use of the machine. Arrival of the machine on Nov. 25th, a month before Christmas. Not a perfect set up with having to return it but at least my former monster that crashed constantly is out of here!!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Apple Week

This week I finally took the plunge into a barrel full of appples with the purchase of an imac intel computer that I have been debating for almost 3 years. I saw what I wanted and went for it!!!!!!
And I helped pare several apples for a church function which was a lot of fun and hard work. Yahoo to apple!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A symphony of peace

I went to the local Greater Bridgeport Symphony this night and the music of Romeo and Juliet. A play by Shakespeare with universal themes of love and hatred. Of failed relationships and also a way for different musicians to unite in language of notes and chords the expressions felt behind the participants.

Picking up a classical tape picked up almost 10 years ago , the music has the same elements that the symphony played- of a melody without words but one that crosses time well. So it is also with words that express thoughts of music whether in an ode or a short story or an article of a struggle of a team in sports.

So it is with Paws to Pause, a group that I am planning to start at my local church in Fairfield. It is a place where the music of our lives will unite us and give us a chance to make peace within ourselves and others. It is a place to be quiet and still and let God speak to us so we can somehow be HIs voice to others in a world that is often rushed to even hear him at all.

Corporate functions

Looking at my curled hand without glasses on this morning, I realized how intricate and unique our bodies are. When milling through life with our vision aids and our urgency to get from one appointment to another, we seldom appreciate the uniqueness that is displayed in the creation of the human form.
It is with our hands that most of the productivity in the country is created. When the first caveman in society was around he had to make his hammer and chisel from rocks and stones and then fashion tools out of wood. It is with those hands that he and his family would gather the food and wood for the fire. It is with those hands that he would protect his property as well.
Over time, mankind's hands have been with gentle force working on peace accords or have worked hard in anchoring boats to the docks after a days journey. Or by chopping veggies on a cutting board in preparation for a family meal. Thanks for those hands that have brought life to the world.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hubble's Eye Exam

This week I read in the news that the Hubble telescope is having an eye exam in 2008-its 4th. Over a 16 year history so far, that is not too bad. The cost for a visit to the opthomologist in the sky is a whopping $960 Million dollars. Almost a billion bucks. I love the astronomy program that Nasa sponsors that push what we see to an extreme. It is the perfect environment in the dark so dilating the eyes is much easier. Yet trying to thread tools through the telescope in outer speace and floating is much harder. I wonder where the eye chart is and where in the world the pictures of Rome would be to measure the strength of the prescription lenses. Yet, I could just see Mr. Hubble walking into Pearle Vision of the sky mall and asking where can I get this filled. It will just take a moment.
So let us gaze into the heavens and feel refreshed when the appointment is done in 2 years. So don't complain over a vist that is $200.00. Many fewere zeroes to account for.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The passing of the crystals

The crystals of sand pass through the hourglass one at a time. slowly drifting through the funnel connecting the top spout with the bottom one. There is a gentle rush of the crystals as they pass through the spout. Standing still is what they do when they reach the bottom having made the journey until their world is turned upside down and its outside participants are engaged in a game that pits their knowledge of language against the clock.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cleveland Quackers

The topic of Cleveland has come up a little bit in my travels through New England in the past month. At a local retreat, the speaker asked if anyone was from Cleveland. I said I was. Following his talk on his life, he mentioned that we are all made for a purpose. He asked what the function of families held, the function of the universe and he even mentioned what is the function of ducks. I said their role was to quack. Thus a quick way to call myself a Cleveland Quacker who likes to speak what others have said.
My cousin married a fellow from Cleveland and when I was at their reception, I sat with a bunch of people from Cleveland, Ohio. It is a very critical area since that is where I originated on the Columbus day back in 1962. It is also the town where I learned to love to eat noodles which is still one of my passions to love pasta. And it is where I learned to understand at an older age the way the football game is played with four downs for each possession of the ball.
Noodles are a cool invention of food that are flat and they hold their shape no matter how much boiling happens in the water. It is also a good way to get indoctrinated into the world of food. To have a german nana serve me the food I never saw with my adult eyes but have been told the story numerous times.
Our origins are always important places that can connect us to stories told at a sermon or sitting around a table with family and friends.
Go Cleveland Browns which are the same color as ducks-brown!!!!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Circles of Life in time

A change of pace and perspective gives one a better view of ones surroundings. While waiting for the use of the internet computers at the Burroughs/Saden Library in Bridgeport, I sat in a seat-part of a row of blue seats. The area where people usually sit was roped off with yellow tape due to a peeling ceiling. When I looked across the room, I saw the bronze doors surrounded by the stained wood. It brought my mind back to the many times that I have been at the Grand Central station with its bronze doors and the beauty that surround the many aspects of the station. A different view to attain from looking at one of the gems of the city which I am pleased to be a part of.

Writing on the topic of vacations is the suggested topic for the workshop this week. I have taken many a trip into the city of New York to do some sight seeing at area museums or just to have a bite of something to eat with my cousins and family. The city of New York is a bustling place with tall buildings of glass windows, concrete walls and many projects that are under construction. The city has a constant influx of people in and out of it-just like the blood vessels carry the oxygen and nutrients to our bodies while removing the impurities from it. The heart of our bodies is just like the Grand Central station bringing with it the people into the heart of the city.

As I remember some of the thanksgivings at my cousin's apartment in the city, I see the sideboard table with the white linen on it and the bowls of hot stuffing and oyster and turkey dressings, the green bean casserole with almonds and the freshly sliced turkey with the aromas raising from each bowl. The tables that we used were borrowed from a local church to fit all of us around it and gave us a sense of a community and family. A good way to gather after not having been around for a while to catch up on the news of what went on during that year.

This past weekend, I spent the time with the same cousins and family at a reception celebrating Kate and Williams recent marriage in Italy. It was a good opportunity to say hi and make some deeper connections with those that I spent a week with in December 2003 with Kate and Seiji. It was easier this time to talk to and reflect on life with Bill Reed and with Prim and Derek since in the last few years have gained an understanding into people's lives a little better. It has been time to reflect on the hurts that some people go through and the time to realize that all moments in life are precious. When I look into the lives of my cousin Bruce and his family and realize that it was through the grace of God that he was spared a tragedy when he had to escape the twin towers on Sept 11th to safety. And as I was leaving to go back to the bus/train station to go to Connecticut, Bruce played a video clip from his cell phone of his daughter, Izzy, playing on the piano of his wife singing "They are playing our song, they are playing our song. On the bottom of that tape was inscribed Sept 11,2006 at 11:43am. It was a simple yet profound words spoken by a 4 year old-the meaning that I still try to uncover. It could be that in our consciences even when young , a message comes forth that state that somehow, those who lost their life through heroic efforts such as the firefighters and police that my cousin passed that sunny tuesday morning in a darkened pit of stairwells in a building under collapse had in a way reached my cousin, Izzy , who somehow grasped the importance of life and in a way shares it with others. Showing that the lives lost that day are not in vain. That it acted as a way of a temporary heart allowed life to flow its course to bring life into others.
So thanks to the change of scenery this morning that caused me to look into the doors at the library in a new way and to begin to connect some random thoughts of family and life that are not so random after all.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Of Crickets and Crystal Rock.

This thursday, I walked into the office and all of a sudden, I heard a cricket chirping in the office of Jeff,our sales manager. Quietly sitting out of sight in the darkened office, Mr Cricket bypassed security and HR and practiced the chirps which he would need on the sales calls. We have added several salespeoplefrom other branches to help out the office. But this one seems to be the right employee to help out our papercraft operation.
We have some tough customers that sometimes reqiring much digging for answers to the general deductions and complaints that they often have. Mr. Cricket's serene voice would give cheer to whatever surroundings and is quite a clever marketing technique to use.
Our office walls were freshly painted with a coat of yellow and hanging on that coat are several French Impressionist painters such as Monet and Degas. The scenes depict life in France. A good outlook to have in an international business that takes place from London to Connecticut.

On a recent afternoon lunch hour , I spoke to Michael, one of our warehouse employees with a very pleasant disposition. I shared that I was leaving early to attend my writing workshop. Ever since, he has called me the new Ralph Waldo Emerson. I haven't as of yet shared the writing that I have done but have given the topics of inspiration, nature and my faith. He asked if he was ever part of my pieces. Well now you are Mike!!

Another one of my favorite warehouse pickers is Leighton. He has a gentle personality that always encourages me and even at times when I may not have a happy face. He likes to sit at the corner of the round table-sitting at the same table. When the warehouse fellows are sititng together, you can hear a loud laughter coming from the lunch room wherever I am=whether at my desk or in the warehouse office looking up the data that I need to for my work.

Another change to the work for the warehouse is that they have their own space compared to a toll booth or pallets where much of the work had to be processed.
Modernization does have its positive points. Definitely!!!

I have realized thorugh these 16 years of work within the wholesale industry that a lot has changed. From being around the corner from my Apartment to being almost 20 miles from a home was a stretch for me. The old days found me in the office being run by a family. And being given the chance from the street and a reference from Fairfield University to embark our company into the 20th century with a computer system. From long days from 7am to well into the night hours, it gave me a good perspective on how to run and operate a business. Dealing with the people that sometimes are difficult has taught me over these years to have patience with people and to keep moving forward with them and adjust to them over time.
I remember one particular day when I came back from vacation and had to make a 1:00 deadline. I ended burning the midnight oil that shift. My first time not having left the days work and continued through the night running between the computer room and my office to complete my runs of invoices and price updates.
Kind of interesting to greet our workers as they came in. And that next day, I was a little less energetic. But the work got done in the nick of time and felt good to be finished. Now the work gets done by a core group of 4 customer service employees and a purchasing department. No longer are sales orders crumpled and tossed through the window at Charlotte or Jeff. They are properly entered and coded and priced right then and there.
We went from a city environment to being more in the country now. It is a much longer commute but being able to hear the rushing of the brook located right outsdie the office to hearing the birds and getting a fresh aroma of the salt air nearby is good.
Having a phone system that is computerized is a big help since I don't have to jump from one desk to the next to pick up competing calls. And being able to have a voice messsage system means not losing calls either!

This past thursday, Michelle of customer service was stirring her cup of tea and uttered "my spoon has melted into a soupspoon" with a gentle laughter. The tea water set by crystal Rock must be a little hot. Some of us say it is not that hot but when pouring the water from the water "cooler" it definitely steams up the cup and plumes of heat arise from the descending water. Having my cup of tea is a favoroite part of my day at work being able to have my granola bar with it and to fill it up several times during the morning. At times we have been suprised when the 50 cents goes into the soda machine and a lottery of diet cokes falls out from the slot as a lottery won. Free soda for a while for some of us. Never for Nestea though.

Finally, when I walk into the warehouse I do not have to worry of who may be coming from behind an aisle with the Hi-Low trucks. I listened carefully to their beeps and even beeped myself like a road runner-"Beep Beep, coming through." It is a good to have an aisle to walk through where the trucks are not allowed so I can feel safe passing through.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Andrew's Initiative

Almost 2000 years ago, a child named Andrew in the crowd gives Jesus 3 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus to feed them. Not much for a small chiild to give-except that it was a lot since he gave of the little that he had to bless the multitude. Our world needs some Andrews to help with South Africa. Our small church is taking some initiatives in that region. Small stuff matters to God. Faith as small as a mustard seed will move mountains. The widow who gave the mite made God glad. And as Paul states, God used the humble and lowly to confound the wise and mighty.

Small amounts blessed by God bring comfort and nourishment. it's amazing how $2,000 can feed and take care of an entire village of 30 kids for a year. For the price for a couple of bagels, bread is extended to another nation 14 hours by plane.

just a few quick ponderings on solving the world's problems one person at a time!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

On a mission

I am on a mission in life. With the upcoming launch of the shuttle this sunday morning -weather permitting and all elements of countdown in working order, the astronauts who have trained for almost 4 years for this mission will have their work cut out for them.
It takes a lot of training for the astronauts going to a place a far way off and reaching for the space station takes a concerted effort. Plans must be in place and not only that, but systems in Houston and Cape Canaveral have to be in communication with each other.
I have to be more in tune with the way NASA operates its business-of being in symbiosis with the different organizations. The mission that I need to embark on is to be more organized in my life. I tend to not accomplish goals in my life-leaving many unfinished tasks piled on top of each other. I have trouble moving from one aspect of my life to the next. I need to remember to be like NASA more and have elements lined up better.

This is a lot like how the Holy Spirit works within the lives of believers. I do need to let the Holy Spirit have control in my life just as NASA has the command center with all of the terminals showing the trajectory (path) and the altitude and speed of the mission.

I am thankful of how I have seen several people that I know throughout life=Gail from the Kennedy Center at the bus station to a friend Dan driving by to hearing Chip's voice call out my name and to a church member, Kevin, as I chatted with him briefly while at the computer in the gym.
I need to have others on the team for the mission of Scott 2006 or however I call it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Hard to get used to fragments in life. Part of what you expect does not always come about as you have planned or hoped for. I was getting excited to spend some time with my brother and my folks next week for a long weekend only to find out that it will just be me with them instead due to a change in his plans. It is not easy dealing across country with family matters that are not always easy to know what goes on.
I am still going to the Down East which I love and would not miss the weekend for anything. What I will miss in Connecticut of a possible potluck at work, a beach service for church and a picnic with friends will be able to done differently throughout the year. I treasure the time that I have with family; even though I do not always show it the way that I should.
Last year, I sacrificed some local comfort and familiarity and had a blast when I spent Easter weekend with my parents. Watching Rachel Ray cook several times a day to the basketball playoffs to the NCAA tournament and the games of gin rummy and even the assembly of a pciture frame of my parents.

Go Maine.

I am glad that I was called my parents' pride and joy. Knowing what I put them through in the early years and how far I have come in life is encouraging. Still have a little ways to go. But don't we all.

For the last period of time, I feel that I am an archaeologist and anthropologist trying to piece together my life and the lives of my friends and family. Not totally having all the clues to mysteries in relationships. But trusting in God to make the best of everything. Even undrstanding myself is a puzzle a times-not being able to solve it all. I need to lean on

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Misc thoughts

Journeys are what begin with a simple step and have a goal that is set within ones mind. I reflect on the yellow brick road that the characters in the Wizard of Oz embarked on in search for meaning and an added bonus that would help them live their lives better. that is an important thing to remember as one goes through life trying to find some meaning in their life-an added value component to life.

I am thankful that the one true foundation of the church is Jesus. Many times people come and go but the flavor of the local church stays which is Christ Jesus.

Peace to my readers.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Becoming Real

Oh the power of make-believe. Of angels coming to the earth and helping mankind find himself. I watched a movie, Life-sized , of a doll that came to life to save a young girl about to be run over by a truck and bring together her dad and herself as a family again. Now that is a stretch for me to enter into the newest writing. But God has given each one of us an imagination.

We don't have to be perfect as this world wants us to be. We can just be ourselves. I was afraid today to enter the world as one with his hurts showing. I stayed for a good half of the day in my ivory tower of self-pity looking out at the world below. I am sorry God that I did not enter it with my heart and soul. I wish that I could have emotionally. Thanks God for the few moments that I took to shed myself and care for someone else by entering 7 numbers on the phone and encouraging her. To take the time and value someone who has lost part of her family and is struggling in health. And I thank you for the way that I see Jesus working within her too.

As dolls have numbers of authenticity marked on their presence, I have my name written in the lambs book of Life. A name that will not perish no matter how I may err and mess up. It is there for me to be with the Lion forever. With Aslam who travels in the The Chronicles of Narnia. His presense is among the animals and among the travelers who entered the wardrobe into the land of Narnia. To enter the world of authenticity it took the world to see Christ. A man on the outward appearance but within and throughout a powerful force of eternal life with the sparks of the Divine written all over Him for those in the crowds that CHOSE to believe in Him. And a time for him to be with us in the world in visible sense. to those Galileans and Jews who witnessed his time in the temple and his time on the streets and hillsides dispensing Good News to those who had no hope.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

God's Majestic Playground

Have you ever wondered as I have how wonderful and majestic the universe is. Having grown up watching Nature shows from Channel 13 that featured animals interacting with each other. That is on a micro scale. From God's lenses, he takes in a more mighty view-seeing everything through a fish eye lens-getting all the nuances together-interchanging the lenses that He has in His camera bag. having those images hanging in the walls on heaven, he captures what He has made and can reflect in His sabbath afternoon His creation.

One time in particular that I remember is a night when I was almost ready to go to bed and my dad invited us out to the steps of the cottage by the woods and sea to look up and the see the Northern lights that swept the evening sky. A floodlight that flashed back and forth across the heavens. A time of particular unique beauty that could never be captured by an artist. Something that has to be savored in the moment. Something like the sip of ice cold soda on a hot summer day or the slurp on an ice cream cone by the DownEast Ice cream shack overlooking Boothbay Harbor.

Thank you God for giving me the opportunities to view your creation during the past 30 years in Maine-years that I have been fully alive and alert in the world. Being able to discern and understand hardships and to appreciate the times alone and with family in nature to be nurtured again and brought into a sense of wholeness again. An aliveness being infused into me. A lot of that time was before I understood the role of God in my life. And for an appreciation of His provision of angels in key times of my life such as when I fell down a flight of stairs on the fourth of July Weekend in 1976-our country's bicentennial year. A time of upheaval in our kitchen being remodeled. But mostly as a time for me when I was spared significiant injury and given a chance to explore a world that has given me a great deal of meaning. That might be why Maine has been so valuable to me since I recognize it as a gift given to me by God to appreciate and be able to endure tought times as well.

There was never a time where I ever doubted God's presence around me. But it became more real to me as I started my college days At Fairfield University. This was when I sat and had lunch with a student I met in the commons and started to discuss the issues of life and the mysteries of God. Some thoughts ended up on an envelope that had a prescription in it. Kind of poignant that lessons of living in the present and also towards the future were forged between mouthfulls of food and drink. How I wish I could have more opportunities to step out onto a porch or into the commons to discuss details of life with others. But they are opportunities to ponder the role that we have in the face of God's creation.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Crunch crunch underfoot

Let's say it is a warm autumn day outside and ones feet crunch underneath the ground and the leaves are scattered about by your feet. I trample the leaves underfoot and move them methodically between my shoes which are gathering dust by the minute and move them throughout.

Out on a baseball diamond somewhere, some kids are playing a game of baseball and are running the bases and the opposing team is trying to catch the ball and make the throw in time to prevent the run from scoring. There are parents in the stands and they are rooting for son, Johhny , who has just made the cut to the team after many years of not making the team.

Not having the experience of playing sports but some in the watching of it in the form of basketball. The rapid movement of feet across the hardwood floor of the gym with the coaches and players yelling out commands with rapid succession.
The whistle of the coaches and the sounding of the practice/game clock being rewound after each drill or segment of the game.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Triumphal Arch

Today is a sad day and a happy day. For my friends, we mourned an excellent lady of the Christian Faith who was 41 years of age. Annie B. as she was known to most of us was a gentle spirit who loved Jesus and loved interacting with others whether on a softball field, in her family or with teenagers.
Life is a short journey and can take turns that are unexpected. We are on loan from God for us to be His hands and feet and mouthpiece. As the Bible states, We are the body of Christ. I needed to be reminded of the shortness and brevity of this life=something that I do not like to be reminded of.

On the happy side of today, I got to celebrate the goodness of God through interacting with new relationships that my friends have entered into through marriage. It was god to have an extended time of fellowship-stretching out my hands to strangers who I don't know and friends that I have known for the past 10 to 20 years. Many churches getting together and joys and dreams being reviewed in light of the puzzle of life. We are all pieces of a big jigsaw puzzle where we all try to line up to the picture of how God wants us to be. Let us pray that we are all connected to one another-getting glimpses of others lives-the good, bad and the ugly.

At a 2003 real life retreat, the speaker we heard from had three points from his talk. He said that we are to have no reverses. In that we have to keep going the course that has been laid out before us. There are to be no retreats-no going back to what might be easier. And there are to be no regrets. Sure we are going to miss Annie B. for her love but it is all about attitude of how we face our lives. May God be our shining light. No matter how dark the circumstances that we face.

And lOrd help me to be a good spiritual father to Gary who you have entrusted into my hands to guide. Let me be more patient and understanding as I am his disciple. Let me continue to interconnect with others to God.

Thanks for giving us a chance , Annie B, to share and remember how precious this life is on earth!!!! REST under the triumphal arch that you entered.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Deepening the wells of Life

Ever stand at the edge of a well and look down! Usually very shallow at the top with some rocks that line the well and then a string and bucket fill the top of the well. Not all wells are like that though.

When I grew up during my summer vacations in Boothbay Harbor region of Maine, my parents and I went to the Beath Springs which had running water 24 hours a day for almost 6 of the summers that we cottaged on Pratt's Island. This well had a stream that we would direct into our 1/2 gallon pails that we would fill up for the weeks use of water for boiling our water for cooking. The road that led to the well had rocks and the tires crushed along the pebbles as we approached the Springs.

During Biblical times, Jesus met a samaritan woman at the well. He said that for you to be satsified, I will give you living water. Come to this well and you will need to be coming back for more. Going to the Source will give us hope for today and many more for tomorrow as one of the christian songs states.
At times I feel less than fulfilled and not where God wants me to be. I feel a little dissatisfied that I do not have certain blessings that others have such as marriage or children. But all I need to do is to look at what God has provided me with-a custom built well that I need to keep tended to. So that it will continue to run and not get capped off as Beath Springs had to be. I need to keep digging deeper!

Wells are what cause entire communties and the world to gather around them as what happened with little Jessica McClure who was trapped for several days in one. It brings out the townsfolk to work together to find solutions in such a crisis.

Another kind of crisis that was resolved was with Helen Keller. She was an unruly child that learned to trust Anne Sullivan as she place her hands under the running water pump and water gushed out into her hand as the word ""WATER" was etched into her palm over and over until she could understand the association between the two.

In our faith walks with God, we need to let God etch into our hearts His presentce and into our souls a deep reservoir that can only be filled by Him. We need to bring buckets to fill it up which will be received through an attitude of humility.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Abandoning isolation

This is the first trimester of Autumn. We are in the midst of the season of summer before it will bring forth the season of Autumn. This process of creating does not occur inside a womb but within the realm of Nature. Within the trunks of trees and within the blades of grass that go through stages of withering and strengthening.

There are some seasonal shifts that are easy to see. Yet it is hard to pinpoint exactly when one season ends and another one begins. The season of Summer that we are in right now had its birth within the season of spring. Even with the wetness and coolness of it, it emerged its head into the world in the form of warmer temperatures and slightly longer days.

Just as children go through different stages of growth, plants and other living creatures make changes too. Changes that are almost like that of the season-having various periods of rebirth even admist occassional periods of decay.

Just as the seasons look to each other and depend on one another, they look to the world. And look for participants they do-inviting skiiers and baseball players to particpate on slopes and on diamonds-for others to enjoy. The seasons are never alone-they abandon the idea of isolation and welcome participation.

And that is just as it is for the season of us writers in the world. Each of us go through different stages of renewal and we depend on one another to inspire others. today, I handed off a couple of pieces that have appeared in Triumph for others to enjoy and read over and over again. one to a 5th grade teacher that I had 31 years that helped me transition myself into the world of public education from that of private education which was more secluded and isolated-that of being on a cul-de-sac.
It was during that time that I was eased into the world of public education-to develop a love for it through field trips and a good interaction of my parents with my teacher, Diane, who helped make it a team approach. having ended the isolation from being a part of a larger whole withoust structure in my private schooling years, it was good to be home to an educational field. A field that I gained better footing thorugh time. Thanks again, Diane, to your 37 years of facing challenges that have faced you each and every year-of leaving a footprint of legacy on students throughout the world.
And a second blessing that I handed my work to a hairdresser friend to hopefully have her isolation be abandoned into a more community mindset.

Just as the group in the LiveAid benefit, We Are the World, was sung in 1985 to help end the crisis in Africa. We all are the world and we are needed to make it a better place.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Take a Peak

Good Morning Sun. I am ready to take a peak and be encouraged. It is kind of hot out here and I need a little relief. I am going to go behind the moon and cool off some. Let me go behind the moon and get some needed relief from the glare and heat of the sun.
In life, we all face struggles on a daily basis and it is a good reminder that we have uphill battles to climb with our peaks. But we need to take peeks on our peaks-hills that have an upward and downward face as well. Times that will go well and times that it seems it is a bad-hair day for all.
It is real good to have those havens to go for the rest. Like the local bookshop to stay secluded in the rows of books-in awe of what others have created. In the same way, we can add to the rows of others imagination with encouragement-reaching out with rods of support.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Mosaic of life in the city

I started my day off with an adventure to the dentist office. As I walked in , I was greeted by my dental hygienist, Anna Cherslaka. I was puzzled at first since she looked different from last time. She said, "Scott, Don't you recognize me",it's Anna. Her hair was darker and pulled back. She wore alight colored blouse under her blue uniform. Then I saw her name tag .Upon talking with her, she came from Russia 6 years ago with her family and just became an American citizen. Still missing home but willing to give this country an effort for the opportunity it brings.
While sitting inthe chair having the instruments moved around my teeth and gums. Being asked how many times I flossed and brushed, I said oh well 3 flossings and 7 brushings. Not long enough. Oh if I only will live up to floss once and brush twice daily and rinse.

Then off to a lunch break at Jam's Deli in the heart of downtown Bridgeport. Being served by a hungarian woman at the deli. Having a thanksgiving wrap of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce with sliced carrots throughout. And as I ate the wrap and sipped the Snapple, I watched the construction of the lofts going in at the CityTrust building with the operator of the crane lifting up several huge planks of tan plywood into the empty windows of the gutted building. These men and women working on the buildings within the city are bringing our city to lifefe. Building the veins and arteries that will give it a true heart. Being the cowardly lion on the yellow brick road in search for a heart of Courage. Right now being connected to life support-being on dialysis-until all the connections are ripe for it to take off on its own.

Looking at the Visions of the Heart art exhibit at the Housatonic Commmunity college again=seeing the depths of people's imagination-from those who have suffered and triumphed throughout life and made it a pleasant remembrance of struggles and victories gone through-a demarcation of their participation in this divine life. Of their marks upon the canvas and screens sowing the seeds of their minds-bringing together colors of joy and peace. Of simple everyday objects that reflect the minds, souls, and hearts, and bodies of these artists. Celebrating all that God has given to them for us to enjoy. Images leaping off the walls-helping me to forget troubling moments of the time.
Having the warmth of the city on my face as I traveled throughout it on foot-walking by the Chase Branch and the empty space once occupied by Soul to Soul Restaurant-a place I ate at once.

This little melting pot of the imagination and the magic of men. Just as magic takes a sense of curiosity and wonder, so does the black child sitting on the Coastal link bus spending countless moments with his mom as he sips on the frozen bag of his popsicle-slowly sipping on it until it has covered his face and arms and legs with the sticky gel of red all over him. Sitting in his own world looking up to his mom and the goodness within her and his enjoyment of the very moment he is in.

Even as I wander in a city today that is neglected, I need a heart that has put on spectacles of compassion and understanding=seeing a little clearer of who the citizens are and how they are linked by a common thread of the culture and the melting pot that they come from. Something that I am beginning to see and am anxious to explore to see where it leads.

A little poem that I thought of this morning can flavor a little of what is happening in our city. Citywide we are getting a face-lift with pockets of joy to dissolve the ruins of our times -to add to our melting pot eventually.

Adios de Usted. Hola Cuidad de Bridgeport.
Las tiends cerradas de neglecto. Open eventually. Puertas de opportunidad y ventanas para los amigos.
Cumpleanos. Anos de miseria y jubilee.

Just waiting for the time when open signs and clearly visible windows with life can be seen. Waiting for the womb to pop open with life and chirps to be heard!!!!!
Finally, as new wine requires the new wineskins to hold the newness to erupt, new life will burst forth once again.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 230th Birthday

Hsppy Birthday to the USA. We are 230 years old. No middle aged crisis or teenaged years for our country. Just the typical bangs and scrapes that any child gets in his daily life. And lots of wisdom from grandarents and parents alike. Imagine yourself as Christopher Columbus on a boat sailing the seas on his sailboat. "Landmass ahead, Sir. We better take to shore and find out what this land is that we see here." The captain of the boat pulls in the sails and Christopher's crew embarks into the dinghy and heads off to the shore to find out what this land is all about.

I am thankful for what Chris discovered and the privelege it is to live on this continent of North America. It has not been an easy place for our country but it has been a good proving ground for our country. Many leaders have taken initiatives here and have grown our place to be a land of opportunity. Not so much for everyone but it has a potential for those with disadvantages such as handicaps.

So let us break out the potato chips and the nachos and celebrate what America means to each one of us. And try to blow out 230 candles on the cake!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Moving out of the Tower of self pity

Lately I have been stuck in a tower of self-pity--of comparing myself to others. Seeing myself as less compared to them and not having as high a regard for myself. I only wish that I could easily escape that spot. But it has been a little difficult to do lately.
I realize that I must recognize the gifts that have been deposited into me by my God who makes it very possible for me to have an abundant life as the writer John promises through the words that Jesus spoke when He ministered for his 3 years.
Upon reflection, a few of the gifts are my ability to communicate the language of speech and writing-given to me by the constant efforts of my mom and dad when I failed to start those skills at the age of 3.
Another gift is the use of dry humor-evident in my Uncle Dick. It is the ability to come up with something somewhat wry that people will not grasp onto immediately or at all but causes me to smile knowing where it came from.

Being established where I am was not by accident. It has been through many years of planning and time spent by my parents looking at the Fairfield Citizen over the years and then finding the ideal spot for me and then working out the details to make it happen.

So it is so important to see beyond ones surface and look at the connections one has in life and to recognize those connections and nurture them and deepen them to rely on them when emotional droughts and self pity occur.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Being Invisible

I feel rather invisible at times when not being addressed by my bus operator in the morning. I recall times when I said "happy tuesday" and he would respond back but now I am not paid attention to.

The word root -vis- has many connotations and connections.
Being visible is being in the forefront of the activity of daily life--
trading in the everyday events of the time.
I stand on the sidelines at times and watch. At other times, I get within the flow of time and participate in poetry readings and sharing my faith with others.

Stars in the milky way galaxy of which we are part of are both visible and invisible.
They cast the light to those who may someday travel in space-acting like candles-giving guidance to the ships of tomorrow. They shed light to earth having given it away many light years ago. Yet that light is a vestigal vesper of the past and is shared among us. Just as the sharing of our lives may not have an immediate impact but many person years we will see the impact it has had just as we see the activity of stars many eons ago.
Let your light shine and be visible.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

an Ode to Creation

Oh, I could have carved wooden beams into props and painted them with happy faces.
Oh, I could have etched prayers of hope into others for VBS.

But I'd rather listen to 2 poets in Bridgeport at Rainy Fayes Book store and be encouraged on how I should etch words that are in memory and have yet to be painted before to transform and bless my landscape and the landscape of others.

Oh for being tired and then being recharged by the collection of books around the room on shelves and tables. To leaf through them-sharing the same language as that of the authors and being able to communicate them in my head and aloud with others.
To be Gathered around others listening to the ring and rythymn of words.
In Community

Not that crafting displays for my church's VBS program would not have been helpful but I like to be in safe harbors--seizing on the familiar--and building on a network of others to expand my love of language and literature.

Listening to the language of the hearts of two men and then transforming their streams into a pebble and etching an impression onto its surface. Whether that surface is a notebook or the confines of my head-it does not matter. They march across both and give great joy!!!

So, I let the words welcome me in and allow others, my friends, to use their gifts as well. And we will meet up this Sunday to celebrate their work and to celebrate my love of language--being given to me by Mom and Dad--and to the heritage of what Jesus and His followers mean to me.

So Lord, I will pick up a hammer and a brush soon I hope and cross a DIVIDE not taken in awhile. To exchange words for work--to express the HOPE in a very different way. But that is what faith must be -building our bridges in our own way--reaching out to worlds that we all love and invite in!!!

And for being blessed upon coming home to see a new book on the hymns that I love to sing and the meaning from a Maine author.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Faith in the the hat

Friends pop up everywhere. At breakfast this morning at the diner, we had one of our friends show up from Chicago as our guest. We even had a Trumbullite show up. It was a sold-out show for the combined table of 8 seats. No controversaries this morning-just a good touching base of our lives and how our lives have been affected by our faith walks.
As a magician reaches in and pulls out surprises for kids in a hat, our faith as children of God is very similar in that we have the chance to pull our faith from the resources we share in our lives. We can do so predictably and with a good sense of confidence knowing that we have the power given to us from God. It is a mystery to me and others since we can't go to the power aisle and get the unlimited resources that we need but we have to rely on God on a constant basis to get what we need.
The hats that we carry do not have to be very large. They can be as small as a salt shaker. Salt is the essense that preserves our lives and can give flavor to them as well.
So it is good to be ready to share our lives and be surprised what will be pulled from the hat of our lives. We may all be pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Bridge

I like one song a lot which is "The Bridge over Troubled Waters." it is very similar to Jesus's famous saying before He went to be crucified and He knew his disciples would be confused and alone without him present with them. In life, we are going to have some trouble . It is guaranteed. In the Gospels, Jesus says "do not worry about tomorrow since today has enough trouble of its own" We don't have to go looking around the corner for it since there is a very good chance that it will appear.

The bridge that Jesus represents allows us to walk above our troubles and look at them through a different lens and perspective. Many times I forget to walk to that bridge and walk over them. I tend to hunker down with them and get my vision clouded and not look straight ahead at the God who can address them.

May we all have the confidence to look into His face and stand tall when problems lurk and may we build bridges into peoples lives to give them the comfort that they need.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Floors of the Hospital

Have you ever considered the human body stretched out among many floors. That is what the hospital is-an elaborate layout of the body in various floors with each one specializing in a different section of the body. There is the heart wing, the wing for the bones and the wing for the brain and many other ones, too.

Yet each of these wings are connected-not in the exact way that our bodies are structured but in an organized and thought-out way that helps our bodies get the best care they need. And behind each of these floors, are men and women who are specially trained in each area.

In the same way, the church is known a hospital for sinners and not as a shrine for the saints. Some people in our society have thought of the church as a place to honor saints which is important. But no one person has all of life fully put together except the one that we model which is Christ. The church acts as a safe place for people to understand their status in life and how they can receive help and live in a community.

It can be a fun place-the hospital, home for the doctors and patients, when one needs to get repaired so that life can function much better. I had a good experinece when I was a child growing up. I had to be away from my classmates for a month while I had some work done on my ankles. It was during this time that I learned how to play gin rummy with my dad. Laying out cards and facing a fresh deck each time for the 10 minutes it takes to work out the hand in secret is fun; yet at times nerve-wracking--for fear that the hand will end with a gin by dad and then my hand will be full of Kings and Queens and Jacks. But it is satisfying when I get a decent score.

Yes, in life,we are in the recovery room going through stages of treatment as the master physician and sculptor works on our lives.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

3 Episodes

1. The swing of conversation
To dedicate this piece to my mom and dad who lovingly took a fellow into the world that has had challenges and has made it a better place to catch up to those within it.

Going back and forth
Making many twists and turns
Not knowing the directions that our words will take us.
Sometimes catching up with us and sometimes having us fall behind.
A treasure chest in a maze to find
Singing a melody with the violins and cymbals
particpating with their own ryhthm and place within the whole.

Last night, I watched a documentary , A Song for our children. It explored how children interact with those who are disabled and do not fit the ordinary mold of how the regular world pictures us.
I remember up until I was 11 years old, I was in the protective womb of the Human Resources School in Albertson New York to gather for myself and my family the tools that I would need to lead a more productive life. Not that that was necessarily bad but failed at the time to condition me to what is out there when I faced the public school arena.
I guess nothing really prepares people for what they encounter when facing a new environment.

Having entered the world with few springs and screws amiss and loose made the ride on the swing a little bouncy and uncertain. I felt the base of the swing set shake and the swing squeaked as it moved up and down. A little sand to kick with my feet as the swing moved along its course and the gentle cheers of children running around it and climbing the bars of the jungle gym.
At 11 years old I crossed a small beige concrete step from the playground into a classroom of strangers. A different town and a public school- Scary at first =seeing desks with blue and pink name tags-with names ranging from Amy to Chuck to Norris and then to mine-Scott. With no real knowledge of how to interact with people different from myself, it made a great divide-a bridge that took a decade for people to be comfortable with me around. A new world. A new place to chart my life and course for my life. New rules to encounter and new waters to fathom. Time to untie the boat and start a shaky adventure but one that has been worthwhile. At times, I had to row against the stream having splashes of spume thrown against my face and at times the surf carressed my face with a smooth silky sensation from the emerging waves from the sea.
While seeing the documentary, I realize how fortunate I was to be surrounded by loving family and friends. There are those who are less fortunate who range from Downs Syndrome to Autism and other developmental delays-both physically and mentally.
Yet whether ones response rate is that of a pentium #3 or an apple G5, it does not really matter.

I developed a love affair wtih a region known as the Down East. It became a special place 30 years ago where I would begin a sacred pilgrimage each summer for about 10 years and then weekly encounters each year afterwards. It gave me a way to participate in nature-the sacred firmament that would never judge me-a curtain that would welcome me into her presence by name-that looked intently on my face with its beauty-calling to my spirit. Calming and restoring my fragmented scars that I received and endured during the year.
Being able to count on the Pratt's Island for the 7 summers of rural cottage living and the visits to nearby Boothbay Harbor and the visit to the yachts and the boats and wharves. The ability to smell the salts in the air and to hear the hark of the angels overhead in the form of seagulls, terns and crows. An odd orchestra of birds that clamor for their property with all its vast expanse of land. Just as mankind has done to me and others like me-not allowing us a chance to settle down and find rest.
Now when I look at the face of nature, I see God's glory shining forth to me whether outside or from a worship screen. Participating within the divine realm.
Something that I can call to=stop for a moment to watch and wonder-just as I did 30 years ago standing on a ledge of rocks -looking into her hollow-her womb that had barnacles and snails and shells and seaweed-recessed within the hollow-an ampitheatre for the audience to look at. Protected from the crashes of the surf and a leftover memory of a trip that the stream has left for me to see and observe .Being like a modern day Rachel Carson-having received the training from 30 years ago near Dogfish Head where much of her research was done.
Thanks mom and Dad and thanks to Maine=where Mainiacs are grown and nurtured and allow the world to be a better place. A parable for life.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Oh Sacrament of summer days

Oh sacrament of summer days
Oh the summertime has opened up and been exposed to the words of time.
of words of time that are free from the cares of the world--of schedules and cares of care.
Oh time to frolic in the waves of summer and to the times of warmth beating on the brow.
--of times spent in the park, at the beach, at the country store--eying the glass candy jars and the post card racks.
--of the constant trips over Pratt's Island Bridge-rickety and steady at the same time.
-of times standing on the bridge with fishing pole in hand-tossing the line to the cove and predictably catching the same crab over and over again.
--The Daze from the air-of time in snore and the times to restore. Bagging up on the munchies and sleepies that I so needed from the times in the school world.
--of the birds flying home at night to Gull Rock-passing by Hendricks Head light -cooing the stories of their days=their gloria deo.
--oh the times spent with the fires crackling in the firebox of the hearth and the creaking of the beams overhead.

These are some of the memories of the summers spent on the remote and near island on the coast of Maine.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Life is a series of random waves in a pool that are interconnected to one another in a mosaic of purpose that is determined later on in life.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My Love to Write

Oh How I have been reminded of how I love to write. Often I neglect this love for the mundane things of the world to read of what others have written of it and yet fail to take a fresh look at my world to paint my response I have to it with pen and ink on a sheet of paper or by keys at the computer to make music to my words.

I was interviewed once by the paper of why I attended my local writing workshop in Bridgeport and I said that I love to write. That is what the reporter quoted my saying. Yet looking back on my last few months, I have written a few pieces and have taken meaningless scribbles down on what I have seen and read. If only I cold connect those dots on a broader scale to make a masterpiece for others to see.

Just as in the show, StarTrek, the men and women of the Enterprise boldly went where no man went before. Just as in my words as composer to my life, I vow to go where no man may have gone or may have passed by without really looking as is sometimes the case.

Let us remember that it is the process of reflecting that is important and to keep the water flowing. Do not let the dam of doubt of ones importance block the flow of ideas. Let the ideas rush over the top of the waterfall with a crescendo that makes a bold sound and music in our lives.

I am ready, Maestro Lord to compose for you!!!

So I untie my boat and start to row with my two oarlocks in place. Not having the fear that one may break off along the Way.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Life as a fairy tale

How interesting it would be to tie our lives to a fairy tale and make it to a more modern one at that. Which is the fairytale to choose is the tough question. It was suggested at my last writing workshop by the facilitator yet I failed to give it full attention. What first comes to mind is that of Goldilocks and the three bears. Not that I would be Goldlilocks, but a combination of the three bears.
It can be tough to make a decision on what to do with ones free time in life. Especially in the area of how to schedule multiple hours on a saturday when in the past I used to define that day in the office for almost 6 years. I have grand plans for the day, yet I fail to accomplish much-frittering away on the computer or sitting in front of the television not always accomplishing a lot. It would be a great opportunity to be more proactive in what I do.
When it comes to the bears, there is the complaint by one that the porriage is not well enough done. Our lives are similiar to the bowl of porriage in that our days are filled with ingredients that are tenderized with boiling water. And at times oatmeal does not always have the right consistency. But persistence is needed with the oatmeal and the enjoyment can take on different levels of intensity.

And having to commute daily, I feel sometimes like Little Red Riding Hood going through the forest going to her Grandmother's house on a journey. I remember growing up as a child going to my grandmother's house several times a year after she became a widow. It was always good to see her be hospitable to my parents and myself and other family members. It gave me a window to what she must have been like as a parent raising 5 young children.
So as I reflect across the aisles of my buses, I see a reflection of how the lives of the commuters might be. We are all on that journey=looking forward to what will be behind the doors we open-whether it be family or commerce or relaxation.

Reflections are always welcome to my thoughts. Peace,scott

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Blessings on the eve of our conclusion of the missions festival in CT. Having heard an inspirational message on the importance of staying in prayer even when confined to difficulty, it is important for our hearts to open up to God and rely on Him for our strength in our struggles.

Passing it on

Today is a day of blessing others. I learned the importance of passing on scritpure from generation to generation.
In a puddle, a child places a pebble and then stands back and sees the ripples going out from the splash of the pebble into the pond. The echo effect of that toss is immediate. A legacy passed down in faith takes years and the impact is heard and enacted upon through the one who remmebered and the listeners. Indeed that is how the oral tradition of telling the Bible occurred long before the printing press and the written papyrus scrolls.
Last night on Book TV, there was an speech done by Alan Shepherd , the astronaut from the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He stated that when moon rock and dust come back to earth, they need to be preserved in cases with special nitrogen surrounding them. So in the same way the family acts as the environment through which stories are preserved and passed on to be a legacy to future generations.

I tag Len.

Friday, May 05, 2006

May I have my Din Din please

Four legged felines have been famous throughout history. There was Morris the Cat known for his commercials throughout the world, and the director's chair that he used to sit in.
In my corner of the world is the infamous cat, Lewis, who has been the talk of the town with the Avon Lady and many others getting angry at the cat. Maybe it was the order that didn't arrive from Avon that got him a little miffed and he sprang to action. Kind of hard to understand the mind of a cat. I had one once and Tigger was a lot of fun chasing rope and balls throughout the house. But we never had t.v and paper reporters with our cat.
Some reporter did try to have an interview with Lewis the Cat but words were absent-only perceptible with meows instead.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My Aspirations

I would love there to be no discrimination or teasing of those who appear different from others.
  1. If there was only a way for people to recognize the beauty and potential that is within another and not to rip apart the person with ridicule.
  2. If there was a way to celebrate the victories and triumphs of those who struggle everyday on the front page of the news.
  3. If there was a way to encourage those we face who struggle and be the advocates during their struggles.
  4. In all of the above, I was blessed in having parents, educators and friends help me in the process.
    I FEAR for those in the beginning years of their education who can not find their way in life.
  5. I WISH that I could come alongside them and offer that helping hand as I received early on.
  6. I DREAM of the day that we will not be able to tell apart people based on their disability but upon their ability.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Breathe in-breathe out

It is the first of May already. The leaves have already formed on the trees. They are doing their breathing again as the chlorophyll fills up the leaves for the green pigment.

Let us all breathe in the newness of May and springttime. The very elements that nature is putting together for a glorious view is the same that I observe in the urban setting of the mall as stores are getting ready for new business.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The spring olympics

Yes, I know it is not summer or winter. But our church had the start to our annual missions festival. We had the teenagers carry the flags of 18 countries in and the olympic theme song started to play and the olympic torch was lit for our festival.
Good to be able to have the olympics even in spring and to know that the torch can be passed on always.
We were reminded by the speaker that Dickens wrote this is the best and the worst of times in his Tale of Two Cities. I read that famous quote last night when I read an anthology of poetry. And seeing how a thought from sunday school on Paul's second missionary journey to Athens and his interaction with the people there. And then going to our worship time to be centered on the Greco-Roman olympic theme was great. And much of the New Testament is centered around that region of the world, too.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter

Easter is right around the corner-along with the buds that are forming on the trees. the air is warm and there is a gentle aroma surrounding the earth of new life about to begin.
In the beginning was the word and the word was with God. God was brought back from the grave of Good Friday and brought into life eternal to share with us this great gift. This gift harkens back to the time of the stable in Bethlehem and the vacated garments that once wrapped Christ's body at his death are starkly similar to the swaddling clothes that graced his body at his birth.
As we take on the new life of Him this easter season, lets remember the manger and the starry night as we look at the rise of the son and the setting of the moon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


The words to the song, Downtown, downtown , come to mind when I think of the city of Bridgeport, in which I live. A collection of small shops and of restaurants are on my mind when I see the city. A place of promise for the past few weeks when the women's NCAA tournament and the President of the United States made visits to our city-decisions made recently and done with great poise.
To see the exhibit of the history of the women's basketball program that grew from roots in someone's imagination to the point where it is today with national television exposure and even a WNBA draft. The women's program at UCONN has grown over the years.
Back to a couple of years ago, I attended a first round game with Penn and UConn. That game was a blow out with UCONN controlling that game for that day. I saw the UCONN cheerleader with his hat going up and down the stands of 9,000 for that game. He paused and let me take his picture for the moment. Fast forward to this year when the 2nd round games produced a couple of nail biters with the Huskies winning by 2 and then losing by 2 the next time. Seeing the mascot of my alma mater, Fairfield University Stags, made me feel home in my living room while watching the game.
Then the other night, to watch on television, President Bush, walking in Bridgeport to the Playhouse on the Green, was good to see. and to hear him discuss with the current and potential political leaders the promise that health care can have for our country.

Besides these promising glimpses of the seedlings emerging from the ground our city has a lot to do. At times when talking with my parents, I share my views and experiences of life within the city. At times, they say ,"be careful going into Bridgeport, you know anything can happen." but I am and am aware of risks-but there are risks anyday of life, too. Perils can happen when knees meet the pavement, too.
The times I am in downtown are for a bite after work at the local Quiznos restaurant that opened for business a few months ago. Their colorful palate of their name against red and green shows promise to the city that anything can happen on the palate of opportunity,and I tell them that I spend one saturday a month with my favorite memoir writing group to discuss how our experiences in life have affected our lives. I reflect to them on how they once had lunch over business one afternoon at a deli in the former HiHo/Crossroads Mall. That was the same spot that my dad and I once went to Sears on the city bus to purchase my first typewriter after college to work on resumes and letters to my family.

Looking out at the Urban Green housing project at a former Citytrust Bank that I used to do business at shows promise. right now, there is scaffolding and a sign stating "we knew"-that is the promise for our city is in seed form. As in the move, Field of dreams, "if they build it, they will come. Walking under the platform of the scaffolding there, I saw an empty bottle of Snapple iced tea laying against the metal base of the scaffolding and an overturned metal support. Right now it is silent and abandoned. But within 1 to 2 years, it will be vibrant and will spread life to the rest of the city with a stronger residential base.
Last June, I attended a party of a friend of mine in the Reads artspace Lofts. I heard new muscians playing some instruments and singing and had the opportunity to help welcome my friend Louis, into the city that night. Then we spent several hours to the next day watching the musings of Seinfeld and hearing Sarah Brightman's concert on DVD on a big projection screen television.
So the words to that song, Downtown, come into my mind and welcome me to a time when the city will be ripe and be a place of delight for my friends to enter to celebrate our lives. Vive Bridgeport-a passageway to a safe shelter.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

NCAA is in town

The city of Bridgeport has excitement today with the NCAA women's tournament in our city. The local People's Bank is sponsoring a sports fest for the kids giving them an opportunity to get sports equipment, safety instructions and have fun interacting with the mascots of the local sports teams. It is a big change from 6 years ago when there was no local interaction with sports which makes the the city a beacon of hope for the future.
The life of a sportsman is one of challenge. The 60 minutes takes over 2 hours, but in it is a lot of drama and excitement as the whistles blow, the sneakers squeak against the floor and calls are made quickly from the sidelines. I experienced it from the sidelines when I was active as a manager for my local high school team in the early 80's. Hanging onto the ticking of the clock overhead and the horns of the officials for replacements in the game causes a bit of anticipation for what is to come. But the excitement of seeing the organge basketball go through the hoop-swoosh and 2 points appearing afterward!!!! May the game live on and be a source of excitement for all who watch it and scream at the t.v. for why calls are made that are not agreed upon. and for the patience in awaiting the officials words on the answer to a questionable call.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Shuffling the cards of life

Shuffling the cards of life.
Dining room table has been cleared off and after dinner, Dad asks if I want to play a few rounds of gin rummy. 10 cards are dealt to each other. one, one;two, two; three,three;...ten, ten. The face card is finally turned over next to the virgin deck of cards.
Pensive looks cross each other as the cards are arrnaged by suit for the correct assortment of possible hands. The silence of the room is sliced by the ringing of the phone. 3 rings later, my mom answers the phone. It is my brother who calls to let us know the latest news of an editing job and news of how Abby is doing with her adventures.
The dishwasher whirs in the distance. Mom asks for help with the daily crostic for a clue to help unlock the clue to the quote. I know how hard it can be to find the right word to squeeze within those dashes. Many possible words but only the right one for the author of the puzzle. this life is a puzzle at times-finding the right words to say or deeds to do. But nonetheless satisfying when the pen can be put down. Oh, my mom is amazed I can do it in ink but a few scribbles is no problem for me. They can stay on the page-for life has made enough scratch marks on me. I am not afraid for others to see those.
Back to the game at hand, arranging and rearranging the cards for the perfect chance for gin. In my mind, I am looking for the right combination to spark a high hand at gin. My mom gets up from her puzzle for a few crackers and takes a glance my way and says "interesting cards" Not that I need immediate help. I just shuffle and arrange and see where some moves take me.
Oh, my turn. I just discarded the king of hearts and spades. Not that I want those high cards in my hand. Too many times giving a score of 60 away. NExt I draw the king of diamonds. yet, I struggle to fix the hand to a satisfaction that has all the cards lined up right.
a final score of 40 and just in time before all the other cards are used.
I shuffle 4 more times and Dad cuts the deck for another round of dealing the right 10 cards, I hope. Dealing those 10 cards and then awaiting the sound of silence and the sound of encouragement of how Bridgeport and Cartright Towers is doing.
Being present with each other dates back to the times at Newington Childrens Hospital during the 5th grade. a good activity for a father and son to spend in time and place from Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota and Arizona.
Thanks for that chance to do something so simple yet so profound -to await our fate with the conclusion of the hand. Scores are evenly matched at the end. the final score never matters. just numbers scored carefully on a folded shopping list in life. To be mingled with a silent but constant reassuring love of a father to his son. thanks for the hands.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

By Immersion

This week, our men's study discussed the act of baptism. About 20 years ago, I had that experience as I joined my church body in June of 1986. It was an immersion into a warm body of water. I was so eager to get dunked that I beat my pastor's questions and got right to the answer of YES, I accepted Christ and the work that He did for me on the cross.
Lately, I have been thinking of how beneficial it is to be immersed into life. As a result, I immersed myself into the writing of a letter to a former cell mate of one of our church members since he needed an encouragement and voice from the outside world. Being away from physical walls that enclose is easy, but we all are enclosed my walls of oursselves that are hard to oppen and find freedom from.
The spanish have a term for life which is in the feminine form, la Vida, which is a strong word evoking growth and change and almost has the rhythmn of a dance to it. The other bookend to life is the spanish word, for death, la muerte. It is between the beginning and end of our life that we can dance and flow thorough life. especially through the immersion of ourselves into the experiences of others-being a part of other lives in community through the beginning of water.
For the first 9 months of our existence, we are surrounded by water of the womb nourishing our lives from the start. Life on earth began with that key ingredient of La Agua. so let us swim through La Agua , the dance of life and the journey of time.
So remember the mundane acts of washng the dishes and reading a book or writing a note or thoughts are all ways to immerse oneself into life and not be afraid since we have God and others to hold onto and to life us out of the waters of death into life. May HIs grace be upon the reader.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Impending snow

For almost half this winter, snow has been absent=a nice welcome relief!!! But winter comes back with a bang this evening as we approach a foot for the first time in a while.
Snow plows will be out in force and boots and shovels are going to get a workout. Along with gloves and mittens.
Snow adds a lot to the natural world to look at. and to reflect upon as the water overflows rocks that are covered by the snow. The slow gurgling of the rushing water is a gentle sound that is soothing as it is a continual force and presence of nature.
So as the classic song goes, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A lesson plan from space

20 years ago, a young teacher Christa McCauliffe, ventured to the world of space to give lessons to her students of what is out in space. She never got to give those lectures, but today in over 50 Challenger learning centers in the United States, students are conducting missions to the planets and galaxies. For a young woman to have a grand dream of flying in outer space and have it denied in her lifetime is frustrating to those who are left to endure the loss. That is where working as a team is required. To come alongside those to whom dreams are denied and to pursue those dreams anyway without the initiators of those dreams.
Moses had to endure a delay when he could not enter the promised land but had to wander.
Many times in life, we are faced with delays.
Delays are not fun. Whether it is a delay in giving a talk, getting a raise or just a delay in finding the special friend that God assigns is not easy since we can not see the cards that God is dealing into our lives.
we need to have courage and be the initators and finishers of those dreams just as coaches take off where others have left off and pastors take over the work of other pastors. Dream on.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday school on the road

How we have to be flexible when we look at our lives. This morning, the normal routine of sunday school was broken into pieces. When my friend called and said that his ride did not show up, I went with a friend and we picked him up.
While we were heading on the highway I reflected on how I handled a new visitor in not being sensitive to the hurt within this person. I knew there was hurt within but was not sensitive in dealing with a situation and tried to make sure we conformed to the way the room is set up. I learned I need to be flexible and God really doesn't care where the teacher sits. We are all the teachers of His word.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

New Beginnings

Today is the start for our memoir writing for 2006 with a new facilitator. It will be hard without our old reliable professor, but Mary and Gilligan will be alongside the new professor. Changes are difficult to take at times. But just as the seasons change from one to the next, it is always good to get a new flow of ideas into life.
The wood carver sits down and spreads out his apron and lays down his sanding blocks and knives with which he is going to cut the wood into a sculpture. He moves deliberately along the piece of wood and finds the groove to carve along. He has a white beard and a warm smile. He laughs as he carves and finds great joy in doing this activity.
The wood shavings accumulate and the aroma of freshly carved wood fill the workshop. He stands up and stretches his long arms and grabs a few more tools to fine tune this piece of wood. He looks around to clear cobwebs hanging from lamps in the ceiling that are full of dust.
He moves again to open the window to air his workshop out during this humid day. He hears a mourning dove outside his window and sees a group of children outside playing. He looks at the sky and gains inspiration to continue his work.
Carving wood is a lot like writing. Just touching the piece of wood and creating a structure as you go along. Just like with writing-bringing about the flow of ideas to communicate a meaning and blessing for the reader.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Having only been on the hardwood floor as an assistant to the coach during my last two years of my high school years, I have learned much on how much perseverence it takes for players on a team. Seeing them do wind-sprints down the length of the floor to doing the stretching and boxing out and various offensive and defensive drills helps prepare the team for the challenges that are ahead during the actual game time.
Being on the actual courtside seeing the close action on a day to day basis is something that I will never forget. A lot of times when an observer looks at a game from the distance, they do not understand all the hard work that must go on behind the scenes.
Never being an athlete myself, I will never know first-hand the effects of the day to day competition. But being part of a close-knit community over two winters was very special when being present amongst teams of local high schools.
Now just being able to scream at the television screen that a college player should have done better is a favorite way to spend an afternoon or evening.
Thanks, Abe for giving me the chance to experience a part of life that I would not have otherwise being a fan in the stands.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A new year@!!!

It is a little bit like school today since a talk that I was planning to give was cancelled due to bad weather. It gives me another 2 weeks to prepare for it. It will focus on how christians are supposed to be aware of the cloud of witnesses that have gone before them. These people such as Moses and Abraham had many challenges to face. In light of the themes from the book of Romans 8 on the role of glory and suffering and the importance to have perseverence in the middle of the suffering. Noah had to endure the scorn of others as he built the ark and Jesus had to endure the suffering on the cross for three hours. Peace to those who read these first words of 2o06 from me.