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.