Saturday, September 29, 2007

Emerging from the Nautilus Shell

This morning, I was surrounded by three gifted mature women who could communicate clearly in a writing workshop at the local arts center that is still forming itself. Maintaining itself despite some controversary surrounding it with politics and stuff.

On the walls, there were images of the virgin Mary and other images that were of a primitive nature. They also hung above from a string of rope . It provided an interaction with another culture as we creatively wrote about ourselves. I was able to tie in several different events from work and life and tie them into the writing prompts which made an interesting collage. Just as the latin American/hispanic artists could do with these quilts hanging on the walls and from the rope.

from various writing prompts this morning, I became a little more able to emerge from my shell and wanted to share with the participants that I love Jesus and let them see a little of him in me. Not knowing if my paths will intersect again with the two of them. It may. But it was a good way to let my feelings for Him to be shown as I handled my bag of nutmeg spice and remembered in scripture that we are to be a living sacrifice offered to Jesus.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let my memory be a torch


A torch held high. Let it be exalted as we recall our glory days of ago. Let it be held up high as we climb the hills of life and let them be full of splendor and struggle. Let this torch be passed from friend to friend =from those who know us well and those that don't know us well enough.

so go the cats singing "Memory"

Let's travel on the memory brick road during a good game of concentration.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


As I went through my commute this morning, I realized that the world is dominated by boxes from the moment we are born to the minute we die.
In the beginning, for the first 9 months of our pre natal life, we are confined by the womb-like box that nurtures us as an embryo until the embryo becomes a full-fledged newborn.

Then we are surrounded by a crib during the evening and strollers and other enclosed contraptions to keep us in safety.

Then later on in life, we play with building blocks which are in the form of boxes and also some toddlers built cities full of boxes.

Later as adults, we will work within buildings that use boxes to store documents. There is a skill to creating boxes for which we can store documents. And many times, the documents lie there in state never to be used again. Often times, it feels great to place them in a box yet we tend to forget they are there.

We as pedestrians and commuters look at buildings which are box like in structure.

And at the final moment of time. our lifeless body will be placed in a box aka a coffin in a hole in the ground.

And it takes a whole lifetime to unpack the box that we have been given and to make good use of its contents.

John Ortberg, a christian author, uses the analogy of life to that of a game of monopoly where at the end of the game, everything that we have accumulated goes back in the box at the end of the game.

May these words bless the reader.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Not much popping into the mind tonight. Just the phrase droplets to describe how I can feel at the end of the day.

Droplets frozen on the skin.
somewhat invisible from the long day that has been spent at work and traveling back and forth on 6 buses and on foot.
Not one to sweat. one to work hard and climb hills of effort.

careful in how I dance on the road so not to grab a stone underfoot
yet bumping into cubicles and walls when not looking forward.

Lesson learned; look forward and down at the same time without seeming like a duck.
And to enjoy life also and treasure each moment. especially after hearing that one of my favorite sports anchors with a good narrators voice=Bill Gonillo died at the age of 44. Which is my age also.

Peace to his family.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Curbside Greeting.

For a few minutes this morning, I tried a different form of ministry at church: Curbside check in. Not exactly like that of the airport though.
No suitcases were exchanged. Just a quick and friendly handshake or hello.
I realize in life that we all have packages to unload of cares and of concerns. Yet, unfortunately I did not fully unload them at the curbside of the church but somehow managed to carry them back home with me. If only I had real packages like that of a suitcase might I have taken advantage of a service like that. Yet, God does offer such a service in prayer and I hope to fully take advantage of that component of my faith since we are studying the discipline of prayer at our 8am class.
May God bless the reader.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I joined the chorus of the crickets

Tonight being on the cusp of autumn and the last day of summer, the crickets were sounding their music before the audience of apartment dwellers. Most probably paying no attention to these critters and some like me paying some attention to their intricate sounds as their feet rub against each other making marvelous muisc for me to enjoy while listening to my praise music on cd and reading Philip Yancey's book on prayer in preparaton for our 8 am sunday discussion group. Who knows where our discussion will take us in the morning, but it should be full of surprises and blessings along the way.

Just being able to type at the keyboard without looking at the keys and to see words come from my mind and listen to music and breathe all at the same time is a modern miracle of life itself. And to realize that life is forming within one of my coworkers as she anticipates the birth in 7 months of her first child. And how God holds this entire earth together in its complexity. Of people digging into its surface for survival in finding a well and those who are digging to escape from the pursuit of others as Osama did when he hid from authorities a few years ago.

Mysteries are profound in life yet just being able to string together a few random threads is a great pleasure to me and to do it with a computer that will not crash on me is ever so wonderful.

Approximately two weeks ago we had a cricket visit our office and he chimed for a while for about 30 minutes and then he was off and away in a corner of our office limping and obviously in distress. Not emitting any sounds of joy as the crickets are now doing outside my bedroom window. Their conductor is God who is keeping the rhythyms of this earth in perfect order. may the words of this post bless the reader as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

the rain must come and the sun will follow

I thought that today would be bright and sunny. Yet we have a little rain and yet as Annie says, :The sun will come tomorrow. And I am glad that the sun will come morrow because it is our church picnic and our 125th anniversary day of our church.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get up and get going=facing the uncertainty of what will be accomplished. I do the love the result of Neatness but I let fear and procrastination get in the way. If I would only just let myself move forward, I would be able to see some changes and then let others celebrate with me on changes that I implement in my little significant life.

It just popped into my head again that I must be like the phoenix who triumphs and raises out of the ashes. It must arise. I also reflect back to tuesday's 6th anniversary of 09-11 and also our intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan to try to bring about world peace. These accomplishments with our goals seem hard for us to accomplish. Yet somehow trust must enter the pcture that our leaders who I see on the television know what they are doing. Having never met any of them in person.
I feel the same way about God sometimes. Never having directly seen him except through the actions of others, I too must trust what He is doing in my life as well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Cathedral for balloons

Balloons, Balloons, Balloons
Filling the sky of all sizes and all colors.
Punctuating the sky-as if broken by a puff of smoke

Arising from a little child's string.
Releasing His balloon above.
As if a prayer spoken to the heavens.

A message tied to each one
attached to a string
in an attempt to reach a loved and lonely one from afar.

Looking out on the clear blue sky
on 09-11-01,
looking back on a cloudy and rainy day
not knowing what to do or say.

May the balloons of hope fill the sky.
May they march down by Macy's on the the thanksgiving day Parade.
armed by dozens of men.

Or maybe by words spoken to one another on pages of laughter or somber reflection

Oh, how can it be ...
six years already.
Remembrances must go on.
Let the air fill these graceful vessels.
inflating them with hope yet sagging with age.
Of some that fly away when tied loosely
and some that stay on the ground.

And for the thankfulness that life begins
not just at conception
but at gratefulness of being alive and well
in a world that has changed forever.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

progress within a private island

Just to get away and be surrounded by nature. To forget about the cares of this world.

Thirty years ago, my parents and I set out for our first adventure onto the coast of Maine-that has lasted through this day.
We vacationed on Pratt's Island which is one of the many islands on the coastline of Maine. It was off of the mainland of Southport. Two bridges to get across to go to our little island.
When I was a teenager, I enjoyed the many afternoons walking on the rocks in front of our cottage. Our cottage sat on the top of a cliff of rocks with a forest that sat behind it.

These large rocks were a challenge for me most of the time. I clung to the nearby rocks in case I lost my balance . It was the first summer for me after having some surgery on my feet and ankles, and my parents thought that it would do me some good to get away and be in the salt and sea air and for us to escape noisy neighbors. On one of the occassions that I rock climbed, I did fall back onto one of the smoother outcroppings of rocks since I lost my footing. I gently grazed my back and was thankful that it was a smooth rock and not one of the more jagged ones that I climbed over previously.

One morning I overheard some conversations of the local islanders who said, "You see, the pollock and bass and some blues are running under ya here. you ought to give it a try." So off I went with my fishing pole and Plano tackle box. I stood by the railing of the Pratt's island bridge with its faded and chipped white paint. I tossed my line into the water with the hope of catching some fish. When I got the first tug on the line, I said, "yes, my first fish off this bridge. the natives were right." Yet, when I reeled in my line, I only caught a tiny green crab with some seaweed clinging to it. I brought the pole through the railing and unhooked the crab and tossed him back to the water below. Again, I cast my line into the water. Yet, I got the same result with crabs. That afternoon, I caught and released almost a dozen crabs.
As I walked home from the bridge over the dirt roads into the cottage. Mom asked how my fishing expedition went. "Oh, I only caught about a dozen green crabs with seaweed on them, no fish as the natives promised." Mom said, "you will do better next time,son. They were probably the same ones hopping on the line again." Words of comfort to a budding fisherman.

One of those summer days in August, I wanted to go to the local library's annual book sale. My uncle and aunt and their two kids were going to be spending a week with us in our cottage. I pleaded with them to get a ride to the sale. Yet they said no. I told them I was going on a gentle walk and would be back in a couple of hours. When I left the cottage, I was determined to get to the sale. I started the walk along the southport roads, and I stopped by several small yard tag sales and picked up a few items. Almost one and a half hours later, I arrived at the Newagen Library and walked in with great hopes of tables full of books. Yet, I kept looking around in some disbelief. A few scattered tables with leftover books and no one browsing. Ah shucks. no books. I thought about it for a moment, should I call home and ask for a ride. Yet, I started back on my 3. mile journey on foot. I kept worrying was I going to be late for dinner. When I got home, Mom and Dad were worried of why I was gone longer than a couple of hours. I said, "I wanted to go to Newagen, and noone would take me. So I decided to walk it by myself. " They said, "in two days, we have company. Better rest those feet so you won't be sitting alone while we have some fun. " Those two days were spent resting and recovering from the 6.5 mile journey.

Today, my parents are at Piper Shores, a lifecare community in Scarborough, a suburb of Portland . Piper Shores is an elegant community with cottages and a main residence divided into two wings, Joselyn and Kirkwood. This land was once part of the Winslow Homer estate and a group of investors decided this would be a good place for the elderly to live by the sea. My parents were reading the Downeast and saw it advertised in it . My parents heard many good things about lifecare from my dad's sister and decided to check it out. I am glad for progress on the Maine coast and knowing that there is no isolation there. And help is available 24 hours around the clock. And a drop-dead view of the ocean. Views that have traveled for us through our residences on the coat of Maine.

One of mom and dad's neighbors at Piper Shores owns a cottage on Southport Island . They are at the other end of the island on a small dirt road . As I had my weekly chat with mom and dad at their rented cottage, we reminisced about the old days of West Southport, Maine. Of those times when I caught those dozen crabs and my 6.5 mile hike around the island to go to the Newagen library's annual summer book fair. The Newagen Library has undergone an expansion with a new children's wing and has expanded its shelf space.
They visited Pratt's Island and remarked on the progress that the island had made. Gus Pratt, an islander for his life, owned a portion of Pratt's which had mostly forests of trees. It sat at the edge of the sea. My mom said, "that is his annuity for his family." His children now own it and decided to develop the land into milion dollar mansions. And the General store where Gus and his wife worked is now for sale to the town to have it be a center for the yacht club. Gus Pratt had a white beard and wore overalls at his store which housed a duck pin bowling alley within it. His checkout counter was lined with nickel postcards and penny candy. The store was lined with windows and there was a little cafe where one could sit and have an icecream cone or sandwich. During one of our summers, mom and I would walk to the store to pick up a loaf of bread and some bananas and get some icecream while walking home to the cottage.

I am sure that if I stood on the Pratt's island bridge today and tossed a line into the waters, I would almost come up with a dozen crabs and a few bits of seaweed. Yet some things will not change. The Sheepscot Bay which surrrounds Pratt's Isle and Southport isle are still present. So are the crabs and so is the island with the gulls and ospreys overhead and the rocks below. They roll with the pulse of the tide and not with the progress of mankind. They still get their sustenance from the sea just as the lobstermen do. And I am glad for them. Yet inside, I still have a hankering for those afternoons in a rocker on the porch. Enjoying a summer of rustic living at the edge of the sea. The same type of living that Rachel Carson had during her time on Dogfish head-also a part of Southport Lore.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Quest for a cure

I have seen many times mentioned the need for a cure. For more drops in a bucket. For the muscular dystrophy association, for the sma association and for sickle cell anemia. Hard for me to put a finger on how to help out since I don't know all their struggles and having limited resources. But we do have many things to work on as a society. Lord, help those who are at their wits end not knowing how to proceed and help them get a little more strength to go the next 10th of a mile.

Working At Life

happy Labor Day. Not everyone works out of an office or school or factory. But a comment from a friend struck me the right way in that we all work at Life. We all must make the best of all our opportunities. Of how our hopes and our disappointments can weave each other together so that we may be most effective in what we are doing. It is good to see how a simple comment can encourage me briefly and show that what we all do is work and implies a struggle sometimes and definitely a reason to celebrate the actions of all who are involved.

Life is a magazine; it is a cereal which Mikey likes. It is a game and it is also a good four letter word if one has the right attitude about what comes at us everyday.

A good day to laugh at tortoises indeed crossing the road with their baby tortoises and turkeys going across the road. The adventures of hearing plastic bags "growing in trees" and the need for times to connect with each other over movies we liked or disliked. That is the beauty of friendship and the bonds created from our former group, Real Life, which I still miss. But it is the times to let our hair down and just be ourselves-which was the original model that Pastor Dan of Black Rock had for us almost 8 years ago for us and it still works for this odd bunch of disciples of Jesus today just as it did in the time of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

Jesus had his group of 12 and then he had his group of 3 of Peter and james and John that he had extended time with. That is the value for family and friends. Last week, I realized that when my parents wanted alone time with Abby, their granddaughter and their son, it was okay. I fought it at first. But if Jesus needed some down time to prepare his disciples for the work ahead, then my parents need to have the same opportunity as well. It takes maturity and running around the bases in the game of Life to get a grasp on it as well.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

walking through the seasons

Walking through the forest in a summer rain. Feeling the air against my shoulder and against my skin. Making a stride toward the autumn breeze and the cooling of the days. A gloria Deo amongst the fields of changing colors and of the rustle of the leaves underneath. The chill of the evening rain as the water-soaked leaves collapse underfoot and become molded into broken pieces-recognizable as leaves yet wet and broken. The onset of the wind coming off the coast upon the jagged rocks. The snow howling at my face as I seek refuge from its assault upon me. For those glorious days of autumn to return or the warmth of embrace of spring just ahead.
It is amazing how each of these seasons help to reflect the moods that I am in. Words may sound a little bleak which is sometimes how I feel. Yet I also feel hope as I have included words of hope to bring the reader and myself into awareness that the world offers both perspectives=ones of bleakness and ones of brightness. How emotions can be felt through the changing seasons. Yet it is through these seasons that life comes and provides life with a rest of production so that life can begin in earnest in the springtime of Hope Eternal.