Friday, April 10, 2009

A break from the media.

The tides of the ocean come in and wash over the land.
When I grew up on the summer journey to the Maine cottage, we looked at the tidal charts which hung on the dampened paneled wall and monitored much of what we did that day on how the tides behaved. That was our major source of media for our natural cove at the time.

Often we would look outside and see when the lobstermen were coming in close to shore to pull their traps. During times of low tide, we could see large expanses of the mud flats. When the tide waters crested and headed towards shore, the land became submerged as the lobstermen maneuvered their skiffs and lobster boats to their pot buoys.

While the men were pulling their traps, we had the chance to watch their world through our binoculars. The exhaust from the boats puffed from behind them and we could hear the voices echoing from the shore. We saw them leaning into each other as their boats swayed with the Shepscot's river's current and saw them pulling on the winch to bring the traps to the side of their boats. The men were dressed in their red flannel shirts covered over by the yellow rain slickers and on they wore boots.

We did not watch the evening news since our cottage did not have a television. And I was not as knowledgeable about the outside world of politics and life since I lived most of the prior years in a sheltered and protective bubble of The School, a magnet school for the handicapped in Long Island, New York. During this time, I faced daily challenges of getting going in life. I sometimes hid under desks when loud noises happened and sometimes withdrew so I would not face things I did not want to.
And my mind had not become challenged and turned on to interpret my outer world. The world that I knew at the time was developing an academic routine and a set of life skills of speaking, walking and eating in order to thrive. When my mom and dad and I get together for our retreats in Maine, mom recalls to me of how she had to tickle my feet to wake me as an infant to get me to take some milk. Mom often says, "look at him now, he eats everything from our house and home. Now I am pleased to see how our son is doing so well."

You see, my dad has been a slight mystery to me. He has been a gentle giant of few words and limited by his own handicaps of 3/4 loss of his hearing and his gradual loss of his memory. Yet, we are woven together in our appearance and temperaments by our shared handicapped worlds.

What I have often wished is how the media could have portrayed for me a more close-up view of how youngsters with disabilities can deal more effectively with their worlds.
Just as the tide crests over onto land-preparing the rocks for their shiny appearance. Smoothing down their rough-hewed appearance to be held in one's hand by that gentle touch.

Instead during the evening hours, we would spend time on our front porch on the rockers as we watched the evening gulls pass overhead towards home at Gull Rock. This summer world in Maine when I grew up was simple. Yet seeing the routine of these simple things brought my inner being back into an equilibrium for me. A good pendulum for patience and restoring of a seethed soul.

I often asked my mom and dad why did the children treat me so badly. For I was the same person who left the private world of the School and entered the subsequent world of public school of which I never experienced before.
Times spent in being misunderstood by others and a lack of how people can be fairly treated. In a way, I wish that people could be treated more fairly and less critically. It hurt when I was not always treated well. I realize now that Media can play a crucial role in this as they portray in inspirational stories of how others survive and thrive in their hardships.

These times in Maine as I have written before have been moments when I have been encouraged to look at the natural beauty of a sunset or the scene of workers on their yachts or skiffs or lobsterboats.

And as a time to see how the thread of my Master Weaver has built a tapestry for me. To realize what I once thought was lost has now been found. To treasure moments with my parents. And seeing the importance of building foundations in my life. Just as looking at the simple tide chart on the wall. Being the only media that I needed at the time to understand the heart of Maine, my beloved.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

An Easter Poem

Trees grow. Trees are cut down. Trees serve their purpose.

Just think, Jesus.

Born in a feeding trough by the lowing animals.
As a man being apprenticed by his step-father Joseph at the carpenters bench.
Yet Jesus is the carpenter of the world and the human soul.

Jesus facing the cross at Good Friday.
The table which we all face as we remember your death Jesus on that tree.

Yet, I am glad that I can cling to that old rugged cross. And be cleansed of my sin at each and every
moment when I often fail to see the big picture as I live life.

Your story is retold countless times Jesus as we gather around the pews of our churches and the sands on the beaches.
Listening to the birds on the shore and feeling the coolness go past our ears.

Lord,, let us open our hearts to you
just as you opened up that tomb of darkness.
You let that light in.
Let us enter in as well.
Experiencing the joy of your salvation.

For even the trees of the fields clap their hands with Joy.
Yes, even those trees from which you were born and the trees upon which your breath left the earth,
leaving us speechless and yes
thankful as well.