Posted in Musings

Depression 1.11 – The Gift of Brokenness

The gift of depression is compassion. I look in the mirror everyday and know that I am broken.

Elegiac tells me that I should stay there, captured by this narcissistic reflection.

Yet to do so is to miss the truth that I see through a glass dimly, that “now I only see in part, then I will see in full.”

And that often my reflection as seen through the lens of depression is not how God sees me.

Knowing that I am broken can incapacitate me.

Or it can serve as the humble catalyst for me to show grace and mercy, compassion and gentleness, and above all, patience, to others.

Tonight, I will serve a meal to women whose lives have been upended in ways that leave me breathless. They are broken like me. Yet they are strong, so strong.

They are always gracious, kind, and encouraging and I always leave feeling like I have received more than I have given.

And for the briefest of moments, I do not feel the weight of Elegiac and Lethargy, my everpresent twins, upon my shoulders.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

The Bloom

once
long ago
i reached
for a lovely
bloom
when
suddenly
there
before me
a pollinator
flew
and i
thinking of
life and
love
withdrew
my hand
leaving the
flower
to give
sustenance
to many
more visitors
than i
in the time
and place
where it
so simply
and beautifully
grew

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Monday Monday Song 79 – A Body Was Found Down By The River (Final Mix 1.1)

“I read the news today, no, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away…”

The news can seem so cold and inhuman when an unknown person is discovered dead somewhere…a brief line or two in a small column in the newspaper is all that the loss of a precious life illicits.

Never lose your ability to mourn the invisible…

My response:

A Body Was Found Down By the River (Final Mix 1.1) by PeaceGroover https://api.jam-community.com/song/detail/c6a47f57-5479-11e9-99f7-064f3e9f608e

Posted in Longreads & Essays

Geometric Peace – I Seek to be a Parabola

Mathematically speaking the parabolic curve reflects any beam striking any place on the curve to a focal point. Parabola.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words are worse.”

I have three choices:
A) Receive Pain – no response = bitterness growth, delayed psychotic reaction
B) Receive and Return – “an eye for an eye” – consciously open or subtly, demeanation = broken relationships, friendship alienation
C) Parabola – Receive, Reflect, Focus – acknowledge pain, transform into love action – “a way out is always provided” – attitude adjustment = health, healing, and transformation (inner and outer).

May 21, 1995

Posted in Prayers

“Whose Dignity Do You Regularly Disregard?”

Such are the words of the audio devotional this morning.

Dignity is inherent, yet it is so easy to live where the suspension of judgement is a foreign thing.

To disregard the dignity of another does not change the fact that she is to be honored. Rather, I dishonor myself.

And I dishonor Christ the King, whose life and death exemplified compassion and honor for all people.

My prayer then (who I hope to be with everyone I meet):

Each day may I see thee the way Christ sees thee, to give my regards to thee and to your precious dignity.

Posted in Musings

ER

there is beauty here too
in this place of the sick
where a child screams in pain in triage
kindness laughter compassion
broken humanity rubbing shoulders

perhaps such interactions are what we need to smooth out our rough edges

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree

Food for ugly birds

when the hummingbird finds the feeder dry
when the birds of bright color do not imbibe
does one refuse to continue the feeding
or refill the lorelai?

the hand should not withold that which can satisfy for every creature is precious and should never be denied

suffer not the little ones whether they be grounded or given wings to fly
faithfulness is the portion upon which all can rely

Posted in Stories

The woman with the sad eyes

He cannot remember when he first noticed her.

Perhaps it was a glint of the morning sunshine on her auburn hair as she walked past the house that caused him to look up from the desk where he was writing. He would often glance out the window to gather his thoughts, knowing from experience that the brief respite could alleviate a particularly bad case of writer’s block. That morning he happened to look up and there she was.

After a while he began to realize that she made this journey every morning at the same time and so he began to look for her. He noticed other things as well. She walked in a slow, methodical way, head down, thinking hard. She was young, but walked bent over like someone much older as if weighed down by a great burden, stepping forward up the hill as if to leave something behind.

Later he made it a habit to take his morning coffee out to the bench in the front garden so he could be there when she would pass by. The solitary life had made him awkward around others but his heart remained soft. Like the bees beginning to gather around the crocuses, she drew him.

She began to notice him sitting there and though her intial glance was brief, in her eyes, he glimpsed a deep sadness. He had never been a courageous sort, preferring to explore the emotions of others within the confines of pen and paper. The pain he saw within her almost drove him back inside where he could safely leave her to her mourning. Yet he remained.

As spring came, the front garden began to bloom and so he would leave his coffee on the bench, move closer to where she walked on the sidewalk, and begin to tend the garden. He would prune the roses or weed or mulch or plant bulbs. He had always preferred perennials over annuals. His memory being what it was, he could never remember what he had planted or where. So each spring brought him a host of lovely surprises.

His favorites were the daylilies even though they seemed to have begun to take over all of the other flowers in his garden. He was constantly thinning them out. Which kept him in the garden near where she would walk.

Their interactions had changed now so that they would give each other a brief nod and say good morning. Some days he wondered if there was something he could say or do to ease the sadness that seemed to hover around her. Somehow he knew these walks held a meaning for her that he would never completely understand and so he tried to be content with their simple interactions and his small part in her morning routine.

There was one daylily that he was particularly fond of. Every spring he looked forward to its blooming, the flowers’ bright mix of gold and white with a splash of scarlet. This season it seemed to be more beautiful than usual. The dew of the morning lay like soft diamonds upon its surface and he marveled again at how such beauty could break forth from the frozen ground of winter in the continuing cycle of renewal and life.

Bending low in the garden one morning, he heard her footsteps upon the walk and glanced up to give her his typical good morning. She replied in turn, softly as she always did, the sadness still residing there within her dark eyes. Then she was past him and heading up the hill.

Suddenly, he was grasping his shears, clipping a bloom of the daylily, calling to her as he rushed after her.

She stopped, her back to him, waiting, and then slowly she turned. He stood before her somewhat awkwardly, the lily in his hand, holding it out to her.

Here, he said, this is for you.

Her eyes became bright with unshed tears and a light he had not seen before began to shine from their depths. Then with a shy smile, the first he had seen upon her face, she reached out her hand and took the flower from him. She turned without a word and continued up the hill, leaving him standing alone, the shears trembling in his hand.

The next morning she did not come by. Or the next. Or the day after that. After a week with no sighting of her, he began to wonder if he had offended her, if somehow his offering of the flower to her had crossed a line, that he should not have let her know he knew that she was in pain.

The next morning, he took his coffee out to the bench to find a small hand bound journal sitting there, the daylily pressed and beautifully woven into the cover. Opening the journal to the first page, he saw two words; Thank you.

He held the journal in his hands, relieved that even in his awkward attempts at kindness she had understood.

Then as he turned to go back inside, he paused at the sound of her footsteps coming up the hill.

Posted in Prayers, The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

A Shriveled Hearted Man

Pastor preaches about the man with the withered hand.
I can’t help but think of how I am,
so many days clenched as tight as a fist,
closed to the Love I too often resist.

Lord, in a world crying out to be free,
a shriveled hearted man I don’t want to be.

Lord, be my Healer, help me understand,
because I don’t want to die a shriveled hearted man.