after i dropped him off
and made sure he was
comfortable in his room
through the fog
a mass of white
bit by bit
by going slow
i missed my turn off
confused by the changes
wrought by the mist
places once familiar
the lights adding
to my blindness
i found my
i know not what
the new year holds
the next stop
on the journey
the fog of
the not yet
faith keeps me
on the road
in my love for an
in a small
At first I did not hear the soft sound
or feel the fluttering shadows on my face.
I was working, cleaning out the shed at the place I am moving to.
Coughing, breathing in the dust of the past,
making the future come clear,
thinking of Grandpa and the time he spent teaching me wood inlay,
hoping to honor him by building in here.
Then I heard, and saw,
something in the light of the window,
a tattered-wing moth banging against the glass.
It did not like my enclosing hands
but outside when I sprung them wide
it soared with joy into the trees.
My eyes followed it up until I saw Grandpa looking down.
Build a good life, he said. That is true carpentry.
I am a man caught in dust and dreams, but I don’t have to be,
grace looks down, caresses my face like wings,
and like the moth in the morning I fly free.
November 3, 2007
We are moving and in the midst of the stress that comes with transition, grace often comes in small ways. Like a parking meter for instance.
In our small town meters a dime equals an hour and a quarter 2 and a half. In the general parking lot, you can park all day for 50 cents. A year permit costs $100 and while I would never spend that amount on change for meters in a year, I bought one for convenience sake. I’d get busy at work, forget to feed the meter and wind up with a ticket. It is only $5, $10 if not paid in 24 hours, but it’s the hassle and the visceral shock that comes with seeing something pink underneath the windshield wiper of the car. Since we are leaving, I did not renew the permit when it ran out a few months ago. So it was back to feeding the parking meter with change.
Now it seems the meter is feeding me. I usually park at the same place because it is the closest 8 hour meter to the office door. Originally I thought a kind soul was putting money into the meter to save me 5 bucks (maybe someone is). It finally dawned on me that somehow the coin I put in at the beginning of the week is magical because the meter has stayed on 3 and a half hours.
Now perhaps the meter maid will wise up and give it a bang and I’ll go back to scrambling to find change. My honesty meter (which needs no change) tells me I should check it out before I leave today and help the city out so I probably will.
Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. One needs only eyes to see. Who knows what next week will hold. But this week it has been nice for a little while at least to have one less thing to worry about.
And to have my own little parking meter filled with grace.
October 5, 2007
While I know that it is difficult enough for me to maintain a semblance of life within the confines of these walls, I cannot help but wonder about the lives lived in the houses around mine.
Tonight a moving van sits in the driveway across the street. Soon I will muster the courage to cross over and ask if she is leaving. I know that the family beside us is moving.
These transitions of my neighbors leave me thinking over our years together, whether I have truly loved them. And whether they know it.
Sometimes I think that loving my neighbor is harder than loving my enemy. Life passes by so quickly that it seems like there are few opportunities for real connection.
One moment I look out my window and see shadows carrying possessions. I blink and they have moved into my memory to join the growing restless crowd residing there.
There is a Goethe quote that has been very important to me over the years. Currently, while I am in the midst of several major life transitions, it is a good reminder for me to not lose hope and courage. I offer it here for all:
Until one is committed
There is hesitancy, the chance to draw back
Concerning all acts of initiative (and Creation)
There is one elementary truth
The ignorance which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
That the moment that one definitely commits ones self
Then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
That would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision
Raising in one’s favor all manner
Of unforeseen incidents and meetings
And material substance
Which no one could have dreamt
Would have come your way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.