Saturday, December 22, 2007

Under African Skies

This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
And the roots of rhythm remain

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hope floats..

"My horoscope tells me I am going to have a really really great year"
Not knowing how to respond to that type of a statement I ask
"Oh, what kind of sign are you?"
Not that I know anything about zodiac signs.
"Well I'm a scorpio, but I like the Libra's horoscopes better, so I tend to read those"

Irene was named, yes after the song. She asked her mother why she named her after that stupid song and the mother responded "well I was named Bertha and my friends always called me Bert, so Irene is a step up"

I've never met Irene, until yesterday when she was walking across the safeway parking lot and my collegue screamed "IRENE!!!!!" and ran out to give her a hug.

She came into the store and introduced herself to me and told me the story above. At 70 +, she had the dark leather skin of someone who had spent way to much time in their youth in the sun. She was wearing a light pink, cotton stretch mini-skirt that made her legs stand out like step ladders arched (sorry if that metaphore doesn't work - it's really the most appropriate one I could think of). Wearing hiking boots too big for her feet, she had tissue papers stuffed around the sides of her ankles to make it more comfortable for walking. Her neon pink jacket with bright yellow accents went appropriately with the pink scarf, eyeshadow, and lipstick.

Hope and Miracles.

Obama already has patents on the phrase, but the audacity of hope is alive and well. We are clammouring, clinging, begging for hope - from chosing which horoscope to believe in, to leaning a little closer in when we hear someone say "once upon a time, a boy liked a girl, but they weren't married. Being the upright Jewish folk they were, the didn't have sex; but, this girl was impregnated by God.." And we cling to this, like Irene clings to this year being a year that she wont spend completely alone.

It's far easier to find hope for others, than in our own life. We are afraid, we are afraid of the crushing reality that hope often sinks us.

"She struck the angel Gabriel as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child, but he'd been entrusted with a message to give her, and he gave it."

"The problem with Irene is she's just too needy" says Bruce - the Freedom 55 Financial salesman, who drives the caddy and parks it infront of our place every bloody morning. Yes, she is needy. People who have hope, often are.

When Linda (the collegue who went screaming out of the store) invited Irene for Christmas dinner (as I was sitting, swearing under my breath at a dated computer system) Irene looks at me and says "Can you believe the miracle?", stunned I look up, and she's bawling - the tears causing the different shades of pink to run into what resembles a a bright neon pallet. "All this time I was thinking to myself that I would be spending Christmas alone - and trying to say how I would be fine with that; that I wouldn't do something stupid like cry..."

"He told her what the child was to be named, and who he was to be, and something abot the mystery that was to come upon her. "You mustn't be afraid, Mary," he said."

"Well, Irene" says Linda, "God loves you too much to be alone on Christmas"; "That's what my Horoscope was saying" responds Irene. "And now, I have somewhere to go on Christmas, and I'm making a mess of myself crying."

Irene's shopping cart is now starting to roll outside the store and is comming awefully close to hitting caddy; but I chose not to say anything.

"As he said it, he only hoped she wouldn't notice that beneath the great golden wings he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of creation hung now on the answer of a girl."

The audacity of hope, to me is about being able to be a walking contradiction. It's to be completely needy because you've just put yourself out there so many times - and kick yourself for it. But you have to do it again, because, well, we don't really have a choice. Fear fights against hope - Irene I think represented that for me yesterday. We (I) are afraid of a lot of things; and more than most, I am afraid to have hope.

And yet waking up this morning, with the lines of a Carolyn Arends song, that I've only heard once, repeating in my head - I think that this season it's hope that is ringing through me.

"do not be afraid, do not be afraid. The light has found it's way to you, so do not be afraid."

Thursday, December 20, 2007



tell a friend


This four-piece S'mores nativity set includes S'more Mary wearing a blue head piece with her arms outstretched welcoming the new S'more King lying in the manger. Joseph stands back observing the scene before him traditionally dressed in a green head piece and holding his staff. The 5.5” S'mores nativity crèche makes a magnificent backdrop for this display. This set of S'mores collectibles by Midwest of Cannon Falls is a unique way to remember the reason for the season.

available at

Sunday, December 16, 2007

If Christmas isn't enough

This year, if Christmas isn't enough - you don't have to worry.
If christmas isn't enough this year, just like it may or may not have been last year there are back ups.
If Christmas isn't enough, we'll still have the tree
If Christmas isn't enough, we can place love in a stocking, and hang it by a fire
If Christ, entering mankind, being born amongst man, in a stable surrounded by animals isn't enough, we have santa
If Angels proclaiming Glory to God in the Highest doesn't cut it, we have jingle bells

If the hope that all of Israel waited, for told about by prophets, repeated the stories, lived day by day in the temple to see, just seems a little foreign, we can eat chocolate advent calendars

This year, if the manger is too dirty, and the star isn't quite bright enough, Stanley Park provides Bright Nights.
This year, if comfort and joy are not upon you, family traditions, good food and amicable relations will suffice.

So God rest ye merry gentlemen, because this year, if Christmas isn't enough - it we have options.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Finding Forever

Is forever
well, well well,
we are back in the studio again
look at that
hey I don' need no cue cards
they got the engineers holdin up the cue cards
What that say
Oh they say, just talk, don't sing
son, i bet you and I feel like you and I've been here forever
30 years old red eyes,
beholding red eyes
I see my world's tears
Yeah, origin is forever
every peak will have 2 values
hopeful eyes in the comfort
of true protection and admiration of the chime
that's forever
forever is to strive
a place of endearment
forever is what I leave
my I-self contribution
Damn, what I gon' leave?
I leave my one and only grain of spiritual sand
to universal scales of humanity, all humanity
forever is finding a solution to a solution
tsunamis, hurricanes,
following the trails of the African slave ships
war, war, and more war
Floods, Columbine, Global Warming, Earthquakes
Another somebody done me wrong, son
Virginia Tech, is not an, "Oh, What the heck."
we're still, did you place your one grain
of spiritual sand forever?
confusion need a solution
Blend and stir, stir and blend
the part of humanity; sift the ingredients
of acknowledgment, apology, amendment, atone
we gonna work with the four A's here
forever part
Common good is forever
God's memory is forever

--Common's Father--