Two Parts

Nobody feels in control
all of the time.
There is
too much
to do
and no one
goes to bed
giving thanks
that he or she
has finished
the day’s
to-do list!
When I feel overwhelmed,
I try to ask myself,
what one thing or two things
could make me
feel better
if done.
Often
they are
small chores
that have been
nagging at me.

To do lists
are usually
too long
and have a way
of increasing
when we aren’t
paying attention.
The trick is
to figure out
what is too long
and then,
stick to one’s limit.

Part 2
Recognizing,
acknowledging
and celebrating
our accomplishments,
large or small
and our
mindful
connections to what
we do
can help
switch our perspective
to the abiding
meaningful
work.

Then,
allowing ourselves
to internalize,
let what we do
really sink in,
pausing and really letting ourselves
focus
on
What We Do,
We can

Smile
with PRIDE,
take a deep appreciation
and be grateful
that
we are
finally honoring ourselves!

 

Age and Wisdom

 

 I

should be

wiser

than I was.

Memory

composes a story

of shames and amazements.

The shames I closed

inside myself,

but the amazements,

at a sun streaked wall,

at the thrill

of an oriole,

a face,

an iris,

a volume of poems,

a person,

endure and return

in brightness.

Such moments lifted me

above my lameness.

-Czeselaw Milosz , Polish Nobel Laureate in Literature

 I don’t necessarily

feel wiser as I age.

However,

I do remember

coming upon similar challenges

at earlier times and

hoping that what I learned

would help me.

It is natural

to assume that age

will confer wisdom.

It is really a hope

that I will remember-and

act on-what

I’ve learned

from life’s experiences.

Sometimes,

I realize

that asking

“is this mine?”

 is the question

to ask myself.

Often

the quiet answer

comes and

it is “NO”.

 Living Lines Reflections

Messes

The ability to live

with seeming contradictions,

and the ambivalence and tension

these contradictions create,

is what gives rise to 

wisdom.

The messes

are the point.  

Yearnings, Rabbi Irwin Kula

All questions,

cannot or maybe should not

be answered.

All conflicts,

personal or communal

may not be resolved

to our satisfaction.

Sometimes

we must accept

that certain things

are unknowable,

and so we must live with

the resulting questions.

To do so

can sometimes

enlarge

the scope of

What is possible.

 

Living Lines Reflections

 

Seeing Backwards

Uncharted paths-

do those words

go together?

It’s as if

our eyes are

on the back of

our heads

so we can see

where we’ve come from.

Can we see

where we’re going?

If we walked backward,

would we then see

the path ahead?

A puzzle.

Life-

looked at in reverse-

seems to show us

what we needed

to find the place

where we are now.

Those steps

that seemed like

zigs and zags

at the time

can, in retrospect,

reveal

that we

took the

most direct path

after all.

 

Living Lines Reflections

 

SACRED WORK

Words,

Just words,

I am

just sick

of words.

Social justice,

Hold out hope

for a better world.

Hope won’t do it.

The courageous youth

are putting themselves

OUT THERE.

In Washington,D.C.

Cities all over the country

Around the world.

Their voices

are loud and insistent.

Do you hear

what I hear?

Values of compassion

and Justice.

Healing the world,

one school,

one community

at the same time.

In Judaism, Passover

In Christianity, Holy Week,

For ALL.

Signs of marchers

say

Do

Justice, Love, Mercy.

Equality.

Heal the World.

What one thing

can you do today?

Sacred Work.

It is Now

or Never.

There may not be

a future

for us

for our children

grandchildren,

for all.

Red, Blue

Listen to each other.

Then

we can change

the poison climate

of hate and fear.

There is no time

like this moment.

Healing From the Inside Out

Wounds that heal

superficially

need deeper healing.

Sometime the wound

needs to be

reopened

to heal

completely.

A friend, a nurse,

helped a patient

with a compound-fracture wound

that had become

infected

after the scar

had formed.

She described

how she cleaned

the reopened wound daily.

Gradually,

the festering cleared up

and the new healthy layers

grew and sealed the wound.

My friend’s ministries

are a good metaphor

for treating

physiological pain

and emotional wounds.

These wounds

develop a scab,

then a scar,

but may not heal deeply.

Sometimes later,

sometimes more than once,

these wounds

need

to be reopened.

This reopening

is very painful,

but creates an

environment

for deeper healing.

At transition times

in our lives,

body and spirit

call out

for a more intense exposure

to our pain.

Once the pain

has been faced,

often a disorienting process,

we can grow

and thrive again.

 

Living Lines Reflections

 

 

First Responders

Tragedies

are part of almost

every evening news report.

Devasting fires in California

Mudslides smashing

homes, cars, people

covering ground

once visible.

Shootings,

killings

in schools,

concerts,

on the street.

Blizzards

bringing snow, wind,

flooding.

Huge, aged trees,

utility wires down,

no power for days.

People without heat,

Spoiled food,

no way to cook.

Hurricanes,

tornadoes,

bombings.

The list

and realities

go on and on.

The descriptions

are not the focus

of these words.

How often do the

heroes,

First Responders

get the attention

they deserve?

So often,

First Responders

don’t just show up

first, then leave.

These

courageous

men and women

often

 remain on site

for hours, days.

Sometimes

after more than 18 hours

working in one place,

go to another disaster

far from home.

Operating

under the extreme conditions

little or no sleep,

food, water.

Can we pause

and make each

and every one

the focus of

gratitude.

What would we do without them?