Where To Begin

You

do not

convince

people

with arguments,

strategies,

or tactics.

You

convince them

by learning

how to

welcome

them.

For that,

it is

necessary

to keep

doors

open,

above all

the doors

to the heart.

Pope Francis, South America, July, 2015

Let there be peace

on Earth.

And let it

begin

with me!

Liberty and Justice

As we place

our hand on our heart

“I pledge allegiance

to the flag

of the United States of America

and to the Republic

for which it stands

one Nation

under God,

with liberty

and justice for all”,

can we

 focus

on

liberty

and

justice and

open our arms

to

open our hearts

to

people of all shades,

their own person hoods,

and those who work to make

this country their own.

Liberty

and

Justice

for all.

Blessings

on this

4th of July!

To Kill a Mockingbird

Watched

To Kill a Mockingbird

countless times.

This time

it moved me

in ways

more deeply.

When you know the story already,

the details become

more striking.

The trees’ leaves

play a role.

Scout and her brother Jem

are out at night

quite a bit.

The black and white film

intensifies

 light, darkness and shadows.

Sometimes it is scary.

They call their father

Atticus.

When

Tom Robinson, a Negro

was standing trial

for raping

a young white girl,

Scout and Jem

ran to the courthouse

to watch the trial.

Sitting in the balcony

with the town’s Negros,

they listened to

Atticus giving an

impassioned defense.

“All men are created equal”.

Mockingbird

was published in 1960,

barely before

the civil rights movement

began.

Recent events,

the murder of 9 people

at a Bible study

in a Charleston church

have brought many people

together.

The Confederate flag

still a symbol of the Civil War and slavery,

is being taken down in many places

where it still resonates

with hatred.

Large retail businesses and manufacturers

will not sell these flags.

Pulitzer Prize writer

Harper Lee

has been in the news quite a lot.

The mysterious discovery of a manuscript

which may have been

her original version

taking place twenty years later,

will be published soon.

Go Set A Watchman

is preordered, events planned

many conjectures about its

origin and its history.

Before that story takes over,

read To Kill a Mockingbird

and watch the movie with deep attention.

It is my favorite movie and book.

It is real and true and

we are living later versions

of the basic story.

With justice

for all and

RESPECT

for all human beings.

With Amazing Grace

Whatever side of a bridge

each of us stands,

no one

can be

untouched by the events of this week

June, 2015.

Sharp divisions

on civil rights

about race and same-sex marriage

have permeated

hundreds of years of our history.

Shock shook us.

A young white man

entered the historic

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church

in Charleston

sat with nine black people

for an hour

of Bible study

and then shot them.

At his court hearing

the families of those slain

forgave him.

Within days, the governor

called for the removal of the Confederate flag,

still held high while

the American flag

honored the dead

at half mast.

On Friday morning,

the Supreme Court

announced its decision

on same-sex marriage.

In Justice Anthony Kennedy’s eloquent words,

“No union is more profound than marriage,

for it embodies the

highest ideals of

love,

fidelity,

devotion,

sacrifice,

and family.

It would misunderstand these

men and women

to say

they disrespect

the idea of marriage.

Their plea is that they do respect it,

respect it so deeply,

that they seek to

find its fulfillment for themselves.

Their hope is

not to be condemned to live

in loneliness,

excluded from one of

civilization’s

oldest institutions.

They ask for

equal dignity

in the eyes of the law.

The Constitution

grants them that right.”

In the afternoon

on the same day,

President Obama

gave an eloquent eulogy

at the funeral of the slain

Pastor Clementa C. Pinckney.

Pausing for a moment,

President Obama began to sing

Amazing Grace,

how sweet the sound.

When he sang

“I once was lost,

 but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see”

6000 people and a 1000 outside

joined him in the

hymn.

Perhaps others like me

joined in.

“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieve’d;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!

Thro’ many dangers, toils, and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.”

GRACE

GRACIOUS

DIGNITY

For ALL.

PEACE

An Unexpected Rainbow

June has been quite dry,

little rain.

While eating dinner

last night,

the sky opened with a loud roar

and heavy rain fell down

refreshing the greenery,

washing the pollens

and dust, leaving everything

looking shiny and refreshed.

The view out the back

is wooded and buildings.

As the pelting rain

eased up,

the remnants of

the sun pierced through

and a rainbow appeared.

Rainbows don’t usually

show up

with the blocked view.

An unexpected rainbow.

We stood and paused,

in the moment

in wonder.

I cannot tell you

how long we stood there

as the rainbow’s edges

faded into the sky

or wherever

rainbows go

after astonishing us.

An unexpected rainbow

can be the bridge

to the surprise

and mystery of life.

Where do they

begin

and where do they end?

Perhaps the rainbow

takes a leap from

one place to another and begins again.

Discovering

as a young child does,

experiencing things

in the moment

never the same,

as we bridge our own lives to another’s.

Ritual- Potential

Ritual

is

poetry in action.

What makes routine

have the

spiritual potential

of ritual?

Ritual

calls for

taking pause,

for reflection.

Recast routine

as a poem.

Select,

re-position,

augment

the same nouns, verbs

to shed beauty

insight

inspiration.

Thoughts from Gates of Prayer by Rabbi Chaim Stern as related by Dennis S. Ross. OnBeing May 2, 2015, saying that Rabbi Stern spoke to people of many religions.

Friends

One thought

my Mother

shared with me-

if you have one real friend in your lifetime

you are very fortunate.

I am

blessed

with a

bouquet of friends.

Each is like a different flower.

Our reciprocal  relationships

have brought out

our many

interests, talents

and ways of being.

When a family member

is also a friend,

the splendor

of each of us

grows.

The special depth

with some friends

makes them

Soul Friends,

Anam Cara

in Gaelic.

My Mother

would be so

pleased

to know

how many really

wonderful friends

fill my life

with love.

White

Only four weeks

since

white covered

every surface

with snow,

ice

mountains called

snow farms

to remove

snow from the streets.

Hint by hint

of color,

shoots of green first,

snow-bells

tiny crocus.

Yellow daffodils,

forsythia,

fairy pink little

tree blossoms.

Now tulips

in bright array.

Two weeks ago,

as I opened my front door,

a hint of flutter.

Oh yes,

my first petite

white butterfly.

In my guide book

described as ghost butterflies,

for me

always

Spirits.

Then in the park,

sitting with my sister,

the second Spirit white.

A week later,

at the beach,

the third.

Today,

waiting for a traffic light to change,

another.

Each time

I pause.

These white

simply colored

butterflies

appear earlier than

the fancy dressed

colored Monarchs.

During Spring and Summer

there are many more.

Later in the Fall,

the last hurrahs,

 on a warm day.

Always, I pause.

Each,

like a prayer of presence

for me.

I am not startled

by their brilliance.

They calm me

into a

prayerful thanks.