Before It Is Too Late

At any time

in my adult life

which came of age

during the civil rights movement,

it is clearly imperative

that we acknowledge

how far we have not come

in being

welcoming and loving

                                                                                   to all.

If we,

our children,

our children’s children,

are going to live together,

we must talk not

just with adults

about how this election cycle

has exposed rampant

prejudice and anger.

It is inherent

in sharing the



the voices of our children

have more wisdom

and simplicity

in how

we can begin

in this moment

to love ourselves

and love each other.

Age and Wisdom


should be


than I was.


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”.


Thought Leaders

are especially


during times of

Disruptive Innovation,

a concept

used in

this time

when things

aren’t working

and ways of thinking and doing

must be changed.

Since Pope Francis was chosen,

he has become a



From his first moments

Pope Francis

showed his


asking for us

to pray for him.

He chose

simple garments,

comfortable black shoes,

paid his own hotel bill,

moved into a

simple apartment.

During Holy Week,

he washed the feet of the poor,

not all Catholics.

He told priests

to be merciful and compassionate

 towards those who are divorced

women who have had


When asked about homosexuals,

he replied,

“Who am I to judge?”


he loves everyone

and in return,

he is loved.

The rules have not necessarily changed,

but the


has completely.

This change in tone is


greatest achievement,

and it is HUGE!

In this

political season,


could learn

because Pope Francis

is an astute politician

in the best sense of the word.

As a South American

he sees the entrenched Vatican

as needing to be cleaned up,

finances and favoritism,

swept out.



the tone,

the message

is that God is a God

of LOVE,


The Church’s role

is to make God


Coming to the United States,

his first trip to North America,

he will speak

at the United Nations,

address Congress,

say Mass in Madison Square Garden.

Popular entertainers will

engage people,

using their words and music


open up people’s senses

to the music of their hearts.

Disruptive Innovation.

Bring it on!

Synchroncity and Opportunity

I see



the shocking murder of

nine people

in a Bible class

at the AME Emmanuel Church

in Atlanta

by a young white supremacist ,

many retailers no longer

selling Confederate flags,

the decision in Georgia

and other states

to remove the

Confederate flag

from public display.

President Obama’s

moving eulogy,

words moving into


Amazing Grace with

all joining in.

Conjecture, publicity

To Kill a Mockingbird

 Harper Lee’s beloved book and movie

told by young Scout

seeing her father Atticus

through a child’s eyes.

The much anticipated

release of the

old, discovered

first book

taking place twenty years later.

Go Set A Watchman,

portraying Atticus

in a segregated  town,

challenged by a

climate, calling, demanding

equal rights for blacks and white.

An Off Broadway show


moves to Broadway

full of hip hop

historical characters played by

multi-racial cast.

Another play

Amazing Grace 

opens on


its writer, leaving his job

compelled to write this story

and produce it.

Publisher of Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

moves up release date

so we can read

his words written to

his fifteen year old son.

Growing up in Baltimore,

he feels the same

fear for his son

as week by week

there are

unnecessary murders

by police of young black men

barely adults.

Whatever events, words, books, musicals

might stir you,

move me,

the convergence

is an opportunity.

In the words of Amazing Grace

that forgiveness and redemption

are possible

regardless of sins committed,

“Amazing grace!

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost,

but now am found,

Was blind,

but now I see.”

What can I see now

that I did not see before?

What do you see

that you did not see before?

“‘Twas grace that taught

my heart to fear,

And grace my fears


How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!”

Where To Begin


do not



with arguments,


or tactics.


convince them

by learning

how to



For that,

it is


to keep



above all

the doors

to the heart.

Pope Francis, South America, July, 2015

Let there be peace

on Earth.

And let it


with me!

Too Much in Your Pack?

Are you carrying a lot on your shoulders?

Assume a quiet state of mind.


Think of a pack on your back.

What is in the pack?

What is making it too heavy to carry?

See yourself

removing the weight from the pack.

How does it feel now?

Do you need to remove more weights from your pack

so that you can carry it?

How do you feel now?

Sometimes we don’t know

how much we are carrying

until we lighten the load.

LivingLines p. 235

More Than a Cliche?

Spiritual but not religious.

What does that mean

to you

or to others?

Pew Research Center


these trends.

Their findings


the number of people


with any religious body

is continuing

to grow

at a rapid pace.

The number is

about one-fifth

of the U.S. public



of adults under thirty.



of this

unaffiliated group

say they

believe in God.

Churches and places

of worship

are being sold

and re-purposed.

One denomination

buys and forms

a  new congregation,

a community

with another way

for worship.

Empty churches

can be


Some people and families

are coming together in

different places,

some in homes


as the Bible


“Wherever there are more

than two people gathered,

there am I

in their midst.”

Spiritual but not religious.

Is that how you feel?

Are you seeking


to create

new rituals

which express

and become


for you?


Pruning. . .

not only speaks of

cutting back

but also of the

ultimate blossoming

that takes place

when it is done properly.

-Henri Nouwen

In horticultural, pruning encourages growth. But knowing where to cut to maximize growth requires expertise. The image of pruning has become increasingly important to me. One place I’ve tried to prune is my natural impulse to solve someone else’s problems rather than support that person’s own decisions.

My Mediation Healing Ritual

With my hands on my head,

I say;” Lord heal my mind so that I may think clearly.”

With my hands on my eyes,

“Lord heal my eyes,

so that I may see others with compassion and myself as well.”

With my hands on my ears,

“Lord let me hear and truly listen.”

With my hands on my throat,

“Lord, may I speak the truth and know when to be quiet.”

With hands on heart,

“Lord may I be more open to your love,

nurture others and myself as well.”

Holding lower abdomen,

“Lord let me go of what I don’t need anymore.

Let it be released by the power of your love so I may reflect Your Light

more clearly.”

It helps me to breathe and pause at each line of this visualization prayer. I don’t change the words, but I find that I do change the way I say them or turn them over in my mind. Sometimes I linger longer at one part or another, taking an extra breath or two. I do so in compassion for myself, as I quietly release what I don’t need to hold anymore.



we are



life is



when we smile,

there can be

a river of



through us.

Our smile

is not

a band-aid.

It is

an authentic


Putting on

a happy face




or phony

or denying the


we feel.


tell us

that a smile

can change

our body chemistry.

When I

get into bed

I fluff

my pillows

just right,

straighten my spine.

Then I smile.

Sometimes I

have to dig a bit

to find


in the day

that I am grateful for.


as I close

my eyes,

I think I rest


and sleep

renews me

for the next day.