Monthly Archives: July 2011

Self-reliance

They boarded the train at 103rd,
two friends,
who found a spot
in the nearly empty car
to sit together,
talking,
joking.
After a few moments,
one pulled out a book and
began to read –
carefully,
slowly,
clearly,
reading to the other
reading for the other
every word of
Self-Reliance.

31 July 2011
Shire on the Hudson

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Sunset on Waikiki

These are old ones. I took them when I visited Eric during his time at Hawai’i Pacific University. He lived just a few blocks from the beach. I am not much of a beach person, but it was a glorious evening. I might be able to get used to it.

See you along the Trail.

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Baseball in Grand Central

Dark hair curls appear from underneath the Yankees cap
pulled tightly down on his head.
He stares at a point beyond the escalator as
his left hand cradles his gloved right hand.
Tensed, ready,
he sees not the crowd but
watches and waits.
For a long fly ball?
A long departed ghost?
A long lost love?

27 July 2011
Shire on the Hudson

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Filed under Baseball, New York, Poem

10 Million

Reports from UN agencies on the ground in the Horn of Africa estimate that 10,000,000 people are experiencing a severe food crisis.
That’s more people than live in New York City (not including urban area). 
That’s more people than live in Wyoming, Washington D.C., Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine combined. 
Here are some ideas of how to respond: 
10 Ways You Can Help
Give to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Pray

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Filed under Current Events, New York

Not what it seems

I am watching The Black Death. I put it on my Netflix list to view on Roku. I did so because it has Sean Bean in it. It has something to do with bubonic plague, the church, witches, monks, knights of some source, and a village where there have been no deaths, no plague. Apparently the theory of the outsiders is that they have been spared because of witchcraft. And Sean Bean and his cohorts are there to test that theory. I will probably hang around to see whether they are right – and what happens either way.

It is no Lord of the Rings  – no  entry in the Sharpe’s series – no Troy – all of which featured Sean Bean and led me to choose this one. It certainly is no The Plague – Camus’ classic novel that pivots around an outbreak of plague.

It apparently deals with very, very deep questions – so deep that I don’t understand them. Every time I think I have a glimmer of what is going on, it wanders of in another direction.

“Nothing here is what it seems,” Sean Bean’s character says.

Now if only I could figure out what things seem to be, I would know what they aren’t.

See you along the Trail.

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Late afternoon nap

The aches of the day
into the mattress seep;
upon my body
sleep does silently creep.

23 July 2011
New York, NY

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Proof

People always seem somewhat amazed and surprised when Tricia and I end up in the same place. It happens.

One place it happens is under the Presbyterian Big Tent. Two years ago we had a picture taken with Valerie Small. This summer, at Big Tent Two, Tony Aja snapped a picture of us while at dinner. No doubt Tricia and I will get together again – at least in two years. Maybe we should hold the Big Tent more often.

See you along the Trail.

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A prayer on a day of grief

Famine stalks the Horn of Africa.
A bomb and gunfire rip Norway.
Violence wracks Malawi and Syria.
Rapes are perpetrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Atrocities are suspected in Southern Kordofan.
Human rights are denied in Madagascar, Peru, and Colombia.
Weak and vulnerable people are exploited and abused in the United States.
In places and situations that fail to make the headlines,
people are violated; God’s creation is abused.
Yet we continue to trust the good news:
that peace will prevail; that good will overcome evil;
that love is stronger than death; that God will have the final word.
And so we pray:

Gracious God,
the hurts of the world are legion,
the wounds of your beloved children exceed our counting.
Our spirits sag,
our hearts ache,
we grow weary.
Pour your Holy Spirit afresh upon us:
renew us
revive us
sustain us
guide us
for the living of these days and
for the loving of one another
we pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

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Crisis in the Horn of Africa

A poem prayer for our sisters and brothers in the Horn of Africa:

O God,
the ground is parched,
the food is limited and costly,
and your children, our brothers and sisters,
hunger, sicken, and die
in the Horn of Africa.
O God,
strengthen our sisters and brothers who hunger;
comfort our brothers and sisters who grieve;
accompany our sisters and brothers who leave their homes.
O God,
we give thanks for aid workers who
distribute food and water,
create and maintain camps for refugees and displaced persons,
and extend caring hands.
O God,
touch the hearts of people and nations,
fill us with a desire to reach out to the people in the Horn of Africa,
show us effective ways to respond to our brothers and sisters.
O God,
help us structure our living so that
all people in all places
might have enough of the abundance you provide
even in times of drought and hardship.
Inspire us and guide us, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Service Corps, Ghost Ranch

A portion of this year’s vacation was spent at Ghost Ranch on the Service Corps. (Note that the description gets the basic gist of things, but “help in food service, housekeeping, library, museums, and, on occasion, some off-Ranch community service” is not really a part of the work any more).

This was the first time I had ever done this. It probably will not be the last.

On the one hand, participation in the Service Corps involved paying (half-price for room and meals plus $50 registration) to do work that I go out of my way to avoid doing at any of the places I call home.

On the other hand, participation in the Service Corps provided an opportunity to meet and work with amazing people and to make a difference at a place that means a great deal to me – a place where I belong – a place that feels like (yet another) home.

Weighing these two factors, the other hand wins.

Hand down. One fine day, I will see you at Ghost Ranch.

Until then, see you along the Trail.

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Filed under Family, Friends, Ghost Ranch Views