Monthly Archives: November 2011

Speaking’s practice

Days silently pass:
no words said.
He wonders if
speaking’s practice,
now diminished,
will some day

29 November 2011
DL 1573

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Stillness fills the dark

Musty stillness
fills the dark
as he steps again
into the house:

29 November 2011
Delta 1573

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Spinning mysteries

Whining, grounding sounds caught my attention as I entered the LaGuardia restroom. I quickly identified two sources. Beside each sink hung automatic towel dispensers.

Wave your hand below it and a dispenser will spit out a towel for your use. A simple economic, ecological concept and process.

Except. At this moment, two of the dispensers displayed symptoms of some form of mechanical possession. Mindlessly they churned. With no one seeking a towel, they churned. On and on they churned.

One produced an endless stream of towels that created a pile on the sink. The other, empty, simply spun, grinding gears, producing nothing.

As I found a dispenser that worked as intended by its designers, I pondered the mysteries of the moment. The mysteries of spinning one’s wheels and producing nothing. The mysteries of spinning one’s wheels and producing something that no one wants.

And I realized that I have done both. Often. But I am not alone.

See you along the Trail.

29 November 2011
Delta Terminal, LGA


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Begin again

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program has created a daily Advent devotion – Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace. I had the privilege of writing the devotion for today. You can order the booklet or read each day’s devotion.

Tuesday, November 29
Matthew 21:12-17

We think of Advent as a time to prepare to celebrate again the birth of Jesus. In today’s reading, we find not a baby but a  grown-up Jesus. Jesus entered the temple and saw people selling animals to the pilgrims for their obligatory sacrifices. They exchanged Roman currency into Jewish money so the temple tax could be paid in appropriate coinage. Jesus disrupted the scene, overturning tables and chairs.

This striking story seems more appropriate at the end of Jesus’ life than at its beginning. But here it is. We wonder: Did Jesus object to all commercial activity in the temple? Or just to the exploitation of the people by those who controlled the means of ritual purity and access to God? In either case, in both cases, his actions invite the people to change, to begin again.

Its placement here, in Advent, invites us to begin again as well. Begin again in our hearts, in our relationships with God, in our relationships with those we love and in our relationships with those we do not know. Begin again to live lives walking humbly with God, seeking peace, doing justice, and loving one another. Begin again with confidence because we know who was present at the beginning . . . who awaits us at the end . . . and who holds us in the meantime.

God of the ages, may this Advent season be a time of renewal and new beginnings in our lives of faithful discipleship following Jesus, whose birth we celebrate. In his name we pray. Amen.

Rev. W. Mark Koenig, director, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, New York, New York

See you along the Trail.

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Until next year

Despite my best intentions (or at least pretty good intentions), I did not take part in the Salisbury Presbyterian Church 5k Turkey Waddle that raised funds for the Central Virginia Food Bank. Many possible reasons exist for this decision. Bottom line – I need to take better care of my self.

Check out the pictures I took of those who ran, jogged, walked, and waddled.

So much for this year. But next year. Next year. I have already started getting ready. And this time . . . this time.

See you along the Trail.

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A Thanksgiving tradition

Thanksgivings in Virginia involve
assembling and decorating the Christmas tree
for  Tricia’s parents.
This year proved no exception.
Sean, Tricia, and I put up the tree.
Eric and Tricia added the decorations.
Most of the ornaments are tin;
many are painted, some are not.
Trips to New Mexico regularly include a quest
for new ornaments.

See you along the Trail.

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Patio of the station

The sun warms his face
while he stands on the patio
of the station.
The crowd gathers
he waits for the train.

From a distance
he hears a
mournful, hopeful whistle,
and can not help but
to go on, to stay?

Does he have a choice?

26 November 2011
Staples Mill Amtrak Station
Richmond, VA

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Too often

Too often we hasten to speak
when we should faithfully
keep a silent watch of love.

Too often we scramble to fix
when we should tenderly
hold another’s pain in trust.

16 July to 26 November 2011
Ghost Ranch, NM
Staples Mill Amtrak Station
Richmond, VA

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The last Saturday in Ordinary Time

on Advent’s cusp,
I wonder,
I watch,
I prepare to wait.

26 November
Staples Mill Amtrak Station
Richmond, VA

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A prayer for Thanksgiving

Hearts broken,
hearts betrayed,
hearts wounded,
hearts abused,
hearts violated,
hearts shattered,
hearts rejected,
hearts despised,
on this day
and everyday,
may each heart,
may every heart,
find some place,
find some people,
to call home.

23 November 2011
Amtrak 91


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