Monthly Archives: January 2013

Run, Irene, run

IreneMy friend Irene will run her first half-marathon on April 7: the Santa Cruz half-marathon.

She will run in memory of our mutual friend Cindy Bolbach.

In Cindy’s memory, Irene will raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I have contributed to the cause. You can too.

After she learned of my contribution, Irene sent me a message of thanks.

“What more can I do to support you,” I asked.

Irene was online at the time as well. She replied, “As part of my training, I will not eat sweets or dessert until I run. You could do that, too.”

I stared at the screen a long, long time before responding. The folly of asking questions when he answers might be acceptable occurred to me.

But I have a deep admiration for Cindy. And cancer has claimed too many friends and people I do not know through the years.

After what must have seemed like an eternity to Irene, I responded. It took about three or four days of sporadic electronic conversation before I agreed.

On January 1, I started. No sweets. No desserts. And I have done it. I wish I could say I cut out those categories all together. But I have not. I simply have replaced them with nuts and crackers and chips.

Guiness Jameson ShakeA chocolate Guinness Jameson shake identified by my friends Bruce and Nancy has tempted. Sorely tempted me. But I have resisted.

Several late nights I have wanted to head to the local convenience store and exchange a fistful of dollars for a sackful of chocolate. But I have prevailed. Sometimes I go and get more nuts. But I have prevailed.

For almost a month I have resisted and prevailed. It has been a challenge. But not as difficult a challenge as I thought at the beginning.

Ice CreamI do really miss Ben and Jerry’s though.

However, the point of this is not about me, remember. I told you at the beginning:

My friend Irene will run her first half-marathon to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory Cindy Bolbach.

I have contributed to the cause. You can too.

See you along the Trail.

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Enough

You smiled.

Across the room,
across the miles,
across the years,
across the veil
between the worlds,
you smiled.

At me
you smiled.

You smiled.
It was, it is,
enough.

Shire on the Hudson
29 January 2013

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To my father

JamesonHe drank Scotch.

He worked as the assistant superintendent for the Grove City Public School system. But he was a musician. He played string bass in the pit orchestra for the high school musicals. He directed the Scots Fusilers – a town band. He was a tennis player. He was a photographer. He was a private pilot.

On January 28, 1974, he climbed into a small plane with another educator from Grove City. Their destination was Harrisburg where they would advocate for funds for the school system. They had tickets on a commercial airline, but decided that he would fly.

They did not arrive.

The plane went down near Emlenton. The crash site was not located until the next day.

When he died, I was in Europe with the Westminster College Choir. I could no more sing then than I can now. But my family appreciated the value of travel and found the funds for me to go.

I arrived at JFK on Wednesday of that week where family members met me and broke the news and broke my heart.

Tonight, 39 years later, I raise a glass to his memory … to the time, the far too short time, we shared. To all I learned. To laughter and to tears. To music made well and badly. To tennis matches. To a trip to Philmont.

I raise a glass … to my father.

Goodnight and joy be with you, dad. Goodnight and joy be with us all.

Mine is Jameson.

See you along the Trail.

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Of such is life

Today:

I purchased a ticket to go to Korea;
the church there has invited me to come
and speak about engagement in the
public arena.

My heart broke for women who
endure a culture of rape and violence;
for children who cry to sleep
with nothing to eat;
for peoples whose countries are
torn by war;
for sisters and brothers I do not know
who are violated in ways I
cannot imagine.

I raised a glass in memory of my father
who died 39 years ago
this day.

I spent significant time doing laundry and
washing dishes.

Exciting.
Joyful.
Heartbreaking.
Painful.
Grief-filled.
Mundane.

Of such is life.

See you along the Trail.

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Purple Flowers, Dubhlinn Gardens 2

Dubh Linn Gardens, Dublin Castle 2

While in Dublin waiting for
Roja and Joel’s wedding,
I visited Dublin Castle with
Tricia, Bruce, Nancy.

There I discovered,
artfully disguised as
miniature purple rabbits,
the guards who stand watch
over the Dubhlinn Gardens.

27 April 2012
Dubhlinn Gardens, Dublin Castle
Ireland

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Filed under Family, Friends, Ireland, Photo

Sitting vigil

vigilThe news crossed my Facebook page early this afternoon. People in Ohio and in India called for a worldwide blackout and candlelight vigil as a witness for an end to rape – for today – January 26 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. T.V.N. Clutch, India, the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence sponsored the event.

The word came to late for me to organize participation with anyone else. So I spread the word as widely as I could on social media. And from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., I turned out the lights and lit candles. It was a tad disorienting. But for those affected, the experience of being raped is more than a tad disorienting.

In the silent darkness, I reflected on how rape is not only a violation, but a means to control. I grieved. I prayed. I pondered what I have done, what I have failed to do, and what I could do. I took a picture of one candle and shared in on Facebook, using my phone, not my computer.

As I turned the lights back on, one of the first things I did was to send  a message to my Senators asking them to co-sponsor the Violence Against Women Act. While not the only piece, this legislation represents an important part of the effort to end sexual and intimate partner violence that violates women, and some men, and shames us all.

See you along the Trail.

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25 January – an Orange Day

Orange DayToday, January 25, and the 25th of each month, is an Orange Day – a day to witness and work for an end to violence against women and girls.

On this day, I:

Work remains. Much work remains.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, United Nations