Tag Archives: pain

Once a place of great delight

Anxiety tugs at his heart
and memories rise
as he nears the place –
memories once sweet
have now turned ashen,
burned bitter;
pain sears him,
slows him,
stops him.
He shakes his head
squeezes his eyes,
clutches his chest.

The pain remains,

Unwilling to turn away,
he deeply sighs
and moves forward,
to cross the threshold,
recognizing the pain will be
his constant companion
from that moment forward,

2 June 2012
While welcomed at Moe’s
Louisville, KY


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The pain comes

Every morning,
the pain comes.
Upon waking,
the pain comes.

Different places,
the pain comes.
Different degrees,
the pain comes.

Constant companion,
the pain comes.
Keep on going,
the pain comes.

UA 3460
17 April 2012

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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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A morning thought on age

As I prepare for the day,
working through pains and aches,
it occurs to me that
I am either
too young to be this old
too old to feel this young.

8 October 2011
Shire on the Hudson

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God’s Tears

Something different happened when I left the office tonight. Well at least different from the previous two nights.

It was not raining. I simply note that. I am not complaining about the rain.

Places are desperate for rain. Children of God are dying, in part because of drought.

The simple reality is that for last two nights I and many other New Yorkers have made our ways home in the rain; others have endured the rain because they had to work or because they had no place to take shelter.

Tonight, it was overcast and damp when I stepped outside. But not precipitating.

This led to an interesting conversation:

When I was a child, I used to believe that the rain was God crying. That’s what my mother said. And I believed her.

Maybe, I said. We certainly give God enough reasons to cry. Look at how we treat each other, what we do to each other.

We do. We do.

We bid each other good-bye and I headed on toward the train.

And then the obvious flaw in that idea occurred to me:

If raindrops are God’s tears, it would never stop raining.

See you along the Trail.

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Living without love

Waiting in line to buy
junk food I did not need,
I was more than a bit befuddled to hear
the young clerk wonder:
“Would you rather have
love or money?”
It seemed a most out-of-place
inappropriate query to pose to
an absolute stranger who only wanted
a candy bar filled with sugar and calories
that would do me no good.
As I stood searching for
a response that seemed witty –
or someone germane –
or at least not totally inane,
she spoke again.
“‘Would you rather have
love or money?’
That’s what she asked.
And I said:
Love is too stressful.”
My disorientation deepened.
Who was this mysterious woman
who posed to my clerk the question?
And what was going on?
Was she expecting a response from me?
From the guy stacking the shelves?
From someone I failed to see?
Was she practicing a soliloquy:
preparing to audition for some part
that might forever transform her life?
I’ll never know.
Silently I took my change
and stepped toward the door,
but on the way,
a thought – unsaid, but still recalled,
filled my spirit, mind, heart:
love brings stress; it’s never easy–
commitment, compromise, costs.
But what of the stress,
and what of the costs,
and what of the loss,
of the utter, empty barrenness
of living without love?

2 August 2011
Gate B-19, MDW

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Sometimes we laugh

Sometimes we laugh
because we are happy,
our laughter rings with joy.

Sometimes we laugh
because we are nervous,
our laughter cuts the edge.

Sometimes we laugh
because we are frightened,
our laughter masks our fears.

Sometimes we laugh
because we are grieving
our laughter hides our tears.

Sometimes we laugh.

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Did Micah know?

Micah, did you know –

in order to
love kindness,
do justice,
walk humbly with God,

we have to
face evil unspeakable,
confront horror unfathomable,
carry pain unbearable?


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Only by confronting the evil,
however monstrous,
however banal;

only by facing the horror,
however terrifying,
however agonizing;

only by feeling the pain,
however shallow,
however deep;

only by remembering the act,
however shocking,
however shameful;

only by acknowledging the loss,
however great,
however small;

only then
can grace
break through.

18 April 2011
Shire on the Hudson

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