Sunday, July 31, 2005

The breath that is...

A contribution from St├ęphanie, sister of my heart...

The breath that is

Why is it so difficult for us to live in the moment?
To embrace what is, instead of what was or what will be?
Why can’t we just listen, stop, enjoy
the breath that is near, that is here?
The breath that was is gone.
The breath that will be is not real.
What’s real is here, is what is.

Written on a sunny Saturday morning after pouring myself a cup of coffee, while listening to a mystery bird sing outside my window. July 2, 2005

Friday, July 29, 2005

Stuck...

I'm in a writing rut. So there is only one answer: Haiku.

Words are not coming
Creative juices are stalled
In silence, I hear...

Life calling to me:
Don't try so hard... let Me flow!
Live. Love. Trust. Rest. Be.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Memorial...


It appears there were many who were saddened by Tim's death. Find out more about Tim and the legacy of a homeless man...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

An empty corner...

I received some sad news on my way into work today. Tim, the homeless man who offered me food back in May, passed away on July 4th. He died of a heart attack; he was 47 years old. I was on vacation at the time and just found out today. I wondered why he wasn't at his corner when I walked by yesterday. Now I know.

I'm struggling to remember what we spoke of when I last saw him. If I had known it would be the last time, I would have paid more attention. Was that the day he had the hiccups that wouldn't go away? Was that the day he grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze before I continued on my way? I wish I could remember...

I'm feeling very sad right now.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Beantown Discoveries...

Amidst all the tourist attractions, here are a few of my favourite finds so far:

Whole Foods Market: Located just a block from our hotel, this store offers organic food & natural/environmentally-friendly products as the norm. With our tiny kitchenette, this place has been a God-send. We gotta get one of these in Ottawa!

American Apparel: I bought $130.00 USD worth of sweatshop-free T-shirts here, only to find out that they have a store at the Rideau Centre in Ottawa! I now know of at least one place where I can buy clothes guilt-free (other than the reckless spending, of course...)

Apropos Shoes: Made in Lawrence, MA (north of Boston), these shoes are light-weight, immediately comfortable, fully machine-washable and affordable. I bought two pairs!

Automated City Toilet: Yes, you read that right! For $0.25, you get guaranteed cleanliness and a disinfected loo, right there on the street corner. Complete with muzak, to enhance your "experience". Did I try it? Well... I really, really had to go! :-)

Funny how none of these were in the tourist brochures we picked up...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Expectations...

Expectation is pre-meditated resentment. Or so I've been told. And so I've learned. Again.

My first day or so in Boston was plagued by this subtle, downward-tugging feeling of disappointment... and my vacation had hardly even begun! I felt hyper-critical and short-tempered. What was that all about?! Why the heaviness? I certainly didn't want my entire holiday to be coloured with this feeling, so I acknowledged it & did a quick scan. Here's what came out:
  • Our road trip got off to a late start and took longer than expected. Late departure. Heavy traffic. Torrential rainfall on the I-90. Late arrival to our destinations. It's not what I expected.
  • Our hotel room in Boston looks nothing like the picture on the web site. Yes, we have a kitchenette and a Queen-sized bed, but it's not what I expected.
  • The greatly anticipated lecture by Joan Chittister was a bit disappointing to me. Her words, as always, were powerful and thought-provoking, but admittedly, I was underwhelmed by her presence that day. She read from a prepared speech and, as a result, it felt (to me) re-hearsed and re-done. It's not what I expected.
All this within the first 48 hours of our 10-day trip. Do we see a pattern here, friends? I do. I need to take my expectations and stuff 'em! They are indeed pre-meditated resentment & disappointment.

Plans are OK, but I need to remember that I'm NOT the Master Planner. I want to be open to whatever today's experience will offer. And it may fall short... or it may blow me away beyond my wildest delight! Like yesterday's *un*expected treat of meeting Richard Rohr (new link!) on the way to my first class. I recognized him, introduced myself and we chatted informally all the way to class. Even had a chance to introduce him to Hubby. I didn't even know I had the possibility of expecting that! :-) Amazing what can happen when I just let go of expectations...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Greetings from Beantown...

I couldn't tell you the last time Hubby & I took a holiday together, one that didn't involve visiting family Down East. We arrived in Boston late last night after a long drive (in the pouring rain!) from Stowe, VT. The motivation for this holiday is my auditing a 1-week evening course at Boston College. For the next week, I'm a "stoont" once again! Tourist with Hubby by day; student with Richard Rohr by night. Best of both worlds...

My "academic career" started off this morning with a lecture by Joan Chittister, OSB. Her talk was on Responding to Evil: Being Christian in America Today. She certainly doesn't mince words. Her reference to "economic pedophilia" (child slave labour being used to feed our insatiable consumerism) was especially shocking and, in my opinion, entirely appropriate. That is her goal: to shock us out of our complacency so that we may find the courage to stand up and speak out against injustice and modern "evil".

All for now... more later. To my family reunion-ing Down East this weekend - sending you LOVE.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A weekend to remember...

A poem of gratitude for 50,000 of my closest friends, gathered this past weekend for celebration and fellowship...

SWEET SURRENDER

Wisdom reigns in the rooms of recovery
No longer alone, we love and we laugh
The walls come down and the work gets done
And the Truth will set us free.

For your courage, I thank you Ruth
You are what it's all about
The walls came down and the work got done
And the Truth has set you free.

50,000 stories to be told
100,000 hands to hold
Higher Powered by one Authority
Words fail me - this is the real deal.

Wake up! The free ride is over
Get out there and give it away!
Trust God. Clean house. Help others.
Yes indeed - this Truth has set me free.

- created by jag