Monday, October 31, 2005

The gift of the poor

“My heart is transformed by the smile of trust given by some people who are terribly fragile and weak. They call forth new energies from me. They seem to break down barriers and bring me a new freedom.
It is the same with the smile of a child: even the hardest heart can't resist. Contact with people who are weak and who are crying one of the most important nourishments in our lives. When we let ourselves be really touched by the gift of their presence, they leave something precious in our hearts.
As long as we remain at the level of "doing" things for people, we tend to stay behind our barriers of superiority. We ought to welcome the gift of the poor with open hands. Jesus says, "What you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me."

-Jean Vanier

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Remembering how to fly

I just saw an incredible play called “Flight” by Charlayne Woodard at ACT Theatre in Seattle. Set on a plantation outside Savannah, Georgia in 1858, it is a poignant photograph of a deeply connected African American community dealing with the horrors of slavery through storytelling, song, and dance. Woodard explains, “My people used these tales to teach, to comfort those in mourning, to celebrate births and weddings, and to provide strength and hope in times of tragedy and loss. These tales were passed from generation to generation.”
The play culminates with a story about a group of slaves toiling under a brutal owner who are reminded by an old sage that their ancestors in Mother Africa were once able to fly. The story goes that as they began to believe in the sage’s wise tale their ancient power was restored and one by one they took flight, liberated from their oppressors.
It is an emotionally and spiritually compelling moment and I left the theater wishing I could be that sage…empowering people to remember their wings.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I was awoken as usual by the NPR morning news segment on my clock radio, but as I lie there with one foot still in my last dream, I became aware of a haunting voice describing a nightmare that had changed a woman’s life forever. It was a mother telling the story of the day she was informed that her son had been killed in Iraq. The screaming denial, warning the soldiers to stay away from her door. The heaviness that invaded her body so deeply she could not get off the floor. The searing pain that permanently disfigured her heart. Before my eyes were even open, tears seeped through my lashes and rolled onto my pillow.

Today the 2,000th U.S. soldier has lost their life in a war that I believe has broken our nation and our earth. No one even knows how many equally precious Iraqi lives have been taken.
The grieving stays with me throughout the day and into the evening when I join with other mourners in a candlelit vigil, a prayer for peace. Crawling back in bed that night, the tears still seep through my lashes and roll onto my pillow.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hello world...

Well, here I am with a blog site finally...guess I better think of something important to say.
It's a little presumptuous to think that anyone will have the time or desire to sort through my ramblings, but I'm going to give this a shot anyway. We'll see what happens...