Friday, August 30, 2013

Rest in Peace Seamus Heaney. So often your poetry did 'catch [my] heart off guard and blow it open'!


And some time make the time to drive out west...
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightening of flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully-grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park or capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open

Seamus Heaney

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


"I believe that God wants a personal relationship, an adult friendship, with each of us and that prayer is the best way of engaging in that friendship. By prayer I mean what occurs when I am conscious in some way of God’s presence. So prayer can be as simple as watching a child trying to speak words, looking at sunlight glancing off snow-covered trees, playing with your dog, feeling the wind on your face, hearing birds sing, smelling bacon sizzling in a frying pan, looking at someone you love; all can be prayer if you’re aware of God’s presence as you take in these experiences."

--Excerpted from Praying the Truth by William A. Barry, SJ.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I just returned from Indiana for our family's 50th reunion. 
We live 2000 miles away, so it was wonderful to reconnect, to feel the love and share the memories, to sit outside in the cool of the evening with late lingering talk, slow and easy.
But something else was happening as well.  It started when I saw my cousin, heard that voice so familiar though I hadn't heard it in eons...
With amazing physical clarity, keenly sensate  (which is not the same as accuracy, mind you)
I remembered the feel of the air along the path behind Uncle Wes' that led through a wild field to adventure...
The hall's quiet captured light at Uncle Charlie's that led to Kathy's room, where we'd sit on the bed and talk in secret...
Uncle Daryl laughing affectionately with me beside his shining car, with his sparkling smiling eyes, standing in the driveway...
My hands on the edge of the counter, waiting to get an ice cream with Uncle Tony...
Danny's bike with the playing cards clothes-pinned to his back wheel...
The gravel crunch under my feet at Uncle Dickies car lot...
Grandma's old colander in my hands picking blueberries ...

The power of place, of objects, of things we pay no attention to in our youth, but find, as we grow older, how they have laid their claim on us none-the-less.  The gifts we receive unawares...

My Mom with two of her brother's, Danny & Daryl


Smiling Chai, Laughing with Kyla