Friday, January 10, 2014

"What the Heart Cannot Forget"

Everything remembers something. The rock, its fiery bed,
cooling and fissuring into cracked pieces, the rub
of watery fingers along its edge.

The cloud remembers being elephant, camel, giraffe,
remembers being a veil over the face of the sun,
gathering itself together for the fall.

The turtle remembers the sea, sliding over and under
its belly, remembers legs like wings, escaping down
the sand under the beaks of savage birds.

The tree remembers the story of each ring, the years
of drought, the floods, the way things came
walking slowly towards it long ago.

And the skin remembers its scars, and the bone aches
where it was broken. The feet remember the dance,
and the arms remember lifting up the child.

The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,
everything it lost and found again, and everyone
it loved, the heart cannot forget.

~ by Joyce Sutphen, Coming Back to the Body

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pope Francis' Top Ten Things To Do in 2014

1. Don't gossip. Guard the dignity of all.
2. Take only what you need.  Don't waste food.
3. Make time for others. Make your time well spent.
4. Choose the 'more humble' purchase. Give to the more just cause.
5. Meet the poor 'in the flesh.' Go out and serve Christ.
6. Stop judging others. Start in love and kind-ness.
7. Befriend those who disagree. Find your common ground.
8. Make commitments. Keep them.
9. Make it a habit to 'ask the Lord.' Listen and He will help you.
10. Be happy. Live in the Joy of the gospel.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


It's been quiet here online,
though raucous enough in my life through advent’s waiting
the loss of my husband’s sister, my friend, who was also mother and daughter-loss
the rough road of one of our own who is trying with all she’s got to change her life
preparing for my moms visit (a rare and difficult thing for her to do, given her health, but she is vigorous in spirit)
hope and ache, loss and gain all tossed into December’s mulled offerings
and then comes the feast
Incarnation...God with skin, love enfleshed
I feel it in the happy chaos of child-Angels plucking feathers from their wings and robe-clad Shepherds making haste to greet the Christ child in the manger at Christmas Mass
Feel it as Lucas wraps his arms around my neck and I can still feel him so
As Conor kisses my forehead and I am so small beside him with his arm wrapped around me, Merry Christmas mom
And Leslie speaks her thanks and I feel her breath carry tenderness to my ear, her smile, delight to my eyes
When Kate calls, anxious about many things while I hear her own babies in the background, and though apart, a grown child’s need and a mother’s reassurance bridge the gap
And Jessica catches me in the pantry, after taking the girls on 'the best day ever!', confiding her renewed perspective; later we linger while the house sleeps and I am grateful for this closeness
Watching Henry laughing at the glad welcome he receives, the family embrace is everywhere
With my Mom close by, watching me in the kitchen, later bragging about her girl, we sit and I hold her crooked hand
Catching Roger’s eyes across the room, conspiracy of grace, again and again he sees, every petal reads ‘he loves me’
With Kyla and her scooting close, childhoods joys
The door swings wide, again and again as family arrives.
We join hands to pray, feast on food and wine
there are quiet chats in corners, the grandmothers commiserate
while games & laughter drift in on the air
We gather crowded close to open our gifts
All advent I heard the whisper and as I sit back and watch, I hear it again under the playful exchange...
I am not coming...I am here