I tend to think that most preaching and bible quoting is a waste of time, if the person doing the deed does not bring his or her own humanity into the mix. Pounding on the bible and quotation jumping and the pointing of fingers, can often be a diversion that is shared by one click speaking against another. My sister Jane, who is a very caring Christian, who does a great deal of work with addicts, as well as with women who have been abused, once asked me this question: "M
I wonder what would happen if I actually got it, arrived, did it, and got it right. If that ever happened I would imagine that I would find inner stasis for a short time and then it would crumble into a heap (well it has happened). There seems to people around me who have done the above (arrived), but perhaps I also give that impression to those around me at times. I talk and smile, joke and argue and do my job (well sort of). Yet inside, much of which is closed off from my conscious
It was one of those mornings with William, a common event, yet not everyday,
so when it happens it is always somewhat of a surprise, though not a big one.
He wakes up, and gives me and whomever else is helping; for it takes two clean him,
a certain look, a WTF look, wary, cunning, fearful, trying to figure what is going on,
yet failing, so he becomes very angry, screaming, trying to get us away from him,
yet of course we can’t, like so many times before, it simply has to be
When in a pious mood all can seem easy, and I would suppose I can get a little arrogant over it, as if I had somehow arrived at some kind of exalted state, to be enthroned there forever and ever, amen. It is of course all nonsense, just another turn of the wheel, signifying nothing of what is actually taking place. Perhaps it is a place of rest, though at times I think it is a port, a place for me to see into how shallow I can really be, and how the roots of my faith are indeed in t
Love of self
There are reasons that Christ calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves, which is something often forgotten by those on the path. There is a false sense of humility, of which I fall into, that goes directly against this commandment of Christ. How I think I can love others but still hold pockets of contempt and little regard for myself is something I am still trying to work through. For if truth be told, I am often the least that Christ identifies with, therefore I am called upo
One pawn after another lost,
years pass and a bishop or knight destroyed,
one day a castle is overcome.
One after another pieces lost
until only the Queen remains;
the strongest hope,
then she is captured.
death wins again.
You can slow the game down,
yet like flowers we wither and fade,
called into another mystery
Some kinds of death are long and drawn out. Not necessarily painful, just a slow breaking down that takes years to arrive at its end. In a way it sounds like simple aging, but give it a name like “Alzheimer’s” and it becomes something different altogether. It is not about growing old gracefully, since those afflicted will often be living in the past forgetting about the present. Or if the present is confronted, it last but a moment in time. So those taking care of them will become different
She was happy (Janet)
Janet still likes to leave me numerous messages at night on my cell phone. I have to put her ring on silent because of her compulsive need to leave long meandering messages. I really don’t mind, since I can control how her calls would interfere with my sleep. Her sleep cycle is opposite of most peoples. She gets up late afternoon and goes to sleep about four or five in the morning. She takes some heavy medications that really knock her out.
For the last couple of da
The airport is a busy place energy going every which way,
bits and pieces of languages float up from the unending stream
of excited voices sounding happy or anxious by something or another,
most have some communication device ignoring those around them
speaking to some disembodied being in some other part of the world,
some have ear devices looking very crazy as they talk to themselves,
funny to watch, though I know this is not so, they are not insane
they just look
Well it was quite a morning with William, for you never know what to expect when it comes to taking care of his nursing needs. As his disease progresses, his symptoms will of course become more pronounced and painful for all involved. This morning while cleaning him, or perhaps ‘attempting’ is the better word, he put on quite a performance, that was in no way acting but came from the deepest recesses of his soul, confused as it might be. His perception of what was going on, something I will neve
The greatest miracle
There can be at times a feeling of absurdity about life, why is there anything at all, yet to think of nothingness supreme is more extraordinary still, no-thing, some-thing, one without the other seems impossible, then of course there is suffering; evil even more glaring, next door neighbors with joy and goodness, just a fence keeping them apart, at least at times, then chaos seems to rise up and our concepts drown.
God; what about that reality? Quaint ideas really do not
There are people that have come into my life, who I feel are great teachers. Some teach by words, others by in the simple direct way in which they live their life. I would suppose Fr. Bernard is one of those people. He is 25 years older than me, yet in his childlike faith filled understanding of the world, in many ways, in the best ways; he is much younger than me.
He treats each person with respect. Be it an important businessman, or women, or politician, to the waiter, or wai
To accompany (Agnes)
I called Agnes last night to see how she was doing. She said her day went well, that she rested and had some visitors. She is however starting to get a little miffed at some of her neighbors in the building who mean well but keep on giving her advice on how to deal with her cancer. One after another they seem to line up with sure fire ways for her to deal with her illness. She knows that they are trying to be helpful but it is becoming too much for her. While she i
Visit with Eduardo
I went back the next morning to see how Eduardo was doing. Since I had not received a phone call during the night, I accepted to see him sitting up and awake. I arrived about 10 AM and sure enough he was looking like his old self. I needed to find out some things from him so that I could pass them on to Francis, his POA for medical decisions, if the time came when Eduardo could not speak for himself. He seemed at peace at his precarious situation and made it clear to me
There are days
Some days are crazier than others. The dominoes are lined up in such a way that they are just asking to be knocked over and the first event happens; then one after another they fall in a way that is almost rhythmic. You just never know when that day arrives. Well that day started very early for me and those who deal with the infirm here yesterday. So Rose, Patrick, Francis Michael and I had a good ride for the duration.
Eduardo saw me very early yesterday morning; I guess i
Second visit (Agnes)
Went to see Agnes today and took Fr. James with me. He is a very kind and gentle man who is able to put people at their ease very easily. He came along to give Agnes the ‘anointing of the sick’ as well as the Eucharist. She seemed to be in better spirits from the last time I saw her. She has done a lot of adapting and as is her way, facing this without flinching. One of her strongest gifts is courage; she has always had plenty of that.
I only stayed in her apartmen
Yesterday was Leo’s second day in the hospital. I had to run an errand in the morning, taking a friend to the airport who was here for a few days. After I dropped him off I went straight to the hospital to see how Leo was doing. The first thing I noticed was his breakfast tray setting next to his bed, in which he was fast asleep. It looked like the nurse attempted to feed him something but did not have much luck. He is on a liquid diet, so for breakfast he had iced tea, chicke
Time with Leo
Leo is now 70; his birthday was just a couple of days ago on the 1st of September. He was always a quiet man before his illness, gentle and did not like any kind of confrontation. He was also a very good artist; he was a sculptor in metal. He would do large works of art and for me when I would look at them, they would move, or perhaps dance, would be a better word, for they were made with many curves and no rough corners. He told me that in his early twenties he had a few show
The encounter (Agnes)
It would be sundown in about half and hour as I started my walk for the evening. Though it was still light, I could look up and see the three quarters moon, bone white, gleaming back at me. Now that it is September, fall will soon be here and its refreshing cool temperature can be felt in the early mornings even now. It was then that I called Agnes on my cell phone to see how her day went. For the first time since her diagnosis, I noticed that there was an elevati
I often write about tolerance towards others, it is something central to who I am and what I believe, at least on the surface of things. However, perhaps the main reason I write and ponder this subject is because it is something lacking deep within my own soul that arises when provoked, tired, and not centered. Though I can honestly say being centered seldom happens for me. All my tolerance can fall by the way side pretty quickly. When that happens, all of my so called objectivity
First visit (Agnes)
Agnes gave me directions to her apartment in Decatur; a town right outside Atlanta. I had some trouble finding her address because few of the buildings in that town seem to want to place numbers on their facades. She lives in a building that is set up to help take care of the elderly. Assisted living they call it, but in order to live there you have to be more or less independent. The building has seen better days, yet it gives the residents a safe place to live. Agne
I got another call from Agnes right after she saw her doctor. The news was not surprising since she told me that her internist recommended that she go immediately into hospice. When going into a hospice program it means that for most they have less than six months to live and only palliative care is given. I did not say anything, but only brought up the point, that if in hospice, no aggressive treatment can be implemented. I did not mention anything about the six months. A couple of
Life is a comic affair, though it is not often funny. It only takes a second really for everything to simply change over, flip, and then chaos and confusion over what happened. Others grow old, get sick, lose their jobs or get divorced; it is always the ‘others’. Perhaps it is like living in a dream where everything can be observed from a safe place, high up, and that it will continue forever. A family member can get sick or a friend and while it is horrible, well those things hap
I got a call this morning; it was Agnes who needed to talk. In the message she stated she was having an anxiety attack. So I called her and we talked for awhile. She is seeing her doctor today at 1PM for the final prognosis of her cancer. Which does seem to be good, for it is already in her brain, lymph nodes and stomach, so over the last year her internist mentioned that is has spread very fast. Last year she got a clean bill of health cancer wise. She has to decide if s
There is a lot to think about when reading some of the sayings of Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew he tells of the last judgment. In it he has those on his left (goats) and the rest on his right (lambs). Each goes to the place that seems suited for them. One is a place of union and the other of separation and isolation from the source of all life. What decides is something that is found in the depths of the soul, a place that perhaps only God can see, hence the ability to know where each bel