Memories out of Season

Memories Out of Season

 


It’s the quiet you first notice. 
A pristine stillness, so quiet you can hear your own soul,
like a faint homing signal
bringing one back on course.
Which is kind of the whole point of being here.

Here we find the sacred,
not so much in nature
as in ourselves.
One can of course find the sacred in the city, too—
Mother Teresa found it among the dying and dispossessed of Bombay—
but it’s generally more difficult for those of us who are not Mother Teresa.

Here amid the stillness
there comes a quiet joy,
a contentment complete.
And relief, too,
of the navigator regaining the lost signal
showing him the way home.

 

 

[Biographical note: During the years in southern California (1970-76), the Sierra Nevada were my sanctuary and my sanity, and I made as many trips into them as I could. Perhaps ironic: Attending seminary and serving a church, it was the mountains where I went seeking my own spiritual source and salvation. Yet I was far from the first to sense and seek the holy in the mountains, far from the teeming city. “I lift up mine eyes to the mountains,” proclaimed the Psalmist. “From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord (aka, the Source), who made Heaven and Earth.”]

 

[First posted: June 9, 2019]

 

 

Girl cousins.

You can see it in their faces.

A not-yet conscious strength in their shared sisterhood.

For them, neither glass slippers nor glass ceilings.

Capable, confident, willing to kick some serious butt if necessary, 
they will create a different future.


Through them, and many girls like them,
shall come a new humanity, unshackled and free of the past.

And in this freedom will men and boys find their own liberation.

 

 

[First published: October 6, 2018] 

May 18, 2017

-

To honor the mountain's dramatic eruption thirty-seven years ago
on May 18, 1980, Cowlitz County's local newspaper, The Daily News,
ran a quiz testing its readers' knowledge of the event with thirty-seven questions.

The quiz appeared on page 4, the answers at the top,
followed immediately below by the questions.

I got all thirty-seven right!

 

 

 

I fly the flag at half mast. What does it say about my country that half of the voters chose a loud, ignorant, crude boor and con man for president? (That was a rhetorical question. I don't want to know the answer.)

For me, this is worse than 9/11. As terrible as that event was, it brought us together as a people. It was George W. Bush's finest moment--and let's face it, he didn't have all that many.

No, to come close to the sense of grief and desolation I am today feeling, I would need to go back to when I was a high school freshman on November 22, 1963.

It's not that such a person as Donald J. Trump will be President of the United States (that's bad), but that so many Americans would elect such a man. I grieve for my nation. I have lost faith in my fellow citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eighteen years ago today my father went up to the lake for the last time.

We were told he died quickly. Heart attack. Nothing could be done.

How strange to live in a world without fathers.

Sad?

Of course.  A new emptiness opening in my soul.

And yet, considering the alternatives, it was a good death,
especially for a man who took joy in the simple pleasures,
who made no great demands on life, content to see what each day offered,
who managed to have no Big Dramas,
except World War II and me. (Father, forgive me.)

It seemed fitting he would depart this life quietly, quickly,
doing what he loved,
and much loved.

 

 [First published: May 26, 2016]