Sitting here this morning reading the latest news updates and reflecting on yesterday’s attack on our U.S. Capital and our democracy, I feel bereft and forlorn. God knows it has been a very hard year, and more, for all of us and much more for so many others.
Here in my community over the past year we have faced a deadly, destructive tornado to start 2020, the ever worsening pandemic, social injustice and civil unrest, the recent anarchist bombing of our city, and yesterday this attack on our U.S. Capital and our democracy.
And yes, I, like many of you, feel I have left some skin in the fray. Resisting from the very beginning the outgoing presidential administration and its sycophants and the nationalism, fascist, racist, and social injustice it has spawned in our nation at every turn. Those responsible must be held accountable.
Certainly we face more challenges ahead as we work to heal our nation’s wounds and divisions from the flame thrower, hateful, narcissistic fascist bully some would call ‘president.’
Just now, I feel like I need to remove these bloody, shredded clothes hanging from my wounded body, take a deep cleansing soak, get some rest, and recuperate, so I along with you, may return in our efforts together to save the soul of ourselves and our nation.
Beloveds, I always feel better having written it down. And now let us walk each other Home again as True Selves in Authentic Community of Belonging. Thank each of you for being there!
preface: Beloveds, when I write a poem
like this one, of social criticism, hard truths,
suffering, difficult emotions, I am concerned
many will just pass it by with no thought, as a
downer. Who wants to read that stuff? My
hope is that such poems might challenge
our thinking, might unite us in shared
experience, might shake us awake, might spark
new insights into the challenges we all face
together in authentic communities of belonging.
And a reminder, the redemption comes at the end so
please read it all the way through. Peace upon
peace, dear ones, for a better year we have earned.
poem: new years eve post-apocalyptic blues
and authentic new beginnings
on the eve of the new year 2021
wondering if the apocalypse has
already happened and we are
just to numb to notice
this talk about the lessons
we can learn from the pandemic
and its’ new normal and how
we will be the better for it
to be a victim of the machine
and its’ broken systems
in which we are but a cog
is maddening and a tragedy
let us count the ways:
a terrorist bombing in Nashville
which could have been prevented
leading to a communications blackout
due to corporate greed and inaction;
a pandemic due to a reality show
president so incompetent he broke the
public health system;
a broken medical system swamped by
alt-right anarchist riots sowing discord
and chaos across the nation;
police killing blacks and treating
black protestors like criminals;
and the count goes on
please, no more platitudes
no more stiff upper lip
no more too numb to notice
no more waiting for the new normal
let us be witnesses
speaking our truth to power,
authentically belonging together
taking action, being the change
for a better world, you are the
only one who can change you
and acting together, we the world
here&now working poetry
New Years Eve 2020
Thoreau quote image made by Herb Stone
Reflection: Creator God come down to us and walked this Earth prophesying, resisting, and teaching about our world and providing us the alternative neighborly community of the kin-dom plan grounded in diversity and inclusivity of live together in grace, love, and peace
we must understand that while Jesus was a person of grace, peace, and love, and a healer, he also was an anti-Imperialist who protested, resisted, and acted against the dominate political and religious systems of oppression and their power, control, and violence
let us walk each other to this true home, authentically belonging together
Richard Rohr says this well in his quote:
Reflection: Richard Rohr on our apocalyptic times and our need for a stabilizing spiritual practice over the next four months (and always)
(with thanks and respect to my patron saint, Gertrud Nelson for sharing Richard’s words with me)
“We are without doubt in an apocalyptic time (the Latin word apocalypsis refers to an urgent unveiling of an ultimate state of affairs). Yeats’ oft-quoted poem “The Second Coming” then feels like a direct prophecy. See if you do not agree:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Stand as a sentry at the door of your senses for these coming months, so “the blood-dimmed tide” cannot make its way into your soul.
If you allow it for too long, it will become who you are, and you will no longer have natural access to the “really deep well” that Etty Hillesum (Dutch author of the Nazi persecution of Jews in Amsterdam and who was killed in Auschwitz) returned to so often and that held so much vitality and freedom for her.
If you will allow, I recommend for your spiritual practice for the next four months that you impose a moratorium on exactly how much news you are subject to—hopefully not more than an hour a day of television, social media, internet news, magazine and newspaper commentary, and/or political discussions. It will only tear you apart and pull you into the dualistic world of opinion and counter-opinion, not Divine Truth, which is always found in a bigger place.
Instead, I suggest that you use this time for some form of public service, volunteerism, mystical reading from the masters, prayer—or, preferably, all of the above.
You have much to gain now and nothing to lose. Nothing at all.
And the world—with you as a stable center—has nothing to lose.”
photos: Gertrud Nelson, my patron saint
Richard Rohr (who I read widely) with my dear, late friend and spiritual teacher Jeff Blake
Thank you God for friends and teachers like these💓