Happy Halloween.

I have finished lighting my pumpkins, turned on the scary music, filled the cauldron with candy and am waiting.

I love Halloween. It allows me to be legitimately insane. If I had someone else to hand out the candy, I would dress up.

Coming in from outside, Evan the Almighty was playing on the TV. I never saw it in the movie theater.

I was watching Evan dressed as Noah building his ark surrounded by animals gathered in pairs.

His family was just a little stressed out, to say the least. They are still living in the family home, attending school, grocery shopping etc. Evan, he's sleeping in the great outdoors, dressed in long robes with a beard and hair white as snow.

There is a reason I was to watch this movie.

I sat down during the scene of the family, sans Evan, eating in a restaurant. Boys have run to the bathroom. Mom sits alone. She signals the waiter to bring her more of everything.

A woman after my own heart. Stressed is merely desserts spelled backwards.

Of course, God is the waiter played magnificently by Morgan Freeman.

Aside from being a great story,animals, water, God's wrath, here is "Gods" take on the story.

And here are the words I believe, I was meant to hear.

"When someone prays for patience, does God give them patience, or an opportunity to practice patience?"

"When someone prays for courage, does God give them courage, or an opportunity to be courageous?"

"When a family needs to be together, does God make it so, or provide them with an opportunity to be together?"

Today, I was speaking with a woman who has the opportunity to travel overseas next year. She is just a little daunted by this.

So, if she is reading this, she now knows that I was meant to watch the movie for her as well.

Therefore, keep watching and listening, for your opportunity to speak to you.


"Listen to the Warm"

Being privy to the demise of a relationship is tough stuff.

What role do you play?

What words do you use to comfort, persuade, cajole?

Who do you comfort? Do you choose sides? How can you maintain neutrality?

After the past couple of days, I have new respect for Sweden.

Problems seem so clear to the observer. Why are we not given the ability to view ourselves as an outside observer? Why are certain things hidden from our sight?

Wouldn't life be, well if not simpler, less catastrophic? Not so dramatic? Things would just simmer rather than boil over leaving messes that take a long time to clean up. Sometimes continual scouring does not remove the mess.

At what point, if ever, does a person truly learn and understand themselves? When, or if, do we arrive at the ability to be loving to ourselves and less judgmental? When do we learn to apply that to others?

Must history always repeat itself?

I believe so. Why?

When you are talking over the other person all the time, you are not paying attention to the present to be able to identify it as the past.

What to do?


A lot.

And often.

Listen to the Warm recited by Rod McKuen, the RCA years 1965-1968.


Season of Creation

Sunday, October 12 was the beginning of the Season of Creation at The Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew. During the service, Josh Martin read "The Creation" written by James Weldon Johnson .

I am providing you the opportunity to listen to it, maybe even follow along with the words, enjoy the organ / piano duet with David and Cynthia and the amazing choir response. Wonderful!!

This great piece begins at exactly 33:00 minutes into the service at http://drop.io/SsAM_Worship/asset/101208

So shut the doors, settle in, and let your imagination soar.

The Creation

AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
"I'm lonely—I'll make me a world."

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,

And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, "That's good!"

Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
And God rolled the light around in His hands
Until He made the sun;
And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.

Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said, "That's good!"

Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on His right hand,
And the moon was on His left;
The stars were clustered about His head,
And the earth was under His feet.

And God walked, and where He trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then He stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And He spat out the seven seas;
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;

And God smiled again,

And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around His shoulder.

Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And He said, "Bring forth! Bring forth!"
And quicker than God could drop His hand.
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.

And God said, "That's good!"

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that He had made.
He looked at His sun,
And He looked at His moon,
And He looked at His little stars;
He looked on His world
With all its living things,

And God said, "I'm lonely still."
Then God sat down
On the side of a hill where He could think;
By a deep, wide river He sat down;
With His head in His hands,
God thought and thought,

Till He thought, "I'll make me a man!"
Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled Him down;

And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;

This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;
Then into it He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.


Climate Change

What a beautiful day yesterday. October sun and temperatures near 80. Driving to work, the mist is rising up from meadows, lakes and swamps.

This, in sharp contrast to the beginning of the week when the nighttime temperatures moved into the lower 40's.

I love this kind of evening weather. Add a log to the fireplace.

(Be real people, it is a three hour composite crackling log.)

Climb under multiple bed covers. And, for the first time, shut one bedroom window.

Waking is a different matter. Climbing out of that warm cocoon is challenging. Throw back the covers and run for the shower, shutting the bathroom door behind me. Cats scatter in my path.

Not being one for hot showers, there is the temptation to start during these pre-heat fall mornings. I adjust the temperature upwards, but many people would still insist that it is cold.

One of the only adjustments that I make is footwear. Wood floors can be cold.

Putting on my sandals, it came to me that only months before, I was wearing them to keep my feet off the hot sand of Sudan. And, all the cotton clothes that I wore for modesty in Sudan, were keeping me warm in the States.

My computer is now keeping me close to those I left behind in Sudan. Though I recently wrote a five page handwritten letter to Sami and his mom, I cannot imagine using the mail system to keep in close touch.

What a difference 75 years make in communications between people.

There is something to be said for looking into the eyes of the person you are speaking with.

Being a witness to how your words are perceived and understood.

Not wondering if they are accepted in the same sense as intended.

Not wondering if pardon is needed for an unintended injury.

A Prayer attributed to Saint Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.