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So I’m in Chicago (Palatine, actually) where my father is in his last days.  Please pray for Alvin Wilcox and for his family.  It never rains, but it pours.  Actually, it’s raining here these days – though not pouring.  That seems to be the metaphorical pouring that’s wiping out my ability to feel.  Not to pray, mind you, that’s a constant.  But feeling – I’m putting that on hold for a bit. 

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You’re the United Nations!
Most people think you’re ineffective, but you are trying to
completely save the world from itself, so there’s always going to be a long
way to go.  You’re always the one trying to get friends to talk to each
other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of
beating each other about the head and torso.  Sometimes it works and sometimes
it doesn’t, and you get very schizophrenic as a result.  But your heart
is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.


Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid

“We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and
unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are
alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the
future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.”

Nikki Giovanni

"Rubble is the ground on which our deepest friendships are built. If
you haven’t already, you will lose someone you can’t live without, and
your heart will be badly broken, and you never completely get over the
loss of a deeply beloved person. But this is also good news. The person
lives forever, in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you
come through, and you learn to dance with the banged-up heart. You
dance to the absurdities of life; you dance to the minuet of old
friendships." –Anne Lamott

My prayers and those of my sisters are with the community in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Because I so recently have been affected by loss of a loved one, I can readily imagine the pain of loss and the grief that the families of the victims will be dealing with.  I am quite sure that their grief will be unbelievably more difficult because of the deaths. 

At the school with which I minister we will be having a prayer service for victims of violence.  I know there are many resources out there and I’m probably late to the story/sharing.  But, here are two links that helped me plan and prepare.   1. NFCYM (the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministers) has a violence resource page that can be found here.  2. NFCYM links to St. Mary’s Press which has a prayer service for times like these.  It can be found here.

We will be praying for those who died in Virginia this week.  And all those too who have died all over the world this week, these weeks, this month, this year… in unexpected violence.  And what violence, really, is anything but unexpected.

We
                Can Create
               

                A Better World

               
Every
                Act of
                Compassion
                Makes a Difference!

               
Every Day Counts
                for A Better World

               
One Heart, One Day
                at a time!



You’re Watership Down!
by Richard Adams
Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you’re
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You’d
be recognized as such if you weren’t always talking about talking rabbits.


Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I am, of course, none other than blank verse.
I don’t know where I’m going, yes, quite right;
And when I get there (if I ever do)
I might not recognise it. So? Your point?
Why should I have a destination set?
I’m relatively happy as I am,
And wouldn’t want to be forever aimed
Towards some future path or special goal.
It’s not to do with laziness, as such.
It’s just that one the whole I’d rather not
Be bothered – so I drift contentedly;
An underrated way of life, I find.

What Poetry Form Are You?

Saturday morning reflections on the 14th day of April.

 

I’m wearing my old green plaid flannel pajama pants this
morning and the last pair of slippers my Mom made for me (green on green). I’m wrapped up in the oldest, most frayed
sweatshirt I own – the one from Cal Poly Pomona that I got on clearance when I
went to my first academic conference. I
was a first year graduate student at ASU and editorial assistant for the
National Association for Ethnic Studies and the conference was a working
one. But it was an academic conference
and I was there. The sweatshirt proves
it and still somehow proves something to me each time I pull it out of the back
of the closet.

 

It’s raining in San Josethis morning. When I got out of bed this morning and pulled open the drapes, it was
merely grey. The cool grey, almost
white, of a spring morning. Later,
during my second cup of coffee the rain began. Tentative at first: I couldn’t
hear it over the furnace, but I could see it when I looked out at the magnolia
tree across the street. Later, a
downpour that made me want to stop reading and to look at the rain. So, of course I got up to go to the bathroom,
get another cup of coffee and put in my contact lenses – so I could see what I
was going to look at. When I returned to
my chair, the rain had settled down to a quick, steady fall. The flash downpour apparently over.

 

There are two cats living with me now. My niece jokes that I’m the crazy knitting
lady living with the cats. And she’s not
far off. Chiquita is actually her cat
whom she “loaned” to my Mom for company. The company of the cat, the company of the Grandma – both seemed important
at the time. Chiquita is a Mexican street cat –
adopted right off the calle in la Ciudad de Mexico. She’s got scars and a bad attitude, but the
ability to purr and love like a real fighter. In the morning she likes to jump up in my lap and enjoy her a.m.
scritch. In the evening as I watch tv
and knit she likes to get her p.m. scritch. She tolerates about ten minutes of this before forgetting that she’s
safe and biting the heck out of my arm. And
down she goes.

 

Boots is a black cat, with white paws and a tiny white patch
just on her chin. She has long white
whiskers and only one tooth. Mom and I
called her “Puppy” because no matter where I go in the house, she follows. She runs ahead to my room, or the
bathroom. She waits at the door when she
hears my car arrive in the carport. Mom
used to count the seconds, “one, two, three, four – FOUR” she’d call out as I
left her room in the evening. That’s how
many seconds before Puppy jumped down off Mom’s dresser to follow me out of her
room.

 

When Mom was in the hospital the week before she died, I
brushed her hair one afternoon. As I
brushed she said, “mo peez” just like her 20 month old granddaughter had said
after each bite of ice-cream I shared with her. When I asked after a few minutes if that were enough or she wanted a
little more, she said a little more and then, “You can call me Puppy.” The cat too always wants just a little more
petting.

 

Just after Mom died, the downpour of sorrow was
intense. It still has the unpredictability
of a spring rain. A little grey, a
little cold, a sudden dumping like buckets of warm drowning tears. The downpour has trickled off now, just
outside the windows. There’s no blue sky
yet this morning. But there probably
will be later in the day. Later, when I
go to the grocery store to by cat food and kitty litter, I will look up at the
sky and it will be blotchy with blue and grey and white, I imagine. I won’t need the umbrella, I suppose, but it’s
a good idea to wear a jacket with a hood.


My mother is a poem
I’ll never be able to write,
though everything I write
is a poem to my mother.
~Sharon Doubiago

    
       
          Friday Five: Dental Edition
       
    
      

Cheesehead and I are both laid up this week with various tooth maladies. This one’s in honor of us:

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists’ offices? Or, do you go
a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

b – totally.  Usually I need it.  I move around a bit, though, and don’t want to get hooked on one dentist only to have to go through the whole thing of finding a new one.  I also suffer from dentistphobia brought on by a lengthy dental tragedy of my youth.  See there was this swimming pool in a strange land and I took off my glasses, turned around, dove in and the dental tragedy continued for years.  -Shudder-

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?

Nothing – never came in, never came out.

3. Favorite thing to eat that’s BAAAAAD for your teeth.

I do love those peeps (though I haven’t had them this year.)

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.

Only the root canal type.  Three times: twice on the same tooth!  Ow.

5. "I’d rather have a root canal than _________________."

You know, I think I’d rather do almost anything than have a root canal.  Geesh.

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident? 

No dentist right now, so no recommending going on.

   

   

   
      

  • Take an Easter Walk
    Sometime
    during the week after Easter Sunday, take a walk around your
    neighborhood, in your garden, at the park, or even at the local
    shopping center. Look for signs of new life all around you. Remember
    the neophytes—those who were baptized this Easter—who are “new plants”
    in the household of God.
  • Do a Baptism search
    Search
    for photos and other mementos of your own baptism, for example, your
    baptismal gown or certificate. Place these in a prominent spot in your
    home during the season. Bring home some holy water from the parish
    baptismal font, and use it to make the sign of the cross each morning
    on your forehead.
  • Wear white and dress up
    On
    Sundays during the season, try to wear lots of white or something more
    “Easter-y,” for example, a flower corsage on your wrist or lapel. If
    you don’t usually dress up for Sunday Mass, wear dressier clothes each
    Sunday of Easter. Each time you dress, remember that you have been
    “clothed in Christ.”
  • Light candles  Buy
    some nice candles for your home. Place them in your living room and on
    your dinner table. Light them at night and whenever you sit down to eat
    at home. Use a match to light them, and as you strike the match, say
    “Christ, our Light.”
  • Dress up your dinner table
    Throughout
    the season, use a table cloth on your kitchen or dinner table if you
    don’t already. Use the nicer plates, utensils, and glasses that you
    save for special occasions. Commit to eating at least one meal at home
    on Sundays. Light candles, turn off the TV, and put on some nice music
    for these meals. Every time you eat, begin by saying, “Jesus, Lamb of
    God.”
  • Make bathing a time of renewal  Whenever
    you shower or bathe, remember your own baptism. Recall how the
    neophytes were bathed in the font. Make it a special time of prayer by
    saying, “Christ, the Water of Life” when you begin. Pamper yourself
    with soothing oils or lotions. Remember how you have been anointed with
    the Spirit of Christ.
  • Let each day be a little Easter  As
    you wake up each day, consecrate that day to God by saying, “This is
    the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” This
    comes from the traditional psalm for Easter (Psalm 118). If you can,
    give yourself some quiet time before the busyness of the day. Sit in
    silence with your morning coffee, light a candle, and let God speak to
    you in that moment.
  • Write a thank-you note, just because
    “Eucharist”
    means “thank you” in Greek. Each week of Easter (there are seven),
    write a
    thank-you note to someone you appreciate but don’t often get to
    thank. Send it to them, and say a prayer for them as you seal the
    envelope or click the “send” button.

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