Equanimity

Under mind,

bump stocked

and fire branded.

A cool glass of water,

clear as a monk’s

prayer before sunrise

is sipped and spilt.

Be anxious for nothing

is an easy task…

It’s when we’re anxious

about something,

everything,

that our equanimity

is bent by a category

five, and we kneel

when we should stand,

and stand when we

should kneel.

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Sunday Psalm

Morning Dew

Unfold my arms,

Relax these tight shoulders.

 

Come, this wide-eyed morning

And lay these hesitancies on the dew.

 

Soak them mercifully, and grace

These fists in their clenched resistance.

 

Palms up, lifeline exposed

In vulnerable sweat.

 

Break upon my heart

Like the broken light,

 

Shards all around.

Indented Doors

Comma’s in

The pedestrian way.

Pauses, like cells

In a monastery–

Call us to pray

Out of the fray.

 

Slip in

The perspective, stay.

Queues in which

To stand when

You can’t stand it.

A momentary huddle.

 

A set aside,

Alone, abide,

Piece of peace,

Space of quiet

Out of the riot.

Would that I try it.

On Prayer

Take us to the safe places,

not free of danger necessarily,

but void of triggers…

those spaces where scabs

fall off, not scrape off.

 

Show us how to play,

how to get absorbed

like a child on the floor,

Let us not worry about

how we’re gonna get up.

 

Help us to trust again,

fearless of reaction,

boundless in hope.

For a long moment

let us reach You.

Pre-Dawn. A morning prayer.

I splashed through

a psalm or two,

looking for You;

expressing me.

 

Come as a seed,

fall and die in here,

so a single shoot

may rise with the sun.

 

So a single root

may drive in the soil,

deep, splayed toward

ground water wants.

 

Come water me

in the silent hours,

as I incline my heart.

Garden my soul.

 

Amen

Once (For Mary)

Once, when a child,

We cried.

Once, when crying,

We laughed.

Once, when laughing,

We hurt.

Once, when hurting,

We leaned.

Once, when leaning,

We loved.

Once, when loving,

We hugged.

Once, when hugging,

We lived.

Once when living,

We learned.

Once, when learning,

We wondered.

Once, when wondering,

We worried.

Once, when worrying,

We prayed.

Once, when praying,

We thanked,

Once, when thanking,

We cried.

Why Two Days Changed My Fussbudgetness.

Lucy, from the comic strip Peanuts, was often referred to as a fussbudget. Over the past few years I have become a fussbudget, my heart traipsing around the landscape of complaint, unbelief, and fear. Recently I described it to someone as brooding. I can’t seem to nail down a solid description of my state of mind. Needless to say, my silent grump grump aint helpful to those in my proximity.

Then two days, one right after the other, a couple of weeks ago, shook me out of my inward sourpuss self. May 17th two of my children decided to take a giant leap…out of an airplane. Be honest, what do you think of first when skydiving come to mind? Exactly. What if the chute doesn’t open? I don’t see this thought as pessimistic, but realistic. Planes have wings to keep humans up there in the wild blue yonder, unless some zealot or deranged person uses one as a missile of mass human destruction. My son and daughter fell to earth with hardly a thud, safe, exhilarated, and the determination to do it all over again. (They’re adults, what can I do? I know what I can do… Give them an Applebee’s gift card for their birthday next year. Yes, they jumped on our dime right into their bucket list.)

The next day my longboarding (i.e. big skateboard for riding hills, not do stunts) daughter took two of her brothers to surf a local neighborhood. She was merely 3 to 4 inches off the ground and fell to earth with a thud. She dropped and rolled, but in the dropping she sustained quite a blow to the basil part of her skull. 911 was dialed, and an hour or so later she was in a medically induced coma for a closed head injury. She had a basil fracture, broken cheek bone, but no other broken bones. There was hardly a scratch on her otherwise. Barbara and I were beside ourselves with concern as the first twenty four to thirty six hours were a roller coaster of emotions and worry as the doctors came and left with assessments.

I said short prayers to God.

Not today. No funeral today God. Help!

            Other people said the longer prayers. Lots of people said the longer prayers. Our entire family is grateful for the longer prayers, and all sorts of other support through this reality. Today our daughter is in a state of the art rehab facility called Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids Michigan. Today she is. Today she is the same captivating daughter after her chute didn’t open on that hill. Today she is a self-proclaimed “safety nerd” as she deeply regrets not wearing a helmet. She is not finished healing, but is coming along much faster than predicted.

Thank God.

That is the reason I am writing about these two days. This is why I confess to the world and God my own fractures. Just because we are human, we flake out sometimes. Come on, admit it. God went looking for Adam and Eve in their nakedness. Why would God not look for us? I know this opens up the Pandora’s Box of why many things don’t make sense, all the way from 9/11 to a weak baby chick not surviving. I, for one, need to hop off my little private, arrogant self, and admit I have a lot less control than I thought.

Today, I thank God for those who continue to hold us through prayer, presence, and embraces. Life is mysterious. God is mysterious. So, if you find yourself in a fussbudget frame of mind, that’s okay, no judgement here, but consider the possibility of coming out from hiding. God is looking for you, along with some human humans.

Prayer:

God, thank you for all the loving people in my life. You show up when they show up, whether I admit it or not. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.