about face

Smiles are like the Amen
of a prayer.
And is God not at work?

Feeling is the Art of Love;
when we love what is good—
we are good and feelings
are REAL. Love what
is good and see the face
of God. And earth is
home like a blanket, as

light and Spirit awaken the
soul, “Believe me, yes,
you will smile again…”


Margerie’s Plenty

Rainfall used to bring with it the tone of dreariness, monotony, or sadness. As the rain falls now, it is an expectant joy for the onlooker, the seer. Droughts mean so many things. Midsummer, the garden is withered, half-eaten by mice and squirrels, the ponds are down, cities cry for water. There will be fewer acorns underfoot this fall. Perhaps the air is dryer, and allergies have gotten worse.

Woman in mist           All these thoughts Margerie thought, as she looked out her kitchen window. It was raining—What a Blessing! Her house stood on a large wooded lot, and the backyard sloped gently to a small stream. She was single, and like so many who have not been in a relationship for a while, her home and its surroundings lived out the essence of her joy. Cozy reading spaces, plants sprawling near every window, paintings of deep red, earthen tones, and yellow.

She turned to greet her friend, a sleek gray cat named Timothy. Moments with Timothy always came at the right time. His gentle cry was met with Margerie’s warm hands, and she whisked him over to her father’s broad-shouldered, leather chair and squished down. The skylights had been a recent addition, and the light from a pale gray sky brought an aura of elevated sensation, as though they were residing in a cloud.It was Saturday, and her life was as it should be. She could work all week and come home after her last appointment with the same peace and contentment that she started out with. The clock on the wall said 3:19. The drone of his pur and the comfort of the rain set Margerie gently to sleep.

Her collective senses at will set her dreams in motion—the rain above began to calm her spirit, the warmth of her feline companion became the warmth of a small, glowing fire, and she dreamed that she had stepped onto a magnificent lawn, alone, and with a fire in the middle. Stones surrounded the blaze, rectangular and neatly placed in the fertile ground. The sky was pink and orange, and the fire gave off no smoke. The smell and the sound were as one to this, and although there was no one around, Margerie began to feel the presence of children playing and their laughter. Margerie closed her eyes and opened them, and the fire had become a pool of crystal blue water, reflecting not the sky but the color within itself. She could feel the cool of its unknown depth and the purifying power of its spring. She started to move toward it, yet her motion would bring her no closer, and the power of purity waned momentarily. She stopped, and the sensation began to challenge her intellect. She should change herself more, it said, gentle ways of communication, belief, compassion in care, harmony, resMedine Belt Croppedponsibility, Love—these things could all grow within her. A man joined her at her side, and they began to walk. The blue pool was no longer there.He spoke first, “You know me?” Margerie paused, “You are a loyal child in faith.” She knew no more. The man answered, “It is in your conscience that lies your destiny. Honor order, and know that you have gifts: some for special use, some for ordinary, all ready for good works.” Purity and grace flowed through her being, and contentment precluded any question or queries she might have spoken. The stranger made a gesture that brought them to the wall around the garden. He said again, “May your presence progress with wisdom, and know always that the word of God is not chained.”

She awoke. The clock said 3:19. The cat looked up at her and smiled.

“She Stood In Roses”

Scarcely a look in her eyes, she walked away. As lingering words fell with a muffled hum against the vault of her person, she, in bewilderment, set out never to return. Whether qualm or favor, it mattered so little with him…reason, even less.Where I Would Go

Time stood still as the sobs erupted, not within her, but pulsating around her, a cloak of defeat shrouding her in the dead calm of night. How could this end?

The days turned to weeks; when Dahlia swore time would stop, it pranced forward, slipped away, until only the force of her grief chose for her a new reality.

Change or chance, she awaited nothing. She thumbed through a travel guide to Italy in her new surroundings. Life before was no longer her state of affairs, and she had collected on a divorce settlement two weeks earlier. Yet, she constantly found herself panging for the routine of her previous existence almost instantly in every free moment, through the dull of regret and longing forever gone. A token, perhaps, to relive every moment of satisfaction, even under false pretenses, was a dangling just beyond her grasp. It had worn her down.God, she prayed, I’m listening. Her cloak of defeat was gone, cheating her. There was only the damp of night to contend,wistful and long. Alone.

Drinking or waiting, never on her, his foibles let onto the torment that had driven her out. Realistically, they were never compatible, but circumstance led to likability, likebility to logic, and logic said marriage. His pointing to her faults, his pointing never toward commitment, an aim vaguely composed in both minds. They were sinking in the shallows. Dahlia saw her life as over just as it should have begun, and, while happiness was a day at the races, it seemed she was the thorn in his side.

She opened the gate, and walked on the patio over to a chair. Idling nearby had been a stray dog; she was relieved to enter her haven safely. She had been to her psychotherapist, the stigma of actually doing so had disoriented her. Believe, she thought. But in what?; that was the stigma. Dahlia believed in her Maker, the sun and the stars, the cheeriness of early childhood memories and the newness of each day, she just couldn’t win. Win what?, she pondered. She stood in roses.

Up on the Roof

The ladder is scarier with ice now that I had pushed away the snow. The gutters with the weight of the ladder are prone to give way I imagine, if in leaning over them I smash them- before they fall down bending just before the section holds then slows to an uncertain precipice above the ground, as I hunch forward, shaking now…and it is moments later-Untitled No. 5

I growl at my self, at the inflated egocentric prided gauging of pain I claim as the trophy of my heightened placement- I am no higher, my heart beats along faster; I am nearly freezing, bending shingles, broken ego, the pulsating heat of my limbs against the breath of cold air, but I wavered not my shovel. I am clearing my head. I will move it with the rhythm of my tactful motion, flinging, forcing, freezing frost and drifts of rain that frozen in clouds came to rest upon the the roof of this house that I will save from totally collapsing.

Finding I am growing older

Halts me

Onto the ocean

Where only hills and trees arise

To remind me that they too give-

Thanks to what I prize.

Grown again to stop the balking wind

See I so as looking down

Juniper, Lariope and Holly

Abound like warm winter footsteps

hopeful beginnings heal

Getting cold I stray task

stow my shovel,

having traded in my flask,

for a warm mug of apple cider inside my house.


Un-stranding the Impromptu

Peace. That’s what pulls us gratefully, by hope, instrumentally through the common life of America 2015. Wake up to your favorite NPR, Conservative, Liberal, Talk Radio, Good Morning, America, in some rare instances, it has reported that people walk to their driveway in minimal attire to retrieve a piece- rather, many- large folded sheets with words on them, and this is called a newspaper. My point is, what if you got up and thought about you?

Studies, not cited, pertaining credible evidence suggest that spending 5 minutes of fully-awake, intentional silence at the beginning of your day  can reduce stress by 15%. I don’t know what that would add up to in your life, but for me that’s about all the reduction I need to be highly productive, cheerful, and devoted. It also allows for a healthy amount of stress to motivate, speculate, or rescucitate one’s values. You’ll probably feel moments where you are spontaneously revisited by your calm, and after first experiencing it in the morning, you may repulse at some point from broadcast news as they continue to try and appear as important as they wish they were. Peace. On some other Thursday night, I would evict my passion for mindfulness, but that isn’t scheduled yet…Instead of trying to define peace, I’m going to write a prosaic equation for how to make it:

self-intentioned goodness + other-purposed optimism + sustained obligations + awareness of Love + belief in you = Peace.

I lost the old recipe from when I was a little boy, but this is a basic walk-in-the-park word for the wired. Simple is as simple does, but I prefer ‘Tis the gift to be simple is the Gift to be free”. For believers, prayer can bring strength, hope and and blessing- BELIEVE in what you pray–all the way home. God will bless you according to his will. Peace out-

Hope with Direction

View SSE from Bald Rock


Begetting Progress for a Better Life

             Seeing about and for ourselves can be challenging and compelling in the course of our lives. How do we know what is enough? Even more importantly, what are the increments by which we perceive stability in our being and creative potential in our psyche? If, by the manifestation of good in our lives, we are repelling angst, anger, sadness, and agitation, there begins to be a safe harbor of identity that goes beyond the simple idea of personality in our lives.

Patience…can hold a moment by which we see our bearings fixed and our concerns validated, our confidence upheld and our vital sense of worth reinforced. Patience compels us to act in cohesion with our immediate needs. Seeing through the blinds of distraction, anger, or what-ifs to manifest our belief in what is the correct course of action belongs also to patience. Beyond limits, our potential for understanding is derived from the amount of patience we project within ourselves.

Perseverance…is an achievement of character that bestows confidence, alternatives, and purpose; perseverance is distress tolerance on a grand scale, both motivation to succeed and a crucial defense against antagonism. Though the merit of purpose is felt externally from the sphere of perseverance itself, purpose cohabits the realm of destiny and the realm of conscience. Purpose is control that reaches beyond immediate limitations. In addition, our conscience provides fruitful alternative choices in the medium of perseverance. Confidence reaches out as the nectar of conscious perseverance.

Resilience…is not the absence of failed opportunity, nor is it the lack of setbacks; rather, collectively, it is beyond strength and virtue alone, even beyond the making of coherent choices revolving around the nature of our beings. Resilience is the solidarity and great durability. Sometimes resilience is confronted by temper and coolness, but it always serves independence and desire for good. Resilience is centered in discipline, hope, faithfulness, and drive. Keeping our truest selves to our truest opportunity, meeting expectation with strengthened resolve and due convictions, resilience is a blessing maintained by good works.