Saturday, December 08, 2018


Dec 8 — the day of no barriers.

Buddha’s enlightenment day. Immaculate Conception of Mary.

John Lennon’s death.

Hannakah lights.

Wholeness is not reduced by parts.

mulling such a thing


Every request could be seen as the ask of reality to engage it unfolding what is to come.

Or, another perspective: 

“As Bokonon says: 'peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god.”  Kurt VonnegutCat's Cradle)

The silence moving through barn at 4am, temperature 9°, out to winter zendo, bowing, raising thermostat, ringing Tibetan bell, pronouncing (bubba, richard, rob) names of only three of our departed sangha. As earlier in poetry circle, we pronounce Anne, Walt, Maggie, Lydia, and Sheilah’s names — whose physical presence we no longer see nor hear on Friday’s at poetry, tea, and thee.

The separation between those of us seen and those not seen seems less and less apparent.

As poet Robert Lowell told us — 
We are poor passing facts, / warned by that to give / each figure in the photograph / his living name.     (— Lowell, end-lines of poem “Epilogue”)
 In wohnkuche, woodstove warms, green woolen Irish fedora placed back on shelf, brown cloth Franciscan  zucchetto placed on head, and stairs climbed back to room, 

Soon enough, our stoic friends at prison remind, there will by no one here to remind we are mortal, therefore deserving of kindness and compassion as we mull such a thing.

Friday, December 07, 2018

the pundits are straining at the bit

Your move, mr president.

I’m sorry for your troubles.

one form is formless

Getting wood from barn, thin layer of snow covers ground, points of starlight passing earth toward infinity’s edge.
The cosmos] is fundamentally and primarily living. [1] Christ, through his Incarnation, is interior to the world, rooted in the world even in the very heart of the tiniest atom. [2] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 
As Paul saw Christ as a single “New Human” (see Ephesians 2:15), as Duns Scotus saw Christ as the Alpha point of history, so Teilhard saw the same Divine Icon as the Omega point of cosmic history—both the archetypal starting point and the alluring final goal. The end was therefore already contained in the beginning. History is both emanating from and also seduced by the same force: Divine Love. Do not confuse this with any sentimental notion of love. Teilhard uses the word “love” to describe the cosmic allurement of everything toward everything, a structural, metaphysical shape to the universe, most visible in the basic laws of gravity, the inherent structure of every atom, electro-magnetic fields, and sexual reproduction. 
And yet everything is also fragmented and fighting this very process of reunification. For Christians, this resistance is symbolized by the cross. There is a cruciform shape to reality, it seems. Loss precedes all renewal; emptiness makes way for every new infilling; every transformation in the universe requires the surrendering of a previous “form.” This is the big fly in the cosmic ointment! 
(—from, Growing in Christ, Friday, December 7, 2018, by Richard Rohr)
One more  breath. One additional morning. One more prayer to the unknowable and unknown.

This is what we are — one more than not.

Thursday, December 06, 2018


when nothing
seems right —
it is

after watching GHWB funeral at national cathedral



Кобаяши Исса. Kobayashi Issa. year unknown.

добрее добродетели // прекрасней красоты... // цветок мака

zen tsukushi bi wo tsukushite mo keshi no hana

virtue beyond virtue
beauty beyond beauty...
just a poppy!

translated by David Lanoue

добрее добродетели

прекрасней красоты...

цветок мака

(—Haiku by Kobayashi Issa (小林 一茶, June 15, 1763 – January 5, 1828)

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

haiku by Issa

all we say or speak about
is autumn wind

(—Kobayashi Issa (小林 一茶, June 15, 1763 – January 5, 1828)

wait, then, wait

We sit in a room with compassionate people.

We speak about our time with the dying.

A good place, someone says, to exhale.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

that was a colorful sunset

It's hard to imagine the American presidency will be anything other than a parody of the current president in years to come.

If someone's goal was to discredit America and its fragile democracy, they have succeeded.

Sundown comes early these days.

Darkness lingers longer.

Monday, December 03, 2018

standing down

A tweet from cbs news:

Former President George H.W. Bush's service dog Sully lies in front of his casket. The image was posted on the dog's Instagram account with the caption "Mission complete." 

Mr. Bush died Friday night at the age of 94.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

why we’re here

From a Trappist monk blog:
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2018Life in the Kingdom
Too much is happening, too much is falling apart everywhere. And it’s not the time for us to hide from one another or from Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a time to be vigilant and come together, for Jesus our Lord beckons us and leads us forth into battle. On one side are those forces within us and without that sow division, discord and isolation. On the other side there are all those forces that nurture attachment, connection and solidarity. And that’s where he wants us to be, that’s where his kingdom is going to happen. It’s a showdown between cynics and optimists, a war between “rippers and weavers,” that runs down the middle of every heart.With Jesus we need to be weavers, creating a tapestry of loving relatedness and bonds of trust. This is why we’re here in the monastery, this school of the Lord’s service, this school of love - to practice connecting and reconnecting, obeying and deferring to one another out of love. 

The Lord of gentleness and compassion is leading us forward in hope; someone who leads by falling down, being spat upon, shoved and tortured. Not to teach us how to be doormats; that’s not what his kingdom is about. It is about refusing to live by fear and rivalry, in an us vs. them kind of world, where there always must be winners and losers. It’s about absorbing hurt because of hope and trust in One who is at our side, Christ Jesus our Master. 

God is with us, God among us; God like us in everything but our sinning. We may call him a king if we remember that his sovereignty is realized in his littleness, his nothingness, his emptying out, his self-forgetful love, his sin-bearing. He only wants to be loved; our promise to compassion and mercy one another is our pledge of devotion to him. Life in the kingdom doesn’t tolerate individuals, anybody on the fringes. His mercy always gathers, binds up, heals and connects; it never excludes. That is his truth. God always wants to wash our feet and entice us to go and do likewise. And so, we live and rejoice in the “hard truth and ridiculous grace”(Tauren Wells) that abusers and abused, demagogues and peacemakers, well-heeled, solid citizens and weary refugees and migrants, bigots and oppressors and terrorists along with their victims, are all being invited with us to have a change of heart and come together to the feast in the kingdom. of Abbey glass by Brother Daniel. * Insights from an editorial column by David Brooks in The New York Times, October 30, 2018. 
  It is Advent in the Christian metaphor.

What is


To be