Saturday, June 18, 2022

unkind domination

 Even if unscrupulous politicians and hangers-on manage to dominate and take over our governmental halls of power, they will remain unscrupulous and demeaning of the offices they hold.

Nothing will add character to the deficient of character. 

Nothing will suggest they are other than failed people grabbing and profiting from their failure of character and lack of integrity.

Winning and dominating is no substitute for what actually matters, namely, authentic service and compassionate leadership.

I wish us a good recovery from the sickness of inauthentic power and unkind domination!


 I know basketball isn't real life. Nor is it a metaphor of anything. It's hard word and unrelenting effort on the part of magnificently talented athletes.

That said -- 

A good finals for Boston and Golden State.

Sympathy for Celtics.

Big kudos for Warriers.

Plenty of heart.

Friday, June 17, 2022

through and through

 Fact is we are more intimately connected than any awareness indicates as the case.

When someone dies, something is ripped from us.

Grief is that pain and loss.

Let it linger.

Let it occupy the place left vacant by the intimate loss.

Let no one say “Get over it!”

There is no getting over it.

Feel it through and through.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

three poems for hospice meditation


[Traveler, your footprints]

                 Trans. By MARY G. BERG AND DENNIS MALONEY
Traveler, your footprints
are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
As you walk, you make your own road,
and when you look back
you see the path
you will never travel again.
Traveler, there is no road;
only a ship's wake on the sea.


                (Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar

Pathmaker, your footsteps
are the path and nothing more;
pathmaker, there is no path,
you make the path by walking.)




           come and go


           let them. 

(from, Pieces, p.6, by Robert Creeley, 1969)



Enough. These few words are enough. 

If not these words, this breath. 

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life 

we have refused 

again and again 

until now.

Until now 

             (David Whyte, from, Where Many Rivers Meet)

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

whatever split second

 When your name is called, answer “Here I am!”


How quietly I

begin again

from this moment

looking at the

clock, I start over

so much time has

passed, and is equaled

by whatever

split-second is present

from this

moment this moment

is the first

                        (—poem by Wendell Berry )

 And if you’re not here, don’t say anything.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

listening to what is here

   Active listening means being present and reflecting. It doesn't mean analyzing or interpreting. It means hearing caringly what is being said with words or silence, and responding caringly with words or silence.

   Healthy communication means building with another a place and moment of safety, trust, and room to deepen growth. It means allowing the dialogue of reflective presence to affirm what is real.

   Spirituality flows from presence to presence by being present in the present. It means breathing in what is there and breathing out what longs to be there. This is what some call prayer, listening to what is here.

It is practice.

And practice is meditation, contemplation, prayer, and, (primarily), presence

Monday, June 13, 2022

we come to something without knowing why

 Been asked to say some words about spirituality, active listening, and communication to those becoming hospice volunteers, not much time, short notice.

Here’s an outline:

  1. Any questions?
  2. No, really, what questions do you have?
  3. [Five minutes of silence]
  4. Any questions?
  5. No, really, I’m not kidding — what questions come up for you?
Now we listen to the questions, and ponder.

Now we consider the following:
  1. You are going to die, someday.
  2. The hospice patient knows they are going to die, perhaps soon.
  3. In the next minute of silence, think of something to say about your death. Write it down.
  4. In the next minute of silence, look at someone’s face on the screen, imagine they were a hospice patient. 
  5. Think of something to say to them, right now, that has nothing to do with their approaching death, nor yours, but is something you want to say about a tree you’ve looked at in the last week — what you thought while you were looking at it, what you’d like to share about it and about your thought.
These things we’ve thought, these things we’ve spoken, these are your teachers as you consider becoming a hospice volunteer.

Here are three things to remember as you continue your thoughts and speech within the surround of hospice:
  1. You don’t have to say or think anything about spirituality, religion, or death. Just show up and be present. 
  2. You don’t have to know what to say or think when with a hospice patient. Just wait, and listen, and be quiet and humble — it’s not about you — what wants to be expressed will be expressed of itself.
  3. You don’t have to cheer anyone up, help them face reality, or bring them to your version of truth or salvation. Just be real, be present, and be open to whatever presents itself.
You, without trying, will know what to do, what to say, who to be.

You’ll be fine.

They’ll be fine.

I wish you each the peace of presence and the good that accompanies presence when it is allowed to be, as it is, there!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

all at sea

(readying dinghy at hermitage)

(launched in Rockland, ready for shakedown sail, 
to be used for Healing Respite Sails -- 
Cancer Care, Hospice Care, 
Life Care)

...   ...   ...


                                             (for captain's full seven bells)

harbor morning row

from Sandokai Edelweiss --

her birthday breakfast  

(at mooring, Rockport Harbor,12june22)