The cold.

January 26, 2014 § 8 Comments

Winter road.

Daylight hours were dwindling, stingy,

winter about to clench its grey fist around us,

so we bought a step van from a man who’d planned to

convert it to an ice cream truck, but found it

too wide for Baltimore alleys.

Into it we put: one dog, brown and plain

One daughter, not yet two

a household bare minimum, but no:

winter coats, mittens, wooly hats

and we headed south.

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The uninvited guest.

January 19, 2014 § 15 Comments

An all-day rain.Growing up, I had a friend whose father was grouchy, even mean.

His behavior was explained and excused by two words: bad back.

I thought grouchy and mean were more to the point.

I’d never had a bad back, or a bad anything.

I have now had a pain in my side for much of the last two months that no amount of barium swilling has been able to diagnose. Grouchy and mean are beginning to make sense.

Pain in its many forms: maddening itch, burning, stabbing, dull ache, needn’t be acute to change your life, just persistent.

An uninvited guest, chronic pain moves in and immediately rearranges the furniture, plays music that you hate at full volume, and wherever you go, it tags along.

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Valuable in some way.

January 12, 2014 § 4 Comments

Our daughter, Josie, would hold out her hand to show us her latest find: a shell, a nail, a dozen small red cardboard discs. “Are these valuable in some way?”

She never asked if something was undeniably valuable, just whether the object in her hand had any value at all.

It turned out that everything was valuable “in some way.”

With thought and imagination, the red cardboard discs became “salami rubies” and for days we bartered them for things of more obvious worth.

Button box.All living beings are hard-wired to look for the value of whatever comes along. Survival depends on it.

But for humans, abundance has caused that thrifty intelligence we once relied on to atrophy.

This is my grandmother’s button box, passed down to my mother, then me. In it are buttons that once closed the fly on my grandfather’s long Johns, and a showy button from an Easter coat I wore in ’67.

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The never-ending adventures of God: Life begins.

January 5, 2014 § 4 Comments

Episode 2:

It was only after he turned the churning universe loose that he realized he had, until that moment, been adrift in unbroken calm.

Into the absolute state of “I am,” with its drone note of continuous thought, he had introduced noise and heave and spin. Stunned, he sat down, and he watched.

Paramecium.At first, he saw all he had flung obeying the laws of motion he had devised when the universe was still in the planning stage.

But the speed and force seemed so much greater than he had envisioned; he’d put quite a spin on this thing.

Guess I don’t know my own strength, he thought.

Of course he had predicted what was now happening. In the long forever of thought-without-end he had imagined all of it.

But it was different watching the potentialities play out as he sat, elbows on knees, and observed.

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