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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Thoughts triggered by the seemingly unending snow, a winter filled to overflowing ... and my missal readings this morning on the feeding of the multitude ... as well as my work with HeartMath ... 💗


Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas, 2016


Perspectives


An earnest journey of hard-knock-life, the kind of life that is perceived as true mediocre—
Under-published, under-celebrated, unappreciated by the Big People—
Is a set of small connecting steps, shared sorrows and joys and the patting of dogs along the way.

This time-journey of earning a living and ageing is at least as grueling a journey as trekking the Himalayas, and just as precarious in its purpose and passion-wrenching sand storms.
Yet these earnest day by day lives seem so easily obliterated by shifting sands.
Each small footprint, converging with other small steps, filled in and covered over, as society prepares a pristine passageway fit for Protocol and Profit.

Perspectives can be chilling, odious things.

I see the displaced people held hostage to priced-out political persuasion, no matter the nation for which they stand;
I read the slanted memes and shoddy ‘post-truth’ news stories shattering reputations and carefully built lives;
I hear the silent majority praying for peace, a quiet road where deep passion and purpose can flourish in the humble connections of family and community.
And there they are: the quintessential travelers-three we walk beside in our world, our time.

Yet it is Advent, and we are called to Bethlehem, where incongruence and harmony live side by side:
Shepherds hunkered by the herd hearing angels; a virgin birthing; Christ choosing the hay and harmony of animals over a golden courtyard.

What about another three—those intrepid we-three-kings who take up a journey to reach for a star?

How do you see them?

As wise ones? Fools on a fool’s errand? Mediocre scholars with limited insight and biased peer review? Or simply an allegory of an impossible reach for Messiah?

Me? I close my eyes against the grit of sand, feel the chill night wind cut my face, my stiffening joints surrounding the warm girth of my steed. I smell the pungent odor of animal and earth crushed by hooves and resilient as love. I see thin light cutting through the inky night, forming a path discernible only to connected heart-mind-spirit.

The mediocre; the magnificent.


I see Gloria.

Perspectives

 A Deeper Magic


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lab and Diagnostics


Sitting on those thick stretched-vinyl chairs--
The ones that countless wipes of antiseptic can’t fade--
Holding numbered paper slips, we waited;
and felt a small echo of winning when our number projected overhead.
We won a new place of waiting:
A tiny cubicle with a thin curtain;
A place to shed clothes, don a gown and for some of us a pair of socks designed by Dr. Suess.
A place to flip that one magazine … and wait.
But, now no longer just a number,
In this inner sanctum of waiting we heard our name called.
And we met the machine;
The Wizard behind the curtain in this weird land of OZ.

There is no fooling that wizard;
No revisionist medical history, no stretching blood sugar scores and loose conversational supposes, ‘My doctor thought it looked fine …’
Merciless, penetrating vision.
But single vision none-the-less. For even the giants among the machine folk—the CT and MRI –see only the yes-no of physical stuff; a hard shadow frozen in time.
The winds of energy, hope, grief and joy stirring these molecules of matter are invisible to machine-eyes,
Yet we are aware of how they blow, settling in the soul of our center-heart.
Sometimes these winds whip with chaotic frenzy and scatter our bones into a rattling, painful frenzy.
Sometimes zephyrs of summer or a fragrant fall blow bones to dance in gratitude, appreciation for the gentle sunshine.
But this wizard, unlike the gentle soul in Oz with a bag of clock-hearts and honorary degrees,
Peers past meaning, past purpose, past soul into the grit of molecules;
A sand sculpture oblivious to the tide of energy surrounding it.
But we are more than the etching of our bones;
More than the lace of hydrogen formed in an ice-tide preserved in a digital file.
The scan of a larynx never shows the singing voice darting like a hummingbird to the nectar of the joyful soul.
The real wizard behind the curtain is the person dressed in scrubs who sees past the cornea of the patient in the gown;
Who connects, soul-to-soul, stirring winds of humanity, laughter, compassion;
Who sees in the dark shadows of an ultrasound, not a menopausal uterus, but the sacred space of Creation.
This is the deeper magic in the room of the machine.
Our heart recognizes and rejoices,
And our minds, dressed in thanksgiving, embrace the kindness of strangers.


Lab and Diagnostics


Sitting on those thick stretched-vinyl chairs--
The ones that countless wipes of antiseptic can’t fade--
Holding numbered paper slips, we waited;
and felt a small echo of winning when our number projected overhead.
We won a new place of waiting:
A tiny cubicle with a thin curtain;
A place to shed clothes, don a gown and for some of us a pair of socks designed by Dr. Suess.
A place to flip that one magazine … and wait.
But, now no longer just a number,
In this inner sanctum of waiting we heard our name called.
And we met the machine;
The Wizard behind the curtain in this weird land of OZ.

There is no fooling that wizard;
No revisionist medical history, no stretching blood sugar scores and loose conversational supposes, ‘My doctor thought it looked fine …’
Merciless, penetrating vision.
But single vision none-the-less. For even the giants among the machine folk—the CT and MRI –see only the yes-no of physical stuff; a hard shadow frozen in time.
The winds of energy, hope, grief and joy stirring these molecules of matter are invisible to machine-eyes,
Yet we are aware of how they blow, settling in the soul of our center-heart.
Sometimes these winds whip with chaotic frenzy and scatter our bones into a rattling, painful frenzy.
Sometimes zephyrs of summer or a fragrant fall blow bones to dance in gratitude, appreciation for the gentle sunshine.
But this wizard, unlike the gentle soul in Oz with a bag of clock-hearts and honorary degrees,
Peers past meaning, past purpose, past soul into the grit of molecules;
A sand sculpture oblivious to the tide of energy surrounding it.
But we are more than the etching of our bones;
More than the lace of hydrogen formed in an ice-tide preserved in a digital file.
The scan of a larynx never shows the singing voice darting like a hummingbird to the nectar of the joyful soul.
The real wizard behind the curtain is the person dressed in scrubs who sees past the cornea of the patient in the gown;
Who connects, soul-to-soul, stirring winds of humanity, laughter, compassion;
Who sees in the dark shadows of an ultrasound, not a menopausal uterus, but the sacred space of Creation.
This is the deeper magic in the room of the machine.
Our heart recognizes and rejoices,
And our minds, dressed in thanksgiving, embrace the kindness of strangers.


Friday, September 30, 2016



Maze


“I don’t know where I am,” she said.

I turn and see an iron-haired warrior of 70+ years speaking to a white coat.
White coat pauses, begins to open his mouth.
Before he speaks, I hear the hum in his head like a call bell in the brain: Disorientation!
In my mind I see thought bubbles like cartoons above his head:
Dementia … Delirium,
And, opening like clapboards under these:
Polypharmacy, infection, Na+ imbalance …

A young mom, bewildered toddler in tow and one in her arms, enters the hallway,
Blinks behind the hair in her eyes, nods and points with her chin—“That way
That way is reception. It’s a maze, isn’t it?” and continues on her way.
“Thank you,” says the warrior. “What a lovely family you have.”
White coat closes his mouth and points toward reception,
Word bubbles popping around him.

I have been there—both the white coat clinician and the older adult in the double gown.
From two sides of a precipice they stand.
Worlds apart? Words apart?
For now I see that the ravine is much smaller than it seemed to be.

The hospital without and within (the mind) is a maze—
Full of twists and turns, sharp corners and sudden ends.
There are no stars, no Sun, no Northern range of mountains to orient the traveler.
And labels are oh-so-useful in their place,
But signposts and compadres on the journey?

They bring you home.



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Embodied Word



Merry Christmas!

Well! The ‘weather outside is frightful,’ but it is not exactly ‘beginning to look a lot like Christmas,’ at least in terms of frosted evergreen trees and snowflakes … No, instead we are having a true Pacific coastal Christmas: ‘let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!’

But, inside it is beginning to look like Christmas … I’m taking a break from wrapping presents and writing this greeting to you …

We wanted to thank you for your kindness, support, prayers, and the long-suffering friendship that you’ve shared with us, especially in the past year. Two-OH!-Fifteen has been quite the year for Vincent! As you know, winter into spring, Vincent went from immobility due to an injury, to a below-knee amputation, to living days as the bionic man and evenings ‘rollin, ’rollin,’ rollin’ … it’s a difficult road to adjust to the far-from-perfect technology of prosthetics. There are many, many frustrating moments and painful steps along the way. It takes courage, patience, and initiative to continue on that road, and we thank you again for your ongoing supportive friendship and keeping us in heart and mind.

Our animal kids, Puck, Arael, Janna, Maggie, and Gabriel, were such a blessing to me while Vincent was in the hospital, and continue to encourage Vincent to increase his mobility … and daily they make us laugh! Their cheerful steadfastness, persistent good will, and present-moment engagement are a huge gift to us. Toward the end of the summer, our herd grew by one: Tivio, a Quarter horse retiring from Timberline Ranch, joined Puck and Arael, rounding out our little herd nicely. We are blessed, and are grateful for the gifts we have been given—including your friendship.



Blessings on you and yours during this Holy Season,

Faith & Vincent Richardson 






Word



It’s all in a word.
It’s all in our heart: soul-center and mind choosing the mundane, madness, or more …
The mundane sees wet dirt as mud;
The madness fears a sucking quicksand.
The more seeks more and finds amphibious earth bursting with life, restless and resettling.
Words and heart—faith if you will—wait for the life we grant them.
The “dwarves are for the dwarves,” CS Lewis wrote as Narnia ended.
Instead of a king’s banquet, they saw a half-eaten turnip and manure-laced straw.
It’s all in a word; it’s all in the heart.

What if we reframed ‘upsetting’ to ‘setting up’?
If typhoon winds, warm with wild wet,
Powered roots to burst from soil,
Unburied rocks to see the stars,
And lifted fathom-deep ocean currents to salt the air?

What if wisdom rode hard across the sky righting the night?
Clearing a clinging fog of fear,
Scattering splinters of ice rage,
Blowing high dark wells of sorrow, geysers of guilt and gloom releasing like springs, flying far...

What if faith drove night to flight?
The dark stretching like an inky balloon,
Thinning, weakening, straining to hold the void,
Bursting in a myriad of stars.

Would we then see the celestial diamond hanging in the stable air?
The wild migrant Child cloaked in the gold of cattle?
The misunderstood mother tired and pleased and tired?
The waiting spouse, listening, wondering, reckless with his open heart?
Would we hear the singing of trees, valleys, stars, and sheep?
Drink in the fragrant wind of angels rushing to greet the homeless on the hills?

The one-dimensional line curved across a page is flat, still, soundless until read aloud.
It is in the lungs that life is given to words in a book; Emmanuel.
It is in the soul-heart that life is quickened, stirred; and in the heart-mind where life is chosen.
The Child, wail arrested on a Christmas card Nativity, is frozen in December, trapped in a gilded envelope by the mundane and madness of a fearful world.                                                                                                                                                                                                 
But blind faith-eyes see more.

Three winds of Wisdom ride hard on that night.
Up-setting the whole world to holy.

FSR

Christmas, 2015