100 Things I Know #2 – There Must Be Something Larger Than Us

My reading in the Bible’s Psalms this morning contained passages in which the writer described our lives as smoke, and, whether rich or poor, our years as a breath.   Believer and atheist alike can accept this as ancient wisdom, an exercise in perspective. Our experience sets us in the middle of things, as if we …

100 Things I Know #13 – Grace is Necessary, Present, and Uncontrollable

Grace is necessary. We can achieve by ourselves, thank you very much.   If we’re in need of repair (which we are, given that Something Is Wrong), we can also fix ourselves.   We have capacities to control both positive and negative energy, and for good or ill, most of the time, we are the responsible party.   …

100 Things I Know #5 – Meaning Will Not Be Found. It Must Be Made.

Though we stumble upon moments when our lives cohere and suddenly all the our experiences make sense, and these moments often feel as if we’ve discovered an empirical reality that was there all along, the truth is that these moments are moments of our own story-telling, moments we have made. There are facts, and then …

Disappearing Lines

"Since sensationalism, power, and wealth dominate our cultural imaginations, we may not be willing to journey to the ephemeral, as the Japanese poets of old have, to see beauty in the disappearing lines or to see poetry in a drying puddle of water." - Mako Fujimura, Refractions.

100 Things I Know #14 – You and I Have A “Ness”

I mean –ness as in “a suffix denoting a state or condition. An instance of this.”     Darkness.   Likeness.   Kindness.   Lightness.   Flower-ness. Jeff-ness.   You-ness.  The particular quality of a thing or person. This is my way of saying each of us has been crafted uniquely.   Our particular mixture of DNA, circumstance and environment, cultural expression, personality …

Listening to God

Read the post first, then click the image and listen to the song.   It will make more sense... Listening to God is a strange idea. Seven billion people on the planet, all of them living and dying with needs, cries, joys, dances, and wars full of cruelties worthy of front page banner headlines.   We …

For Harold: A Tetrameter Tribute

Here's a recording of FOR HAROLD, a tetrameter piece of poetry I did for my dear friend Harold Lipford when I found about his passing. The text is below.  Words can't do it, but this will be my contribution.  For those of you who don't know, Harold presided over my marriage to Anjie almost 34 …