Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.

All things break. 
And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.

So go.
Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you

Saturday, May 20, 2017

News from the swamp

Good grief it's a full time job to keep up 
and I already have one of those,
thank you very much.

But I think I've got the highlights ...  

  • FBI Director Comey was fired, after asking for more resources to ratchet up the Russia/Trump campaign investigation and after refusing to pledge his loyalty to #45. (Honest to Pete, who does that? Other than the Marlon Brando in the Godfather? Was he supposed to kiss his ring as well?) 
  •  #45 throws all his staff under a bus by having them go before the press to say Comey was fired because of how Hillary was investigated - and then he turns around and admits that had nothing to do with it. He was going to fire him anyway. 
  • Then there's the small matter of telling the Russians (in the Oval office, no less) the guy he fired was a nut job and he was putting too much pressure on poor picked on #45, so he had to go.
  • In that same Oval Office closed door meeting with the Russians, during which US media outlets were forbidden but Russian reporters and photographers (and most likely surveillance equipment were let in), he brags about his 'intel' and just happens to leak Israeli intelligence about an ISIS plot involving planes and bombs again.
  •  When that story gets leaked, the White House says the report is false, without specifying which parts are incorrect and 45 sends national security advisor H.R. McMaster, to whore in front of the cameras and ruin his reputation.
  • 45 rants on Twitter that he did give the Russians information, but so what?- he's President so he can do anything he wants.
  • Another story gets leaked that Comey wrote a memo in February when the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Flynn's ties to Russia and being a double agent and all that, because he's a nice guy.
  • A Special Prosecutor gets appointed - to add to the FBI and Congressional investigations looking into this whole mess.
  • Oh - and son in law, Jared, the one in charge of world peace, solving the opioid crisis and making Korea play nice - yeah, that one... he's a special person of interest in the investigations. And, if you've watched more than 2 episodes of "Dateline", you know what that means - he did it!
I think that about sums it up! 
Just a few thoughts.

WHY haven't all the White House press staff walked out?
Isn't it bad enough that you were willing to sell your soul to the devil 
by covering and shilling for the Antichrist, 
why do you stay 
knowing he'll never defend you for lying your asses off 
and making you look ridiculous before the world writ large?
TRY to find your backbones - and get the hell out.
No one would blame you - 
except for staying when you know what a maniac he is
and you continue to aid and abet him anyway.
I, for one, can't WAIT to hear what Comey will testify to.
45 picked on the wrong man -
someone who's made an entire career 
of documenting evidence and producing legal reports 
worthy of withstanding scrutiny and legal challenges.
Just who do you think is going to come out as the winner 
in this pissing contest?
Career law enforcement or career con man?
Meanwhile, back in reality,
there are bills to pay, work to do,
deck art to make and enjoy
beauty to find

and people to love
even when it looks like he should be in an ad for 'Save the Children'!
I can practically hear Amy Grants voice now, saying
"Please, won't you help?"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

It never stops

 Little did we know it was only the beginning.

I wonder WHAT he was thinking. 
I wonder IF he was thinking.

Did he honestly think if he fired the Director of the FBI 
right after he testified about the timeline 
of when the White House knew there was a traitor in their midst, 
trumping up treason with the Russians – 
there might not be backlash? 

Especially since that same Director is the one in charge 
of investigating other aspects of those same acts of treason 
and who other players were in the drama, 
including but not limited to
the President himself.

And to admit the firing was at the recommendation of the Atty General –
the very same who had to recuse himself from any action 
related to the Russian investigation 
because the taint and stink of partisanship 
hangs on him like a cheap suit … 
how is that being ‘recused’?

Got to hand it to’em - 
this criminal administrative enterprise certainly knows how 
to make up ‘alternative facts’ and alternative definitions of words: 
ex. Sessions: “recuse: to throw yourself into the midst of” 
and Ivanka “complicit: wanting to be a force for good”.

NOnononononono – 
you do NOT get to redefine the very essence of words
to make yourselves look better than the self-serving cretins you are! 

Creating the definition of a word 
to be the antithesis of the traditional meaning 
would get you thrown out of a spelling bee at my old elementary school – 
as far as I’m concerned, 
it should get you thrown out of government as well.

And he handled the firing in as cowardly a way as possible. 
Despite his trademark blustering “You’re fired” on his despicable TV show, 
he didn’t even have the nerve to tell the man straight to his face 
that he was being axed … 
a f8Cking letter delivered by a henchman while he was out of town.
How is that presidential?

I suspect it’s because not even he could say out loud  -
with a straight face -
that the reason  he was being fired was due to the way he handled Hillary’s emails -
8 months ago! 

It’s laughable. 
No one with 2 functioning brain cells buys that explanation.

The investigative dogs are closing in, 
sniffing around the Russian money laundering 
upon which #45’s whole pathetic house of cards is built– 
and he had to try to throw them off the scent.
I’m sure he was hoping a good constitutional crisis should do it!

As if they’ve not provided plenty of diversions elsewhere – 
the highlight reel includes:
 *SIL Jared’s family selling expedited visas 
for a small investment in the family business 
($500,00 is apparently chump change in China.)

* A ‘tax reform’ 
consisting of a 1 page narrative 
with bullet points 
and no numbers.
That’s not even a Cliff Note version – 
that’s a book report written in the back of the bus 
on the way to school 
the morning it’s due -
on crumpled up, old paper 
you fished out of the bottom of your backpack.
That's an ‘F’.

*passing a travesty of a healthcare bill 
that will force millions to face both routine and catastrophic illnesses 
without any coverage –
and then gleefully throwing a frat party, 
complete with a kegger,
 on the white House lawn.
Who are these people? 

Remember all that hoorah during the ACA passage 
about ‘death panels?
Here they are folks, 
right here.
The content of the bill is bad enough but, 
for the love of God, 
does anyone talk to them about optics?
I guess not – 
otherwise he wouldn’t be meeting today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov 
in the White House!

The group charged with concocting the law 
as well as the group fixing the mess and reforming healthcare in the House?
with nary a breast or uterus to be had! 
Well, I'll bet there are some man boobs among them 
but I frankly don’t want to know.
If it doesn’t need to be mammogram-ed, 
it doesn’t count.

And hiring an attorney to send a certified letter 
to the Senate Judiciary Committee 
denying that you had any dealings with the Russians? – 
ya, that will tamp speculation down.

As #45 is about to find out, 
when you lie habitually and often – 
as in every word coming out of your mouth – 
the consequence is that no one believes you – 
even if you’re telling the truth which, 
let’s be honest, 
you’re not!

Contrary to what Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders would like
 -it’s NOT going away. 
We’re NOT moving on. 
Don’t care if it’s been almost a year.
We listened to your guys bullsh*t for 8 years about #44’s birth certificate.

Sister, this is treason; 
this is about colluding with a hostile foreign government 
for the illegitimate takeover of our government and its processes.

It’s NOT going away – 
but, with any luck, 
your guy WILL!
 How fitting is this?

I’m hopeful.
You know what happened to Marie Antoinette, don’t you?

Insert smile here!!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The high road

I'm taking the high road on all that's happened this week - 
but only because I don't have all the words yet 
for how disheartening it's been. 

I'm headed to Chicago this weekend
so I'll have several hours of drive time 
to sort out what I want to say - 
if anything.
 I'll be taking two copies of this
to my 4 favorite fearless women in the making
 and celebrating the accomplishments of this one - 
before she heads off to backpack in Europe and then graduate school!
Where have the years gone?
In the meantime,
I'll stick to sharing a wonderful sentiment that found its way to me 
through all the noise of the shenanigators in DC ...
 (btw, if Webster doesn't recognize that word yet, it should!)

"If grief can be a doorway to love,
then let us all weep for the world we are breaking apart,
so we can love it back to wholeness again."

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The best of the past week

Just when I think I'm ready to get rid of my hand me down sofa, 
someone reminds me how comfortable it really is.
My neighbor sharing a picture highlighting her dogwoods
which was a beautiful 'frame' for my cottage in the background!
A Sunday morning still life
with a sleepy face in the rose -
you see it too, right?
a decision to go to Ireland for my birthday.
Let the planning begin!
I had a guy spend the night with me -
 I think it's serious
even though he's a drooler 
and I have to share him with his other loves.

Trying to not focus on the travesty that's been the last 100 days!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I didn’t think it would be like that.

I’m not exactly a stranger to ‘service’.

I know what its like to serve on the reservation, 
in soup kitchens, 
or on my job working with children in foster care.
I’m not a stranger to being called to serve ‘the least among us’.

I’m also blessed to be in a faith community 
where the impulse to serve is a shared value 
and bedrock of our understanding 
of who we are 
and who God is.
During a 'Mission Blitz Day' yesterday,
 I signed up to work at the Cathedral
putting out eggs, bananas, coffee and donated pastries and bagels for the homeless.

Frankly, I figured the biggest sacrifice 
would be getting up early on a rainy Saturday morning 
when every inclination was to sink back into my new pillow top mattress 
and sleep 'in' until 8AM.

But I didn’t 
and, despite the early hour, 
there was an abundance of riches that day -
from good friends to drive with and work beside
to a full supply of baked goods from a local business.

As folks came in out of the dank, grey, cold morning, 
they helped themselves to coffee and made their way to the pastry table where I was stationed.
Most were familiar enough with the ‘rules’ of getting one item - 
and then coming back after everyone had been served 
to see if there was enough for seconds. 
Their choices were deliberately made, 
with the frequently expressed hope that they could come back for another selection.

I noticed that the cookies were the first things to be chosen - 
M&M’s, oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter and decorated shortbread - 
all were pointed to eagerly and received gratefully.

One young man came up, pointed to an oatmeal cookie 
and, as we made eye contact during the exchange, said 
“These remind me of home, when someone used to care about me.”
My heart broke open in that moment and my eyes filled with tears.
I wish I could say I was quick enough to have responded with
 “We care about you”. 
“God cares about you.”  
But I didn’t.

My mind and heart were too filled with the blinding realization 
that not only was every one of us in that room literally a child of God, 
but that a small child dwelled in each of us, 
longing to be cared about, 
desperate to feel loved and accepted as we make our way through 
what can be a hard and lonely life - 
until we finally make our way home again.

I didn’t say the right thing Saturday morning.
I’ll have to keep going, trying and serving until I get it right.

His words have echoed in my heart ever since he spoke them.

I didn’t think it would be like that.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

If Dandelions only bloomed in rare places, they'd be more valuable than orchids.

I always thought I'd like to be a dandelion - 
those vivid yellow flowers that bloom
in the cracks of sidewalks or abandoned lots.

Anything that thrives in such strange, broken places holds a special kind of magic.

It shines bright and golden for a moment
before it withers,

but then -
when most have given it up for dead -

it explodes into an elaborate globe of spiderweb seedlings
so fragile that a wind
or a wish
sends it to pieces.
But the falling apart isn't the end.

It depends on the falling apart.

Its fragility lets it be carried to new places,
to paint more gold in the cracks.

I always thought I'd like to be a dandelion.

But I think, in a way, I already am.
 Jenny Lawson 

This was just the reminder I needed this weekend 
about the resiliency in 'falling apart'

and the truth that what appears to be 'the end' 
rarely is. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Planting for a future that isn't mine.

I can't see the simple beauty of dogwoods 
and not be transported back in time 
to my grandparents backyard in New Jersey.

We went to my maternal grandparent's home nearly every Sunday after church for 'dinner'
which was the word my grandmother used for the main meal
in the middle of the day.
(The evening offering was less elaborate,
usually 'get-it-yourself' and was called 'supper'
and we frequently stayed for that meal too.)
There were always bags of 'leftovers' to be taken home
which I now know was extra food my grandparents purchased
to get our family through the week.
The pretense allowed us kids to be oblivious to 'hand-outs' and tough times
while protecting my parents egos as providers.

All I knew at the time was that it was a lot like the loaves and fishes we talked about in Sunday School...
there was always more than enough when it was shared
at Nanny and Pop-pops house.

While my grandparents home may have been modest by today's standards,
it was a child's paradise.
There were places to explore, both inside and out, and, during our time there,
adults were on their best behavior.
The tension and alternating undercurrents of hostility and pervasive sadness between my parents seemed to evaporate.
 Or maybe it was only because of the hiding places in the attic and yard
that I could pretend the feelings that wrapped around me like a heavy blanket at home
had been shrugged off for at least part of a day.

Nanny and Pop-pop owned several acres of undeveloped land behind the house
and separating the manicured lawn and rose gardens from the densest part of the woods
was a border of huge, gorgeous, wild dogwoods...
perfect for climbing.
Within the safety of dogwood branches,
it was possible to be within hearing distance of the house
and yet remain unseen.
Accompanied by a blanket and a book,
I spent hours nestled inside the trees;
lost in reverie and other worlds
while the words of this reality,
if they reached me at all,
were muted and filtered,
seeping through the white and pale pink perfection.
Sporadically my grandfather would call me down from my hiding place
to accompany him on explorations further into the woods.
There was a tiny burbling pool of water deep in the forest
that my grandfather claimed was the head water of the Passaic River.
We would stand there in the silence and listen to birds,
the wind in the trees,
the water bubbling up from the earths depths.

"Even wild untamed things have to start somewhere", he would intone,
"you can never tell just by looking
where something small's gonna go
and what it can become
when it joins forces with all the rest."
He told me the little stream in our backyard would merge
with other rivers from across the state 
and they'd all flow into our beloved Atlantic Ocean
and, ultimately,
we'd be swimming in this same water someday
at our summer house
down at the shore.

Even as a kid,
I loved the idea of our small pool of water
being part of something bigger,
leaving their property in one shape
and being transformed
into something powerful and constant.
To this day, there exists within me two opposing desires:
to remove myself from the fray of 'ordinary' life,
remaining secluded to the point of invisibility,
with information reaching me only after being filtered through beauty
and the other a desire,
even a willingness,
to go deeper into the unknown;
to stand in the dark and listen to the still, small center
as it merges it's tiny efforts into a larger force;
a force with the power to change shorelines and obliterate obstacles,
creating as it does,
a rhythm that seems to be the earths very heartbeat.

6 years ago,
I rescued dogwood 'twigs' from the closeout bucket at Lowe's.
They cost $10.00 each.
 While they've more than doubled in size,
no one will be climbing my small dogwood trees for decades.

Even the 6 foot white ones I bought today
(for 20 times more than I spent so many years ago)
won't be 'climb worthy' within my lifetime.
It's enough to know that long after I'm gone,
some child might find solace within its branches.

We all plant futures that won't be ours.