Cookies

April 29, 2013

A woman I know referred to the communion wafers I was packing up to take to the dying as ‘cookies’ today.

It was the way she said it. With a mocking laugh.

I was so offended and I don’t get offended easily.

I responded “Some people see them as the Body of Christ.”

She called later to apologize. I accepted her apology.

I would never have laughed or made fun of her religious symbols, her sacred texts, her rituals–those things most near and dear to her heart, her faith.

Communion wafers are sweet. The Body of Christ fills those of us who are Christian with the joy of the Lord, the immensity of the suffering, the tender care for His sheep.

We are all God’s sheep.

We all need something sweet.

I met a man today who was homeless.

His name is Nick.

He has the bluest eyes and curly dark hair.

He speaks with a Greek accent.

He wears a dirty coat with a hood.

I gave him a banana.

Then, thought I could give him a protein bar too–and a little money.

We talked through my rolled down window.

He’s a plumber and a mechanic and asked if there was anything he could do for me.

I said, “Pray.” He said he “didn’t believe in God.”

We shook hands. I left.

He already did something for me.

He broke my heart.

Song Birds

April 21, 2013

We take them for granted
These tiny wings
Throats that sing
Cheerio and chirp chirp ching.

Through bell-like beaks
They chime and ring
Melodies linger
The symphony of spring.

From treetop perches
Silhouettes swing
Over gardens green
And flowers’ bling.

Like royalty
They reign supreme
Kings and queens
The season’s fling.

I’m going to a bridal shower today.

The bride is beautiful and innocent.

She plans her wedding with hope.

I hope for her the best in her marriage.

No one plans divorce.

Disconnect

April 19, 2013

I’ve lost my cell phone.

It is a discombobulated–somewhat helpless–feeling.

I can’t even call it to see if it is around.

Thankfully, I have my iPad and a car with gas.

I will head back to work this morning to see if I left it there.

Meanwhile, there is this disconnect.

I think about other ways I am disconnected. From intellectuals, from a monastic community, from former friends, from myself.

Thankfully, the God who feeds and nurtures us through Love’s umbilical chord, seeks to stay connected.

I watch a hair of mine shimmering in the spring sun.

It floats away.

Soon, a sparrow will pick it up

weave it into moss and grass

to form a nest.

My hair is lighter than the air

but has weight.

The wind is stronger than gravity

this day.

Up Before Dawn

April 16, 2013

I am often up before dawn.

Here’s what I like about it:

Steaming hot coffee
The night sounds of animals in the woods
The dark to enfold me
The occasional car on the highway out front
Free-floating thoughts
Rocking in my chair
The cool air
Thinking about people headed to work
The semi’s whine
My green cape
My nightgown

I need this time.

I need the solitude.

It is my own prayer vigil.

Touch

April 14, 2013

I slow dance with a Catholic man. He hikes, plays ping pong, works at St. Vincent de Paul.

He’s a widower. He is seventy-two but looks sixty.

Here’s how I found out his age: we were dancing for the first time. Chatting about our lives when he told me his wife died last year.

I asked how long they were married. He said “Fifty years.”

I had the tactless reaction of an uncouth person when I replied “Fifty years??!! How old are you???!!!”

I was genuinely shocked.

Since then, we’ve danced a lot. We’ve gotten to know one another. We’ve moved in closer.

He can’t even talk about his wife he misses her so much.

I am providing him with a basic human need. Touch.

He’s doing the same for me.

We are both at a deficit but quickly getting caught up.

He feels so good, very solid and strong. He says we fit well together.

I am thankful for this man, for dance, for touch.

On Dating at Fifty-Eight

April 13, 2013

My friend, Bill, says I should write a blog about dating.

So, I am. He is often spot on.

I am fifty-eight and haven’t dated for thirty-three years.

My friend, Carrie, says I need a sense of humor. Refined.

My friend, Daniel, says all men are idiots.

I don’t know.

I’m new at this. I’m a baby. And vulnerable.

That’s what happens when you’ve been married for thirty years.

I am scared.

Then, Take the Freeway

April 13, 2013

I have a new GPS.

I need it for my work as I negotiate Atlanta highways, find my way through neighborhoods to the patient’s house.

Here’s the thing: it tells me what to do.

Most of the time that is good. I listen and try and cooperate.

But sometimes, I just want to go a different way or turn into a McDonald’s for a Coke Zero.

I frustrate the GPS. And I talk back.

I say things like, “I’m trying!” Or “Can’t you see there’s a car in my way?!”

But here’s something the soft voice says that I love. It is when she gives directions to get on the Interstate.

She tells me to turn onto the entrance ramp to stay in the left lane and then, “take the freeway.”

I like that. I like taking the Free Way. I’ve been trying to all my life.

It is God’s Way.