Build together a more inclusive society….SHALOM



SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2022
“Disability, in any form, represents a challenge and an opportunity to build together a more inclusive and civil society…The Covid-19 pandemic has had a very serious impact, especially on the most fragile, the elderly, people with disabilities and their families.… Dear brothers and sisters, in this situation, our response must be solidarity, forming a network. Solidarity in prayer and solidarity in charity, that becomes real sharing. Faced with so many wounds, especially in the most vulnerable, we must not squander the opportunity to support each other. Let us take responsibility for human suffering with projects and proposals that put the smallest at the center.”
Pope Francis

“You are waiting for a miracle when it has already happened…”


We Think We Know What It Will Look Like

Standing in the thick green
of bindweed and cheese wheel
it is easy to dream of a time
when the garden is perfectly
hoed and the peppers hang
red on the stems, the green beans
dangle like long slender earrings
and the ears of corn swell with gold.
“Silly dreamer,” says Rumi, who
comes in to sit beside the peas.
“You are waiting for a miracle
when it is already happening.”

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
in The Miracle Already Happening:
everyday life with Rumi

“When we resort to violence, we show that we no longer know anything about God, who is our Father, or even about others, who are our brothers and sisters. We lose sight of why we are in the world and even end up committing senseless acts of cruelty. We see this in the folly of war, where Christ is crucified yet another time. Christ is once more nailed to the Cross in mothers who mourn the unjust death of husbands and sons. He is crucified in refugees who flee from bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly left alone to die; in young people deprived of a future; in soldiers

Pope Francis

How do people stay true to each other?


On Faith

by Cecilia Woloch


How do people stay true to each other?

When I think of my parents all those years

in the unmade bed of their marriage, not ever

longing for anything else—or: no, they must

have longed; there must have been flickerings,

stray desires, nights she turned from him,

sleepless, and wept, nights he rose silently,

smoked in the dark, nights that nest of breath

and tangled limbs must have seemed

not enough. But it was. Or they just

held on. A gift, perhaps, I’ve tossed out,

having been always too willing to fly

to the next love, the next and the next, certain

nothing was really mine, certain nothing

would ever last. So faith hits me late, if at all;

faith that this latest love won’t end, or ends

in the shapeless sleep of death. But faith is hard.

When he turns his back to me now, I think:

disappear. I think: not what I want. I think

of my mother lying awake in those arms

that could crush her. That could have. Did not.

“On Faith” by Cecilia Woloch, from Late. © BOA Editions, 2003.

FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022

“If we want to test whether we truly belong to Christ, let us look at how we behave toward those who have hurt us. The Lord asks us to respond not as we feel, or as everyone else does, but in the way he acts toward us. He asks us to break out of the mindset that says: “I will love you if you love me; I will be your friend if you are my friend; I will help you if you help me.” Rather, we are to show compassion and mercy to everyone, for God sees a son or a daughter in each person. He does not separate us into good and bad, friends and enemies. We are the ones who do this, and we make God suffer. For him, all of us are his beloved children, children whom he desires to embrace and forgive.”

Pope Francis

How can I go beyond licking my wounds?


“Let us cling to the certainty that God can forgive every sin. He forgives everyone. He can bridge every distance, and turn all mourning into dancing. The certainty that with Jesus there is always a place for everyone. That with Christ things are never over. That with him, it is never too late. With God, we can always come back to life. Take courage!… For Christ constantly intercedes for us before the Father. Gazing upon our violent and tormented world, he never tires of repeating: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Let us now do the same, in silence, in our hearts, and repeat: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Pope Francis

Let us think about someone who, in our own lives, injured, offended or disappointed us; someone who made us angry, who did not understand us or who set a bad example. How often we spend time looking back on those who have wronged us! How often we think back and lick the wounds that other people, life itself and history have inflicted on us. Today, Jesus teaches us not to remain there, but to react, to break the vicious circle of evil and sorrow. To react to the nails in our lives with love, to the buffets of hatred with the embrace of forgiveness. As disciples of Jesus, do we follow the Master or do we follow our own desire to strike back? This is a question we have to ask ourselves. Do we follow the Master or not?”
Pope Francis

The need for teachers in times of Global Trauma:
Dear Jeanne,
Our world is in a time of profound suffering and uncertainty. It is also a time of increasing isolation from one another, when people are focused more on the individual than the collective. We urgently need mindfulness teachers around the world who can help evolve human consciousness and nourish a sense of interdependence, compassion, and love.
You are invited to join us live as Tami Simon talks with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield about why our world so deeply needs more mindfulness teachers and how we can serve healing by:
• Cultivating deeper awareness and compassion
• Shifting focus from individual to collective well-being
• Awakening the wisdom of interdependence
• Dedicating ourselves to engaged spirituality and a more equitable, just world
Join us LIVE on April 29, 2022, at 1 pm ET | 10 am PT.

What do I do when it snows in April?


Troubling Myself with Things Too Great for Me
James Silas Rogers

For instance, the physics of red wine,
which Galileo called “sunlight held together
by water.” Sounds plausible, but how?
Or backing up a step, with the physics
of beauty itself, such as radiates
in these freshly washed Delaware grapes.
With the possible exception of a woman’s
breast, a tumbling cluster of grapes
or the globe of one full fruit
might be as nearly perfect a form
as we will see in this life.
Look at this shoulder of table grapes
in the evening sun. Know that
the old prig St. Augustine,
a too-stern and oh-so-rational man,
was right on this: it was love
that called the world into being.

James Silas Rogers, “Troubling Myself with Things Too Great for Me” from The Collector of Shadows. © 2019 Brighthorse Books.
On this spring day in 1944, three months before the family was found and arrested, Anne Frank (books by this author) wrote in her diary: “Is there anything more beautiful in the world than to sit before an open window and enjoy nature, to listen to the birds singing, feel the sun on your cheeks and have a darling boy in your arms?”

“When we cause suffering by our actions, God suffers yet has only one desire: to forgive us. In order to appreciate this, let us gaze upon the crucified Lord. It is from his painful wounds, from the streams of blood caused by the nails of our sinfulness that forgiveness gushes forth. Let us look to Jesus on the cross and realize that greater words were never spoken: Father, forgive. Let us look to Jesus on the cross and realize that we have never been looked upon with a more gentle and compassionate gaze. Let us look to Jesus on the cross and understand that we have never received a more loving embrace. Let us look to the crucified Lord and say: “Thank you, Jesus: you love me and always forgive me, even at those times when I find it hard to love and forgive myself.””
Pope Francis
Homily ~ April 10, 2022

Bob Boy is home…


Like limpid liquid,

Bob Boy poured into the crystal clear dimension

where his distinct family awaited him.

His limpid clarity illuminated each scribe

as his translucent spirit shifted by,

see-through music pulsating in the realm of rhythm’s flourishes.

Luminous wings fluttered as he passed,

feathers reaching out,

offering themselves to be carved into quills for the angel master arriving.

Colors of the rainbow

arranged themselves in bows to the sun.

Unclouded resonance settled in the Heavens.

Bob Boy was home.

poem by Jeanne Poland

April 11, 2019

in memory of Bob’s Passing

in Providence R I

Why does the Easter Bunny lay eggs?


Today is the Christian holiday of Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead three days after his crucifixion. Easter is a moveable feast; in other words, it’s one of the few floating holidays in the calendar year because it’s based on the cycles of the moon. Jesus was said to have risen from the dead on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring. For that reason, Easter can fall as early as March 22nd and as late as April 25th. Easter also marks the end of the 40-day period of Lent and the beginning of Eastertide; the week before Easter is known as Holy Week and includes the religious holidays Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
The word “Easter” and most of the secular celebrations of the holiday come from pagan traditions. Anglo Saxons worshipped Eostre, the goddess of springtime and the return of the sun after the long winter. According to legend, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became our Easter Bunny. Eggs were a symbol of fertility in part because they used to be so scarce during the winter. There are records of people giving each other decorated eggs at Easter as far back as the 11th century.
The Poetry Almanac
The Writer’s Almanac for Sunday, April 17, 2022

Irish poet Brendan Kennelly, born in Ballylongford, County Kerry (1936). He was a literature professor at Trinity College in Dublin, and a very popular poet — he published more than 20 books of poems.

He said:
“Poetry is, above all, a singing art of natural and magical connection because, though it is born out of one’s person’s solitude, it has the ability to reach out and touch in a humane and warmly illuminating way the solitude, even the loneliness, of others. That is why, to me, poetry is one of the most vital treasures that humanity possesses; it is a bridge between separated souls.”

Hurricane Lily

Stopped at a crosswalk in Stockbridge, my car beams spotlight a baby,
braced tall in her father’s backpack, facing a wolfish wind.
With downy hair
and globe of forehead
she is her own planet.

Wide-eyed and rapt,
she drinks in the waterblink
of headlights and downpour
among the flying leaves.

While fall becomes winter in this tree-stripping wind, she and I are being born, green and new,
into a love of wildness.
jch 1990’s

How expensive would a war be if …..


“Jesus’ peace does not overpower others; it is not an armed peace, never! The weapons of the Gospel are prayer, tenderness, forgiveness and freely-given love for one’s neighbour, love for every neighbour. This is how God’s peace is brought into the world. This is why the armed aggression of these days, like every war, represents an outrage against God, a blasphemous betrayal of the Lord of Passover, a preference for the face of the false god of this world over his meek one.”
Pope Francis

How expensive would the war be?
If it were led by a Shepherd?

How expensive would the war be?
If only recycled farm tools were the weapons of defense?

How expensive would the war be?
If the enlisted were all over 75 years of age?

How expensive would the war be?
If you had to write a letter home every day?

How expensive would a war be?
If all biological waste were recycled?

How expensive would war be?
If we invited mother nature to plot the takeover?

by Jeanne Poland 4/16/22

Why is Noah Webster a mentor for me?


It was on this day in 1828 that Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language was published . Webster put together the dictionary because he wanted Americans to have a national identity that wasn’t based on the language and ideas of England. The problem wasn’t just that Americans were looking to England for their language; it was that they could barely communicate with each other because regional dialects differed so drastically.Noah Webster was a schoolteacher in Connecticut. He was dismayed at the state of education in the years just after the Revolution. There wasn’t much money for supplies and students were crowded into small one-room schoolhouses using textbooks from England that talked about the great King George. His students’ spelling was atrocious, as was that of the general public; it was assumed that there were several spellings for any word.So in 1783 he published the first part of his three-part A Grammatical Institute, of the English Language; the first section was eventually retitled The American Spelling Book, but usually called by the nickname “Blue-Backed Speller.” The Blue-Backed Speller taught American children the rules of spelling, and it simplified words — it was Webster who took the letter “u” out of English words like colour and honour; he took a “g” out of waggon, a “k” off the end of musick, and switched the order of the “r” and “e” in theatre and centre.In 1801 he started compiling his dictionary. Part of what he accomplished, much like his textbook, was standardizing spelling. He introduced American words, some of them derived from Native American languages: skunk, squash, wigwam, hickory, opossum, lengthy, and presidential, Congress, and caucus, which were not relevant in England’s monarchy.Webster spent almost 30 years on his project, and finally, on this day in 1828 it was published. Unfortunately, it cost 15 or 20 dollars, which was a huge amount in 1828, and Webster died in 1843 without having sold many copies.The book did help launch Webster as a writer and a proponent of an American national identity. Webster had a canny knack for marketing, traveling around to meet with new publishers and booksellers, publishing ads in the local newspapers for his book wherever he went. He also lobbied for copyright law, served for a time as an adviser to George Washington and wrote his own edition of the Bible, and his tallies of houses in all major cities led to the first American census.In his book The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture (2011) Joshua Kendall argued that Noah Webster would today be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

from the Poetry Almanac April 14, 2022

Why is Thomas Jefferson a new mentor for me?


It’s the birthday of the man who said, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” That’s Thomas Jefferson (books by this author), born in Albemarle County, Virginia (1743). He certainly lived by those words. He wrote the Declaration of Independence for the fledgling United States and then served as its minister of France, secretary of state, vice president, and president. But he was also — among other things — an inventor, philosopher, farmer, naturalist, astronomer, food and wine connoisseur, and musician. An early biographer, James Parton, described the young Jefferson a year before he helped write the Declaration of Independence: “A gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, dance a minuet, and play the violin.”
Jefferson was an important force in American architecture. He built a wall of bones.
His talent for botany was evident in his Monticello gardens and farm. In the gardens he grew 170 varieties of fruit, 330 varieties of vegetables, and ornamental plants and flowers. He grew Mexican varieties of peppers, beans collected by Lewis and Clark, broccoli from Italy. The English pea was his favorite vegetable and he had a Garden Book in which he kept exhaustive notes on the states of his turnips, lettuces, artichokes, tomatoes, eggplants, and squash when each variety was sown, when it was mulched and how, when the first leaves or fruits appeared, which varieties were tastiest. His household ate from the garden and he said that he ate meat and animal products “as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal diet.” Some of the varieties that Jefferson cultivated at Monticello have been passed down as heirloom vegetables and people still plant them in their backyard gardens. Overall he had about 5,000 acres of farmland, planted mostly in wheat and other grains. The man who wrote, “All men are created equal” defended the institution of slavery and he was dependent on the labor of hundreds of slaves to keep his farms running. He spent a large part of his days supervising them. He wrote, “From breakfast, or noon at the latest, to dinner, I am mostly on horseback, Attending to My Farm or other concerns, which I find healthful to my body, mind, and affairs.”
Jefferson loved music. He wrote to an Italian friend, “If there is a gratification which I envy any people in this world it is to your country its music. This is the favorite passion of my soul, and fortune has cast my lot in a country where it is in a state of deplorable barbarism.” He played the violin, and sometimes the cello and harpsichord, and sang. He walked around Monticello singing and humming to himself.
Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after his Declaration of Independence had been adopted. He was 83 years old and wrote his own epitaph before he died. It didn’t mention anything about being president. It said, “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.”

from The Poetry Almanac of April 14, 2022

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