Tweets by @morningblend56 According to Mary: October 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Christmas Rosary

A Christmas Rosary
Hail thou, Bearer of the Light;
God and man in thee unite!
Thy anguish and thy delight
beat in thy womb.

Hark! the cry that splits the night-
Startled angels rush to flight,
wings aflame, a star ignite
to lead the way.

Hush now, Bearer of the Light;
Rest now in thy holy plight.
Slumber blessed in Heaven's might;
Thy God with thee.

Sometimes I play a word game that limits how many syllables I can use in a line and the rhyme pattern.  It it dictates every word I choose and even the meaning of the verse. (Although I usually start with a first line about something that strikes my fancy.)  It is a poem that writes itself - it feels more like working a crossword puzzle than writing a poem. Sometimes I fall asleep trying out different combination of words and counting syllables.  It's a pleasant way to go to sleep at night. And I know when it's done because it has obeyed the rules and makes sense.  At least to me.  Just like when you know you have finished a crossword puzzle there is a sense of satisfaction.  I picture a King James kind of Gabriel giving color commentary to Mary as Christmas unfolds.

Lighting the Hebrew Shabbat candles is historically associated with women.  The lighting of the candles not only bring light to the Sabboth darkness, but reflects, in radiance, the woman's face as she ushers peace and light to her home and to the world.

The Rules were:
  •  Pattern AAAB AAAC AAAD.
  •  Rhyming lines must have 7 syllables
  •  Non rhyming lines must have 4 syllables 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interesting Friday Night (TLDR)

Cal and I decided to do something for our brains and traveled to Iowa City to hear Cecilia Gonzalez-Andieu, an author and theologian speak on the question,"Will Beauty Save us." (Based on the quote by Dostoevsky's character, Prince Myskin).

It was pretty heady going for a Friday night after work but it seems to be a popular subject among theologians and philosophers. (Try googling it.) She is an engaging woman and a brilliant scholar. Every once in a while a piece of clarity would hit me on the head like Chicken Little and I would pocket it like a walnut to examine later.

To Cecelia Gonzalez-Andieu, the opposite of Beauty is Glamour. The one thing that confused me is the way that she used the word 'Beauty.'  I could have inserted the word 'Love' for the way she used the word Beauty and it seemed to make as much or more sense. But beauty is assessable, can be seen and experienced, is incarnate to all - maybe that is the difference. She also had a strong dislike for Plato.  Beauty, as a physical reality posed a problem for Plato.  It was fun to be back in the classroom for one night.

Cal and I had to take a detour on the way home and we got lost in the dense night fog.  It seemed to be a fitting end for an evening listening to philosophy. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Madam Gardener

I decide to rake leaves in the back yard on a beautiful warm fall day.  (This year Cal and the neighbor decided to take down most of an old redbud  tree in the backyard.  One neighbor said he thought the tree would survive and the other neighbor said he thought it would die.)  The back yard is a mess of fallen redbud leaves and seed pods and twigs.

After filling four bags of leaves, humming happily to myself, I notice the yard again almost full  of leaves.  Squinting up at the trees, I realize that the other trees have not thrown down their leaves yet. We still need a hard frost.

I wander into my herb garden which has become tangled and is growing out of its brick pavers. It's a lovely thing.  The fennel smells like licorice and is as tall as I am. Rosemary, basil, sage, oregano, peppermint, dill, thyme and horseradish; it is a heady place.  Rub a leaf and go to heaven.

The horseradish is a massive plant and grows elephant leaves that shade out the parsley and chives and hides the peppermint.  We grow it for fun and every year I dig it up so that it won't get out of control the next year, but it always does.

Impulsively, I decide to dig up the horseradish.  I cut the leaves to get to the tubers that grow down deep in the clay soil.  I stain my hands with fresh greens and peppermint leaves.  A pleasant job so far.  The patio is soon piled with horseradish leaves and I fetch the shovel.  The tubers are long and take a little work.  Brushing off clumps of clay and dirt, I adjust my glasses on my nose. Streaks of dirt are now on my face and I push the leaves into the overfull bags of leaves.

I probably should call it good for today but I move on to my three tomato plants. The tomato vines are are dead and full of decaying tomatoes. I can't put those in the paper compost bags the city give us, and so I run into the house for garage bags.    I tug at the vines and rotten tomatoes spill and burst around me. Carefully, I pick up what looks likes like a solid tomato only to have my finger go through it. Yuck.  I try another.  This isn't working, so I  pull the vines into the plastic bag, decaying tomatoes and all, and just about reach the garage can when the bag springs a leak and rotten tomato juice runs down my leg.  Disgusted, I heave the heavy bag into the garbage can.  Splat.  I'd better remember to warn Cal that his garage can is full of drippy rotten tomato mess. I still have to pick the vine supports I left lying on the goopy ground.  I tip around the tomatoes the best I can and slide in the slippy slime and fall on my...rear.  That's it. I'm done.  I grab the sticks and throw the bags of leaves into the garage, the shovels and rakes and hedge trimmer into the potting shed.

The rest can wait until after frost.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Morning Glory Failure

Can you find the morning glory?  Not so glorious this year.  Out of all those vines we had - hmmm- maybe 3 blooms.  But do we cry?  Goodness no!  We just keeping on planting our Morning Glories. Maybe next year.  (Thank you to Pete the Cat.)

You Poked My Heart

Ok you guys. I love this youtube video so much!  Sorry if you have seen it before.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Warm Showers

Warm Showers guests from Portugal, Laura and Susanne
Warm Showers is an website (and an organization) that connects long distance bicyclists with people to offer them overnight housing with, of course, a warm shower which is the height of luxury when you are biking long distances.  The hosts may offer other services such as a bed, camping space, kitchen, washer and dryer.  Food is usually appreciated as bikers are always hungry.  Whether hosting international or local it is always a great experience.  Some states and cities are peppered with Warm Showers hosts while other areas have very few.  The people who use Warm Showers hospitality are usually considerate and interesting people and it's always great to listen to the stories about the roads they have traveled.  They remind Cal and me of what a wonderful time we had going across the country.  And we are always a little jealous.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Life Lessons from Spider Solitaire

I'm not a gamer.  My brother is.  He's 10th in the world in something...or other.

The last time I played competitively, it was with my children and it was apes throwing bananas at each other.  I think they exploded and you had to change the angle and velocity of the bananas to hit your opponent.  I figured it was good for their math skills and it didn't hurt for my kids to hurl a few exploding bananas at their mother.  Heaven knows I wanted to throw a few at them.  But I digress.

The one game I DO play in moments of boredom or anxiety is spider solitaire. I'm not very good at it and I don't win very often and I am not competitive enough to really want to win.  But as the game plays out, it teaches me important life lessons, the most important of which is that life doesn't make sense.  It's good to be reminded.

Spider solitaire breaks all the rules of logic that I learned as a child. It is not fair nor is it politically correct.  I have no idea or control of where or why all the fours or sixes or jacks disappear, but somehow, the game must be played out with or without them.

In spider solitaire two wrongs can make a right.  Wow.  That blows my mind. It's so wrong it's painful. Sometimes it's called strategy, sometimes it's called stupidity, and sometimes I get a glimpse of the mind of God as I lay a red five on a black six on purpose to expose a few more cards.  To someone watching the game, they would ask why I didn't put the red five on the red six that is right in front of me, and goodness sake, are you crazy?  I think God gets a lot of that.

I can lose or lose worse. I can win easy or hard.  And still it has little to do with how I played. Sometimes eeking out two completed piles from a deal with no 10s be as satisfying as a win.

The version of spider solitaire I play on my desktop gives options that I may have missed so each hand is a mini game in which I play "Did I miss any options." I can't control the deal, but I can make try to find options to play cards.  It's the one thing I CAN control. That and deciding what to DO with the options...  But even then, I lose.  Often.

Spider solitaire becomes my Serenity Prayer when I get locked in black and white thinking or declare martial law on my world.  Spider solitaire has its own logic and it's not mine.  And that's ok.  I BELIEVE all the cards are there and in FAITH, I play my game.  In GRACE, I win or lose.  But there is one thing that puzzles me still.  Is Undo cheating?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thoughts on Happily-Ever-After

Happy-Ever-After?          by M. Meuzelaar


When reality hit
she was found unfit
for the station in life she had reached.
Though her prince loved her well,
history will tell
she's the first queen they ever impeached.

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red
took to bed,
paranoid for the rest of her life;
So full of fear
that a wolf was near,
that she slept with a serrated knife.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Did Jack repent
every cent he spent
and regret his financial success?
He's on the run
now he's had his fun
pursued by the IRS.

Sleeping Beauty

Can a kiss awake
a big mistake;
and a life of misery begin?
With marriage a mess,
you'd think he would guess,
some princesses like to sleep in.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

These Victims of Crime
lost no time
and justice was swift in the making.
Soon under arrest
was the golden haired pest;

The charges were "Entering and Breaking."

Cold Weather Poems About Cats


In December,
we are hunted
by a lap cat.
Rather fat.

Summer laps
are tolerated
and reserved.

But on frosty days,
We are stalked and eyed
for a proper fit.
If we sit.

How frightful!
How delightful.

Warm Spots on the Earth

Like cats, we
seek warm spots on the earth.
Sunny window sills,
and silent car motors--
unlikely places
where we can rest
with eyes closed.

my friend,
have been my warm spot
on the earth.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saw this transport on the way to Michigan.  I drive a Mini Cooper
 and could appreciate the faceoff between the mini and the stretch.

Forgiving God

As I grow older, I find great delight in the book of Job.  Delight might be the wrong word, although I do delight in the poetry of the book.  Job reminds me that I am often at my best, most faithful, and most real when I have been stripped of everything. (It probably doesn’t happen often enough.  Not that I’m asking for trouble, but I am like the grandma in Flannery O’Conner’s story, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”; I would be a good woman if I had a gun pointed at my head all the time.)

Job finally recognized the eternal searching for answers will lead him nowhere.  I am an Enneagram 5 and I need to remember that.  There is rest and peace when I can put my hand over my mouth and say, “You are God and I am not.”  I can rest in that.  It may feel like I am being passive, but never is my faith more vibrant and alive.

In the book I have been reading by Ronald Rolheiser he says that in growing older one of our tasks as we mature is to forgive God for not rescuing us.  That hit a nerve.  Forgive God?   It’s true.  I want a fairy godmother as much or more than I want God.  It becomes easy for me to question the goodness of God when he doesn’t appear; that he really doesn’t see me or care. When things shouldn’t have happened the way they did or when I wasn’t protected from…whatever.  While I believe on one level that it’s hubris to even think such a thing, on another level I know that forgiveness is part of restoration and to forgive takes the humility of letting go. The real arrogance is to hold on to the idea that we have been let down by God.   That blocks my healing and He desires my healing. 

Being stripped of all my defenses drives me to see God as God and not as my fairygodmother.

God doesn’t need me to forgive Him.  I need me to forgive Him.

Then I can sincerely ask forgiveness for not understanding that I am not God.