still as the tree

all the color will soon fall
and the barren trees will sing
cold and wind snow and ice
will paint the boughs with chilled beauty
as leaves are tossed
and lost are the
dried and cracked memories
of hues and tones
that proudly shouted
i am here

let's welcome winter
when it enters our souls
sometimes what we think is gold
needs to fade
be swept away
in the wind of the Spirit
may we bend and break
let proud color and hues
fall in surrender

self must fade
and give way to the dark
long
nights
He will hold us tight
through the cold
and the questions
and the monochrome feelings

we must stand
still as the tree
and wait for life
to start again
in His time
His way
His truth
His life
will spring
for we wait
and in the waiting
He is present
we wait
He is comfort
He is love
we wait
in
His
love

a prayer

dear Lord
when i am restless
let the tranquility
of your Spirit
the comfort of your word
the light of your love
be my peace
and still my stirring
when i am anxious
let the power
of your grace
the assurance of your sovereignty
the goodness of your will
warm the frozen fear
i feel inside
release the heart shackles
and settle my thoughts
in the river of your presence
when i am triggered
angry
let your mercy
help me remember
how much is broken in me
let your justice
be the end of my longing
let my heart be open
to you and this world
send me
as your loving healing presence
as i receive your love
and your healing
when i am lost
bring me home
when i am so sad
that light seems a memory
and hope a forgotten song
reorient my mind
reset my spirit
help me see
that the suffering is but a moment
that all i long for
awaits in your house
no more tears
no need of light
or sun
no darkness
thank you
my dear Lord
thank you

summer memories 4

Back to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens for this Summer of 2022 post. The Unisphere is as spectacular as I remember it when I was at the New York World’s Fair in 1965. However, I don’t remember it being so large: 140 feet high and 120 feet in diameter. When I was there this past summer, the pool that the sphere rests in seemed to be under some kind of renovation, so you could walk right up to the base of the sphere. It was wonderful to see families and so many enjoying this gem of a park and iconic structure in Queens.

summer memories 3

The last time I was at this location was in 1965. I was 4 years old. The location is Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which served as the site for the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. These images are the remains of the New York State Pavilion. The structures have been ignored and deteriorating for years, but recently the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has embarked on a restoration project. The next summer memories post will be of another famous structure from the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Thanks for stopping by.

summer memories

Fall is making it’s entrance here in the Midwest. Trees are beginning to show off, Costco has had Christmas trees on display for a few weeks now, and the end of the day knocks on our door a lot sooner than it did just a few weeks ago. It has been a busy time for me as well, so this is the first of a few posts from this past summer. We were in New York in August, so, first up, my favorite place: Jones Beach. Thanks for stopping by.

scenes

Scene 1 fades in from black: I’m standing in the doorway of what used to be the bedroom for my two daughters. Eleven months before I said, “Her mother and I do,” at my oldest daughter’s wedding, and like the refrain of a song, I just said the same words at my youngest daughter’s wedding! My oldest son is already married. Three down, one to go. I pull out my phone and capture… this… empty room. I guess I was hoping to capture the conversations, dance parties, tears, Christmas mornings, laughter, prayers… capture all that happened in that room. The phone displays an empty room. But I am filled with gratitude as I remember that grace brought me here and will continue to lead me…home. I am crossing the vast Canyon of Parenthood, which is followed by the great Canyon of Fatherhood and the Canyon of Where Did the Time Go… and I realize that I am at the beginning of that time in my life where I will be remembered a bit less, and less. And that is what will be. And it’s ok. Scene 1 fades to black.

Scene 2 fades in from black. I’m standing in the doorway of what used to be the bedroom for my youngest son. I pull out my phone… you know the rest. Now, the emptiness of the room is a bit more final in my heart. All four of our children (can I still call them children?) are gone. Now I watch our children and their families, and I see them and the 6 little ones that are the new generation in their “rooms” praying, crying, laughing, enjoying dance parties, creating moments to remember and one day say good-bye to… one day let go… one day to try and capture on a phone. And I know that the new generation will forget more than they remember of their papa and nana. And I know that is what must be. And it’s okay. Scene 2 fades to black. One more scene.

Scene 3 fades in from black. I am being held by my mom in an impossibly strong, firm embrace. Impossible because my mom’s 96 year old body appears to be so frail, brittle and fragile. I see her connecting to my dear wife in a hushed conversation filled with memories and love. She can’t really stand up straight anymore. It seems like she is always folding in on herself, like she is ever seeking the fetal position. I tell her, as often as I can, that I love her, and her frail, thin voice tells me the same. My mom is a stranger in this world. She has lived long enough to bury he mom and dad and all of her siblings. The neighborhood is filled with strangers, for all of her friends from the old days have passed as well. She is, in so many ways, alone. Few remember who she is. And as I have had the opportunity to watch her in these late years, I am grateful for all that she has taught me. She has embraced her reality, and it is okay. She has taught me to welcome your emotions and the reality that you are in, but to not let it steal the grace and love that you can, at any moment, give to someone. She is frustrated, but not angry. She is sorrowful, but not bitter. She feels forgotten, but is not resentful. I want so badly to take away all the pain, heartache and struggle that makes up her days and nights. But I can’t. It must be this way. And that is okay. If I could take it away, it would diminish her and also diminish me. It is okay. This scene will fade to black. I am not sure I will be able to navigate that blackness. But, it will be. And that’s okay.

911

bright morning
crystal skies
catch the train
breakfast
on the run
markets open
late for work
elevator rising
immovable tower
the world
at your feet
traffic 
another day

bright morning
fire in the sky
darkness
disbelief
disorientation
confusion
from the
earthquake
in your heart
falling
everthing
inside you
around you
is falling
no other day
is this day

bright morning
red light
blue light
heroes
rise through the fire
running climbing
fearless angels
fight through
the fog of hate
that fills the sky
the streets
are drowning
in fear
in tears
in a ticker paper parade
of madness
souls rain down
oh
my
God

bright morning
when all
our souls
were crushed
under the weight
of all that fell
that day
where is mom
is my sister there
my friend
have you seen him
my brother
was with my dad
my son
she was just
a little girl
God
oh God
please God
no

bright morning
names etched
in our hearts
carved in the stone
remember
pray
forgive
God
heal us
help us
to be free
the pain
is still here

God
you're here too
so please
let a bright morning
rise in me
help me see
you are my hope
your love
is here
open my heart
let Light
make a
bright morning
in me