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Archive for April, 2011

What we want is not a heroic death but the gentle extinction of the body’s fires: the night that falls quietly, with a tread soothing to the ear, like a herd coming down the hill in the evening.

What we want, gentlemen, is not to taste all the fruits of the earth but to have each day a basket filled with good things gathered in the neighborhood.

What we want is not to write our name down in the book of the future, but to have tasks worthy of our limbs, of our brain, and also of our heart, so that we can each rejoice watching ourselves earn our daily bread.  We fear the large-scale workshops where we can’t tell ourselves apart from machines, swept up as we are in the same deafening clatter of parts, and we fear, too, the loneliness of the man in his room, in his field, in his accounts with their columns straight as prison bars.  We like windows and we like curtains.

What we want is not heaven on Earth, for we know that man is entirely made up of earth; for that reason, our dreams never rise any higher than our eyes, our mouth, our forehead, where wrinkles necessarily have their place.

For it is not the seed, but the arid soil that turns most of us into stunted desert shrubs.  And what we want is to grow into the tree that is inside every child.

–from The Morning Star by Andre Schwarz-Bart

I just finished this book today — it is a crystalline book, many-faceted and clear, an inward look at the mind and life of a Holocaust survivor.  This poem was written by one of the characters after they had all survived and begun to try to rebuild their lives.  I find it bittersweet — what we all want, but what was taken away from them, sometimes forever.

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light…

(from John 1 and 3)

in the beginning

all was darkness

void

empty

alone

then God spoke the Word

Let there be light

and it was so

Light came into the darkness

filled it

created life

and it was good

.

in the fullness of time

the world was weighted with darkness

hatred

anger

evil

human souls were

alone

empty

meaningless

then God spoke

It is time

and it was so

Light shone in the darkness

the Word became flesh

God with us the Light of the world

and it was good

.

one day darkness rose

evil loomed in anger

full of hatred and emptiness

as the sky turned black

they nailed to the cross the Word

alone

the earth shook and God spoke

My God why have you forsaken me

and it was so

when He hung his head and the Light of the world was

extinguished

the Word said It is finished and darkness fell

broken

and it was good

and it was

.

good

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AWOL

Sorry I’ve been AWOL lately — been swamped with work and more work…I have posts planned for every day, I just haven’t written them.  I still have lots to say!  Thanks for your patience — this space is under construction! 😉

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glory forever

mountain

“…for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.”

Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:15-17).

.

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure (Psalm 93:1).

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Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.  In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all (1 Chronicles 29:11, 12).

.

Before the mountains were born
    or you brought forth the whole world,
    from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:2).

.

before the stars were the faintest pinpoints

after all things have crumbled to dust

greater than even the universe’s expanse

yet

the smallest seed of love inside my heart

.

though i speak with the tongues of angels

though i search to the ends of the world

though i live forever and never stop praising

You

are greater still than anything i comprehend

.

higher than the highest human thought

deeper than the deepest chasm

wider than the ever-expanding universe

stronger than life or death

is the glory of Your name

of Your love

of Yah-weh — my breath

my Lord

my God and

King

.

wandtattoo_amen_einzeln

orion_nebula

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“…but deliver us from evil…”

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Galatians 1:3-5).

.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:13-18).

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But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

.

deliver us from evil

we pray

piously

while secretly shivering deliciously

at the thought

tantalizing wisps of brimstone

a little touch of naughty

surely just a taste won’t

no one will know if i…

then over our heads

in trouble again we fling up our hands

and cry

why don’t you save me

why me

but once again on firm ground

we tiptoe

peeking over the edge again

just dipping in a toe

danger is the spice of life

and anyway

if it were really bad

it wouldn’t be here

so temptingly

because i can resist anything

except temptation

so we lay down our sword and shield

and stoop to take just one sip

while the water of life

pours out wasted

behind our willful backs

and the Lifeguard sighs and prepares

for action

.

I do not understand what I do.

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 

For I do not do the good I want to do,

but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 

What a wretched man I am!

Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

(Romans 7:15-25, selected)

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“And lead us not into temptation…”

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23).

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The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand (Psalm 37:23, 24).

.

Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts (Psalm 28:3).

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No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God isfaithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

.

For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3).

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Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day (Psalm 25:5). 

.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

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hesitating in leafy shade

pausing at the crossroads

torn by choice

why not take that path

sun-dappled wide and fair

enticing golden-green

so lovely

so close to the way

just a winding smooth trail to follow

never mind the faint sense

the hint of decay under the flowers’ essence

such a bright track

must surely be sound

.

“lead us not into temptation”

.

or take that other path

with creeping vines and

darkling shadows

drooping moss and webs interwoven

a swaying curtain brushing

shrinking fingertipes

rotting logs and half-buried rocks

narrow the way

stumbling

bearing straight into gloom and

half-dusk

arrowing true

toward a distant faint

point of white and

beckoning light

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