Monday, January 12, 2009

Time Passes, Anguish

My mother was a Unity Minister for the last half of her life, a midlife choice that stitched together her early years, when Unity was very young, and her grandmother taught her as best she could, stitched the ministry with a yearning that she had had all her life to that point. She took the byway of drama, almost becoming a movie star according to her but not wanting to sleep around to do it. She told us that Ann Baxter got the nose job and slept around and so had a career but mom didn't so she went to Cal Berkeley instead. She excelled at Cal and was valedictorian of her class, the first man or woman to ever do that in Speech and Drama. She shared the podium with Harry Truman. A few years out from school she returned and got her teaching credentials. She taught high school English for many years. At one point she wrote and self published a novel. Vanity press. Then she became a minister. Her career was up and down, but in the end she had such a high reputation as a teacher of ministers in training and having written and published a Unity classic, The Handbook of Positive Prayer, that she wound up with the Myrtle Fillmore Award for lifetime achievement. That is second best in the year it is awarded, only one a year, I guess.

She told me that she thought that reincarnation is the best possible guess ever made of how to mate perfect justice with perfect mercy. There is clearly not enough time ensouled otherwise. To me this is untouchable. Perhaps reincarnation is not so. If it is not then I have yet another bone to pick with God, another bit of fuel for the fire that strengthens my hold on His heel.

Time Passes

I remember Rome
When it was a cave and twins
And a wolf mother.

I remember the quantum
That jumps beyond light and time.

I remember you,
As you once appeared to me
Within my first heart.


This next is a prayer that is also a complaint. I am not the only one with these troubles. I know people like me are written into holy books. My faves from the bible, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Psalms, Job. I love the type of David, a king who dances naked before the Lord. Truly there is nothing new under the sun.


I stumble, wonder
Why in all this world I must,
Why me, Lord, why not
Give me sight enough to see
The truth before I fail, fall.

I love and it hurts
When they say I do not as
If they really knew.


  1. very well done, i also enjoyed your poem on charli's comment section - about the suffering patient -
    i've seen the blundering and wondered, who will write a procedure for compassion!

  2. Thank you. Larry

    But compassion isn't a is a state of developed consciousness. And there is no way of forcing it without creating the faux compassion that New Agers can be criticized accurately for.

    Took you serious :)

  3. I love the lines "I remember you,/ as you once appeared to me/Within my first heart" So moving.

    I also just wanted to thank you. I had a different(just poetry) blog -- Hidden Words-- that I have since made private. You left a few lovely poems on it and I feel badly that I “disappeared” with them. Please know that your words meant a lot to me, and helped me over a rough patch. I still have them hidden away with my hidden words.

    Your blog has made me reflect quite a bit about who I am and who I hope to be (and who I have been). I appreciate all the insight you give.
    Thank you,

  4. I am glad you didn't simply destroy the blog. Both the blog and its removal felt equally profound to me. It felt indeed that there was a rough patch, or longer perhaps. I believed your poems. I hope I didn't somehow convince you that privacy was what you needed most with those poems, that you perhaps have or will have some trusted readers of that blog.

    When you showed up as Faith, I knew who you were as soon as the picture appeared. Thank you for your kind words. Do not fret about the poems. I keep copies of every poem I write. I won't necessarily be able to remember which poems were written where.

  5. Beautiful poems. Your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I agree with you that compassion is a state of developed consciousness.

    From my time around children, it also seems to be a learned behavior. Of course, that can be argued. But I have seen a group of toddlers bash a weaker child on the head with toys until they are taught that it's wrong. Maybe it's a combination of "nature and nurture." I don't dare to say I know the answer.

    But I am glad my role models were highly compassionate people. It taught me a lot.

    Thanks again for a wonderful post. Much food for thought.

  6. Julie you are always welcome here. I must say in case anyone is reading who doesn't know, you can read the work of one of my favorite poets, ever at the Buffaloe Pen, can be reached from my Over the Wall list.

    I think you are right that compassion as we envision it is learned. I would suggest that under certain circumstances other mammals can learn it too, or at least behaviors that suggest compassion. I have been comforted by dogs and cats and I know they meant it...

  7. Oh Christopher... Both of these poems are beautiful. Your words are warm apple slices in my mouth, sweet-tart and crispy.

    Thanks for sharing your mother with us. You have had such fascinating people in your life. She sounds like a magician.

    Your words are ever a pleasure.

  8. I love the type of David, a king who dances naked before the Lord.

    I was meditating yesterday on, "I'll be yet more vile."

    What do I care what others think?

    Lovely work, here, sir.

  9. Christpher
    Thank you so much for understanding. No, you did not make me think that privacy was what I needed most for the blog. I think you gave me hope that I could find strength within myself.

    Maybe it is like your poem "Falling Through". Maybe somehow I want to be all of me somewhere. But the where is hard to find. Slowly, I may be posting those poems om my other blog...or at least parts of them:)
    Thank you again,

  10. you seem like a nice person.... i like your mom and your hat.... the dancing David line made me think of this song..... hallelujah

  11. Holy Jumpin Jehoshaphat!

    I am completely surprised to see a raccoon on this site.

    I welcome you warmly as I can, Joan.

    And I agree to the limits of my courage..."what do I care WHATEVER they think..." I even told "them" to back off me in a public setting one time, made a speech in a 300 person philosophy class, Existential Phenomonology it was, and my standing up and speaking was aimed at whoever might be there actually on my case, might or might not have been there.

    Of course this was days before I hightailed it to Arizona :)

  12. Faith, It is just that I stepped closer in my comments on your closed blog than I thought with the careful side of me that maybe I should. Usually my instinct is sound enough and I don't get in trouble for that sort of thing. When your blog closed, that side of me said, "SEE...?" There was a teeny bit of pain in it for me.

    In any case welcome in this incarnation and I'll be seeing you there if not here, I hope.

  13. Ghost, David got in trouble as much as a king can for his dancing which the beaureaucracy thought was terribly unseemly. Imagine one anointed of God disrobing in public like a madman does. Hmmm. Not only is genius next to madness but so is genuine spiritual elevation. Too bad. Just is so.

  14. Charli, thank you for the apples. You make my mouth water while I am trying to get to my dinner.

    As for words, you are no slouch yerself.

    And if I have anything to say about it, your challenges are going to remain minor.

    Unfortunately I can't call on my Mom for the magic, because we had an agreement between us that if we could we would not come back here in any way. Not that it is not beautiful and joyful, but because it is also unjust, not fair to so many, so damn the story of Job.

    As far as I can tell, she has held up her end of our agreement and gone on somewhere else.

  15. dancing naked..... once there is concept that i stand before God at all times in complete transparency, then comes awareness disguise and mask of any nature is for my own entertainment and purpose......

    such deliberate disguises
    rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field..... elliot

    fine line indeed, but a line nonetheless..... or so we think


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!