Birthmonth Poem

(Started writing in October when Jewels met for the first time on Mercer Island.)

We are made to attract light

               and birth it

               and reflect it.

               To harbor it

               and splay it

               into a million facets of sparkling color.

As I understand it, color is the natural product of light.

I sprang early this morning from the darkness of the city,

               and long ago, from my mother’s warm womb,

through tunnels made by man and by God.

The marvel of watching and experiencing

               the pulse of my now-hometown,

               my nest of new fresh autumnal wetness.

All gave way to firm, clear-and-bright Daytime.


And, before this, I felt the steady rock of Eternity.

My eyes, through their fragile translucent lids, could only begin to imagine the possibilities then.

Darkness, shadows and embryonic rest, had made me ready for the fullness that is Embodiment.

That fluid bath of dreamtime.

Before a November date was first attached to me.

Before this very date—TODAY!—jewel-like in its resonance.

Before then, I asked for encouragement

               for deep sleep

               for less consciousness

and for longer.

Who knew I would be welcomed by Splendor?

A monk in black greeted my rainbow.

How did I know to contain myself in a shirt of many colors?

Grateful, here-and-now,

to attract, birth, reflect, harbor, and splay.

Light made Goodness.

With no concern whatsoever about how it might, I might,

               curl into the world,

helping to create.

And be joyful too, surrounded by shimmering radiance.

Practicing Praying without Ceasing

On Sundays, we arrive early for choir rehearsal. Afterwards and before the service, I walk the labyrinth. It’s usually not a silent meditation because others are arriving for worship. They cross my path and we greet each other. It’s enjoyable. Then I try to remember my route so I can return to the soft, solo place before the next pilgrim comes.

This is how I want to live:

Inhaling – Exhaling; Resting – Acting; Listening – Speaking; Being – Doing…

Always recognizing the way, with God’s help.

Chosen Family

Recently we were asked to record why we have included the cathedral in our wills. The videographer brought gladiolas to the interview. We explained to him that we chose the community at St Mark’s to help us raise our kids since our families of origin were so far away.

Decades later, we keep this circle of mutual support going, across lifelong needs. For example, today after church, we checked the medical equipment closet to see if there was a walker we could borrow for my mother.

We love these people, the ones we know, the ones we don’t know yet. We include everyone. We describe ourselves as One Body.

And we want this intergenerational care to continue after we die.


Imagine a book club with no rules. As I understand it, there are only two Rules anyway, the rest are parables.

This is certainly true for our new book group. It is unfolding fluidly, like a story. For instance, we have our selection for the year—The Second Half of Life, Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by Angeles Arrien. Most of our members are virtual; some are super-virtual. There is no assigned reading. When we gather, we read a little of Arrien’s text out loud to each other. We share a meal and a bit about another book we are reading.

Today it went like this:

Mom – I really like doing this, over a nice lunch out. I hope we do this until I die.

Me – Well, most people as old as you are bed-ridden before they die.

Mom – What about the lucky ones who die in their sleep?

Me – You mean the ones who get seduced in their dreams to come over by those on the other side?

Mom – Yeah, like your Dad.

Me – Yeah, him.

Then we flipped forward to the introductory poems about the Gold Gate on pages 135 and 136. Mom read the short one and I read the long one.

Luscious. Talk about Thanks Giving.


Day 13

Photo by Rod Williams

To Come Home to Yourself

by John O’Donohue

May all that is unforgiven in you

Be released.

May your fears yield

their deepest tranquillities .

May all that is unloved in you

Blossom into a future

Graced with love.