Archive - Jun 18, 2017

Date

Father's Day Memories. Daily Examen. Sandy Hook.

As I reach for a bowl
to make my morning oatmeal,
I see a plate from my childhood
nestled amidst the other dishes
and ask myself,
“What will you remember?”

Father’s day.
I remember to call my father
who has forgotten to turn on his phone.
I wonder if my daughters
will remember to call me
as I recall
the phone they are likely to call
is dead.

I stand,
in the moment,
seeking to commit
the smell of raisins
in the oatmeal
to long term memory
to stay with me
through my final years.

It is a solitary moment,
not one others will remember
when they eulogize me.

In the morning
I go to church
for the weekly remembrance
of the resurrection.

In the evening,
I choose not to watch an interview
with a man who denies
what many remember.

Note: I have gone back and forth about whether to include my "Daily Examen" posts with the rest of my poetry. I have decided, generally, not to. Too many of my other poems are more likely to get lost that way. However, this poem, which started off as my Daily Examen for June 18, 2017, stands well on its own, and I have chosen to include it with my other poems, with my Daily Examen, and also in Politics.

Two Types of People

It is an old cliché, “There are two types of people…” Those who divide the world into two types of people, and those who don’t. I tend to think more in terms of continua and less in terms of binary oppositions. Nonetheless, it is a valuable rhetorical device.

One such example is the quote attributed to Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” It is tempting to head off on a direction about the life of fear that seems to grip so many in our nation today, and the life of adventure. I choose adventure.

This came to mind this morning as I was reading some of Scott Cairns’ “Short Trip to the Edge”. On page 178, (at least in my copy of the book), he says,

Sometimes I think there are two Orthodoxies (as, perhaps, there are two Christianities) – the mystical faith of those who glimpse how little we know (and are drawn and driven by love), and the cranky faith of those who appear to know everything already (and wish the rest of us would either agree with them or disappear).

This resonates with me on several levels. It seems that those of us drawn and driven by love and willing to admit not knowing everything are too few and far between in politics. Likewise, it feels like the discernment process, at least in my branch of the Jesus Movement, fails to embrace those of us drawn and driven by love who admit to not knowing everything.

It feels like allowing God to shape and change me doesn’t fit with institutions that want to do the shaping themselves, perhaps out of fear of confronting changes they need to look at.

Yet again, perhaps we are confronting a false dichotomy. It is not binary oppositions, it is a continua. Our journey is to recognize what we don’t know, where we aren’t as loving as we could or should be and asking God change us in these areas.