Summer Reverie

I never tire of the sound of the tires
grinding the gravel road
to the summer camp.

On those lovely evenings,
I’d loaf at the campsite
with a loaf of French bread
assorted cheese
and wine.

Or I’d head into town
for my sole meal
of stuffed sole
or perhaps scallops
au gratin
gently baked.

Now, the autumn moon shines
on freshly picked apples
and I pine for the pines in the sands of the Cape
with their wind gnarled branches withstanding the storms,
their long winding roots traversing the path.

Mornings I’d trip on those roots on my trip
to the surf on a trail lined with beach plums.

The seaside solitude of early morning
was only marred
by trash
disowned by others:

lost toys
deserted
by frenzied families,
the tools of the trade
of fishermen
on trawlers passing by;
I once saw a saw
of unknown origin
washed ashore.

Standing quietly
by the remains of a campfire
I thought to myself
even here,
I can help
restore beauty
and I picked up the cans
of an earlier party.

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What I’m Reading Early September

A little political humor from across the pond, sort of stuff Fiona likes.
U.S Immigration - Foil Arms and Hog. Another amusing piece from The Onion: Report: More American Fifth-Graders Taking Gap Year To Unwind Before Middle School. For church humor, there is the report in The Babylon Bee that Episcopalians May Still Exist

Journey

August 31st was the Feast of
Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 651
. I started reading about Lindisfarne which led me to eading about Celtic Christianity.

On my commute, I’ve been listening to a recording of the Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila. I just finished that and have been looking for something else to listen to. I tried to find something by our about Hildegard of Bingen on Librivox or Project Gutenberg, but with no luck. I ended up downloading three books by Saint Augustine of Hippo off of Librovox and have been listening to that.

Meta journey

Alan Watts - Why Your Life Is Not A Journey. It seems like Watts is relying a conflating journeys and destinations, thereby creating a false dichotomy. This makes me think of other quotes about journeys:

“Not all those who wander are lost” - JRR Tolkien

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

- TS Eliot

"Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour." – Robert Louis Stevenson

"The journey is the reward." – Taoist saying.

Yet in spite of conflating journey with destination and creating a false dichotomy. The message is right and it makes me think of another quote

“If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution” – Emma Goldman

Doctor’s Notes

It is that time of year when we need to deal with Doctor’s notes again, which is especially problematic when you have a child with a chronic illness. I’ve always been interested in the Canadian response. In Nova Scotia Doctor’s charge employers that require medical notes and the Ontario Medical Association has spoken out against requiring notes from doctors.

On the home front, I’m looking at ways of reducing stress, and have been considering the Spire Stress Tracker. Does The Spire Stress Tracker Actually Work?

At work, I recently wrote a post for the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium, An Invitation to Digital Introverts

Random Other Stuff

Politics: Latinos for Trump founder warns of ‘taco trucks on every corner’
An Oral History of “We Built This City,” the Worst Song of All Time

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Political Discernment

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

For the past year or so I have been seeking discernment within the Episcopal Church in Connecticut about how I can best serve God’s mission here in Connecticut. What skills and gifts can I offer? What do I desire? What does God desire of me? Is God calling me to become a priest? a deacon? a lay minister? something else?

How do I balance all of this out in terms of being a loving husband and father, in terms of supporting my family? How do I balance all of this as I seek to show God’s love to the people I meet in my daily life and work as I try to practice self-care as well so I don’t burn myself out? How do I bring God’s love into our current political climate?

All of these things I considered last May during the state legislative conventions. I had run for State Representative in 2012 and 2014. I knew that if I did not run again, there was a good chance that my opponent would run unopposed, that the people from my district would not be given a choice about who their State Representative would be.

Yet running a full campaign is a lot of work. It is stressful on the candidate. It is stressful on the candidate’s family. My wife said that I had done my part by running twice already. Someone else should run.

Here we are in September. No one else has agreed to run. The Working Family Party, hoping to maintain its ballot line has been looking for someone to run, and they spoke with my wife. She agreed that it would be okay if I ran, so today, I accepted the Working Family Party nomination for State Representative in the 114th Assembly District in Connecticut.

At this point, I am not expecting to form a candidate committee, appoint a treasurer, do fundraising, phone banking, door knocking, or many of the other things associated with campaigns today. However, if people step forward to do some of these campaign activities, I will support their efforts.

Given the opportunity, I will gladly speak, debate, write articles, press releases, and further the discourse in whatever ways possible.

My focus remains on how I can best serve God. My goal is to help return our public discourse to one based on respect for all candidates as being created in the image of God. My goal is to help return our public discourse to how God would have us treat the poor, the marginalized, the outsiders, no matter what their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

I ask for your help, your support, your prayers, and your involvement, in my own discernment in what God is calling me to, in our common discernment about how we can help our nation become more loving and compassion.

Kintsugi

It was a special vase
full of magic and grace
that we acquired
fifteen years ago.

Over the years
it had tumbles
gained cracks
but stayed intact.

Yesterday
in was smashed
beyond repair
and I just don’t care
any more.

So I sat under the broom tree
with the prophets of old
and sulked.
Then the Lord came to me
and said,
“You know that’s not true.
You know you care
more than you can stand.”

I replied,
“Yes Lord,
but I just don’t have the energy
to pick up
all the broken pieces.”

Then the Lord replied,
“but I do.”
So the Master Craftsman
gathered several apprentices
and we all worked together
picking up the broken pieces
building a new vase
with the cracks filled with gold
even stronger
and more beautiful
than before.

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What I’m Reading – Late August.

I try to start each day with readings from the lectionary. I aspire to write weekly poems based on the lessons of the week, but I rarely get to it. So, as I look at the browser tabs open, they include The Lessons Appointed for Use on the Sunday closest to August 31 and on Sunday closest to September 7.

Often, I read lessons from Lesser Feasts and Fasts and then spend time reading about assorted holy women and holy men. In my browser tabs, I found, Martin de Porres, 1639, Rosa de Lima, 1617, and Toribio de Mogrovejo, 1606: Witnesses to the Faith in South America - August 23 and the feast of St Bartholomew – Aug 24.

Last Sunday, Paul referenced “I remember Mama” in his sermon. (See also the Wikipedia article and an episode).

Various stories about the culture wars in Christendom have come across my newsfeed, including and Brief Challenges South Central's Petition to Nullify Oliveto Election. This is contrasted to an interesting lawsuit, A St. Cloud church is suing the city to keep its tiny house.

Also, I’ve been praying for Sisters found dead in Mississippi and thinking about Pub Theology, though I am a bit concerned about their pricing model.

In the broader culture wars, there is an oldie but goodie making the rounds, Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Vandalizing Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes. Someone pointed me to Werner Herzog’sLo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. It looks like it is well worth exploring.

I also stumbled across Postwaves. I looked at it briefly, but nothing jumped out at me. I should revisit it some time.

My blog post at the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium is An Invitation to Digital Introverts It is an idea I hope to explore further.

Another idea that I started exploring is based on what Facebook thinks of your political views. I wrote about this a little bit in Facebook Ads and Robert Burns. There is more to explore there as well.

Another topic I’ve been following has been EpiPens

All of this fed into a blog post I wrote, Express Scripts, Mylan, and the EpiPen.

Two random other links, Bruce Springsteen stops ‘Jersey Girl’ performance for a marriage proposal and OLA Wallingford, which is where we went for Kim’s birthday.

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