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Thursday, October 30, 2008

poetry party 26

Abbey of the Arts poetry party 26

invitation to poetry icon

Ipswich Robin by Christine In Christine's invitation she writes, "This week I invite you to celebrate your own ancestors, either as a group, or dedicate your poem to a particular person (human or animal in nature). For this week’s party, I also invite you to email me a photo of this person (if you have one) to accompany your poem.

This photo was taken last March in a cemetery in Ipswich, Massachusetts when I traveled back to trace some of my maternal ancestors.

North Shore

Today rather than people or places or pets, I'm stepping back to honor one of my own previous lives, still wondering how the crooked path got to this current here and where. Not that Ipswich, Massachusetts was quite point of origin, but for those years going up the shore at first from Boston and later from Salem on a summer Sunday afternoon, stopping at the Clam Box for fried clams and simply being stripped clean and purified by salty Atlantic air meant going home renewed and hopeful. During Holy Week before Robert and I were leaving the East Coast for the Left, senior pastor of the congregation I'd been serving took me to lunch at the Clam Box. I almost never regret any of the big choices I've made for longer than a split second, yet what could I have done differently that would yielded the life of service I prepared for? I don't know, yet I do know "these things" don't happen in 1st or 2nd world countries. So I dedicate this paragraph to Boston's North Shore and commit myself to making at very least a virtual pilgrimage back, and filled with the bright hope of Atlantic sea air to retrace, refine and reinvent my own journey.

Friday, October 24, 2008

locations 5

location location location...Friday 5 from the RevGals

For today's Friday 5, Singing Owl asks, "Tell us about the five favorite places you have lived in your lifetime. What did you like? What kind of place was it? Anything special happen there?" I'm not quite convinced any of these qualify quite as favorites, and I'd love to write lots about all these and others, but due to time constraints will say just enough to be suggestive, but each one would make a great separate blog topic. I have pics for each point but haven't organized my photobucket account well enough to retrieve them on time, so here's my play for today.

1. Boston's North End: basic studio with full kitchen, 3/4 bath--a block away from the Prado with the statue of Paul Revere with his horse that was a few yards away from the back end of Old North Church (of Paul Revere fame). I lived there as an undergrad and then for the year I substitute taught in the Boston Public Schools.

2. federal house The Orne-Prince House [1788] in Salem, MA: top level of a 3-story Federal style house, and this Cat's Meow collectible almost exactly matches; the only difference is the windows in our 3rd floor were 6 over 6 like in the 1st and 2nd floors—even the yellow clapboard siding is identical!

3. 3 parsonages: almost mindless living, but bummer in that I couldn't do much of my own decorating style in terms of painting, customizing the interface, etc., but it was great to have yard and exterior regularly maintained.

4. 5 Wellesley Park, posterizedIn the Dorchester section of Boston during summer 2000, just before I returned to Paradise, probably for only a year. This is called a Philadelphia style house; I lived on the 1st floor so Nick, my friend and the owner of the house who lived upstairs could have a lot of freedom to come and go while he again was trying to renovate it for again another tenant. Nick had attended the church I'd served not that far away and over the previous couple of years we'd become good friends. Lots more to say, but that's enough for purposes of this blog.

5. 4875 courtyardRight (technically Left) here in Paradise: again on a 3rd floor, this time a 64-unit complex and this time it's a coastal desert close to the ocean for walks on the beach, not far from the hot desert with its promise of spectacular newness, a short drive from the mountains and not far from the international border. Here we regularly get weather forecasts for 4 different climates: coastal, inland, desert and mountains.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

poetry party 25

invitation to poetry icon

Poetry Party 25: celebrating the gift of the written word

Introducing this week's Poetry Party, Christine says,
The photos below taken this past summer in the library at Melk Benedictine Abbey in Austria...From their website: "In the order of importance of the rooms in a Benedictine monastery, the library comes second only to the church"–another reason I love the monastic tradition! This week’s theme is simple, I invite you to write a poem celebrating the gift of the written word in your life.
Rather than attempting a formal poem about the suggested "written word" topic (it would fill at least one book), I'll thank Christine for the images, inspirations and friendly support. It's rare that I don't start a poem or reflection or retrieve one of my own graphic designs for the party, though only a little more than half of what I begin is ready to post by Friday. poetry party 25Nonetheless, the Poetry Parties have helped me remember past places, persons and events, ponder this present now and dream of a somewhere future in healthy, non-obsessive ways. This has been a sparse blogging year in terms of formal theology and of writing more directly about my own stuff, but uncharacteristically I've been allowing myself an amazing number of naps! Many of those slumbers have featured long, interesting dreams that have recast experiences from my past into where I am now and have helped me finally start sorting through ways to express my ongoing sense of call to serve world, church and creation in ways related to my gifts, passions and education. Thanks, Christine!!!