Monday, April 29, 2019

a little bit of spring

Debra gave me a very small braid "rug", for lack of a better word. It's just like a braided rug, but only a few inches in diameter, the size of a doily. But if I used it for a doily, the prettiest part would be covered. I've been wanting to hang it up without knowing quite how, but today I just propped it in front of a white dish in the secretary - it's firm enough that it shouldn't flop or slide down.

Just right for spring.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Seven Stanzas at Easter

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time that will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

-    John Updike

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dolly turns eighty

I put the harness on Dolly today and out we went.

It was beautiful outside. She trotted and I followed; we crossed over the bridge and went to the end of the property. There are more violas across the brook, a deep purple color.

Then I picked her up and we came in. She was content after that.

She had a birthday the other day - her sixteenth. That's like 80 years old, in our years.

She is doing well.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

especially at Easter

This page from a Sandra Boynton calendar has seen better days

but it's taped onto my desk area at work, and that's where it's staying.

Monday, April 22, 2019

before the lawn gets mowed

Little violas in the grass.

Praise to the giver of good!
O lover and author of concord,
Pour out your balm on our days;
Order our ways in your peace.

- from Magnificat, April 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Psalm 88

Lord my God, I call for help by day;
I cry at night before you.
Let my prayer come into your presence.
O turn your ear to my cry.

For my soul is filled with evils;
my life is on the brink of the grave.
I am reckoned as one in the tomb:
I have reached the end of my strength,

like one alone among the dead;
like the slain lying in their graves;
like those you remember no more,
cut off, as they are, from your hand.

You have laid me in the depths of the tomb,
in places that are dark, in the depths.
Your anger weighs down upon me:
I am drowned beneath your waves.

You have taken away my friends
and made me hateful in their sight. 
Imprisoned, I cannot escape;
my eyes are sunken with grief.

I call to you, Lord, all the day long;
to you I stretch out my hands.
Will you work your wonders for the dead?
Will the shades stand and praise you?

Will your love be told in the grave
or your faithfulness among the dead?
Will your wonders be known in the dark
or your justice in the land of oblivion?

As for me, Lord, I call to you for help:
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why do you reject me?
Why do you hide your face?

Wretched, close to death from my youth,
I have borne your trials, I am numb.
Your fury has swept down upon me;
your terrors have utterly destroyed me.

They surround me all the day like a flood,
they assail me all together.
Friend and neighbor you have taken away:
my one companion is darkness.

Christ Crucified by Diego Velazquez

Thursday, April 18, 2019

"we have what we seek"

"The reason why we don't take time is a feeling that we have to keep moving. This is a real sickness. We live in the fullness of time. Every moment is God's own good time, His kairos. The whole thing boils down to giving ourselves in prayer a chance to realize that we have what we seek. We don't have to rush after it. It was there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us."

                                                  -   Thomas Merton, from Seeking God by Esther de Waal

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

orange tulips in the kitchen

My brother came home with a tulip from a client - what a nice thing!

I like seeing kitchens with a plant on the counter or windowsill; we have very little room for that, but I am making it work.

They are right at the sink - I just shifted everything over.

And they don't seem to bother my breathing!

Monday, April 15, 2019

blooming and glowing

The forsythia is in Full Bloom; it's really glowing!

All my fears are gone - I guess forsythia is a hardy plant.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

the discomfort of another Holy Week

"I would like to welcome you all to the discomfort of another Holy Week."

This is the beginning of yesterday's blog entry from the Trappist monks, and it sure got my attention: it's here, if you want.

And "a Blessed Earth-shaking Holy Week to you all"!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

excellent news

We had cat food hanging around that nobody was going to eat, so my brother brought it over to Diane's this evening. I was in the middle of something, but I told him to find out as much as he could about Mr. Kibble.

Well! They're doing work over there and the furniture's all over the place, and Mr. K. was under a table but he did come out to be rubbed and petted. And Diane said she even picks him up and hugs him! Oh, hallelujah!

Our little friend finally has a family - I am overjoyed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

book vs. e-book

"Holding a book, discerning the fonts, touching the dry ink, feeling the thickness of the paper as one turns the pages, writing in the margins: All bring us into communion with author and message. We hold books, their heft a hint of their heft....Try doing that with your e-book."

                                  -    from a piece by Peter J. Travers in the current issue of National Review

Sunday, April 7, 2019

happy dwelling

Though unseen, O Lord, I love you,
Wondrous is your saving might,
Thus to wean my soul so sweetly
From its sinful chief delight:
More you did in one short instant
Than a world could e'er have done,
Winning you a happy dwelling
In this sterile heart of stone.

-  from Magnificat, April 2019

Saturday, April 6, 2019

thinking about soft food

When the oral surgeon had finished with me - I believe it took him less than ten minutes to remove three teeth - they handed me a small tote with instructions typed on a paper bag containing gauze, and an ice pack. But when I got home, I also saw a lip balm and the above box of macaroni and cheese in the bag, which was rather nice. I do look on this brand as junk food, but, Reader, I ate it.

I have less pain than I did yesterday. Thursday night my brother said I looked like I'd been chewing tobacco. :D  Yesterday, he compared my appearance to Clutch Cargo. But it's just on the right side. It's hard to open wide to eat, and I'm not sure if it's the tooth removal or the poking from the novocained needles that's causing the soreness - I don't suppose it matters. I started making up a list in my mind of soft foods that would be appealing, and healthy, rather than yogurt and gooey pasta for days on end.

  • baked cod, or salmon
  • well-steamed broccoli
  • summer squash
  • well-roasted winter squash
  • hearty soups with soft veg and crackers broken into it for something more filling
  • yogurt
  • pudding
  • soft toast with plenty of butter and jam
  • hot (but cooled off) cereal - I like kasha
  • sardines
  • hummus
  • eggs: poached, scrambled or an egg salad
  • home-made macaroni and cheese
  • baked potato
  • twice-baked sweet potato
  • cottage cheese
  • a very ripe pear or mango
  • avocado
For some reason I feel better just seeing such a list. I think I'll write it down for my recipe box.

"borrowed" from the internet

Thursday, April 4, 2019


I had three wisdom teeth out today, and was taking it easy for the most part. But I did go for the camera when I saw this little fellow out the front door.

Looking into the urn where I've got the bird seed. I took the picture, then let him be.

Monday, April 1, 2019

prayer in the middle of Lent

"Renew your people within and without, O Lord, and, since it is your will that they be unhindered by bodily delights, give them, we pray, perseverance in their spiritual intent."

                                                 - from Magnificat, April 2019