Some nights I’m immersed in a bottomless abyss.

I’m befriended by blobby, snot-colored, toothy, odd-tentacled creatures.

They’re hideous…puke-inducing…and alien to all reason.

They’ll be discovered some bright future morning on a post- tsunami shore,

Our secret dialogues

Deathly safe.

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Not Yet St Patty’s


Not yet St Patty’s,

But above average temps for a week

After a month long frozen-slump hacky (lung) sac stretch

Leads to smiley faces and hopeful endeavors and optimistic beginnings.

A red headed woodpecker builds a nest high just above a crotch in the neighbor’s maple.

Flashy cardinals chirp and fly horny.

Trees are still spread wide and winter stick naked

Though buds form on twigs nearest the sun,

Readying to burst forth renewal

And the validation spring promises.

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Although our parents conceived us,

we were crafted beyond an infinite horizon

where God wove His Spirit

into our flesh,

and Her love

into our smile.

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Winter Sunrise

More south than east

a Pluto-frigid sun reluctantly emerges

from a frosty equinoctial lair

a smudged crimson dime who’d rather sleep in

than be an unsung hero

merely giving life.

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Insanity, Defined

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”—Albert Einstein.

How often do we hear that?  There’s a lot of truth there, especially when we face challenging situations with no clear-cut solutions.

But let’s spin that quote sideways, and see if it clarifies or complicates:  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and getting different results.”

Think on that for a minute.

You may have heard of the experiment where a lab rat sees a green light, taps on a button, and is awarded a food pellet.  If it sees a red light, it gets a mild shock.  Continue that for awhile until the rat thinks he’s got it all figured out.

But mess around with the wiring.  And now, the rat gets shocked when there’s a green light…maybe every third time, or maybe every time.  But the red light doesn’t do anything.   Or maybe it drops a pellet.  Then switch things back to how they originally were.

You’ve effectively made the rat insane.  It was doing the same thing over and over again…and getting different results.   That’s the real insanity.

Due to the rapid changes in technology, marketing, politics, media, economics, and countless other aspects of modern culture—the same thing happens to us, although on perhaps a less insidious scale.  And it impacts workplaces, relationships, and psyches.

Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss…only different.

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Some Questions about Guardian Angels…

I’ve heard some amazing stories about guardian angels.  They’ve come from level-headed folks who describe encounters that can’t be reasonably explained.  Absent their split-second intercession, tragedy would have resulted.

I wonder if we all have a guardian angel that’s always with us.  One that guides us in subtle ways we can’t even detect—and jolts us with a conscience taser when we’re out of line.   An angel that absorbs the sharpest and most irreversible pain when we’re hurting the most.  A spirit that whispers to us in soul-dreams and that guides us ever-so- gently and purposefully toward our Created Destiny.

Is it a cosmic God-soldier, single-handedly fighting off the dozen demons that are poised to attack us at any given time?   How shocked would we be if we could see all those evil forces?  And how joyous would we feel as they slink away, vanquished by our guardian angel?

How would our lives change if we could meet our guardian angel in human form?  What would you ask it, and how much more emboldened would you be in your faith-walk and life-journey if you knew they had your back?

Would you accept all the truths they could share with you at the risk of full and complete confession?

Do you have an exclusive guardian angel, one that surrounded you at conception and carried you down the birth canal and has served as a guide dog since then?   They would know you more intimately than anyone, which would be pretty comforting.

Those times when you feel distant from God—is it because they’re busy putting out someone else’s soul fires?   Maybe guardian angels switch around to different people…even in other galaxies?

On the day we pass, will they be our escort to the next dimension?  And do we then get to meet them?

Finally, after we’ve been able to spend time catching up with those who have gone before us…does our guardian angel inform us that it’s our turn to be a guardian angel?

Just wondering.

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Sabbath Day Snowfall

Today, foot-deep snow gave a thousand pastors a rare Sunday off,  cancelled Super Bowl parties, and caused a few extra babies to be conceived.

Trees also reacted.

Sugar maple had sadly seen all this before.  Two of her large brittle intertwining branches snapped and lay at odd angles, suspended between earth and trunk, somehow hopeful that by still being one with the tree they’d be magically grafted back on.

The Douglas fir slumped under the heavy weight.  Evergreen branches–ten feet off the ground in fair weather–could now sweep the stocking cap from a grade-schooler’s head.  They strained mightily, praying for wind just strong enough to remove snow but not branches.

Bushy round yews transformed themselves into spooky giant cauliflower bunches.  In their whiteness, they fancied themselves as a grounded summertime cumulus cloud, paralyzed in time and gravity.

Saplings, dressed in frosted flake finery, waltzed for attention in the slight breeze.  The dead linden, a thirty foot stick-trunk, also tried to pull that off.   But it was embarrassing.  She was the ancient belle of the ball, thinking rouge and cherry lipstick could still seduce.  I pitied her.

In a few months, on a motivated yard cleaning Saturday morning, I’ll gather their offerings from this morning’s Sabbath.  Their sticks will become kindling for a wiener roast later that night.  And white ashes will rise…like snowflakes.

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