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Wednesday, May 24, 2017


During our years as residents of Washington, DC Peg and I spent a lot of time visiting the various monuments and memorials in the city, especially the iconic ones at the western end of the National Mall. At first it was just us and then mostly taking friends who were visiting.

Early on we decided that it should be required of every public servant in DC, elected or appointed, to visit these monuments and memorials on a regular basis and read their walls.  From George Washington, to Thomas Jefferson, to Abraham Lincoln, to Franklin (and Eleanor) Roosevelt, to Martin Luther King, Jr., to the war memorials of WW1, WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam the words, names, and images remind us of who we are and aspire to be as individuals, communities, a nation, and humanity.

Yes, all of these people were human and had foibles and flaws. Some of them were slave owners, some descendants of slaves, some rich, some poor. Those remembered in the war memorials came from all walks of life. The common thread that seems to run through all of the poetic words and imagery is freedom.

One place where this freedom is elegantly expressed is a wall of the FDR Memorial commemorating his hope for the world - four fundamental freedoms that he said people "everywhere in the world" should enjoy:

Freedom of speech
Freedom of worship
Freedom from want
Freedom from fear 

As we approach Memorial Day weekend in a time when we seem to have lost our way, perhaps this is a good time to again reflect on who we are and aspire to be.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Just Beyond The Trees

The first and only time I saw the Grand Canyon was a world view shifting day.  Like so many people who have never been to the Grand Canyon I had a view of it from photos and movies, most of which give us a wide, panoramic, and aerial perspectives. Naively, I expected to see the canyon before I got to it, much like approaching a mountain range.

We parked our car at the visitor's center and immediately followed signs to a trail to see the canyon. To my surprise we walked on a tree lined path for a while thinking, "Where is it?" Finally we came to an opening and there it was only a few feet away.  To call it "Grand" is the ultimate understatement.

At times when the path of my life has seemed narrow and confined, lined with trees of doubt, uncertainty, and hopelessness, I remember this experience. I look for even the smallest opening to step through. Sometimes it is just another tree lined path, but then again there have been broad vistas of opportunity and potential, some even "Grand."

We never know what is just ahead. We never know what may be only a few feet away. We never know what our next encounter holds. It may very well be the beginning a new and Grand adventure.    

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Making Stuff Up

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit bewildered these days. As many people are saying these days, "You just can't make this stuff up!" But this is exactly what too many people keep doing - making stuff up.
It seems as though with each new day there is another truthless twist in the entangled world of national and global "politicsreligioneconomicsracescienceeducationsecuritysafetywar." We are living in amazingly bizarre times. 
Perhaps it seems bizarre partly because we have lived for so long with false assumptions of independence, individuality, and autonomy. As these illusions and assumptions disappear we discover that we truly are connected with and dependent on each other and our environment. However, ensconced worldviews do not crumble easily and often crash violently, creating chaos and suspicion.  
At the same time we are also learning that living with integrity in a truly global community requires honesty, sharing, compassion, forgiveness, justice, and above all love. But isn't this what our world spiritual traditions have been telling us for eons?  We really are One Human Family within One Creation. Now that's something you can't make up!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

OEP In Everyday Life

Sometimes things just work out. Last Saturday after a church picnic Peg got home before me because I was helping take a few things back to the church. By the time I got to the church she was on the other end of my cell phone, "Come home as soon as you can. There is water standing in the house." Whoa!

It was worse than I thought. There was about and inch of water in one bathroom and water pooled in the carpet of the adjoining room. I was soon on my way back to the church to borrow a wet vac while Peg looked for a plumber.

Before I could get out of the church parking lot on my way back Peg called again, "Get here fast. The plumbers are here!" What?

I pulled up to the house to find an open white panel van and two men already putting a "snake" in the main drain clean-out. Peg was in the driveway smiling.

"What the ....?" I said.

She cut me off with, "I'm just good!"

She had called the first plumber number in the professional services classifieds of our local weekly newspaper.  The owner/dispatcher said, "We have a crew in your area that just finished a job." Peg went outside to find a clean-out and they arrived before she could find it.

I won't tell you how much it cost but will say that for a Saturday afternoon emergency plumber call it was amazingly affordable.

The end of this story is yet to be told as I spent the last two evenings taking out musty carpet and wood vinyl flooring, but as we have said several times, "If it had to happen, we couldn't have asked for a better scenario." We were also fortunate that the water came from the clothes washer and not other sources.

As a post-script, I'm reminded (and also remind you) there are people in parts of our country who have several feet of flood water in their homes with most if not all of their possessions and possibly homes destroyed. So I think I'll just visit this website right now and make a donation. I encourage you to do the same.

It's all part of participating in the One Eternal Presence!