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Q-What do you do when your middle-schooler tells his parents he has had it with school?

A- Invite him into your bed and take turns reading poetry, of course.

Turns out, he has a whole other life mapped out. And, he's ready to go to it. Moving the whole family and all. I listened.

"Here's how you can help, Mom. Here's how school is of no help. Here's the type of school I should be at." All the while taking turns at random poetry selection wherever the book opened up.

The poems were read with surprising amounts of expression. Dad brought him liquid Nyquil, then water, even though there is no drinking in our bed. Sister faded along with her Ricola cough drop quietly listening from a rocker chair. All the while, the feverish chatter went on between poems.

I laughed and had great empathy all at the same time. Dad quietly established his sleeping spot and read his paperback.

The soul had to be heard last night. And, it had risen up in that little body. Triggered by the non-sense of school. "Like family, can't you see, school makes no sense at all! Can't you see I am ready to be all of me right now? "

There is no easy answer to such a call of a boy's soul rising up. So, poetry was just as good as any.

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You know when two roads meet. This happens in my home town, Toronto. The QEW Eastbound overlaps with the 401 Westbound. How can you being going East and West at the same time? It is even more confusing nowadays with the constant narration of the the GPS. And, it also happens where I live now, in this loop downtown in a cloverleaf where all the highways seem to be on top of each other.

The GPS with its incessant chatter does one of two things. Talk too much. Telling you all the roads are there. Or talk to little because its confused about where you are. I consider the GPS, something like the media, or those countless ridiculous comment wars telling people how to be or where to be. Do you know what road they are on really?

I see so much fretfulness.

I see and hear identification with a particular cause, unraveling into the ego identification. "White people are taken over black lives matter." "I'm overshadowing black people and the cause by saying that I'm in the the wall of moms." "Why are we out here?" "We aren't uniform?" "MY cause is not known." "OUR agenda is not being followed." So much identification with the cause or causes. But, is that what we are doing?

So, now, is our issue going to be that the causes can't overlap as the roads head in the same direction. Are we going to say that's not possible?

We have the most mind-identified leader in the so-called "free world". Don't think for a moment that he is confused about creating infighting. This is a strategy of at the moment of unification, allow the egos of the causes to divide and conquer.

It's perfectly okay for #wallofmoms, #wallofdads, #veteransforpeace, and #fedsgohome to overlap with #blacklivesmatter #blm

Do you get off your course when the highways overlap? C'mon folks. We are bigger than this.

Stay on your course. The roads will separate to the respective destinations but while they are together, there is strength in numbers.

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Updated: Feb 19, 2022

Recently, I was prompted to look up the ancient Greco-Roman terms for love. It occurred to me that L-O-V-E continues to be one of the biggest things that hangs in the balance for our human experience. The Greeks defined versions of love: agape, philia, storge, and eros.

Agape - The type of love that causes you to lay down your life for your country Philia - The type of love that makes you stand up for your sister or brother united in any fight or struggle. Storge - The type of love that allows you to care for your child or those who you take care of. Eros - The type of love you have for your partner, enduring in all of its complexity.

In English, we condensed all 4 “love” words into one. We have made a complete muddle of it .Not to mention, the mess often purposely created by those trying to get you to believe your agape or eros is under their control.

A favorite passage One favorite of mine is the passage that usually follows any homily on the four types of love. Agape (loyalty) is the one written about in this religious text. Eros (romantic) is the one we use the passage for. It was one of the readings at our wedding. But, I believe it can be applied to to Philia (brotherly) and Storge (caregivng) too. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. An ask of each of you There are 15 asks/declarations/requests/expectations in that short passage about love. Each is huge and can be an exploration in itself. None, I suspect happen without concerted effort. Yet, if this decade is about each of us owning our definition of love, then taking some time to look at those 15 asks in our own lives seems worth aspiring to.

I walk into the new year with these words in mind: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy..." and looking, examining. exploring who, what, when, and how these words are exemplified; or, when I and others fail them. These words are a great measuring stick for what we are striving for.

Reference Corinthians 13:4-8

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