April 30, 2010

April Thirtieth

The path ahead is dark,
And we know not where Thou wouldst have us to go.
Give us, oh, give us, Thy gracious guidance
And a tranquil trust in Thy love,
That we may walk forward through the gloom,
Unfaltering, fearless, and confident,
Having within us that divine light
Which maketh clear as day the darkest midnight,
Guiding the traveller who shall trust in Thee
Safe through impenetrable forests and over trackless mountains -- Amen.


April 29, 2010

April Twenty-Ninth

You ... I don't know you,
But I feel as if we could be friends
If you took that big chip
Off your shoulder.

And now you smile and I realize
That I've seen you before.
I've seen you ... glimpsed in the mirror
Or in a window reflecting back at me.
Has anyone ever told you you're handsome?
I'm surprised.

-- by the blog author

April 28, 2010

April Twenty-Eighth

O LORD, who lovest the stranger, defend and nourish, we entreat Thee, all sojourners in strange lands and poor helpless persons, that they may glorify Thee out of grateful hearts; and to such men as are tyrannical and oppressive give searchings of spirit and amendment of ways, that Thou mayest show mercy on them also - amen.


April 27, 2010

April Twenty-Seventh

by Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi (994-1064)

YOU ASK how old am I
bleached by the sun
my teeth all gone.
How old am I?

I have no guide
no calendar inside
except a smile
and little kiss
she gave me
by surprise
upon my brow.

And now,
that little while
is all my life
and all reality,
how long or brief
it seems to be.

-- translated by OMAR S. POUND
and happy birthday to me today - blog author

April 26, 2010

April Twenty-Sixth


IN THE Spring the quince and the
Pomegranate bloom in the
Sacred Park of the Maidens,
And the vine tendril curls in
The shade of the downy vine leaf.
But for me Love never sleeps.
He scorches me like a blaze
Of lightning and he shakes me
To the roots like a storm out of
Thrace, and he overwhelms my heart
With black frenzy and seasickness.

-- BY IBYCUS (c. 560 B.C.), translated by KENNETH REXROTH

April 25, 2010

April Twenty-Fifth


WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! - then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

-- JOHN KEATS (1795-1821) 25 or 26 years of age at death

April 24, 2010

April Twenty-Fourth


Beautiful his peacock crown,
so stunningly his turban tied;
his forehead graced by dust
raised by herds of cows;
Upon his breast
a forest garland undulates.
The maiden gazed
upon that fount of nectar,
and became dumb.
Closing her eyes,
mirthfully she called out
(while her fellow maiden said:)
"Open your eyes."
"Why open my eyes
when Krishna's form
dwells within?"

-- RUSKHAN (C. 1505) - Translated by Allen Shapiro and Stephen Schaffer

April 23, 2010

April Twenty-Third

Bless what there is
Give us this day
Make us good
Help us appreciate
Let us be thankful
Let us be wise.

-- by the blog author

April 22, 2010

April Twenty-Second

THE CREATING POWER said to them: "The first world I made was bad; the creatures on it were bad. So I burned it up. The second world I made was bad too, so I drowned it. This is the third world I have made. Look: I have created a rainbow for you as a sign that there will be no more Great Flood. Whenever you see a rainbow, you will know that it has stopped raining."
The Creating Power continued: "Now, if you have learned how to behave like human beings and how to live in peace with each other and with the other living things -- the two-legged, the four-legged, the many-legged, the fliers, the no-legs, the green plants of this universe -- then all will be well. But if you make this world bad and ugly, then I will destroy this world too. It's up to you."
The Creating Power gave the people the pipe. "Live by it," he said. He named this land the Turtle Continent because it was there that the turtle came up with the mud out of which the third world was made.
"Someday there might be a fourth world," the Creating Power thought. Then he rested.

-- Told by Leonard Crow Dog at Grass Mountain, Rosebud Indian Reservation, 1974. Recorded by Richard Erdoes. This excerpt is from "American Indian Myths and Legends," selected and edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz

April 21, 2010

April Twenty-First

CLEANSE me, O God, by the bright fountain of Thy mercy, and water me with the dew of Thine abundant grace, that, being purified from my sins, I may grow up in good works, truly serving Thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of my life - amen.


April 20, 2010

April Twentieth

THE other day I walked a labyrinth, concentrating on the path ahead with a goal in mind -- a goal and a prayer. At the end of the walk a visual anomaly -- caused by walking ahead and staring only at the path -- occurred. It felt as though, and looked as though, things were still moving ahead. The earth was swimming past. One walk on this path and the whole world moved forward a little more forcefully. I like to think I did too.
-- the blog author

April Nineteenth

BLESS me, bless thee
Bless the birdies in the trees
Love us all without reserve
Give us peace, which we deserve.

April 18, 2010

April Eighteenth

MY god loves people. My god says life is good.
My god laughs. My god smiles at life's surprises and frowns when no one else enjoys them quite as much.
My god hopes. My god dreams. My god can't tell the difference between color or sex.
My god does know goodness and wishes it for everyone.

- by the blog author
Let Justice Flow Like Streams

LET justice flow like streams
Of sparkling water, pure,
Enabling growth, refreshing life,
Abundant, cleansing sure.

Let righteousness roll on
As others' cares we heed,
An everflowing stream of faith
Translated into deed.

So may God's plumbline, straight,
Define our measure true,
And justice, right and peace pervade
This world our whole life through.

-- Jane Parker Huber, 1984.

April 17, 2010

April Sixteenth

LOVING Providence, the Foundation of our hope and our Refuge in trouble,
Channel hope,
Grant us good will to use and not abuse.
Deliver us from the snares of death,
Keep us alive through this dying life
That out of death
We may sing praises:
Purity and Innocence,
Thy great goodness -
Restore us from death to the land of the living
In the end - amen.

April 15, 2010

April Fifteenth

April 15: National Day Of Prayer 2010 Canceled By Obama? – The National Day of Prayer was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge in Wisconsin, late Thursday afternoon. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote the following: “In fact, it is because the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual’s decision whether and when to pray.”
The National Day of Prayer has been celebrated since 1952, when Harry S. Truman started it with help from the congress.
Obama spokesman Matt Lehrich did react to Crabb’s ruling stating: “As he did last year, President Obama intends to recognize a National Day of Prayer.”

April 14, 2010

April Fourteenth

OF all sins, perhaps the greatest is to ignore injustice. Forgive me if I have stepped back and kept quiet when I should have marched forward and shouted.
Let me make an effort to speak for those with no voice, make a fist for those with no strength, and be brave for those with no courage.

-- by the blog author

April Thirteenth


-- by the blog author

April 12, 2010

April Twelfth

O LORD, mercifully incline Thine ears to hear our prayers, and, of Thy loving kindness, enlighten the depths of our hearts, that no evil desires may rule them - amen.


April 11, 2010

April Eleventh

Today we gather to mark the passing of
The wise, strong, old guardian of our triber.
Without him we feel shaken - unsure.
We wonder what the future brings.

An oak, a lion, a warrior
Has fallen.
The one who stood at the portals of our city,
Watching ... guarding,
Has passed.
While he was here he gave us strength,
Wisdom and love.
He provided the peace and security we needed
To trust, grow and raise our families.
When the night was dark or the path
Uncertain, we turned our eyes to him
For reassurance.

Today we gather to mark the passing
Of the wise, strong, old guardian of our tribe.
He left us while his eyes were still clear,
His heart still strong,
His memories still good.
He left us while food and drink still tasted goo to his tongue
And his mind was alert and eager for new experiences.
We know he has gone on to another city
To stand with the guardians of the past.
And when we arrive at the portals of that place,
Whose vistas we cannot imagine,
There will be a familiar face
To greet us.
That far-off city --
The end of all our journeys --
Will not frighten us,
For he will be there and his presence
Will comfort us.

The wise, strong, old guardian of our tribe
Has passed.
But as long as there are people who tell stories,
And as long as there are scribes who keep records,
His name will be remembered and honored.
His thousand good deeds
Will be recalled and recounted,
And his legacy of strength and kindness and love
Will enrich us forever.

The body of the wise, strong, old guardian of our tribe has passed;
Yet his spirit and his life are still here,
Residing in all of us.

-- Jeanne Fenimore Levy

April Tenth

"We didn't believe in burying people in the earth. No, the body of our dead were put on scaffolds or in trees, where the birds, the wind, and the rain could take care of them. The soul went on to the spirit land through the sky, and on the trail sat Owl-Woman, Hihan-Kaha, who would not let them pass unless they had the right signs on their foreheads, or chins, or wrists. When a child died, sometimes the father could not stand parting from it. Then he took some hair from the body and put it into a bundle which he placed in a special tipi. There he kept the child's soul. Soul keeping was hard. It might go on for a year, and during this time the father could not touch his wife, his gun, his weapons; he could not go out and hunt. At the end, the soul was released with a great giveaway feast.

-- from "American Indian Myths and Legends" edited by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz
Photo by Wallace G. Levison, Life magazine archives, 1906
Staten Island, NY, 1906

April Ninth

O LORD, Thy hands have formed us, and Thou hast sent us into this world, that we may walk in the way that leads to heaven and Thyself, and may find a lasting rest in Thee who art the Source and Centre of our souls. Look in pity on us poor pilgrims in the narrow way; let us not go astray, but reach at last our true home where our Father dwells. Guide and govern us from day to day, and bestow on us food and strength for body and soul, that we may journey on in peace. Forgive us for having hitherto so often wavered or looked back, and let us henceforward march straight on in the way of Thy laws, and may our last step be a safe and peaceful passage to the arms of Thy love, and the blessed fellowship of the sants in light. Hear us, O Lord, and glorify Thy name in us that we may glorify Thee for ever and ever - amen.

Photo of English sculptor Barbara Hepworth, St. Ives, UK, 1964, photo by Paul Schutzer, Life magazine archives

April Eighth

O LORD my God, for life and reason, nurture, preservation, guidance, education; for Thy gifts of grace and nature, for Thy calling, recalling, manifold recalling me again and again; for Thy forbearance, long-suffering, and long long-suffering toward me, even until now; for all from whom I have received any good or help; for the use of Thy present good things; for Thy promise, and my hope, of good things to come; for all these things, and for all other, which I know, which I know not, manifest or secret, remembered or forgotten by me, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, I give Thee thanks; and I will praise, and bless, and give Thee thanks, all the days of my life. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me? Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor and power - amen.

-- LANCELOT ANDREWES (1555-1626)
Render to the Lord, photo by Gjon Mili, Life magazine archives

April 7, 2010

April Seventh

O GOD, the Consolation of all such as be sorrowful, and the Salvation of all them that put their trust in Thee, grant unto us, in this dying life, that peace for which we humbly pray, and hereafter to attain unto everlasting joy in Thy presence, through our Lord Jesus Christ - amen.


April Sixth

O LORD, make us to love Thee, and each other in Thee, and to meet before Thee to dwell in Thine everlasting love - amen.


April 5, 2010

April Fifth

THE day returns and brings us the petty round of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces, let cheerfulness abound with industry. Give us to go blithely on our business all this day, bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonored, and grant us in the end the gift of sleep. - Amen


April 4, 2010

April Fourth

BLESS what there is. - amen

April 3, 2010

April Third

BLESS ME Father for I have sinned. My last confession was about 42 years ago.
I have blasphemed, lied, stolen, taken the Lord's name in vain - and broken several other of Your 10 commandments.
I regret these sins for the way they have influenced others and in the way they have ignored the wise counsel you once gave the world.
But most of all because they hurt you and I beg forgiveness.
Please pardon me as I try to live the rest of my life with the best of intentions.

-- by the blog author

April 2, 2010

April Second

PUT me on your to-do list, please, oh spirit that guides us all.
The spirit that runs through each of us because we are all one person, the good and the bad, the poor and the rich, the cunning and the not-so-sharp.
Let my tongue say words that ring like crystal being struck by a silver spoon
Rather than brass rings falling on a stone floor.
Let my friends smile when they see me coming,
Not grimacing because they will have to talk to me
And listen to me whine.

-- by the blog author

April 1, 2010

April First

O LORD, if only my will may remain right and firm towards Thee, do with me whatsoever it shall please Thee. For it cannot be anything but good, whatsoever Thou shalt do with me.
If it be Thy will I should be in darkness, be Thou blessed; and if it be Thy will I should be in light, be Thou again blessed.
If Thou vouchsafe to comfort me, be Thou blessed; and, if Thou wilt have me afflicted, be Thou ever equally blessed - amen.