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Exploits, Expletives, and Touching the Hem of Beauty

Donald Trump and his exploits, expletives, and free-hand proclamations; sexual misconduct all over; the Doomsday clock advancing toward midnight; 11 school shootings in the US so far this year; Rampant elder abuse in Ontario; DACA, ICE, and deportations; Parents who lock up children in boxes, in basements, in shackles in the U.S. and in Canada… This is what’s dominating the news.

And today is simply an average Friday in January. 

Sigh.  I think we ALL need to be knocked on our behinds like Saul was in the readings earlier this week.  And maybe we need to stay there a while.  I know that a change in perspective helps me…A perspective change doesn’t alter the truth and doesn’t change reality.  But the change helps me maintain a groundedness in it all.  Without the shift, I’d want to high-tail it elsewhere, assuming I could actually make my legs move when they can feel paralyzed by the sheer weight and pressure exerted by the bleak morass of the state of things. 

Long ago I decided that THAT was no way to live—so knock me on my behind, please…Remind me of the way I want to be… One who can be in the midst of reality, whatever it might be, and who remembers that there is more.  One who is attracted to difference and craves time enough to steep in simple glory…and if not steep, at least brush by, touch the hem of it…like the woman in the crowd.  

When she dared to do that, out of her desire, her need, Jesus KNEW about it.  He felt it.  And so did she.

And don’t I too, if I’m honest.  When I have morning coffee and watch the day become…When I sit in the market on an early Saturday and read and write and look out over the harbour…when I am there as the colours of day rise, stretch, and embrace the night sky, promising to mind and keep the Earth until the stars return …when I wander and appreciate the curve of an eggplant, the clean shine of an onion and the variegated wonder of heirloom tomatoes, I know the difference within me and I am grateful for it …It opens something in me:  a reminder of freedom and beauty and possibility…a reminder of the presence of God, the steadfastness of Jesus, and the shimmering passion of the Spirit.

Use whatever language you want…wherever you are on the political or ideological spectrum... I think it’s true that to be able to notice that there is “more to it” than most of what we see or hear is a saving grace and capacity. 

I took a moment and asked friends about the daily…or weekly…or monthly…bits of beauty or delight that they looked forward to...  Here’s what they said.

On a sunny day in winter when the trees are bare of their leaves, I can see from my kitchen window small patches of the river through their branches.  I love watching how the sunlight dances on its surface.

Family dance parties!

Drinking my morning chai in the orangey glow of my salt lamp in my very own haven.

Catching a glimpse of the mountains as I run errands.  Breathtaking every time.

The moment my 14 year-old drapes herself against my shoulder when she first gets home from school and sighs heavily before telling me what happened at school that day.


The sight of the False River when I visit my mother each week.  I grew up on this lake and I think I learned something about silence and contemplation there.

Having B home in the morning (not at school) & then we’re watching birds at feeders, as well as some squirrels.


Opening the back door to the deck every morning when I get up (way before sunrise) to just experience the air and the silence.

Every morning on my way to work, I drive past a lake in my neighborhood and make a point to stop and take in the view and/or take a photo. Helps to ground me in the day and steeps my soul in gratitude.

Seeing the birds in or near the creek near our house. We almost always have mallard ducks, but there are so many other kinds of birds that come from time to time. We never know what new delights will be awaiting us.

my quiet time with my first cup of coffee every morning

Prayer time in my hammock swing on the balcony of my apt - looking out to S F Bay.