One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Absurd Times

There she was,
“Zelda,”
8.2 pounds of orange fluff
and soft white-tufted belly.

Zelda was happily in the arms of Beth who flew in from California
to be arrested the next day.

It is true we live in ridiculous times.

Absurd times;
When strangers
Connected only by social media and held by the symbol of a flaming chalice—
Which really sounds a little odd at this moment—


Like when you say the word
“tub”
too many times
and you question the three letters to be used.

Absurd times are now;

When the winds of movement can weave us together
So that the minister with an apartment in Alexandria would text the key code to her home to Beth from California
Who after getting off the hot thick tarmac of a Virginia summer
Would travel to the house
Use the code
To open the door and
Cuddle Zelda.

Zelda had ample care with a babysitter,
But she slept alone.
Beth’s presence was a reminder
To Zelda that her mom would return from Canadian camping,
And would not abandon her for the socialized medicine and syrupy delights.

You really couldn’t write a story where a call to Canada on facetime with spotty reception
Would lead a minister to hop on a plane
And cuddle a stranger’s cat.

But there was the proof
Of our extraordinary grace and kindness
Sacrifice
And absurdity

And it seemed enough
Even as the emails piled up
And the voicemails went answered
To let that soak in:

We can be gracious
And kind
We can sacrifice
Especially in absurd times.

And even that small act—
Holding Zelda—

Might carry more than a cat through to daybreak.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Did They Tell You?

Did they tell you in school
that movement
saves souls
and bodies too..

Not symphonies
or sub-atomic particles dancing
but the spiritual evolution 
the dismantling empire
movement

Did they tell you in school
movement
meant feeding one another

That a stranger would insist
you take that twenty dollar bill for dinner
that on the ride home
across the hills while your buddy turned the A/C full blast to keep you awake
and played every kind of hip hop, 80s rock, grunge and gospel
that dinner and the energy drink would keep you awake
alive.

Did they tell you in school 
movement 
meant dismantling Ceasar in your heart and home
that siblings would arise to hold your 
babies
and remind you
it's okay 
to be gone

We are here.

It's okay to ask for help.
You are required to need people,
to let them love you.

Did they tell you in school 
movement 
meant a debt unplayable
while you packed into garbage cans
the broken truths 

while a new trust 
this sweet truth emerges amidst hot stench
lavender 
and sweet grass
rolling straight over that stinky can

Did they tell you in school 
movement 
meant my hand holding yours 
even when 
we are taken away 
from 
one another

Did they tell you?

Land of the Free- to Die Poor

On July 11th, I was arrested as an act of moral obedience, a day after the 200th birthday of Thoreau that rebel who dared to reimagine the power of civil disobedience in the context of abolition and war-mongering.


As a Unitarian Universalist minister, I've served in parish ministry for seven years, but before that ministry I served as a hospital chaplain. 
Hospitals are filled with complex decisions, and at times, medical teams disagree about the best course of treatment or action. But there is one thing we were always clear on:
Health care is a fundamental human right.
My faith is clear-to care for the body of a human to ensure that they can live is a fundamental moral obligation in a just society and a moral obligation commanded by our constitution.
Some things are complex - string theory and just war theory.
This is simple: we have a moral imperative.
Eroding and eradicating Medicaid is denying life to 22 million Americans. It may be done in the back room bargains of congressional offices instead of under the bright lights of an emergency room, but anyone who supports this -who supports the idea that care of the body is a privilege-has blood on their hands.
On my way here, I was stopped at the train station by a woman, Darlene, who asked me to pray for her because she is having back surgery to alleviate extraordinary pain. I'm here praying with my body and faithful witness that the only worry upon Darlene and millions of Americans will be recovery and healing not whether they have been deemed worthy by this congress to receive care.
Our constitution and moral consciousness is clear:
No one deserves to die because they couldn't afford medical care.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Let America breathe, congress.