An Alternate Reality

Archive for April, 2017

The Ice Cream Aisle

Cases and cases of frozen confections
More kinds than anyone could possibly sample

Containers and labels of all shapes and colors
luring, promising, tempting, cajoling

The sheer volume makes it impossible to decide–
Then the enormity of it all dawns

Ten thousand frozen treats? Ten million starving children?
It would be ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.

Shaking my head in disgust
I grab some Dove bars and walk away….

The Stories They Tell

(Stories “told” to me by objects seen on a retreat walk)

A Blue Tile Chip
“I was part of a bathroom wall at an old retreat center,
that was torn down to make way for a new.
I saw many souls come in with tears and pain,
but leave with hope and healing.
I will always remember.”

A Broken Dried Leaf
“My whole life I hung on a tree. Then, near the end,
I helped to feed a young caterpillar who became
a large moth that sailed away on the wind.
I will always remember.”

Deep Holes in a Tree
“From one perspective, I look like an angry face,
with bark wrinkles pecked into eye holes,
but I was a nest that provided shelter for newly
hatched birds. I did what I could for them, and I am
sad that they are gone.
I will always remember.”

Holy Water

The Holiest of water doesn’t come from a font.
It’s not bottled by Nestle.
It doesn’t gush from a chlorinated tap.

The Holiest of water
is a single drop on the tip of a dry leaf.
It is the expansion of the universe in the sparkle of morning dew.

It is the first dribble from a new kidney,
the sheen on the face of a laboring mother,
the tear in the eye of an aged soldier.

It is the hint of moisture on a pink sponge
held to the lips of a cancer patient.

It fills the cup cradled in the hands of a child
who has known too much hunger and thirst.

The Holiest of water doesn’t come from a church.
It drips from our humanity.
We collect it, share it, consume it
and are blessed by it.

No Regrets

I can’t go back again.
I can’t redo all that I might regret.
I can only use that past as wisdom
and move forward,
better for having lived it.