Faith & Forward

Why in this space, why in this place,

Every day, mostly, begins with a teaspoon of dread,

Bitter taste, I expect, frozen, paused, not wanting to begin, eyes closed tight,

Heart, mind, racing, images flash through in quick secession,

How to get through, how to go through these moments to begin the day?

Especially when I’m alone, it’s hard to see in those moments, the path, where my steps will lead,

It’s in these moments that I resolve to have faith, but in what? I call it God, pray to a god, to help me take those steps,

“…Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others…”

First steps of the day the hardest, taking that first sip the most difficult, even fleeting sleep fads quickly away,

All the same I resolve with just a teaspoon of faith, to go forward, forward,

Resolve to do at least a little, at least my best, only my best I can do,

Words coming, spilling through me,

Resolve to do and share and be me,

Just me, just for the next hour even, just for another day, once again I find,

A little faith, and I go forward, again.

Is It Normal?

As the new year gets under way I recall a couple days back, standing in my garage, listening to the rain subside, looking out through the door to the darkness in the backyard.

There I was, shapeshifter, projecting forward, writing about the past. My own little take on shape-shifting, maybe more seer forward, looking back.

Is it normal, this behavior? It’s my normal, that’s for sure. A seer, seeking…what?

Is it normal, going to bed at eight o’clock at night? It is for me, planned to get up three hours before the sun…

…but too, my easiest, cheapest, most available coping mechanism, slumber, dear slumber…sleep, deep I pray, deep.

I consider a piece I heard about teachers battling in the second year of Covid; their words ring true to me, struggle, without end it seems, but also resolve.

This truth is at the core, their resolve to see it through, this difficult time, thru.

Is it normal to buckle down? For how long? Not clear, no no, not clear.

This through-line for me: lean-in, keep going, keep learning, be open, take care of yourself, find the little bits of joy to sustain along the way…

In work, parenting, marriage, divorce, all relationships, regular everyday, big things, little things, finding inspiration, waiting through the times of feeling stalled out,

Is it normal to feel all this? I think so.

I think it’s called life.

GOOD.

Fresh and Forward into 2022

Year Two, Covid, in the books. Big family changes, personal shifts, completed, new patterns established.

Plenty of challenge and opportunity for growth at work; intent and planning, all systems go to take it to the next level; hopeful the stars further align, more pieces fall into place.

And personally, well, it’s all personal with me. That’s how I live. That’s how I’ve had my greatest wins, and hardest falls.

With my kids, striving to stay connected to them, supportive of them, sure of that wanting and striving and being committed to being the best parent I can be for them.

I take that very personal; how to be there for them; how to lift them up, support them, help them grow and learn and shine.

And beyond that? Seeking to reset to 3.0, relationship-wise. I’m a one-gal guy, just not sure what that looks like at my age, in my particular situ. But I’m ready for 3.0 all the same.

Arms open wide, ready to keep loving the world and lifting others up and writing it all down and making it good, GOOD.

Good. Happy New Year 2022!

Write Way

A reoccurring theme this year, over several years, really the whole of my life, or most of it. As we close out the year, reflecting back, the last couple, ‘20, ‘21, quite a doozy they’ve been.

Just now? Sitting in darkened room, morning light sneaking through still-drawn curtains, rocking chair in the corner, listening to my youngest stir in her last throws of slumber.

She came in near Midnight, afraid of something; then proceeded to take up most of my bed the rest of the night. She woke me a couple of times because I was snoring.

Last couple days of time off, days run together with three kids in the house and rainy outside most of the time; got out when we could, can, for some minor adventures. Most time together since their mom moved out, divorce final a couple weeks back.

And so what do I do just now? Just about nearly for sure every day? I write it down. A few lines, scribbled down. It’s the right way for me, the write way.

I’ve wandered through a varied career centered on business and people and how to get things done. It’s been nearly exactly what I’d thought I didn’t want. But it’s what I’ve got.

What I’ve made of it? A living, a lot of learning, good times along the way, good friends too, here and there, it’s been a life made the most of what has come. I think. I hope.

Why am I? Who am I? Why write? I’m a counselor, a cheerleader, in a commercial career? What’s right about that? Honest path to the forks in the road. And so now of late some several years in this ether space, scribble it all down and share it all out, to capture the times, the thoughts, maybe just maybe, a little worth it.

Worth it for me, for sure. I know I know, good to go. It’s the write way, and let them judge, down the road a ways, or just around the bend, whenever it will be let it be,

Ok, all ok, whatever the feedback, response, reaction, let it be, all ok.

Daughter stirs and I pause, a sniffle, she blows her nose — like her old man, oft congested — and then burrows deep under cover again, again to slumber, vacation mornings, that sleep is best when warm, thick, extended.

And so another scribble complete, captured the moment, the year, the last couple, some of it anyway,

and more will come soon, when I write again, my truth, or part of it anyway, some to say and more tell and the words will keep spilling from my tongue,

And what ‘22 will bring? More wandering, more learning and cheering and doing, surly more of Jeff’s ponderings, ok ok, all ok,

The write way.

God Bless Tutu

A great human left our ranks today, the Right Reverend Desmond Tutu, of South Africa. Anglican priest, theologian, teacher, activist.

He saw many things during his life time; he did great work; he inspired many. MANY.

He collaborated, he furthered his own spirit and effect by working with others for good. For joy. For others.

To be sure, he made a difference on so many fronts; this effect happened over decades; so much effort; so many spheres of influence…

The glory from a lifetime of work…

May he greet The Almighty with dance and laughter and certainty of the light he followed, he provided, he loved,

Dance on, Tutu,

We celebrate you, Tutu,

WE CELEBRATE YOU,

And we thank you.

The Grandeur of Littleness

Snippets for a while from Francis’ Christmas Eve Homily, 2021,

This to begin,

“Today, all is turned upside down: God comes into the world in littleness. His grandeur appears in littleness.”

So simple, so profound. Reset your mind, your soul to this truth.

Seek, Embrace, Love the littleness you encounter, you live,

God is in the littleness.

He Entered The Chaos

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

There’s the mostly secular perspective, well-meaning, general good will toward all and peace to all, some (or a lot) of gift-giving,

There’s the solstice dynamic, as nature begins its march through darkness to the light and warmth of spring, many many folks celebrate this period,

And of course, there is the religious perspective.

I think there are something like a billion Christians in the world; I’m one of them, it turns out. So this is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, when God entered the world, to live and die as a human.

On my best days I can enter the spiritual realm and wonder at the significance that Jesus brought to the world,

But most days, especially over the last couple of years,

It’s been pretty bumpy at times, sustained turbulence, many trials and lessons along the way,

And so this particular Christmas I think I celebrate God’s willingness and desire to enter into our chhuman experience. Indeed, more than two thousand years later,

We celebrate the divinity and mystery of The Almighty, born into the world to bring hope and joy and love to the whole of humanity, for ever more.

Happy Christmas!

Lyrics Post: “Silent Night”

A classic…more than 200 years old…infused into my soul…

“Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories streams from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing, alleluia
Christ the savior is born
Christ the savior is born

Holy, holy
Hope in a manger for you and for me
Bow down and worship
Come rest your eyes on the king
Jesus our heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Holy, holy
Hope in a manger for you and for me
Bow down and worship
Come rest your eyes on the king
Jesus our heavenly peace
Jesus our heavenly peace”

How Far?

How far to go,

To fit in,

To understand,

To find peace of mind,

To figure out the problem,

To solve the puzzle,

To believe,

TO BELIEVE,

To believe that God came among us,

That God is among us,

That God is with us every minute of every day, that God is here, right here,

How far do you have to stretch you mind to imagine,

To believe?

I believe.