Stretching destiny’s frame – Part 1

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We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny,
but what we put into it is ours.

Dag Hammarskjold

Destiny’s frame may not be chosen but there is always a way to stretch its boundaries. An example is the image within the ‘frame’ reflecting my life, a life filled with curiosity and grace. Many would not believe what I have packed into my own frame and there is still plenty of room.

It is important that I begin to reflect on what ‘fills’ my frame acknowledging those who have assisting me in this work. Much of my journey has been achieved with companions willing and strong. Each day someone walks through my door to assist me. If I tried to list the names of all these companions/caregivers we could very easily end up with a small town! From nursing students to professional barrel racers (cow girl and her horse), from women who were native to Switzerland to women who have barely been outside their small, rural American town.

Germany, Sweden, Latin America, and across this country  – I have been introduced to the world in a most personal way. I have learned to be surprised by nothing even when I hear the care assistant say she received her first gun at 10 (probably not the most shocking but something that can be shared). I have learned to listen, been counselor, presided over marriages and sat by hospital beds and joined care assistants in funeral homes as an advocate or a shoulder for support. Boundaries — oh yes, it is a task to keep boundaries clear with those who work with me day in and day out. Their job is extremely personal which often requires living with ‘grace in the grey’.

This is a community of people who continue to ‘walk’ the road with me, joining me as support to be independent. Their diversity keeps me on my game. Their willingness allows me to continue my work stretching Destiny’s frame. Their presence reminds me to remain grateful.

 

Dream’s beauty

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

May the beauty of our dreams become tomorrow’s world. 

(image and quote – The Network for Grateful Living)

In a dream…

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For the dead, still close. And for the living… (thank you, Brian Cole)

A Meeting In A Part – by Wendell Berry

In a dream I meet
my dead friend. He has,
I know, gone long and far,
and yet he is the same
for the dead are changeless.
They grow no older.
It is I who have changed,
grown strange to what I was.
Yet I, the changed one,
ask: “How you been?”
He grins and looks at me.
“I been eating peaches
off some mighty fine trees.”

I had such a dream this week. She met me in a doorway, filling the space like a picture frame. Her presence took my breath, her gentle hold gathered me in comfort. 

As if it were yesterday- she was the same in image and presence. For a moment I was filled with the familiar – deep love and possibility. Then only too soon our differences were realized. I welcomed her reminder that all is well both in my world as in hers. 

These dreams/visits are gifts. They shed the burden of time leaving the dreamer and the dreamed held in a moment meant only for them. A moment free of grief’s heavy weight or the cautious stretch to ‘remember when’. 

I had such a dream this week. It left me grateful for the gift of memories and of healing enabled by time. 

For all who have known the loss of loved ones-may you find comfort in such dreams. 

reflections on this Christmas Eve

What an unlikely place to be on the eve of bearing God’s child!

As if they had not already gone through enough. I wonder what it was like for Joseph and Mary to prepare for this moment. It seems that trying to make any plans was futile. Mary and Joseph began with certain images of what their life would be like. After all they were raised in a close community–they were trained in the tradition of their ancestors–their life would be a mirror of their parents and grandparents. Of course we know the story. Nothing about the life that Mary and Joseph  shared would be like their close relatives.

Nestled in the midst of a town named in the prophets, they would constantly be challenged to comprehend where they belonged. Visited by angels and encouraged by dreams this family would begin with little security and carry with them a different understanding of belonging.

Belonging to a greater community and charged to raise the child who would grow to lead a new “Way”. These parents would always have to step back in the quiet and trust.

What an unlikely place to be on the eve of bearing God’s child! In a stable, far from home – alert and aware. Isn’t it true – in the most uncomfortable moment we can find the greatest strength?! When all of the familiar is torn away, the night sky is brighter and strangers become friends.

The story is told that a child was born tonight. Vulnerable and yet determined – determined to sit in the center of this fragile earth and make it home.

Come Lord Jesus, our guest to be…

(Pre)Occupied

Few have been this preoccupied with tents

since you recklessly pitched one among us.

I would have chosen something more stable,

not quite so porous and vulnerable,

safe, secure, readily significant,

and missed the whisper of evening breezes,

the restless susurration of canvas,

and that one appearing in the shadows,

light flinting off flesh in a fading sun,

fireflies dancing in the night,

rousing my longing

to step into your own

luminous darkness.

The Rev. Jay Johnson – Peculiar Faith

the freedom an anchor can bring

“May the cords that hold or ground us have enough give
so we may still run wild and fly high…”

a sunflower planted by Piper!

This is quite a thought, a prayer, a reflection! That which grounds us can often feel restricting–oppressing. Yet as I read, I am intrigued to think that once again it is all about perspective.   Just like the strong roots of the sunflower securing the flower as it grows tall, and stretches toward the warm light. Or that glass of water which we either see half empty or half full, there are always choices to make about the way we perceive the world around us and our lives.
For all the times I have considered the restriction that an anchor might bring, this reflection has been welcomed during a time of transition in my life. As change occurs and the future is filled with possibilities, I am grateful for the things that anchor me– my faith, my family, my friends, my delight in the quiet of an evening sky.
When the opportunities to “run wild and fly high” are before us, the protection of an anchor safely grounding us offers a chance to test the heights.
I thank the Rev. Mark for this perspective. May we all be blessed with the security to soar!

Mark Bozzuti-Jones

We all need anchors

A person, place or thing that grounds us

Love, passion, hope, faith, reason, nature or grace

Who or what will keep us from going adrift?

Hopefully whatever binds us does that gently

Hopefully the ones we hold dear we never suffocate

Hold us

Guide us

Keep us

Bless us

And God bless those whom we carry in our hearts as we pray they find the way, find a way

Ground the children in something real

Calm our hearts and restless spirit

May the cords that hold or ground us have enough give so we may still run wild and fly high

Knowing we are held forever