Monday, September 25, 2006


The promise of tomorrow
Depends upon the way
We honor all the blessings
That are ours today.
Can we hear the voices
Of the children yet unborn?
Do they call to us with gratitude,
Or do we hear their scorn?
Are we so wrapped up with taking
That we forget to give?
Wasting every resource
That allows the future to live.
Have we killed the promise
Of tomorrows yet to be?
Or will we stop the plunder
Of our greed's insanity?
The children of the future
Sing out in the night.
Their song asks for mercy,
A release from their plight.
We can make a difference,
We can show we care,
By honoring all the blessings
Of fire, water, earth, and air.
Jamie Sams in Earth Medicine

Friday, September 22, 2006


Like I said in the last entry. Amateur philosopher thinking in public. Beware of the fallout.


I splurged on a couple of new books , titles later after I’ve gotten beyond the first chapter. I’m not sure I agree with everything the authors claim but it has stirred things up and that’s good.


One author I’ll be exploring claims that Jesus didn’t exist. That it was a name given to stories about Gods born of virgins that was centuries old two thousand years ago. Well, somebody put new wood on the fire under the spiritual pot in Palestine and it boiled over about two thousand years ago. It may have been a teacher named Jesus. It may not.


If it was, I’m not sure Jesus talked about anything new or really radical. If it had been too new no one would have been listening. The old stories had been bouncing around for centuries. Some how the old teachings came alive in a way never seen before. It was a new way of seeing each other. It was a new way of treating each other.


That he claimed to be God made physically manifest doesn’t really matter to me. This does. He claimed that when the Creator sets the table and gives a party, everyone is welcome whether they believe they’re worthy of the invitation or not. And that it will be a hell of a party.


So of course we’ve been trying to limit the guest list ever since.


Keep being an irritant and who knows how big the final pearl will be.


I was rereading the entry this sentence was part of. And I got to thinking. Warning amateur philosopher at play.


Jesus told the story of the merchant in search of pearls. How the man found one that was the very best of all and sold everything he had to posses it. And I got to thinking about how pearls are made. What begins as a tender oyster’s attempt to protect itself from something that hurts becomes a jewel that is precious to us. So, try this out on the next person who says that we all need to be neat, orderly, follow our leaders without question and color within the lines.


“I am a pearl beyond price. I’m just not finished yet.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006


This is from the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook. While this has a definite traditional Christian flavor I suspect that it is adaptable, very adaptable. All traditions try to help us pass along our beliefs to the generations that will follow us. Some are “gentler” than others.




As I write this recipe there is bread “raising” on my hearth and children “raising” in my home. Neither progeny is finished, but the ingredients have been carefully selected, measured and blended. The good recipe book promises; “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown he will not depart from it” (Proverbs, 22:6). Having experience in following that recipe book, I trust the author.


Measure into a home, parents who love, followed by a few children (use own discretion on number-we prefer 3).


Add, stirring constantly, the yeast of the faith in God, the wisdom from God’s word, your previous training and lots of common sense. Add the truth you need for consistent results, simple portions of patience, and large volumes of kindness. Soften gentleness before adding, along with discipline measured with fairness in a clean container. Add a full measure of love that has been shaken together, pressed down and overflowing the cup. Knead in as much laughter as possible and let permeate throughout the whole batch.


All ingredients should be measured using a container of prayer (no substitutions please). For excellent eating and preserving quality keep dough as soft and pliable as possible, not sticky-just so you, with God’s help can handle it.


Mix until smooth and elastic (about 18 years). Place in a greased bowl (symbolic of life’s struggles) and cover with a damp cloth (we learn through failures as well as victories). Let rise in warm place (the temperaturefor “raising” is very important) until double in size (about four to eight years after high school).


Dough will be ready to be divided and made into al shapes of beautiful young men and women for use as the Staff of Life in other people’s lives. Guaranteed-wonderful results!


Submitted for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook by Naomi Rhode.


I have my own story to add about these books. When the Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul came out several years ago mom and I went looking for a copy as a gift for one of my sisters. Naturally we went to the local “Christian” bookstore only to be told that they didn’t carry it. The book had “Buddhist” tendencies. Whatever the ##$%%^% he meant by that. Years later while watching the Mythos programs that Joseph Campbell I learned that Ashoka, the first Buddhist emperor of India had sent out missionary monks. Some of them made it as far as Egypt. So it’s entirely possible that there’s a “Buddhist” thread or two or three in the Middle Eastern religious tapestry. We could do a lot worse.


Being mindful of how our intentions, speech, livelihood, and other actions impact others is the only way we’re going to survive. Imagine how this world would be if we could all try to work some of this into our lives. It carries the label of one spiritual path, but it’s the foundation of all of them.


Maybe it’s time to throw the bastards out. All of them. Not only the elected “hired help” in the state and national capitals but too many of those standing behind the pulpits. Like so many politicians forget that “we” are the government (and don’t remind us when they do) too many religious spokesmen forget that the church (whatever it is and wherever it is) would exist without the buildings, stained glass and vestments. Hmmmm, as usual I’ve ended up where I didn’t expect to. Good.


I have some things to think about on this and some time to put in on the treadmill. Back later.

Sunday, September 10, 2006



Wear a smile and have friends-plum.

Wear a frown and have wrinkles-prune.

Found this in that little fund raiser cookbook. I chuckled over it, like I was supposed to and then I got to thinking. I get the frown part but, big but. The prune is a much maligned fruit. And the usual comparison is to some one wrinkled, and sour. Somebody you don’t want to be around.

But, maybe prunes are kind of like life. Most of the time you have to look below the surface to see what's really there. The road you end up on may have more potholes than you expected, a lot more. A bounce that would bruise a fresh fruit will be just that for a prune. In fact it may not only bounce it'll roll under the table and you'll have to go look for it. But, it will still be sweet, very sweet, often much sweeter than its smoother sister. . Even the tougher ones can be softened up with a little extra attention. By the way, if that extra attention involves orange juice and a little heat the results are fantastic.

Plums, like most of the summer’s fresh fruits don’t last long. You have to use them, lose them or (for the right ones) turn them into prunes Years ago my dad delivered fruit to the local cannery. He was surprised when the guys on the receiving dock to him that the plums he was hauling in would be going out as Italian prunes.

Under the wrinkles the plum is still there. Grandparents, moms and dads, aunts, uncles and the old codger down the street are a lot like that. I look at my mom. She’s eighty now. She’s a little shorter than she used to be.Her face has become a road map of her life. I look at her wedding picture or pictures from the early years of my parents’ life together. The plum is still there. It’s been through a lot. But, it’s still surprisingly soft and sweet under the wrinkles.

Saturday, September 2, 2006


Blanch one broken friendship

That’s been separated well in two.

Blend a real kind word

To start it anew.


Fold two hands together

And express a dash of sorrow.

Marinate it over night

And work on it tomorrow.


Chop one grudge in tiny pieces,

Add several cups of love.

Dredge with a large sized smile

Mix with the ingredients above.


Dissolve the hate within you

By doing a good deed.

Cut in and help your friend

If he should be in need.


Stir in laughter, love and kindness

From the heart it has to come.

Toss with genuine forgiveness

And give your neighbor some.


The amount of people served

Will depend upon you.

It can serve the whole wide world

If you really want it to.


Lucille Shamley.


From a cookbook put out by the Friends of the Hosanna Children’s Center Cookbook. A very small privately published cookbook that mom got about twenty odd years ago. It’s the kind of book that’s easy to tell the favorites. Just look for the pages with the most splatters and smudges.