Moments of Meditation From UUCW

Friday, April 3, 2020

April 3 moment of meditation, reflection and courage. May you be strong and of good courage. Aaron

For Our Community at a Time of Crisis
by Rabbi Sheldon Marder

May there be healing and blessing
for us and all people throughout the world
who live now under the shadows of illness, anxiety, and isolation.

May hope turn our fear to faith
and show us a way to peace of mind,
wholeness within, and strength from community.

May those who care for the sick
with their hands, their voices, and their hearts
be blessed with courage and stamina.

May those who pursue healing
through medical skill and knowledge
be blessed with insight, patience, and compassion.

Let us — the caregivers and hope-givers —
shine the soft light of human kindness in dark places.

May all of us —
the sick and the well together—
know and feel the blessing of ancient times:
“Chazak ve-ematz—Be strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:6,7,9)


Thursday, April 2, 2020

April 2 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Steal joy!!! Aaron

Carrion Comfort by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 31 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you find your center. Aaron

A Center by Ha Jin

You must hold your quiet center,
where you do what only you can do.
If others call you a maniac or a fool,
just let them wag their tongues.
If some praise your perseverance,
don’t feel too happy about it—
only solitude is a lasting friend.

You must hold your distant center.
Don’t move even if earth and heaven quake.
If others think you are insignificant,
that’s because you haven’t held on long enough.
As long as you stay put year after year,
eventually you will find a world
beginning to revolve around you.


Monday, March 30, 2020

March 30 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you come to enjoy “wasted hours”. Aaron

For Yaedi by David Ignatow

Looking out the window at the trees
and counting the leaves,
listening to a voice within
that tells me nothing is perfect
so why bother to try, I am thief
of my own time. When I die
I want it to be said that I wasted
hours in feeling absolutely useless
and enjoyed it, sensing my life
more strongly than when I worked at it.
Now I know myself from a stone
or a sledgehammer.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 29 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you be just and compassionate, equal, able, and free. And…remember the children. Aaron

Of History and Hope by Miller Williams

We have memorized America,
how it was born and who we have been and where.
In ceremonies and silence we say the words,
telling the stories, singing the old songs.
We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.
The great and all the anonymous dead are there.
We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.
The rich taste of it is on our tongues.
But where are we going to be, and why, and who?
The disenfranchised dead want to know.
We mean to be the people we meant to be,
to keep on going where we meant to go.

But how do we fashion the future? Who can say how
except in the minds of those who will call it Now?
The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?
With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row—
and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.

Who were many people coming together
cannot become one people falling apart.
Who dreamed for every child an even chance
cannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.
Whose law was never so much of the hand as the head
cannot let chaos make its way to the heart.
Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to child
cannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.
We know what we have done and what we have said,
and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,
believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become—
just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.

All this in the hands of children, eyes already set
on a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet—
but looking through their eyes, we can see
what our long gift to them may come to be.
If we can truly remember, they will not forget


Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you find warmth in the feathered being inside you! Aaron

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.


Friday, March 27, 2020

March 27 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you too say Yes! Aaron

by e e cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


Thursday, March 26, 2020

March 26 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May we all remember to say thank you. Thank you beloved. Aaron

Thanks by W. S. Merwin – 1927-2019

Listen
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
standing by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March 25 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you know kindness and be it’s harbinger. Aaron

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

March 24 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you continue to stay afloat and learn to love yourself and each other even more! Aaron

Am Much Too Alone in This World, Yet Not Alone
Rainer Maria Rilke – 1875-1926

I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone
enough
to truly consecrate the hour.
I am much too small in this world, yet not small
enough
to be to you just object and thing,
dark and smart.
I want my free will and want it accompanying
the path which leads to action;
and want during times that beg questions,
where something is up,
to be among those in the know,
or else be alone.

I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection,
never be blind or too old
to uphold your weighty wavering reflection.
I want to unfold.
Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent;
for there I would be dishonest, untrue.
I want my conscience to be
true before you;
want to describe myself like a picture I observed
for a long time, one close up,
like a new word I learned and embraced,
like the everday jug,
like my mother’s face,
like a ship that carried me along
through the deadliest storm.


Monday, March 23, 2020

March 23 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May the blessings of the mundane fall gently and abundantly upon you this day.

Perhaps the World Ends Here By Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.


Sunday, March 22, 2020

March 22 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you be surrounded by and know the blessing of your ancestors during this time of trial, and know that you were born of love and abide in the same. Blessings, Aaron

My Grandmother in the Stars

by Naomi Shihab Nye.

It is possible we will not meet again
on earth. To think this fills my throat
with dust. Then there is only the sky
tying the universe together.

Just now the neighbor’s horse must be standing
patiently, hoof on stone, waiting for his day
to open. What you think of him,
and the village’s one heroic cow
is the knowledge I wish to gather.
I bow to your rugged feet,
the moth-eaten scarves that knot your hair.

Where we live in the world
is never one place. Our hearts,
those dogged mirrors, keep flashing us
moons before we are ready for them.
You and I on a roof at sunset,
our two languages adrift,
heart saying, Take this home with you,
never again,
and only memory making us rich.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

March 21 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Stay home and know that I continue to hold you in my heart and mind. Thanks to Matthew Johnsen for posting this gem from Wendell Berry. Aaron

 


Friday, March 20, 2020

March 20 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you hold tightly to your thread and know how much I love you.  Aaron

The Way It Is
William Stafford, American poet , 1914-1993

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

 


Thursday, March 19, 2020

March 19 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Thanks to Linda Morse for sending this to me. Blessings to all of you. Aaron


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

March 18 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Sent by my daughter Morgaine Payson who writes,”One of my favorite poems. In case someone from the church needs it. Obviously not all of the advice about going out is follow-able right now but it’s still good.” And it is! Blessings to you all. Keep on keeping on. Aaron


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

March 17 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Words this morning from the 19th century Quaker poet John Greeleaf Whittier. Please know that I continue to hold you all in my heart. Keep up keeping up! Blessings, Aaron

Don’t Quit
by John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When [s/z]he might have won had [s/z]he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


Monday, March 16, 2020

March 16 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you find a moment of meaning today and know that I hold you in light and love. Here are the words of Lynn Ungar shared at yesterday’s service. Blessings, Aaron