Thursday, April 30, 2020
April 30, moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. “To make us see we are but flow’rs that glide.” Aaron
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
April 29 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon you shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er your head. Aaron
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
April 28 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. There is room at the table for everyone! Aaron
Monday, April 27, 2020 April 27 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May we take new stock of one another. Aaron
An Old Story BY TRACY K. SMITH
We were made to understand it would be Terrible. Every small want, every niggling urge, Every hate swollen to a kind of epic wind. Livid, the land, and ravaged, like a rageful
Dream. The worst in us having taken over And broken the rest utterly down.
A long age Passed. When at last we knew how little Would survive us—how little we had mendedOr built that was not now lost—somethingLarge and old awoke. And then our singingBrought on a different manner of weather.Then animals long believed gone crept downFrom trees. We took new stock of one another.We wept to be reminded of such color.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
April 26 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May your like be as a song! Thanks Jim Scott!
Saturday, April 25, 2020 April 25, moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. “Light, light: do not go. I sing you this song and I will sing another as well.” Aaron
Friday, April 24, 2020 April 24 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. A Blessed Ramadan to all. Aaron Ramadan BY KAZIM ALI You wanted to be so hungry, you would break into branches,and have to choose between the starving month’snineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-third evenings.The liturgy begins to echo itself and why does it matter?If the ground-water is too scarce one can stretch netsinto the air and harvest the fog.Hunger opens you to illiteracy,thirst makes clear the starving pattern,the thick night is so quiet, the spinning spider pauses,the angel stops whispering for a moment—The secret night could already be over,you will have to listen very carefully—You are never going to know which night’s mouth is sacredly recitingand which night’s recitation is secretly mere wind
Thursday, April 23, 2020 April 23 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Practice praise. Aaron Try to Praise a Mutilated World BY ADAM ZAGAJEWSKI Try to praise the mutilated world.Remember June’s long days,and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine.The nettles that methodically overgrowthe abandoned homesteads of exiles.You must praise the mutilated world.You watched the stylish yachts and ships;one of them had a long trip ahead of it,while salty oblivion awaited others.You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.You should praise the mutilated world.Remember the moments when we were togetherin a white room and the curtain fluttered.Return in thought to the concert where music flared.You gathered acorns in the park in autumnand leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.Praise the mutilated worldand the gray feather a thrush lost,and the gentle light that strays and vanishesand returns.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020 April 22 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Happy Earth Day! Aaron Of Many Worlds in This World by Margaret Cavendish Just like as in a nest of boxes round,Degrees of sizes in each box are found:So, in this world, may many others beThinner and less, and less still by degree:Although they are not subject to our sense,A world may be no bigger than two-pence.Nature is curious, and such works may shape,Which our dull senses easily escape:For creatures, small as atoms, may there be,If every one a creature’s figure bear.If atoms four, a world can make, then seeWhat several worlds might in an ear-ring be:For, millions of those atoms may be inThe head of one small, little, single pin.And if thus small, then ladies may well wearA world of worlds, as pendents in each ear.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
April 21 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May your ark keep you safe. Aaron
It Was the Animals BY NATALIE DIAZ April 21 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May your ark keep you safe. Aaron It Was the Animals BY NATALIE DIAZ Today my brother brought over a piece of the ark wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag. He set the bag on my dining table, unknotted it, peeled it away, revealing a foot-long fracture of wood. He took a step back and gestured toward it with his arms and open palms — It’s the ark, he said. You mean Noah’s ark? I asked. What other ark is there? he answered. Read the inscription, he told me, it tells what’s going to happen at the end. What end? I wanted to know. He laughed, What do you mean, “what end”? The end end. Then he lifted it out. The plastic bag rattled. His fingers were silkened by pipe blisters. He held the jagged piece of wood so gently. I had forgotten my brother could be gentle. He set it on the table the way people on television set things when they’re afraid those things might blow-up or go-off — he set it right next to my empty coffee cup. It was no ark — it was the broken end of a picture frame with a floral design carved into its surface. He put his head in his hands — I shouldn’t show you this — God, why did I show her this? It’s ancient — O, God, this is so old. Fine, I gave in, Where did you get it? The girl, he said. O, the girl. What girl? I asked. You’ll wish you never knew, he told me. I watched him drag his wrecked fingers over the chipped flower-work of the wood — You should read it. But, O, you can’t take it — no matter how many books you’ve read. He was wrong. I could take the ark. I could even take his marvelously fucked fingers. The way they almost glittered. It was the animals — the animals I could not take — they came up the walkway into my house, cracked the doorframe with their hooves and hips, marched past me, into my kitchen, into my brother, tails snaking across my feet before disappearing like retracting vacuum cords into the hollows of my brother’s clavicles, tusks scraping the walls, reaching out for him — wildebeests, pigs, the oryxes with their black matching horns, javelinas, jaguars, pumas, raptors. The ocelots with their mathematical faces. So many kinds of goat. So many kinds of creature. I wanted to follow them, to get to the bottom of it, but my brother stopped me — This is serious, he said. You have to understand. It can save you. So I sat down, with my brother wrecked open like that, and two-by-two the fantastical beasts parading him. I sat, as the water fell against my ankles, built itself up around me, filled my coffee cup before floating it away from the table. My brother — teeming with shadows — a hull of bones, lit only by tooth and tusk, lifting his ark high in the air.
Monday, April 20, 2020
April 20 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. We are strong…Aaron
Sunday, April 19, 2020
April 19 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Float my friends. Float! Aaron
Yellow Glove BY NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
What can a yellow glove mean in a world of motorcars and governments?
I was small, like everyone. Life was a string of precautions: Don’t kiss the squirrel before you bury him, don’t suck candy, pop balloons, drop watermelons, watch TV. When the new gloves appeared one Christmas, tucked in soft tissue, I heard it trailing me: Don’t lose the yellow gloves.
I was small, there was too much to remember. One day, waving at a stream—the ice had cracked, winter chipping down, soon we would sail boats and roll into ditches—I let a glove go. Into the stream, sucked under the street. Since when did streets have mouths? I walked home on a desperate road. Gloves cost money. We didn’t have much. I would tell no one. I would wear the yellow glove that was left and keep the other hand in a pocket. I knew my mother’s eyes had tears they had not cried yet, I didn’t want to be the one to make them flow. It was the prayer I spoke secretly, folding socks, lining up donkeys in windowsills. To be good, a promise made to the roaches who scouted my closet at night. If you don’t get in my bed, I will be good. And they listened. I had a lot to fulfill.
The months rolled down like towels out of a machine. I sang and drew and fattened the cat. Don’t scream, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t fight—you could hear it anywhere. A pebble could show you how to be smooth, tell the truth. A field could show how to sleep without walls. A stream could remember how to drift and change—next June I was stirring the stream like a soup, telling my brother dinner would be ready if he’d only hurry up with the bread, when I saw it. The yellow glove draped on a twig. A muddy survivor. A quiet flag.
Where had it been in the three gone months? I could wash it, fold it in my winter drawer with its sister, no one in that world would ever know. There were miracles on Harvey Street. Children walked home in yellow light. Trees were reborn and gloves traveled far, but returned. A thousand miles later, what can a yellow glove mean in a world of bankbooks and stereos?
Part of the difference between floating and going down.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
April 18 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Awake! Blessings, Aaron
A Ritual to Read to Each Other by William E. Stafford
If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dike.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider— lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe — should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
Friday, April 17, 2020
April 17 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Blessings, Aaron
April Snow by Caroline Spencer
The green was creeping o’er the brown, The skies dropt bluebirds yesterday; Again today the snow is down, And spring a thousand miles away.
And here’s that mischief March again; His four wild horses snort and prance; He rides and pipes his weirdest strain To lead the snowflakes’ goblin dance.
And where is Lady April now? Deep in the lonely wood she cowers, Keeping alive–the heart knows how– O’er her few pale arbutus flowers.
And yet for her the birds sing clear, A song of May, more sweet than May To hope amid the storms of fear– Ah, how divinely dawns the day.
And April’s snow’s a magic shower, And April sunshine’s fairy gold; The cloudy drifts like rainbow flower, Life thrills the blind and breathless mould.
Come April with the violet eyes And snowdrop face, and dreamful heart; One laughing look to earth and skies, And all the world will take thy part.
Thine are the smiles that grow in tears, Thine the dear hidden hope that springs Forever fresh from withered years; And thine the sweetest voice that sings.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
April 16 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May your map center you and assist humanity in finding its way to hope. Aaron
A Map to the Next World BY JOY HARJO
for Desiray Kierra Chee
In the last days of the fourth world I wished to make a map for those who would climb through the hole in the sky.
My only tools were the desires of humans as they emerged from the killing fields, from the bedrooms and the kitchens.
For the soul is a wanderer with many hands and feet. The map must be of sand and can’t be read by ordinary light. It must carry fire to the next tribal town, for renewal of spirit.
In the legend are instructions on the language of the land, how it was we forgot to acknowledge the gift, as if we were not in it or of it.
Take note of the proliferation of supermarkets and malls, the altars of money. They best describe the detour from grace.
Keep track of the errors of our forgetfulness; the fog steals our children while we sleep.
Flowers of rage spring up in the depression. Monsters are born there of nuclear anger.
Trees of ashes wave good-bye to good-bye and the map appears to disappear.
We no longer know the names of the birds here, how to speak to them by their personal names.
Once we knew everything in this lush promise.
What I am telling you is real and is printed in a warning on the map. Our forgetfulness stalks us, walks the earth behind us, leav- ing a trail of paper diapers, needles, and wasted blood.
An imperfect map will have to do, little one.
The place of entry is the sea of your mother’s blood, your father’s small death as he longs to know himself in another.
There is no exit.
The map can be interpreted through the wall of the intestine—a spiral on the road of knowledge.
You will travel through the membrane of death, smell cooking from the encampment where our relatives make a feast of fresh deer meat and corn soup, in the Milky Way.
They have never left us; we abandoned them for science. And when you take your next breath as we enter the fifth world there will be no X, no guidebook with words you can carry.
You will have to navigate by your mother’s voice, renew the song she is singing.
Fresh courage glimmers from planets.
And lights the map printed with the blood of history, a map you will have to know by your intention, by the language of suns.
When you emerge note the tracks of the monster slayers where they entered the cities of artificial light and killed what was killing us.
You will see red cliffs. They are the heart, contain the ladder.
A white deer will greet you when the last human climbs from the destruction.
Remember the hole of shame marking the act of abandoning our tribal grounds.
We were never perfect.
Yet, the journey we make together is perfect on this earth who was once a star and made the same mistakes as humans.
We might make them again, she said.
Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end. You must make your own map.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
April 15 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Aaron
A Litany for Survival
BY AUDRE LORDE
>For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone for those of us who cannot indulge the passing dreams of choice who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns looking inward and outward at once before and after seeking a now that can breed futures like bread in our children’s mouths so their dreams will not reflect the death of ours;
For those of us who were imprinted with fear like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk for by this weapon this illusion of some safety to be found the heavy-footed hoped to silence us For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive.
And when the sun rises we are afraid it might not remain when the sun sets we are afraid it might not rise in the morning when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again when we are loved we are afraid love will vanish when we are alone we are afraid love will never return and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid
So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
April 14 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Remember your Levine’s! AaronSaint Francis and the Sow BY GALWAY KINNELL The bud stands for all things, even for those things that don’t flower, for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness, to put a hand on its brow of the flower and retell it in words and in touch it is lovely until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing; as Saint Francis put his hand on the creased forehead of the sow, and told her in words and in touch blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow began remembering all down her thick length, from the earthen snout all the way through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail, from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine down through the great broken heart to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them: the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
Monday, April 13, 2020 April 13 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. “If we can truly remember, they will not forget.” Blessings, 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 howexcept 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 togethercannot become one people falling apart.Who dreamed for every child an even chancecannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.Whose law was never so much of the hand as the headcannot let chaos make its way to the heart.Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to childcannot 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 seton a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet—but looking through their eyes, we can seewhat our long gift to them may come to be.If we can truly remember, they will not forget.
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 April 12 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. My Lord, what a morning! Happy Easter and Blessed Passover! Aaron
An additional moment of meditation, reflection and prayer for today. “No more the life that I knew. Life that is new with each breath.” Aaron
Saturday, April 11, 2020 April 11 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Words of comfort for Holy Saturday. Blessings, Aaron
Friday, April 10, 2020 April 10 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. A Good Friday moment sent from a friend. Love, Aaron
Thursday, April 9, 2020 April 9 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Honoring our nurses and all health care workers on the front line. Blessings, Aaron “Leaving Early” Leanne O’Sullivan My Love,tonight Fionnuala is your nurse.You’ll hear her voice sing-song around the wardlifting a wing at the shore of your darkness.I heard that, in another life, she too journeyedthrough a storm, a kind of curse, with the oceanrising darkly around her, fierce with cold,and no resting place, only the frozenrocks that tore her feet, the light on her shoulders.And no cure there but to wait it out.If, while I’m gone, your fever comes down —if the small, salt-laden shapes of her songappear to you as a first glimmer of earth-light,follow the sweet, hopeful voice of that landing.She will keep you safe beneath her wing.
Wednesday, April 8, 2020A List of Praises by Anne Porter Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetryliving wild on the Streets through generations of children.Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far awayWith its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistleAs it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,Give praise with the immense and peaceful sighOf the wind in the pinewoods,At night give praise with starry silences.Give praise with the skirling of seagullsAnd the rattle and flap of sailsAnd gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swellOut in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.Give praise with the humpback whales,Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets, katydids and cicadas,Give praise with hum of bees,Give praise with the little peepers who live near water.When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like criesWe know that the winter is over.Give praise with mockingbirds, day’s nightingales.Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtleAnd glossy tulip treesOn quiet side streets in southern towns.Give praise with the rippling speechOf the eider-duck and her ducklingsAs they paddle their way downstreamIn the red-gold morningOn Restiguche, their cold river,Salmon river,Wilderness river.Give praise with the whitethroat sparrow.Far, far from the cities,Far even from the towns,With piercing innocenceHe sings in the spruce-tree tops,Always four notesAnd four notes only.Give praise with water,With storms of rain and thunderAnd the small rains that sparkle as they dry,And the faint floating ocean roarThat fills the seaside villages,And the clear brooks that travel down the mountainsAnd with this poem, a leaf on the vast flood,And with the angels in that other country.
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 April 7 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. Dare we hope? Aaron Dare I Hope? – Poem by Sophia White
Dare I hope to hope? Is it safe? Is it right? Am I hoping for nothing But a black and empty night?
Hope should make me happy. I should laugh, sing, and dance Because I am hoping. Right? Ha! Not a chance.
How is it that hope can leave me Trembling in the darkness? How is it that something so “good” Should leave me feeling helpless?
Dare I hope to hope? What difference does it make? Fate will be fate in the end, It will either “make or break.”
Does Fate regard my hope? Does She listen? Or care? Am I shooting for a star that Simply isn’t there?
I cannot know! Oh, God Why must I struggle with This doubt that pulls at me Rends me, limb from limb?
What sort of hope leaves pain Where it should instead leave joy? Is this hope at all? Or perhaps Some wicked demon’s ploy?
I cannot know! Dear heaven! How can I even begin to dare To hope for something – anything? Is no assurance there?
No promise? No guarantee? I cannot stand it! I cannot! The doubt is a plague In my every thought.
Dare I hope to hope In a hope that leaves me dry And lost? How can I dare To hope in hope? How can I?
Monday, April 6, 2020 April 6 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May this assist with your Monday! Shared by my friend UUCW Music Director Matthew Johnsen. Aaron
Sunday, April 5, 2020 April 5 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May hope descend upon you this day. Aaron To Hope by John Keats
WHEN by my solitary hearth I sit, And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom; When no fair dreams before my “mind’s eye” flit, And the bare heath of life presents no bloom; Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!
Whene’er I wander, at the fall of night, Where woven boughs shut out the moon’s bright ray, Should sad Despondency my musings fright, And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away, Peep with the moonbeams through the leafy roof, And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof!
Should Disappointment, parent of Despair, Strive for her son to seize my careless heart; When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air, Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart: Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright, And fright him as the morning frightens night!
Whene’er the fate of those I hold most dear Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow, O bright-eyed Hope, my morbidfancy cheer; Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow: Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!
Should e’er unhappy love my bosom pain, From cruel parents, or relentless fair; O let me think it is not quite in vain To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air! Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!
In the long vista of the years to roll, Let me not see our country’s honour fade: O let me see our land retain her soul, Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom’s shade. From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed— Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!
Let me not see the patriot’s high bequest, Great Liberty! how great in plain attire! With the base purple of a court oppress’d, Bowing her head, and ready to expire: But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings That fill the skies with silver glitterings!
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud; Brightening the half veil’d face of heaven afar: So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed, Waving thy silver pinions o’er my head!
Saturday, April 4, 2020 April 4 moment of meditation, reflection and prayer. May you be a refuge. Aaron
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
Please CLICK HERE to see the March 2020 Moments of Meditation