Showing posts from June, 2009

Sometimes You Just Have To Jump

"Sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff without knowing where you will land. Sixteen years ago, I jumped. It was 1993. I was 23 years old and terrified by what I was seeing in the news about rape camps in Bosnia. I couldn't find anyone doing something about the astounding injsutices women were experiencing, so I decided to do something myself. I cannot tell you how many people ridiculed my efforts. I was not getting paid, and a lot of people said, 'Stop doing that. Go get a real job, and get paid.'...At 25 years old I was honored by President Clinton at a White House ceremony for my grassroots work. Even then I would not have imagined that 15 years later, Women for Women would be assisting hundreds of thousands of women in countries all over the world...If I, an immigrant woman from Iraq with no money, can do this, you can too." (Zalnab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women International, in her commencement speech at Rice University, NY Times National section…

Hope or Fear?

"You chose a Wellesley grad who spent the first decade of her career broke, begging for freelance work, who constantly heard that she was under qualified or, later, overqualified (that means old) or basically just plain wrong for whatever it was she wanted to do. She eventually ended up with a really great job, doing exactly what she wanted to do, exactly where she wanted to do it: in the Middle East. And she got hit by a car bomb; they nearly took her legs off. She had to come back from the dead, roughly five times, and learn how to walk again. So it tells me a lot about you and your current state of mind that you all thought you needed to hear from me, with whatever lessons I had to offer from those experiences, as you leave college for the rest of your life. In short, you all want to know how to be bomb-proof, right? So, you're right: I learned a lot. Most of all, that every time I ran into a wall, I had two choices on how to face it: hope or fear." Kimberly Dozier, C…

Proper 7B

A reflection on Mark 4:35-41, Proper 7B

The cover page of New York Times Magazine last week carried the title, “INFRASTRUCTURE” in bold black capital letters highlighted in fushia on a bright orange pencil drawing of buildings, highways, hot air balloons, cars, trains, and so forth.

I read the NY Times magazine every week, but this one was particularly enticing as I wondered what spin the Times was taking on this topic. Inside the magazine was an article titled, “Datatecture” covering the infrastructure of our world via the internet and our interconnectivity through Facebook, MySpace, iTunes, Gmail, and so forth. Another article looked at the remaking of Paris while another one looked at high-speed rail issues and a fourth article discussed the merits of more humane prisons with cells that are like mini apartments. I was particularly drawn to an article on the price of chicken, where the author bought a chicken at a farmers market and then wondered by he, or anyone, would spend $35 to…


Every day
I see or I hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight, that leaves me like a needle
in the haystack of light. It is what I was born for - to look, to listen,
to lose myself inside this soft world - to instruct myself over and over
in joy, and acclamation. Nor am I talking about the exceptional,
the fearful, the dreadful, the very extravagant - but of the ordinary, the common, the very drab,
the daily presentations. Oh, good scholar, I say to myself, how can you help
but grow wise with such teachings as these - the untrimmable light
of the world, the oceans's shrine, the prayers that are made out of grass?
By Mary Oliver from, "Why I Wake Early" Beacon Press, 2004

Mother Wisdom Speaks

Some of you I will hollow out.
I will make you a cave.
I will carve you so deep the stars will shine in your darkness.
You will be a bowl.
You will be the cup in the rock collecting rain...

I will do this because the world needs the hollowness of you.
I will do this for the space that you will be.
I will do this because you must be large.
A passage.
People will find their way through you.
A bowl.
People will eat from you
and their hunger will not weaken them to death.
A cup to catch the sacred rain....

Light will flow in your hollowing.
You will be filled with light.
Your bones will shine.
The round open center of you will be radiant.
I will call you Brilliant One.
I will call you Daughter Who is Wide.
I will call you transformed.

From a poem by Christine Lore Webber, published in Woman Prayers, edited by Mary Ford-Grabowsky.