Blog Posts

AMEN

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A friend of mine who’s a rabbi teaches that if you say amen to a blessing, you have said...

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Margins: Where the Familiar seems Strange

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Last week Meeting in the Margins and I were welcomed to Ravenna Third Place...

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THE VALUE OF GOSSIP

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Dad was a painfully private man, especially in his later years, after Mother...

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FEATHERS: “Divine Messages” to and from life’s margins

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The significance of feathers as a personal symbol dawned on me in my early...

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Celebrating the Book

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Throughout the evening there was a Knowing that THIS was a high point in my life. “Take it in,”...

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What’s a Blog For?

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meetinginthemargins-cover       Sharing thoughts – from the profound to the profane – this, as I understand it, is the purpose of a blog. Blogs are shared with friends and interested others. Writing and posting a blog takes less time than inviting and scheduling twenty individuals for...

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FURNITURE

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furniture photo In my fifty-some years of adulthood only once before have I had to furnish a nearly-empty home, and that was when I was 19 and the apartment was so small you could roll a desk chair across it without the chair losing momentum. As a child, of course, the...

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BOXES

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The first one is filled with file folders, some notebooks, several old kitchen calendars, and a smaller box, labeled...

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A QUESTION OF CHANGE

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We seem to have a built-in resistance to change. Perhaps it’s a survival instinct of our...

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WHEN IS "BUREAUCRACY" NOT A PEJORATIVE WORD? (With gratitude to Congressman Larsen’s aides)

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  “Please, Mom, come sooner rather than later.”   It’s an email from my daughter Katheryn in England, a continent and...

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AUDUBON CLASS (with appreciation [and apologies] to my instructors)

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We’re nearing the end of a nine-month-long Audubon class, learning about all the birds that frequent Whidbey Island – and there are a LOT! Around two-hundred and fifty kinds, give or take.   Our instructors are delighted when we can tell a Song Sparrow from a Fox Sparrow.   But what delights me is to learn that the Woodpecker in...

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LITERARY SONOGRAM

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    Expectant women wail, “I just want this baby to be BORN! I want this pregnancy to...

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The Muse, the Thesaurus, and Me

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    In January I gave myself a wondrous gift: a week away to do...

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The Homeless Man Who Helped

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ON CHRISTMAS DAY I scanned an email entitled “Repaying a Homeless Man’s Kindness,” reprinted from Huffington Post and sent...

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“FRIEND, GOOD.” [quote from Dr. Frankenstein’s “monster”]

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    1538953234_59b4799eab_m_frankensteinA dinner guest the other night (this photo is not she!) said that she wished she had more friends. Our lively group around the table grabbed that word, and we were off, launched into yet another interesting conversation for the evening.   My contribution to...

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Assisted Dying, Oregon and Oklahoma

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In the October 24, 2014 issue of The Week magazine, on facing pages, two brief articles stare across...

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The Best Hour of the Year

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clock photo   This morning I thought about one special hour of the year, and how much I look forward to it.   It always happens in autumn – a bonus, because that’s my favorite season of the year. This single hour has had a strange history, morphing around the calendar and around...

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BEING-WITH IS HEALING

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For thirty years my attention has been focused on people who are marginalized in our culture. People who are physically, mentally, or addictively ill; people who have no home; people who are isolated in their homes; people who are dying.

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I’m...

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Enchanted by Words Beyond My Ken

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  Last night I thumbed through the August 2014 issue of Scientific American. I stopped at an article entitled “The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time” (by Afshordi, Mann and Pourhasan), which postulates a cosmic black hole that preceded the Big Bang.   Read More

ANATOMY OF A ROPE

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rope-193978_640       A writer who is a poet tends to see things as metaphor.  I am a writer/poet, and sometimes I drive myself crazy noticing a thing and knowing there is a delicious but elusive metaphor there, just waiting to be penned.   Last week I travelled from my home...

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"Holler" Gospel

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DSCN3595_2       ON A BEASTLY HOT/HUMID JUNE DAY in Ervine, Kentucky, we were devouring sandwiches and iced drinks at a small air-conditioned coffee shop. Sitting across from me was my niece, Vicky; many years ago she picked this area as the perfect place to live, work, and create community,...

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The Verb “To Outside”

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  control-147678_640     Outside v. t. to place beyond the regular bounds; to oust; to reject the Dictionary according to Cynthia       Yesterday I emailed a friend with my regrets that I couldn’t join her at a workshop she’s attending. I had a commitment to a continuing education day, required to maintain my professional...

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Whales at a Saltwater Margin

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Two weeks ago my 14-year-old granddaughter and I went in search of gray whales. Jessica, a Michigander, had never been on saltwater before, had never seen a wild whale. Aboard the Mystic Sea, a 100-foot whale watch boat harbored in Langley,...

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YOU'RE A WINNER !!

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Last night I saw the movie “Nebraska.” It’s a story about Woody Grant, an old man who is convinced that he has won a million dollars...

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SPIRITUAL COMPOSTING: Letting the margins come to you

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face in news

I write a lot about going from the middle of our culture to its edges, where our marginalized people find themselves. I encourage my readers to encounter those margins for themselves, to discover the richness and the wisdom that live there. But when...

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All-Night Laundromat

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bubbles-blue:orange

Recent research says that

while we sleep

our brain cells shrink,

making room to let

the sap they swim in

wash away the toxins of the day.

Tonight I crawl between the sheets,

pull the...

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COASTLINE

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"COASTLINE" DSCN3803   In the writing of my “Marginal Eyes” manuscript I had to ride my Thesaurus pretty hard, finding a variety of synonyms for “margin.”  Nuance was called for. The “margin” I was writing about in this paragraph: was it a “fringe,” a “periphery,” a “boundary,” a “rim,”...

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A DEEPER QUESTION

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dandelion_seeds_macro_238806     Margaret has just been given a six-to-twelve-month prognosis. She’s in pain from the metastasized cancer, and a little wonky from the meds prescribed for the pain. She’s wrestling with the decision of whether or not to take another course of chemotherapy. Should she do...

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Go Fly A Kite!

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The emergency equipment I carry in my car includes four kites, four reels of kite string, and two pairs of gloves. That’s because of what I learned as a hospital chaplain. During my training for chaplaincy certification...

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The Most Generous Art

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The thing I love about the performing arts is the generosity of it all. The rehearsals, the talents, the risks, the giving-ness of a performance, all so that I may enjoy, be amazed, be moved, be transported. There is a reciprocity to a performance, a giving and a receiving that flow back and forth across...

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