My Back Pages: Bob Dylan & I

Crimson flames tied through my ears Rolling high and mighty traps Pounced with fire on flaming roads Using ideas as my maps "We'll meet on edges, soon, " said I Proud 'neath heated brow Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth "Rip down all hate, " I screamed Lies that life is black and white Spoke from my skull, I dreamed Romantic facts of musketeers Foundationed deep, somehow Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now Girl's faces formed the forward path From phony jealousy To memorizing politics of ancient history Flung down by corpse evangelists Unthought of, though, somehow Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now A self-ordained professor's tongue Too serious to fool Spouted out that liberty is just equality in school "Equality, " I spoke the [...]

My Back Pages: Bob Dylan & I2021-02-09T13:31:57-05:00

Was He Only Dreaming? MLK Day Today

In the fall of 1975, I opened my fresh new Language Arts textbook and found that some pages had been cut out.  I walked up to my teacher’s desk and his response was,  ”I did that.  It was a story about that King fellow.  I don’t want you reading about some nigger who went around stirring up trouble.” Yesterday, I was talking with an elderly woman who didn’t realize today was a holiday. “What holiday is it?” “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday,” I replied. “I swear.  What do you have to do to get a day named after you?  He didn’t do nothing.” This morning, I was talking to a man in his 70s about King’s legacy. “I know he preached non-violence,” he said, “but as soon as he’d finish his speeches, blacks would go around breaking into stores and stealing stuff.  I don’t care what the history books say.  I saw [...]

Was He Only Dreaming? MLK Day Today2021-01-18T09:29:58-05:00

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise by Christopher Wordsworth

Grant us grace to see Thee, Lord, Present in Thy holy Word; Grace to imitate Thee now And be pure, as pure art Thou; That we might become like Thee At Thy great epiphany And may praise Thee, ever blest, God in flesh made manifest. (from "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise" by Christopher Wordsworth)

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise by Christopher Wordsworth2021-01-16T09:53:06-05:00

A John Prine Primer: Music and Stories of a Modern Day Mark Twain

Grief is a complex thing. Contrary to popular opinion, we don't all go through grief in easily understood stages from denial to acceptance. Instead, there are as many ways to respond to loss as there are people who suffer loss. And, if we are blessed to live long enough, we all lose someone important to us. In a time such as ours, losses are becoming multiplied. On April 7, 2020 John Prine died. I did not know Prine personally but like many who heard his songs, I felt like I did. Not only did I feel like I knew John, but all the people he sang about, who represents the whole of the human race. On the night he died, I stayed up listening to his music and reflecting on his life. I want to share this experience with you.   "I guess I just process death differently than some [...]

A John Prine Primer: Music and Stories of a Modern Day Mark Twain2020-04-10T00:26:21-04:00

If You Show Your Child Your Love

If you show your child your love, she's going to share it with others. If she shares her love with others, she's going to get hurt. If she gets hurt, she's going to run back to you. If you comes running back to you, you will give her a hug. If you give her a hug, she'll hold you tightly. If she holds you tightly, she will make you smile with joy. If you smile with joy, she will know she makes you happy. If she knows she makes you happy, she will want to please you more. If she wants to please you more, she will make pancakes with Daddy. If she makes pancakes, she will put a banana face on yours. If she makes a banana face on your pancake, she will want you to sing Gingerbread Man. If you sing Gingerbread Man, she will dance with her [...]

If You Show Your Child Your Love2019-06-28T20:22:36-04:00

Grandma’s Prayer: How Long?

I have little to say. The thought of composing a post from scratch seems insurmountable. But I don't want to give up. I know there are people who read my work looking for encouraging words. Not false hope, for sure, not even a hope that can be seen, but a hope that is rooted in the Good News of Christ:   The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  (John 1.5)   I do a lot of self-reflection here and there is a method in my madness. I have found working in mental health ministry that more people are willing to explore their own emotional struggles if you first share yours. But there is a great danger in this. You can get so caught up in musing on your misery that you bring others down rather than lift them up. I'm determined  not to do that. So, [...]

Grandma’s Prayer: How Long?2019-06-23T19:44:51-04:00

When All Else Fails, Hope Endures

There is nothing like a dream to create the future. ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables   In my teens, my life was full of hopes and dreams. Or so it seemed. On the outside, I was a star athlete, a stellar student, a charismatic leader, and a champion for the underdog. On the inside, I was battling with voices telling me I was a worthless impostor who would never amount to anything. In my twenties, I tried to abandon hope. When I envisioned living the American Dream, the eyes of my mind saw only a bleak, meaningless existence dark and dreary. I sabotaged my success by embracing thoughts and engaging in behaviors that kept my hope at bay. Yet hope is not easy to do away with. In spite of all my efforts to snuff it out, it was continually ignited in spite of myself. I read voraciously and wrote incessantly. I [...]

When All Else Fails, Hope Endures2019-03-27T22:27:29-04:00

Living in Love

“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)   You don’t fall out of love Like a cradle When the wind blows And the bough breaks.   Love is in the broken bough, the blowing wind, the falling cradle.   Love lives in us When we live in love   We live in the hands of the cradle-maker, the breath of the blowing wind, the heart of the broken bough.   (dedicated to S.L.; 9.23.2018)

Living in Love2019-01-27T14:23:37-05:00

Poetry: Now and Then

I have been writing a good bit of poetry and fiction over the past 4 years that I've reserved for conventional publication.  I've finally reached a point where I feel the desire to share some of it with you who read my work and respond so graciously. These pieces do not directly address topics of faith and mental illness, but they are examples of how one person of faith who struggles with mental illness finds a measure of healing in the written word. I wrote the core of this poem the day I received word that my ex-wife had accepted the terms of our divorce. It also happened to be my birthday.   I drive through my hometown; Nothing is the same.   Heinz’s Grocery is gone; Bud’s Bait Shop is boarded up; The school has been torn down.   My lawyer calls;   Everything is settled.   Joint custody, [...]

Poetry: Now and Then2018-06-23T01:06:17-04:00
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