Friday, May 28, 2010


This morning

two mockingbirds

in the green field

were spinning and tossing

the white ribbons

of their songs

into the air.

I had nothing

better to do

than listen.

I mean this seriously.

In Greece,

a long time ago,

an old couple

opened the door

to two strangers...

It is my favorite story--

how the old couple

had almost nothing to give

but their willingness

to be attentive-

and for this alone

the gods loved them

and blessed them...

Wherever it was

I was supposed to be

this morning-

whatever it was I said

I would be doing-

I was standing

at the edge of the field

I was hurrying

through my own soul,

opening its dark doors-

I was leaning out:

I was listening.

This morning I drive towards the gulf, 3 hours there and back to attend a half day training for rescuing birds in what I hear today is the worst oil spill in US history. To respond to such tragedy in the world, I wonder if you too feel a sense of supposing to do something this morning? No matter our gifts, importance, abilities, or resources, the hope of what we can all do is to lean out from our lives and listen to the world's cries of suffering, squeals of joy, shattering silences of beauty, and our own heart breaking?

Where do you "lean out" from your life?


  1. The skill of truely listening, whether to a bird that allows me to take inventory of myself or to hear others in pain, has served me well. Just yesterday Jacquie called and I learned that all the pressures had built up. I talked her into joining our Craft Circle that I felt I must do and then we went to lunch with her oldest son which wasn't how I had planned to spend my afternoon. It turned out very rewarding. Her son talked non-stop about plans for changing jobs and the frustration of a new boss not giving him enough hours to allow him to pay the rent. Jacquie could see that he was climbing out of the depression that had landed him in Meridian last week. Her twins are facing what all children of divorce face when June comes. All the other students are looking forward to the end of school. They are dreading it, as the summer visitation comes with it. Her safe place to fall with the band didn't seem to support her when the new member was rude to her and she complained. It is now hitting her how close she came to not making it many times with the last round when all of her skin peeled. She worries about the effect her illness is having on the kids. She needs someone to listen. I'm glad she called me. She cannot pay for counseling that might be helpful. I will keep closer tabs on the family in the coming weeks. In return I can distract myself from physical pain and replace it with a warm feeling that comes with helping others.

  2. You paint with such a vivid and vibrant thoughtfulness. I was drawn in by your simplicity and also your direct take on life's nuances and fragility. Lovely work indeed.