The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love.
Where there is injury, your Pardon, Lord.
Where there is doubt, let there be Faith.

Oh Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace.
Where there is despair, let me bring Hope.
Where there is darkness, let there be Light.
Where there is sadness, let there be Joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek:
To be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved, as to love.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

And it's in dying that we are born
To eternal life, to eternal life.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy Peace.
An instrument of thy Peace. Amen.


You Fall In

Books fall open,
you fall in,
delighted where
you've never been,
hear voices not once
heard before,
reach world on world,
through door on door;
find unexpected
keys to things
locked up beyond
What might you be,
perhaps become,
because one book
is somewhere? Some
wise delver into
wisdom, wit;
and wherewithal
has written it.
True books will venture,
dare you out,
whisper secrets,
maybe shout
across the gloom
 to you in need,
who hanker for
a book to read.
  -David McCord


Charles Dickens

  If I say those two words out loud, I immediately get mental images.

 Coal dust
 queerly dressed Victorian people  

  I like Charles Dickens style of writing, and I needed a book to wade through, so I thought I'd tackle one that I'd never read before.    'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' or more simply, 'The Pickwick Papers', was what I decided on. 
  I checked it out of our town library,  (which by the way, is a queer library architecturally.  Not a good kind of queerness, either)   and started reading it late last night.  Perhaps it was the lateness of the hour but the first paragraph proved daunting. 


Chapter 1


"The first ray of light which illumines the gloom, and converts into a dazzling brilliancy that obscurity in which the earlier history of the public career of the immortal Pickwick would appear to be involved, is derived from the perusal of the following entry in the Transaction of the Pickwick Club, which the editor of these papers feels the highest pleasure in laying before his readers, as a proof of the careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discriminations, with which his search among the multifarious documents confided to him has been conducted."  

  And that, my highly esteemed friends, was only the first paragraph!  It then launched into an even more formal and flowery entry, which went on for three pages!!!   I wasn't sure what I'd gotten myself into.

  But I'm lovin' it.  Actually.  Somehow it comes alive, eventually.    It's also fun to read out loud. 
Try it! 
  Read it in your most pompous voice, tack on a British accent, try not to stumble over 'multifarious',  and try not to grin too hard.  It'll spoil the pompous tone.   



  You know that I said I kinda have an obsession with windows?   Well, I kinda have one with libraries too.  You know, those cool, darkish, exquisitely scented buildings?   Yeah, those.

  If I would collect things, I think I would collect libraries. As it is, I collect experiencing them.
  I like to explore all the ones in my local area and some not so local, if I'm staying in that town for a week or two. I have been in Ohio, Virginia and Maine libraries. (The Maine library I was in, was the Bar Harbor library, which is a Gorgeous library. It is old and full of quartersawn oak, two things that rocket my esteem of a building sky-high.) 
  That explains why I was so delighted yesterday morning to see a sign for a community library in a little neighborhood-like town that I never dreamed was big enough to even have a library.  I didn't go in.  I'm saving that for another day.  Some rainy day.  Rainy days and Libraries.  sigh.... That is just about enough to send me through the roof with giddiness.   Call me weird, but libraries make me hyper.

These are the front doors to one of the libraries in my old town.  They are magnificent. You really don't get a feel for how tall they are in this picture. And are they ever fun to open!!!  It's a very ornate, very small library, and sometimes I wondered if I went to open the doors, as much as to borrow the books.
  So, do libraries make you hyper?  Or perhaps, even claustrophobic?


"The Bike Ride"

I'm back from attending this weekend.  Immensely challenging, wonderful, happy, sad, good times were had by all.   This poem was read by one of the speakers, and I liked it so much I just had to share it with the few people who come to my corner of the world wide web.

The Bike Ride

Author Unknown

At first, I viewed God as my observer,
my judge,
keeping track of things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven
or hell when I died.
He was out there, sort of like the president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I didn't really know Him.

But later on when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ
was in the back seat helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was
that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring,
but predictable...
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains
and through rocky places
at breakneck speed.
It was all I could do to hang on! 
Even though it looked like madness,
He said "Pedal".

I worried and was anxious
and asked,
"Where are you taking me?!"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life
and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared",  
He'd lean back
and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey, 
my Lord's and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away,
they're extra baggage, too much weight."
So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it,
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says..."Pedal."