December 3rd, 2007

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Thomas Merton -



Do not be too quick to assume your enemies are savages just because they are
your enemy. Perhaps they are your enemy because they think you are a savage. Or perhaps they are afraid of you because they feel that you are afraid of them. And perhaps if they believed you are capable of loving them they would no longer be your enemy.


            - Thomas Merton, writer (1915-1968)


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Stories -



Jane's mother came to Jim and Jane's home for Thanksgiving, and she shared family stories.  Jane is making poems with those stories.  Here is her poem for today.



Ice and Coal
 
 
Let¹s say he was crippled in the war
Let¹s say he was good at numbers
and his brother, twelve years his junior raised on farm labor and meat was still able-bodied.
Before the last worst time
while times were good
they bought the ice and coal company
and harvested the heat
from the  strip mine along the Middle River.
From the river¹s winter soul they stole the cold and sold them both for a winter nickel or a summer song until the river flooded out the mine then died of thirst in the dirty thirties.


    - Jane Flint


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My Morning Poems!



Middle Age

 

The light this morning is tinged with soft pink.

The trees are lightly waked.

There is no stretch to compete.

It is like middle age where every day seems to bring news

that someone close is not okay.

The plans for future still persist.

There is reach

and there is satisfaction with each breath,

each tooth brushed.

Each tooth is considered and valued.

It is no longer the whole mouth.

The smile is found in caves.

 

 

 

 

The New De Young

 

The space inside a new museum is enclosed,

chosen,

pumped clean and carefully placed.

The architect is acclaimed.

 

The space outside is also formed.

Concrete spreads and rocks artfully crack.

Slate is purposefully, randomly stacked.

 

It is the trees that draw me.

They shape, color, and texture my insides,

the trunk rising from dirt

that is active and alive,

so parts can die. 

 

Trees drop leaves,

like cocoons.

 

Branches paint the sky

with wings

 

camouflaged

to mat nature in a frame.

 

We all are seen as scene,

moving parts,

people, falling leaves.

Eat now the heart.

 

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Thomas Merton -



        Unfortunately, the true Christian concept of love has sometimes been discredited by those who have sentimentalized it, or formalized it in one way or another. A sincere subjective disposition to love everyone does not dispense from energetic and sacrificial social action to restore violated rights to the oppressed, to create work for the workless, so that the hungry may eat and that everyone may have a chance to earn a decent wage. It has unfortunately been all too easy in the past for the man who is well fed to entertain the most laudable sentiments of love for his neighbor, while ignoring the fact that his brother is struggling to solve insoluble and tragic problems.

            Mere almsgiving is no longer adequate, especially if it is only a gesture which seems to dispense from all further and more efficacious social action. This is not always, of course, a question of genuine insincerity: but the "good works" that measured up to the needs of small medieval communities can no longer serve in the fantastic and worldwide crisis that is sweeping all mankind today, when the population of the world is counted in billions, which double in forty, twenty, and then fifteen years. In such a case, the dimensions of Christian love must be expanded and universalized on the same scale as the human problem that is to be met. The individual gesture, however commendable, will no longer suffice.

        Thomas Merton. "Christian Humanism" in Love and Living.
Naomi Burton Stone and Brother Patrick Hart, editors. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1979: 124.