Thursday, January 31, 2013

These are the things I saw today... 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This has been one of those days when I was trying to think of what to say about the Schlumbergera that's blooming late on our porch.  I rooted this one from a larger plant that has bloomed for years; but this is the first year for blooms on the baby, and the blooming came two months after the flowering of the mother plant. I gave up the search for words of my own when I found that John Keats had already said perfectly what I was thinking.

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkn'd ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink. 
John Keats

I am a sometime volunteer with the Interfaith Shelter Network in San Diego.  The program provides overnight shelter and three meals a day to people who have found themselves without a place to live.  The program coordinates the efforts of participating congregations, social service agencies, and governmental programs in order to provide shelter and other resources to homeless individuals and families and enable them to move toward self-sufficiency while respecting their dignity. Because of the work of case menagement agencies and volunteers more than half of the shelter guests move on to more permanent housing.  In the El Nido program, virtually all families leave for their own permanent affordable housing, and the majority of mothers leave with increased income and additional career related skills. 

I spent last night in the First United Methodist Church shelter as a volunteer. A real hero in the shelter is Linda,  who spent the past four nights as a volunteer there.  People are wrong who think all homelessness is simply the result of sloth or carelessness.  The great majority of the people in the shelter last night went off to work this morning or to find work.  Margaret and I had made a big pot of chilli for dinner.  Patrick and Elaine brought bread.  Other people brought salads and dessert. This morning we had plenty of cereals, bread, fruit, coffee, and juices for breakfast.  Everybody goes out into the world with very good sack lunches prepared by volunteers.  

People in Congress and the Senate may be unwilling to cooperate to meet the needs of Americans, but hundreds of people in San Diego are willing to help other people.  I am encouraged.

For Information and to provide support:

Interfaith Shelter Network
3530 Camino del Rio North Suite 301
San Diego, CA 92108
The Interfaith Shelter Network does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disabilities in hiring practice or provision of services.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bill at Seventy-Five

“This is a hell of a lot better than the alternative,” he said,
blowing out the candles with gusto and obvious pleasure
the way he did sixty-four years ago when he was eleven
and he could see the whole world from where he walked
and played in what he knew was the middle of everything.

The universe extends farther out from wherever he is now
than it did when he was a boy going to school and church.
Then whenever he came home at the end of a regular day
he knew without doubt where he was and why he was there
and how to get anywhere he thought it was necessary to be.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Toms Shoes is committed to creating the biggest impact possible with the shoes they give... one given for one sold... improving children’s health and access to education -- for the long-term. My friend Hijame Birnbaum, an executive with the Toms, will represent the company in it’s European market beginning next month.  Best Wishes...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Patrick Picks Roses

Come go
with me
to Noo Awlins
where upside
is normal
nothing is ever
and they 
know it

and celebrate

...where it’s 
all right
not to know
what it is...

In some
other places
poor souls
think they know
and pretend
they know
...the worst
kind of trap. 

You want 
to know
about how 
pretend is 
done right?

Come go
with me 
to Noo Awlins
where it
to high art.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sometimes I get really lucky.  On the drive between Houma and New Orleans this morning, I snapped five pictures of the rising sun from the back seat of the moving rental car. David was driving.  Brother Jim was in the front passenger's seat.  I shot with the Sony DSC-HX9V, a small point-and-shoot camera.  Sometimes I get lucky.  

After we dropped Jim off at the airport, we picked up Lenda in Mandeville for a great day of mostly driving in New Orleans.  The old Morning Call coffee cafe has been moved from the French Quarter out to the New Orleans City Park.  Even in the new place, the coffee is as good as ever. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Family in Houma, Louisiana