Monday, December 18, 2017


Advent has often been related to “waiting”, anticipatory waiting.  Like a "loaded" waiting, a "pregnant" waiting.    Like when you're waiting for a bus you know is coming.

This idea makes me htink of the movie Forrest Gump – How Forrest ended up telling his life story to people waiting there with him; one story, one person at a time. 
 And his life story certainly did have a depth there, a sacredness bigger than words

And this makes me think of Life – and our role in it

I found this writing... I call it a writing only because I'm not sure if it's a poem or if it's prose.  Usually you can tell a poem by its style... there's a certain flow, rhythm to poetry.   Whereas prose tends to be a little more narrative, following all the gramatical rules.  But this writing, I found some time ago, and I cant identify what it is.

I don't know the source of this writing, or how I got it, or who it's about.  There’s not title or name.   My suspicions it’s from a female, for sure older person – retired grandparent  

This has proven to be not only intersting to me, but also formative.  This may have been what started me thinking about idea of “Sacred Memory”, of the sacredness of "remembering".    

And while it's not directly related to Advent per se, there is an element of waiting, and taking advantage of the waiting to listen, and prepare, and look ahead.  

Hope you like it

The morning alarm pulls me away from memories, 
       away from friends 
                                              past moments!  

I remember!     

Always had memories.   
         Everyone does.  
But decades of slow learnings have taught me memories are parts of our soul.  

Can’t tell anymore if the learning comes from God, or the memories themselves do. 
       Like God-seeds planted in us, 
                if watered well, 
                    they can grow to become blessings.  

Maybe it’s our job to help them 
            and blossom
                     and produce fruit 
                                beyond us.   

Memories used to be just memories to me,  
       collections of 

Back then, usually brought out of storage for a reason.  
       Usually a practical one.  

Memories turned into collections of 
          “remember when”   

They evoked smiles, embarrassment, or just shrugs.   
And they were put away again for future use.   
           Future use.            Practical.        

My first memory – my parents reading me a book.  
        I think.  

         Was I in bed?  
             Were we in the living room?  

I remember that house – my first house.  
      Outside of Pittsburgh.  
      Neighborhood sure has changed.  
            New streets
              New people 
               New names   

But that home, that life, those people 
        are all still alive.  

I remember. 

School days sometimes return to me.  
  Early ones
     Films of Bert the Turtle teaching 
                         “Duck and Cover”   
     Prayers to start the day  
    Everyone knew Mr. Wallace!  

Summer Church camp!   
    I remember seeing so many stars there 
            – up in that night-sky of my memory!   
Believe I heard God for the first time there!  

High school football!        Lights!
       Bleachers full of people!      Excitement! 
     Half-time bands – always a show!   

Summer nights!   
        First crushes!

Sometimes I hear songs that transport me back.  

The faucets of memory open wide
          flooding my mind and heart
                 with thoughts and feelings
                               still real.  

Memories with substance,
          like a well-used handbag 
                  – chock full of things.  

Elvis’s hips for sure!   
I was little,
     but I do remember the day the music died.   

Almost five years to the day, 
     The Ed Sullivan Show February 9th, 1964,
               started with “All my Lovin’”. 
     “Sorry Girls”, they told us, 
             John Lennon was already married.   

I remember Big Brother and the Holding Company.
     Janis, a troubled and misunderstood star
        under a troubled and misunderstood sky…
                     but a star in the sky none-the-less.   

I remember the music inspired us!
           It inspired me!   

Fearful days…   
           social change!     

But we had hope!   

I remember believing I’d see the sun rise 
        after dark days!   

             And it did!  

                         Every day!

                                      I remember!  

 I remember
       when I couldn’t wait to jump in!

A career waited for me!

I graduated college
          and sailed a sleek vessel 
                        into my unknown waters!
            I named her “Discovery”.    
     I wanted to see
         and learn
           and do
                   and be known!     

The years slowly unfolded
     unwrapping a life
         boxed in layers of memories.

Nesting dolls of wonder
         of unrecognized moments.    

A career
    and a family I love!
Dinners at home
   and school meetings
      and family vacations
        and Thanksgivings
and Sunday church
    and Sunday drives
         and Sunday dinners!

               And wonderful memories!   

Weddings have come and gone; mine, my friends, my own children’s.
    Groomsmen      Maids of honor

I see them on my shelves.

Mostly I walk by them --
     life’s business cutting a path through my day,
      right past these silent,
      particular sentinels of memory,
                     standing watch for me.

Sometimes I stop and read the signposts,
    historical markers along the road of my life.  

Yes, I remember!
         I remember.   

I’m grateful!        Again! 

Just neural patterns?!    
Bio-electric circuitry?!
How do they account for the awe
    and grace
    and life
           I feel when I remember?!

Electrons can’t cast spells!     

Memories enter through the gate of the heart,
       decorating the landscape of the soul
               with signs of their presence

      fires that simmer
           and smolder,
                            always there,
                            always waiting
        to blossom into a bonfire of remembrances.  

A fire that ignites
          and consumes
               and re-lights

A Phoenix of Grace and God in each moment.       

I’m still busy.
     “Retirement” is a misnomer!

Life’s just as full – fuller maybe!
But I’ve learned to be still when prompted.
And remember the grace-filled moments of life.
Even the ones I’m living. 

A grandparent’s main job
       is to teach      “remembering”!

To help the rest remember.

I’ve learned to wait
                             and remember.
       as fully as possible.

Marshalling smells
     and thoughts
        and expectations
           and wishes
              and guidances
                 and discernments.

Remembering with that same hope!
Hope seasoned
   with decades of learnings,
      and holding on,
         and letting go.

To help my descendants
make memories of the moments
    – not to hold on to them
       but be fully in them,    now.

   I teach how to allow them to let the grace seep
   into every corner of their hearts,
    every neuron,
    every cell,
    every electron.
        Cast your spells of tomorrow! 

“Remember with me!”, I tell them.
Let me share with you my memories,
    my graces,
   my moments of God’s presence in each one!
             And in each one of you.     

God is a fullness…
       a fullness of Memory!

                          Memories of yesterdays
      and tomorrows
          all encapsulated in the right-now!

              A FULL-ness of space!

Like those night skies at camp.
          Filled with sparkles of light.
                 Little grace-stars lighting our nights.

        God is a grace - full - ness. 

God is a moment.  

       God is each moment.

“Remember with me”, I say.

Remember with me… 
     remember the graces,
     the light.

Remember the moments to come!
And Life.
Always life.       

“Come with me.  Let’s remember something.”

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