Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Thomas Moore Coming to Birmingham, Alabama

Noted Author and Lecturer Thomas Moore Coming to Birmingham, Alabama

By way of announcement, everyone is invited to come hear noted author, Thomas Moore (author of Care of the Soul ). The lecture series will draw upon his new book, A Religion of Ones' Own and will take place in Birmingham, Alabama at the First United Methodist Church downtown: 518 !9th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama (parking available in parking lot and on the street).

The event is jointly sponsored by SPAFER (Southern Progressive Alliance for Exploring Religion) and Friends of Jung South. It's a good price ($50.00 for the weekend, an additional $15.00 if you want professional CEUs) and a good opportunity to meet Thomas Moore.

Here is the flyer, session information continues below

May 2, 2014:
Friday night - 7 PM until 8 PM:

A Religion of One's Own

Q and A from 8 PM until 8:30 PM
Followed by a reception and Book Signing

May 3, 2014:
Saturday morning - 9:00 AM:

Shaping Spiritual Practices into a Religion of One's Own : Taking specific lessons from Carl G.Jung, Georgia O'Keeffe, Emily Dickinson and Henry David Thoreau in treating ordinary daily practices as elements in one's own religion.

10:30 - 11:00 AM:
Break and Refreshments

11:00 - Noon:
Part Two of Shaping Spiritual Practices

*    *     *     *

$50 Friday and Saturday

$40 Friday only/ $40 Saturday only

CEUs offered for counseling professionals:
2 CEUs Friday / 4 CEUs Saturday

For information about registration and CEU's go to http://spafer.org  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Music: Mississippi (Dylan)

"Mississippi" is a track from Bob Dylan's 2001 album, "Love and Theft." Here's a little background from Wikipedia:

The title of the album was apparently inspired by historian Eric Lott's book Love & Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class, which was published in 1993. "Love and Theft becomes his Fables of the Reconstruction, to borrow an R.E.M. album title", writes Greg Kot in The Chicago Tribune (published September 11, 2001), "the myths, mysteries and folklore of the South as a backdrop for one of the finest roots rock albums ever made."


The Bob Dylan version has apparently been axed, but here is Sheryl Crow's version:


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Haiku: The Flowering

                           a grand flowering
                  declares a persistent joy
                  new life is rising

                                         ~ CK

Photos: Tulips and cherry blossoms at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Credit: Charles Kinnaird


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Poem: The Pavilion

Since April is National Poetry Month, I am taking time to write some new poems. One day I stopped by the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to walk around and find some inspiration. When I sat down beneath the vines of this pavilion, a poem began to take shape. I scribbled some lines and went home to finish the poem.

The Pavilion

Who built this pavilion?
With no knowledge of my arrival,
Knowing full well that I would pass this way?

A quiet colonnade and stone walkway
Invite the traveler in.
Twisting vines form a refreshing cover
From the midday sun.

Who tended these vines,
With no knowledge of my arrival
Fully knowing that I would pass this way?

Wrens dart among the foliage.
A breeze carries the fragrance
Of blossoms celebrating a new day
As I rest upon the wrought iron bench.

Who fashioned this resting place
With no knowledge of my arrival,
Knowing full well that I would pass this way?

I breathe the sweetness of the day
Listening to the eager tales
Of springtime birds,
Surveying the vine-filtered sunlit scene.

Who formed this sunlight, this song, this fragrant air
With no knowledge of my arrival
Fully knowing that I would pass this way?

No magic could transport this day to another.
I can only write what I have seen this hour
With no knowledge of your arrival,
Knowing full well that your eyes will grace these pages.

                                                    ~ CK

Photo: vine-covered pavilion at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Credit: Charles Kinnaird 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Music: The Foggey Dew

Monday, April 24, 1916 was the beginning of the Easter Rising, an armed resistance by the Irish against oppressive British rule. The movement was quickly squashed by the British, but in the aftermath support for an independent Republic of Ireland became more solidified. An article in Wikipedia states: “A few months after the Easter Rising, W. B. Yeats commemorated some of the fallen figures of the Irish Republican movement, as well as expressed his torn emotions regarding these events, in the poem Easter, 1916. Some survivors of the Rising went on to become leaders of the independent Irish state and those who died were venerated by many as martyrs.” (You can read Yeats' poem here)

“The Foggy Dew,” an Irish ballad commemorating the Easter Rising, was written in 1919 by Canon Charles O’Neill, a parish priest from County Down. The song is performed her by Sinead O’Connor with The Chieftains for their album The Long Black Veil.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday (Daybreak)

Paschal Triduum: A Personal Journey

Easter Morning

(A Song of John)

I can’t stay in there –
Not with all those bells ringing
And people singing.
I am sickened by mindless joy.

A walk along the beach will help.
There was no sleeping last night;
Things are cloudy and dim today –
Mist out upon the water
And fog in my mind.

There is a fire up ahead
Back from the shoreline.
Smoke rises beyond the knoll.
As I approach,
I see a man tending the fire.
Drawing nearer, I see who he is.
I saw him once before,
But later told myself it was a dream.
Now here he is again.
The fog in my head jolts for a second.

“Have some fish,”
The man says,
Taking some fresh catch off the fire.

“I can’t eat.”

“You need to eat,” the man urges.
“It will do your body good
     – maybe shake that fog out of your head.”

“I don’t know...”

“It will let you know you are not dreaming.”

I stop to take a small bite.
“So now they are calling you
The Luminous One,”
I say to my friend.

“Perhaps there is truth in that,”
He responds with a comforting smile.
“We all carry light.”

                                        ~ CK

*     *     *

“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus…When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” (John 21: 4, 9)

Photo: Kinnereth (Sea of Galilee), Israel
Credit: Zachi Evenor
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

< Holy Saturday


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday (The Welcoming)

< Good Friday                                                                                                                   Easter Sunday >

Paschal Triduum: A Personal Journey

Holy Saturday (Interlude)


The Welcoming

God is like a welcoming mother
     Holding creation close.
God is like a welcoming mother
     Holding creation close.

Am I too old to come back?
Could I retrace those steps?

God is like a welcoming mother
     Holding creation close.

Am I too old to come back?
She hears the question
Because God is more than a welcoming mother.

Is it too late?
She hears the question
Because God is more than a welcoming mother.

God is a vibrant woman
     Ready to return.
She hears the question
Because God is a vibrant woman
     Ready to return.

In the silence of our despair
As we question the world around us
God is like a vibrant woman
     Ready to return.

She bends down like a welcoming mother
     Holding creation close.
She moves like a vibrant woman
     Ready to return.

                                                     ~ CK

*     *     *

"…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…"
                                                                                                                              (Matthew 23:37)

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!" (Isaiah 49:15)

"But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother." (Psalm 132:2)

"When Israel was a child, I loved him... I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks, I bent down to them and fed them... How can I give you up, Ephraim?  How can I hand you over, O Israel? .... my compassion grows warm and tender." (Hosea 11:1,4,8)

"For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. She is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty."
                                                                                                                                  (Wisdom 7:24)

 "Lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come."
(Song of Solomon 2:11,12)

Photo: A view from Chung Shan (Middle Mountain) near Guangzhou, China (formerly known as Canton)
Credit: Charles Kinnaird

< Good Friday                                                                                                                   Easter Sunday >


Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday (Keeping Silent)

< Holy Thursday                                                                                                                Holy Saturday >

Paschal Triduum: A Personal Journey

Good Friday

Keeping Silent
(A Song of Mark)

Now we remember.
He told us to say nothing
But how could we keep quiet?

“Tell no one.”
But we blurted it out
In our ignorance.

Our demons shouted
And he ordered silence
But our silence could not be kept.

Now as the darkness creeps in
And hope is taken
Like a poor migrant
Bound on an outward caravan,
No one can speak
No song can be heard
None dare say what we thought we knew.

The time for singing has passed;
Gone are the days of glad shouts
And hopeful chatter.

We, once lively pilgrims – all of us –
Turn each to our own indefinite way
Where no one gives voice to what was heard,
No one tells of what was seen.
When an empty tomb offers no consolation
In our grief, we finally honor his admonition,
“Tell no one.” 

We keep silent.

                                                                                                              ~ CK

*     *     *

“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8)
Photo: "Dead Tree and Pacific"
Credit: Brocken Inaglory
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday (Everything Ends this Night)

< Palm Sunday                                                                                                                     Good Friday >

Paschal Triduum: A Personal Journey

Holy Thursday


Everything Ends this Night

We walked the green hills of Bethsaida
And sailed the blue waters of Galilee.
On the dusty roads of Samaria
We saw hope dawn in the hearts of our daughters.

In villages temporarily calmed by Roman peace
And guided by Greek insight
A rabbi unfolded scenes of a father’s love.

We saw before us
A living litany
Of new life
When lame limbs walked
Fevered brows cooled
Deaf ears heard
And eyes saw for the first time.

Our eyes saw for the first time
Our limbs moved with grace
Our fevered minds became lucid
And music filled our ears.

But everything ends this night.

The altar is laid bare.
Joy becomes sorrow
Hope withers before the emperor’s army.
Peace fades in the wake of ecclesiastical edict.
The last light goes out.

It's all over now.
Everything ends this night.

                                                 ~ CK

*     *     *

"In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me”… Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." (Matthew 26: 55, 56)

Photo: Church altar stripped for Maundy Thursday
           St. Paul's, Bow Common

< Palm Sunday                                                                                                                     Good Friday >

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Music: Gregorian Chant - Pange Lingua

According to Wikipedia:

"Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium is a hymn written by St Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi . It is also sung on Maundy Thursday, during the procession from the church to the place where the Blessed Sacrament is kept until Good Friday. The last two stanzas, called separately Tantum Ergo, are sung at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The hymn expresses the doctrine of transubstantiation, in which, according to the Roman Catholic faith, the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ."

 The beautiful Gregorian chant is performed here for Easter Mass by the Gregorian Choir of Paris.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday Reflection

                                                                                           Holy Thursday >
Palm Sunday

On this day
We set ourselves apart
By walking with the crowd.
Joyful hosannas
Can turn on a dime
And someone goes to jail.
The solid backing of the people
Becomes moot when the masses disperse
Like ashes upon the water.

On this day
We set ourselves apart.
We are fine pilgrims
Loyal followers
And guardians of faith.
Marching with palm branches raised,
We echo the crowds of a distant past.
They celebrated the triumph of a new king,
And looked to the dawn of a new era.
But tides turn with Empire
And crowds move with the tide.

On this day
We set ourselves apart.
We remember the joy
We recall the loss.
Causes come and go,
Empires rise and fall.
The crowd remains
Ready to shout hosannas
Ready to disperse
Ready to offer the sacrificial lamb.

                                         ~ CK

Picture: Christ's Entry into Jerusalem
             by Duccio di  Buoninsigna
             (tempera on wood)
             Public Domain

                                                                                                       Holy Thursday >

Poets in Performance | BillMoyers.com

You may have heard that April is National Poetry Month. Bill Moyers is another one who has be an enthusiastic promoter of the art poetry. How well I remember being enthralled by his interviews with poets and then hearing them read their works in the PBS documentary, "The Language of Life," and later "Fooling with Words." These programs both took place at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. I was so very appreciative of Moyers bringing these events to the living rooms of America by way of the broadcast media. Moyers has also hosted numerous poets on his television broadcasts. Bill Moyers website, Moyers & Company, has posted "Poets in Performance" which features a wonderful array of poets from past programs reading their works. 

I highly recommend going to his site to hear these works : Poets in Performance | BillMoyers.com


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Haiku: Flood Stage

                    waters rise
                    so much swept away
                    hope remains

                                           ~ CK

Photo: Flooding on the Black Warrior River
Credit: Ben Flanagan at AL.com


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Distant Hope

 As part of National Poetry Month, I am re-posting an old poem, except now I have new photos taken from the same window where the old poem first emerged

Distant Hope

There are some days
When one is drained.
Curiosity is flat.
Mental strength is strained
And spiritual energy is depleted.

Watching a goldfinch
At the thistle feeder
Outside the kitchen window
Is the only intellectual inquiry I can make
And the only prayer I can offer.
Yet today
It is all I need
To see hope on the wing.

                                    ~ CK


Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Music: Ubi Caritas

 Ubi Cartitas is taken from the antiphons sung during the ceremony of the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. As is the entire Mass of the Last Supper, this hymn is intimately connected with the Eucharist, and is thus often used during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Recent tradition has the first line as "Ubi caritas et amor" (where charity and love are), but certain very early manuscripts show "Ubi caritas est vera" (where charity is true). The current Roman Missal favors this later version, while the 1962 Roman Missal and classical music favors the former.

This recording is by Octarium. The images that accompany the song bring home the meaning and hope conveyed by the music. Scroll down to see an English translation.

English Translation

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Love of Christ has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice in Him and be glad.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love one.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time, therefore, are gathered into one:
Lest we be divided in mind, let us beware.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
At the same time we see that with the saints also,
Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good, Unto the
World without end. Amen.

Latin Text

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Is Poetry Month

Before we get too far into the month of April, I want to give a plug for National Poetry Month. I often have poetry on my blog, and try to put a special emphasis on poetry during the month of April. It was last April that I posted a brief instructional post on writing haiku, and it generated so much interest that I started a new weekly feature on the blog that I call Saturday Haiku. This month I will post a few new poems, and maybe an old poem or two throughout the month.

Today I would like to call attention to Garrison Keillor's excellent daily presentation of poetry in his radio program, A Writer's Almanac. It is a five-minute broadcast that airs on many Public Radio stations and always presents a poem along with interesting information about poets and writers. It airs on WUAL 95.1 FM in Tuscaloosa, AL just before 9:00 am. It is a great thing to hear in the morning, and I always take heart when I catch it on the radio. I am usually not near a radio at that time of day, but the program can found online at http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org. You can also "Like" The Writer's Almanac on Facebook to have the daily programs appear on your Facebook page.

Last week, Keillor had a nice presentation on Robert Frost's life and work. He mentioned Frost's early days of struggling to earn a living and of his trying to make a living farming in New England, on a farm his grandfather had bought for him and his new bride. Keillor states that:

The majority of the poems from those [first] two books had been written at the farm in Derry, and some from his third book too. He wrote in a letter: "The core of all my writing was probably the five free years I had there on the farm. [...] The only thing we had was time and seclusion. I couldn't have figured on it in advance. I hadn't that kind of foresight. But it turned out right as a doctor's prescription."  You can read the entire broadcast, which includes Frost's "A Prayer in Spring"  here.  

As Garrison Keillor says as he closes each program, "Be well, do good work, and keep in touch."


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Haiku: Spring

     beneath new leaves
     comes a welcoming embrace
     of springtime fragrance

                                    ~ CK

Picture: Springtime, by Claude Monet (oil on canvas)


Friday, April 4, 2014

Recommended Recipes: Texas Caviar

Here's a recipe that was a big hit recently. I got it from a colleague who brought some to work on New Years Day (some of us had to work that day) so that we could have our black-eyed peas for New Year's. I ike it and asked her for the recipe. She wrote out the ingredients on a card with very little instruction (it is a simple recipe, after all).  I was going to a gathering and wanted to take a snack for the group. It was on a Friday right in the middle of Lent, and I was wondering what I could prepare that would be simple and vegetarian. That's when I remembered the recipe that I had tucked away in January. I made it for the first time for that gathering. I received many compliments, and the plate was completely empty by the end of the night. I'm including the recipe as delivered  with how I executed it in parentheses.

Texas Caviar 

  • Black-eyed peas  (I used two 15.8 oz. cans of “Bush’s Best” Blackeye Peas)
  • Jalepenos - diced (I used two fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds removed)
  • Yellow Pepper - diced (I used one medium sized)
  • Red onion - diced (I used about 3/4 of a medium sized red onion)
  • Shoe peg corn (the corn I found was Green Giant "Steam Crisp" - I used one 11 oz. can)
  • Cilantro - chopped (I only used a little bit out of personal preference)

 Marinate in Zesty Italian dressing overnight in refrigerator (I used an entire 8 oz bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian)

Serve as a dip with chips

In preparing this, I placed all of the diced ingreditents – jalepenos, yellow pepper, and red onion – into a food processor for to make quick work of it.

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