Category Archives: Uncategorized

Empowerment

I do believe power corrupts. As far as I can see, Christianity died when Constantine made it the state religion. I’m getting to do my once a month sermon from the molehill tomorrow. I’m telling about trying to get my youngest son, at three years of age, to speak into a recorder to send a message to his Grandmother. He froze when faced with the microphone, so I encouraged him to start by saying who he was. He just looked more and more frustrated. Then he cried out, “I’m somebody! I’m somebody.” A universal cry of our hearts, I believe. Unfortunately it leads to all sorts of idols/addictions: The need to be right, righteous, rich, powerful,special, a winner, A moment that has stayed with me is when 4 first grade boys in a Special Olympics race were clustered together and almost to the finish line. Then, suddenly, one of them fell down. Simultaneously the other three all turned back to help him up. And they crossed the finish line together holding him up.
I’m 80 and I’m not there yet.

Dark Matter

I think now and then

that it would be best
if all of us could fall into
amnesia,

tumbling to the ground
without our past knowledge
of walking, talking, sleeping,
shouting, killing.

It would not be
glorious renewal —
I’m no Utopian.

Instead I see it as
a fitting end to things:

all of us helpless, seeing 
every other one of us
from ground level,
lying there uneasily
as if new born, waiting
in complete equality
for an explanation
that will never come.

We’ve lived
for generations
terrorized by
by dark claims of 
mastery from those
utterly in thrall
to a lie called history.

It would be fitting, 
even at such cost, if
they were freed long enough
from that spell
to know how it felt not to be
empowered.

To see the world as it is,
from the ground up.

To squirm.

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To my mother & daughters: “Sorry about…you know… the world.” #Mother’sDay Apology #SundayBlogShare #humor

Barb Taub

To my parents and my kids— “I’m SO sorry about the whole world. Except for chocolate. And coffee, of course. “

For the past year, I have done very little work on my current writing projects. We bought a house, and for the first time I felt like I understood my mother.

Mother had her first five children in six years. Someone asked her about that childless year in the middle. “That was the year,” explained Mother, “we bought the house.” The Year Of The House included but was not limited to:

  • My brother falling into the hole being dug for the new basement bathroom (one broken collarbone)
  • My attempt to slide down a bannister which stopped halfway down the stairs even though I didn’t (stitches in chin)
  • My brother running his arm through the wringer-washer (skin grafts)
  • My sister releasing the handbrake on their first new car (totalled—the car, not the…

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The Attack of the Centipede or I Am Never Going to Sleep Again

After falling and breaking my shoulder last year, I now sleep with a light on. Tonight about midnight, when I got back from my first trip to check out the plumbing, what to my horrified eyes did appear, but a sizable centipede crawling right over my head. Too short to reach it and too arthritic to climb, I was afraid to swat at it and have it fall possibly under, or even worse, into my bed.

Keeping one eye on it as it began to start down the wall, I grabbed a file folder to carry it out. Then cringing and gritting my teeth as it turned heading higher and more out of my reach, I woke up my husband for help. While he groggily tried to wake up, I turned back to do battle. As I pulled my bed with its nest of pillows and covers away from the wall, the centipede started back down. Holding my breath, I managed to lure it onto the folder. .
While considering my options, toilet or disposal, it raced on its hundred legs toward my hand. I screamed. Loudly! Then tried to think what I would tell the police if a neighbor called 911. “But officer, it was a centipede attack!”
But my hero arose and took the cardboard folder in time. I cheered quietly as he hurried with it toward the front door, then groaned as it took a dive to the floor.

A floor the same color as our centipede escapee.

Since neither of us had on our glasses or shoes, we tiptoed gingerly bending as low as we could. When wounded or killed, this kind of centipede gets its revenge. It stinks up the house. And if it’s just scared, it has tiny teeth that can bite. We would never have found it if it had stayed still. But as it raced to hide, it ran onto the folder. I grabbed the door and it was  thrown out of sight.

As I whispered “Hooray,” I thought my husband was taking a bow. But at our age, it’s easier to bend than get back upright. Once helped back to bed, he fell quickly to sleep.
But as I looked at my bed, I thought of its mate and that centipedes travel mostly at night.

Now as I type, I imagine things tickling my legs and my back.  And shudder as I imagine a hundred little feet and tiny teeth that can bite. So, my plan now is to stay up all night.

Home Again and Cancer Free

Amazing grace! They were able to do the least invasive surgery. The surgeon is sure they got all the cancer. And we are home two days after the surgery. The first day was difficult, but he was much better the second and really good today. He will need to have check-ups every three months to catch any possible return of cancer, but the doctor was very optimistic. Thanks be to God and to all the kind people who cared and prayed in their own way. I feel so blessed.

The Dance of Grace or The Force and Jesus

I know this is inadequate, but it is the best I can do to express my understanding of our relationship to God, Jesus, and one another. I so wish I could do this better.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

I often talk like I see God as sort of a powerful, benevolent Santa Claus. But actually, my pitifully limited human comprehension is probably more like Star Wars’ the Force outside and within us.

So, as a great fan of Jesus, how do I understand his description of God as Abba, ‘Daddy,’ and his frequent conversations with Him? And what is the role Jesus plays in all this?
First, I think Jesus ‘Got’ God. And tried to communicate to us that the creative force behind the universe was not only still alive and involved doing  the creating thing all around us, but also still nurturing an unfinished universe and unfinished humanity from the inside out.

All of the universe, including humanity, is one. And the Whole (God) is greater than the sum of the parts.  Whatever this creative force that we call God is, it is “on our side,” because…

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God is in the Timing: Part 2, The Testing. (Read Sign of Hope the previous post first.)

Remembering the blessings in a time of suffering..

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

That evening after the doctor’s appointment, Tommy’s fever broke. His eyes sparkled and he was his funny independent little self again.
“Everybody start looking for pots and vases,” I said cheerfully, as I organized the older children and my husband into a treasure hunt for containers for the daffodils. We found dozens in diverse sizes and appearance and brought all the beautiful golden blooms inside the house. Everywhere you looked, it was Easter. Everywhere you looked there was the love of God and hope for the future.
The year continued with Tommy still succumbing to frequent illnesses, but I clung to my sign of hope, believing that God would heal him without surgery. Tommy turned four in November and a week before Christmas I took him to the heart specialist for his yearly tests. I had been told in the beginning, that sometimes these heart valve defects closed on their…

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Sex is Highly Underrated.

This is a very old post of mine, but expresses a part of what I mean about sex in the context of love being one of our ways to experience God.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

That may seem like a funny thing to say in a world obsessed with sex. However, when an Adult Sunday School Class was asked the question, “What’s a way you experience the presence of God?” and I answered “Sex,”  it went over like a lead balloon. There was a profound silence. I think the pastor just finally moved on to another question.

Evidently this is not the number one response.

For me growing up in the fifties and being a newly wed in the sixties created a sexual conundrum.  It meant coming into marriage with all sorts of taboos drummed into your conscious and unconscious, but suddenly hearing the feminists claiming equal fun for everyone. This led to being rather self-centered about sex. I did finally get the impression that men need the enjoyment of sex to feel good about themselves, but women need to feel good about themselves to…

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An empty vessel

Oh, to be open each dawn to the Spirit which gives us life, love, and grace. A lovely poem by Sue Vincent in England.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

offering lgI am empty
Serving no purpose until I am filled
Born to give shape and form
To that which fills me
A vessel of Light awaiting a word
And the hand that pours the wine of Life
Into my waiting.
Insubstantial, it is my substance
Into which the waters flow,
Held in safety, preserved from dissipation
By the cup of my being.
My feet in earth
Lips raised to the sky in joyful paean
Catching heaven’s rain as it falls
And fills me with its clarity
That I may drink the morning.

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A Gift

Ahh…..for a moment I delighted with you…..and I don’t even like Scotch. Such is the power of language. How then, can we capture and pass on the beauty some of us glimpse only in that ephemeral place of possibility so that those unsighted can taste and see that universal goodness in which we were created to live and breathe and have our being?

Dark Matter

Sitting with
a gift-glass of excellent
Scotch, a Glenmorangie
Nectar D’Or aged in 
Sauternes casks…yes,
an indulgence, yes, expensive
and rare; that’s the point of it,
it was a sacrifice, 
it was given in love
and I drink it with love on
my mind. Lemony
start, honey on the tongue
with dark burn, a finish 
built on notes of
regret at its ending and 
joy that it was here and I 
had this chance to taste it:
I’m not going to be ashamed
at this, you see, not while 
so much wrong needs righting,
not while there’s so much need
to assuage 
pain and trouble;
for a few minutes
I’m going into this glass
to understand it as a golden
taste of an expression of love,
a trace of what a pure future
might be once we get past
this dim moment.

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The Will To Live

The blog posts by this author are written with his eyes on a special computer. His journey is the most literal example of “living for others” that I have ever encountered. His writings and example have pulled me out of my self-pity spells for years.

Unshakable Hope

I almost made it through a whole year without being hospitalized or having any additional health problems. Almost. Then, with just a few days left in 2016, I caught a cold. The “commoncold” is not much more than an annoyance for otherwise healthy people, but for someone like me with weakened breathing muscles and only 30% of my lungs functioning, the common cold is much more than an annoyance.

On the morning of the last day of the year, I was having an extremely difficult time breathing even wearing my breathing mask. In addition to that, I couldn’t keep anything down. I was a mess, more than usual. Mary and I both assumed it was pneumonia again so she called 911 and within minutes we were in an ambulance en route to the hospital. ALS has brought us one adventure after another over the last 20 years.

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