Friday, 23 November 2018

Anne Lamott! (A truth teller for our times)

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

For God's sake, look me in the eyes.

Stock photo' to illustrate the story below.

He sat on the sidewalk, head bowed,  with his feet on the parking lot tarmac, and a small haversack on his back.

I was there too,  with my neighbour Barbara B., after our usual early Sunday morning peregrination with Zion at Arlington Park.

Barbara had gone into Panera Bread (Bahia Vista and Tamiami Trail, SRQ) to get her Coffee, whilst I moseyed around with Zion.

And there he was, just as I have described above.

"Oh sh-t" I thought.  "It's 7:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and the panhandlers are already at work".

I decided to ignore him.  But then my better angels took over.

Zion and I drew near to him.  I looked at him and said "hi".He responded  with his own  "hi".

Z and I moved on. We turned back.  I greeted him again. This time I made eye to eye contact.
I asked "can you use a cup of coffee and a cookie?".  "Yes" he said  "a coffee would be great", and "I  am waiting here for a guy who I met at a gas station yesterday, he promised me a day of work".

I bought him a cuppa and a cookie.  No big deal  at four bucks.

The man who had offered him a day of work showed up  ( a landscaper).  They drove away. As they passed, the young man put his head out of the truck and called out a hearty "thank you" .

There are no "homeless"

There are homeless people.

In half a generation the homeless people could include you or I.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

"Known Unto God" / Paradise Lost

In September 1994 we took my mother to the British and Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeux, France.

"We" were my brother Martyn, his wife Wendy, their daughter Laura, Mum's second husband Len, and me.

Mum's youngest brother Gunner Albert Finch had perished in August 1944.  Fifty years and one month later we stood in silence at his graveside. We took time for Mum to reflect in silence.

Martyn and I were moved to be with Mum, but also to see that the remains of young German soldiers were also interred in that British and Commonwealth Cemetery.  Why not?  They too were young kids, caught up in the fever of War.

Some British and Commonwealth gravesides also moved us to great sadness.

They bore the inscription "Known Unto God".  

The scraps of their war shattered bodies could not be identified.  

Those  scraps were buried  with all due dignity and respect with these grave markers.


The "Camp" fire in California rages on.


The figures change from hour to hour, but as of now there are about 43,000 displaced people, nearly 100 confirmed as dead, and approx 1,300 unaccounted for.

That 1,300 figure bothers me.

How many will emerge as safe and sound? 

And for how many will there be not a trace except for burned and charred bones to be buried with the inscription "Known Unto God" ?