Saturday, 1 June 2019

The ship, the ocean, the beauty, the fear.

"I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got there. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home.” 

― Thomas Merton

Picture and text via Bruce L

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Not Gourmet. Unhealthy. Delicious. Comfort food.

Start with yer Mac 'n Cheese.

Made from scratch is the best.

If that is not possible/feasible

 (1)  Never use the awful boxed stuff
  (2) Supermarket frozen is o.k.

 (3)  I, to my eternal shame, buy the ready made stuff from the supermarket cooler section.  It's not wonderful, but with a bit of added blue cheese it is just about palatable, and perfect in size for those of us who live alone.

SO  as yer mac 'n cheese is cooking or being heated, stir in some salsa of the flavour and hotness you prefer,

As the mac 'n cheese is bubbling away fry some American bacon  ("streaky" in the U.K) until it is crisp and crunchy.

Cut it into 2" strips and  add it to the mac 'n cheese.

Oh my!  Not Gourmet.  Unhealthy.  Delicious.  Comfort food. Do not tell my or your cardiologist  that you cook and eat this.

Instead, add one cooked pea to make it healthy!


At the Veterinary Clinic this afternoon

Took Zion for his annual portabella nasal inhalation


Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Hint Hint

OR    Read between the lines

OR   Consult the tea leaves

OR    Figure out for yourselves what Mueller cannot say out loud

Robert Mueller at his lawyerly best.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

When they see or hear what we cannot see or hear.

Rooted to this spot for thirty minutes.

Goodness gracious.  He is handsome even from the back.

Monday, 27 May 2019

My Memorial Day 2019. Fountains of Water. Fountains of Blood, Mud, and Body Parts

As is usual Zion and I were at Arlington Park, SRQ early this morning.

I paused for five minutes to look at the Fountain.

Above the fountain was a cloud of mist which ascended to the skies.

I purposefully took time to muse and mourn about the tragic meaning of Memorial Day.

I thought of other fountains.  The fountains of blood, mud and body parts:

In the Great War -  not a war for our freedom, but a war of the pride of Kings, a Kaiser and a Tsar.  

Young men blown into the skies without a trace of skin and bone to be buried.  

Other young men blown into death and perhaps buried as no more than a collection of body parts. They were 

French and Algerian (I have viewed Muslim Soldier  WWI gravestones stones near Soissons, France);  



British and British Empire subjects (including New Zealanders, Australians, Canadians and many many(Asian) Indians, 

American etc

Many of the living were a stone's throw from painful death as they were weeping for their mothers. 


In Vietnam ( in the the French and the American colonial wars):

fountains of Vietnamese, French, Australian and American blood, mud and body parts.


When I came to Fitchburg MA in 1976 to be the Priest in Charge (later Rector) of a small congregation I was urged to visit Bob and Bernice B.  as soon as possible.

Their only son Francis B. had perished in Vietnam.

Sadly, the Episcopal Priest at the time of his death had begun a "pastoral" visit to Bob and Bernice with the words "what a waste".

It seemed to Bob and Bernice that this was a political statement against the war, and not a word of  ministry to their grief.

It was my call to understand and share that grief.

When I first saw the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC  

I made it a point to stand in silent prayer as I viewed Francis B's name on the wall (not in the above photo').  Then I called Bob and Bernice to tell them that I had honoured their son's memory.

Adequate enough I suppose, but it did not bring their son back from the dead.


I flew Old Glory outside my home today.  It's a grand old flag. 

But my thoughts focused not on Glory but on Fountains of blood, mud and body parts.


My brother Priest Andrew McG posted this poem on Face Book today.   I commend it to you.   It brought tears to my old eyes


All day, day after day, they’re bringing them home,
they’re picking them up, those they can find, and bringing them home,
they’re bringing them in, piled on the hulls of Grants, in trucks, in convoys,
they’re zipping them up in green plastic bags,
they’re tagging them now in Saigon, in the mortuary coolness
they’re giving them names, they’re rolling them out of
the deep-freeze lockers — on the tarmac at Tan Son Nhut
the noble jets are whining like hounds,
they are bringing them home
– curly heads, kinky-hairs, crew-cuts, balding non-coms
– they’re high, now, high and higher, over the land, the steaming chow mein,
their shadows are tracing the blue curve of the Pacific
with sorrowful quick fingers, heading south, heading east,
home, home, home — and the coasts swing upward, the old ridiculous curvatures
of earth, the knuckled hills, the mangrove-swamps, the desert emptiness…
in their sterile housing they tilt towards these like skiers
– taxiing in, on the long runways, the howl of their homecoming rises
surrounding them like their last moments (the mash, the splendour)
then fading at length as they move
on to small towns where dogs in the frozen sunset
raise muzzles in mute salute,
and on to cities in whose wide web of suburbs
telegrams tremble like leaves from a wintering tree
and the spider grief swings in his bitter geometry
– they’re bringing them home, now, too late, too early.

Bruce Dawe (b. 1930).


There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from the soldiers' veins
And those who perished in that flood
Have mostly died in vain.

jmp adapted from a hymn.

A Hymn For Memorial Day

Father Eternal

Father eternal, Ruler of creation,
Spirit of life, which moved ere form was made;
Through the thick darkness covering every nation,
Light to man’s blindness, O be Thou our aid:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Races and peoples, lo! we stand divided,
And sharing not our griefs, no joy can share;
By wars and tumults love is mocked, derided,
His conquering cross no kingdom wills to bear:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Envious of heart, blind eyed, with tongues confounded,
Nation by nation still goes unforgiven;
In wrath and fear, by jealousies surrounded,
Building proud towers which shall not reach to heaven:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Lust of possession worketh desolations;
There is no meekness in the sons of earth;
Led by no star, the rulers of the nations
Still fail to bring us to the blissful birth:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

How shall we love Thee, holy, hidden Being,
If we love not the world which Thou hast made?
O give us brother love for better seeing
Thy Word made flesh, and in a manger laid:
Thy kingdom come, O Lord, Thy will be done.

Laurence Housman, 1919

Sunday, 26 May 2019

The Best Birthday Celebration

Thank you for so many loving greetings.  It's been a great day.

Wonderful birthday brunch today  at the Peridia Golf and Country Club, Bradenton FL with friends, neighbours, church folks, and Ben's Bar pals.

Here are some candids (most taken by my friends Bill B. thank you Bill)

What Fun!

I made a speech -- are you surprised?

With Ashley (Chrisman) Lloyd.

Dearly beloved Ron and Char

Back in April, at the Marina Jack restaurant, I had an early birthday dinner,  which was also a farewell to friends Ann, Wes, and Cindy who are moving away day.

Those friends,  Anne, Wes, Cindy (with Ted and Judy Copland who are not moving away) were kind enough to give me presents -  which I did not open until today -  my birth date.

I was, as is usual on Sunday mornings, with my friend Barbara B at Panera Bread, where I opened the cards and gifts from Ted and Judy, Wes and Cindy, and Ann.

Lovely New Hampshire made candle holder and candle.  I didn't mean to look grim!

Oh Lucky Man! graced with so many good Sarasota friends.

I want to be 75 again next year!