Friday, March 27, 2015

To Understand the World ~

"To understand the world at all, sometimes you could only focus on a tiny bit of it, look very hard at what was close to hand and make it stand in for the whole. . ."
from: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Outside My Window ~

In 10 below zero weather a black bird sat in the lilac bush under a canopy of snow for one full hour, hunched and meditating . . .

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mothers of the Fallen ~

Take your hands from your eyes wet with tears, dear Mother, to show us the beauty there that your suffering has caused.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

We Are All Brothers ~

Spent the day in Stuttgart visiting museums walking around downtown. I saw thousands of people but not one of them would look me in the eye or show any sign of recognizing me as a fellow human being. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Civil Courage ~ Good Angel

She was a 22 year university student here in Germany. One evening last week she intervened to help two girls, 13 and 16, who were being harassed by three men near the rest room in a McDonald's restaurant. She helped to free the girls but shortly thereafter an 18-year-old attacked her in the parking lot hitting her so violently that she fell and suffered a brain concussion when her head hit the pavement. Taken to the hospital she survived in a coma for one week. This morning Tugce Albayra passed away. It was her 23rd birthday. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Vain Effort ~

All the theology classes are of no avail in bringing me closer to experiencing who God is.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Destination ~

Are the luxurious, high tech BMWs and Cadillacs the seniors are driving all rushing along the roads to make it to their drivers' funerals on time?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Arnold Palmer ~ 85th Birthday

Dear Arnie,
Would like to let you know that you were, and are, an inspiration for me on my life's rough fairways. I often recalled your composed determination, and kept going. 
Thank you so much,
Charles [4 years younger] 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Remembering the Holocaust ~

O Seventy Years Later

One Sunday morning in Munich
Seventy years later 
I saw six suitcases painted white 
On a sidewalk 
Each with a rose stuck on 
And nametags. 

People came past 
Stopped, bent over to read 
And walked on with lowered heads— 
Aware of Sunday calm.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Like a Morning Prayer ~

Held the umbrella slanted against the wind and walked, looking down at the path, concentrated for once, without distractions. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Deep Fear ~

What is it I fear? . . . Fear is when the person I am dealing with might be thinking that I am an old man and not quite up to par. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Rewards ~

The University of Rostock in Germany is going to present Edward Snowden with an honorary doctorate degree, honoris causa. . .

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Last evening at a concert on Ochsenhausen, Germany, the full quaking power of Schubert's Adagio, Trio Opus 100 hit me solidly on hearing the first three notes and did not let up until the end of the movement. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Discomfort ~

Why does it affect me so, that the little five-year-old next door [whom I do not know] will not even as much as say hello? 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Morning ~

And overhead, a lark fluttering and twittering its song.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hustle and Bustle ~

In the garden the birds are busy. The bird houses and nests are occupied and there is constant feeding. Other young birds are learning to fly. The lilacs bushes are favorite perching places. There is a lot of fluttering in the bird bath. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Not Knowing ~

In all the great decisions of my 80 years it was best that I did not know everything that was involved. Knowing would have paralyzed me. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

For the Mothers of the Fallen ~

Good Friday, 2014
You, dear son, died lone. When Jesus died his mother was at his side.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Golf ~

Haven't played golf for quite a few years now, at 81. But I could have been a much better golfer if I had only listened to some advice and not insisted on being my own pro.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mothers of the Fallen ~

How the pain of loss and its sting comes creeping into the daily life of the living mothers of the fallen soldiers. And they sit alone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Water from the roof ~

Our little contribution to saving and appreciating water.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Deathbed ~

The priest came. The old man told him he didn't want to hear about Jesus and holy things, but he did want him to come back.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Bombing of Dresden, February 13, 1945

To commemorate the day the bombs fell there was a concert in the Dresden opera: Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem. When the music had ended the audience did not clap. Quietly, everyone stood up and remained standing, long, in silence. 

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Prayer ~

You don't have to go to the mountains to pray -- but sometimes it helps.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How fast things change ~

I remember how, ten years ago, I would click into the internet and have the joyous feeling that I was connected with the world.
Now that click makes me wary and I feel as if I am in enemy territory.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sexual Harassment ~

A six-year-old first grader in Colorado was suspended from school for one day for sexual harassment because he bent over and kissed his "girlfriend's" hand during a reading lesson

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Newtown ~ One Year Later

Newtown, Connecticut
14 December 2012

Angel of evil do not descend on this sunlit town in early morning,
First grade still unaccustomed to the day, 
In corridors the shuffling of boots
Coats crowded on hooks, busy hands adjusting at desks.
The bell has rung, their teacher, she greets them, hovering.
Toward the windowsill their sidelong glances, the candle the wreath.
Their Christmas nearing. Still so new when seven. 
Be merciful angel, do not alight. Stay winged, pass over.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holocaust Stones ~ Germany

These are called "Trip-Stones" and are to be found on the sidewalk in front of houses where Jewish families lived who were deported and murdered during the Nazi regime. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Silence ~

Avoid listening to all the nonsense on the radio.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What is God? ~

I must consciously free my mind from the idea that God is just a person who lived in Palestine. Christianity keeps me focused on that. Break away from that notion and begin to realize more what God means. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Solution ~

In his latest book dissident Catholic theologian Hans Küng has revealed that he is considering assisted suicide. Oh?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Not Knowing ~

The most important things we do in life we do without knowing: like taking a spouse, like choosing a career, like bringing up children. We take the leap!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gratias ago ~

How lovely the sun this early Sunday morning shining at a low angle into the autumn trees in our garden and setting them on fire. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Goverment Shut Down ~ USA

Witness what lust for power accomplishes. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

TV and Church ~

How many people sit before their TV sets watching Sunday services? Will that some day be forbidden so that people will have to go back to their church and fill up the benches?