So many pieces floating in my life right now, little sticks adrift in a stream. I strain to see a pattern, watch and wait to discover which ones will land upon the shore... a sort of flotsam that finds itself connected by fallen reeds, dead leaves, string from old cloth, but, still, connected. I want to know which ones will float away, forgotten, dash against rocks, splinter, split.

I strain to see.

And my mind reaches for a "borrowed prayer."

Give us.

Give us this day.

This day.

Let me be content to watch the pieces floating, twirling in eddies, bobbing. Let me not strain to see. Just let this be upon my tongue...

Give us.

Give us this day.

This day.

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It's all good, they say.

It's all good.

Is it, Lord?

Why, just yesterday, didn't I take shovel to root in the raised beds. Didn't I point the sharp side down, delve into soft earth, strike metal against growth, loosen, then, with a steady right hand, yank?

And didn't I feel a pinch somewhere deep in my flesh as I turned to the left and threw that wayward raspberry bush onto the compost. That stray bit of root, arching stem, thorns, leaves green and firm, berries hanging hopeful and urging towards ripeness. Didn't I?

This day, this morning when the dew hangs bright on the hemlocks, teach me the difference between Genesis It is good and simply It's all good. Strengthen my right hand.

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I'm at the corner when my neighbor spots me. He is in some kind of convertible, midnight blue, that looks like a modern version of a Model-T. I am in old baggy orange running shorts, gray and white sport top. Mismatched. Not the way I'd wish to see my neighbor. "You should run down at the track!" he yells. I give some lame excuse about why I can't, don't. He pulls away, shouting, "I just saw a skunk and a racoon around the corner!"

I run on, under a sky that is the kind of deep, glassy blue that if you could touch it, you might fall up, in, get swallowed by the universe and not care. Never come home. The moon is half, a white face playing peekaboo beyond the trees. White clover bob in crowds at the sidewalk's edge. And there are white roses spilling through a weathered, grey wood fence. The tiniest clusters of white flowers look like trumpets and smell like the sweet edge of God, as they hang temptingly above poison ivy.

A quiet Tudor with simply one white light (the round glowing button of a doorbell) and another Tudor with lights all bright that say "Come, come in!" Splashing water from some hose that has been abundantly left to run all over someone's driveway. One lone white terrier barking furiously. Everywhere, earthen fragrance and rustling leaves and twists and turns. This is running, off the track.

And then I think of it. This is how I like my running. This too is how, mismatched as I am, I like encountering You. Fragrant, sprawling, shy, bold, dangerous, sweet, enthralling, untracked You.



Medicine God

I come to Your hut this morning in loose clothes, that you might roll up my sleeves and pant legs, have a look. At a rash like prickly heat, swollen ankles toes fingers, tingling in my limbs and pain in joint and tissue. (The regular doctor says... hmmm... kidney, liver, lymes, bug bite, too many almonds?)

Run Your fingers over my skin, feel the heat. Look into my mouth. Prod, push. Take a clipping of my hair, if You must. I place myself in Your care. I know that You can rattle, shake, roll this thing that bit me or that I bit, roll it off my body and crumple it into a ball to put on the fire. Or maybe You will just add it like Egyptians added stones to grain, to grind something new into my spirit.

Whatever You choose. I come to Your hut this morning in loose clothes, wait for Your touch, Your breath, Your chant of love.