Friday, September 5, 2008


No tomes today.

My IJM mornings begin with thirty minutes of quiet reflection called "8:30 Stillness", thirty minutes in which my prescribed responsibility in the universe is to be quiet before my God. It's as good as it sounds to you.

This morning I spent them leaning over the bannister on an outdoor staircase that leads up to the esplanade. Looking at the sky and the minute people walking below me, I heard the papery chattering of leaves on concrete. I mounted the last flight of stairs to have a look. There, in the corner, was a little wind devil, scudding dead leaves before it in a mad, if harmless, wheel. But in the center were a few leaves unmoving, as still as if the chaos did not exist.

The word for this morning was that I can be like that, centered on my God, still, at ease, though the whirlwind comes and encircles me. Perfect peace is possible where it seems least likely to exist.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Desk

An old man from Pakistan
Has been staring at me these eight years
Never blinking
Since I put his eyes down in ink
That smelled like a carpet store
And a Crayola red rose
Curls out of a Mason jar
Like a trap-door spider from its hole
Surprising in the veined velvet softness of its petals,
The clock ticks
And I do not hear it
Like I do not hear my breathing
It is one eternal second off
And at my fingers’ touch
I have
A brick made by the hands of a free man
And a crystal perfume bottle from Paris
That keeps winking purple
And a piece of silk sewn
By a girl with almond eyes
Sold to strange merchants in her childhood
And Edmond Dantes, Suffering
And Holly Golightly, Traveling