Friday, August 24, 2007

Thought 3 - Visions by William C. Martin

A wise [planner] does not inspire people
with grand visions
for the visions will become [illusions].
A prudent [teacher] will not call attention to achievement
for that will separate people into “achievers”
and “non-achievers.”
The follower of the Word will not encourage
displays of wealth [or power]
for all will be dissatisfied.
But the one who serves the Word
will quiet the noisy heart,
clarify sight,
simplify the busy life,
and reduce the plethora of needs
so the people may see clearly and with purity
without being pushed or pulled.

The [community] becomes holy on its own.

Thought 2 - Priorities, by William C. Martin

To consider your preaching
of more importance than the opening of a flower
is to leave the narrow path.
To value certain appointments on your daily calendar
and resent others as intrusions
is to misunderstand the Word.
To esteem and enjoy some people in your [life]
and to discount and dismiss others
is to wobble blindly.
To meet the needs of others
and ignore the whispers of your own soul
is to succumb to the illusion
that there is a time more precious than now,
and a place more heavenly than here.

Thought 1 - The Word by William C. Martin

You are a minister of the Word
but not of words.
The Word was in the beginning before words
and beyond words.
And whether they weave sophisticated patterns
of intellectual magic,
or they strike with passion
at the heart of the people’s emotions,
words are not Word
for the Word is inexhaustible.
One can only stand in wonder
and point.

from The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Reflections

I connect with this poem on two levels.
  1. I think this goes beyond pastoring to any writer who seeks to connect at the deepest levels with a reader.
  2. It matches my notion of the most we can know and the best we can live.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Things I Still Want to Be

I've found out that I'm going to have my name on not one but two books coming out next Spring from UNM Press. Both poetry anthologies of sorts -- one a collection from the Voces Program for teens from the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the other a collection of Slam poems from Albuquerque poets and others here at the National Poetry Slam in 2005.

So I'll have published a book. Check.

Next Spring I'll be taking the exam to become a "certified" planner. That will mean an opportunity to become a project manager at work. So I'll be a real, live community planner for real. Check.

I'm getting married, so I'll be a ... gulp ... wife. Ick. Still sounds horrible even in my mind's back of the throat. Except for the being married to the best partner ever. That part's palatable...

There are things I still want to be, though. A poet, which for me means publishing a poem somewhere "real" where I wasn't a shoe-in.

A teacher, which I'm sure will come in time. Lots of groundwork laid here.

I'd like to be a writer in the morning, maybe a meditation in the morning if I can make that happen. Exerciser? Yogi.

I'd like to ride horses. Read more. Be a mom. Photographer? Researcher.

I want to know more about Native Americans and uranium mining.

Be a cross-cultural mediator.

An author who writes about multiculturalism in place and planning across it. The title: Place & the Politics of Freedom & Inclusion.

I want to be a real-live facilitator. Get hired just to do that.

I want to be ... home right now, cleaning my house.

This weekend, the backyard will get overhauled, and then you know what I'll be?

A gardener.

Two Countries - Naomi Shahib Nye

Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.

Skin had hope, that's what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.