Dec 12 — UDM Employee Recognition Party at 3:00 pm

Friday Dec 12  —  “Intimate knowledge of the many blessings received”  Ignatius of Loyola

It’s almost 5:00 am in Western Nevada.  I come here each December for a few days with my sister Midge and Jim, taking time to breathe family air and savor our long kinship, what St. Ignatius calls “intimate knowledge of the many blessings received.”   He meant, I think, that we humans never exhaust our awareness of the depths in our loves; they remain capable of surprise life long.

It’s 8:00 am on UDM’s campus where, Weather.com says, the sun just rose from nearly its farthest southern place on the compass, over the corner of Calihan Hall.  Weather.com predicts a short sunny day for today’s final exams and exam grading, and for this year’s UDM employee recognition party in the still-new ballroom.   One of the costs of finding this family time is missing the party I have come to love.  About 3:00 pm ET, I want to send some blessings over the Rockies, across the Great Plains, and over Lake Michigan to Livernois and McNichols.

Just as I typed that “I will send some blessings . . . “ line, a Terri Breeden poem came to mind.  She is probably getting the kids ready for school about 500 yards east of her Mom and Dad’s home where I sit with coffee and laptop.    I love her flint-hard language, especially when she and I give each other real hugs, in the same place this one time of the year.   “Prayers that Mean Something” comes from her “Grandma Hilde” series.   My mom died in October 2005 at age 102.  I don’t know how old she was when Terri wrote this poem.   I’ll ask her when I see her.

Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.

Come 3:00 pm I will be thinking of UDM employees in our Ballroom and wishing I was there . . .   and savoring gladness that I live and work at Six Mile and Livernois, proud of the mission of the university in the city of Detroit and grateful that I share it with many women and men on this list.

Have a blest day and a blest weekend.

 

john sj

ps         Today is the feast of The Lady of Guadalupe, an anointing for millions of people who live in the Western Hemisphere.

I’ll be heading home early next Monday so the list takes a day off.    Back Wednesday.

Today’s Post — “Prayers That Mean Something”

Grandmother loans out guardian angels.
She is generous with them, always
has an extra. I suppose she’s been
collecting them, maybe inheriting them,
one every five years or so,
from loved ones gone.

If my need is truly great, she sends two or three, or
one of her best, my grandfather’s
or her own. She
grips my hand, without
fragility, tells me,
“You are good” and
it means just that.

When Grandmother says she’ll pray for something,
it is wise to have faith. For her,
even wishbone wishes come true.

Her prayers are long,
include every grandchild by name.
She prays, “Dear Lord, for what is best…”
and it is not less to be one
of so many grandchildren, for
her prayers have strength.

And she prays,
“Dear God, thank you that I still am able,” as
she hangs wet clothing between
two trees older than she, but
less gnarled.

And I, without any gods, pray too, pray, dear god dear
god, dear
thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou

that she still is able.

Terri Breeden

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