A letter from Albert Einstein to his daughter, Lieserl, who donated 1,400 letters written by him to the Hebrew University, with orders not to publish them until 20 years after his death.This is one of them, to her.When I proposed the theory of relativity very few understood me. What I will reveal now to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe, and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love, because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love, multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energyIf we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love, whose energy is waiting to be released.When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you, and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! “.Your father,Albert EinsteinHmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .
kind of makes you think
that everything’s not so relative. . .
IT IS MORE
. . .SO MUCH MORE
we can meet in the land of MUCH MORE
living as Caring Catalysts
who all understand and teach
Life is short, 🔴 ⚫ 🔴
and we have too little time
to gladden the hearts of those
who travel the journey with us.
So be swift to love,
and make haste to be kind.
🔴 Henri-Frédéric Amiel
Swiss Writer 1821-1881
MERRY THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS. . .
Here’s hoping your lights are still twinkling
you leftovers are still warm and tasty
you joy is still contagious
Years ago, Paul Simon was asked to name a song he wished he had written. The song he chose was “Silent Night.”
“Silent Night?” Really? But that wasn’t even a hit, ever. Was it?
Actually, yes. In 1935.
The story starts long before that, though. It starts with a poem written by Father Joseph Mohr in 1816, an assistant priest in Mariapfarr, Austria. Written in German, it was called “Stille Nacht.”
Two years later he was the priest of the St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village near Salzburg. On the day of Christmas Eve, 1818, he asked organist Franz Gruber to compose a melody for his poem. Because the recent flooding of the Salzach river damaged the church organ, it was unsure if it would be usable in time for Mass, so Mohr requested that Gruber write a guitar accompaniment for it that he could it.
The melody that Gruber composed is a beautiful, poignant one, with the simplicity of a folk song. That simplicity — using only the fundamental changes (I, IV, V and VI) — seems to have been shaped by Gruber’s use of guitar. Had he composed it for organ, he might have created a far more complex melody, and one remembered and cherished by none. But the purity of this melody, with the beautifully holy words written by Father Mohr, resounds like a hymn.
That church was ultimately subsumed completely by the river and replaced with a church named after the famous song which was born there.
In 1935, Bing Crosby recorded it, and sold over ten million copies of it. “Silent Night” was a hit.
In 1966, Simon and Garfunkel recorded a version of the song for their album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, called “Silent Night/ 7 O’Clock News.” In perfect two-part harmony, they sing the song to a piano accompaniment. Into that song bleeds the sound of a news announcer bringing news of the day, thus creating a sound collage of peace set against modern times. That news was actually scripted and read by Charlie O’Donnell, who was a radio DJ then and became the announcer on many TV game shows, including The Wheel of Fortune.
Topics covered in the lyrics which painted the summer of 1966 include the death of Lenny Bruce in Hollywood, a march in Cicero, Illinois by Martin Luther King, Jr., the indictment of Richard Speck for murder, and more. The full text is included below.
Simon and Garfunkel’s rendition of the song is simple and beautiful. Back in the day, we loved this version, merging in radical 60s style the hymn with the modern world. But we yearned to hear it without Charlie talking over it. Of course, back then that was impossible. Not anymore. Here’s the full text:
This is the early evening edition of the news.
The recent fight in the House of Representatives was over the open housing section of the Civil Rights Bill. Brought traditional enemies together but it left the defenders of the measure without the votes of their strongest supporters. President Johnson originally proposed an outright ban covering discrimination by everyone for every type of housing but it had no chance from the start and everyone in Congress knew it.
A compromise was painfully worked out in the House Judiciary Committee. In Los Angeles today comedian Lenny Bruce died of what was believed to be an overdoes of narcotics. Bruce was 42 years old.
Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero. Cook County Sheriff Richard Ogleby asked King to call off the march and the police in Cicero said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held. King, now in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to return to Chicago Tuesday.
In Chicago Richard Speck, accused murderer of nine student nurses, was brought before a grand jury today for indictment. The nurses were found stabbed an strangled in their Chicago apartment.
In Washington the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American activities continued its probe into anti- Viet nam war protests. Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans.
Former Vice-President Richard Nixon says that unless there is a substantial increase in the present war effort in Viet nam, the U.S. should look forward to five more years of war. In a speech before the Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York, Nixon also said opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.
That’s the 7 o’clock edition of the news, Goodnight.
Silent night Holy night
All is calm All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.
Ok, full discloser, I LOVE WRITING. I always have. Perfect gifts for me have always been books, notebooks, pens, pencils, paper. . .lots of blank paper.
And with this I always believed that I would be a raw child phenom writer; published way before my time (and everyone else’s) to the chagrin of many who tried but could just never succeed or even be recognized and affirmed. THIS is why, with the help of my school secretary mom, who had access to the office ditto machine, I put together a poetry book and handed out to friends and family when I graduated from high school. College brought on a whole new challenge as I actually majored in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. HEAVEN but, but still no official publication except from some college newspaper and literary magazine we put out quarterly, but I had a big drawer with rejection slips politely telling me, “We thank you for your submission, but it doesn’t fit our standards. . . .”
Pages and pages were written and as I moved to and through Seminary with an emphasis on Social Ethics/Pastoral Care, I was able to convince my Advisor to write five short stories for my Thesis based on some theories of Peter Berger. It got me my Master of Divinity Degree and with graduation and full time parish ministry came lots of speaking, sermons, teaching, youth grouping and continued rejection slips.
But the writing never stopped. Writing classes. Two unpublished novels. Lots of poems. Many speaking engagements and an idea. Brilliant actually, especially for the acting President of the IMPOSTER SYNDROME CLUB. I write, because I can’t help it. Which is probably why I have close to 2000 blog posts, many of them featuring some of my poetic expressions. I no longer write for traditional publication. I write now for all things to Self-Publish (because I can totally control all aspects of the writing/publication and distribution) and, wait for it. . .
TO LITERALLY GIVE IT ALL AWAY. . .in fact, one of my goals for 2023 is to give away up to 1000 books hand in hand with my presentations.
(WHICH BRINGS US TO THE REASON FOR THIS PARTICULAR BLOG POST
A GIVE-AWAY of sorts. . .
I accepted a poetry challenge this past year, actually three of them which resulted in over 60 poems. The first Challenge was in February where I had to write 15 poems in 15 days of just 15 lines on several prompts that were provided. I think in one-liners or poetic lines. (I DARE YOU TO LOOK AT MY FACEBOOK/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM feeds). The second Challenge happened in April: NATIONAL POETRY MONTH where I was allowed to write 30 poems in 30 days up to 30 lines or less a piece. The third Challenge was this Fall where it followed the first challenge of 15 poems, in 15 days of just 15 lines on the prompts they suggested. I was a little surprised that they were published and both appeared in Amazon Prime as separate Chapbooks for $10.00 a piece. I was able to purchase them at half that price and have given about 50 a piece away and now for a brief period of time, will use as a fundraiser for the small church I have served at North Royalton Christian Church since 1995. No price tag attached, not even a suggestion–purely whatever you’d like to donate
I did mention that I am the acting President of the IMPOSTER SYNDROME CLUB, didn’t I?
As another safety net
(p a d d i n g)
I found this perfect quote
almost as a disclaimer:
So as I have accepted a few Challenges this year
Let me know if you’d like to accept mine
and donate accordingly. . .
and I’ll leave you with one more meager poem
(not yet submitted or self-published:
DO YOU REMEMBER THIS. . . ?
It came out in 2001 and I remember watching it with my kids and laughing with them and wondering are toys the only things that are
M I S F I T S. . .
Go ahead, watch it again
and catch some of the things you most likely didn’t notice
or maybe just glossed over
just didn’t want to see or recognize. . .
This version of
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSE REINDEER AND THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS
What about the bad guy named Mr. Cuddles, who kidnaps toys so kids will never outgrown them. Or, the blimp, a hippopotamus queen, all with Rudolph thinking about getting a nose job. Rudolph and his friends show up at this misfit island, where they meet a cast of quirky toys, sequestered away in their shame. There’s a CHARLIE-IN-THE-BOX, a bird that swims, and a cowboy who rides an ostrich. And yes, there is a chorus of music that kind of normalizes it like all music tries to do. They real each attribute that, in their own minds, gives them oddball status: There’s a spotted elephant, a choo-choo with square wheels, and a water pistol that shoots jelly. Together, wail about their quirks through song and proclaim, not so proudly,
“We’re all misfits!”
Now here’s the thing, I think this part was suppose to be sad, but I kind of missed the memo when I was watching this. A happy little island of honest misfits sounded like paradise to me. Can you imagine belonging to a community like that? Those who wouldn’t bother hiding THEIR WEIRD?
Wait. . .WHAT. . .
Oh, you’re a bird that swims in water? Well, Yippee! I ride an ostrich! You feel weird about your polka-dot skin? Well, check out my square wheels chugging down an off the track trail!
Seriously, in what universe would this be considered exile? These misfits have found their people! A truer tragedy would be faking perfect, hiding your spots, and trying to conform. The misfit toys have created a hopeful haven, and it’s what I kind of pray to discover; to have for myself and you, others. . .
That by just showing up each day, BOLDLY BROKEN,
your very own island might form or maybe, just maybe
we discover that we’ve never
NOT BEEN A PART OF IT ALL ALONG
All the same. . .
R E C O G N I Z E
W E I R D L Y
we are so much more alike
THAN NOT. . .
ALL GOOD QUESTIONS
with even better answers
S E R I O U S L Y
you better watch out
because what we
s e e
isn’t always really what is ever seen. . .
James Crews is a poet who teaches Poetry at the University at Albany and lives on a organic farm with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Each Friday he posts a poem, sometimes one of his own that serves as more than just some mere Poetry Prompt. He recently posted this:
I’ve been sitting with this very short but very powerful poem by Jane Hirshfield ever since a dear friend passed it along to me earlier in the week. It speaks to the season so many of us might find ourselves inhabiting, not only that of autumn, but a moment of loss and transition during which we’re asked to accept such changes as necessary, and perhaps even sacred. In this poem, she invites us to see each shedding tree as an icon, “thinned/back to bare wood,/without diminishment.” And there is almost a haiku-like quality to those final three lines that urges us toward deeper contemplation of the richness inherent in these wooden beings. Perhaps what we see as loss and a kind of death each year as fall comes is really just wind and weather having worshipped the trees so much they are returned to their basic essence. In this way, we might reframe any difficult season when we are worn back to our essential selves as holy, worthy of worship for the way such trying times allow us to become something new.
by Jane Hirshfield
Again the wind
flakes gold-leaf from the trees
and the painting darkens—
as if a thousand penitents
kissed an icon
till it thinned
back to bare wood,
Invitation for Writing & Reflection: How might you reframe a difficult season in your own life as sacred or holy, seeing how you were worn back to the truest version of yourself even while in pain?
It prompted me to write in kind:
And just like that
into a colorfully crisp confetti
of blazenous colors
that never reached the ground
into what can’t always be planted
but never fails to be garnered in
that find us all
softly soaringly sheltered
in a cooling uplifting Breath
A heavenly satisfied Sigh
May this Fall Season bring you lots of
Oooooh and A W E
In this era, where a lot of people are becoming more and more indifferent towards one another, kindness is coming at an expensive price. It is not often that you see people showing kindness towards others. BUT. . .I found this video recently where there was a prepared set of different videos to prove that wrong. Throughout the video, you can watch Santa providing warm clothes to homeless people or older woman praising stranger for doing cool tricks with skateboard and many others. As always I hope this afflicts the Caring Catalyst in you that by merely watching the video, you will realize that kindness in humanity hasn’t been lost completely and there are still people out there ready to show acts of kindness not only to their close ones, but also to any random strangers and make them emotional or even cry by their acts of kindness. THAT it’ll inspire you to bring a special warmth to Another’s CHILL. . .Enjoy watching the video. . .
“I SEE YOU!’
‘I AM HERE!’
“For centuries, African Bushmen have greeted each other in this way. When one becomes aware of his brother or sister coming out of the brush, he exclaims, ‘I See You!’ and then the one approaching rejoices, ‘I Am Here!’
“This timeless bearing witness is both simple and profound, and it is telling that much of our modern therapeutic journey is suffered to this end: to have who we are and where we’ve been be seen. For with this simple and direct affirmation, it is possible to claim our own presence, to say, ‘I Am Here.’
“Those people in our lives who have validated our personhood by seeing us and exclaiming so are the foundations of our self-worth. Think of who they are.
“For me, the first to rejoice at my scrambling into the open was my grandmother. If not for her unequivocal love, I might never have the courage to express myself at all. And, after all, isn’t art in all its forms the beautiful trail of our all-too-human attempts to say, again and again, I Am Here.
“It is important to note that being seen enables us to claim our lives, and then it becomes possible to pass the gift on to others. But just as important as bearing witness is the joy with which these Bushmen proclaim what they see. It is the joy of first seeing and first knowing. This is a gift of love.
“In a culture that erases its humanity, that keeps the act of innocence and beginning invisible, we are sorely in need of being seen with joy, so we can proclaim with equal astonishment and innocence that of all the amazing things that could have been or not, We Are Here.
“As far back as we can remember, people of the oldest tribes, unencumbered by civilization, have been rejoicing in being on earth together. Not only can we do this for each other, it is essential.
“For as stars need open space to be seen, as waves need shore to crest, as dew needs grass to soak into, our vitality depends on how we exclaim and rejoice, ‘I See You!’ ‘I Am Here’”
See. . .
There’s always another way to say it
There’s always another way to hear it
There’s always another way to see it
THERE’S ALWAYS ANOTHER WAY TO BE IT
. . . .Questions, Class?
The Sand And The Foam – Dan Fogelberg Inspired by Khalil Gibran’s book “Sand and Foam”. from The Innocent Age Album (released 1981) (The Sand And The Foam Lyrics)
Dawn, like an angel, lights on the step Muting the morning she heralds Dew on the grass like the tears the night wept Gone long before the day wears old (Chorus) Time stills the singing a child holds so dear And I’m just beginning to hear Gone are the pathways the child followed home Gone like the sand and the foam Pressed in the pages of some aging text Lies an old lily a-crumbling Marking a moment of childish respects Long since betrayed and forgotten (Chorus) (Repeat First Verse and Chorus) Gone like the sand Gone like the sand Gone like the sand and the foam
I remember getting this vinyl album (AND I STILL HAVE IT) when it was first released in 1981. I was a little over a year of being ordained and used it for youth group workshops when we talked about LIFE and yes, DEATH.
It was 13 years before I began my journey as a hospice chaplain and I’ve heard it countless times since 1981 and have it on multiple playlists I play. It takes on an entirely different meaning to me now some 28 years later, long down my hospice journey road.
When it popped up randomly the other day, I was sitting in a parking lot of a Walmart with 33 minutes before a funeral I was going to conduct. I wonder if Fogelberg was thinking about his own life/death and the ever-so-brief frailty and quickness of life. He died in 2007 after battling advanced prostate cancer for three years.
AGAIN…the words took on a different meaning for me.
As I kept hitting repeat
these words came to my shore
and hopefully now will ebb up on yours
As we do our own dance with
The Sand and the Foam:
YOU CAN’T BE LATE FOR MY FUNERAL
It may be too cold
or a snow that wants to imitate it
It may be hot
With a humidity that begs for a breeze
not to be found
It may be greening Spring
a Summer’s hued sunset
A Fall’s Frosted pumpkin morning
Or a Winter’s pristine glistening white snowfall afternoon
You can’t be late for my funeral
It’s been indefinitely canceled
Postponed for a day
that doesn’t exist
You can’t be late for my funeral
because there’ll be no celebration of my life
No curious resurrection
If something never ended
but continued on in other ongoing ways
What makes for a HAPPY ENDING
is knowing there’s never an