The Secret Conversation

Window with Tools DSC_4353



Looking out the window, even though the scene may not be changing,

It somehow encapsulates me. Trapping and drawing me in further into a world I am not even part of;

Or am I?

Observation was perhaps just a first step, in the holy longing of exploring.


It never seems to get old, at least for myself,

But my eternal gazing does irritate some;

“What do you see that’s so interesting” others bark, annoyed by the delay now incurred in our progress, “Can’t you get a move on”…

Explanations are trees without fruit, for the reason is beyond the logical of reason, rather firmly resident in a heart.


There is something in the vista unfolding around me, and if I listen with my eyes I might hear it.

The secret conversation which bubbles away below the surface, the one which will show me the meaning of the scene,

Or my own motives,

Perhaps my own life.


Yours Sincerely,

Yours Sincerely. What an overused phrase; is it even meaningful for some?

A platitude, even sarcasm at times. Sincerely. Really!

Yet, when meant … sincerely is a beauty of a word.

One not written from the head, but from the heart.


Perhaps today we can return to its root. Sincerity. How we really feel about something; or someone.

A Cold Christmas Morning

Today, I don’t have to make the long walk to the farmer’s field,

For today we are here with what is left of our family.

My mother is busy in the kitchen readying the ingredients for the spice cake.

The hallmark of Christmas in rural Ireland. 1943.


I turned 14 yesterday; soon my part time activities will turnover in a few days from now.

Gone will be forever the school days of Carricarrig,

No longer a need to fill the lock with stones,

Or other pranks to avoid learning.


Mother’s soft voice comes from the kitchen,

“Fetch some turf Michael” and I know I will be venturing out again,

In the dank cold, to sneak across fields and take what is not ours to fuel the fire.

Mother would never endorse such theft, but neither does she know the turf is not ours.


After a successful commando raid, the turf is safely home,

Mother kindles the fire in readiness for the baking in the simple oven,

And soon enough, the smell of oriental spices and smoldering sultanas spreads over BallyLoughHane.

A Christmas indeed. No other present save that of Baby Jesus needed.


It could have been any location; a train station, airport or a football stadium.

This happened to be in my local Church in Clinton, MA. Not any “old Church” by any description. Walking through the huge wooden handmade doors you might be mistaken for entering a medieval Christian passion reenactment. The sound of the choir singing Gregorian chant uplifts a soul immediately; each inflection of waves penetrating the heart, changing the spirit and relieving the sharp pain of the winter chill from my cheeks.

Ears now replete with all their needs, my eyes are now bombarded with a festival of beauty, years in the making. Wooden pews glow with years of patina and polishing of praying elbows and listening seats. Overlooked by frescos depicting the passion of the Christ, they follow me down the aisle as I approach the stunning high altar; never demolished by crazy post Vatican II whitewashing designs. Here all remains as it was always supposed to be. Eye candy for the searching soul, overstocked with statues of our favorite Saint, bible scenes all a prequel to finding my own spiritual companion for the journey.

We all know when we have walked through the door which has been held open for so long. A door with patience and warmth and love behind it. Only waiting for us to cross the threshold.

What do we See?

What do see when you look at something? The object or person, the situation surrounding them? Colors or patterns? Is there some meaning in all of this? Why do we tend to reflect on photographs, painting and images, where we might be less lightly for a movie. Does the movie tell is the story and the image requires us to interpret it?

Is the world telling us something about ourselves? Are we an observer or a participant? Who or what else is calling to our heart about an image? Why does abstract art attract us?

No answers just questions to explore on our journey.

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Missing You

We met years ago, or only yesterday.

It was a long exchange of thoughts and sharing,

It was a silent “hello” as we passed each other on a walking trail.

But it was something else.


There she sits, these moments of splendor,

Crowned with the beauty of love without agenda,

Humanity caring for humanity, one on one,

Even the instant can be savored and tasted again, proving itself both worthy and wonderful.


For the noticed encounter is the one which I can own; forever.

And only regret a time when I was less sensitive,

Sending a million apologies to those I ignored,

For whatever reason.


So now; just know I miss you and I love you.

“Head Check”

As the road peels itself off my tires,

The 18 wheeler looms ahead, spraying a shower of dirt and water,

Warning me of oncoming blindness,

And a cloud of indecision.


The hum of the motorcycle engine below sings its favorite tune … reassuring;

Providing me with the wonderful vibration of our partnership,

Man-made machine in harmony together. She is ready to do my will.

A glance in the mirror confirms the blur of traffic all around, slow-mo it seems.


The last move is the “head check”

Ensuring no-one is in my blind spot,

That person who is in my life unnoticed, with whom I might collide,

Or I nearly did, but didn’t notice at the time.


“What the world needs now” …

Burt said it well, describing the pain of separation,

Isolation from love, each other … God.

Pain well defined. Spelt without anesthetic.


Each moment is an opportunity to recover,

To savor how the other soul will encounter God,

Not through a predefined, quiet moment alone,

But through you … and me. Just that.


All them up, all those meetings, words, unspoken signs, actions.

Thousands upon thousands, each day, month … year.

Stacking up like pebbles on the beach,

Washed by sand and tide now reflect their value.


Each little washed pebble has its effect,

Making them cleaner, brighter, smoother;

Or covering them in dank seaweed, rotting unpleasantly from the encounter.

Waiting for the seventh wave to rid them of the smelling morass encircling them.


Each chance, every instant, is yet another chance to put right.

To unseparate ourselves from God,

To be close to Him.

“To be close to you” ,,,