Category Archives: Journey

les tranches de la vie, captured in amber.

Late Renewal

It’s late, they said,
Time to go to bed
Oh, just go ahead
and get ready to be dead.

Here comes some energy
some sense of being free
Some sense of being me
Once blind, but now I see.

Today I seem to tend
Or lean toward a trend
Of adding friend to friend
In life that does not end.

I’m finding new release
New instances of peace
New hope that will increase
In a dance that does not cease.

The ones I’ve left behind
Now fill my heart and mind
As each new day I find
That even death is kind.

In this eternal now,
Not lost in why or how,
In worship do I bow,
In love repeat the vow.


For Ned

Dear Ned,

It’s Monday morning as I write this. Less than a week ago, I talked with you. You were so full of plans, ideas, energy. The future was emerging. You seemed content, happy with the direction of your life. Not yet satisfied with yourself, that you would never be; always looking for how to grow, how to improve, to do better. It so happened that I contacted you that day, not for any particular reason but because both of our lives had been busy for a while, and we had been out of contact, and as you know I would never want to lose touch in any significant way. We talked about your travel plans, and how we might meet, for the second time only on the ground, some time in the next few months.

I think that was last Tuesday. On Wednesday you had a medical emergency, and on Friday, you died. I got that news late Friday evening.

A gift, a precious flower
Blossoms for a day, a year, an hour.
The beauty that the flower reveals
Is what Eternity conceals.

Once in a fortunate lifetime, the soul on pilgrimage
Finds a companion for the way.
Such were you, for me; though I knew you just a day.

My grief is not for you; you knew the joy
That centers on the Love that moves the world.
I mourn a future lost; in which your light
Would shine, as all your gifts would be unfurled
Like a proud flag, for all the world to see;
Alas, those gifts, now fragments left to me
Must wait for other hands to set them free.

And yet, although your absence gives me pain,
I feel your presence still; this is my gain.

A Close Friend Far Away

I have a friend a world away, a friend I’ve known for just one day,
(If friends are counted, face to face, who share a single time and space.)
But counted in the depth of heart, this friend was mine before the start,
Before the race of life began, this friend and I were hand in hand.
We knew each other, so it seems, in realms of visions and of dreams,
And so one day, as if by chance, this friend and I began to dance.

We danced with words in cyberspace, our hearts expanding, learning grace;
We danced with thoughts of God and life; we danced through turmoil and through strife;
As earth revolved around the sun, we found our dance had just begun,
Until one day, we then were brought to see the friendship we had caught
For a few hours, in line of sight, we danced and talked into the night.
Then danced away, released our hands, as life took us to different lands.

But this we know: we’ll meet again, and dance once more, as friend to friend,
Though far away this friend might be, there’s none I can more clearly see
Within my heart, where time and space
Give way to friendship’s lasting grace.

I learned to love

I learned to love by failing
for more than thirty years:
My efforts unavailing
Persisted through my fears.

I learned to love by losing,
By giving up the ground;
I learned to love by choosing
To keep what I have found.

I learned to love by staying
When hope for love was lost;
I learned to love by praying
And counting up the cost.

I learned to love by seeing
That love is more than life.
I learned to love by being
A husband to my wife.

(additional stanza offered on October 12, 2008 by Brent Jones):

I learned to hope by living,
And seeing things transformed,
And knowing through forgiving,
My soul can be reformed.

A day like every day

A day like every day
Dawns, filtering the tentative dew
With misty sunshine. Something new
May come our way.

Another morning brings a choice
Wherein new comforts face old fears.
The sparkling days confront the dreary years;
Hope and struggle in harmonious voice.

Death walks with me today, like every day.
It stalks, perhaps, or offers sage advice.
It’s one of many, or perhaps, my only day, this slice
Of life, today, this glorious day.

Halfway home?

(Happy Birthday To Me)

I set out on this journey
when I couldn’t even crawl,
And now I’ve driven, sailed and flown
And still not seen it all.

I’m hungry for the journey
That still lies ahead of me,
The places I have never been
That I have yet to see.

This solitary journey
Has got better every year
Because I’ved found along this way
The friends I hold so dear.

They say the end looms into view,
A long and steep decline;
But on this day, so fresh and new,
Eternity is mine.

My mother’s Christmas poem

Mom wrote this at the age of 93 years and seven months, and sent copies (written out by hand) to all of her children and grandchildren.


Christmas is the day we celebrate Love
Which God sent from above
When Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Came to earth to live,
His love, peace and Joy to give
To all who accept His gifts day by day
Traveling this earth’s remarkable way
With those in His love and care
Finding nothing more important to share
Than these gifts frome heaven.

We become increasingly rich indeed
When we share with those in need
Who have not had the privilege
Of knowing the security
Which comes from heaven above,
And Christmas comes that we may share
Our Savior’s love, as out we reach
So that others we may teach
How to unite with sisters and brothers
Accepting God’s gifts to share with others,
As we love, teach and pray each day
So others will join in the way
Of Bible reading and prayer, which richly pay.

Thelma C. Buehler

The above was written on November 24, 2005 as a blessing which came to me unexpectedly from heaven above, which I want to share. — (signed) Thelma C. Buehler

Strange ramble, in a buggy sort of way

Really, said the spider, I wish to web you
not for your death but for my life.
It matters not to me that you will never
fly. Nor may you blame my poison for
your struggle; it is only what I am
and what I do. Your billions of offspring would choke
the world, did I and those like me not need
to spin for food. Am I an evil? For you,
yes, I am; were I capable of sorrow,
I would apologize. But every eater
is evil to its food, unless the food
somehow enjoys being eaten. Well.

How nice for you, the fly replied.
You had a meal, and so I died.
Was this the end for which i came
into this world? For shame! For shame!
So free was I to flit about
for one brief moment; then, snuffed out.

So might the dinner-talk have gone
for hours more, if not for one
who interrupted on that date;
whose job was to exterminate.

feeling only a bit strangely today
(not that I seldom feel this way)

Detach me from the love of all things urgent

Detach me from the love of all things urgent
and find me importantly waiting for the dawn
in which the death, the hate, the crying anguish
of a million million souls at war
recede, reform, and reconfigure
into a lotus fantasy
a hazy, lazy
crazy heaven.

I am so close to you I cannot see you
nor feel the emptiness within
the vastness that is you. Go home, depart,
forsake me for the sake of our sweet love.

A wheelbarrow full of troubles, none of them my own, await me as a task.
To sift, to sort, to choose which now to polish, which to showcase,
in the presence of the God of dirt, the stone all have rejected, the troubler of mankind.

I need some holy mud upon my eyes. The men I see are trees, although they walk.
When I am healed
I will see each as I myself, a man. Behold the form and likeness, very God!

Poetic dance

The following series was written on a yellow legal pad in December of 2000 just a day or two after I had determined that in all likelihood my death was not immanent, after all, but before I had completely recovered from an intense period of personal re-orientation. I’m most interested in comments on the last three sections, though any and all are welcome. Read the rest of this entry

The mind’s creation

The mind’s creation

  • fantasy of beauty and of comfort

haunts the midnight wanderings

invades the daytime musings

grows and swells and swallows

its creator —

Such is the consequence

  • for those who worship idols;
    images conceived and nurtured
    in the soul’s magic workroom.

True worship waits

  • its patient steps unhurried
    until it finds the real
    inspirer of dreams.

The idol-crafter says:

  • I love the one I know not, but I cannot bear
    Not knowing that I love; I craft with care,
    therefore, an image of the thing I wish to know,
    And call it mine. And watch it grow.

And if the unknown – real – should come to me –

  • I will not see.

22 octobre 1984

22 octobre 1984

In one of many pauses in the treadmill, let us look at our presumptions of the moment – working hypotheses on which we base our approach to la vie quotidienne:

In no particular order:
God loves me and has a Wonderful Plan for my life.
Life is Absurd.
Everything is Meaningful.
Everything is Meaningless.
Persons are valuable:  created in God’s image.
La plupart des gens sont des moutons.
Mortality is the great tragedy & enemy of the divine plan.
Death is not the worst of tragedies.
It is the small things that lend meaning to Life.
It is the great truths that lend meaning to the small things.
Truth is accessible;  whosoever will may come.
Most people know the truth; but have learned to believe it is a lie.
What we call “Truth” is really most often a memory of truth; truth is not a thing or a piece of information we can possess; it is a reality we can see, and act in, and be transformed by with amazing results:  it is not separate from power.  Jesus did this, and so was able to say, I am the truth.  But he knew Pilate could not see  it, so could not respond to his question,  What is truth?


I was a sheep that was gone from the fold,
Lost in the wilderness, hungry and cold.
But the Shepherd came searching to find me again.
He looked on me kindly and held out his hand.