Talk about a cozy book for the season! Prairie Avenue by Arthur Meeker is that! Prairie Avenue was a really fancy neighborhood in Chicago in the early 1900’s. This story highlights the world that goes on behind closed doors—really fancy ones—and in rooms—really fancy ones with large stone fireplaces and indoor gardens. Despite what we may see, trouble can brew anywhere and people can be in pain even though their life may look grand on the outside. Arthur Meeker highlights this kind of paradox and I highly recommend it! It’s one of my favorites and it is one of the few books I would read again. .
Just turned in the manuscript I’ve been writing about the Poletown neighborhood in Detroit for The History Press!! Can’t wait to see it on the shelves!! Time to catch up on my reading and quietly celebrate—alone. .
For months I did my own personal study on tears, because I was crying everyday for various reasons, mostly for other people. Not really knowing what would come of it, I began journaling my experience and realized that my tears for others and tears for my family were a form of contemplative prayer for them. I confided in a priest, telling her that I was crying a lot and, for example, I wept over the story of Jesus learning that his beloved friend, John the Baptist, was beheaded. I wept for John and I wept for Jesus. The priest just blinked at me and she said, “but weeping for someone is not doing anything to help them.” I said “surely my weeping is felt in heaven and my tears are cast upwards as a prayer and shed back down to earth as a blessing of love for whom I am weeping.” I said this in so many words, and as I spoke I realized for the first time that my weeping was prayer. These days when all we CAN do is pray and weep, surely our tears are blessed. It is OK to cry. Tears heal us in so many ways. They are a prayer for your people and a blessing for you. .
A SONG OF FREEDOM
by Alice Mulligan .
In Cavan of little lakes / As I was walking with the wind / And no one seen beside me there / There came a song into my mind / It came as if the whispered voice / of one, but none of human kind / Who walked with me in Cavan then / And he invisible as wind. .
Maybe this will be white noise today, but maybe it will be some relief.
I recently watched a documentary about Lorna Byrne, the woman who sees angels. She has seen them her whole life. They speak to her, they tell her things. They are with everyone, she says. Everyone is born with a guardian angel that stays with them their whole life. Despite all the detailed stories about what they say and what they look like, I think her most valid point or lesson is that it doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist or if you practice a different religion, you have a guardian angel. We all do, because we are all a piece of God’s light. We are all very special this way. The angels are here to protect us, we are their treasure. And if we think about this for a moment, one can really understand that every single person deserves dignity and mercy, because every single person is
an extension of God, no matter what. While the whole world is battling against a sickness that is trying to kill our sense of peace
if not our elderly loved ones, perhaps it has instead unified us? It
has proved that we are all in this together. It seems every person is
scared or concerned. And even though we have laid oceans of distance between us, making ourselves islands, it is only to save each other and in this we are closer than ever.
I have posted the documentary on Lorna Byrne to my bio. Enjoy!
More on my journey back to the neighborhood of Poletown razed for the GM plant in 1981. Found Father Joseph Karasiewicz’s grave today against terrible wind and bone-numbing chill in a deserted graveyard. Father Joe was known as the “iron priest of Poletown”, he fought to save the Immaculate Conception church with his life. He died from a broken heart 6 months after GM bulldozed his church.
After searching for an hour, I finally found his grave almost completely absorbed by the earth and forgotten. I tried my best to dig it out with my doc martins (always doc martins). I then drove home blasting Philip Glass, because I’m strange, and also, because there is no other way to listen to Philip Glass! What a dreary & cold, yet blessed day! Right!? 🙃
These are my own contemplative thoughts. You might disagree and that’s OK!
“…Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so I may know how many there are.” —1 Chronicles 21:2
Most of the first part of Chronicles is a genealogical list, which I skipped in my reading. But then the book goes on to speak of David’s
rule as king. As king, David did the best he could, but like all humans he was not perfect. He’s written some of the most beautiful psalms (poems & songs) deticated to God,
because he truly felt he and God were in it together, he truly felt God’s presence in his life and it overwhelmed and inspired him. So the fact that he asks for his troops to be counted so he can measure his army’s strength is very unlike him. In this action he separates himself from God and is relying only on numbers, & on his own strength and pride. The simple definition of ‘sin’ is an act which separates us from God. So David was wrong to count the strength of his men, when he knew (and it had been proven to him many times) that God had his back, that God was with him. By this he pushed God away, thus separating himself from God, thus committing a ‘sin’. But don’t worry, our ‘sins’ are not counted by God. I think this shows that fact. That neither we should count against God, nor should we think God is counting against us. We simply try to keep our faith, and pray God will help us keep our faith in Him. We must hold fast to the sleeve of God’s robe or to God’s hand like a child who does not want to be lost in a world crowded with trivialities. In David’s case he said he was sorry to God and went on his merry way, hand in hand with Him (or if you like, Her) after this, and left with us his beautiful and inspiring dedications to his One & Only True Love.
#bibleverse #bible #biblejournaling #church #episcopal #episcopalchurch #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #catholic #christ #god #jesuschrist #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookphotography
One more tidbit… possibly more as these letters are hilarious.
To his best friend, Sir Horace Mann, who apparently had not responded to his letters for two weeks so Walpole became “angry” and wrote that he won’t continue to give news reports to Mann, because “he’s not a newspaper.” And he repeatedly told his friend that he won’t update him on personal gossip…
“The Duke is expected over immediately;I don’t know if to stay, or why he comes—I mean, I do know, but am angry, and will not tell.
I have seen Sir James Grey, who speaks of you with great affection, and recommends himself extremely to me by it, when I am not angry with you; but I cannot possibly be reconciled till I have finished this letter, for I have nothing but this quarrel to talk of, and I think I have worn that out—so adieu! You odious, shocking, abominable monster! 🤣 —Horace Walpole July 14th, 1748