Six Word Friday: LOVE


“Nothing worth doing is completed in
our lifetime; therefore, we must be
saved by  H O P E.  Nothing true or
beautiful or good makes complete sense
in any immediate context in history;
therefore, we must be saved by
F A I T H.  Nothing we do, however virtuous,
can be accomplished alone; therefore, we
are saved by  L O V E.”  ~Reinhold Niebuhr

This is the final Six Word Friday. It has been hosted for the past five years by Adrienne Scanlon at My Memory Art.

I sent her an email the other week thanking her for her time and effort at the helm. I said, that the challenge of using a prompt word in sentences of no more than six words opened up something inside me that had been closed since childhood. I also said the challenge of a really juicy word called me back to blogging when I may have quit after suffering a traumatic brain injury last February.

Viewed in the light of Niebuhr’s words, I guess you could say Six Word Friday has been an exercise in faith, hope, and love for me. It has been a good and fun thing.

And, in case you do not know, Reinhold Niebuhr is the author of what has come to be known as the Serenity Prayer, which was eventually boiled down to:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Amen, my friends, amen.

Six Word Friday: HOPE


“Most of the important things in
the world have been accomplished by
people who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no
H O P E  at all,” said Dale Carnegie

If the people at Small Miracles Cat Rescue hadn’t had  H O P E  that their work could make a difference, they would not have rescued a little, feral, tortoiseshell kitten from the Kill List of an overcrowded shelter back in March of 2013. She was deemed “unadoptable” because of her injuries and feral, withdrawn ways. But, H O P E  wades right in, I guess. They had hope someone would want her. And, we did. Our darling Josephine.

Six Word Friday: FAITH

Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Luc-Oliver Merson, 1879. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

“Not much is known of  J O S E P H.
He was a husband, father, provider
everyday, and he had dreams. What
more can be said?” Author Unknown
j u s t    t h i s
Rest on the Flight into Egypt;
F A I T H  he was reading G_d correctly.

Explanatory Ramblings

The “portion in quotes” in the poem (above) is not original to me. The words are from a painting I saw August 21, 2002 hung in the library at Saint Joseph’s College, Standish, Maine. I tried, but could not find out the name of the artist.

I first encountered the painting, Rest on the Flight into Egypt, in the Signals catalog. Signals was selling the part with Mary resting on the the Sphinx as a print. I didn’t buy the print, but I clipped out the advertisement from the catalog and kept it in my wallet for years. I guess that’s a sign that the painting moved me. Many years later, when I saw the entire painting, I was moved even more. Joseph has always been one of my favorite biblical peeps, being willing, as he was, to be dragged all over creation for the sake of his wife and son.

The Six Word Friday meme has been going on for five years hosted by Adrienne Scanlon at My Memory Art. Her time at the reins is coming to a close. (Thank you, Adrienne, for all your hard work and encouragement of the rest of us.) This is the second to last week.

I thought the poem, the painting, and this week’s word, FAITH, went together quite well in six sentences of six words each.

Hope you like it.

National Thick Soup Week


As some of you may know, I am am acupuncturist by trade. For several years I taught Introduction to Chinese Medical Classics at University. Choice of acupuncture treatments are often based on the time of day or season of the year. The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunar-solar calendar divided into 24 sections. Start of Winter occurs each year around November 7th when the sun is at 225* celestial longitude. I tell my patients that in Chinese Medicine, seasons go by Light and not by Temperature. The winter solstice is the deepest, darkest day of the year, and is thus the MIDDLE of winter and not the beginning. The beginning is November 7th.

The four beginnings of the seasons were important festivals in ancient times. Before the Start of Winter, the ancient emperor would take a shower and have no more meat. On that day, the emperor would lead his officials to the suburbs and perform the ceremony of “welcoming the winter.” (See picture above.)

Which brings us to Thick Soup. People in China now welcome Start of Winter a little differently. Depending on the region, festivals in which thick, rich, warming soups and dumplings, squash, and meats often figure prominently. Start of Winter celebrations often last several days, so why not join the fun? There’s still plenty of time to take a shower and have a vegetarian snack. Hitch the horses to the chariot and point them in the direction of the grocery store. Get some potatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, acorn squash, onions, apples, celery, red wine if you like, warming spices, meat if you eat it. Point horses toward home then make yourself a wonderfully fragrant, warming soup or stew to welcome Start of Winter. Ceremonial dress robes optional.

For more about Chinese Start of Winter Hertiage Festivals, click here.