Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We have puppies! Tiny little signs of life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I’ve been having interior fits tonight because there is a large spider on the ceiling in the dining room. Charlotte isn’t moving, but she is not small. The sisters assure me that she is not poisonous, but if she comes anywhere near my room… And then I was concerned that the spider in residence in the shower has moved elsewhere – where? – and wincing at the cold water. Which isn’t ice cold, mind you, any more than Charlotte is a tarantula (maybe there aren’t any of those in this neighborhood – we can always hope).

I was also remembering all the people I’ve seen today and throughout the last week who don’t have a shower. Here I am with a nice one. A clean one. With clear water. And I have access to plenty of treated drinking water, too. The people in those tent camps don’t have this. Nor do they have shelter against spiders and mosquitos and who knows what else. And I get worried?

I get annoyed to discover I’ve fallen asleep with the light on – and then I give thanks that tonight we have electricity.

One of the hardest things this past week is not the cold water or the multi-legged creatures with which I do not deal well. It’s the sense of helplessness at the sheer magnitude of the misery I am seeing. It was bad in 2009; since the earthquake it is much, much worse.  People are living in places I wouldn’t let our Boston convent dog go. I can’t take pictures of the worst of it; people would be offended. To say it’s not right is so understated that it makes me laugh. And there is so little that I can do.

I need to remember that I am not doing this alone. The Sisters are not doing it alone. The church is not doing it alone. None of us is doing anything alone. We have each other and we have God. And we can do something.

I will, with God’s help.

tent camp on the Champs de Mars in front of the ruined Palais National
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Saturday, November 26, 2011

a story for Advent

"'Thank God!' he cried. The Angels jumped in alarm. He didn’t usually ask to be thanked like that — not straight out. But still, they covered their faces, bowed, and sang a tricky Sanctus that Jophiel had been teaching them.

God looked distracted. For days, he’d been hovering over Galilee, watching the girl."

I love this. And this is from an Advent blog I've enjoyed in the past.  I commend it to you. If you want to read the rest of the story, here is the link:

Friday, November 25, 2011


self-confidence = carrying a large load of china in a basket on your head without holding on

Thursday, November 24, 2011

giving thanks

There is so much for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving: for family and friends, for my community, for food and clothing and shelter and health.  I'm thankful today that we have running water back, as it was out overnight - not a major problem, but it makes me realize once again just how important it is.  I'm grateful to have a supply of clean, treated drinking water as well.  It's those little things. And I am thankful finally to be in Haiti. God is so gracious to allow me to be here.

Merci Seigneur - Thank you, Lord

Giving thanks in Haiti certainly has a different perspective to it.  I had forgotten how many taptaps (little colorful buses, privately owned but running as a main form of transportation) say "Merci Jesus."  If you add the related slogans, you have quite an impressive amount of thanks happening in a place where praise and thanksgiving might be harder to come by.  I was also cheered to see today a taptap that said, "Merci Manman" (Thank you, Mom)!  But there is perspective here about what is really important.  My prayer is that I learn to trust and give thanks to God with my whole heart in the midst of difficulty; this is a good place to learn how that is lived.

In God we trust

Grace de Dieu - Grace of God
“Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more–a grateful heart:
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose Pulse may be
... Thy Praise.”
~~George Herbert

(Thanksgiving for JH, who passed this quote along.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

of paper monsters and duffel decisions

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things:
Of paper monsters, duffel bags, of weights and measuring.

I look around and stare aghast at what is left to do:
More files to sort, more calls to make, my final laundry, too.

Recycling, recycling, recycling and more
recycling, or else I never will get out the door.

Blue Cross has balked; the pharmacy says, “Sorry, only eight
weeks’ worth of drugs against the bugs.” Please don’t let more be late!

The duffel’s packed, but stuff is left. Decisions still remain.
What must come out to add the rest? It’s too much for my brain.

I’m leaving soon: I count the days on only one hand now.
I dance with glee, then panic, see, but God will show me how.

consider the squirrels

 The Philosopher Squirrel of Roxbury Crossing
Multiple Choice

Is this squirrel

a) Contemplating the beauty of the fall leaves?

b) Considering the train tracks below and the glories of travel?

c) Wondering where he should store his acorns?

d) Wondering where he put all the acorns he already stored?

e) Meditating on autumn, the passage of time, and the fleeting nature of life?

f) Preparing to jump in the leaves just for the fun of it?

g) Looking for an afternoon snack?

h) Posing for the camera?

i) Wondering when this strange nun will stop taking his picture?

j) All of the above

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

creative advertising

I actually enjoyed watching this ad. It leaves you wondering till the end.  It would be fun to make up your own version of this.  What music would your soundtrack have?