“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, a 19th-century poet, physician, professor, and author. “The painter had achieved what we would all like to do: capture time and make it stand still. “Gillian Rubinstein, an English children’s author. We may not capture a moment with oil or watercolor, but we can slow down and measure our words.

Oh, if I could only have back a few of my past, ill-chosen words. I believe, by God’s grace, I can speak with more care and patience, whatever the circumstances.

When stressed and tired, I need greater care. May our good Lord guide me towards more kindly thoughts, words, and actions. Through others. Through Scriptures.

These changes are central to my journey. To your journey?

The Joys of Writing Fiction


Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“Writing is so personal. There’s so much of us in our fiction, whether we draw on the facts of our lives or not. Our hearts and spirits are in there—everything that’s important…” Andrea Barrett is an American novelist and short story writer.

It is what drives us back to that paper, or tablet, or laptop or desktop, often daily. It gives us a sense of meaning to tell our stories.

To some it is an irresistible force from the hand of the Creator. It is for me.

When I started writing for publication almost eight years ago I knew I had to tell my stories. I started with memoirs but fiction opened up my imagination. I think it is one of the reasons the good Lord put me in a position to give up my day job.

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“I really love emailing, it’s like writing a poem in the sky.”Janet Frame, the late, New Zealand author.

So we email and it’s received half way round the world quickly just as your blog is, if you write one. The email has a known target. The blog is for several billion sharing the planet. Though some are not nuts about sharing.

When I was a kid long distance calling was a barely discernable voice at the end of the line. Now, it’s distinct from twelve time zones away. I am either getting old or mistook a time machine for our Kia.

This Day

“Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 18th and 19th-century German poet, playwright, novelist, etc.

Music can even soothe those poor souls with Alzheimer’s. It can get us on the dance floor or into a peaceful rest. One little song each day sounds fruitful.

A good poem briefly can brighten or deepen our day. Well worth our time. Don’t you think?

See one exquisite picture? They are sprinkled through great museums all over the Web.

Speaking even a few sensible words. Sure. I suggest even more so in prayer.

Enjoy your day.

This A.M.

“Oh, what a beautiful morning.” Oscar Hammerstein

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” Emily Dickinson.

I just experienced this morning. It’s been a bit cold. Out our back windows the bright, almost winter sunlight flooded the yard and the greenery beyond it. Kristine and I shared good coffee and even better conversation. Thank God, it’s been a week short of 44 years of conversation

It’s been a day like any other, but just a little better. Emily had it right. I won’t pass this way again with anything but a sweet memory. Life happens that way. At least it did until just now.

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“Love is the only thing you can really give in all this world. When you give love, you give everything.” Theodore Dreiser, an American novelist, and journalist. In my summer of novels, 1963, before entering college, Dreiser’s An American Tragedy was the best one I read. 

Isn’t everything more meaningful and joyful shared with a loved one? Isn’t that a central part of the power of love? Isn’t it a sweet aroma of love?

At least for me, surviving life alone would be lonely. I suspect loneliness has a lot to do with the death of some widows or widowers within a year or two of their spouses. There is something symbiotic, very giving about those relationships. 

L’ Chaim, to life, together.

Decency and the American 1960’s

Looking back 60 years…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

I was a Green Bay Packer fan from 15 years of age through 22. There was something creative, disciplined and extraordinary about this team of the 60s. They had no visible weakness to my young eyes. They had speed, precision, power and fought their hearts out for every yard.

What I have learned of late is how saddened the Green Bay teammates have been by the recent loss of numerous Packers from that phenomenal team. Those teamates loved and respected each other.

This was an era of civil rights efforts, particularly by Martin Luther King, Jr., that were effective.  This diverse group of professionals, apparently, not only lacked prejudice but comforted and encouraged each other.

Maybe, just maybe, something deep in my soul recognized a decency in that outstanding NFL power of the 60s. I sure hope so.

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The Bolt That Splits Your Bones

“What most people call loving consists of picking out a woman and marrying her. They pick her out, I swear, I’ve seen them. As if you could pick in love as if it were not a lightning bolt that splits your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard.” Julio Cortazar to the late Argentine writer. 

I think that bolt is so, so powerful. It’s what drives lifetime marriages and remarriages with the same person. The charge is potent, going deep.

Love is complex and a gift from God. 

It hurts, but to me, it heightens our capacity to forgive. And, oh, do we need that in our lives. Thank you, Lord.

My Favorite Age

The multitalented Mitch Teemley asked on his blog today:

“What was your favorite age and why?”

I answered: 29. Can’t help but miss my youth. No arthritis. Tennis with my doubles group daily in Augusta, GA. Rode my bike to the medical center each day down a beautiful wooded hill. Recovered well from my marriage of less than a year.

Needed to come to some level of peace to prepare my heart and mind for my spouse, Kristine, at 31, and our precious Lord at 40. Thank God for an ENORMOUS, larger-than-life blessing, at 40, amid my midlife crisis. Christ found me, forever.



Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

“Good work like a good marriage needs a dedication to something larger than our own detailed, everyday needs; good work asks for promises to something intuited or imagined that is larger than our present understanding of it.” David Whyte, Anglo-Irish philosopher and poet.

I managed medicolegal work for the last 28 years of my career. It was the burning in my heart for justice that drove me.I saw that as my purpose under God. It kept me on track for a long, long time.

It sure helped when the daily drivel of detail would try to devour me.When the driving drivel did, I duly retired.

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