About Me

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I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mourning - Another part of "Mothering Life"

I've written quite a lot of poetry about "mothering life" and its blessings. But these past few weeks I have been experiencing a painful side of it all. A young friend and neighbor -- whom I've known his whole life through our babysitting co-op years ago -- died a few days ago. He was 20. He was also a gifted poet, and I had the privilege of working with him and his family on pulling together a chapbook of his poems, which is now the March Book of the Month at Finishing Line Press . But today I am writing my own poem of grieving, shared with a whole community of stricken friends and neighbors, who loved this young man and his family. Here it is.

Broken Sonnet

The time was very brief when we could keep
Them safe, secure and happy, meet their needs.
We shared the work, the joy of raising them.
Now they are gone, or going, into a world
We can’t protect them from, where hard things happen
And this is part of life, we say. But No: Not This.

The little boy whom we remember, blonde, playful and earnest
Grows into strong young manhood, is a friend
And poet. Stricken with a tumor on a Christmas Eve, he lives
A whole life in his twentieth year, writes poetry
That speaks out of a wisdom beyond years
And dies, leaving us all
Speechless with grief, hearts aching for the tears
Of our friends, his parents, their empty arms.

--Kathy Staudt
February 26, 2010

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