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.

In the Cool of the Evening

I:  In the Cool of the Evening


And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8-9


for audio of this poem:     https://youtu.be/zpf3bqPL3Jk

In the Cool of the Evening        

Every evening I come here, and draw you to my breast
     What you have noticed today?
I am waiting to hear, for everything you find
     Is fresh and new to you, never seen this way before.
As you tell me about it, Creation grows richer.
And we celebrate together     
     In heart’s joy and dancing,
            Here in this garden
            In the cool of the evening. 

Have you noticed
     How the tiny white violets open to the sun
     and close at evening?
Have you tasted the freshness of ripened grapes, or berries,
fresh from the vine
     Or smelled                  Tell me what you have smelled!
Have you been to the sea’s shore yet, and have you noticed
     How smoothly the sandpipers skim before the waves
Or how the pelican hovers, then lets go and plunges--sinking her heart into the sea, where she is fed?
Have you heard the sea swell pound and seen the
            Waves crest, pink in the sunrise?

Have you noticed yet
A pulsing beat, all through you
This is life:
            My gift to you.

And as each day there is evening and there is morning
So you will know
            the ebb and flow
of this great pulse.

When it is filling you, you will be strong and eager
     And run out to me boldly 
     And leap for joy.

And sometimes this force of life will wane in you
     and you will know
It is time to rest with me awhile.
And I will be glad to welcome you here.

So there will be
     mornings and evenings,
   turnings and passages, and I in all of them.

I am waiting to hear of the first time you notice
The trembling joy of bodies meeting,
flesh touching flesh. 
And how in that union, everything joins and dances, and dances, and dances.

It is not good
     That you should be alone.
I will make more of you
     more of you, yet out of you
Each new person will be part of one before,
     Yet also new,
            glorious, separate.
So each of you will be
             one flesh with all the others
And all will be one body with the earth that brought you forth.

And as in one another
You see yourselves, and not yourselves
So each new meeting, each new friendship,
Will carry in it more of me
As in each new person, each new way of love
     I come again among you.

When you feel a new life growing within you
     Sharing your flesh, swimming and frolicking
     held within you, and a part of you.
You will know, from the nearness of this growing life
How I am bound to you, and each of you to me.

Wait until you see
     the tiny toes and fingers
The fresh-born miracle of a new child
     As now you come to me
each evening, for food and loving
So the children will come to you, and you will know
     the wonder of a fresh life
     Separate, yet of you
     Seeing more than you had noticed before.

There will be more of you, and they will find each other
And out of one another, bring forth more new lives,
and each one will be different,
     and you will love the differences!

Perhaps, when there are more of you
     You will learn to make
From all this variety of noises and voices
And I shall be among you in the singing.

With more of you, there will be
Bodies at play, in games and dancing
You will stretch out arms and move your feet,
Turning and leaping, in patterns and figures
Pulsing to music, drumming a dance
Your bodies moving as my heart moves
Stretching and bounding, rejoicing with you.

I have made you to know it all
     Every detail of this Creation
     All that I have called “Good.”

When will you learn the intricacies:
     Puzzles, numbers, patterns, shapes
The delight of randomness
The satisfaction
     Of order and equation?
 I will teach you how, and as we gaze together
This living Creation,  shifting and changing
 infinite in its surprises,
                        will unfold.
Your bodies
      cells and systems,
The universe itself,  from tiniest particles
     to unimagined vastness.
I want you to know it all
For all of it is good.

I am waiting
for the first time you bring me
     something you have made, and say
“Look!  I made this! It is for you.”
And I will know your pleasure
And that you have known
     the joy of making, my deepest joy.
And so in fresh creation more will be added, 
     And we will be joined:
In weaving and in making
     We will be joined.

Every evening, in the coolness, I come and walk
     and wait to see
What you have discovered
     As more and more, you wake up to the world.

I look for you now, running to me
      all aglow with news.
Come, leap to my embrace,
     Drink in my love.
            And tell me all of it.
Laughter shall spring out, and we shall watch creation grow
     And dance and feast together
     In the cool of the evening.

Come to me!  Where are you? 
     Why would you hide from me? 

 O my beloved ones
     What is this
            What is this
            That you
                        have done? 

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