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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

333: "I set her down on the other side of the river. Why are you still carrying her?”

Day 333: Friday, February 12th, 2021:

"I set her down on the other side of the river.

Why are you still carrying her?”

The Covid pandemic has radically altered our lives. We have lost friends and loved ones and we grieve for them every day. They are in our minds and hearts and Covid has given us the time to turn our thoughts to them: Sometimes joyously but all too frequently in sadness. In this interlude of forced retirement, I've been troubled by my past mistakes which come to me like little icebergs which pop up in my consciousness. Who in their wildest imagination would leave home at 14 to go to the seminary? What hubris! How could I have been so small as to shut out friends or neighbors who have different political views? What about that letter of recommendation I promised but never even started. My thoughtless verbal cuts which have caused pain...

All theses things come back to me, especially at night - the icebergs keep popping up from the deep and I turn them over in my consciousness wondering how I could have done better... acted more humanely, with greater compassion. Venial sins and mortal sins?

In the midst of these ruminations I find solace and hope in this simple story which tells me to "be here now." Concentrate with your whole mind and heart on this moment. Breathe in the smell of fresh toast and its coat of peanut butter, the white flowers blooming in our front yard backlit by the sun. Hear the click of keys on the keyboard and the crows calling from the trees (they're hungry and expect unsalted peanuts to be thrown to them each morning). Take it all in. Stop carrying the past which is out of our control. Is this what they call mindfulness?

Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were little streams of swiftly flowing water on the roadsides.

At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of one of these streams.

The elder of the two monks lifted the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and continued his way to the monastery.

In the evening, several hours later, the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman?”

The elder monk answered “Yes, brother.”

Then the younger monk asks again, “But then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?”

The elder monk smiled at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river. Why are you still carrying her?”

Announcement from Patti England for this Sunday's Emmaus

Our Celebration starts at 4:45 with our reunion on ZOOM followed by the liturgy at 5:00. We hope to see you all there!

Love makes the world go round, ……

Love is a very strange word, especially in the English language where it can be used to describe our relationship with our soul mate, our children and grandchildren, our closest friends and family, our pets, our God and the French Fries at McDonalds.

Any of us that have studied Greek philosophy or just kept our ears to the ground have heard about Eros – the romantic, sometimes erotic, love for our spouses or partners;

and Philia – the love we have for our brothers and sisters and closest friends; and

Agape – the selfless love we have for our God, for nature and for all of humanity, the kind of love Jesus tried to teach us.

On Sunday let’s let love wash over us

- Patti England


[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]


i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want

no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Cole Porter – You’re the Top by Ella Fitzgerald

Nat King Cole - L-O-V-E

James Taylor - Shower The People

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