Monthly Archives: November 2015

What’s Waiting on the Other Side of Turmoil?

–a Thanksgiving poem in a difficult time,
ending with a paraphrase of Julian of Norwich
which also contains a reference to Husker Du


What’s waiting on the other side of turmoil?
We can hope, but the ugly truth is we don’t know
if all will be well and every everything will be well.

We’re partial to our own peculiar ordeal.
Our depth of field’s so shallow it can’t show
what’s waiting on the other side of turmoil.

It’s hard to line up the practical with the theological.
Would Julian say, if she got her car stuck in the snow,
“all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well?”

I bet she sometimes just muttered “oh well.”
I bet she had her doubts a mothering God controlled
what’s waiting on the other side of turmoil,

the gruesome news, the shit at work, the hell
through which we make each other go and go and go.
If all will be well and every everything will be well,

the obvious question is when? Does anyone know?
Could one tiny seed of calm actually grow?
What’s waiting on the other side of turmoil?
When will all be well? Will every everything be well?


It does seem to me the setting on turmoil is turned way up lately.  But this Thanksgiving I am trying to nurture little seeds of calm where I can.


Vanessa Quivertail when she was a baby kitteh.



Bread to the Wise

It’s the story of our times: turmoil and reorganization at my job. Survivor’s guilt. Wanting to get a t-shirt or a lapel pin that says, “I know how lucky I am to have a good job.”

But here’s how my brain works–I comfort myself with wisdom literature.

Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the Bible after Habakkuk and Mark. (Actually I don’t know what my favorite books of the Bible are–I typically hate lists like that. But those three would be in my top ten.)

So this verse occurred to me today: Ecclesiastes 9:11
“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Sometimes the right person loses their job and the right person gets hired for the new structure.

But a lot of times, it’s the opposite.

So, continuing in the theme of wisdom literature, now that I’m in a system with more supervisors than ever who aren’t local, this occurred to me:

Hello, I must be going!

Hello, I must be going.

Hello, I must be going.