My Traveling Shoes

Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality.
I've traveled so many miles in shoes that someone else bought for me, plain, poorly fitted, worn, second hand, hand me downs. Ohh, they hurt my feet and took me places that I didn't need to go, places that I didn't want to go. For many years I put them on. I was told it was my duty, but my heart was heavy and my cares so many.
Done found myself a new pair of travelin' shoes to wear on this leg of my journey. Handmade to fit and suit me just right, supportin' and comfortin' me each step of the way.They are wild and colorful as I chose them to be, they suit my personality. I bought these shoes. I own these shoes. They are mine.
by Jeanne leigh...copyrighted...2007


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tapestry Radio Show and Rosemary Phelan

One of my favorite radio shows is "Tapestry" . It is broadcast out of Canada on Radio One and hosted by Mary Hynes. I always listen to the podcast since I can’t pick it up on my radio. It is broadcast once a week. I love this radio show and never miss it. I enjoy the subject matter and I am very inspired by the folks they choose to have on the program. Mary Hynes does a wonderful job leading the interesting discussions and asking the hard questions.

This is a brief description taken from their webpage that describes a bit of what Tapestry is about:
Governments change, economies tumble and soar, and headlines trumpet the scandal of the day. All the while, Tapestry deals with the more subtle news of life -- a thoughtful consideration of what it means to be human.
Tune in for an engaging, provocative and unexpected hour of radio: an hour in which rabbis and poets get equal time on the topic of faith, science-fiction writers and physicist-priests ponder the great creation myths, athletes explore the hero's journey as a spiritual metaphor, and architects examine the idea of space for the soul.
Tapestry is hosted by Mary Hynes, and produced by Erin Pettit and Susan Mahoney. Our web master is Liz Nagy; technical production is by Dave Field.

On December 26th "Tapestry" had a very interesting show "Art and Soul".  During this show I was introduced to a musician Rosemary Phelan from Canada. (Rosemary's segment begins at 19 minutes) She tells her story of how she was a community nurse going into to the homes of people to care for them. Her patients were from all walks of life from the wealthy to the homeless. One day she was in the home of a old man who was dying. He was in a lot of pain and trying to pray his rosary. All of the adults in the house were just wailing. It was chaotic. In her compassion, Rosemary who had sang Ava Maria  for weddings before, began to feel that she should sing this song. As she sang the patient immediately calmed down and each family member did as well. Rosemary decided to put this skill in her nursing bag along with all her other healing tools.

Rosemary began to understand the importance of intention when performing music.  Rosemary expressed how when sharing a song it should be the same as her attitude when dressing a wound with the intention of service and caring for others. I was moved and impressed with her insight.  Her thoughts reminded me a little of a book I read a few years ago called Zen Guitar  by Philip Toshio Sudo . Sudo teaches how sharing a song should be like serving tea to someone, hospitable.

Rosemary left nursing and began writing and performing music full time. She has a beautiful voice with thoughtful poetic lyrics. My favorite song of hers is RED WING on her latest album called What Sings in the Blood. She has three albums available and a lovely blog all found on her Website. Rosemary Phelan was awarded The 2010 Golden Quill Award for Songwriting.

Rosemary was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year and has been going through treatment. I believe Rosemary is doing very well. Join me in praying for her. She is a very lovely person. Please give her music a listen.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As the assistant to the Cataloger of our county library, my favorite part of my job is receiving all our new books and preparing them to go out to the three libraries we serve. This week we received a book called BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I knew of Bonhoeffer years ago and read a few of his books. I was impressed with the story of this interesting man.

As a Christian leader in Germany in 1933 when Hitler began his rule, Bonhoeffer stood against the Nazi Regime from the very beginning. This book is a very thorough biography that tells of his journey and struggles in being a major part of the resistance which led to his imprisonment and later his death in 1945 by hanging in a concentration camp.

Last night I heard the author Eric Metaxas speak about this book on C-Span Book TV. He covers many subjects which have been neglected in the telling of the story of Bonhoeffer and all the German citizens who resisted the Nazi Regime. So many were tortured and murdered if they spoke out or were discovered.

Bonhoeffer was a spiritual leader who sought the direction of God and at the same time sought to be transformed and to understand what his faith actually called him to do in the real world when faced with such evil. Bonhoeffer exemplified how to look deeper at scripture and ask the hard questions. He lived his life bravely and made his choices hoping he was doing the best thing to stand against the evil of his time. 

As I glanced through the book, I read a poem Bonhoeffer wrote called, Who Am I? He wrote it during his confinement at Tegal prison. His honesty, his struggle with the reality of his own weakness against his desire to be transformed and to choose to act and live true to his faith struck a deep chord in me.

Though his reality was much more difficult than most of ours, I think we all to some degree experience a struggle of our wounds, faults, doubts and weaknesses against our love, truth, compassion and choice of action. I certainly was touched by the honesty of this beautiful soul. I’d like to share this poem with you.

Who am I? They often tell me

I stepped from my cell’s confinement

Calmly, cheerfully, firmly,

Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me

I use to speak to my warders

Freely and friendly and clearly,

As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me I bore the days of misfortune

Equally, smilingly, proudly,

Like one who is accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?

Or am I only what I myself know of myself?

Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,

Struggling for breath, as though hands were

Compressing my throat,

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds,

Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness,

Tossing in expectation of great events,

Powerlessly trembling for fiends at an infinite distance,

Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,

Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?

Am I one person today and tomorrow another?

Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others,

And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling?

Or is something within me still like a beaten army,

Fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved?

Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God I am Thine!

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have taken this book home with me. Looking forward to learning more of his story. Peace, Jeanne