A Little Poetic Musing

Sharing some thoughts in verse(ish).

 

Woman, forest, beautiful woman, woman sitting beneath a tree

Perspective

I sit beneath the Oak

on a breezy summer day –

cloud-puffed sky,

sun through the leaves,

lichen growing on the rain dark tree –

all beautiful to me.

If I’m sitting in a wheelchair,

is the beauty of the moment less?

…Or is it more?

© 2018 Christina Chase


Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

First Friday and The Revolution

Four years ago, the First Friday of July was also the Fourth of July, Independence Day. As we just celebrated the Fourth yesterday and First Friday is tomorrow, I’m sharing this post that deals with the need that all of us have to be revolutionized.

Divine. Incarnate.

Who is the head of your life?

I want to be revolutionized. WatchFireworks-iStockI want my failures and ineptitude, my procrastination, sloth, pride, and fear to be things of the past – and my present to be full of strength and talent, courage and action, grace and active wisdom. Freed from the chains of yesterday, I want to project firmly into the future everything good and beautiful – and necessary – about me. I need something to transpire that will transform me completely into who I was created to be.

Let us be revolutionary.

Around 30 AD, a coarsely dressed, wild man of the desert proclaimed an uprising. With sharp clarity, he laid bare the corruption and tyranny of those in authority and relentlessly sliced deeper into the conscience of every man and woman. “Metanoia!” he shouted at the people. “Change! Be converted! Be revolutionized!” This man, named John, prepared the…

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Month of the Sacred Heart

I do love this gruesomely pretty picture:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Catholic image, Divine Incarnate

June is the month of roses and daisies, fresh-picked peas and strawberries, the summer solstice and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. How wonderful to remember my consecration to the Sacred Heart in the midst of this softly green and blossoming loveliness. In my posts this month, I’ve reflected upon the sacred power of little moments in our lives. We have the opportunity to touch the face of the Divine every day. If we lift our eyes and look… Let us not skim along the surface of reality, but rather plunge into the very heart.

On this last Thursday of June, I share again the words of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, all my thoughts, words, actions, trials, joys and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

“I take Thee, Christ, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my advocate at the throne of Divine Justice, and screen me from the wrath which my sins deserve.  I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness.

“Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.  Hold me in your Sacred Heart, O Jesus Christ, my Lord and Lord of all.  I implore that I may love You more and more.

“I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart – for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory: to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.”

As I said four and a half years ago when I first made this act of consecration, I say now: Amen.

© 2018 Christina Chase

He Knows Not How

There are over 7 billion people living on earth right now, which fact may lead you to wonder if you – little, tiny you – really matter in the grand scheme of things. If you’re like me (you know, human) then it usually feels like you don’t. The world is a mess and you don’t see how you can make it any better, you often feel like you don’t make any difference at all.

Last weekend, in the Scripture passages for June 17, 2018, the roughly 1 billion Catholics in the world (including me) were given a chance to wake up to reality and offered a glimpse of our true worth.

seeds

Continue reading

As He’s Brushing My Teeth

As my father was brushing my teeth one night, I started thinking about what this very act does to him… or for him.

Toothbrush

When my motorneuron disease weakened me to the point where I couldn’t brush my own teeth anymore, I found the ordeal of having someone else move a brush in and out of my mouth, well… an ordeal.  And it hasn’t been a picnic for my dad, either.  My mother seriously dislikes the job, as I know that I would, too.  That’s okay, she does other things very well.  Anyway, this empathetic kind of thing that requires concentration, patience, and precision is better suited for my dad’s skill set.  But, I know that my father does not like, or should I say, particularly enjoy, this chore.  It’s a chore.

On this particular night, the burden that is my daily care was weighing heavily upon me.  It’s easy to feel a little guilty when you have to depend so much on other people.  And I was thinking that my father would be better off if he didn’t have to do this chore, night after night with little variation and very rare respites, better off if he didn’t have to do it then, at that moment.  Of course, he would rather that I be able to do it for myself – for my sake – but, because I can’t, he says that he is glad to do it for me.  He says this about all of the many, many, many things that he does for me day in and day out.

Yes, of course he feels that way.  He’s a good dad.  He’s a good man.  But – for his sake – I was thinking that someone else should be doing this, someone who hires herself out as a home health aide, for example, like the ones that take on some of my daily care for a few hours, four days a week.  Trying to get more help has proven very difficult.  But, if I was able to arrange some kind of full-time care from professionals, then my father would have a little more of what he deserves – a normal, ordinary way of living.

That night, however, as my dad was brushing my teeth, I began to wonder… (and it could’ve been my self-conscious trying to assuage my sense of guilt or it could’ve been a little inspiration of wisdom – or a combination of both.)  Maybe there’s something in life that he’s gaining through this chore…? Continue reading

What Would You Do? The Prisoner

Prison

Last week, as my father and I were passing through the bright and lofty lobby of a medical center on our way to my routine pulmonology appointment – he, walking along, me, driving my power wheelchair beside him – we saw a woman in chains.  There were two deputy sheriffs beside her, badges and guns clearly visible, escorting her toward the soaring, glass-enclosed exit.  She was obviously a prisoner, clothed in an orange jumpsuit, either a convicted criminal or someone awaiting trial without bail.  She must have needed some kind of medical attention that the prison or jail could not provide – and shackles and guns would make sure that she wouldn’t elude the law and escape.  And as we neared each other, heading in opposite directions, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with her. Continue reading

Little Book Update

With gratitude for the support that I have received, I give this brief update on my little book.

Child holding book

When does a child become an adult?  Is it at age 16, 18, or maybe 21?  Or is this stage completed by accomplishing a milestone of some kind?  Or a series of milestones?

When does a manuscript become a book?  Ah, that’s the question!  Is it when the first draft is completed?  No.  Oh, no.  Is it when the manuscript is ready for beta readers and editors?  Nope, that’s just the first draft of the final draft.

And that’s where my little book is right now.  As I am the author of a book and not the parent of a child, I think of it as a book, even though it has not yet become a book, while a parent may think of an adult as a child long after childhood has ended.  Both author and parent are future-looking and future-hoping, but a child will grow up naturally, of its own accord, causing a parent to be wistful about childhood.  An author, on the other hand, must make that manuscript become a book and is not so sentimental about the beginning phases.

At least… I don’t think I will have a sense of bittersweet when my manuscript officially becomes a book.  Will I?

But, I really shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself.  God willing, I will be able to complete this journey.  (Prayers have been, and still are, much appreciated.)  There will be a lot of work to do when my test readers get back to me with their reports.  And then, even more work to do, I’m sure, with the editor in July (once I actually choose from among several editors who are assessing the manuscript) before I eventually get to the final draft of the final draft of my book – which will, I guess, be simply called “my book,” objectively and officially.

Well… maybe not objectively and officially “my book” until it is published out into the world.  (Although drafts and manuscript are but stages of a book, as childhood and adulthood are but stages of a person.)

That publication, my dear readers, will be a blog update for another time.  God willing!

Thank you for all of the many bugs!  Making a public commitment to write a book has truly helped to make the book a reality.  Now that I am safely out of the fragile neonatal stage, others are getting to see the manuscript as the book that I already knew growing deep inside of me.  God is good!  And I am most grateful for this opportunity to give witness to the fearsome wonder of divinely loved life.

© 2018 Christina Chase


Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

May

The month of May… A time to remember, reflect, and honor…

Divine. Incarnate.

In the month of May, we honor motherhood – and the dead of war.

All over the earth, mothers watch their sons go off to war every day. The baby she once cradled in her arms, lovingly, tenderly keeping him from all of the world’s harms – a soldier now, battle ready, double-edged sword in hand. Hundreds… Thousands… Millions of boys become men ground up by the machinery of war; the blood of beloved sons spilled out, saturating field and forest or mingling with the salty tears of fathomless seas. What gain can be had by so great a cost? What treasure could entice a woman to offer as potential sacrifice a child whom she has raised and loved?

On battlefields and disputed fronts, in gunfights, bombings, and hand-to-hand combat, the cries and gory wounds of war march on… for country! And more deeply… for faraway home… for brothers in…

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May I Call Myself A Cripple?

At the beginning of this month, I submitted an article to an online site for the first time – an article that was very quickly rejected.  The story was for themighty.com and I knew that I was running the risk of rejection because of its language, a bit politically incorrect, maybe even harsh to some.  It wasn’t meant to be harsh, however, just honest.  Perhaps, I didn’t make myself clear enough – or perhaps they were just rejecting everything this month.  Since I’m not afraid to be controversial in my own blog,  I’m sharing the story with you…

Christina Chase, girl in wheelchair

I remember the first (and only) time that someone called me a cripple to my face.  It was an early summer evening in front of my great-aunt’s house, when I was about seven or eight years old.  I was alone, sitting in my manual wheelchair on the sidewalk, probably waiting for my sister as I was too weak to propel the chair myself, and a boy was walking along the same sidewalk in the opposite direction.  When he saw me, he looked at my skinny body in my little wheelchair and said, “You’re a cripple.”

And I laughed at him.

I would like to say that I laughed bravely in the face of bullying… but, that wouldn’t be a true description of my laughter or of the situation itself. Continue reading

Ascending

Mother, mother and child, ocean, light

What does it mean to ascend?  To move upward; to rise through the air; to succeed to (as in ascending a throne).  On the day of this posting, we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension, when Christ ascended into Heaven.  After the Resurrection, he was taken up from the sight of the disciples, he even rose through the air.  And he ascended his heavenly throne.  In celebrating this great Feast Day, I would also like to include two other definitions of the word: to rise up from a lower degree; to go back in time through your family’s genealogical succession.  (Don’t worry, this won’t take long.  Don’t trust me?  Then here’s a quick preview: kindness and mothers.)

Fr. Finnigan shared a bit of a poem during his homily at Mass today – the priest, in his mid-to-late eighties, often reads to us wonderful quotes and clips from theologians, saints, and poets.  This particular one he found in a book by Father Frederick William Faber, who lived in England during the 19th century.  The writer of the poem itself is anonymous, but it fit beautifully with Fr. Faber’s work, in a book called, Kindness.  The poem also fit with Fr. Finnigan’s homily on loving one another – for, isn’t that what kindness is?  The words started my mind thinking about the power of love and how it is so powerful that it can be conveyed through the smallest things… Continue reading