Tag Archives: things to do in NY

Coming Home with Ideas

Sun Magazine hosts a series of Writer’s Workshops throughout the year. After attending the workshop in Massachusetts, at Rowe Conference Center, I came home and unpacked.

Clothes went to the dirty laundry and toiletries went into the bathroom.

During the weekend, Sun authors Gillian Kendall, Alison Luterman, Lee Martin, and Sparrow, along with editor and publisher Sy Safransky calmly, methodically, and patiently presented writing ideas they’ve found beneficial over the years. A glutton for ideas, I came home with an overstuffed head.

Compression. Detail. Pay attention to every single word.

There is no urge to put these ideas in the laundry or bathroom.

Could I put the ideas in the pile of bills, letters, and other important materials, that I will get to one day? No, they might get lost.

Maybe I can put the ideas on top of the piano. No, the cats might knock them over.

I could put them in the small corner cabinet with the glass door. They’d be safe there.

Compression. Detail. Pay attention to every single word. These ideas will only be found or safe if I practice them.

My room was on the second floor of this house

My room was on the second floor of this house at Rowe Conference Center



Lessons from a Garden

Last night, our region experienced a horrendous thunder/lightning storm. It poured rain, much to the glee of the thirsty ground and vegetation. After getting up this morning, the timing felt right to finish up the garden I started a few weeks ago.

???????????????????????????????I built a raised bed with the rocks we have so plentifully here in upstate New York. Then, at nine o’clock this morning, I asked our neighbor for some dirt mixed with manure. He scooped and dumped two loads of this high-in-demand commodity, dirt, into the back of our truck and I drove home to shovel it into the garden bed.

Our neighbor’s wife offered to give me some perennial plants. I took her up on the generous offer. She has a lovely and prolific garden and so always has plenty to share. By noon, I was done. While eating lunch, thunder began to roar and another lightning storm moved through our area, watering all the plants I transplanted.



???????????????????????????????I think about the fact that we are not trained to believe plants have feelings, yet. So, transplanting vegetation is simple. But, I push the issue. I ponder the spiritual truth that all physical bodies lack permanent feelings.

So, can I turn to feel divine Spirit, the presence of Love, instead of what the nerves are telling me? Can I be transplanted simply from one place to the next and learn to thrive?

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Divine Science defines the sensory and motor systems as human beliefs or inventions. If we were humanly programmed to believe it, we would believe the veins in a plant could feel stimuli like nerves.

“The pains of the body can be salutary, if they force the mind to dig itself out of false beliefs and transplant its affections in Soul, where the creations of God are good, “giving joy to the heart.”[1]

[1] Ps. 19:8

Renewal can’t be stopped

Spring is finally springing here in upstate New York. I took some pictures while on my walk yesterday. Springtime has always perked up my confidence with the fact, that life is unstoppable, and we can feel renewal. We read in, 21st Century Science and Health, “Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct the human mortal convictions by spiritual understanding and Spirit will form you anew.”

Can you help me identify some of these sprouting buds?          ???????????????????????????????


Pretty sure this is an apple bud

Pretty sure this is an apple bud

Springtime Cleaning

Many of you have already entered the spring season. Here in upstate New York, the snow finally melted last week. Needless to say, we all are pretty antsy about the slowly emerging flowers and leaves.

To be able to put a shovel in unfrozen ground, and to open the windows, and to clean the house is always a favorite springtime activity. It also becomes a time to wash the heavy blankets and put away the winter clothes.

While packing or unpacking seasonal clothing, I separate out the clothes that received little attention. The clothes are then donated to a local cause, or taken to a consignment shop.

When in that thought frame, I go through the house and select kitchenware, toys, and knick-knacks that I’ve outgrown and add them to the donation box. Some people have a garage sale.

It makes for lighter work when I contemplate a Bible verse such as, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness form the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 24, ESV)

I honestly ask myself when going through my stuff, do I really need this? Or, will it be better used by someone else?

Ash Wednesday brings a community together

In the late afternoon of Ash Wednesday, I attended a Taizé church service here in upstate New York. The congregation was welcomed by three local pastors who were involved in the service. Surrounded by candlelight, a cantor, pianist, violinist and flutist overshadowed the service with harmony and melody.

Taizé is a little village in the south of Burgundy, France. After World War II, Brother Roger founded a community dedicated to prayer and reconciliation within humanity and the church. The dynamics of what is referred to as a Taizé service includes repetition and silence oftentimes with interjections of music. Core biblical texts were added at the service I attended.

A few of the readings were from Matthew. Believe it or not, I actually do listen to what is being said at church therefore it was no surprise when a red flag sprung up after hearing this verse from Matthew repeated, “But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” The red flag began waving when soon after almost everyone in the audience proceeded to receive a cross drawn on their forehead with ashes. Everyone’s face looked like they needed washing.

This is the first Ash Service I’ve ever attended in my life. I didn’t feel a need to get ashes on my forehead although I noticed the pastor was whispering something to each person when he drew the ashen cross. After getting home, I googled Ash Wednesday to find out more. Apparently the words “dust to dust” are spoken when a cross is made on the forehead with ashes. The cross signifies Christ Jesus sacrifice for our deliverance. Oddly, the ritual of Ash Wednesday took centuries to evolve and didn’t become formal until the 12th century. A Taizé rendition is personal preference.

Anyway, after the hour and half long Ash Wednesday service I left the church in silence like everyone else. A general, and palpable semblance of peace moved gracefully back into the world. Words were unnecessary. We all were aware of the circumstances. It just happen to be Ash Wednesday that brought us all together to include in our prayers for peace and love for the family who recently lost their 18 year old son.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “While respecting all that is good in the Church or out of it, one’s dedication to Christ is more on the ground of demonstration than of profession. In conscience, we can’t stay in a mindset we have outgrown. We are enabled to heal the sick and overcome sin by understanding more of the divine Principle of the deathless Christ.”

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