Planet Impressions. Encourage. Inkblots in Rainbow Colors. Doing community in the global south and other places. "Higher up and further in!" with an outreach twist.

peacemaking

Graffiti of Cochabamba

IMG_1942Every once-in-a-while if I am to wake up at three or four 0-clock in the morning, usually only if we are sleeping in the front bedroom, that windows onto Alto de la Alianza Street, I will hear the “cleferos” (yellow glue-sniffers) (children, teens, and twenty-somethings) who live in the streets and in the dry river-bed strolling and shouting and sometimes banging sticks, along our street. I am not sure, but think that they are the ones most often responsible for writing with spray paint on everybody’s property walls.  This is a wall just across the narrow street from where we live.  The text reads, ” If God does exist after all, well then, I hope He has a good excuse for things!” Poignant.  Expressive of the social, spiritual, political and economic mindset of hundreds and thousands of indigent and non-indigent persons.  I think much graffiti all over the world is. I thank God for showing me my personal field to work in and giving me love for and interest in, people, since I could NEVER produce that myself, starting literally one step outside my door.  But I don’t go out alone at three or four o-clock in the morning and, it’s a different world in the daytime, actually very safe! IMG_1943

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Suggestions for Shopping the Big Market

Walk.

Cars

separate you from people.

Thread your knees

between idling taxis,

inching gargantuan buses.

Squeeze yourself

among ten thousand

warm bodies.

Your eyes assailed

teeming worlds of bright,

melèe of colors,

by a new universe

of strange (only to you!)

humanity.

Whiff of frying meat

assaults your nose,

old urine,

fragrance of mountained roses,

stench of rotting garbage,

husky aroma of homemade leather goods,

wet grassy FRESH of handwoven baskets

mingled with fish getting older,

tang of ripening nectarines.

All this is the lives of families,

of children working,

of persons like you.

Please know it’s not only another trip.

Do realize it’s not just a destination

to check off

your bucket list.   -a poem by Niñadesusojos.


Vignette # 7 from the Children

#7 Amanda, 5 years old, kept complaining to the adult monitor that some of the little boys kept calling her a SPIDER (araña)!  They kept insisting that they were not!  (a lot of these little ones seem to have lisps and slight speech impediments)  Several of the other kids chimed right in and they all had a little philosophical discussion about it.

 

 

 


Enjoying George Herbert

Yesterday while continuing my project to gradually and systematically weed through, organize and de-clutter our apartment, I was dusting a bookshelf and happened to come across an old college textbook on 17th c. poetry.  Feeling wry  fondness for the faded green hardback, I pulled it and dipped in.

I came across a George Herbert poem, actually several of them, already marked up in now-faded pen, by the “me” of years ago, and they touched my heart, spoke to me, even YET, and YET AGAIN!  Especially this one!

JESU

Jesus is in my heart, His sacred name

Is deeply carvèd there, but th’other week

A great affliction broke the little frame,

Even all to pieces, which I went to seek:

And first I found the corner, where was J,

After, where ES, and next, where U was graved.

When I had got these parcels, instantly

I sat me down to spell them and percieved

That to my broken heart he was “I ease you”

and to my whole is JESU.

-George Herbert, a pastor in the 17th century.


Vignette # 7 from the Children

#7 Amanda, 5 years old, kept complaining to the adult monitor that some of the little boys kept calling her a SPIDER (araña)!  They kept insisting that they were not!  (a lot of these little ones seem to have lisps and slight speech impediments)  Several of the other kids chimed right in and they all had a little philosophical discussion about it.

 

 

 


When Our Hearts Break

Yesterday while continuing my project to gradually and systematically weed through, organize and de-clutter our apartment, I was dusting a bookshelf and happened to come across an old college textbook on 17th c. poetry.  Feeling wry  fondness for the faded green hardback, I pulled it and dipped in.

I came across a George Herbert poem, actually several of them, already marked up in now-faded pen, by the “me” of years ago, and they touched my heart, spoke to me, even YET, and YET AGAIN!  Especially this one!

JESU

Jesus is in my heart, His sacred name

Is deeply carvèd there, but th’other week

A great affliction broke the little frame,

Even all to pieces, which I went to seek:

And first I found the corner, where was J,

After, where ES, and next, where U was graved.

When I had got these parcels, instantly

I sat me down to spell them and percieved

That to my broken heart he was “I ease you”

and to my whole is JESU.

-George Herbert, a pastor in the 17th century.


White City – a Poem about Racial Discrimination in South America

-by NinadesusOjos

Jewel city of the Americas,

Pearl spun into stressed fabric of Andes life,

Where folks still sense silken whispers,

Glimpse, in memory, inlaid tortoiseshell haircombs,

Pompadoured raven locks of fine ladies,

curves of white cheekbones,

Sheepswool-white, pearl-white, cotton-white.

Long swallow-tail coats on gentlemen,

Imperious be-jewelled white fingers “SNAP”!

beckon for the lady’s fan.

Quechua slaves, dark brown, scurry, obey, eyes cast down.

Tiered stone mansions, spreading stairs,

An historic tapestry of old, white-washed buildings, red clay roofs, tiles,

textured, textiles, speckled – pink, blue, peach.

Deceptively spacious, these ornate estates

discreet behind massive carved doors,

CLOSED.

In the streets OUTSIDE, hunkering on gray greasy pavement,

green-hued teeth chewing leaf,

(to kill the hunger pangs)

homespun striped ponchos, stained,

cover dark brown trembling skin.

A silent myriad Quechuas still sit,

lower gaze beneath stares of white men.


On the subject of stress management…

On the subject of stress management Dr. Roger Mellot said, “Identify your values and support them behaviorally”.  (Decide what’s important to you, and then live in a way that’s consistent with those values.) – David Posen, M.D.IMG_1129


Vignette # 7 from the Children

#7 Amanda, 5 years old, kept complaining to the adult monitor that some of the little boys kept calling her a SPIDER (araña)!  They kept insisting that they were not!  (a lot of these little ones seem to have lisps and slight speech impediments)  Several of the other kids chimed right in and they all had a little philosophical discussion about it.

 

 

 


Scraps and Pieces from a Good Textbook: “Effective Biblical Counseling” by Lawrence Crabb

” the results of the Fall include separation not only from God and from others, but also from ourselves.  we “come apart” as persons, unable to genuinely accept ourselves as we are.  Our consequent struggle to be, or to pretend to be what we are not explains much of our deep discontent and personal suffering.”