Lenten Journey
February 19, 2010

I’ve decided that my Lenten journey this year will be to read at least one book each week during Lent that will in some way broaden my understanding of my faith. Last night I read the first book of this season.

First the lead in…

I regularly (when I don’t forget my appointments or have them preempted by travel) visit my Massage Therapist. This is a regular part of my wellness routine. It is further enhanced by the fact that my Therapist is also my daughter-in-law.

Not only are her massages beneficial to my sense of well-being but it is also a time when she and I have a chance to talk about the things that are important to us; family, mutual friends, our community and life in general.

During my most recent visit to her clinic, She shared with me the title of a book she had just read and without giving away too much information sufficiently piqued my interest that I asked to borrow the story. Yesterday, she dropped the book and a flower off to “Sanctuary” and I sat down in the late afternoon to begin my read.

The book “have a little faith: a true story” by Mitch Albom ISBN:978-0-7868-6872-8 is more of an eight-year journal that started with Mitch Albom, a journalist, being asked by the Rabbi, from his youth neighbourhood, to “…write his [the Rabbi’s] eulogy.” The author agrees on the condition that he gets to know his teacher better. What started as a two or three-week project lasted eight years and turned into a precious friendship and ultimately the eulogy.

In getting to know his Rabbi, the author questions his own existence and beliefs. In doing so, he champions a Christian Mission in Detroit led by Pastor Henry Covington and learns some valuable lessons about himself, his beliefs and about judging others.

Each reader will take from the stories those gems that are pertinent. While many features of the story reinforced my faith beliefs one quote stands out as significant: “Did you ever hear a sermon that felt as if it were being screamed into you ear alone? When that happens, it usually has more to do with you than the preacher.”

Last night at the Ash Wednesday service, David’s message fit this quote. Part of my lenten journey is to discern what it is that God is calling me to do now.  GB

Rubbing shoulders with talent
August 23, 2008

I began writing this in July while visiting my sister and brother-in-law. I’m not sure why I didn’t publish it at the time but there are some thoughts that are worth being journaled and read over in the future. Mostly I want to have all who are interested experience the talents of two young photographers with whom I am acquainted.

Being with family, even after lengthy absence, is like putting on comfortable clothing; everything fits. It just feels right! It was meant to be! I’ve been at my sister’s home in Sault Ste. Marie and having dinner on the deck. Dave informed me that we were going to have the old Saturday night traditional dinner for Wednesday night’s meal–barbecued hamburgers. And they were good, with all of the required condiments and salads and roasted potato thingys to satisfy the greatest of hungers. We washed it down with some good red wine.

Errup! Burp! Excuse me!

More important was the company. Family and friends and conversation and story and good food. It was a perfect evening. G. an dher son Chris came for dinner as well. Chris is here visiting his mom. He is a young Canadian photographer with considerable talent. He and his partner have spent considerable time in the Canadian north and most recently in the Queen Charlotte Islands and his photographs are truly amazing. One can sample Chris’ talent at http://www.chrissiddall.com/. What a wonder it would be to travel with Chris on one of his adventures and learn to record what one sees with such artistry. He has the potential to be a great photographer.

Some of Chris’ images remind me of another young talent. (I’ve noted that I use the term ‘young’ frequently when I write. I’ve just hit my senior birthday and I see anyone under 65 as young.) Kevin Palmer currently of Winnipeg, MB has been making pictures and music as long as I can remember. Kevin and I have spent considerable time working in darkrooms and toasting successes with a good single malt scotch. He has continued to invest in his photographic skills. Check out Kevin’s talent at http://www.superiorimagephotography.ca/gallery_01.htm. Both of these photographer’s deserve notice.

But back to the warm clothing of family…

Whenever I visit my sister we manage to sit up into the we hours of the night catching up on all of the things we each consider really important in our lives. We talk of our children and the woes and successes of their lives. That includes, too, the frustrations we feel as parents when our grown children display behaviours that are more akin to childhood. Mostly, though, Barb and I rekindle our relationship as brother and sister and friends. There is always a sense of nostalgia to our gathering. We were best of friends while growing up. That’s not to say we didn’t have the usual brother and sister fights and squabbles–mostly attributed to me as the younger doing what little brothers do best to maturing sisters–pester. And I was good at it! I could probably still give lessons to brother-in-training.

In the morning we always moan and groan about how foolish we were to stay up so late and vow not to do that again all the while knowing that the next time we are together our respective spouses will retire long before us and we will continue our ritual dance of renewal of family and friendship.          GRB