Life - Focus Related Poems
A. The Fun And Games At Diagnosis Stage Section
The Encourager - Dec/09/08 The role of encourager, beginning to open back up to life after the blow of cancer - finding my place in life again.
The Lieutenant - Dec/19/08 Retirement parties as life-affirming events which, like film editing, edit out life's errors.
Crossing Cultural Time - Dec/23/08 Words softened through media use by time.
Community - Dec/24/08 Grappling with the mixed blessing of (uncooperative) powerful people in community; resolving the tension between individual and community needs.
His Fleet - Dec/28/08 In background enabling and being copied.
Of What Remains? - Dec/29/08 Christmas, the dominant culture's season of giving, raises profound issues in face of one's impending death for Giver-Financiers.
Costa Rica - Jan/07/09 The dangers and blessings of routine and freedom in life and art.
Borderland Delight - Jan/01/09 If pushed I'd rather do research and live out/post results.
The Heat Pump - Jan/01/09 Feed the pond - set the snare with wisdom words slipped in quietly.
The Competitor - Jan/07/09 The case for the competitive business model vs. the socialized business model in response to a query.
"Quality" - Jan/12/09 Intensity - grew through pressure.
B. A Shift In Locus Of Control Section
"Getting Through Christmas" - Jan/22-23/09 Recovery of Joy and Laughter.
"Faith" - Jan/23/09 The financial crisis (personal and agricultural) in the country and the future role of euthanasia in it all.
"More" - Jan/23/09 Resolved to make the most of more.
"Derby Fanfare" - Jan/23/09 The societal destruction of (economic) hope, such a critical player in health recovery and maintenance.
"The Windows Of My Soul" - Jan/23/09 Reflection on the "four windows" perspective about our limited self-understanding.
"A Shifted Point Of View" - Jan/23/09 Bless this earth with photographic kiss.
"Terminal Generation" - Jan/25/09 Jung's reflections on passing on cultural and family legacies (or not) to our children and community.
"C. V." - Jan/25/09 Get up off the deck.
"Joyful, Joyful..." - Jan/26/09 Do one thing different - make it joyful, substantial and strong.
"Flight" - Jan/27/09 Not playing it safe and affect-stripping but make the most of my new time.
"I sCream For What?" - Jan/28/09 As a conduit of resources I am freed up.
"The Tapestry" - Jan/29/09 Concentrate on tone of next thread and let Christ weave it in as wanted and able.
"The Cobra And The Mongoose" - Jan/29/09 Trust God and Love people (not vice-versa) makes the out-flow uninterrupted.
"Imperfection" - Jan/31/09 The diagnosis is in gestation until 15 month point in August...and even then with imperfections of my own.
"Connections" - Feb/4/09 God sex and a job can all feed us when our culture base is connected.
"ATCK" (Adult Third Culture Kid) - Feb/7/09 Be aware of God's other options vs. siren's lure of TCK imperatives.
"Over The Wall" - Feb/11/09 I need a team of Doctors to get through this storm so as to help others.
C. A Shift In Locus Of Operation Section
"Frost On The Pain" - Feb/22/09 New POV - standing on a pyramid base - for all.
"Recovering Awe" - Feb/22/09 Open to kid's viewpoint and fresh "Awe".
"Between A Rock And A Card Place" - Feb/24/09 The need to clean up our environment globally (of carcinogens) and locally (with our debt economy) to avoid catastrophic problems with widespread cancer etc.
"Mana" - Feb/24/09 People are wary of use of Photographic or any Mana-connecting powers.
"Call To Commitment" - Feb/27/09 With Carol work to bring this into being perhaps.
"The Gift" - Mar/06/09 Check the slippage and swerves for energy sources - trim the sail as before.
"The Living And The Dead" - Mar/12/09 Perhaps the worst has been cut out - pruning - Life comes from the root.
"Slippage" - Mar/13/09 Health issues need to be put like a rock in a jar - to reduce slippage.
"Lonesome Valley" - Mar/15/09 Do the 20 additional years for Dad and I - fully - with blindness too.
"Vacated Space" - Mar/17/09 Hunker down for the coming storm so as to survive to sail again another day.
"Lilliput" - Mar/19-21/09 In giving we get the better blessing.
"Isaiah : Second Edit of Readers 'Theater" - Mar/21/09 The suffering servant - me- that mix of mystery, love and pain.
"Crossing Cultural Lines (And Third Culture Kids)" - Mar/22-23/09 A review of the 90 poems to date surfaces the cultural crossing issue and its energy-sapping effects in relational areas of life.
"To Mentor" - Mar/28/09 The need for a mentor to help us triupmh in end-of-life challenges.
"Now" - Apr/02/09 As we age, we find ourselves increasingly investing in a future for others rather than for ourselves.
"Wilder Penfield" - Apr/02/09The spirit, unlike other human faculties does not seem to deteriorate with age, but rather, can mature and grow under challenge, but does not necessarily do so - we have a part to play in its development.
"Genetic Train" - Apr/06/09 Reflection time when awaiting test results -- on continuity of life over generations and our place and outlook in it.
"Forthright Authenticity" - Apr/07/09Freedom in speech and action comes from forthright authenticity rather than pretense at perfection, enabling which lies the reality of forgiveness.
"Income vs. Outgo" - Apr/09/09The impact of knowing that someone knows and cares about the person being dealt with, and what is important to that person.
"The Transition (Start Of Costa Rica Trip) " - Apr/13/09The dificulty and success of pushing through cross cultural adjustment to the rewards on the other side.
"The Substantiating of Things Hoped For " - Apr/15/09This Day " - Apr/15/09Marriage Encounter program and a Cancer Survivor's book both suggest to look at why go on living and why together.
"This Day "The treasure and challenge of a day I thought I'd never see.
"Panama " - Apr/15/09An account of an amazing man who made it through enormous challenges and now wishes to encourage others.
"Incidents In Our Paths " - Apr/16/09The challenge of helping others at a more than superficial level.
"Systemic Sin " - Apr/17/09Power laundering like money laundering has a debilitating effect on our communities.
"Our Capacity To Love " - Apr/18/09A conceptual solution to the challenge of those who have less capacity to recieve our love than we have love to give them.
"New Lease On Life " (End of the Costa Rica Trip)- Apr/19/09A reflection on the claim that sudden shifts to another venue have healing effects in light of this recient trip.
"The Allergy In Perfection " - Apr/20/09A reflection on the root of interpersonal/inter-cultural conflict and its relolution in relation to the pursuit of excellence
"Life-Giving Memory " - Apr/22/09Our use of the ordinary things that others don't have is refreshment to others often.
Re-integration Of Photography Into Life – In Relation To Cancer Section :"The Tumblin' Roamin' catholic " - Apr/24/09-AMReflection on the challenge of and need for deep change just before the start of Art Therapy classes - and the role of stress caused by cross cultural conflict in my life in relation to Cancer.
"Ambassador Of Friendship " - Apr/24/09-AMA reflection on the prsonal challenge of meeting new people and my past responses to this challenge -- just before teh start of art therapy group.
"Rip Van Winkle " - Apr/24/09-AMA reflection on the challenges of returning to workforce /society after an illness or absence - and the relative value of inner and outer development / obsolescence - Just before the start of Art Therapy Classes.
"The Week In Between " - Apr/24/09-PMReflection after the first Art Therapy group meeting on the personal agenda of using the classes as a locus of integrating former photographic medium of expression into the current medical challenge as a means of personal expression, as a foundation for the future.
"That Pesky End Of Time " - Apr/25/09The ongoing challenge of becoming overwhelmed by the immediate challenges of life during recovery, and of keeping one's perspective.
"Second Chance " - Apr/30/09Reflection on the larger sweep of my life, past, present, and future, in relation to Victor Frankle's book "Man's Search for Meaning".
"The Pebble In Our Shoe" - Apr/31/09 The daily toll of small irritants as we walk through cancer-land, which shifts our focus away from the bigger picture.
"The Picture Lived " - May/02/09Reflections on the Cree vs. English approaches to Group Therapy, and my particular preference for the Cree approach.Photography and communication styles are connected, both need coming home from exile. Participation in community life is not an option for me.
"A Watercolor " - May/03/09A focused life needs ballance, which pets contribute to. A reflection on the role of pets in inner healing.
"Ooops... " - May/05/09 Our communication with God, and our seeing our way are subject to a problem in perception – A reflection on a missed appointment and the problems of miscommunication, error, and human frailty.
"Four Steps Behind " - May/05/09 A tongue-in-cheek look at medical waiting lists : the service issue that must be addressed in in all walks of life.
"Prayer For A Friend " - May/06/09 When the trash of our lives gets cleaned out, our lives can move forward once again, often with spectacular results for the community.
"First Anniversary Of Diagnosis" - May/08/09Art Therapy's profound impact on the first anniversary of diagnosis; cross cultural tension aspect seen. The dynamic of symbolism in the mind and art.
"My Mistake Last Week" - May/09/09Recognigtion of the sexual side of colon Cancer, and some subtle mental connections personally with an earlier life-incident, which go beyond the cross-cultural dynamic. The symbolism in art and the mind.
"Don't Be Afraid" - May/10/09 Artistic expression is dangerous. Some benefits of the dynamic uncovered in art therapy and some details of the earlier precipitating incident with reference to the discovery of TCK dynamic while in exile from community.
"The Creenglish Side Of Freedom" - May/10/09Reflection on the cross-cultural stressor factor and its distinction from race. An outsider's perspective is helpful in photographic seeing.
"The Picture" - May/10/09The challenge and benefit of giving and receiving feedback in group work (art therapy). People from various cultures have amazing insights and perception.
"Perspective" - May/10/09Some reflections on anger and its inhibiting effects in any culture.
"Inside Looking out" - May/11/09A current incident on the internet of site-abuse and its implications for open and honest sharing in a troubled world in the global village. A problem in picture abuse and theft as well.
"Lying Down In Green Pastures- Expressions In Clay" - May/16/09 Midpoint in Art Therapy - the challenge of pressing forward through the wall to integration of Photography in this present situation of cancer, whatever it's ulitmate role might be in life focus.
"Managing Losses" - May/17/09 Handling non-terminal losses in the latter half of life, in relation to the possibilities which this new stage of life brings with it.
"Inside-Outside" - May/20/09 Reflection ofn life outside community.
"The Presence" - May/20/09Reflection on integrety of thought and life, and taking a chance on people...and its effects.
"This Wrinkled Clay" - May/23/09The experience of photographing a clay piece in virtual black and white brings yet another piece of photography "home", its joy in sharp contrast to the public speaking task a few days hence.
"Many Hands " - May/25/09Teamwork enables better individual contributions with less stress.
"The Pastor " - May/25/09What we are shows through what we do, particularly when we have been through great difficulties in life.
"The Sun, The Moon, And The Stars" (A Costa Rican Expression) " - May/25/09Grappling with the effects of secondary medical bad news and the faces of fellow travelers on this journey.
"Testosterone At 60 " - May/26/09From teen years, males like to arrive under power...it's sexier. A diversion for us all in living our lives - tools and toys.
The Start of Stu-Art Output Section :"Communion " - May/26/09 Symbols in health and faith areas - written, photographed, or acted out, are not necessarily permanent, shifts as life moves on, and frequently needs refreshing. They are powerful tools in living life victoriously.
"Four Things We Need - 1 - Daily Bread " - May/26/09Jesus suggested that we need to ask for 4 things on a daily basis. Food is so vital to life,and its acquisition is central to any life direction choice.
"Four Things We Need - 2 - Forgiveness" - May/26/09Jesus suggested that we need to ask for 4 things on a daily basis. Forgiveness is a large part of life at the boundaries of cultures, as a stress reducer.
"Four Things We Need - 3 - Deliverance From Temptation" - May/26/09Jesus suggested that we need to ask for 4 things on a daily basis. Temptation is strong to capitulate to a dominant surrounding culture, particularly in the area of life-focus.
"Four Things We Need - 4 - Deliverance From Evil " - May/26/09 Jesus suggested that we need to ask for 4 things on a daily basis. Evil seem to be prevalent amongst the poor and culturally marginalized. Relief form its effects is an issue in selection of life focus.
"Second Death" - May/27/09Having dealt with aspects of death before,the second round of it is no longer new turf. The same holds for letting go of other aspects of life as well, symbolized in Baptism.
"Tempo In The Town" - May/28/09Finding and addressing the cultural and sub-cultural tempos around us is key to harmonious and stress-free living, whatever direction we choose.
"Second Careers" - May/28/09Though cycles of obsolescence have increased stress and decreased the opportunity to hone crafts, modern life has also given time for second careers in the period of extended life span.
"Acceptance" - May/28/09A reflection of acquisition and preservation of artifacts (junk), and its relationship to hearing "I love you" in one "love language".
"On Keeping On Keeping On" - May/30/09The cyclic nature of the cancer roller-coaster with it's ups and downs keeps centering around the issue of how best to spend the remaining time.
"Victory Lap" - May/30/09The themes of photo expression (now freed through art therapy) and leaving a trail, merge with the experience of doing a victory lap in an earlier bad experience even while things looked bleak.
" 'How Then Will Jesus Get Down?' " - May/31/09An image given in story time at Church gave a young mother a tool with which to raise her child, with a mystery for him to grow up into
"Wind Of The Spirit" - May/31/09Reflectionon the wind storm just around the time of Pentacost Sunday - power for life.
"O Lord Your Spirit" - May/31/09Mid Week refreshment of a music leader at the lake prior to leading worship
"Third Layer" - May/31/09Yet another layer of the traumatic "onion" is peeled back and examined. This layered pain with its interconnections is conducive to artistic output.
"Fifty-one Percent" - June/1/09Getting organized on limited energy is a chore.
"Blessing From Pain" - June/2/09 A visit to a river sanctuary (needed to be worked into a life-package) with a realization that as good comes after the flood, so good can come out of pain.
"The Painter" - June/5/09 Any art-form can have the added benefits of message carrying in difficult situations, including cross-cultural boundaries which seem impermeable. It is best to have the outlet in place as life goes along, so it is there when needed.
"John" - June/5/09 Dreams have a large part to play in all art forms, especially in some cultures. Residual effects of a family death can interfere with future life for the survivors.
"The Choice" - June/6/09Nothing like having to make a simulated choice to clarify one's resolved issues.
"Who Is This Man?" - June/7/09 There are unexpected benefits when we reach out to strangers with quiet accepting generosity.
"Having Gone" - June/7/09 The imperative to mentor / disciple others in life as we ourselves go about life wherever that may be.
"Location's False Promise" - June/7/09A reflection on the need to live in the present with a focus on people rather than place or task, as living authentically, with joy is winsome to others. The whirl of life provides sufficient shift of location.
"The Unteachables " - June/16/09 Reflection on my formal education and the "teacher-researchers" who inhabit that institutional system. My love of learning but dislike of the downside behavior of that particular motivational gift and their negative legacy.
"The Picture Window " - June/18/09 The theme of Sex and its connection to photography and cancer explored as the puzzle resolves and photography re-enters my life-stream once more. The traumatic events of work-life are explored with a view to life ahead.
"Money's Use " - June/19/09 Reflection on the Cost of this last round o(of Cancer) and the use of money in my life, with reference to my role in life from here in light of the recent findings.
"Redemption " - June/23/09 The Spirit's presence in our lives as a living force has a maturing influence in our lives freeing us to move forward unimpeded by whatever has gone before, transforming past into wisdom for the future living of life..
F. Concluding Poem of Volume I" 'The Play's The Thing' " - June/25/09 In giving of ourselves we come to be, seen particularly in the face of our own death..
From Conclusion Section (# 172-209):" 2-4-6-8 " - July/4/09 Reflection on the clash between Scottish and Cree outlooks on life in regards to proactive striving.
" The Quarterback " - July/10/09Inspiration gained by another person facing MS to move on in life. The role of example in moving forward rather than just dreams and inspiration.
" 'The Triumph Of Hope Over Reality' " - July/12/09Reflectin on a cathartic incident when reading the story of the death of John the Baptist in church. Sorting out personal living of life agendas from family given our differing abilities and gifts.
" Resonances " - July/15/09Reflection on Metis Poet Gregory Scofield's Poetic readings. Reference to how Metis People can speak into the lives of both Dominant and First Nations groups even though those two groups might feel mutual animosity and therefore cannot hear directly from each other. Reference to felt impetus to press on with publication of my own work.
" A Week Now Since His Quiet Laugh " - July/17/09 Visit to referring doctor. Need to keep stress down in relation to recurrence of cancer. Reference to need to avoid unnecessary stress in jobsite.
" If You Had Fifty Days To Live " - July/17/09 Using the image of counting the 50 days an "Omar" (bushel) of barley grew from Passover to Pentecost, the question is raised as to what one could grow in one's life in such a period if that was all that remained of life, and reflection on using that period as a structural period for units of time within a year.
" Freedom's Choice " - July/19/09 Use of media in creating healthy communities in which to grow, and the power of choice of response which cannot be removed from us. Reference to life-focusing question.
" The Snap Of Others' Work " - July/22/09 Dropping stress by stopping inappropriate involvement in other people's lives.
" Lies' Eyes " - July/24/09 Honesty whether in facing death or living relationships in community is refreshing and health giving.
" The Runner " - July/24/09 Reference to the encouraging effects of a support group in recovery from cancer.
" Some Serve" - July/24/09 The powerful effects of (often unseen) people who help in recovery of health by linking people together for mutual support.
"Pandemic Of Silence" - July/26/09 Dream of pandemic with handful of survivors raises questions of forming new future life for humanity, within which are implications for our smaller scale life after cancer.
"Silence In Economics" - July/26/09 As I enter into the business-finance sector a prayer for those engaged in the economic system , especially our children, who often live beyond our day to day presence in the Global village.
"Isaiah's Band" - July/26/09 The clash of cultures within a Canadian church, and the end of this as a work-context for many folks.
"Making Peace" - July/26/09 A visit to the peace gardens with its new addition of the material from ground zero of World Trade center attack. The clash of cultures, the inter-gift/culture allergy, and the way peace is made and maintained.
"Saying Grace" - July/26/09 A couple crosses cultures to build orphanages in Kenya as an expression of their faith in light of the pandemic of AIDS there.
"Avocation" - July/31/09 The assistance gained in sorting out vocation from avocation in making community contributions within which one has no or little say, but works under another's direction.
"TGIS (Thank God It's Sunday)" - August/2/09 Shifts in the type of work bring exhaustion, especially out of one's strength areas, for which a day off each week is welcome relief.
"Forty Years" - August/2/09 A look back and forwards at the time of the fortieth anniversary of our engagement.
"Brandon's New Bridge" - August/2/09 A reflection on the third anniversary of the insight into my "third Cloture Kid" experience, and the bridging role that is emerging for myself out of that reality.
"To Love Again" - August/2/09 A reflection on the welcome restoration of stressed relationships after both sickness and extended period of stress in relationships like marriage which seems to involve periods of both "better and worse" for many of us. Reference to life together for the next period of life.
"Without Constraint" - August/3/09 Reflection on the shortage of time for art for working people in relation to the shortage of time caused by Cancer. Reference to the life choices which emerge when cancer repriorizes life after recovery. Photos and words as expression for folks who lack time/skill to do this task - as a possible life-focus task.
"First Job" - August/4/09 Reflection back to my first job and two sermons encouraging me to move forward despite the past.
" A Creenglish Look At Kenya" - August/8/09 Reflection on Kenya's orphan problem and the social side of medicine writ large. Reference to my own involvement in part of one project in this area.
"A Change In Style" - August/6-9/09 Reflections on the source of income in relation to types of ministry.
"What Is This Child's Name?" - August/10/09 Reflection on the death of one of the orphans in the project I was assisting. Where does one go with incidents such as this which speak to our hearts?
Hope In Small Packages - August/11/09 Reflection on budgeting of limited money,time and energy within a larger skewed economic context, and the source of hope for small players within such a reality. Reference to the need for us to get a handle on our place and role in the current hostile economic context
Two Languages Of Love - August/11/09 Reflection on whose love language gets used...that of the giver or the receiver. Reference to encouraging people by resourcing their life-focus in practical ways.
‘Map’ - The Code For ‘Books’ - August/13/09 Reflection on the meaning of "books" to me (its 'code'). Discovery that production not consumption of books is a thread in my life purpose.
The Workman - August/14/09 A reflection on the code for tools work and call as viewed cross culturally.
“Over-against” - August/14/09 A poetic reflection on the approaching third anniversary of realization I am a TCK, with implications for my writing.
"The Deep Longing Of My Soul" - August/15/09 A poem reflecting on initial priorities - the First Nations Learning style project emerges.
"Dim The Rear-View Mirror" - August/15/09 Reflection on inter dependant gifts and the power of an earlier project in getting people on with their lives.
"Our Goodbyes" - August/16/09 Reflection on losses due to the breakups of friends. Not all losses are medical, but often take place amidst our own medical journey of loss - life goes on.
"Habdalah - Letting Go" - August/16/09 Habdalah is the ceremony ending the day of rest each week, and the start of a new week for Jews. A reflection on the ending of holidays and fresh start to a new work year.
"The Butterfly" - August/18/09 The concluding poem of this set of poems as I return to work. Reflection on the transformation I have felt in myself through this journey compared to the actual experience of death and resurrection, both spiritual and physical.