We meet the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at St. Gertrude's Ministry Center
(6214 N. Glenwood), beginning at 8:00 p.m. Folks are welcome to join us at anytime.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


On a stroll down F street I tasted flat doctor pepper. I said to myself, Isn’t it interesting? I looked at my thumb hooked into a Burger King paper pint cup and saw no fizz but could complain to no one because this seemed my lot. I had discovered this idle cup five sixths full on a cement ledge of a University Museum and after holding it with my inserted retractable thumb for half a block I determined that sugar water could be invigorating. Though flat it had purpose. I wondered about a mentor soccer coach who used to always shake out the carbonation from a can of pop before he gave it to his kid. This sugar water would be practical, if not unhealthy.

How do we gain trauma mastery? One way seems to be by developing our self-awareness to the degree that we see ourselves without judgment. One practice recommended by Laura Lipsky in Trauma Stewardship: A Guide to Caring for Ourselves as we care for Others is to develop the habit of asking ourselves one simple question: Isn’t it interesting? Meanwhile the Catholic Church marks ordinary time tomorrow with a passage from the Gospel of Matthew: “Even all the hairs of your head are counted.” Hmm. Oh!

And William Hazlitt penned an essay in 1823. Didn’t know that myself until today. I appreciate Norton Anthology so much more now for informing me of this important datum. This Hazlitt fellow was big stuff in his day when he wrote this essay called

My First Acquaintance with Poets. He went on a long walk with Cooleridge twenty-five years earlier, in January 1798, and wrote this by no means pedestrian account in reflection, actually, about how Cooleridge had backslid from his former radicalism.

Isn’t great what you can learn by picking up an abandoned Starbucks cup and following it from whence it came. Lying to the barista in his face, I gained entry into the café for a $0.54 cent refill. I sat down with the Norton uncritically, just noticing my lie: Isn’t it interesting?

Hazlitt also wrote a sublime piece of piled quotations called On Gusto. If I had never seen a Titian painting in Madrid I doubt it could have been so flattering. Sad, I just remembered how the pixel versions taken by my buddy Bernie were one night robbed when we slept out in a Barcelona park despite his having clutched it like a teddy. Gypsy theft in them parks is mighty usual, the Catalan cop seemed to say.

St. Teresa of Avila wrote "Wherever God is, there is Heaven." In The Saints Guide to Happiness Robert Ellsberg suggests that her spirit sought out from the ordinary the memento dei, an awareness of God cultivated at all times and all circumstances. Isn't it...?

I posed as a curious George to ask the Indian couple where little India was. The lady started walking away and said “What you want we don’t know.” Hmm. Oh! Maybe she was Pakistani. Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to ask why the man took a picture of her there at the corner of Ridge and Devon. Was the gas station exceptional?

The rain hasn’t fallen since Friday, eight times twenty four hours ago, and still in the street along Devon a binge of water hasn’t drained. Between two cars floats an article from the Metropolis paper featuring summer films at the park; a subtitle calls out a few goodies from among the rest, or "the pedestrian". There was a familiar photo too. Like an image come together in a dark room, the Spielberg frame most endearing to me as a kid had not yet dissolved: there E.T. still rose into the moon, peddled higher and higher.

And isn’t it interesting, I thought, seeing a sticker saying “This meter remains as a courtesy to bikers.”

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