Monday, July 25, 2011


Every day is filled with them. We face so many cracks in a day that we hardly even notice them underfoot. Until when we have to wait for a few extra minutes on hold, or sit waiting for a few extra minutes for a webpage to download, or wait a few extra minutes in rush hour traffic, or wait while someone slides into the parking space we’ve been waiting to fill. Cracks. Little slices of every day. 
Remember the childhood saying, “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back”? The English language fills in cracks with a variety of meanings. Humor: “He cracks me up”. Measure of quality: “Not all it’s cracked up to be”. Measure of distance: “Open the window a crack”. Emotions: “Wear him down until he cracks”.
Waiting cracks up no one. There are kinds of cracks that aren’t funny and they’re not pretty. There’s a common occurrence in contemporary life I’ll call “spontaneous cracks”. It is a little like spontaneous combustion but different. Instead of flames, you get smoke. A spontaneous crack is a brief encounter with unasked for waiting; a little unfilled crack of time in which you find yourself feeling impatient, resentful or frustrated.
Filling cracks. If our days are full of cracks, what can we do to smooth things out? First, welcome cracks. See spontaneous cracks in your day as little unasked for gifts. Who doesn’t enjoy received an unlooked for gift. Rather than curse a crack, welcome the crack as an unopened gift. Returning and rest is nothing more than a receptive approach to life allowing us to experience empty places in the day with gratitude instead of grumpiness.
Second, fill in the cracks. Step right into those little spaces of time with special material of your own choosing. Make something creative happen in that specific minute of your day. What am I talking about? Try smiling at the crack. Fill the crack with a little bit of humor. Tell a joke. Laugh silently at a rude person who is making you wait. Your smile just might be the seed crystal which transforms the whole chemistry of the situation.
Here’s another cracked idea. Meet gift for gift. Give a quality part of yourself to the crack. Fill the crack with one of your favorite wise sayings. Recite poetry while you wait. Carry with you a few hand-written cards with wisdom sayings, proverbs, great life quotes, a sentence or two from Scripture. Work on memorizing one of those in that crack.
Finally, think of cracks as soul time. Take those brief moments handed to you every day and zero in on the state of your soul. Breathe a few good slow breaths. Focus your attention for a few moments each day upon the cracks. As odd as it sounds, those are the places where wonders happen, the creative spaces which help you become a radiant human. As Leonard Cohen sings,
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Lyrics by Leonard Cohen, Anthem, off his The Future album, 1992.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Haystack in Blues


After weeks of grey skies,
Mornings hanging heavy in mist,
Afternoon sheets streaking down
Upon mid-July expectations,
Of sun and warmth and summer,
Dampened by the constant wetness,
The great green land awakens,
To the color blue overlooking
This earth in beatific episcopacy,
With quiet grace only interrupted
By birdsong among the evergreens,
Jays chattering in nearby Hemlocks,
Song Sparrows lifting up their Lauds,
Among sun-dappled Alder branches,
Unseen except by echoes of melody,
This morning's the first and only
Morning of day's birth under divinity's
Blessing and comforting canopy of blue. 
~By David Robinson, 7.18.11

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Night Frog


By the pond, in the dark,
'neath the trees, chanting

Raising voice, rhythmic song,
joining force, rejoicing

Stillness now, 'neath the trees,
silence hangs, gently

In the dark, one brave throat,
breaks the night, boldly

By the pond, vigil's choir,
chanting frogs, communing.

- David Robinson, 1995

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

This famous prayer, often called "the prayer of St. Francis", is sometimes attributed to St. Francis, though it can only be traced back to the early 20th century. Regardless of its origins, the spirit of the prayer is certainly in the spirit of St. Francis, a prayer which has inspired countless people, including many injured, doubting, despairing or saddened people looking for God's gifts of peace, love and joy.