Archive for April, 2009

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.


May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
Dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Sent to me today from my sister, God Bless.

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O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!
Release a space to plant your Presence here.
Envision your “I Can” now.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
Grow through us this moment’s bread and wisdom.
Untie the knots of failure binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ faults.
Help us not forget our Source,
Yet free us from not being in the Present.
From you arises every Vision, Power and Song
from gathering to gathering.
Amen –
May our future actions grow from here!

the lord’s prayer – from the original aramaic

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Middle age refers more
to landscape than to time:
it’s as if you’d reached

the top of a hill
and could see all the way
to the end of your life,

so you know without a doubt
that it has an end—
not that it will have,

but that it does have,
if only in outline—
so for the first time

you can see your life whole,
beginning and end not far
from where you stand,

the horizon in the distance—
the view makes you weep,
but it also has the beauty

of symmetry, like the earth
seen from space: you can’t help
but admire it from afar,

especially now, while it’s simple
to re-enter whenever you choose,
lying down in your life,

waking up to it
just as you always have—
except that the details resonate

by virtue of being contained,
as your own words
coming back to you

define the landscape,
remind you that it won’t go on
like this forever.

“Foreseeing” by Sharon Bryan, from Flying Blind. © Sarabande Books, 1996.

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Bill Lorensen and family recently lost all of their personal belongings to a terrible fire on Mechanic Street last Tuesday night. These included irreplaceable antiques, photos, keepsakes, coin and gun collections, as well as everything a home contains in the way of comfort.

Friends of mine and I are organizing a fund drive to raise money and goods for this family to help them through this terrible time. First Niagara Bank has lined up an account, the Lorensen Support Fund, so that compassionate souls may contribute to the future of this family. $10 or $20 can go a long way when so much has been lost. We will also set up a drop off point for goods. Please look for information in this regard next week.

The city has been addressing issues painfully raised by the fire. We are conducting a water flow test of the distribution system on the hill, a plan of scheduled maintenance is being developed, and the hydrants and water lines will be mapped and accessible via the new AFD software. We have asked for money in our stimulus request to address thirty identified problem hydrants and will fund replacement/maintenance in the coming budget. We will send a fireman or code enforcement officer to walk all of the way around the rest of the 40 buildings slated for demo in the next two weeks.

Please keep the Lorensen family in your hearts and prayers. They have seen tremendous difficulty this year. Several immediate family members have recently passed away, they had just installed a four-day old roof before the fire and had been planning to celebrate the wedding of a daughter on May 9th. The wedding is still on, but their happiness has obviously been tempered.

The Lorensen family has long been know for giving to others. It’s time to give back. Your generosity can make the very real difference in the future of this family.

Thank you, all of you, kind neighbors

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my favorite shred

It just is.

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Today’s Citywide Cleanup was hugely successful.
We had a turnout of approximately 400 volunteers.




We’ll be counting up the number of bags of litter that were gathered, but consider this – each person was encouraged to pick up at least two bags.


Many, many individuals went above and beyond, sometimes hauling in 4, 6, even 9 bags at a shot. Some groups brought in 15 to 25 bags over the four hour period. Truckloads!


Teams from churches, girl scouts, boy scouts, learn and serve, and businesses descended on neighborhoods long in need of attention.



Union Street, Park Street, Cleveland Avenue, and playgrounds around the whole of Amsterdam were just a few of the sites that were reclaimed.



Many commented that they went around the City to places they had intended to clean, only to find they were already cleared.


I am humbled by the
participation of all of these proud, committed, enthusiastic volunteers that have decided to take back their City. We’re going to do this again. Stay tuned for more. It’s what “small city. big heart.” is all about.

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I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

– Stanley Kunitz
The Collected Poems. © W.W. Norton, 2000

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