Litany: Billy Collins

Litany by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,

The crystal goblet and the wine…

~Jacues Crickillon


You are the bread and the knife,

the crystal goblet and the wine,

You are the dew on the morning grass

and the burning wheel of the sun.

You are the white apron of the baker,

and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.


However, you are not the wind in the orchard,

the plums on the counter,

or the houses of cards.

And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.


It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,

maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,

but you are not even close

to being a field of cornflowers at dusk.


And a quick look in the mirror will show

that you are neither the boots in the corner

nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.


It might interest you to know,

speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,

that I am the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.


I am also the moon in the trees

and the blind woman’s tea cup.

But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.

You are still the bread and the knife,

not to mention the crystal goblet and – somehow – the wine.

Found a quote about Fortitude

asl love hands

(artist and source on the internet unknown. Please leave a comment with information if you know who did this awesome work.)

I just came back from breakfast with a new friend.

I am so thankful to be settling in even further into our new community.

We mostly talked about trying to get into shape so that we can enjoy our respective jobs for as long as possible. Somehow the topic of forgiveness came up though, and I just now found this quote that I had jotted in my “get healthy” journal:

“You will always be
the bread

the knife,

not to mention the crystal



the wine.”

(by poet Billy Collins.

I made the line breaks up myself – something that is a big no, no in the world of poetry…but in the interest of time…there you go.

p.s. I think when I did research on the poem a while ago I found out that he wrote it either because of a painful divorce, or to make fun of sappy break up poetry that is not good literature. I can’t remember which and my son is currently banging a basketball against the wall, so I’d better not dilly dally at the keyboard.

Why Mr. Collins wrote it and what it meant to him at the time does matter… but I like it today because it reminds me of communion and Catholic prayers about the Communion of the Saints.

And I like cheese, and I like wine.)

ExhaleNSayRealFast: VWXYZ

…thanks for your patience and consideration with this Blogging A-Z Challenge…it’s been fun! (pictures to follow, hopefully tomorrow)

Here is the rest of the alphabet…

Made up “v” word of the day: VeryVerily

Definition: When a person gives that extra “umph” to a church reading which makes the sleepy parishoner wake up just a bit.

Example: The enthusiastic reader found himself saying “and VeryVerily unto the Lord” and no one actually noticed because they were distracted by the incredibly cute twin boy and girl three pews ahead. (I was anyway this week!)

Made up “w” word of the day: Whoopsie

Definition: When a blogger who agreed to participate in a challenge that included posting all of the ABC’s in some cool way over the month of April realizes that she has three letters to catch up on. And she sees this fact on May first. (well, it’s 1:00 a.m. and my friend messaged me on FB with a Scrabble Cheez-It Crisis, so count me in on the human race!)

Example: Yesterday she got most of the final post ready for the challenge and assumed that today, the last day of April, time would allow finishing the task. Not so. Tempted by the quiet and solitude after the rest of the house was asleep, she got on the computer in late hours to put a sticky up of a quote she’s heard twice this week that is really quite cool.

Then she googled Steve Martin and his blue grass band.

Then she copied and pasted a Martin gig on Lento to her son so that he could watch some good comedy.

Then she opened the Scrabble Cheetos and grabbed a glass of wine.

Then she started the rollicking messaging with her friend.

Then, she messaged “whoopsie! It’s already 1:00, but it’s so damn quiet and everyone is asleep…let’s pretend we aren’t old moms and stay up all night chatting!”

“Sounds great.!..laptop battery dyyyyyyying. TTYL. Nite!”

Made up word of the day: YohYohYohY

Definition: The act of persistent questioning.

Example: YohYohYohY am I still awake when tomorrow is the day that I need to be awake and energized for?????????????????????


last (yawn) made up word for the  (mmm, stretching) 2012 Blogging A-Z Challenge….




Forgiveness Friday: Compassionate Prayer

I pray on the principle that wine knocks

the cork out of a bottle.

There is an inward fermentation,

and there must be a vent.

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Oh my goodness.

I’m involved, thankfully, in a very intense exchange of messages and posts among some online friends who are fighting for their child’s life. For real!

A week or so ago a friend started a message thread to several moms that asked for prayer because her son had attempted suicide. Soon after, another mom announced that her child was having severe behavior issues at school and that things were not looking good at all. A few days later one of the other moms had to announce that her adult son with special needs was suddenly gravely ill. Sadly, his funeral is tomorrow. Word arrived this morning on this thread that yet another mom was having her child air-cared to the hospital and is in grave condition.

Why is this thread something I am thankful for today? Certainly not because I enjoy drama in the form of real life crisis.

It’s because I’m reminded that prayer is so real, and so doable. I’ve never met any of these women. A few of them have met at conferences and the like, but to my knowledge, most of the connections between the women that the thread started with are by way of prayer and online communication.

Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.  ~Samuel M. Shoemaker

Have you ever had the sudden feeling that you were being prayed for? It’s odd. Cool, but odd. I had it happen a week or so ago. No clue who it was rallying the angels on my behalf, but it really did feel like an out of the blue – whoosh of, fresh air. This is good, because I was, and continue to be in a knot of worry. When I get this way I really can’t pray much. I try not to worry about that. These issues and days and phases always pass, and like trying to remember how to do a certain dance move, my conversations with God start right back up again and we carry on together in a slightly different light. Well, sometimes the change is massive. Depends on the crisis load at the time!

In the mean time, I remain thankful that I am being prayed for by others, and even more thankful that I am being kept in the loop of these mom friends who are humble enough to admit their pain and willing to ask for help.

I stumbled on an article yesterday that is about compassion fatigue. Author Trevor Hudson explains that “Self-love and other-love are bound together.” Simple concept…but often forgotten and avoided, especially during crisis. I’m going to copy and post the whole thing in another spot. If you want to read the whole thing (it’s short!) you can find it here.

Phew. Life. Details. Stress. Phew.

Much peace to everyone, about, well, every thing!