Photograph from September 11BY WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKATRANSLATED BY CLARE CAVANAGH

11 Sep

a poem, on for this day

They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
higher, lower.

The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them   
above the earth toward the earth.

Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.

There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.

They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.

I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.

the rest is silence …. part 1 of 4

2 Sep

Without knowing till these few present moments, today’s moments, I have lived in fearful abysses composed of, formed by silences. Birthed of years of not being heard, or seen; felt or touched. Not truly remembered, seen, or heard. I emotionally, physically and spiritually lived in abysses- and they were destroying me. And I was not aware consciously of my devolving till this day. My abyss had become my home, my abode. My true abuser.
Hamlet faces abysses also. His final four words are reflected in Roy Batty’s parting thoughts from ‘Blade Runner’ (1982)


“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. [laughs] Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [coughs] tears in rain. Time to die.”

The fear here is of time’s abyss: all is lost. All.
All is silent. No hears or remembers, deeply.


But, yet…
As a Christian I believe, though I struggle moment by moment with this life forming principle: God is not silent; He wastes nothing. He feels Afghanistan’s hurting peoples as well as me, as well as you. God is one abyss.
Paul in his letter to the Roman churches and people writes, I believe, to those enveloped by silences: me-

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ( Romans 8 )

All silences, all things, God ‘works’ for good. I, we, just have to love him. Live with him; rest with, rest in the silences he gifts me. He is with me in my silent abysses.

He…
with me. And that is enough.

a new home, Tampa

30 Aug

Priscilla and moved this last week in August to Tampa, Florida… ( I know, who moves to Florida in August…) (( our new address is

375 Berwick Court – Charles and Priscilla Osewalt-
Dunedin, Florida 34698

PS We are actually in Dunedin, not Tampa

Here is a short video of Priscilla in our community pool with Grandkids / …

happy

and a picture…

Tampa, Dunedin family

in a church yesterday, during the talk, by mind wander and so, a thought for you all, from my mind’s new home

from proverbs 19, two verses today, first.. x

17 
‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
    and he will reward them for what they have done.’

and the 2nd,

22 
‘What a person desires is unfailing love
    better to be poor than a liar.’

I spoke on, shared, taught in sermon forms on both of these passages separately but yesterday I saw their beautiful connections:

If I give to the ‘thin’ ( Hebrew for ‘poor’ – emotionally, financially and spiritually- ) then I both love unconditionally and I am so loved

one act produces waves, winds of love, in all directions, in all ways

his robe,

13 Aug
His robe, covers

3 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

love is his robe for us, love

light,

11 Aug

from Psalm 97:11, with footnote

I can’t stand that I have not saved

Light shines[a] on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.

  1. Psalm 97:11 One Hebrew manuscript and ancient versions (see also 112:4); most Hebrew manuscripts Light is sown

and, Psalm 112: 4 – 5

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice

The images here are all about light; light that dawns; light that sows, that plants, as heart enriching seeds. Light in these Psalms is something that holds and lifts.
It is a generous gift from the Lord. Light lives as one of his greatest gifts.

27 camels, a moment

5 Aug

On our trip to Israel and Palestine in 2016, Priscilla and I stopped outside a refugee camp by a Banks painting in Bethlehem proper.

Waiting by this wall painting for our friends an older Arabic man stopped by us an asked if we would like to buy postcards. We had no monies on us and said so.

Then, the man, with a front toothless smile, asked,

Can I buy your beautiful daughter? How much would you like for her?

What will be give me? What is on offer?

26 camels.

I pause here, looked at me wife, and said,

27 camels.

Shaking his head, the man walked away smiling.

Priscilla gifted this camel to me after,

She is worth many camels . Many.

moments 3, absences …

29 Jul

inspired by proverbs 18:1
18 ‘An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends
and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.’

My family did not always abandon. At times they tired to love: once, by buying NY Giant football tickets for two 13 year old brothers; then, a loan of two thousand dollars to close on a house, a first home; a night sleeping at home when my spouse left; babysitting for baby grandchildren; and a home to rest after an emergency operation.
And, most telling, the night my 89 year old father said he loved me.

Yes, there were momentary attempts to hold, to love.
And I am grateful for those moments. These adoption moments. But I write about abandonments because I am in process of attempting to understand my life and why I feel the call, the pull of abandonments so.
In truth, deep, deep down in my life story, I was left to my own devices by people who were self centred, selfish. From their actions and words I learned the foundation of abandonments: for me, they begin with quarrels that open with silences: eight years of no calls, letters, or touches from grandparents, brother or sister. Or even parents. Silences.

There were, are, more silences today. So, I write to speak, to destroy my silences.
It helps.

Abandonments, for me, then begin with silences, absences. Once, experienced, I write.

moments, a preface

24 Jul

I was abandoned at birth, a twin baby, they kept my brother with them. I went to an Aunt’s home. Aunt Terry.

As an adult all I have done consciously, and unconsciously, is try to adopt: an orphan, Joey; 30 years of high school students, and their parents. Their hurts. Lonely, hurting people I have tired to adopt, with varying degrees of success over the years; I called them ‘Osewalt daughters; Osewalt sons’ and causes- like abandoned animals. It is a lengthy and involved list- I am sure many have such lists. I won’t bore you with mine.

my Aunt Terry, 22 July 2020

But still, I make promises to hurting, and healthy peoples, spoken and  unspoken, that I could not, did not keep. Even, known and unknown to myself I make such promises. Especially, I think, believe, to myself. 

All my ‘adoptions’ are I see now were, are, my response to being abandoned. They come, in time, – these adoption attempts – after moments of abandoning: a young wife leaves; a son dies; a daughter chooses silence in my relationship to her ( as a sister confronted, when, as my abandoning parents die ). 

Pain; hurts; no sleep or peace. 

Yes, one adoption follows, calls up the other. And the other calls to the first. Abandonments and adoptions, adopting and a bonding together. Their order does not matter. They, for me, will always go together. 

So I reflect on them. I write, listen, reflect again. Again. 

The ‘moments’ shared in this series will be about such reflections, connections. I hope they drop as rain drops.

moments, ‘adopted, not abandoned’

11 Jul
a father, a mother

in the dark night, Sokol’s voice asked me to stop and pause; then as he invited us to be a part of his family, I thought…

an across the street neighbour, Sokol’s father and mother had the virus in 2020. His mother survived; the husband, Sokol’s father didn’t. It has been a year since the father passed. Every weekend this Albanian family goes to Woodlawn Cemetery. They go together. This is how they practice remembering. Now, a year past, they are planning a memorial dinner for family at a hotel in White Plains. A full overflowing dinner, with the whole family. Chicago, New York and Albania. All in. And they want Priscilla and I to attend. It is a week and bit from today, tonight, 17 May. Sokol waited by my porch till 9 pm to ask.

We will gather if I ‘would please come’ on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

the Greek word associated with this time of remembrance, this type of memorial is, ‘anamnesis’ – a definition,

Anamnesis is a Greek word that means “a calling to mind,” from the roots ana-, “back,” and mimneskesthai, “to recall” or “to cause to remember.” Definitions of anamnesis. the ability to recall past occurrences. synonyms: recollection, remembrance. type of: memory, retention, retentiveness, retentivity.

but, the Greek word Sokol and his family is asking me to sit with them, is, I believe, the word ‘Kainos’ and it comes from the ancient Greek, meaning of ‘new’ or ‘fresh.’ They want to keep the father ‘fresh’, alive, and not shrouded in grave clothes. They want me to be ‘fresh’ and alive with them to speak, hear, see and feel. They desire not silences, but songs; not an ending or a closure, but a newness, a beginning.

I, abandoned by my own family, over and over again. Shrouded in their silences and inactions through the last 50 years of my life, now I am adopted by the most unlikely, by aliens and strangers. Abandoned, once, twice, again, again – yet…

I am not, not forgotten. remembered and looked for, waited for on a May night. adopted, not abandoned.

adopted by an Albanian Muslim family. loved. Love.

safe. saved.

a thought, a word, from Peter

8 Jul

a pause to briefly consider 2nd Peter 3

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.’

an essential pause, what is ‘wholesome’ thinking?

For Peter and the young suffering Christian Church it has to be NOT living in present despairs, but ‘whole’ transformative thoughts/ long term meditations & reflections

and this type of thinking must involve an essential ‘command’ from the Word…

1 Peter 1 defines – I believe- this command,

22 ‘Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.’

the word, the truth, cleanses; deep, sincere struggling love heals

We are to love, from our hearts

love