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Showing posts from 2018

Can a poem save a life?

It may sound dramatic for one to say a poem can save a life. But, for me, I believe it to be true, because... In the aftermath of grief, a poem was there. In the celebration of new life, a poem was there. In the mists of confusion, a poem was there. In the waves of wonder, a poem was there. The lines might not have rhymed, but seldom a good poem does. Nevertheless, the poems held up a light to my darkness, gave me strength for what could be, and gave me room to dance - when no dancing was allowed. So welcome the drama, embrace the muse, put on those dancing shoes... this is poetry after all. Can a poem save a life? I'm writing. I'm breathing. I'm dreaming. A poem saved my life. Copyright December 2018 T.L. Eastman

A Poem for Advent into Christmas: Love stuck

The greatest of the four weeks of Advent into Christmas is here: love. With all the hope waking, peace-making and joy breaking, We need the glue of love to make this stick. Please stick. More than paper on packages with packing tape, But something that goes beyond the surface of things  And fills the darkest corners of us with lasting love. I don't want these gifts of hope, peace, joy and love to disappear like grandma's frosted sugar cookies. But if they had to be consumed, hope, peace, joy and love would empower us to live out actions …like the making of many snow angels; when we abandon everything else  and surrender to love that stays. Please stay love,  I don't want you to melt like snow drifts above 35 degrees.... be crumpled like old gift wrapping... or abandoned on the curb like a used Christmas tree. Christ’s light has grown. Five candles are lit. Illuminating  our way with hope, peace, joy and the greatest: Love. One candle for hope. Two

Poem for Advent: Week Three: JOY: just, outrageous, you

Just, Outrageous. You! Joy is no wallflower. She, yes she, is bold , sassy and a somewhat fearsome. Joy bursts into the room and won't stop grooving', till everyone is on the dance floor. Her name is short, but her actions are memorable; causing laughter to tears in only the best way. Joy is unstoppable. You can't ignore her and you must respect her. She is just. She is outrageous. She has one candle for each letter of her name. Joy will break through all barriers and bring her colorful wonder to you, and you, and you, and you, and Y O U... just, outrageous, you. JOY Copyright December 2018 Tara Lamont Eastman

A Poem for Advent, Week Two: Peace call

Peace calls to... pause, embrace, act, contemplate, and exhale. Pause. Storms make me feel like running and hiding, when I'm frantic, can peace be present? Peace. Embrace. In conflicts and hurt that push people apart, is peace working to break the ice? Peace. Act. When anxiety freezes me in inaction, does peace give a warm nudge to move? Peace. Contemplate. When swirls of activity tempt me to do, be and see all things at once... will peace slow me down to savor each  beautiful      thing? Peace. Exhale. Filling of lungs can only be sweet, when exhale helps me let go of what is not longer of use. Will peace help me to release and fill my heart, mind, and lungs? Peace. Peace calls to...pause fear. Peace calls to...embrace a need for people. Peace calls to... act in life-giving ways. Peace calls to... contemplate beauty. Peace calls to... exhale  and trust the oxygen to keep breathing                                                                  

A poem for Advent Week One: Hope...

Hope seems as light as a feather,  but sparks all good, deep things that are yet to come. Hope is a glimmer of light, in the darkest night.  Even in the midst of chaos, h ope is new growth of a fig leaf or bud of the cactus plant;  growing slowly to remind us,  that Jesus is nearby.  As the Solstice draws near, days grow darker and colder and  a single candle of hope shines.  A single candle to wake us up to the promise given.  A single candle to stoke the cooling embers of the heart. A single candle to give,  "  confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." A single candle to do the heavy-lifting and give us... HOPE. Prayer: Help me to be Open to Possibilities Emerging. HOPE. Copyright November 2018 T.L Eastman

Prayer for All 'Other' Saints

Creator… When we claim that “others” are worth knowing, what movement does the idea take? In all the swirling possibility, what about “others” helps us wake. When the “others” are seen, we discover unexpected and essential unity.   Help each “other” become aware of our beauty and shadow sides. The shadow may carry struggle, but it's strength helps beauty gleam.  This mixing of joy and struggle is the wonder all “others” hope for and dream. Help “others” remember that each “other” is worth knowing. Help “others” to see, beauty in the midst of divisions  and the miracle of new life… as the beloved “others” community.  AMEN     Copyright November 4th, 2018 /  Tara Lamont Eastman

Produce, Food Trucks, and Mason Jars: a recipe for wellness

Through the last several months, I've been on a personal wellness project to develop healthier foundations in living: reducing stress, eating wholesome tasty foods and sharing some of what I've learned with others. This week I had the opportunity to share one of my favorite meal hacks, Jar Salads , with the customers at the Jamestown Mobile Market, a project of the Jamestown Renaissance Corp . With the help of  the JRC staff and a large group of volunteers, the Mobile Market reaches a minimum of 100 people weekly. The Mobile Food Truck customers receive fresh, local produce with the use of free $5.00 coupons or can be purchased at a rate of $1.00 per item. Last summer, the Mobile Market was only and idea on paper and this summer it's been a distinct joy seeing this dream become a reality. The idea of the mobile market is quite simple: bring local produce to people living in "food-desert" neighborhoods. The USDA defines a "food desert" as: &q

Welcome from the heart

From the book Heart Talk author Cleo Wade says this about the heart of welcome… “We are here to connect, not compare. There is a reason we are not in this world alone. It is because we are all connected and need each other to function peacefully, purposefully and powerfully. We cannot know happiness or our true power if we are constantly in a state of comparison and competition. ..Connection rejects the idea of competing for any one thing and runs, instead, on gratitude and abundance, which weave us more deeply into each other’s lives so that we may better support one another in the world. Connection knows that everything we accomplish in life is much more fulfilling when we help others along the way.” Her words make me wonder, can actions of welcome be the glue of building connection between people? What would be possible if we truly welcome one another - from the heart? One of the most extreme experiences of heart welcome I've been in the receiving end happened in an u

The practice of being human

Like a foot that has fallen asleep, the process of "waking up" those toes isn't comfortable. Like the eyes that have grow accustomed to the cool darkness of a movie theater; there is much squinting and stumbling when reentering the light of day. Feeling and seeing are necessary to life. These senses help to keep us safe. But when we tamp them down... to save time....         to save energy.......                 to save face in relationships..... We aren't saving anything at all. In fact, we lose ourselves and walk in a stupor of presence minus engagement.......                       a warm body but a mind that meanders over old tapes and trappings..........                                             a life lived in relation to people, instead of in relationships with people. It's time to wake up. To be blinded, for a moment, by the sun. To hop around on one foot, pins and needles and feel the feelings that have been buried. To see

A rest with St. Bernard

Image found at Doctors of the Church When I learned today was your day of remembrance, I took some time to learn more about your life. You were a teacher, preacher, and healer of divisions.You honored Mary, calling her the treasure and heart of God. While you longed for a quiet life of prayer and service in the Abby, God called you to use your gifts of communication to bridge the gaps for the church and communities that beckoned. You took your call to share good news seriously - but felt the pain of your words being twisted. That pain is said to be what ended your life too soon. If we were to sit down for a chat, I'd ask how you maintained balance; one foot in the church and the other in the world. While I might not be preaching to the masses like you; I understand what it's like to stand with each foot on different plots.  As a pastor today, you would probably be defined a community developer-redeveloper. You would be working with new and old systems. You would be


For Alden and Gertrude on Memorial Day weekend 2018 Living in the “NOWS” was the only way they knew how: with gardens, chocolate chip cookies, flowers, baseball, dancing and accompanying dogs. Holding hands, encouraging hearts, living in the “NOWS” even when bending a brow. In sorrow, in joy, living “do not worry” was the tempo to each step,  and carries them to the dance we can’t see yet. Living the “NOWS” is the legacy they leave, beckoning us with sunshine, flying birds and warm breeze. Calling us to live our “NOWS” bound in the promise of God’s love - Now is our dance of love to lead.  NOW. Copyright 2018 T.L. Eastman


A little guy told me about a collision in gym class. "I crashed into -----, it was an accident. My lip was bleeding. I cried. But I got an ice pack - I'm fine now." Sometimes we bump heads. With foes as well as friends. Perhaps if we remember each noggin' is precious - we would't have so may hurts that are delayed in healing. All noggins bump. All noggins are precious. All noggins can heal. If only we give ice packs for each other, like preschoolers. Amen, Preschoolers, ice packs. Amen.

New Start

(Inspired by Psalm 23) Shepherd in the light of day, Share with us your whole heart. Loving people today - make us a new start. Jesus’s blessing we carry – a blessing we are called to share. Good Shepherd, lead us all along the way; from each new beginning and in the midst of the fray. We are bound up in God’s presence – in the dark valley and fields of green. The Good Shepherd guides us on high ground, low ground and all places in between. Shepherd in the light of day, Shepherd in the dark of night Give us your “Good Shepherd” heart. Help us love people always… Jesus, make us a new start.    Copyright 2018 T. L. Eastman

Ash Wednesday 2018 - Show up and be

Today is Ash Wednesday, a day where Christians all over the world participate in a public expression of faith. Many, as part of this worship, prayerfully choose to give something up as an act of sacrifice and discipline. Also, many will attend worship services, much like ours tonight, and have ashes marked upon their foreheads; remembering Jesus – fully God and fully human. There is much of this day that is public and open. It’s a day, that as a pastor, I look forward to; as people seem more open to spiritual things like receiving ashes and prayers. So it’s a little paradox, or a big one, that our gospel reading for today begins with this statement: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6 As we take part in worship, in this public place, we will pray – proclaim and yes we have already received ashes; but Matthew’s warning against public acts of worship is a warning – a warni