POEM: “Singularity,” by Marie Howe

(after Stephen Hawking) Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity we once were? so compact nobody needed a bed, or food or money — nobody hiding in the school bathroom or home alone pulling open the drawer where the pills are kept. For every atom belonging...

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Happy Birthday To . . Mo & Ice

June 15, 1922 Mo Udall "Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them." June 15, 1969 Ice Cube "It's funny how people who ain't never been down there can think that America is so fair and that we should be...

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POEM: “The Layers,” by Stanley Kunitz

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....

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Happy Birthday To . . . Bertha and Kiran

June 9, 1843 Bertha Von Suttner "How can justice be attained when, in the expiation of an old wrong, another wrong is to be committed? No reasonable creature would conceive of the idea of obliterating ink stains with ink, or spots of oil with oil. Only blood must be...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Frederico & Bill

June 5, 1898 Federico García Lorca "I will always be on the side of those who have nothing and who are not even allowed to enjoy the nothing they have in peace.” June 5, 1934 Bill Moyers "What's right and good doesn't come naturally. You have to stand up and fight for...

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Poem: “Statement,” by Robert Francis

I follow Plato only with my mind. Pure beauty strikes me as a little thin, A little cold, however beautiful. I am in love with what is mixed, impure, doubtful and dark and hard to disencumber. I want a beauty I must dig for, search for. Pure beauty is beginning and...

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Hoping for interreligious dialogue to become way of life

BELIEF by Rajam Ramamurthy, M.D. As a 3-year-old girl in India, I received letters from my father, who was studying mining engineering in the U.S. In one, he described how newspapers were sold in the 1940s by being piled in a corner. He said nobody took one without...

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Happy Birthday To . . Julia & Hubert

May 27, 1819 Julia Ward Howe "Ambitious people climb, but faithful people build." May 27, 1911 Hubert Humphrey "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism."

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Happy Birthday To . . Arthur & Harvey

May 22, 1859 Arthur Conan Doyle "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." May 22, 1930 Harvey Milk "The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason....

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Poem: “Man Eating,” by Jane Kenyon

The man at the table across from mine is eating yogurt. His eyes, following the progress of the spoon, cross briefly each time it nears his face. Time, and the world with all its principalities, might come to an end as prophesied by the Apostle John, but what about...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Anna & Tara

May 17, 1794 Anna Jameson "In morals what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil." May 17, 1953 Tara Brach "Feeling compassion for...

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Poem: “Cockroach,” by Anne Sexton

Roach, foulest of creatures, who attacks with yellow teeth and an army of cousins big as shoes, you are lumps of coal that are mechanized and when I turn on the light you scuttle into the corners and there is this hiss upon the land. Yet I know you are only the common...

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Working for justice requires never-ending vigilance

Working for justice requires never-ending vigilance by Mario Marcel Salas The human spirit seeks a better world. We battle for the dignity of humankind at every level. We should always be apprehensive for those marginalized and left in vulnerable positions. However,...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Richard & Florence

May 11, 1918 Richard P. Feynman "The most interesting phenomena are, of course, in the new places, the places where the rules do not work - not the places where they do work! That is the way in which we discover new rules." May 12, 1820 Florence Nightingale "So never...

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Poem: “Instructions on Not Giving Up,” by Ada Limón

More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor's almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate sky of Spring rains, it's the greening of the trees that really gets to me. When...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Jacob & Pete

May 3, 1849 Jacob Riis "I'd look at one of my stonecutters hammering away at the rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet, at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I knew it was not that blow that did it, but all that...

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Poem: “It May Not Comfort You,” by Robert Francis

It May Not Comfort You It may not comfort you to know— But if the time should ever come When lily and delphinium Are trampled to their doom And only weeds are left to grow— (Where has the gardener gone? And who will mow the lawn?) It may be comfort in your need To...

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Poem: “True or False,” by John Ciardi

Real emeralds are worth more than synthetics but the only way to tell one from the other is to heat them to a stated temperature, then tap. When it’s done properly the real one shatters. I have no emeralds. I was told this about them by a woman who said someone had...

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Happy Birthday To . . . Nell & Terry

April 28, 1926 Nell Harper Lee "Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." April 28, 1948 Terry Pratchett "It's not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone,...

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Poem: “Ethics,” by Linda Pastan

In ethics class so many years ago our teacher asked this question every fall: if there were a fire in a museum which would you save, a Rembrandt painting or an old woman who hadn’t many years left anyhow? Restless on hard chairs caring little for pictures or old age...

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