Saturday, July 16, 2016

Amazing Grace in Troubling Times

From my notebook here in Nemi, Italy, where I am translating/interpreting at our General Chapter for five weeks...

16 July, 2016

7:50 AM. On the bench. Or, on A bench. It's actually one to the left of the bench I have been in for the last couple of days because I wanted a view that was straight on this morning. I love how the changing light highlights different colors in the landscape. Today, it is the honey and terra cotta colors that feature. Other days, it has been the green canopies of trees or the shiny blue of the lake. The news from today is of the golpe-del-estado attempt in Turkey. Apparently it was not successful-- or, at least, that was the last I had heard on the news. This following on the attack in Nice, France just yesterday. And this is not to speak a word of all that has also undoubtably happened in the last two days without making the headlines or in some way pricking at the tentacles of the media.

Though it is the only way I know how to Live, how to have/feel/know a sense of Home, Meaning, Call, or Freedom, I sometimes find it strange and inexplicable that I continue to believe so strongly in a God of Love, Mercy, Compassion, and Inclusion, when the world is filled with such hatred, violence, and the use of the name of God to justify and ratify atrocities. And yet, I do. I believe that there is a light no darkness can overcome. I must, if there is any sense to be made at all. Or, I must, if I am to welcome and to be welcomed by this Mystery and live within it.

In some ways, perhaps I am coming into a new understanding of Faith. Or, perhaps it is circumstances that are directing me toward a new facet of it. I can say with certainty that some large measure of the grace that is faith is what has brought me safe thus far; perhaps this new light is the grace of faith that will lead me Home.

Thank you, God, for your invitation, your constancy and understanding. Thank you for loving me as you do...wholly, completely, and without reservation.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Better Weather

I have been into Broadway show tunes for the last while.  I have a great mix of songs on a playlist-- from chestnuts to new favorites.  I appreciate the lyricism more now than ever is FULL music that plays to my love of story and the senses.  Several songs from the soundtrack to Tony-sweeping Hamilton are recent frequent plays.  I have a whole new appreciation for the exquisite linguistic maneuverings of rap and hip-hop thanks to the artistry of Lin-Manuel Miranda and the whole cast. 

I was listening to this music when the BBC notice about the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando blipped up on my screen. The shooting in  San Bernadino last December elicited an intense response from me.  This was different somehow.  I am no less saddened and certainly no less ashamed of congress or concerned about how such hate manages to flourish.  Perhaps it is a certain sense of being Fed Up.  Fed up with people wondering how it can be that people do this.  That seems pretty clear.  You make a decision that one group of people, whoever that might be, deserves death, you buy a gun legally, you plan, and you execute the plan.  What leads up to this is nuanced and multifaceted, for certain.  There are questions of evil, of extremism, of loneliness, illness and hosts of other issues.  But the basic how seems as obvious as the lack of interest on the part of lawmakers in doing a blessed thing about it. 

Better Weather

What I do not understand
is how you wake up washed in hate and not in the light-
Believing that it’s God who calls you to the fight;
So you exercise a right and buy a gun so you can
meet what you consider to be your divine plan.
That’s bad enough-a desecration of the love
that God has equally for all from above.

Then there’s a country that refuses to acknowledge
that these weapons have no place and should be abolished.
They feed the hate and facilitate the war
that is happening Here AND on a distant shore.

 People ask “How many more?” but that question is old
because clearly Congress refuses to do anything bold.
Here’s a new one to consider—How long can we last
when the Love we woke up to fades into the past?
When we forget how freedom feels and when fear rules the heart
and we spend money behind fortresses instead of making art
to remind us, invite us, inspire and unite us
in our call to stand together, each glorious one-
in the light, in the light,
in the light of the sun.
With open hands, full hearts, and listening souls
ready to welcome, to learn, to help, and to hold.

We can battle with the rattle of our ideologies
and sell a semi-automatic to our neighbors and friends,
closing our eyes to the sight of blood on our hands
Or, we can amend the laws that guide the land.

This will not stop the hate, the fear, the push for power
but it will make it harder for mass murder to tower
over the news, over our hearts, over homes of the nation,
and dominate discussions of hate and discrimination.

Let’s change the laws. Let’s get it together.
Stop the rain of tears and make better weather
So Love can bloom wild and dance with rebirth
among all the inhabitants of this beautiful Earth.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pentecost 2016

(image by Jessamyn Rubio)

Pentecost 2016


Fill me, Jesus,

Spirit and Word;

Open me, Traveller,

breath and possibility;

Sustain me, Love,

promise and sending.

Lift me

ground me

move in me

out from me

widening widening

until all is All is

of Light

of Grace

of Yes.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Particular Bread

For Ratinaud’s on Gottigen Street

Particular Bread

The crust, the crumb,

the salt on my lip,

the yeast, the chew,

the deliciously particular

sensory complexity

of a bite tasting

like the earthy

pinching, pungency

of the charcuterie

that called to me;

(I love a bread that bears

specificity well;

Bread that becomes

in the afternoon’s hunger

warm, torn pieces

of home and hope and sighing.)

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ

Friday, April 22, 2016

Blue Sky Wanders

The Blue Sky Wanders

I was afflicted today

with a distracting, uplifting,

case of the 'blue sky wanders.'


When gravity says I won't hold you bound;

When the road is open

and the map is vague.


The type of day that

brings to its company

a certain sort of memory:


The color of the ocean

seen from a bus

along the coast of Chile;


A love letter once received;


The fullness that bloomed

in an empty sanctuary,

while listening to the grandeur of quiet.


Kimberly M. King, RSCJ




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Psalm Vision in the Rain

I loved looking out from the rocking chair this morning and seeing one bird proclaiming life in the midst of slappy wind-driven raindrops.  And I liked that I saw this bird while I was reading the psalm for today...

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.

from Psalm 31

Monday, April 4, 2016

What happens when...

Someone asked me recently what happens inside of me when I work on written translations. I share here my response.

Murmurations on the Page

When I read through the original
for the first time, it begins.
A glorious murmuration of
language alive,  alive
with flight and pitch,
tone, resonance, and meaning.

If I let go just enough, I
can feel the movements,
feel the life being spun.
And I begin to listen through
the shape emerging;
sorting the sounds and meanings I hear.

I write and listen and wait
up until and through
the last sound that is missing,
the note which makes the new breathe alone.
I wait until ah…
the harmony, the awe, of two flocks of words.

Kimberly M. King, rscj