Eco Theology

The Buddhists know we are the earth, for without the earth, we could not exist. So, like a mirror, we hold the earth in front of us and ask, “Who am I.”

The Jews begin with food, the relationship. We interact with earth primarily through how we eat, an awareness of why we’re eating something. Is it to further relationship or own self fulfillment? The divine spark of life can be raised in eating as well as in abstaining.

The Swinomish Tribe sees nature as the primary text of wisdom through which the Spirit speaks. Ceremony, drum, as a way of connecting with the earth and the constant vibration of love, union and wisdom. It is always in the present moment, go back to the fire – fast, wait, listen for the word of Spirit through Creation.

The Muslim expand environment to include the inner self and the unseen. We see only a portion of our vast world, yet we are trustees of it. Creation is a teacher and is balanced. When we make it unbalanced, there will be warning signs and consequences. Nature, has a very strong life force.

The Christians know we are stewards of the earth, to tend and care for it. The bravest invite us to see the earth as God’s body, and to see it, and care for it as a practice of love to God.

Happy Earth Day – possibly the first interfaith holiday. We are all connected to each other, because we are all connected to the earth.


Mouse Problem in Iraq

I remember:

The glint of the shovel in the moonlight,
the dry, cracked earth
the helicopter in the distance

The way he said, no
let me
and so I nodded, handed the shovel

But that was the first, I don’t know how many came after
day shift said, oh god, no
we just throw them in the trash,
can’t stand the little buggers

But sergeant Frese and I,
night shift:
me, a skinny little kid, boots too big, britches too tight
he, an old Vietnam veteran, crusty, a pack of Marb Reds a day
we knew what we had to do

So when the mice got caught on the glue traps
when we heard that incredibly loud calling out
of the deepest anguish
the last thing the mouse could possibly do
we knew what we had to do

I thought briefly of the other mice just lying there in the dumpster
twisted distortedly as the garbage piled up, the light slowly fading

We smoked a cigarette afterwards
that terrible, desolate place
the moon so big, so bright

It’s true. Every war’s the same


Like a dark sphere moving out from me,
collective, individual, hell
these days,
we all suffer together.

But at a sudden moment, I could almost visualize
From the edge of my sphere, my grief
My longing
I felt the raw edge of something
Even deeper.

And the depth, oh my the depth.

I’ve never been the same

Year in Review

I wanted to keep up my Chaplaincy series, I really did. Just like I wanted to keep up last new year’s resolution to post at least one blog a day for the rest of the year. I made a really good run with that one, so I’m not sad at all that it went by the wayside. I’m also not upset that I stopped the Chaplaincy series on like, day six. Not much endurance there, but I got several gems of revelation that will probably take me months, if not years, to tease apart. The thing is, both of these projects are merely part of my larger narrative for 2013 – a blockbuster year for me in terms of my writing. I took poems that were ten, ten, years old and, with the help of my band, turned them into songs. My dad took an essay I wrote my freshman year of college and gave it to the wife of the person who inspired the work. A person who is now dead. My dad said it was very meaningful for her, and I’m once again blessed by this man’s impact on my life. I am also one of the authors on a new publication in ATVB from research we did in Pittsburg several years ago. So, wow, I’m not at all sorry for my unfinished art of 2013 because someday I just might complete it. At least the seeds of possibility have been planted here in this little ol’ blog o’ mine.

Anyways, Happy New Year, fellow Earthicans!



Our most primordial experiences:
birth, sex, death,
eating, drinking


Rise up
To art, literature, science,

One speaks to the other
a dance
transcendent (r)evolution



Day 6

I’m alone. I am the only chaplain at the hospital. The other chaplain, one of my mentors, and the Priest stop by early, 7:30ish, to make sure I have the print-out of the daily census for the hospital. It’s on the shared server that I have yet to access, so they stop in on their way to the mandatory Spiritual Retreat that all the real chaplains in the hospital system need to attend.

I say, “You two kids go have fun.” (Their both older, especially the Priest.) They smile warmly, and I feel confident as I place my imaginary chaplain hat on. Previously, I was in training. But this time, I’m the only chaplain here. I am the chaplain.

And that’s when I really feel it – what is called Incarnational Theology. It’s distinctly Christian in that it deals with the theology that arises (one of many, mind you) from the Gospel story of Jesus Christ. Many Christians believe Jesus Christ himself was God. Many others posit that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. I’m not entirely sure what either mean, especially the latter whose language arose to describe Emperors in ancient Greek culture.

I consider myself a Christian, and deeply ponder who and what Jesus Christ means to me. I don’t feel I have a sufficient answer for myself yet, but I truly believe that seeking is not a sign of lack of faith, but of deep faith. I hold the questions carefully in my heart because I understand that they have eternal significance (whatever THAT even means!). But I feel it, with every fiber of my being, even if I don’t quite understand it.

So, when I put on my imaginary chaplain hat, I know in some way, some beautiful, mysterious way, that what I am to the people I visit is the incarnation of a God that:

cares deeply about them
listens to their pain
is with them in the deepest sense of the word

Because I am the only one here, I really try to fully embrace this – I attempt to set all my feelings of inadequacy aside, all the other “stuff” that clogs my brain surrounding my life.

And I visit patients, family, staff. From the depths of my being, I try to embody love in the best way I know how. I know, with that great knowing, that I am always inadequate, yet God uses such an open, seeking heart to minister. Where I fall short, the grace of God steps in.