Monthly Archives: May 2015

WINGSPREAD E-zine for June, 2015

“Spreading your wings” in a complex world.

Contents

1. E-zine subscription information
2. How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
3. Newest blog article: “Praying in a ruined cathedral”
4. Writer’s Corner
5. Favorite quotes

 Subscribe to this E-zine   Click here http://jimhurd.com to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine (free), sent direct to your email inbox, about twice a month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

 Buy Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America. Buy it here:  jimhurd.com (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, etc.)  See pics related to Wingspread: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/


New blog article:
Praying in a ruined cathedral  

We pilgrim along the forested path. I smell the peonies and primroses that border the trail. Crosses populate a little cemetery on one side of the path, their planted stones listing but not toppling, marking the graves of the holy ones. I finger the rough limestone, trying to trace the faded names.

Up ahead, a ruined cathedral emerges through the trees—a huge, wounded hulk. We walk across a clearing and into the roofless nave, now open to the sky, where the warm wind disorganizes my hair….

Read more here:  https://wordpress.com/post/78053395/361

(*Request: Please leave a comment on the website after reading this article. Thanks.)


Writer’s Corner

Wondering how to solve layout problems for your article or book? Read my “On Writing: Layout” athttps://wordpress.com/post/78053395/354

 Writer’s Word of the Week:  Pseudonym

Definition: A substitute-name for a person or place

Think very carefully about who may object, or who may be damaged, by what you write. How can you avoid criticism, or betrayal of others, especially friends or members of your own family? You can use pseudonyms for people or places. Keep a separate ID list so you can keep track of who’s who.

However, sometimes even pseudonyms are not enough—think Sinclair Lewis’ novel Main Street, where the good people of Sauk Centre were outraged at what he wrote about their town. You may need to mask places or events so as to protect identities. You may need to ask people’ permission. Or some things you may need to omit.

Writer’s workshop! Do you wish to get more serious about your writing, meet other writers, and learn from some of the best? Meet me at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Workshops from weekends to week-long. Check out their website at: http://www.iowasummerwritingfestival.org/

Favorite quotes:

♫   A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of ideas.            John Ciardi

♫  God gave you two ends: One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends upon which one you use most —

Heads you win
Tails you lose!
Anonymous

♫  I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but now I see I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

♫  A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.               Frank Lloyd Wright

♫  You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.      Yogi Berra

♫  To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion.
Joan Chittister

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If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread E-zine, send a note to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Praying in a ruined cathedral, near York

We pilgrim along the forested path. I smell the peonies and primroses that border the trail. Crosses populate a little cemetery on one side of the path, their planted stones listing but not toppling, mark the graves of the holy ones. I finger the rough limestone, trying to trace the faded names.

Up ahead, a ruined cathedral emerges through the trees—a huge, wounded hulk. We walk across a clearing and into the roofless nave, now open to the sky, where a brisk wind disorganizes my hair. I look above the bare columns, up to where the flying buttresses still support the clerestory walls, and see the sun pouring through their pane-less, sightless windows. Below, the fragrance of mown grass fills all the space where stood the pews. In the apse, birds walk and peck among the weeds that grow atop the abandoned altar. All else is silent.

Long ago, workmen sweat blood building these piles—impelled by hunger, or the need to gain church absolution through penance-work. Later, ignorant armies spilled blood grappling in the night, and then the winners torched these towers, burnt the roof, and besmirched the stones.

Time floods over this place, but, like battered antique furniture, it stands timeless, and still testifies to the ancient faith, the ancient ways. People worshiped and died here, and now lie in the nearby plot awaiting resurrection. How many Christmases and Easters were celebrated here? How many hymns sung? How many prayers lifted, sins confessed, and Eucharists chanted? We kneel and pray on the hallowed grass.

Today, heedless grass-muffled feet tread here. Careless hands caress the ruined columns, unmindful of those who built these halls, tilled this garden, dug these graves. I see a father with two children running beside him.

“What mean these stones?” they ask.

The father replies, “They remind us that Godly men performed great deeds here—deeds that still touch us today.”

This place demands nothing of me, calls me to no task, and only asks that I stop here, and reflect. The stones whisper, “Traveler—go slowly here. Reflect on these crumbling walls, walk the grass-grounded halls while you consider your short, anxious life. Is it not as a vapor? Who will care? Who will remember you? Live well, for one day you too will be missing from the earth.”

So many places we tread and heed not the dead beneath our feet—their labors and longings, aspirations and desperations, losses and lamentations. God has given us these places, spaces which time cannot erase. Dare I fail to pause and ponder the power of the past? I am found here on holy ground, wondering at the mystery, straining to see the disappeared faces. I feel as if I am a fragile, transient thing, who today haunts these eternal halls. As I stop to pray and worship, I can feel all the past leaning into my present.

Reluctantly, we chastened pilgrims turn to continue our journey. It is good to have been here.