Submission: the practice of claiming power

I was reflecting on the May theme SUBMISSION: The Pract ice of claiming power, and one of the photos I contributed to the art show came into my mind and became a wonderful metaphor for me to think about this theme.

The glacier slowly moves toward the sea and eventually calve s enormous chunks of ice into it. So… is the glacier submitting to the sea and claiming power, or is the see claiming power and submitting to the glacier? Does it matter if the glacier is retreating, as most glaciers are, or advancing, as this one currently is? Where are there parallels to the metaphor in my life?
—Mark Kotz


How to Handle the Sacred

1) Torahs, Qur´ans, and Bibles

As everyone is gathered and watching,
make sure no one drops the weighted body of books.
Take care that scrolls, for example, can walk
on their two rolling pin legs, in the palms and fists
of 13-year-old girls and boys, or anyone
allowed to examine the language
for hidden illness, and make repairs
as one would to newborn skin.

2) Socks

Buy them in the food co-op with your bags of rice and sugar gingers.
One size up so the cold-water label can be ignored, and they can be washed
in warm water. If you are the creative type with cloth, consider composting
the old cold cottons or making animals out of them. Allow yourself
to spend $15 a pair, made by somebody named Maggie.
Someone you would curl your feet into.

3) Breasts
Warm your hands by them. One at a time, slide under the cloth
and diagonally across the chest. Hold one, then the other, until the heat of each
starts a conversation about the history of your hands.

4) Books
When you sleep put one in front of a pillow beside you.
As you read before sleeping, translate words foreign in your mouth.
With a pencil, draw a kite string from the word to the meaning
you jotted down in the margin. So by the time you finish,
the pages are flying in the sky, inside your head of sleep.
—Elissa Cottle


Peach Orb

As I drove home from work, late
Going east
The moon was huge on the horizon
Soft glowing ~~ peachy color
Such a beauty!
It was a risin’
On the horizon.
It glowed and rose, higher and higher.
Soon I could see it more clearly
But . . .
I saw not the face in the moon of a man,
More like the symbol for yin and yang.

Driving north, the moon followed me,
No longer hiding behind large city buildings.
Out of the city, it would leap between the occasional
Building by the roadside.
Then peek at me through leafless tree limbs, as it was a cold, dark late winter’s eve.

It looked mystical, magical, mysterious!
It did look round.
Yes, I’m sure it is round, as it looks like a circle,
Which is round.

Let me stay in my reverie this night
The beauty of that orb in the sky
So lovely

Looking on us with love
In spite of ourselves.
May we linger in our mindfulness
May we gather her energy
May our intention be for wisdom
In this dark hour.
—Diane Markel


Docket #377 by MJ LaVigne

Today, on April 27, 2017 a young man named Sergio, who has lived in the United States since he was 6 months old, will present Homeland Security with a check for $743.76, and board the deportation plane for Mexico. From afar the immigration debate seems complex. If you get closer the system’s injustice is hard to miss.

An out-of-sight lock clanged closed as #337 entered the courtroom last week. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, his wrists cuffed, ankles hobbled by shackles, he looked like the teen lead singer in a Christian rock band.

He had pled guilty in North Dakota to possession of marihuana paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor. He received a warning. Then North Dakota authorities turned him over to ICE.

Her voice soften by kindness or exhaustion, Judge Kristin Olemanson speaks so low people on the rear benches had to lean in to hear. They have not come for Sergio, and neither have I. But he is the one whose story sticks with me.

Sergio’s innocence is not assumed. Sergio can’t defend himself because he’s not being accused of a crime. This is an administrative court. Sergio can’t be released on bond because the North Dakota incident is categorized as a drug offense. He could be held indefinitely in the private prison system.

He emerged from his mother’s womb in the wrong place. Like skin pigment, gender, and inherited wealth, the geography of your nativity is out of your control.

I was born in Indiana. My parents, grandparents, and an older sister where all born in Minnesota. What if I were forced to return to South Bend? We left there when I was three years old. I pass as a native Minnesotan. But I have this secret status.

What if corporation were required to stay in the state and city where they emerged? Imagine that.

At the end of the hearing Judge Olemanson wished the young man ‘good luck.’ Her puny, but heartfelt encouragement embarrassed me. My chin itched terribly. I was scratching it as Sergio was led back out the door, and the lock clanged. It’s been itching today as I watch the planes take-off from Minneapolis.



Walking in Tamarack Park I came across wild Marsh Marigolds that bloom in we t swampy areas in early Spring. My husband Don and I discovered them many years ago in O’Brien State Park. Brought back many warm memories. Take a q uiet walk in your special place? What comes up for you?
—Gail Diez