Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Spirit of American Nuns

Regina Brett wrote a remarkable column in today's Plain Dealer about the Vatican's attempt to muzzle and reign in American nuns. Here is a line from that column: "But even he [Pope Benedict] can't stop this great wind that is blowing through this stale church, this Holy Spirit that includes that wonderful female energy that is God."

Some years ago, Sr. Jane Godfrey told me, "The toothpaste is out of the tube. There's no putting it back." Jane was a remarkable person, a professor and friend at Berea College, one of the great nuns I have known in my life. [more coming

]Regina Brett's Story on American Nuns

A Great Poem by America's Great Poet

The Still Time

by Galway Kinnell

I know there is still time -
time for the hands
to open, for the bones of them
to be filled
by those failed harvests of want,
the bread imagined of the days of not having.

Now that the fear
has been rummaged down to its husk,
and the wind blowing
the flesh away translates itself
into flesh and the flesh
gives itself in its reveries to the wind.

I remember those summer nights
when I was young and empty,
when I lay through the darkness
wanting, wanting,
I would have nothing if anything I wanted -
that total craving
that hollows the heart out irreversibly.

So it surprises me now to hear
the steps of my life following me -
so much of it gone
it returns, everything that drove me crazy
comes back, blessing the misery
of each step it took me into the world;
as though a prayer had ended
and the bit of changed air
between the palms goes free
to become the glitter
on some common thing that inexplicably shines.

And the old voice,
which once made its broken-off, choked, parrot-incoherences,
speaks again,
this time on the palatum cordis
this time saying there is time, still time,
for one who can groan
to sing,
for one who can sing to be healed.

Text of Letter from Those Helping (Death of Mark Slovich)

For those interested in helping the family of Mark Slovich and the 2 boys who tried to save his life, Landon Decker and Jeremy Rust, my daughter Carolan forwarded this email to me:

Hello all --
 As all of you probably know by now, Mark Slovich died in a tragic and violent accident last week while hiking with Jeremy Rust and Landon Decker.  Among one of the things we are trying to do to support Landon and Jeremy in this particularly serious event, Erika and I purchased round trip flights to Philadelphia in order that those two could attend Mark's funeral. 

 Jeremy and Landon flew out of Spokane this morning.  The total cost for the tickets was $1300.  If you are friends with Landon, Jeremy or Mark, we are humbly asking for donations for reimbursement.  We will reimburse ourselves up to $1100 - $1200. 

 We will donate any overflow/excess to the Churchville Nature Center in Mark's memory.  This charity was recommended by his parents.  Additionally, as we track where and who the donations come from for these flights, a proportional overflow may be used for to purchase something for the employees at Spotted Bear in Mark's memory, if we as an employee group decided to do so.

 You can mail donations to :

 Aaron or Erika Klug
 c/o Spotted Bear Ranger District
 PO Box 190340
 Hungry Horse, MT 59919

 Thank you for the consideration, and please share this message with any relevant friends or family of these three men with whom I am not Facebooking this message --

 Aaron and Erika

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Passing of Tom Quinn

I just now heard about the passing of Tom Quinn, my Dad's first cousin and close friend. Tom was living in Florida. I had met him many many years ago in Willoughby, Ohio, where he and my Dad lived for many of their growing-up years. Tom was 90 years old.

Tom's mother, Angie Coughlin Quinn, was my Grampa Connie Coughlin's sister. Angie, Connie, and their sister Mary (Mae) Coughlin Slusser, were the children of Irish immigrant Cornelius Coughlin, and German immigrant Lizzie Ierg.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam"--May his soul be at the right hand of God.

Four Heroes in the Tragic Death of Mark Slovich

I don't have the whole story on the accidental hiking death of Mark Slovich, but this is what I heard: two friends were hiking with Mark Slovich in Utah a couple weeks ago when Mark fell and severely injured himself. Mark was an experienced hiker and outdoorsman, but anyone who has been in the wilderness knows things can happen. One of Mark's companions, Jeremy Rust, stayed with Mark, giving him first aid and comfort. The other fellow, Landon Decker, ran for help--some twenty miles!

Unfortunately, Mark Slovich died when help could not get there in time.

Mark's funeral would be held in his hometown of Holland, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. Some of Mark's companions in the US Forest Service, in AmeriCorps, and in the Montana Conservation Corps wanted to attend the funeral but didn't have time to drive or funds to fly. This is when Aaron Klug and Erika Klug, a couple who worked at Spotted Bear in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, stepped up and gave money to Jeremy Rust and Landon Decker, allowing them to attend the funeral.

I sure hope that Mark's other friends will step forward and try to reimburse the Klug's for their generous act. I for one will send them a check. Here is where donations can be sent:

 Aaron or Erika Klug
 c/o Spotted Bear Ranger District
 PO Box 190340
 Hungry Horse, MT 59919

There were heroes amid this tragedy; I hope these acts of heroism bring comfort to the grieving Slovich family.