Types & Shadows
Issue #24, WINTER 2001-2002

"Therefore choose life": A CALL TO ARTS

A new feature of Types & Shadows inspired by the events of Ninth Month 11, 2001.


Issue 24, Winter 2001-02 — Part 1
Charleen Smith:  Psalm for Our Days   (poem)
Marybeth Webster:  Faces from a peace pilgrimage   (drawing)
Marybeth Bland:  My Revised Wish List: A Letter to my Meeting
Marian Kaplun Shapiro:  September 11, 2001: Here on Earth (before/after)   (poems)
Skip Schiel:  Aunt Samantha
Skip Schiel:  Water station at Quabbin Reservoir   (photo)
A CALL TO ARTS: Issue 24, Part 2  |  Issue 23

Psalm for Our Days

by Charleen Smith, Grand Rapids (MI) MM

The Wholeness of God I view through the multiplex lens of a fly's eye,
Each image complete, amplified into a new significance.

The Beauty of Creation I find in the sweet stink of putrefaction
As the strength of life leaches back into the soil.

The Wisdom of the Father is explained to me through the dementia of the aged,
Those who have begun to grasp life's meaning

The Perfection of the Lord I see in the asymmetry of deformation
Where the potential in the irregular reveals the poverty of standard.

The Heavenly Chorus is broadcast through the advertising
Of our misunderstood needs.

The Bounty of the Earth is packed in the bags of the street people
Who hold it in proxy for the rest of us.

The Peace that passes All Understanding hides out in the desert places of my soul,
and my Faith rests in the assurance that Nothing matters.

Faces froma peace pilgrimage.  Drawing by Marybeth Webster,
Grass Valley (CA) MM

My Revised Wish List

A Letter to My Meeting
by Marybeth Bland, Olympia (WA) MM

I am craving the ordinary mundane aspects of life. A plugged toilet would be welcome, if that was to be the catastrophe of the day. I wouldn't even mind burning my dinner, if I was just outside with my binoculars watching the fall migration of gray warblers.

The terrorist strikes changed my perspective on life. What I once found annoying, I would now eagerly embrace. I want the women in the locker room to return to talks of menopause, hot flashes and weight gain. Debating whether or not knitting needles would pass airport security is something I do not want to discuss after my long meditative swim.

I have to believe these terrorist strikes will not be the norm in life. One day the black smoke hanging over Manhattan will turn to drizzling sun.

I have to believe there is more good in this world than evil, and people do care for one another. I have to believe.

When we come together as a community to sit in silence and look inward for the light, I feel at peace. Birds chirp in the trees. The children try to sit quietly and sometimes someone is moved to sing. That is beauty.

I yearn for more beauty in the world. Let us lead the way.


SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

by Marian Kaplun Shapiro
Cambridge (MA) MM
Here on Earth

Here on earth

we need air
fire, and
spirit. Here

on earth we
need air. The oak
trees crack open
yellowbeige bare
broken in angles
of hurricane. We

need water. Floodings
of mud in basements,
carrying off our computers
our photographs our dishes
our life savings. Here
on earth we need

fire. Volcanoes sweeping
towns into dustbins, pets
and livestock and the
occasional human being
who couldn't get out in
time. Here on earth

we need spirit. Here on earth.

Here on Earth

Here on earth

we need air
fire, and
spirit. Here

on earth we
need air. Peace
shatters in rainbow
storms of bloody
glass bullets
and severed hands. We

need water. Punctured
sewer pipes, mouths
and ears and noses filled
with fetid excrement
of man and rat. Here
on earth we need

fire. We/they smash
buildings/bodies into
tombstones, ashes of
asbestos and the bones
and bones and bones of our
children. Here on earth

we need spirit. Here on earth.


Aunt Samantha

by Skip Schiel, Cambridge (MA) MM

She is a giant. Aunt Samantha has a voracious appetite and is known in her neighborhood as tough, sometimes a bully. Also capable of sweetness and generosity. She throws her garbage wherever she wishes, even into the backyards of her neighbors. Recently someone played a prank on her, threw firecrackers at her, blew off one finger, severely damaged another. But this prank or maybe it was a deliberate attack to get her to stop being so mean and ravenous infuriated her. She bellowed, "I'll get you for this, I'll hunt you down, but first let's pray.

Aunt Samantha praying struck some of her neighbors as a bit odd because she rarely attends any sort of church, isn't known as a particularly religious person, despite her claims of being Christian. And since she was so mad, turning red, trembling, calling her giant buddies together to plan a counter attack, praying in the midst of preparing to fight didn't ring right. As she prayed, she nursed her finger, wiping off the blood, applying a bandage, bemoaning the loss of one, injury to the other, and said how much she'd miss them, how much they contributed to her life. She'd used the lost finger for counting money, the injured finger for jabbing people in the eye.

Not too long after the attack, she reverted to her old habits, intensifying some of them. She ate more food, as soon as she found a way to gobble food without the 2 fingers. She just couldn't seem to quell her eating habit, poor thing.

What happens next to Aunt Samantha?

She might abandon old habits, slim down, dispose of her garbage properly, stop bullying, join with others, not only the other giants in her block, and cooperate.

Or she might strut, shout, rant, strike out randomly, gaining herself more and more enemies, even among the giants. She might eat more and more, eventually die of a heart attack, a direct result of overeating.

Or she might simply do nothing, despite all her blustering, forget how angry she was at the attack, lose memory of all the resolutions she made, merely wander off, never to be seen again.


Water station at Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts.  Photo by
Skip Schiel Water station at Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts. Photo by Skip Schiel, who writes:
       "Because of fears that this water supply for the Boston area might be attacked, it is closed, denying hundreds of people its graces. A reasonable response to Sept 11? More was destroyed than the obvious."


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This page added January 2002