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Just The Other Day

By Sr Rose Anne Engel

Just the other day

I walked a mile or two!

Well really only twenty steps

and had a thought or two, no less.

The time is quite unclear you know

Or is it?

An inability to see the future – that’s it,

Getting under those conflicting emotions and

wading into old age  –

Whole sea of unknowns!

But – so what!

We women have listened and

listened and listened and listened

for centuries.

Isn’t it good now to make up our own minds,

Use our immeasurable gifts,

restore our confidence?

Listening to

each other!


Will I be able to listen to enough to get to the unknown

to living Wholeness.

“Be with me Lord when I am in trouble

Be with me /us Lord I pray.” (From Hymn CBW)

And then today: “Hello. hello, hello.” And more.

The whistle of the wind blows right in our own midst.

Old teachers, cooks, and artists we are.

Educating for life.

As the whistling moves the waters of our minds.

“Let’s talk about it,” she said-

The paradox!

But on and on and on

Little/big health needs

oversee the talk.

Preside, regulate, steward…

What shall it be?

The train is leaving you know

Am I on it?

Oh dear – where to?

You can’t be in two places at once.

But isn’t heaven the destination?

Hope on.

Why don’t you just tell us what is working out there,

how it will be implemented in us

and we will agree – well mostly.

We’re old, with crippled body and mind. We’re in pain.

Just tell us what you know will do

and we’ll agree – well mostly.

Because what else can we do in

our fragility?

What new way is replacing our old?

Can we withstand the tension of

opposites – the key to entering into paradox

to become comfortable with that space of

unknowing, undefined, not clear,

to and fro?

What will we encounter in our life of unknowingness of

up and down, left or right,

until the truth hits us.

We wait patiently

to permanently name

or define

our unknown!

Allowing time where wholeness takes over

breaks into the

paradox of truth.

It will show itself no less

in leadership, governance, and spirit.

The train is on track.

Who will lead the foray into the future?

Who will oversee?

Tradition proved that

paradox is not the end but

the beginning

the threshold of transformation.

We’ve been there!, you know!

Lean then however briefly

into all things that are true and

stay there.

For to understand paradox we need somehow to

inhale it

despite all the unknowing.

Trust, ah yes,

We can withstand the surf of

ambiguity and confusion.

Isn’t that what we have done all our life?

Lord, give us a tide of pure, unnamable, indescribable trust

as we dive into the majestic swell of unknown.

“Say to the Lord, “My refuge and fortress, the

God in whom I trust” (Hymn “Be with Me Lord”)




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