All posts by dbkerr

The place where I dump what is inside, outside.

Tres Dias

I had never heard of Tres Dias before signing up for this past weekend.  For me the weekend was to hopefully provide sustenance to my failing spiritual health.  I had been feeling spiritually and creatively bankrupt for some time.  The words of my new pastor lay fallow on my ears.  Her words don’t seem to speak to me and I felt guilty because I held a leadership position but felt so very unconnected.  

My Church was the one my father had preached at from the time I was in Fifth to Seventh grade in school.  I feel a tremendous amount of obligation and commitment to the church.  This is made so much harder as my spiritual needs have not been met since our last minister left for retirement.  I have readied myself to leave this church in spite of the wonderful people within it.  This brought on much guilt. For thos

Tres Dias awakened me to options and commitments I wouldn’t have dreamed of before.  For those who haven’t heard of it, Tres Dias is a movement and fellowship in Christian congregations.  With 54,000 members worldwide, it draws from Catholic and Protestant denominations alike.  The Community makes itself felt during the three days you are there and prepares you for a leadership role in the Church.  For me, coming from a depleted place, this was indeed a revelation.  It is nurturing, welcoming, and inclusive.

Now I feel charged again.  I can do both – continue work in my old church and look for a church that better meets my spiritual needs.  I don’t have to choose.  And I can continue to help my church grow as my obligations require.

Beginning Again

Her words wash over me

dampening shoulders

never drenching

I sit in hallowed pew

hearing not understanding

reading not comprehending

the words of the Lord

empty vessels

to my all encompassing need

I am rendered barren these days

bereft not forsaken

Where God treads

I need touch the ground

feel earth between toes

draw strength from hidden resources

feel the breath

of the Holy Spirit

flood my heart

distilling doubt into firmament

calming the troubled waters

of a flagging spirit . . . 

renewing, beginning

a time of new abundance

and belief in the Most High

Sindhutai Sapkal

Called the “Mother of Orphans”, Sindhutai is a formidable and loving force who has brought a stable, peaceful home environment to more than 1,442 orphaned and destitute children in the Indian State of Pune.  She continues to achieve these accomplishments through begging and giving talks to facilitate donations for her six home locations.

Born on November 14, 1948, much has been made of the fact that she was unwanted.  Her nickname, Chindhi, literally means “torn piece of cloth”.  Although an illiterate cowherd, her father, Abhimanji Sathe, shooed her out the door to attend school, against her mother’s wishes.  As the family lived in abject poverty, she used the leaves of a Bharadi tree to write on, with thorns as writing implements.   Her education ended after fourth grade when family problems and a marriage at 10, to a 30 year old man, necessitated it’s end.

Over the next decade, she gave birth to three male children.  But when she agitated for pay for the village women who collected cow dung from the fields to burn for fuel, her living situation changed.  Until then, a local strongman, in collusion with the forestry service, withheld all forms of payment.  Her work resulted in the granting of wages to these women.  The strongman, in revenge for her actions, convinced her husband to throw her out when she was overdue for the birth of her fourth child.  That night she gave birth to a girl in the cow shed.

Sindhutai separated the umbilical cord with a stone. Walking several miles to her house, she was again rejected with her mother telling her to beg at the rail station for food and shelter.  So began the next stage of Sindhutai’s life, relyng on the kindness of strangers to support herself and her daughter.  At first she sang as she begged but then she overcame her fears and started giving speeches and was so persuasive that her collections increased.

Over time  began noticing the many children who had nowhere to go.  Deducing they were orphans, Sindhutai took them under the mantle of her care, begging all the more to support her new charges.  At first she did it to make money, but then she realized her mission was to provide a home to all who needed it.  That mission has led to the establishment of six homes, with destitute, abandoned women coming for shelter and acting as housemothers.  In an effort at fairness, she turned her daughter over to the care of a Trust to not show favoritism to the orphans and destitute children.

As of the latest article found, she has adopted 1,442 children and has collected a large assortment of sons and daughters-in-law and grandchildren.  Many of her children went on to take profession positions – doctors, lawyers and administrators.  She still speaks to obtain funds, all of which she pours back into the shelter and care of children. In an act of irony, her husband returned to her, but she only accepted him as a child, she was done being anything other than a mother.  Sindhutai introduces him as her oldest child.



There is no light in this tunnel

the time for light has passed

and is still in the offing

for now there is just

dripping from the ceiling

cobwebs in corners

rust on beams

rot on the floor


I could be fearful

anyone might be

in this shadowy world

of discontent


Rattling down the path

the harbingers of night

echoing about me

disassembled and alone

bottomed out

waiting patiently

for there is naught else

to do when in this space


Ever stalwart, I know

this is just a handful of moments

holding me in stasis

for the eventuality

of new beginnings

And I need just hold out

until I can walk

into the sunlight



Holding Pattern

There are empty corners

in the basement of my mind

all the nooks and crannies

are growing cobwebs

paint peeling from upper floor walls

a yawning chasm of expectation

Pause . . . . . .

in the dawn of a new day

change in the offing

a fresh wind blowing out the webs

scraping down the walls

picking color in new designs

planting landscaping for a new exterior

moving in new furniture

for a new day

and a fresh outlook on life






Not Lovers

If you weren’t you

and I not I,

I could have been free

to show affection

not tainted with sexual



If the sexual component

was not the central  theme

I might have held your hand

or kissed your cheek

relaying far more affection

than I let you show me


For that is how I am

not afraid to show the affection

experienced between friends


But you wanting more

than I could give

put constraints upon

my actions.


My hand faltered,

no offer of back rub came forth.

My lips stayed on my side

of the equation.


What Irony…

that what you wanted most

could only occur

if we were friends.

not lovers.






Elderly Loneliness

I worked for a man this weekend who was a widower for one month. He is 93 and his wife’s Memorial service is this coming weekend.

He told me he needed a companion, someone to fill the void I suppose. But it sounded so clinical and mercenary.

His buddy is looking for him. He had found someone in her twenties who seemed too young and one who was 93 who seemed too old so he was still putting feelers out.

There is another man I know, 85 and widowed.  His wife died the year before.  He had started going to the Senior Center in his community and met a volunteer there who is twenty five years his junior.

After three weeks he was talking about her moving into his home.  She is going to meet the family over Thanksgiving.

I know how lonely aloneness can be. It can be a yawning chasm for someone who has spent a lifetime with a partner. Men seem to experience this more than women.

Most women can handle aloneness better.  They have often felt alone in their previous relationships.  Even those who had great experiences were comfortable in their own skins, maybe not every woman but most.

If an elderly person does enter a new relationship, it often progresses with speed.  There isn’t a lot of hedging because mortality rears its head with no illusions.

It really bothered me how the first man was talking about his need for a companion even as he was arranging his wife’s memorial service.  I suppose at 93 he didn’t need to learn the value of aloneness.

The freedom a solitary life brings can be very comforting.  But people of a certain age may not be able to adjust. A man that has always felt like part of a unit may not be able to find pleasure as a single person. The former partner provided a cushion of support even if the wife did not feel as supported.

Being elderly can be a fundamentally frightening experience.  A learning to ease into a confrontation with a mirror, facing the emptiness within may be more than a person can bear.  It may not be enough to visit friends and know the members of  one’s family, church or community group.  Staring at the other side of the empty bed can be a bitter pill to swallow.






One of the most frustrating times in life is when you are in a holding pattern. Being stymied by circumstances is no fun.

I am in such a place now. Sixty two, facing the repercussions of the steady encroachment of elder years, I know my life will be changing in new and different ways over the next few years.

There is a sense of dissatisfaction with all aspects of my life. My body is struggling to keep up with the demands of my job. CNA work with the elderly is a stretch on physical and emotional resources.  I can no longer lift and manipulate as before.

My career path needs changing. I lack the financial resources to go back to school for an MFA.  Writing is my fall back plan but we all know it is not the easiest way to make a living.

Perhaps copywriting. But that means selling yourself and I would have to develop more self esteem than I have at present. The internal messages I have been giving myself are brutal.

I know I will be moving to California in 3 years. I need work I can take with me. This needs to be well thought out.

My spiritual life is in upheaval.  No matter how hard I try, I can’t reconcile religious work with spirituality.  My church is old and seems to be on the slow road to death.  We make efforts to encourage new growth but nothing changes.  We can’t seem to attract the new people to change the dynamics.  Our new pastor doesn’t seem up to the job and we are too old and too few to make meaningful change.  We have a rich history but can’t seem to move toward the future.

Even my relationships seem fraught with upheaval and tension.

All this is to say I apologize for not writing more but right now my attentions are internally focused and are having trouble looking outward. Bear with me please.  Change is good. I just need to move through it.







Stop, pay attention,

this is your life

we’re talking about here


It’s so easy to loose yourself,

become distracted

by vague imaginings

and heartfelt murmurings


The road to forgetfulness

is just around the corner

Fine tune your mind

scritch scratch out a life

running on full cylinders


You’ve spent too long

in somnolent bliss

barely a moment offered

to true knowledge

and structured action


Be wary of indolent

breezes fluttering through

your consciousness

Seek a chillness to the air

stirring spent senses alive

waking your mind

to life’s preciousness


Be Alive

say to yourself –

I Matter!




Warning Lights

The system is floundering. Caught in the cycle of aggression. Listening to the Kavanaugh hearing and seeing the FBI’s tactic acceptance of very limited investigations is disheartening, to say the least.

Yes, the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and other women were of events many years ago but they are indicative and symptomatic of a larger, possibly ongoing pattern of behavior. Classmates reported loutish, drunken actions.  Their words were largely ignored.

This is indicative of a larger, societal issue, one where there is a tactic acceptance of aggression and violence. Verbal abuse is rampant. Men think nothing of raising their voices to others. It matters little to them, what they say is justifiable in their minds.

I am treating aggression globally. I’ve known several men who were gentle souls. They speak with courtesy and mindfulness. My father is as one of them.  But, in my experience, many men feel entitled to letting their anger leak out as they choose. While women have rage, they generally temper their words and the expression of their feelings.

Kavanaugh spoke with the arrogance of the entitled. He couldn’t dream of being questioned for behavior that was all too often tolerated. Even in the face of criticism and scrutiny, he responded with anger and intolerance. He exuded entitlement and we were shown, once again, that women will always be fighting for justice, just like Ford and Anita Hill.