Roy’s Sunday Letter for June 18, 2023

  • What a privilege we five white meditators had Monday to be in a circle of with 40+ Black middle and high school teens. We presented three approaches to “try out,” and shared the benefit of meditation from our experience. Then we had a wonderful conversation. One teen saying, “My family says I have an anger problem, maybe this will help!” The teens are enrolled in a Leadership & Community program. I was honored to be in this circle of bright, interested, teens.

** Why I listen to jazz: A jazz group will begin together; then, players will drop back, others step up. Jazz presents the whole as well as the individual, all flowing together. To me, this is why I miss Tuesdays at 9 staff meetings. Seven at the table, the individual reporting, ending with the whole of us supporting each other, committed to serve. 10:25…gotta move.

  • Friday, I did a library computer Search. “Let me Tell You a Story” was checked out. Someone unknown is reading my stories. My email is on the last page. Hopefully a reader will send me a story thought, a question.

** Parker Palmer, 80, is an insightful writer of aging, grace and getting old. On page 1 (print book), Palmer writes, “I’ve lost the capacity for multi-tasking, but I’ve rediscovered the joy of doing one thing at a time. My thinking has slowed a bit, but experience has made it deeper and richer. Old can also be a time of life to be active and show courage on behalf of the common good.” (“On The Brink of Everything”)

  • Female & male Cardinals, Blue Jays, Carolina Chickadees, Ladder-Backed Woodpickers, and more are regulars at our two suet backets in our front oak tree. Yes, we have birdseed feeders, but with suet the birds stay longer and enjoyed more often.

** Thank you for the good responses on my presidential campaign. I stand by my platform of loving kindness, building up others, not tearing down, systems of care that do, in fact, care/heal and inviting both the known and unknown to the table or sofa.

  • Teen suicide, especially with girls, continues as a tragic death within too many families. Social media obsession can create isolation, lack of being outside, failure to form natural groups and teen friendships. Even with limited mental health resources, there can be a general unwillingness to ask for or accept help.

** Two new stories being drafted: 1) An Executive Director’s First Day and 2) An Executive Director’s Last Day. I have lived both, more than once.

Roy, saying Yes more than No!


  1. Frank Long on June 18, 2023 at 6:09 am

    You continue to share love, kindness, alternative ways of thinking to a wide range of fellow humans. Thank you, Roy.

    • Roy Bowen on June 18, 2023 at 12:14 pm

      Frank and Harry…..
      Support and encouragement always appreciated.
      You good words have been consistent.
      I am the better for your ongoing friendship and being connected.

  2. Paul Warren on June 18, 2023 at 7:02 am

    “…showing courage on behalf of the common good.” In the end, isn’t that what matters? We all want to hear, “That’ll do pig,” as the farmer said to Babe at the end of the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie “Babe” it is a beautiful parable.

    • Roy Bowen on June 18, 2023 at 12:18 pm

      I have seen Babe but too long ago to recall the ending line….a good one to be reminded.
      One of the thinkers I enjoy reading recently said we all are at our best when we reminded “you are enough.”
      There is so much tear down, less than messasges in 2023.
      To be told “you are enough” are words for someone to allow to soak in deeply, me too. \

  3. Roger Gullickson on June 18, 2023 at 7:04 am

    Great work with the teens! And jazz has a lot of metaphors.

    Roy for president!

    • Roy Bowen on June 18, 2023 at 9:18 am

      When will I ever again find myself in a circle of chairs with 40+ black teens?????
      We had glass of wine with new friend in shade of neighborhood place. This waa a “hello” first meeting.
      She works at a hospital had just come from a bad, not enjoyed staff meeting.
      I shared how much I miss staffings….not always fun but important memories in my “stops” of vocational trail.
      She stared at me. I volunteered to take her place for her next staffing.
      Sunday it is…southwestern heat all week…..Our best to you both….RB

  4. Richard Nourse on June 18, 2023 at 9:20 am

    I am glad to hear that Parker has “lost the capacity for multi-tasking”! Yet I would argue with him that there is a “capacity” for such. When a woman is paying attention to several auditory signals, they call it multi-tasking. We have been schooled in recent decades to believe that it is a necessary skill in the culture we find ourselves, or more aptly, created for ourselves. When a man is paying attention to several auditory signals, they call it attention deficit disorder. Interesting. The great Jewish theologian Martin Buber had a student who requested his attention one day while he was on the way to teach a class. Buber suggested he make an appointment with him later as he had a scheduled class. He was later to learn that the student had taken his life that day. Buber used that experience to write the eloquent and existential book titled, I and Thou. Our culture is a multi-tasking culture because we are a cat chasing its tail on the way to nowhere! I am glad to hear that Parker has “lost the capacity for multi-tasking”, and learned the gift of what Kierkegaard called “purity of heart” which is, doing one thing! I would add, at a time! To pay “shared attention” is sometimes necessary, of course, but it is often more of an excuse to “dismiss” others in order to pay attention to what we “want” to pay attention to!

    • Roy Bowen on June 18, 2023 at 10:19 am

      Good words and thoughts Richard.
      Palmer is ahead of me in his experience and his thoughtful writing style.
      Unknown to me he has read and studied Merton for 50 years, beginning 1969, one year after Merton’s death.
      I am on page 82 of Palmer’s print book….more learning and enjoyment ahead. Roy

  5. Beth Kean on June 18, 2023 at 11:17 am

    Roy, your humor in response to Richard’s comments does not reflect your reflection of Parker Palmer! I may change my vote for President!

    • FRANK JOHNSON on June 18, 2023 at 12:31 pm

      Beth for President!

    • Roy Bowen on June 18, 2023 at 2:03 pm

      You are, of course, right
      sometimes I forget how public all comments are, both initial and reply.
      I deleted the what I wrote and replaced with a better worded Reply.
      You are both the right partner as Editor and also as Reminder.
      Thank you. Roy

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