Hold It All

Category: Dear Love of Comrades

Women in Black by Hedy Epstein

Every second Tuesday of the month, we hold a vigil of Women in Black in University City.  Usually, these are uneventful. People may support us, some take our flyers and say thank you, others refuse to take them, cars may honk once in a while.  Not much else happens. Cars may honk once in a while.

One time, I was handing out fliers, and a man behind me started talking to me.  He asked me, “Do you know how to solve this problem?” 

I said, “Well, if I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t be standing here.”  

He then responded, “Well, I know the answer: Kill all those criminals, those vermin”—I realized he was Jewish and was talking about the Palestinians.  He went on and said, “Throw them all into the Mediterranean. Get rid of them all!” Then, he left. Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Justin Lorenz: Shinkansen, Onsen, & Zen–Japan from the Inside

Allow me to take you on a train ride from Tokyo down to Nagasaki and back, as I did in Japan for three fascinating weeks last fall. Encounter my promotional campaign for the “Pocari Sweat” beverage, make laundry detergent with the L’Arche community in the Shizuoka farmland, visit the lake town of Fujikawaguchiko where I have family residing (and climb Fuji-san), take in “Kirishitan” (underground Christian) and atomic bomb history, check out the firefighting competitions and love hotels of Tokyo, and be changed in even more ways. I’ll welcome stories about Japan that others bring to share as well.

Justin is a Cincinnati native, St. Louis transplant, recreational poet and broomball player, and explorer of worlds inside and outside his lanky 30-something year old body. He studied Social Work and Public Admin at SLU and has spent most of his adult life in L’Arche communities in St. Louis, Mexico, and Florida, where people of diverse abilities befriend and transform each other. He is currently aspiring to manage L’Arche St. Louis’s physical spaces and finances and attempting to charm his way through Missouri’s formidable state bureaucracy.

Join us
Sunday 16 February
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Justin begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Ellen Curry and Cami Kasmerchak
4256 Botanical Avenue
Apartment #5 [Third Floor]
Saint Louis, MO

Six Short Chapters from Forthcoming Book, “Dear Love of Comrades”

The Affordable Care Act Won’t Help Me Here

Dear Nima
I have three appointments–

In cardiology, cardiology

In the next two weeks
But there’s no doctor I can see about missing you

“This Is It” by Eileen McGrath Mosher

Shim-dawg (lovingly named),

My mantra this past week, “This is it,” without knowing it, consciously, it has been on your FB wall. I wondered but without a lot of curiosity what that meant to you. Here is why it has been so important to me.

I have to tell myself every minute that this is my new reality… my brain can only seem to recall it for a mere moment that this is it: This is life, this is my home, my job, my kids, my family but not as it has ever been before. It is not my dreams, my forecast, my hope, my desire.

But it is full of love, children laughing, neighbors calling, family supporting, community praying. Moments of pain so deep and literally body numbing and moments of laughter so full that my muscles ache, moments I feel the air leave my body requiring a painful deep breath as if I just broke the surface of the after after nearly drowning. This is it.

Right here, right now, it is all we have. So despite all of it, be kind, live consciously, aware of your breath, the trees CO2 exchange and your neighbors’ inhale. All of us sharing intimately this shared NOW.

This is it.

Eileen (I-dawg)


With the Barakats

Last night, Sharifa Barakat and I had dinner at Central Café (along with Imman Musa and Dania Saffaf Atienza). Sarah Dwidar had introduced me to Sharifa her freshman year at SLU on sunny day on West Pine. Later, she took a Social Justice class with me, and we were part of SLU Solidarity with Palestine. I have long been impressed with her humor, love of literature, and keen sense of responsibility. A while back, she led us in a close reading of Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, and Other Palestinian Stories.

After dinner, the two of us walked to Left Bank Books to hear author Ibtisam Barakat (no relation to Sharifa) share her philosophy and read from her new book, Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine. Someone asked her a question about the political solution to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian people, culture, and land, and she said, point-blank, there’s no solution politically, there can only be a “soul-lution.” Accordingly, her contribution is to tell the story of her life as a Palestinian in Palestine and the Diaspora. She has published two books so far, and she mentioned at least three others to come, insha’allah. Read the rest of this entry »

Five More Chapters of Forthcoming Manuscript, Dear Love of Comrades

Alive beyond Alive
by Loyola Walter

My friend Loyola works at Mount Saint Joseph (she’s chair of the Art Department) and knew Pete Mosher. We reminisced last night and today before Pete’s funeral. Cab picked me up at Lo’s this morning and we went to Saint Clare’s Church on Cedar Avenue. Lo sent the following to me this afternoon as Cab, Jane, Allison Lind, and I were returning to Saint Louis.

I meet Cab
(when she comes to get Markie for the funeral)
and suddenly I become aware
of all the forms that Pete is taking.
There she is, a new person to me, in her dark blue dress coat and shoes,
thin delicate face with large eyes and a small serious smile “glad to meet you”
and in the muddy cold street, air silver with rain and the melting of snow
I see him, smiling,
All the forms he is now taking
All the beautiful, one-of-a-kind forms.
Alive beyond alive.


Read the rest of this entry »

Table of Contents, Dear Love of Comrades, v.1

Beautiful Friendships
This Is It/1
Neighbor with a Shovel
Alive beyond Alive
Before Class
The Glory of the Ordinary
Dear Isabel/1
She Gives Me an Opportunity to Practice
What Gets Her through there Night
Open Invitation
Cece’s Smile
Safety First
40 out of 41
Waking up
Why Shakespeare Matters
Prudence and Parrhesia
She Must Have Touched a Nerve
Email from Cameroon
Finding Space
One Thing Leads to Another
I’m Getting Better at This
So You Went Out on a Date and …
Breakdown Precedes Breakthrough
Guest Speaker
Imagining My Wake
This Is What I Can Do
What You Understand Depends on Where You Stand
March 14
My Psychic Powers Acknowledged in This Morning’s Email
An Unbelievable Outgoingness of Heart
Wishing You an Un-Great Experience
Dear Isabel/2
“What Would You Think about…?”
Dear Doctor Marwaha
She’s Had a Good Nocturnal Run
Miss You
You’ve Been Warned
Beethoven, Smiling
With the Sangha
After Reading Levertov’s Poem on the 1972 Christmas Bombing
Alive beyond Alive
When People Leave Town
She Should Have Won the National Book Award
In a Parallel Universe
Gatha for Mayuko, Takeshi, Minami, and Me
Women Pallbearers
The Real United States
Texting through the Tears
I Daydream at Coffee Cartel, Seeing…
To a Friend in West Africa
He’s a Work-in-Progress
Poems Overheard Last Night
Books I’ve Given to Others
Deep Listening
Thinking of You and Anna Politkovskaya
The Power of Bollywood Shmaltz
You and Monseñor
Dear 1L
After Class
The Little There Is To Do
What Gets Our Attention and What Doesn’t
The Heart Has Its Reasons
Wonderful News
Don’t Get Rattled by Samsara
On the Phone with Hedy
He Would Have Preferred That She Just as Soon Spit on Him
It Was Love at First Haiku
Sometimes and Other Times
Another Yom Kippur
Three Syllables
You Say You Want a Revolution?
The Way It Is
You’d Make Moshe Proud
Message She Sent Me at Midnight
Beeko’s Daily Reminder on a 3 by 5 Index Card
Share the Wealth: “Quiero ver” (Let me see) with Ale Vazquez
Inspired at the London Tea Room on a Friday Afternoon
The Affordable Care Act Won’t Help Me Here
Dear Mark
Sealing the Deal
There Is No Way to Gentleness, Gentleness Is the Way
How to Live
Dear Monseñor
Yours Truly
Hedy and Heine
She Sends Me a Universal Gatha
A Frenzied Gut
Seventy Times Seven
This Is Workable
Texting My Best Friend in Bakersfield
One Person Can Change Everything for Us
Two Teachers
Summer’s Lease
Present Moment, Only Moment
The Bell Is for All of You
Share the Wealth
Cheer Up
Decades before Marie Kondo
Paradise and Inferno
With the Barakats
Text Message Exchange with Dr. Sheth Who Resides in Washington, D.C.
The Tender, The Indomitable
How Sha Li Concluded Her Email
This Is It/2
Postface by Walt Whitman
Some Notes

–forthcoming early fall

Share the Wealth with Richa Gupta: Taking a Break

In my Share the Wealth, I will share why I took a break to reflect on my experiences and define my purpose after 5 years of working and growing in Corporate America, what triggered the need for reflection, and what I have discovered/learned over the past several months and in my post-grad life thus far.

I am a 2014 graduate of SLU and met Mark through the Honors Crossroads Social Justice and Diversity Class in 2011. I have lived all over the country since my graduation (Southern California, Seattle, and most recently, Chicago). I moved back to STL in January to “take a break”. I will be heading back west in July to attend UCLA this fall.

Join us
Sunday 9 June
Potluck begins at 6:00 p.m.
Richa begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Andrew Wimmer
Point your GPS to 1077 S. Newstead, 63110.
Park on Newstead.
House is on SW corner of Newstead and Arco.
Enter front door at 4400 Arco.

We’ll Always Have Berkeley

Letter/3 (Dissidents/4)
The Book of Mev

In August 1995 as Mev and I were getting settled in our new home in St. Louis, we learned that Steve Kelly had been arrested for a Plowshares action in California on the anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Steve and his friend Susan Crane went to the Lockheed-Martin Corporation in Sunnyvale, California and, inspired by the biblical call to “beat swords into plowshares,” used a hammer to beat on missiles; they also poured blood on them. They and their partners on the East Coast issued a statement, which read, in part, as follows: “The period of August 6 through 9 marks the 50th anniversary of the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. . . Since August 1945 the entire world, led by the U.S. has been held hostage by nuclearism and the exponential rise of military violence. This violence permeates every level of society … Disarmament is the necessary first step to Christ’s Jubilee. We refuse to see violence as inevitable, injustice as the order of the day, and death dealing as the only way of life. Join us in this declaration for disarmament to announce the jubilee for the poor, relief for the children, and peace for us all.”

August 25, 1995
The day of your sentencing

Dear Steve,
What? No book? Are you meshugah? No way — Mev and I have already pledged that we will edit your letters and postcards, and have contacted Robert Ellsberg at Orbis for a deluxe edition. Mev’s going through her negatives of you for the appropriate cover shot.

I miss you, Steve. So you were preparing us for the big civil disobedience action by driving us over to Lockheed in San Jose — I shoulda known better with a resister like you/that I would love every action that you do/and I do, and I do, hey hey hey. Read the rest of this entry »

Birthday Greetings to Dianne Lee

You have been for many decades
A light in the darkness

Countless people (and creatures)
You have loved and sacrificed for

It’s true, Love is the best Resistance—
How come NPR hasn’t interviewed you these last two years?