Monthly Archives: September 2016

Things Got Better in Baltimore Tonight



A friend and I share a common problem– a person (I think he is, it’s hard to be sure).

Time goes by, our problem gets better.

Tonight I was working on him, another guy was too.

Between the two of us, we convinced him to — just once– stop hurting someone he was hurting. He just chose not to.

My friend called me, she said ‘That was great! Hallelujah! Praise God’s Holy Name! Praise Him!’

‘Ok,’ I said, ‘it’s good– but that good?’

‘Praise Him Honey,’ she said, ‘you don’t Praise Him! know all the Lift UP the Lord’s Holy Name people around here he’s Praise Him! Lift His Huge Butt to heaven! hurting right now praise Him. What if we Shout OUT His Goodness could get him to Praise Him! stop on his own?’

I hadn’t thought of that, so I said ‘Praise Him’ too. In fact, I couldn’t stop saying it for a good few minutes.*

I called a different friend of mine and said ‘Things got better in Baltimore tonight.’ (Very calmly, just making conversation. Felt like he should know.)

‘That is very good news to hear, very good; completely irrespective of my having zero idea what you are talking about, very good news’ he said. ‘One wonders what you might mean, not knowing, but remains convinced this news is good, while wondering  just a little tiny bit what that might mean.’

He is very nice.

I said nothing, and imagined this might be challenging for him. I knelt in the kitchen for awhile, because things were so great.

‘Now if it was something I could see, you merciless goon,’ he went on, ‘I could look for it, and maybe see it. What do you think?’

Continuing to say nothing, I decided this was perhaps slightly more challenging for him than it need necessarily be. Hmm.

‘I wonder if I could ask my friend to make a sign, that you could see,’ I said.

Then I said nothing for awhile.

I asked her to light a candle, and put it in the window, to celebrate what happened.** I don’t know, it sounded like she may have asked some of the other people this guy has been hurting to do that too. Tell people to be very careful and move the curtains out of the way, I said. I said that several times.

She didn’t answer.

I called my second friend back and told him that I had asked her. I’m not sure if he picked up, because he didn’t say anything.


If they lit a candle, the reason they lit it wasn’t exactly to show that they are getting better. That they lit it means they are better, and better off. Nobody likes getting told what to do. Pain it would hurt you to tell you about, so much that just diminishing it a little feels like a miracle. Soldiers in General Hope’s Army. Getting better.

If anyone saw these candles, and knew why, my guess is they would ask me what they could do to help.  Doctors, or protection, or good luck? Not doctors; everybody needs protection; probably they could use good luck, but it wouldn’t matter much– ‘Information most of all.’ Then I wondered, did anyone have it to give it to them? Would these helpers need to search for it? And then, if they found it, search again, for how to tell it?


*which was fun

**it’s ok that he has no idea who or where she is





self-citing photo, how great is that?

many many many posts that have nothing to do with candles in progress. but want to post this now