January 29th, 2018

There was a strong wind blowing out of the north this morning, as I made my way home from Mocha Lisa, the coffee shop that Karin and I most often frequent. Usually, I drive home from Mocha Lisa with Karin. It is five miles from the coffee shop to our house. However, I need to get ready for the really long walk that is fast approaching. So, I tucked my head down and walked along the bike trail past the WEPCO power plant. Snowflakes stung my cheeks, and I was suddenly grateful that I have a beard. Even a beard couldn’t keep my entire face warm. My eyes filled with tears at times. Some of the tears were not from the cold.

Walks are conducive to pondering. My thoughts wandered even as my feet did. I gazed at the billowing clouds of white steam coming from the dual stacks of the power plant, but my mind was elsewhere. I kept thinking about the girl we love.

The girl told us that the sheriff’s office got back the results of her blood test. Not so good. On one hand, with the results available, the DA and the public defender can cut a deal. The case can move forward to some kind of resolution. On the other hand, the resolution will most likely include time in prison. That’s the way everything is pointing. It might be a year in prison. It might be two. The only sure thing is that she will do time.

I have been doing some research for the young woman. She indicated to me that she needs to have a place to stay once she gets released. If she has housing set up, it is more likely that she will be released on time or early. So, I have been looking for her. In particular, I have been looking for a home in a communal environment. The young woman functions best in a group setting, some place where people simultaneously encourage her and hold her accountable. She is not good at flying solo.

So far, I have a Catholic Worker farm in California that will take her in, and today somebody from a Catholic Worker farm in western Wisconsin told me that his community would be willing to welcome the young woman into their midst. Does the girl we love want to go to these places? I don’t know. Will she even be able to go to these homes after she gets released? Once again, I don’t know. As I told the loved one, “I am exploring.”

We live in a culture that is totally result oriented. Everything is about the bottom line. Everything is about efficiency and effectiveness. I am not sure that I am being efficient or effective. I don’t know if I will be able to find an appropriate home for the loved one. I don’t know if I will be at all successful in getting her a place to stay. I have no idea if my efforts will bear fruit, or if all will be in vain.

That’s okay. This is where twelve years of Zen practice come into play. Zen is not about results. Zen is about intentions. What is my intention in all this? The answer is that I want to help the girl. I am doing whatever I am doing out of love. Well, anyway, I think I am. If I really am acting out of love, then the results don’t matter as much. Maybe, God (or whoever is in charge) has something else in mind for the girl we love. That doesn’t mean that my act of love is pointless. Perhaps what I do is all destined to complete an entirely different purpose. I don’t know. All I know is that love never goes to waste. Love always accomplishes some good. Always.

I will continue to help (or attempt to help) the girl we love. I may fail utterly in my efforts. It doesn’t matter. What matters is my intention and the effort I make. That’s all I can do. I intend to do all I can do.




2 thoughts on “Intentions”

  1. Frank,
    You and your wife are doing the best you can possible do. Blessings, and I wish I was able to be on the walk with you. Ray


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