Archive for February, 2018

Show Me Who You Are. And I Promise to Believe You.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 4, 2018 by michaelcogdill

Believe this wisdom of Maya Angelou.

When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.

My father was rare. He changed.

He also became living proof of the pain, the suffering, the diligence demanded when a stormy drunk becomes a sober hero. He chose the great upward ride on the hem of God. Darkness to light. Midnight to dawn.

Few people so beautifully change.

And none by the fixing of another human being.

It’s the fall, not our catching, that ignites a man or woman to rise. What looks like a saint trying to yank or plead or cajole one upward is actually a fool on an errand from hell. I know. My foolery at this goes back into boyhood.

But I learned better.

I learned how to believe what I see, and hear. To keep standing and stumbling on my own feet of clay, not crawling in the mud — believing it an ice cream party full of kids promising to stop wallowing.

One day soon, they promise. One day the lies, the thievery, the heart-shattering ways will end. “One day, I’ll stop pulling you down here with me. If you were just…something more….I wouldn’t be down here at all.”

Don’t believe what they say. Believe what they show. There’s good love in believing only the experience of a Divine mercy can make things truly new. Letting this be is deep human mercy, done well.

Take it from a boy who’s lived it, they don’t change. They ARE changed. And not by you or me.

Oscar Wilde said every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Each one of us is some portion of both of these. The question becomes, to each of us, which one of these will show up as the real us, most of the time? Which one will we feed?

What will people see in us the first time?

What will we believe of them, the first time?

How often will we fall before we finally get up?

When will we believe getting pulled down makes no one stand.

The Last Time Cometh, Soon.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2018 by michaelcogdill

You will touch your most prized possession for the last time sooner than you think.

I am witness to this.

My mother did not expect to leave her home — her teacup, her sofa, her pillow — when she did.  Age crept from the woods of her good North Carolina life and sprang from cover.  It happened in her twilight, not midnight.   The years didn’t wait for the dark th.  They cut her legs from under her in her gloaming.  She thought those legs would climb the mountain above the house for years more.  I recently threw out her walking shoes.  Her sunhat had to go with them.  She thought her life with them would last plenty more  years.  It did not.

But some things matter when they remind us what does.  In Mama’s townhouse,  I just found one of my Uncle Woody’s ancient-looking cowbells.  It’s survived more than a hundred years.  It reminds me of an old hand, chinked and worn by motion and weather and the doing of its work