My Grandmother’s Bible, Some Poems and a Prayer

no obstacle

No obstacle
withstands Love
no power
is greater than powerlessness
–Caroline Kroll
(Wild Geraniums by the Trail on the Way to the Beach, June, 2012)

My grandmother gave me a small red Bible. A long time ago, my backpack was stolen when I was visiting a friend in Japantown in San Francisco, and the Bible was stolen too. I hope it benefited whomever took it. I still remember the words she had written in notes that she placed between the cover and the book.

One particular note I remember clearly: “Pray for our leaders. Pray for our President. Pray for those who make decisions for others.”

My grandmother never went to college. At one time she worked as a seamstress for $.20/an hour, yes, twenty cents an hour. One of the wisest people I ever met; very humble and very creative, and very joyful. She had done things she regretted and things she was proud of, and these she treated equally and spoke of often. She worked very hard on herself and had a very deep and profound faith that she seemed to question daily.

I wrote this in 1999 when the Bible was stolen, sadly just a few months after she had passed away:

Sorry Grandmother

I am sorry grandmother
I left the Bible in the car
someone took it
I know now what you mean
things and people seem to come and go
but something wonderful stays
thank you

Been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately, it was hard to learn she had passed on. Since I had been thinking a lot about her and that little red Bible, I have taken her advice this election season. It’s easy to get worked up over politics. The political landscape is so strange. Sometimes what we are given when it comes to politics seems like it’s deliberately meant to confuse us. We work with what we’re given. So, we approach the pieces individually, see where they fit, and make something comprehensible with what we’re given.

(political landscape, collage, 24×16, 2006)

Have decided that at least, there is much potential for growth. So am working to grow some perfect lotus flowers in this muck we call politics this season. Lots of fertilizer, so lots of potential.

So this is today’s meditation/prayer/intention:

My prayer this morning for those in Washington and those in ANY AND ALL positions of “power” who make decisions that effect other peoples’ lives all over the world, was that today they feel some humility, and recognize the suffering that they themselves contribute to, and look past some greedy, grasping attachments and see just how they can make things right from their own perpectives.
My prayer is for all leaders and teachers to recognize that every individual deserves freedom and every living being (including the earth and the elements) deserves to be treated equally with respect and love.
I pray that they recognize that which discriminates against others, that which objectifies, that which tries to control others, or act upon others for personal gain or pleasure, and that which infringes on the rights and personal space of others — and that they remove these from themselves with love and kindness.
I pray that the energy in their systems is routed through their heart/minds and that they gain some understanding and compassion for all beings.

Real power is not power over anything.

Real influence is not influence over anything.

“Like unto the infinite worlds in space,
Without coming or going, pervading the ten directions,
Becoming and disintegrating have no resting place,
So does Buddha pervade space in the same way.”
–Avatamsaka Sutra (Flower Ornament Scripture)

no resting place

Everyone really is saying the same thing.
They will never stop saying this either
Most and many don’t see this.
Alpha and Omega = coming and disentegrating
the beginning and the end
“The son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Some come up with elaborate theories,
“He must have read this or that, or planned this or that, or been to this place or that.”
It doesn’t really work that way.
He doesn’t have to read the words
He understands the meaning
He shares the same mind.
He has a heart.
It’s not even about being creative
or remembering
It’s just being.
It is what it is.
It doesn’t move.
It doesn’t change.
–Caroline Kroll
That is the root of ultimate tuth. Look for what does not change in a world that is always changing. Closer than your heartbeat.
(Lupines in front of Chisik Island, June, 2012)


Success is ephemeral and transitory.
It’s the tools or the means that survive time’s test.
There is something we never lose
when we finally get good at losing things.
–Caroline Kroll

2 thoughts on “ My Grandmother’s Bible, Some Poems and a Prayer

  1. I too will pray … I was once robbed of everything my gram left to me by a friend so your story touched my heart.i have nothing material wise from her,but I have the gift of knowing things b4 they happen and her herbal lore,and her stories and her coming to me in my dreams when I need her. The one thing I do miss is a picture of her holding me but I know her arms still carry me and lift me when I fall. Peace Pam

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Thank you. Maybe this will help. It would be nice if it did.
    Something similar happened to me Pam. My aunt sent me a picture recently of me and my grandmother walking together. It made me very happy because it’s the only picture I now have of her and I together. When we lose things like that, and people steal them, it is so strange and disheartening. It takes some time to recover. Whoever stole that backpack caused a lot of property damage, broke the car window, and got away with a five-year-old pair of harness motorcycle boots, a silk suit, a journal, some writing of mine and that Bible. They were probably very disappointed with their haul, but not as disappointed as I was. It’s not about the momentos, because we let go, but she is here in my heart, yes and in dreams, and what she taught me, and the time we spent together can never be taken away, and here in my smile. I can’t smile as brightly and perfectly as she did, but maybe by the time I grow old I will. I practice every day.
    Love and blessings.

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