G.K Chesterton posed a question and provided an answer that has helped me through two summers in Harlem, ten years in Hong Kong, 18 months at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, Spanish studies in Bolivia, only six difficult months in Venezuela and twenty years in the poorest state of the union – Louisiana.

“How do angels fly?” “They take themselves lightly,” responded Chesterton.

Environmental awareness efforts began in 1989 for Maryknoll in Texas. The encyclical of Pope Francis in June 2015 indicates environmental awareness may/must dominate our news from this point forward.

Three years (1995-1998) as a LA hospice chaplain and eight years (2000-2008) in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center (1000 inmates passed through overcrowded LPCC monthly) were interspersed by long walks at scenic Lake Martin plus moments of levity such as the day I was invited to “pontificate” in a ceremony at one Lebanese restaurant to honor “A.J.” a poet of Jewish ancestry. Accompanied by a video in the restaurant, others dining had to pay attention to the poem of Alfred J. Stahl:

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“The dress, Is the dress the most important contribution to civilization since the discovery of the wheel?”

For ages, artists have been drawn to the female form and ways of expressing it: they have carved wood, molded clay, chiseled stone, written words and painted pictures, describing the figures…loose, billowy, diaphanous, long or short, a dress nonetheless.

The dress, a vision of magic, magic from every angle, unlike the magician, whose illusion is gone when seen from behind; from every point above ground, the dress conceals, yet reveals, enhancing the illusion around it of beauty, and mystery in motion.

The dress, or skirt, cloaks the form, shapes it like a bell, cascades to a puddle sitting on the grass and hovers the ground swinging, sweeping as it rustles on, holding the waist tightly and freely spreading open at the bottom, quickening the pulse of life between it and the earth below and all of those who see it.

Yes, yes! The dress is the most important contribution since the discovery of the wheel; in fact, it actually came before the wheel and, likely, inspired its discovery; and civilization has pretty much been riding on one, and chasing the other ever since”

A.J Stahl, Poet Laureate of Rosedale Drive in Lafayette, LA has been an angelic presence in the lives of Roselyn and Vic who regret only that he did not flutter into our lives earlier.

May poetry and levity keep us in the sane passing lane for centuries to come.