Reflections: on the beach @ sunrise

REFLECTIONS by Jerry Domask at UNF


I am going to Loyola Maryland this week to continue my journey to a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Pastoral Counseling which may lead to a doctorate in pastoral counseling.

This is my latest chapter of my book. It is in response to viewing an exhibit by Jerry Domask.

Jerry Domask is presenting “Reflections – Vietnam War 45 years Later” at the University of North Florida from August 20 – December 7, 2012 (UNF Stuednt Union/ Building 58E, Suite 2401, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32224. (904)-620-2475.

-Paintings by Jerry Domask

The Vietnam War series was initiated to docmunet history from my perspective. It was based upon my personal observations, shared conversations with many comrades-in-arms over the years, and former POW, Major Ted Gostas (RET). Major Gostas book entitled, PRISONER, was a major source of insight and inspiration for the war series. The message for Vietnam Veterans is simple and straitght forward. It is okay to feel, to speak and to share your feelings. You may hold your head high. You may be proud of your service. You may seek counseling. It is okay.
“Welcome Home”

Opening Reception is on Friday, September 7, 2012 from 5-7 pm.

August 26, 2012 – Atlantic Beach
on the beach – 6:59 @ sunrise

I awoke and brewed some coffee
Went out unseen with my bike, my coffee, my chair
along with my pen, my journal and my prayer

With gratitude I thanked God
with a great big smile
Beloved blessed me with thoughts and hopes and fears
with dreams and justice and tears

The sand beneath my bare feet
a front row seat of the
explosion and bursting of day
Yes, Beloved set me free enough
to witness two sandpipers whisking across my view
a man and his dog
a runner with shirt in hand
golden beams and black silhouette
Gorgeous dance of love creation

Roar of ocean storm is a brewing
Wind pounding musically in my ears as I move my head spur tingly
Wind from the sea swirls unseen in my eyes and nostrils

Sun keeps arising
God keeps arising
I keep arising

Seagulls suspended in the invisible force
We are suspended in our days against invisible forces
Some pleasant, some awkward,
and maybe even some evil
The Good Morning Beach Surprise, given to me with love
And, and… and God is taking it back
A choice… I surrender my love with a great big smile!

Beloved set me free

It was Easter at Saint Peter’s
A mission church of Saint Paul… how ironic!
Approaching Mass/Eucharist like blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta,
As if it were my first Mass,
And my only Mass,
And my last Mass…
We breathed in…
We breathed out…

It was truly like this special morning
by the immense sea
and humongous sun –
although the sun appears so small even to the ocean
but I know better
and yet prefer to be bigger…and naïve and self-center

Jerry was introduced as an artist right before Mass – a Vietnam vet
You know what that would be…
We still can’t listen to the atrocity, or the persons…
Therefore we fail to see the imperfect, perfect alignment and beauty

Jerry was moved by another soldier
who was in Vietnam at the same time
Ted was and still is a prisoner of war
And prisoner of the century
Over five years enslaved
and tied up physically
And we, who avoid looking
Enslaved in our own false self and reality
Which of course is not reality at all

Me, POW?

Show me light!

Solitary Confinement ~ Gratitude?

Saint Peter’s is across the street from a huge mound,
a former dump, lots of junk… and yet now green on top
So often the churches I preside in are like the walls of Ted’s confinement…
prisoners of war…
We are enslaved to religion, emotions and demanding orders
among our confined chaos

And so Jerry painted with mixed media
invited me to a private showing
in all the painted emotions, feelings
churned by chaotic war of place, spirit and soul…
As my eyes and soul met the solitary prisoner…
i felt the comfort in his walls and darkness…
how odd!!!

with page of Ted

I had given Jerry a TEAR IN THE DESERT on Easter morning
And he sought me out these past months,
this puny priest from another dumb war,
as I was, and still am, attempting to put off my exile… or is it freedom?

Alone, just the two of us in the exhibit
sensationally, gloriously painfully
abstract and yet too ordered
we sort of wept, me too tired to commit to a tear,
we laughed, we engaged
a common experience with no commonality
moving beyond our self-centered positions as pow’s

Come! My Beloved!
Come to my view of Vietnam
At the time I was too young to be drafted
But I was affected and effected
whatever that means
And now I enter the darkness and solitary confinement
And encounter the beauty of a star in the sky
A little bit of moonlight

Alone on the beach ~~~ healed –
And yet God takes it all back before I am truly ready…
… or so I thought
And I freely give Beloved God… all of it back
… with a great big smile!!!

Ron Moses Camarda +

“So take whatever He gives and give whatever He takes with a big smile. Accept the gifts of God and be deeply grateful. If He has given you great wealth, make use of it, try to share it with others, with those who don’t have anything. Always share with others.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Simple Path


With a big smile!

A runner with shirt in hand

With Gratitude I thanked God

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