I said he was not whole

But I wonder what I meant.

He cannot walk

or talk

or perform any life skill unassisted,

But he can giggle

and cry

and flirt;

He expresses – and attracts –


His body and mind, though constrained,

“Successfully shelter his human soul

And will do so throughout his entire life.”

This –

most human,

most godlike –

I can affirm.

He is greater than his parts.

He is not disabled in his soul.

–Cherry Winkle Moore, 1993

The line in quotations is from a book called Life’s Companion: Journal Writing in the Spiritual Quest by Christina Baldwin. This book has haunted me. One day in the 1990s it appeared in my mailbox at The Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky where I was working. I asked around to find out who had put it there. I finally found the person. She said I had lent it to her but I had not. No one else claimed it so I figured I should read it. I did and loved it – especially the line I included in the poem.

Another favorite section said there were two rules about keeping a journal:

  1. Date every entry.

  2. Make no other rules.

I had been doing that for years and loved finding that affirmation in print. I lent the book to someone else and never saw that copy again. Years later I bought another copy and now it has gone somewhere out into the world. I have the sense that these – and many other books – find their readers when the time is right.

I recommend it to you…if you can find it and stop it from moving on to someone else!

Image of Cherry Winkle Moore
Cherry Winkle Moore

Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.

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