About

I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in
singing, especially when singing is not necessarily
prescribed.
” ~~Mary Oliver

Like Mr. Rogers, I believe in kindness. Like Mary Oliver, I also believe in mischief and in singing.

When I wrote the anchor poem for my book, Holding the Bowl of the Heart, I was working through an intense internal dialogue about how to be an activist in the world without losing my sense of hope, without giving in to despair. How can I hold onto the Beauty and kindness and goodness in my heart, and also hold the pain and cruelty and injustice that fill so much of the world? My professors at Eastern Mennonite College in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley encouraged us to see ourselves as both contemplatives and activists, letting prayer fuel action and action inform prayer. In order to be an active participant in creating just structures and opposing cruelty, I must stay informed about that cruelty and injustice. To keep from becoming a ragged shell of despair in the face of that I must hold the Beauty and kindness and joy with equal intensity. And so into the bowl they go, the terrible and the wonderful.


You will notice that I capitalize Beauty. This is because Beauty is one of my favorite names for the divine one, for the Holy Mystery, the Creative Force, the Source. When I capitalize Beauty in every reference to it, I am acknowledging to myself the immanence of the divine within the concept.


This page, and these thoughts, are in process. I will be re-working and refining this page throughout the month of November as part of my personal writing project. I want to write about:
* Spiritual Practices–holding the bowl (already started) and gratitude and breathing
* My own spiritual “labels” and unlabelability (it’s a word if I make it a word)
* A note about how I have moved the Mockingbird Message to my Home page, and that the comments already here on this page are actually mostly in response to that.

14 thoughts on “About

  1. Beth, your blog is beautiful. It is beauty and so are you. Thank you for sharing your world with me, for sharing your heart.

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    1. Thank you, Christine! I am so glad to be getting to know you online. I hope I will get a chance to meet you in person someday. We get so busy with the farm and the kids that I don’t often get into town, but I want to come to more readings and events this winter. Much love.

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  2. This poem, Letter, spoke very deeply to me. And from the comments left on FB, to many other people. I have been following Beth on FB for a long time, and thought it might be time to make it “official!”

    Please keep writing. I love both of your books.

    You will make a fabulous teacher. I wish I could occupy a seat in your class, but I think LMH might frown on that!

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  3. Beth – My name is Sandra Howell-Zack. I am Jan’s daughter, Katie’s mom. My mom shared one of your posts with me today and I have to say this is just so inspirational!! Thank you for sharing these posts!

    Like

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