The Happy Medium

After setting out on the journey into the woods, or to the cliff’s edge, or through the deep and shadowy valley, the Fool encounters a series of individuals, wise mentors who offer the Fool help, advice, skills, and wisdom.

The first of these is traditionally called The Magician or Mage. I like the term Mage, because it reminds me of the three Magi of the legends that came from the “wise men from the east” who visited the Christ Child. I am also enamored of Madeleine L’Engle’s Happy Medium, who can see into the patterns of the cosmos. For now, I am calling this one the Medium. This advisor to the Fool has ready access to all the tools of water, earth, air, and fire, and has a deep spiritual capability to visualize the change they wish to see in the world, and then the inner fortitude to make it happen. The Mage or Medium doesn’t just let life happen to them; they happen to life. So the Fool, who has set out without any real planning or purpose other than adventure, receives here the training to develop a vision, to make a plan, to create what they want in the world.

I feel a little like I am the Fool seeking the Medium’s wisdom right now. How can I use the skills and tools that I have to draw to myself the Next Thing? How can I put my own thoughts and ideas into the world, envision a future, plan for what I want, and make it happen? All while maintaining the winsomeness of the Fool.


Here is a poem about Magic, for the Magician:

The Magic of Language
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Listen to the wisdom of the sage.
“What is language, but a kind of magic?
Here am I, in my own organism, my tower of Self,
and you there in your own lonely keep,
and how shall we bridge the gap between us
but by language? These webs of sound
we string together, we cast them through sky,
drawing out threads of meaning,
as with a wand, fiery threads of sense.

“We build this bridge on air,
scratch symbols on a page with feathers,
and stories flow like water between us,
borne on gossamer strands
of word on word on word.
We manage and tend our loneliness
by weaving cloths of language.
How can we find each other in the shadow
but for the flow of speech we offer
and the magic of these words upon the page?


Gratitude List:
1. Well duh! That was no indigo bunting! It was a blue grosbeak. I should have known that. I’ve seen and identified both in recent years. But my brain blipped, much as it does when it mistakenly equivocates unequivocable things in math-world. So yay! Blue Grosbeak!
2. I love Kindergarten! I love the stories. I love the shining eyes. I love the wiggliness. I love the dreaminess. I love the restfulness. I love Miss Nikki and Miss Abby, and I love being Miss Beth.
3. Putting Difficult Things behind me. No, I’m not going to start repressing Big Feelings, but you can only spend so long looking at the devastation of the wildfire before you start to clean up and replant and rebuild.
4. Foreacre Furfamily! We HAD to do something about the barn kittens yesterday. This is the second time a cat has given birth in the barn (that we know of). I think people drop off their cats at farms, and then the feral population burgeons. Last night we had a near tragedy involving some of the kittens and a mower, so we put out the call for someone to come take the kittens and the Foreacres responded! They have all five kittens safely cared for, and they even took the mama after we trapped her, so she can be fixed. I love people who care for animals.
5. Energy. Today is the first time in a long time that I haven’t felt a pressing need for a nap.
May we walk in Beauty!

*#4 is really a rant. Please DON’T abandon your animals at farms in the country. Yes, there are mice in the barn for a feral cat to eat, but there are also bird’s nests all over the woods, and baby bunnies, and we want to enjoy the birds and the bunnies. And when you abandon your cat, someone else will have to be responsible for dealing with the offspring, and for getting the animal fixed.


“The Word is not a pet. The Word is the wildness behind creation, the terror of a black hole, the atomic violence of burning hydrogen within a sun.” —Madeleine L’Engle


“I stand before what is with an open heart. And with an open heart, I dwell in possibility.” —Macrina Weiderkehr


“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”
― Ida B. Wells-Barnett


“Somewhere in the world there is a treasure that has no value to anyone but you, and a secret that is meaningless to everyone except you, and a frontier that possesses a revelation only you know how to exploit. Go in search of those things.

Somewhere in the world there is a person who could ask you the precise question you need to hear in order to catalyze the next phase of your evolution. Do what’s necessary to run into that person.” —Rob Breszny


“Pain travels through families until someone is ready to feel it.” —Stephi Wagner


“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?” ―George Orwell


“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, that person sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” —Robert F Kennedy


“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil it multiplies it.” —Martin Luther King Jr


“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” —Frederick Douglass


“Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.” ―Jane Goodall

The Fool’s Mission

Another poem about the Fool:

Begin at the End
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

Begin your road at the ending,
as the last pathway rounds the bend.
Dance to the lip of the chasm–
place your foot upon a bridge of rainbow.
Keep your eyes upon the distant wood,
your ears tuned to the song of undine and dryad.

Remember, your road is a circle,
and everywhere you are is the start of your journey.
Your road is of water, of vision, of air,
of heartbeat, illusion, and wisdom
a pathway of fire and smoke.

Feel how the sky under your feet holds you up,
how the earth at your back is made only of dreams,
how the only way forward is light and color,
how a distant harping draws you onward.


Gratitude List:
1. Indigo Bunting at the feeder: Impossible blue
2. New endeavors. I’m heading off to kindergarten in a moment
3. Just now, half a minute after I typed #1, the Bunting flew straight to the window. I was terrified that he was going to crash into it, but he flew up and hovered and looked in at me for several wingbeats! Holy holy holy!
4. Orchard Oriole
5. Silence
May we walk in Beauty!


“No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.” —Lupita Nyong’o


TO MAKE A PROMISE
by David Whyte

Make a place of prayer, no fuss,
just lean into the white brilliance
and say what you needed to say
all along, nothing too much, words
as simple and as yours and as heard
as the bird song above your head
or the river running gently beside you,
let your words join to the world
the way stone nestles on stone
the way the water simply leaves
and goes to the sea,
the way your promise
breathes and belongs
with every other promise
the world has ever made.

Now, leave them to go on,
let your words alone
to carry their own life,
without you, let the promise
go with the river.
Have faith. Walk away.


“Feminism requires precisely what patriarchy destroys in women. Unimpeachable bravery in confronting male power.” —Andrea Dworkin


“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” —Brené Brown

Coming Out of the Fog

The Poet in Spring by Me and the Wombo AI

It’s been a long, hard winter. There’s no other way to say it, except for the cliche. Slowly, as the days warm and the sun returns, I am finding my way out of the Winter Blues layer of the brain fog that has been swirling around me. As I try to grab the bright threads that will lead me out of these mists, I am jumping once reaching the golden thread of National Poetry Month to use the discipline of daily writing to reenergize me.

This year, I’ve made a slideshow (with Slidesgo template) with pages for prompts and daily poems. Several of my students have made their own slideshows, and we’re sharing them with each other so we can read each other’s work throughout the month. Click the link above, if you want to read mine. Here’s today’s:

Gratitude List:
1. Daily contemplation of the changes in the trees.
2. Beginning to walk out of the fog a little.
3. My students and my colleagues. This school is a wonderful place.
4. Yogurt and grapes and granola–a healthy, reliable lunch
5. You, Beloveds, how you’re there, so steady, doing your Work, and I can feel the strength of that even when I am wandering about in the fogs of my brain.
May we walk in Beauty!


Words for the Day of the Holy Fool:
“The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.” —Julian of Norwich


“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.” —Carl Jung


“Poems are maps to the place where you already are.”
—Jane Hirshfield


“Be still, and the world is bound to turn herself inside out to entertain you. Everywhere you look, joyful noise is clanging to drown out quiet desperation. The choice is to draw the blinds and shut it all out, or believe.” —Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson


“When you do not know you need mercy and forgiveness yourself, you invariably become stingy in sharing it with others. So make sure you are always waiting with hands widely cupped under the waterfall of mercy.” —Richard Rohr


“All four gospels insist that when all the other disciples are fleeing, Mary Magdalene does not run. She stands firm. She does not betray or lie about her commitment to Jesus—she witnesses. Hers is clearly a demonstration of either the deepest human love or the highest spiritual understanding of what Jesus was teaching—perhaps both. But why—one wonders–do Holy Week liturgies tell and re-tell the story of Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus, while the steady and unwavering witness of Magdalene is passed over—not even noticed? How would our understanding of the paschal story change if instead of reflecting upon Jesus dying alone and rejected if we were to reinforce the fact that one person stood by him and did not leave? For this story of Mary Magdalene is as firmly stated in scripture as the denial story. How would this change the emotional timbre of the day? How would it affect our feeling of ourselves? How would it reflect upon how we have viewed, and still view, women in the church? About the nature of redemptive love?” —Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal Priest


“When I feel this fog rolling in on me, I light fires of affection in the hearts of others. I tell them in tangible ways how the life they live makes me live mine differently, how precious and important they are to the rest of us. That fire then becomes like a beacon which burns through the grey and which I can sail towards.” –Toko-pa Turner


It’s good to leave each day behind,
like flowing water, free of sadness.
Yesterday is gone and its tale told.
Today new seeds are growing.
—Rumi

The Lore of The Lady

Art by Mockingbird+AI

On the night before Brigid’s Day, they say, hang a cloth out of doors, where The Lady, when she passes by, will touch it. Then in the coming year that cloth may be a comfort wrapped arounda sore throat or aching head.

Oh, I know science, and I listen hard to those who know it better than me, but I also know comfort, and a star-kissed, moon-kissed, chill-kissed scarf left out on the night of The Lady would indeed be a comfort as I sip my lemon tea with honey.

And so a blessed Imbolc night to you.

May your hearth be warm and cozy.

May you and your beloveds be hale and healthy and hearty.

And may your words be wise and well-chosen.

A red scarf to wind about my neck for comfort.

Gratitude List:

  • A great bunch of students in my classes this semester.
  • Courses that offer me a creative outlet.
  • I slept for 8 hours straight last night.
  • Salmon patties for supper, with spinach and refried beans.
  • You, and you, and you!

May we walk in Beauty!

“ In the dark times, will there also be singing?Yes, there will be singing.About the dark times.” —Bertolt Brecht


“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” —Virginia Woolf


One of the old names for today is Candlemas, when we acknowledge how the light has been within us all along, how much light we have to offer. Take stock of your candles. What is the small flame that you can offer the world in this moment? What is the fuel that you share?Perhaps you are already doing it–tending daily to children or calling your senators, teaching teenagers to ask discerning questions or planting seeds for the crops that will feed your neighbors, healing bodies, gathering friends, listening. Today, this week, this month, do that work like a prayer, like a magic spell. Do it with intention, knowing that your work is changing the world, that what you do is fighting the forces of wanton destruction and power-mongering. —Beth Weaver-Kreider, Mockingbird Chronicles, Feb 2020


We are not alone. You are not alone. Reach out. Take hands. Build the webs. Ask for help, and be the helper.Let’s situate ourselves so that we are always ready–strong enough, centered enough, grounded enough–to step up and do the work of love and compassion and justice, to stand up, to stand between, to risk, to raise our voices, to be the fierce and defiant hope for the future we want to create. —Beth Weaver-Kreider, Mockingbird Chronicles, Feb 2020

Synaesthesia

Last night, I had a bizarre synaesthesia dream in which I could see the colors and patterns of pain. My heel was throbbing, and with each pulse of pain, a different square square would appear in front of me, almost like a square of fabric, with colors and patterns. As the pain changed, the colors changed, and focusing on the images made the pain less intense.

When I woke up, my heel was actually aching. The pain that I live with is not intense or debilitating. It’s mostly just the aches and pains of aging. I go through cycles when I feel like everything is inflamed, and then long months of low-grade aches. I’m not spending a great deal of time thinking or worrying about the aches lately, so the dream is interesting, perhaps just a manifestation of the momentary sensations. But I’m really grateful for the crossing of senses that the dream offered me.


Gratitude List:

  • Shiny new semester with a clean slate.
  • Color
  • Chicken corn noodle soup for supper with crusty rolls, and Jon who made it
  • Three day week
  • Cats

Daughter, the songs of women

are the first words of children

—Abby E. Murray, in Rattle Magazine

*****

“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, ‘They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” —Dreamwork with Toko-pa

******

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.”

—David Sobel

*****

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” ―Martin Luther King Jr.

*****

Ursula LeGuin, in the Introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness:

The artist deals with what cannot be said in words.

The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.

Words can be used thus paradoxically because they have, along with a semiotic usage, a symbolic or metaphoric usage. (They also have a sound—a fact the linguistic positivists take no interest in . A sentence or paragraph is like a chord or harmonic sequence in music: its meaning may be more clearly understood by the attentive ear, even though it is read in silence, than by the attentive intellect.) 

*****

“I think being motivated is naturally built-in to one’s vocation. When you walk a path you love, there is something deeper calling you forward on it, like a beautiful question that can never be answered. In the hard times you may turn away from it, but a part of you knows you’ll always turn back because you can’t give up on what you love, even if you try.

In the end, I think the real work is not finding inspiration, but attuning to it. So when I’m not feeling inspired, I know somewhere along the line I’ve been distancing myself from life. This feeling of being separate from ‘something greater’ is usually brought about by numbing habits; so I’ll take myself to the forest and let my senses be reawoken and warmed back to life. I think pleasure is really the gateway to feeling connected and inspired.” —Toko-pa Turner

*****

“Then one day I was walking along Tinker Creek and thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. . . . The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells un-flamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.” —Annie Dillard

Silence and Sound Sleep

My sleep has been so disturbed lately that even a “good” night includes many little wakings. Not so last night. I slept soundly all night and woke up with no images or messages in my brain. Blank slate. Tabula rasa. I’m not going to complain about the lack of fodder for my dream searches, but simply delight in a solid sleep, and hope it continues.

I’ll just take the blank slate and the good rest as my messages.


Gratitude List:

  • Sleep
  • Time out of time
  • Red berries
  • A blank slate of possibilities
  • Poetry

May we walk in Beauty!


“I came from a family of repairers. The spider is a repairer. If you bash into the web of a spider, she doesn’t get mad. She weaves and repairs it.” —Louise Bourgeois
*****
“When you have an ancient heart and childlike spirit you must feel deeply, but go lightly. To trace and learn the language of waves. How all the seas carry secrets, yet still move freely. I am still learning how to be water.” —Victoria Erickson
*****
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor E. Frankl
*****
“We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew… Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful… and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.” —Desmond Tutu
*****:
“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.” ―Anaïs Nin
*****
Leave your windows and go out, people of the world,
go into the streets, go into the fields, go into the woods
and along the streams. Go together, go alone.
Say no to the Lords of War which is Money
which is Fire. Say no by saying yes
to the air, to the earth, to the trees,
yes to the grasses, to the rivers, to the birds
and the animals and every living thing, yes
to the small houses, yes to the children. Yes.
―Wendell Berry
*****
“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So like children, we begin again…

to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke
*****
“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.

It seems that we Christians have been worshiping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey. The worshiping feels very religious; the latter just feels human and ordinary. We are not human beings on a journey toward Spirit, we are already spiritual beings on a journey toward becoming fully human, which for some reason seems harder precisely because it is so ordinary.” ―Richard Rohr
*****
“What if nostalgia is not a fruitless dwelling on those irretrievable moments of the past, as we are taught, but an attempt by sweetness to reach you again?

What if nostalgia is really located in the present, like a scent or ambience which is gathering around you should you avail yourself to it.

As anyone who has been heartbroken knows, there comes a time when, long after loss has been well-lived with, a small melody of love always returns. And to your surprise, you may recognise the tone of that love as the very same love you believed you lost.

It’s then that you know that your love was always your love. And if you let yourself be unguarded to it, nostalgia may find its way back into the generosity of your presence.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa

Entering Dreamtime

The Bible that belonged to Mammy, Catherine Witwer Weaver, my great great grandmother.

I don’t remember much of the dreaming last night, other than that I joined a super club, but then I got anxious about scheduling and about socializing, and then it devolved into one of those dreams where I search for a bathroom.

But then, just as I was drifting back to sleep, then names of Odin’s ravens popped into my brain: Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory. The sky these days has been filled with crows. This is the season of crows in Lancaster County. Reminders of the Ancient Ones who represent sentience and memories.

I’ll hold that as my message from the dreamtime for today.


Gratitude List:

  • These shining young people, these niblings.
  • Crows
  • Ancestors
  • Such rich conversations
  • The inspiring life and words of Desmond Tutu

May we walk in Beauty!


Words for the Second Day of Kwanzaa, for you who celebrate it:
Today’s word is Kujichagulia. Self determination.
(Even if you don’t know Swahili, it’s a fun word to roll around in your mouth. Try it. Emphasize the second and second to last syllables.)
*****
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” —Desmond Tutu
******
“I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.” —Desmond Tutu
*****
“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid.” —Desmond Tutu
*****
“For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other. This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.” ―Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
*****
“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ―Carrie Fisher
*****
“Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody.” —Kid President

Blessed High Holy Days

Time for some dream work. Every year in these days between Solstice/Christmas and Epiphany, I keep track of the dreams and images that come to me, the things that I see that startle or surprise me.

I’ve been dreaming a lot lately, but I’ve been out of practice when it comes to remembering and recording.

Last night’s dream is frustrating. I have been trying to get somewhere, to a friend who needs me. I’m in a car packed with people, and they don’t seem to be interested in getting to our destination. I’m fact, I’m sure we’ve passed the place we were going to, but they don’t listen, don’t seem to care. In fact, they seem to be deliberately taking us further away. I feel like they’re TRYING to frustrate me.

Finally, while we’re stopped so one of the guys can brush his teeth, I walk up to some other people and ask if they know if the building I want to go to. They’re planning to go right past it, and they can take me!

The others from my car are surprised and a little hurt that I would abandon them, but I feel so free.

I think this dream is about choosing my path and not letting others dictate the process. Asking for help when I need it. Not being caught up in the expectations of others.


Gratitude List:

  • Crows
  • Family
  • Red berries
  • Puzzles
  • Messages

May we walk in Beauty!

Joyful Kwanzaa to my friends who are celebrating the first fruits: Today is Umoja, or Unity, time to reflect on ways in which we can bring unity in divided situations in the coming year.
*****
“You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” —Mary Oliver
*****
“Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.” ―Susan Sontag
*****
“People who own the world outright for profit will have to be stopped; by influence, by power, by us.” —Wendell Berry
*****
“Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.” —Mary Oliver
*****
“When you understand interconnectedness, it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying.”
—Robert A. F. Thurman
*****
“It’s quiet now. So quiet that can almost hear other people’s dreams.” ―Gayle Forman
*****
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ―Thich Nhat Hanh

Rage, Resilience, and Gratitude

Accidental selfie among some things that bring me joy.

Gratitude:

  1. Pholiota limonella, the brilliant orange mushrooms that grow on my stump in late fall. And the oysters that join them.
  2. The holy angle of autumn sun
  3. Sycamore and maple
  4. Reminders to Love
  5. That mortifying and stressful situation was only a dream. I could wake up and it isn’t real.
  6. How when one person offers/allows tears, it’s a communion all can share.

May we walk in Justice, in Mercy, in Humility, in Beauty!


The verdict. Like so many before. Rage. Sadness. Weariness. Resignation. Some thoughts:

  1. If Black and Brown folks say it is about race, then the rest of us need to shut up and listen instead of arguing.
  2. I think a boy who carries a gun into a crowd, and then shoots people, whether he was out to kill or whether he thought he was shooting in self-defense, ought to be held accountable.
  3. And so should his parents.
  4. And so should the self-styled militia he thought he was joining.
  5. And so should the culture that seems to think it is acceptable for a boy to carry an AR-15 into a crowd.
  6. Police officers are trained in the use of guns and they make mistakes, as we so often see, so why would anyone think an untrained angry 17-year-old should be in that place with a gun?
  7. If I’m directing my rage at this boy, I think it’s displaced. This is the result of a culture enamored of guns. And a system rigged in favor of white people, a system which tries to camouflage white male rage as protection, as self-defense.

I realize that stress has caught up to me again, and I am struggling to be resilient. Here’s how I know: The sound kicked out on my computer-to-projector during class this week, and I got furious. Furious and whiny. Not with a human, but with my computer. There was no space between the realization and the rage.

My car broke down, and immediately I began to catalog all the terrible things that had been happening to me. Like an anti-gratitude list. And it took me until I was halfway through the day to stop and think about the fact that we broke down almost at my friend’s house, and he was working from home that day and could lend me his car for the carpool. How miraculous was that!?!

The little things were starting to get to me. I didn’t (don’t?) have the reserves of grace to weather the bumps. Like an old car that rattles across a pothole and gives up the ghost, my soul hasn’t had the bounce, the shock absorbers, to carry on. At least not without a growling sound coming from the engine.

Here’s the happy bit, however: Simply admitting it has helped. The bounce is returning, with the simple acknowledgement that it was missing. Instead of cataloguing my griefs and woes and troubles, I’m back to cataloguing gratitudes. And it helps. I’m bouncing again.


“Oh to meet, however briefly, the greatness that lives under our surface. To summon enough bravery to be without armour and strategy, for the chance at meeting that irreducible power. Oh to make of our terrified hearts a prayer of surrender to the God of Love; that we remain safe in our quivering ache to be near that Otherness, even for a moment. To touch that ancient life who will never relinquish its wilderness, who lets instinct make its choices, whose knowing lives in bones and whose song is a wayfinder.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love.”
―Parker J. Palmer


“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
―Emily Dickinson


“One of my favourite teachings by Martín Prechtel is that ‘violence is an inability with grief.’ In other words, it takes skillfulness to grieve well, to grieve wholeheartedly. It requires us to bravely, nakedly come to face all that is lost, keeping our hearts open to loving just as fully again.
“When we make war, lashing out in rage and revenge, it is because we are unwilling to make this full encounter with grief. It is easy to enact the same violence which has taken so much from us―including towards ourselves―but the greater work is to let that which is missing enlarge your life; to make beauty from your brokenness.
“Whatever you hold in the cauldron of your intention is your offering to the divine. The quality of assistance you can generate and receive from the Holy is governed by the quality of your inner offering. When you indulge in fear and doubt, you are flooding the arena where love is attempting to work.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth
in the present moment.”
―Thich Nhat Hanh


“An Awake Heart
is like a Sky that Pours Light.” ―Hafiz


“Gather the dawn and wind.
Breathe in sun and frost and song.
Hold for a moment.
Breathe out birds and words and joy.
Breathe out moss and stones and hope.”
―Beth Weaver-Kreider


“. . .fairies’ gold, they say, is like love or knowledge–or a good story. It’s most valuable when it’s shared.” Heather Forest, The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies.


For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your beautiful eyes.
―Hafiz