NPM Day 25: Ancestors

Imagine one of your ancestors, someone in the massive branching web of individuals who participated in the making of you. Write yourself a letter poem from your ancestor. Or write your ancestor a letter. Or write one to some future descendant. Roots and wings, baby.


Gratitude List:
1. The people who help from the sidelines and behind the scenes, not for accolades, because it’s who they are.
2. Book Sale and Yard Sale.
3. Smoothies
4. Yesterday, we got to see my mother-in-law in her new room. It’s the first time in over a year that we have spoken face-to-face instead of through a screen or a window. And we’re seeing my parents pretty regularly again, too
5. Green. Rain. Robin’s rain song. Wind chimes.

May we walk in Beauty!


“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned, it’s their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when every day is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.” —Nina Simone


“A loving silence often has far more power
to heal and to connect than the
most well-intentioned words.” —Rachel Naomi Remen


“The secret to waking up is unscrambling the word earth.” —anonymous


“I have come to regard with some suspicion those who claim that the Bible never troubles them. I can only assume this means they haven’t actually read it.” ―Rachel Held Evans


“What a comfort to know that God is a poet.” ―Rachel Held Evans


“Geometry is the archetype of the beauty of the world.” —Johannes Kepler


“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” —John Keating (Robin Williams in Dead Poet Society)


“You are the Ground of all being
the Well-Spring of time
Womb of the earth
the Seed-Force of stars.
And so at the opening of this day
we wait
not for blessings from afar
but for You
the very Soil of our soul
the early Freshness of morning
the first Breath of day.”
—John Philip Newell

Through the Veil

This is Catherine Witwer (1833-1905), married to Isaac Weaver. My Great-Aunt Elizabeth Nolt Weaver (her granddaughter) said that she cared for women in childbirth (a lay midwife, I think), and then cared for their older children in her own home so the mothers could recover. Aunt Lizzie told me that people called her Mammy.

They lived at the White Hall Mill on Weaverland Road near Union Grove. My Great-Grandfather John W. Weaver was their son, and his son Daniel was my grandfather, who is my father’s father.

All sorts of ancestors, known and unknown, line the spiraling staircases of your DNA, watching, singing, remembering for you. What will you carry forward as you walk through the veil of this season?


Gratitude List:
1. The way the sun slants through colored leaves in this season when we step further into the darkness.
2. Stepping forward.
3. The light we carry inside ourselves.
4. Knowing, as we walk into this tunnel of seasonal darkness, that we will walk out again in a season to come.
5. The bright candle flame of a new idea.

May we walk in the glow of each other’s lights.

Moving Through Time

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Gratitude List:
1. Ancestors
2. Moving through time.  I keep working with this idea that Michelle talked about a couple weeks ago, about scarcity and abundance.  I have always thought of those ideas in terms of things, but she explored how we tend to live with a sense of scarcity about time as well.  This hit me hard.  It’s how I have been living a good part of my adult life.  I  learned to protect my time, and then I began to guard it, fiercely.  And it just slips away anyway, doesn’t it?  I am practicing moving through time without feeling like I have to hoard it.
3. The sense of smell: right now it’s coffee perking.
4. How things can feel messy and disjointed and out of place and still be okay anyway.
5.  The web.  Again.  The web that holds us all together.  How we cast these lines between us.  How they shine.

May we walk in Beauty!