Tangled Web

Today’s prompt is Conflict.

If forgiveness were an act of will
she’d have managed it by now.
It’s not a thing you can declare
and–poof!–the grace appears
and ushers everyone
into the next level of Enlightenment.

She stopped praying for her enemies,
stopped trying on the oversized robe
of forgiveness, not of her own designing.

Now she calls upon their angels
just to join her in her prayers,
to enter her circle and listen
while she says, “Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who have sinned against us.”
And, “Deliver us ever from evil.”

The ones who cause us harm,
through malice or through fear,
bind themselves to us,
entangling our destinies
as inextricably as love could ever do,
and forgiveness becomes not a single act,
but a long slow dance,
improvised at every moment,
a careful disentangling.


Gratitude List:
1. Sparkling morning sun
2. Doing things in my own time
3. Portals and doorways
4. The process of becoming
5. Warm boots
May we walk in Beauty!


“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” -Oscar Wilde


“Every minute can be a holy, sacred minute. Where do you seek the spiritual? You seek the spiritual in every ordinary thing that you do every day. Sweeping the floor, watering the vegetables, and washing the dishes become holy and sacred if mindfulness is there. With mindfulness and concentration, everything becomes spiritual.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh


“…when women speak truly they speak subversively–they can’t help it: if you’re underneath, if you’re kept down, you break out, you subvert.
We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.
That’s what I want–to hear you erupting. You young Mount St. Helenses who don’t know the power in you–I want to hear you.” —Ursula Le Guin


“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” —Muriel Rukeyser


“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 (Ladinsky)


“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” ―Oscar Levant

Ekphrastic Poem

Today’s prompt is to write an ekphrastic poem, to take a piece of art, and to write a poem about it. All month, I have been writing a poem, and then creating a piece of AI art to go with it. As I began to create a piece of AI art to use for this prompt, the poem approached. Before I managed to create a piece of art, the poem had found its way to my notes, and so I created the art to go with the poem that went with a piece of artwork that I had imagined. And so it goes: Which comes first?

Which came first:
the image or the word,
the sound or the sense,
the egg or the bird?

Did it happen with BANG or “Begin,”
with the seed or the dream,
with poem or picture,
with to say, or to seem?

A project, a poem, a world comes to be
in the nodes where the lines of word and image cross,
the woven fibers of vision and voice interlocking,
and in the silence and darkness between,
meaning–like water– trickles into the spaces,
into the interstices, of the living, breathing tapestry.

Becoming becomes,
word takes shape and image speaks,
and something new comes into being.


Gratitude List:
1. Every day right now: November Roses!
2. People telling their stories
3. The buck who whuffed at me in the grove
4. Cardinal singing in the cherry tree
5. Words and images
May we walk in Beauty!


“Choosing to be honest is the first step in the process of love. There is no practitioner of love who deceives. Once the choice has been made to be honest, then the next step on love’s path is communication.”
― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions


“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” ―Gandalf


Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.

Amen.
―Rabbi Harold Kushner


I place in the hands of Time these stones:
the story of this day,
the people I have been near to,
the songs the Fates have whispered in my ears,
the colors that haunt me.

See how they turn to mist,
how they glow for a moment–
red, then golden, then blue–
then dissipate like ash blown by a wind
before I can register
that they have lost their substance.

Where does memory go
when it flows out with the tide,
when it slips down the drain,
when it is blown out with the morning fog?

I am still the child in the forest,
walking blind through the swirling mists,
under the shadows of the great trees.
With each forward step on the trail,
a little bird flutters from the pathway behind,
a bread crumb in its beak.
―Beth Weaver-Kreider


“When I stopped trying to change you, you changed me.” ―Rachel Macy Stafford

Finding Time

Brewer’s prompt today was to write a poem about the future. I was contemplating the timelessness of praying in the the cherry grove, and on friendships that have lasted and grown over thirty-five years. As I rode my bike this early afternoon along the Susquehanna, I write this poem, stopping every once in a while to write down what had been happening in my head.

Finding Time
for Nancy

Stand in the center of this sacred grove
and feel how past and future
converge upon the miracle of this moment,
how your ancient loves and longings
are stitched with gold and scarlet thread
into the tapestry of the holy Now.
Leave the tattered threads
of future fears behind you
and wade into the waters of this present,
this presence.

You are the soul you have always been,
the soul you all ways have been.
And, you are new now.

And now.

And now.

And now


Gratitude List:
1. A marvelous bike
2. Trees that seem to reach out for human companionship
3. Beloved friends in it for the long haul
4. Strings of prayer flags
5. People who help me to be my best self
May we walk in Beauty!


“Through a process of perpetual discernment and “prayer unceasing” we may dive into the well of each faith and emerge with the treasure that connects us all.” —Mirabai Starr


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” —Carl Sagan


“If the Rhine, the Yellow, the Mississippi rivers are changed to poison, so too are the rivers in the trees, in the birds, and in the humans changed to poison, almost simultaneously. There is only one river on the planet Earth and it has multiple tributaries, many of which flow through the veins of sentient creatures.” —Thomas Berry


“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” —Kurt Vonnegut


“For a Star to be born,
there is one thing that must happen;
a nebula must collapse.
So collapse.
Crumble.
This is not your Destruction.
This is your birth.” —attributed to Noor Tagouri


‪”So much of bird flight is really expert falling, slipping into that delicate space within the argument between gravity and air resistance. That natural alchemy transforms a plummet into a glide. Someday, I hope to learn to fail like birds fall.‬” —Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist


“Reading and writing cannot be separated. Reading is breathing in; writing is breathing out.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider

Do Not Be Afraid

Today’s prompt from Robert Lee Brewer is to write a scary poem. I’ve been meditating on angels and guardian spirits in recent weeks, and this morning’s rosary prayer walked through the Joyful Mysteries, beginning with the Annunciation, so Mary, and then Shepherds, and then Saul, came to mind.

Do not be afraid

says the angel,
and proceeds to
blow your world apart.

You know that when the angel appears,
no matter how joyful the tidings,
your life will never be the same.
You’ll face the scorn of the village
for daring to accept the angel’s calling.
You’ll risk losing your sheep
as you run off into the night
to seek a baby in a barn.
You’ll fall from your warhorse, blinded,
into the filth of the common streets.

If you take up the story the angel hands you,
you will bear the weight of the world
within your own body,
you will gather lost and wandering souls
instead of the sheep you left in your fields,
you will need to abandon your self-righteous quest
and risk your own life in the service of Love.

Do not be afraid, the angel says.
Step into the doorway of the labyrinth.
Journey into the darkness.
Walk through the valley of the shadow.
Gather at the Gates of Life and Death.
Be a presence in the enfolding dark
for lost and frightened souls to draw near.
Weave your songs and prayers
and magic spells into a shining cloth
of hope and transformation.


Gratitude List:
1. Angelic messengers
2. The journey
3. Owl feather
4. Rain
5. Ice Cream
May we walk in Beauty!


“It is fabled that we slowly lose the gift of speech with animals, that birds no longer visit our windowsills to converse. As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.” —Leonard Cohen


Denise Levertov:
Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.

I have seen
The fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes
found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched–but not because
she grudged the water,
only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
refreshed.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
The fountain is there among its scalloped
grey and green stones,
it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen


“Remember that day in the woods
when everything was so dark, so dreary
and you were so terrifyingly alone?

How can it be that these are the same woods
and you the same soul
and everything shines so,
and everything is filled with life?” —Beth Weaver-Kreider


“Acquiring problems is a fundamental human need. It’s as crucial to your well-being as getting food, air, water, sleep, and love. You define yourself–indeed, you make yourself–through the riddles you attract and solve. The most creative people on the planet are those who frame the biggest, hardest questions and then gather the resources necessary to find the answers.” —Rob Brezsny

Struggle

Today’s prompt is to write a struggle poem. I decided to add some challenge (something to struggle with) and make an acrostic.

Shrug your shoulders or pull out your hair,
Try to pound a tunnel through the mountain, or
Run away and hide, life will always be a struggle.
Unless you find a way to pay the piper, or
Give the Ferrywoman her coin, or
Grow a handful of magic beans, or
Live with what is instead of what could have been, or
Eventually find yourself home within the struggle itself.


Gratitude List:
1. My brave colleague who took on tie-dying t-shirts with our eleven middle division students. I have never done this, much less with young people, and she dived right in. What a good model of a fun teacher and an excellent pedagogue!
2. That red tree out behind the school. Everyone else has gone to naked November, and she is still a rich red.
3. The way my students listen to poetry. I read part of The Beauty way for them today, and mostly, they seemed to get it.
4. That golden slant of light in November afternoons.
5. Brownies
May we walk in Beauty!


“We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, because we are still each other’s only hope.” ―James Baldwin


“Poets are kind of like—it’s a bad metaphor, but—canaries in a coal mine. They have a sense for things that are in the air. Partly because that’s what they do—they think about things that are going on—but partly because they take their own personal experience and see how that fits in with what they see in the world. A lot of people might think that poetry is very abstract, or that it has to do with having your head in the clouds, but poets, actually, walk on the earth. They’re grounded, feet-first, pointing forward. They’re moving around and paying attention at every moment.” —Don Share


“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” —Toni Morrison


“We need poets to change the world.” —Justin Trudeau


“…Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.”
—from “How to Be a Poet (to remind myself)” by Wendell Berry


Morning Prayer
by Phillip Newell
In the silence of the morning
your Spirit hovers over the brink of the day
and a new light pieces the darkness of the night.
In the silence of the morning
life begins to stir around me
and I listen for the day’s utterances.
In earth, sea and sky
and in the landscape of my own soul
I listen for utterances of your love, O God.
I listen for utterances of your love.

Our Lady of the Road

Robert Lee Brewer (at Writers Digest) likes to offer fill in the blank poem title prompts. I like to try them. Today’s was to write a poem titled _______ of the ________. I’ve been working lately on re-writing some of the traditional prayers of the rosary to suit my own particular mytho-poetic-spiritual vision. I’ve also been memorizing some old and new poem/prayers. So today’s poem is a prayer of my own:

Our Lady of the Road

Oh gracious Lady of the road,
beckon me, and draw me forth upon the way.
Keep me from walking in the complacent paths
that lead to destruction,
but set my feet upon the road that will teach me,
upon the Damascus Road, upon the Emmaus Road,
where I will hear the voice of warning,
where I will hear the voice of wisdom,
where my eyes will be blinded,
where my eyes will be opened.
Place me in roads that will turn me from evil.
Send me guides and guardians to block my path
when I have lost my way, and lead me
in all of the holy directions
that I may come into your presence
with joy.
With joy.


Gratitude List:
1. On the way to school this morning, I noticed, among the hard frost all around, glorious rose and late roses blooming
2. Gen Z. I think they helped us to avert disaster
3. The folx who stand in the gap
4. Prayers. Poems. Prayers.
5. Coaches. Tonight was the XCountry banquet at EYSD. I’m so grateful for the coaches who train and encourage the kids.
May we walk in Beauty!


“For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” —Carl Sagan


“But this moment, you’re alive. So you can just dial up the magic of that at any time.” —Joanna Macy


“I tell you the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” —Vincent van Gogh


“The most vital right is the right to love and be loved.” —Emma Goldman


“Love imperfectly. Be a love idiot. Let yourself forget any love ideal.” —Sark


“Everything I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything exists, only because I love.” —Leo Tolstoy


“Love is a great beautifier.” —Louisa May Alcott


“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk everything, you risk even more.” —Erica Jong


“Fall in love over and over again every day. Love your family, your neighbors, your enemies, and yourself. And don’t stop with humans. Love animals, plants, stones, even galaxies.” —Frederic and Mary Ann Brussa

Horizon

On one of the poem-a-day prompts lists one of my students dug up at the beginning of April, the prompt for the 25th is to write a poem about the word Horizon. The events of my April have meant I have fallen a few days behind on my poeming. (Well, that’s my excuse anyway!)

Horizon
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

The horizon
lies on
the edge of
the world

and you never
can reach it
though you seek
with your whole heart.

It is always
a day’s journey
away from the place
where you start.


Gratitude List:
1. The way the horizon always leads onward
2. Guests. Guests require a little housecleaning, and a clean house is nice. Plus, guests are nice.
3. The hostas are coming up!
4. I think I saw my friend the oriole this morning. It could have been something else with the sun hitting it just so. But he should be here any day now. I am listening for you, Friend!
5. How poetry holds feelings.
May we walk in Beauty!


“To love, my brothers and sisters, does not mean we have to agree. But maybe agreeing to love is the greatest agreement. And the only one that ultimately matters, because it makes a future possible.” —Michael B. Curry


“The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.” —Barry H. Gillespie


“Immature people crave and demand moral certainty: This is bad, this is good. Kids and adolescents struggle to find a sure moral foothold in this bewildering world; they long to feel they’re on the winning side, or at least a member of the team. To them, heroic fantasy may offer a vision of moral clarity. Unfortunately, the pretended Battle Between (unquestioned) Good and (unexamined) Evil obscures instead of clarifying, serving as a mere excuse for violence — as brainless, useless, and base as aggressive war in the real world.” —Ursula K Le Guin


“There is room for you at our table, if you choose to join us.” —Starhawk, The Fifth Sacred Thing


“For beautiful to happen, the beautiful has got to be seen.” —from the musical “Ordinary Days”


“You will be found.” —from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”
****”
“How do you become the person you’ve forgotten you ever were?” —from the musical “Anastasia”


“The universe is not made up of atoms; it’s made up of tiny stories.” ―Joseph Gordon-Levitt


To all the children
by Thomas Berry

To the children who swim beneath
The waves of the sea, to those who live in
The soils of the Earth, to the children of the flowers
In the meadows and the trees of the forest,
To all those children who roam over the land
And the winged ones who fly with the winds,
To the human children too, that all the children
May go together into the future in the full
Diversity of their regional communities.


Carl Jung: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


“Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.” ―Rumi (Barks)


“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.” ―Isabel Allende


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ―Bréne Brown, Wholehearted

Advent Images: Living Blamelessly

The art teacher at my school worked with a group of her students to come up with a word for each of the twenty-five days leading up to Christmas. Members of the school community are then asked to post a photo that represents the idea of that word.

Today’s words are “Living Blamelessly.” I felt like I wanted to create a pathway, a set of stepping stones toward whole and mindful and blameless living.


Gratitude List:
1. Picture rocks in a river, each rock covered by dozens of white dots. The gulls are migrating, and an enormous flock was resting today on the rocks of the Susquehanna. So satisfying.
2. Good exercise
3. Having someone to do the NYT Crossword Puzzles with. I can usually do the Monday and Tuesday ones by myself. Sometimes the Wednesday ones, too. But definitely by the time Friday and the weekend roll around, I would always give up were I doing them on my own. Usually one of us begins one, and then gets stumped and leaves it for the other. Now the boys are joining in, too.
4. Stauffer’s Christmas Stars chocolate-covered cookies.
5. The oyster mushrooms that ring my magical stump.
May we walk in Beauty!


“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” —Mary Oliver


“Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion.” —Barry Lopez


“With every action, comment, conversation, we have the choice to invite Heaven or Hell to Earth.” —Rob Bell


“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.” ―Albert Einstein

Good Trouble

John Lewis, who is a sterling example of thoughtful and compassionate and fierce and determined political leadership in this country, called repeatedly for the people to stir up Good Trouble. What Good Trouble will you make in his honor today?


Gratitude List:
1. All the people who are making Good Trouble. Keep it up, soulkin! You are making a difference.
2. Exercise. This has never been a priority of mine, but as I notice the current effects of aging on my body, and think about where I want to be in ten, twenty years, I have chosen this mantra: limber, healthy, strong. I’m trying to get a long walk or a long bike ride in every day, sometimes both. I definitely feel stronger.
3. Wise friends.
4. Smoothies with lots of fresh fruit.
5. My tiny tribe of succulents. I repotted everyone a couple days ago, and they’re looking so much happier now. I am trying to start a few new ones with leaves that I culled as I was repotting.

May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!


“Some say you’re lucky
If nothing shatters it.

But then you wouldn’t
Understand poems or songs.
You’d never know
Beauty comes from loss.

It’s deep inside every person:
A tear tinier
Than a pearl or thorn.

It’s one of the places
Where the beloved is born.”
―Gregory Orr


“And the wood is tired, and the wood is old, and we’ll make it fine, if the weather holds. But if the weather holds, then we’ll have missed the point. And that’s where I need to go.” ―The Indigo Girls


“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” ―Joseph Campbell


“Friendship … is born at the moment when one says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”
― C.S. Lewis


“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
―Thomas Merton


“To say ‘I don’t know’ is an unparalleled source of power, a declaration of independence from the pressure to have an opinion about every single subject.
It’s fun to say. Try it: ‘I don’t know.’
Let go of the drive to have it all figured out: ‘I don’t know.’
Proclaim the only truth you can be totally sure of: ‘I don’t know.’
Empty your mind and lift your heart: ‘I don’t know.’
Use it as a battle cry, a joyous affirmation of your oneness with the Great Mystery: ‘I don’t know.’
(To revel in this reverie can be a respite, a vacation. Any time you feel ready, you can return to the more familiar state of ‘I know! I know! I know!’)” ―Rob Brezsny


“Declare amnesty for the part of you that you don’t love very well. Forgive that poor sucker. Hold its hand and take it out to dinner and a movie. Tactfully offer it a chance to make amends for the dumb things it has done.

And then do a dramatic reading of this proclamation by the playwright Theodore Rubin: ‘I must learn to love the fool in me—the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool.'” ―Rob Brezsny


“We all receive water from her, we receive food from her, we receive air from her, anything that is received as a gift from the Earth and from nature has to be a commons, it cannot be privatised, that is why privatisation of life forms through patents or water through privatisation schemes driven by the World Bank, or the privatisation of the atmosphere and the air through carbon trading and emissions trading are all illegal and illegitimate in a legal framework based on the Earth’s rights.” ―Vandana Shiva


“The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don’t turn against him; they crush those beneath them.” ―Emily Bronte


“Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” ―Susan B. Anthony


“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.” ―Rudolf Steiner

Daily Feather and Gratitude

Your Daily Feather

I didn’t have time to write this morning before I left for work.
Gratitudes:
1. Last night, we saw a bat flying between the barn and the sycamore tree. Bats are some of my favorite people.
2. Tonight on our walk, we saw a frog on the road. When I reached to try to move it from the road, it suddenly zig-zagged between my legs and off toward the creek.
3. Working in the Herb Room today. I might be an airy-fairy sanguine personality and a fiery Leo birth sign, and have a special affinity for Mama Ocean, but when it comes to herbs, the things that gets me most excited is the roots. Earth seems to be my medicine: roots and stones.
4. Kittens! Have I mentioned the kittens? I love little kittens. And their mama.
5. Cucumbers. They’re refreshing.

May we walk in Beauty!


“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” ―Dietrich Bonhoeffer


“You say you care about the poor? Then tell me, what are their names?” —Gustavo Gutierrez


Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” —Roald Dahl


History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
—Maya Angelou


“Doors closing, doors opening. Doors closing, doors I’m opening. I am safe. It’s only change. I am safe. It’s only change.” —chant (I don’t know the author)


Vine and branch we’re connected in this world
of sound and echo, figure and shadow, the leaves
contingent, roots pushing against earth. An apple
belongs to itself, to stem and tree, to air
that claims it, then ground. Connections
balance, each motion changes another. Precarious,
hanging together, we don’t know what our lives
support, and we touch in the least shift of breathing.
Each holy thing is borrowed. Everything depends.
—Jeanne Lohmann, ‘Shaking the Tree’


Parker Palmer: “The only way to become whole is to put our arms lovingly around everything we’ve shown ourselves to be: self-serving and generous, spiteful and compassionate, cowardly and courageous, treacherous and trustworthy. We must be able to say to ourselves and to the world at large, “I am all of the above.” If we can’t embrace the whole of who we are—embrace it with transformative love—we’ll imprison the creative energies hidden in our own shadows and flee from the world’s complex mix of shadow and light.”


“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison