As you read, you can use your own name for the Great Mystery, the Force of Life, Beauty, Love:

Psalm of Desire
(14 August 2016, revised)

O God of Beauty,
God of Marvel,
God of Wonder,
the whole universe that you have made
is built upon desire:

the force that holds electrons in atomic orbit,
that keeps the planets in their dance around the sun,
and wheels the spiraled walk of galaxies
is that same force which holds us to the earth,
which pulls the tides up the beach and back,
and calls us from complacency
to yearn for something more.

Not only do we hunger for you,
but you are the very force of our longing,
the Magnet which draws us ever outward
from the limiting walls of our own egos
to seek your face in all that surrounds us,
to seek your heart in the hearts of our neighbors,
to follow the pathway that leads us homeward.
You are the Magnet which draws us, finally,
into the home of our deepest selves,
where we are most truly
what you have made us to be.

Our yearning for you is an echo
of your own yearning for your children.

May we carry the knowledge within us,
deep in our cellular constellations,
pulled with the tides of our blood,
that our own deepest longings
are the echoes of your voice
calling us to you.

Draw us ever closer to your Center,
as the sun holds the planets in constant orbit,
as a mother draws her child to her heart,
that our longing may lead us always to you,
our Truest Home.

Gratitude List:
1. Preparing the heart space. So much work remains to be done, but the work on the heart moves on apace. (I copied this from last year’s August 15 list.)
2. Memories of luna moth. I haven’t seen any this year (yet), but I love looking at photos from other years.
3. How Love will always trump dogma. Generous spirits.
4. The wise and loving community.
5. Feathers. Wings. Wind. Flight.

May we walk in Beauty!

Rhythm and Change


Gratitude List:
1. Reassessing.  Watching someone have the courage to say, “This doesn’t work.  I am going to try something different.”  Because sometimes will and determination aren’t about perseverating and following through on that one thing despite all indications that it isn’t working.  Sometimes will and determination are about having the wisdom and grace to say that it’s time to find a different new thing.
2. How community forms naturally and organically when it is given the spaces and the rooms in which to thrive.
3. How there is always something more to strive for and to learn.  This sometimes looks pretty crunchy–I can feel like I am always inadequate, never quite up to the task, never quite the best best that I can be.  Or I can remember that I am never completely formed, never static, never done, but that there are always new ways to grow and develop and change, to transform.
4. Rhythms.  Things are always changing.  Things are always staying the same.  Like fractals, the patterns repeat endlessly with intricate variations that create complexity and beauty.
5. I hear phoebe calling this week.  Welcome back, Wing-friends!

May we walk in Beauty!

I wish for you

I wish for you,
when you lose your way,
a bright feather on your path.

I wish for you,
when your eyes are spangled with tears,
a shaft of shining light to prism you a rainbow.

I wish for you,
when the load is heavy,
a gentle wind to lift you up.

May your roads be green.
May your stars shine brightly in the night.
May the valley ahead be filled with small hearth fires
and the sound of singing.

Gratitude List:
1.  Thoughtful, helpful,kind colleagues.  A healthy community of teachers can develop a healthy community of students.
2.  First days.  New beginnings.  In the autumn when I have not returned to school, I have often been jealous of the people who do. Clean slate.  Sharp pencils.  Possibilities.
3.  Trusting the net to appear.
4.  Meeting my children’s teachers and new principal.  The boys will be well cared for, and in a rich learning environment.
5.  Letting go. I am ready for the first day of school, but the last minute brought up all the thousand things that suddenly need to happen.  Right now!  I will not get all the thousand things done in the next two hours.  Still, I can let them go, and know that the day will happen as it happens.  This is the first lesson.

May we walk in Beauty!


Gratitude List:
1.  That spider whom I dislodged from a corner of a little-used bin yesterday.  As she scuttled away, I saw three swelling egg sacs.  I hung them carefully in an out-of-the-way place, and then found Mama Spider again and shooed her onto the egg sacs.  She immediately took up her guard there again.  Fierce Mama Protectiveness, even in Arachnia.
2.  New Computer.  I’ve been feeling a tiny little bit overwhelmed by the size of the technological learning curve as I prepare for school, but a little time playing and fiddling does go a long way toward making me feel comfortable in these new virtual rooms.
3.  Community Building.  I am pushing my getting-started classroom plans back a day or so in order to do some community-building exercises in my classes.  Before we talk about Narrative Structure in Literature, we’ll tell our own stories.
4.  Good conversations.  Thank you for being my village, friends.
5.  Even though I really loved that dress, I am incredibly grateful that it tore BEFORE I wore it to a day of school meetings rather than when I got there.  I’ll hem it up and make a shirt of it.

May we walk in Beauty!

Who is Pushing them in?

My father, a physician, used to give talks about healthy diet and lifestyle.  One story that he used to tell has really stuck with me.

Once there was a little town located beside a wide and perilous river.  Occasionally townspeople would rush to the aid of someone who had fallen in upriver.  At great risk to their own lives, they would mobilize and save a hapless stranger from drowning.  As time went by, and more and more of these rescues began to occur, the little town developed an excellent rescue aid society.  They had their own boats and equipment.  They held fundraisers to support the River Rescue Society.  Volunteers trained long hours.

Over time, more and more people came floating by, in peril of drowning, and the town’s rescue crew grew and grew.  They began to post watchers on the shoreline because the numbers of people in need of rescue had begun to increase monumentally.  It was all the little town could do to keep up with the work.  But they were proud of their River Rescue Society.

One night, at a town meeting, the topic on the table for discussion was (once again) the need for more money to fund the Rescue Society.  They were now in need of full-time watchers on the shore and more money for training and research into the best techniques for safely pulling people out of the river.  Finally a quiet woman who had been knitting in the corner stepped up to the microphone and asked, “Perhaps we ought to send someone upriver to discover who is pushing all these people in?”

Yesterday, I found out that yet another friend of mine has cancer.  Leukemia.  Two friends of mine are walking with their mothers through the rocky terrain of breast cancer at the moment.  I find it alarming and disconcerting, the way we just accept that cancer is a way of life for us now.  I’m glad that we’re working so hard on the rescue side of this story.  I am so grateful for the treatment options for my friends, for my friends’ mothers, for your friends and family members.  It seems to me that in recent years, the number of people floating down this particular river has increased rather dramatically.  What are we going to do about figuring out who is pushing them in?

We can start, I think, by letting the dandelions grow.  Refusing to put chemicals on our lawns and gardens.  Cleaning our houses with soap and water and vinegar instead of chemicals.  We can pay attention to the food we put into our bodies, where it comes from, what practices were used to grow it.  We can stop drinking out of plastic containers.  These things will not ensure that we don’t fall in the river ourselves, but they might begin to slow down the numbers of people who do.  We need to take a look upriver, and find out who has been pushing all these people into the river.


Gratitude List:
1. A lovely day yesterday with my mother-in-law
2. Singing together–I love that my son joins in with the hymns in church
3. Community–how it falls together sometimes, how we can also work to build and maintain it intentionally
4. Anticipation (as edgy as it can make me, I love having possibilities to dream)
5. Language and the gifts it offers to our reasoning brains

May we walk in Beauty!

Home Again

I wish I had had my camera.  I wish I could draw well and fast.  Instead, I’ll have to try to give you the picture in words.

It’s a really hot day on the beach.  The elements are all doing their elemental best to claim the day: sand, air, sun and waves.  You have to yell to be heard above the pounding of the surf, and the tide is rising fast, claiming sneakers and chairs and sand pails faster than their startled owners can drag them in.  One dad gets a bright idea to stave off the loss of his space by building a sea wall, and digs a fortification in front of his family’s umbrella: a deep hole with a wall on the side to the ocean.  Suddenly kids from all over have gotten into the act, digging and fortifying.

My boys ran down with their cousins to join in.  Parents came, too, and we built drip castles all along the line of the wall.  And the wall held against the tide, giving the umbrella people another forty minutes of time before the hole behind the wall filled with fresh cold sea water, and the children went from castle-builders to merfolk, dabbling in the pool they’d created and covering themselves with yellow foam.

2013 July 082

Gratitude List:
1.  Family time at the beach
2.  Mama Ocean
3.  Watching Joss devour every kind of seafood he could get his hands on: clams, flounder, shrimp, scallops.
4.  Coming home to Jon
5.  Myotis lucifugus, the little brown bat.  The first one to roost in the barn we called Otis because it seemed more likely that a solitary bat would be male.  The friend who was roosting with him today we will call Lucy, in hopes that they might be a breeding pair.  Fly well, small ones.

May we walk in Beauty.

Ducks in the Rain and a Dove with the Fire of the Sunset in Its Eyes

It happened to me again this morning.  I woke up with the fragments of dream-world swirling through my brain, but as text, not as image.
“I place it into my bowl full of winter.”

And then there was more, several more surreal, semi-attached bits of cobweb-phrases.  But those I don’t remember.

Something about the key to my grandmother’s house.

I woke up and tried to write it as a poem.  All I could do was to write and re-write the phrase.  Again and again.  So this will be my next poetry prompt.  I’ll try again tomorrow.  Join me, if you like, or pull an image or phrase from your own dreaming to join to mine.  We’ll see what we come up with, eh?

In the meantime, here’s a photo of my goofy son and a blue egg.  And a gratitude list.

2013 April 055

Gratitude List:
1.  Funny Blue Cat: Winky sat on one of Ellis’s pastel drawings last night and now she is blue, providing lots of laughs today.
2.  White ducks in the rain on the green grass.  I’m not trying to channel WCW, but I love this pair of white farm ducks that seem to love sitting on the lawn of the Rutter’s right next to the road.  They could be under the forsythia bushes.  And I love the look of them in the rain.
3.  The lovely people who send me images.  My heart is so warmed and encouraged by the photos, the wonder, the story my cousin Don told me about seeing a white dove with the fire of the sunset in its eyes.
4.  Community-building.  Changing the system together.  I went to see the movie Fresh tonight.  Family First Health, a local medical practice offered the screening free at York Little Theater.  They’re pushing for real health, those folks, eating real food.  I love Joel Salatin and his “Chicken-ness of the chicken, pig-ness of the pig, tomato-ness of the tomato.”  He gets the deep archetypal import of it all.  And Don Ikerd.  I love Don Ikerd–he says we can change, we can wean ourselves from industrial ag and back to real actual food again.  Now, if only the small farmers can make a living in the meantime. . .
5.  Being who I want to be.  I feel like the chrysalis may soon be ready to crack open.

May we walk in beauty.  So much, so much love.