Into the Dark, December 5

very year at this time, I feel the anxiety and restlessness begin to rise within me, and the cold settles into my bones. Every year, I need to consciously ease my spirit into the season. This year, from the beginning of December until Epiphany, I will set it down here on the blog. May we journey into the darkness with intention and tenderness.

Those sunrise clouds do it every morning. I move through the morning darkness like a wader in a murky pond every morning, until I am fully awake, until I can let some of my muscles relax into the day. The clouds help. Magenta and tangerine streaks across cobalt and indigo and grey. Touches of aquamarine in the sky below.

Not every day, of course. Some of the sunrises are simple shifts from grey to grey. But some mornings, the sky breathes for me, breathes in colors that seep into my bones, the way warmth begins to creep inward from a nice cup of tea.

My word for today will be Color. Even in the grey days, there’s color to be found, and even now there are deep rich greens, pops of berry red, cardinal red, golden sunbeam.

Today, may colors seep into your soul, awaken and enliven you, help you breathe. Blessed be.


“The opposite of consumption is not frugality, it is generosity.”
—Raj Patel


“By reciting a myth, the storyteller remembers a creation, and, by remembering, is a part of that creating. It is best understood in that dreadful solecism “walkabout”. In walking, the Australians speak the land. Their feet make it new, now, and in its beginning. And the land speaks to them, now, anew, and in their beginning, by step and breath that meet in its dance, so that land and people sing as one.” —Alan Garner, The Voice That Thunders


“This earth that we live on is full of stories in the same way that, for a fish, the ocean is full of ocean. Some people say when we are born we’re born into stories. I say we’re also born from stories.” —Ben Okri


“So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,
one of which was you.” ―Mary Oliver


“Let the violence and pain in our world root you even more deeply in your commitment to be kinder and love harder, no matter the person or circumstance. Your great ability to love has everything to do with creating a more peaceful reality on our planet. Your love matters. It makes a critical difference. It helps us all.” —Scott Stabile


“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” —Nelson Mandela


“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
—Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)


“Never does Nature say one thing and Wisdom another.” —Juvenal


“There is a place where words are born of silence,
A place where the whispers of the heart arise.” —Rumi


Gratitude List:
1. Warm blankets
2. Elementary School Music Concerts
3. Nourishment
4. Words
5. You

May we walk in Beauty!

Breathe and Push


A lovely script we found in an old book. I need to practice my general calligraphy.

Gratitude List:
1. Sibling games and songs in chapel today. Sweet, sweet.
2. Josiah’s first Christmas concert tonight, playing cello in the third grade orchestra. He was so excited. He made sure to invite his grandparents a week ago. He was counting down the hours until it was time. He was so proud to be part of it.
3. Valarie Kaur’s quote: “What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?” Images of an America in transition, in the final stages of labor, and we can hear the midwife saying, “Breathe!” and finally, “Push!”
4. How the future steps ever so carefully toward us.
5. You and you. I haven’t put you on my gratitude lists recently,  but you’re always there in some form. The fact that I can know that you’re out there, doing your work, changing the world, holding out the truth, narrating the story–that gives me hope, and reminds me that I am not alone.

May we walk in Beauty!

Music and Story

wordcloud

Gratitude List:
1. More wonderful student music last night at my school–everything from fiery Vivaldi violins to Christmas pieces to a gentle jazzy rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.”  I went with my boy, who plays cello and trombone.  He, of course, had to sit right behind the sound booth, so he could watch that action.
2. Mercy.  From the Old Etruscan for “exchange.”  Cynthia Bourgeault speaks of “inter-abiding” with the Divine.  Mercy.
3. Poetry Unit with the 9th Graders.  When I announced that we are starting poetry in my three English 9 classes, I only heard one groan (and that from the obligatory groaner–there’s one in every crowd–I could say, “Hey Gang, time for candy!” and this one would groan).  They left class chatting about the poems they were going to write.  Aaaaah.
4.  The intersection of this world and the real world.  Yesterday when I was dropping off some Scholastic forms at the library, I ran into a friend from online, someone I have only met in person three or four times, but whose heart is dear to me.
5. Story.  Narrative. Literature. The way people’s hearts gather ’round, as at a campfire, when someone says, “Let me tell you a story.”

May we walk in Beauty!