Good Words to Begin the Year

One of my beloveds nearly died this past summer. I’m not being over-dramatic about that. It was touch and go with his first treatment for his lymphoma, whether his failing liver and kidney function could support the clean-up work of the immunotherapy and chemo. I felt Death hovering in the corners of the room, thought I could see the shadowy and bright forms of his escorts from realm to realm.

Today, the oncologist gave us some glorious words: “complete remission” and “probably a cure.” I still don’t know how to articulate the joy of this. It’s a moment to pause in the glorious rays of morning sun and whisper hallelujah.


Gratitude List:
1. Those miracle words of such great relief: “complete remission,” “probably a cure”
2. Trusting that excellent substitutes can take my classes for two days while I finish my Covid isolation
3. A warm house
4. Patty Griffin’s song, “Mary”
5. Words! So many words!
May we walk in Beauty!


“Brew me a cup for a winter’s night.
For the wind howls loud and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I’ll toast our bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.” —Minna Thomas Antrim


“How do we go on living, when every day our hearts break anew? Whether your beloved are red-legged frogs, coho salmon, black terns, Sumatran tigers, or fat Guam partulas, or entire forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, or oceans, or the entire planet, the story is the same, the story of the murder of one’s beloved, the murder of one’s beloved, the murder of one’s beloved.” —Derrick Jensen


“The Work. I am learning, slowly and in tiny little ways, to stop asking myself what I can get from each moment, but instead what my Work is here in the moment. And realizing, ever so dimly, that when I am really doing my Work (really doing my Work), I am also receiving what I need.” —Beth Weaver-Kreider


“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” ―Rainer Maria Rilke


“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” —Peter Drucker


“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it will be a butterfly.” —Margaret Fuller


“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” —T.S. Eliot


“So my mind keeps coming back to the question: what is wrong with us? What is really preventing us from putting out the fire that is threatening to burn down our collective house? I think the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe—and would benefit the vast majority—are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”
― Naomi Klein

Fierce and Tender


This is a rock we found on the beach near Provincetown. Joss says he thinks it looks like a woodsy landscape reflected in a lake. Can you see it?. I ran it through a starry filter, and it looks like a night-time lake.


Gratitude List:
1. Fierce and tender friends. People who hold the world in their hearts, and hold our hearts in their hands. You know who you are, Friends, and if you think I am talking about you here, I probably am.
2. Stories that teach me not to start with rage, but to start with compassion.
3. Honesty. Truth-telling. Getting it straight and clear. Cutting through the fog of lies.
4. Water. Purifying and cleansing. Refreshing. Rain on dry earth.
5. The smell of the rain on dry earth. That scent of impending hope.

Holyholyholyhallelujah.


Tuesday’s Thoughts:
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.” ―Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
***
“In order to arrive at what you are not you must go through the way in which you are not.”
—T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
***
“We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.” —Richard Rohr
***
“Whatever gets in the way of the work is the work.” —Jason Shinder
***
“An agricultural adage says the tiny animals that live below the surface of a healthy pasture weigh more than the cows grazing above it. In a catalogue selling composting equipment I read that two handfuls of healthy soil contain more living organisms than there are people on the earth. What these beings are and what they can be doing is difficult to even begin to comprehend, but it helps to realize that even though they are many, they work as one.”
—Carol Williams
***
“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” —Flannery O’Connor
***
“I don’t know about you, but I didn’t become an environmentalist because someone made a rational argument that convinced me that the planet was in danger. I became an environmentalist out of love and pain: love for the world and its beauty and the grief of seeing it destroyed. It was only because I was in touch with these feelings that I had the ears to listen to evidence and reason and the eyes to see what is happening to our world. I believe that this love and this grief are latent in every human being. When they awaken, that person becomes an environmentalist.” —Charles Eisenstein
***
“You can’t dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools.” —Audre Lorde
***
“The owl,” he was saying, “is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?” ―M.J. Rose, Seduction

Protecting the Nestlings

Mockingbird Says:
“Protect your nestlings with every ounce of courage and ferocity you can muster.  Whether it be Monsanto or a kitty cat, zip in in a whir of flashy feathers and nip them on the nether regions–just like this!  Aha!”

–Oh, Mockingbird!  Yes.  I do get your point, and so, unfortunately, does little Miss Winky.  Poor Kitty Cat.

2013 August 116

Gratitude List (the typical 5, plus a few bonus from an amazing weekend with my gang of college friends and their children):
1.  Lasting friendships, powerful in their intentionality and their serendipity
2.  Scott’s rock and sand collection
3.  Awakeners
4.  A happy gang of kids, riding bikes, playing games, swimming, giggling, sharing jokes. . .
5.  Being part of the cold and broken hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
6.  Late late night conversations around the fire, sharing the bitter/sweets
7.  Walking out of the labyrinth
8.  This moment: We were sitting around in the shade yesterday morning discussing shame and the impact it has on our parenting, and how it is used in schools.  Before long three of the children had gathered with us in the circle, and they started telling us their own ideas about effective and ineffective behavior management in school, about what seems fair and right and what is a violation of their sense of self.
9.  Taking pictures of the fire with Luke
10.  Africa House, where we stayed

May all beings be blessed.