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 word is Truth. How do you come up with a visual representation for Truth? I walked outside on my break to try to get an image of a tree without leaves, thinking that Truth is what remains after all is laid bare. But on the way to the woods, I passed this patch of cold-blasted hosta. I love the colors and textures of the curled and skeletized leaves. And here’s a truth: Everything moves toward dissolution and decay, and then moves ’round again to birth and regeneration. But there’s beauty and grace in ALL the stages. The withering reveals patterns and structures that are perhaps less visible when the leaves are full and green.
But I couldn’t stop there, and searched my albums for past photos that might fit the brief:
Gratitude List: 1. Latkes for supper! Thank you, Sonya! 2. The crows are back. I love the massive flocks of crows, dotting the trees, filling the sky, sprinkling the tawny corn stubble. 3. Stories. 4. The inspiring life of Rosa Parks. Today is the 66th anniversary of her decision to stay seated on a bus, disrupting injustice and creating space for change. With what actions shall we commemorate her holy act? 5. The dreamtime of winter. May we walk in Beauty!
“I had given up my seat before, but this day, I was especially tired. Tired from my work as a seamstress, and tired from the ache in my heart.” ―Rosa Parks
“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” ―Bryan Stevenson
“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
“Without vision, people perish, and without courage and inspiration dreams die.” ―Rosa Parks
“When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.” ―Ijeoma Oluo
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” ―Audre Lorde
“Nah.” ―Rosa Parks said this when asked to give her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery
Today, write a poem about accountability and consequences. Or make an acrostic poem about JUSTICE. Or try your hand at a credo poem, expressing what kind of society you want to be part of. Perhaps write a letter to the future, explaining what future you have been trying to manifest here and now. You could take a verse—like “Let justice roll down like waters”—and use it as your epigraph, or as a repeated phrase in a chant poem. Find a picture of the blind goddess Justice with her scales, or the tarot card Justice with scales and two-edged sword, and write a poem about justice personified.
Gratitude List: 1. Finally, justice. It’s a hard gratitude, not a soft one, like blossoms and birdsong, because a man is dead, and now yet another black child is dead, and we still have so much work to do, but one step toward a change has been made. Now we work. 2. Collage, quilting, mosaics, found poetry, creating a life: taking pieces and fragments and putting them together to create beauty. 3. Okay, blossoms and birdsong. They’re soft, but they’re also–some days–the crumbs on the pathway that help me find my way. 4. Reflections. Light on the windows. The suggestions of worlds within worlds. Worlds beyond worlds. They way you reflect me, and I reflect you. 5. Smoothies. For some reason, I never really want them in the winter, but spring and summer bring smoothie weather. I look forward to berry season.
May we walk in Beauty!
“Buying a book is not about obtaining a possession. . .but about securing a portal.” —Laura Miller
“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” ―Shannon Hale
“I can promise you that women working together―linked, informed, and educated―can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet.” ―Isabel Allende
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” ―John Muir
“When we went to jail, we were setting our faces against the world, against things as they are, the terrible injustice of our capitalist industrial system which lives by war and by preparing for war.” ―Dorothy Day
“What is not acceptable is silence in face of oppression. Boycott if you want, or participate if you want. But do not remain silent in face of injustice.” ―Omid Safi
“When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.” ―John O’Donohue
“Beauty is an experience, nothing else. It is not a fixed pattern or an arrangement of features. It is something felt, a glow or a communicated sense of fineness. What ails us is our sense of beauty is so bruised and blunted, we miss all the best.” ―D. H. Lawrence
“Poems are maps to the place where you already are.” —Jane Hirshfield
“Be still, and the world is bound to turn herself inside out to entertain you. Everywhere you look, joyful noise is clanging to drown out quiet desperation. The choice is to draw the blinds and shut it all out, or believe.” ―Barbara Kingsolver
“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.” ―Hermann Hesse
April first had a sort-of-haiku poem in it, but today is actually National Haiku Day, so we have to write haiku today. The American form of the ancient Japanese tradition is a three-stanza syllable-count poem with lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. At its most basic, that’s it, but there are further rules to follow, if you want to take on that challenge: Make the theme about nature Focus on a very specific, clear image, and then add a second very crisp image Use sensory words One of the words in the poem gives a sense of the season of the year The third line offers a surprise or twist or shift (often that second image)
Here’s my attempt for the morning: Spring sun warms feathers. Tiny sparrow hops, sees me. The cat is also watching.
Gratitude List: 1. How sun shines on the green 2. How squirrels suddenly stop, and stand with their hands over their hearts, wide-eyed 3. How invigorating a morning shower feels 4. How everything is in bud, is in flower. Me, too. You, too. 5. How wise words enter the labyrinth of the heart.
May we walk in Beauty!
Sunday’s Messages: “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ―Thomas Merton
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ―Thomas Merton
“We see quite clearly that what happens to the nonhuman happens to the human. What happens to the outer world happens to the inner world. If the outer world is diminished in its grandeur then the emotional, imaginative, intellectual, and spiritual life of the human is diminished or extinguished. Without the soaring birds, the great forests, the sounds and coloration of the insects, the free-flowing streams, the flowering fields, the sight of the clouds by day and the stars at night, we become impoverished in all that makes us human.” ―Thomas Berry
“All acts of kindness are lights in the war for justice.” ―Joy Harjo
“We have only begun to know the power that is in us if we would join our solitudes in the communion of struggle.” ―Denise Levertov
“There are two types of people. Avoid them.” —Mary Engelbreit
After four years of watching people I thought were philosophically and spiritually interested in wisdom and truth and justice cast off their moral and ethical clothing, shed their philosophical and ideological grounding, I shouldn’t be shocked at the callousness and cruelty, the active denialism and cult-like disengagement with humanity. But I am. I expected people to be better, and I keep holding out hope that the cruelty and denialism have just been glitches.
But I don’t think so.
People who railed against the “holocaust” of children represented by the seed of life in a zygote have been shrugging their shoulders when born children are torn from their parents’ arms and locked in cages–ill-fed, cold, untended, subject to sexual abuse.
People who spoke fervently and passionately about a fertilized egg’s right to life are actively fighting against programs which offer health care and living wages to the families of born children.
People who called themselves pro-life, who dogmatically claimed to stand for the tiniest little possibility of living humanity in a fetus, saying, “It’s only old people who are dying.” Refusing to wear a mask because it somehow infringes on their rights, when wearing that mask could be the difference between life and death for someone they expose.
People who seemed like educated, thoughtful adults absolutely denying the science and the demographics and the numbers of a disease that is killing thousands of people every day, actively passing on the outright lies.
People who talked about a gospel of “Good News” for all the world, ignoring the suffering of a world in the grip of a global pandemic. Laughing at people who take it seriously, scoffing at mitigation efforts, actively encouraging others to behave in dangerous and irresponsible ways.
I have known that there were nominal Christians who fought for power and wealth and white supremacy instead of Goodness and Love and Peace. That’s nothing new. And there are plenty of Christians who are acting like they care about Jesus, who are standing for justice and caring about life. I guess I just thought there would be more who, when confronted with real life-or-death situations–with a global pandemic, with a profane president, with a world of suffering–would actually decide to walk humbly with Jesus, to do justice, and to love mercy.
In last night’s dream: I am reading a poem, by Whitman or Sandburg or someone like that. I see the lines on the page as the images of the dream unfold.
A small girl is walking a path home to her cabin in the full moon light. (Why are small children always out at night in these stories?!?)
As she is passing a field which was a battlefield in the Civil War, she comes upon an old man, dressed in the tattered remnants of a soldier’s uniform, sitting on a stump in the moonlight. She listens politely while he tells her his story of woe and bitterness.
After his telling, she makes her way home, where her mother bolts the cabin door behind her. She tells her mother (the narrator of the poem) about the old man, and they look out the window to see him sitting there, way in the distance, in the moonlight. As she finishes telling her mother the story, suddenly the old man is in the cabin with them.
The poem (dream) ends with the mother reflecting on how sitting in the bitterness of old battles can turn a person into a vampire.
I think it’s a dream about the danger we’re in right now, with a bitter old soldier who lost his battles, stewing in his rage. He’s always been an energy vampire, and now he’s been mostly ignored for days. He’ll be hungry. Telling his story to each other only feeds him. In the dream, the girl did not invite him in, but he came in anyway, perhaps taking her polite listening as a tacit invitation. Let’s draw our boundaries tightly now, and refuse to let ourselves be drawn in to the old battles again, refuse to listen to his story. We’re in a new place now, a safer place than we were, but we need to be vigilant and aware in order to truly make it safe.
I think that part of what startles me about this dream is that in the fairy tales, you’re supposed to be polite, supposed to listen to the elders, supposed to offer assistance to the poor. This was so clearly not that. Her politeness was all the invitation he needed to enter her space. The time for passive politeness is past. White people, especially, have allowed such evil to blossom through passive politeness, through our lack of confidence in confronting lies and abuse.
My friend Anna reminds me to stand within my truth, leaning neither forward nor backward, to feel myself surrounded by a golden light. One of the many helpers who has appeared to me in a dream is an angelic being made of golden light, with great glowing golden wings, so I feel myself surrounded by my dream-friend’s light, like the golden glow of an autumn morning, when the mists are just rising off the fields and everything is awash with light. This standing in one’s truth, Anna reminds me, is like the essential core of nonresistant philosophy, to know what you believe, and to hold to that, not getting caught up in all the rages and distractions of those who oppose a vision of justice.
I am unsettled today. I feel like it’s time to stop celebrating and start looking around, keeping our noses to the wind, not losing our commitment to standing in the center of our own golden light of truth, but all senses alert to the dangers around us. It began with my dream, the sense that some attention paid to the tattered soldier has given him the “right” of entry. On one hand, I want to let the old ghost fade quietly away into the moonlight without giving it any more attention. On the other hand, I have a sense of impending doom settling on my shoulders this afternoon, a feeling of havoc about to be wreaked, chaos to be unleashed.
I know that is his pattern, to promise destruction and wreckage, and then watch in delight as all the worried citizenry gathers to put out the fires. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. I think it’s time to let it go, to believe that someone is watching and ready to give warning out in the dark night, that everyone is positioned to do their very own job.
In the meantime, in the waiting, in the transition, we give our attention to our work: we continue to call for justice, we keep rooting out white supremacy wherever we see it, especially in ourselves, we dismantle the patriarchy, we protect the vulnerable, we care for the children, we teach critical thinking and analysis, we starve the vampire.
Gratitudes: 1. The golden light of autumn 2. The golden leaves of autumn 3. The golden pillar of energy that helps us to stand within our truth 4. The golden shine of the mushrooms in the Wheel of the Year mandala 5. The golden heart of you
May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Beauty!
Beloveds, I don’t really have much in the way of words to offer this morning, to wade through the bog of my own anxiety to offer hope or resilience. I’m here in my bog, listening. I need to be a teacher today, especially for students who are equally as enmired as I am.
Here in the anxious bog of me today, I sit like an angry old spider. I cast a line from me to you. Catch. Send out webs of your own. While we wait for things to ravel or unravel, we weave and spin and hold our own webs as steady as we may. We are stronger when we are together.
Black lives STILL matter. Love is STILL love is STILL love. Your name and pronouns STILL belong to you. Your body is STILL your own. You STILL have agency. The Planet STILL needs us. The elderly and vulnerable STILL need protection from the coronavirus. STILL, nobody is illegal. Justice is STILL important.
This morning felt so dire, so much a repetition of 2016. Jon and I both woke up at 2:30, and made the perhaps unwise choice to check the returns. My heart was racing, and I figured I wouldn’t get to sleep until I saw something to confirm or allay the anxiety. Look the wolf in the eye, they say. I felt in a visceral way how the anxiety and sense of tragedy of the 2016 election had lodged in my body, and how it replayed itself in the night four years later.
This afternoon, there are a few more reasons to hope. The morning, said Vassilissa’s doll in the Baba Yaga stories, is wiser than the evening. Today, the afternoon is wiser than the morning. Get some distance. Get some rest. Get some perspective.
It’s not over, and won’t be for a long time, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve completely shattered the Democracy quite yet. And the popular vote seems to be pretty definitely against the tyrant.
Here’s the one thing that sticks with me, however, like a grief: It wasn’t a clear and obvious win. My neighbors, good people and salt of the earth in so many ways, have not–by and large–passed the test, choosing instead to vote for white supremacy and patriarchy, for homophobia and transphobia, against the poor and the ill and the immigrants. And I do not know what to do with that.
I don’t feel like I can muster appropriate Gratitudes today. Perhaps a couple Commitments might stand in: 1. I commit to not respond smugly if Biden wins. I will express relief and hope if it happens (because I am human and must live my emotions), but I will not be smug, and especially I will try to be open to the pain and confusion of people for whom that is frightening, even though I do not understand it. 2. No matter who wins this election, I commit to standing for justice and compassion, for Black and Indigenous People and other People of Color, for LGBTQ+ folx, for women, for immigrants, for poor and houseless people, for all who are harmed by our systems. I commit to pushing whoever is president for the next four years (and other elected officials) to do right by the people, especially whose who have not been truly free and equal. 3. I commit to harbor no illusions that the lesser of two evils is the savior. 4. I commit to walk this together with you, my Beloveds, and to ask for help when I am sinking.
May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. In Beauty.
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
I took an online class on Saturday morning on redacted and black-out poetry. While I have worked with this format in the past, this two-hour session really inspired me. I’ve broken through a bit of a wall in the Found Poetry realm in the past few days.
Gratitude List: 1. Finding poetry 2. Toads in the leaves 3. Going rambling with the fambly 4. Looking forward to an educational conference (online) today. I am becoming increasingly worried that Pennsylvanians’ refusal to just wear the mask will mean we have to teach online during at least part of the fall semester, and I don’t want to go into that kicking and screaming. This should provide me with strategies for teaching, no matter what happens. (And yes, that was a gratitude infected by a snarky dig.) 5.The little air conditioner. I don’t tolerate the heat/humidity nexus quite like I used to.
May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty!
“We live by mystery, not by explanations.” —Cecil Collins
“For we have, built into all of us, old blueprints of expectation and response; old structures of oppression, and these must be altered at the same time as we alter the living conditions which are a result of those structures. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.
As Paulo Freire shows so well in “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, the true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us, and which knows only the oppressors’ tactics, the oppressors’ relationships.” —Audre Lorde
“Live in the center of your life.” ―Sark
“Cluster together like stars.” ―Henry Miller
“Now that you’ve awakened. . .immediately take a nap! Naps are when the angels come out to take special care of you.” ―Sark
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.
The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.
Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ―Arundhati Roy
“Every child of ours needs to learn the simple truth: She is the energy of the Sun. And we adults should organize things so her face shines with the same radiant joy.” ―Rob Brezsny
“In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.” ―Clarissa Pinkola Estés
“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except to be able to grow in rows” ―Doug Larson
Today is Summer Solstice, the beginning of the season of learning our passions, tending our fires, meditating on our energies.
What fires you up? The ancient Greeks called the Fire nature within us our choler, so people who have a lot of fire are often called choleric. We’ve simplified that complicated idea in modern days to mean quick to anger, but it’s also about passion and energy.
When it comes to emotional responses, I can be choleric–quick to get angry, quick to get excited, quick to respond. And I often sustain those passionate emotions over time, burning coals. Physically, I tend to be more phlegmatic, less able to sustain energy over the long haul, preferring to sit quietly and read or make things than to be up and doing.
What makes you angry? What is your trigger for the rage-fires? How can you use that energy to help you bring about change and transformation? Fire transforms landscapes, not only destroying with fierce and random abandon, but creating spaces for new life to grow, new structures to be built. Will you pledge to learn about your anger, how to control and direct it so that it burns down old and tired and unjust systems in order to make way for new and love-filled ways of being that have space for all to breathe?
Do you tend, like me, to the sedentary life: quiet, still, and restful? How can we use this season of fire to feed us the energy to move our bodies, to revel in the fire of muscles moving, of our bodies in motion? Use this season of fire as a time to revel in the way your body moves. Careful now–it’s not a time to hate and despise the bodies we’re in because they’re bigger or slower or flabbier than we want them to be. Let’s live this season of fire to exist in the joy of being in these bodies we’ve chosen, to marvel in the senses, to move, to stretch, to learn speed and strength and limberness.
Summer Solstice is a time, too, to think about what sparks joy. Justice and joy are not things we need to choose between. They feed each other, if we let them, if we keep our hearts focused on their flames. Where do you see Beauty? (I usually capitalize Beauty because I believe it is the Holy One’s middle name.) What fills you? How does your love of Beauty feed your flames of desire for justice?
What ideas and images catch passionate fire in your brain? Flash of birdwing, the shade of red in that quilt, the way those words sound together, the crinkle at the corners of your beloved’s eyes. How can you feed the coals of those fires that fill you with passion? Fire season is the source of the energy of creation, of making, of designing, of appreciating Beauty. Give yourself to those fires. Feel the way they make you sizzle and roar to life.
A Blessed Solstice to you!
Gratitude: The fires of justice, of love, of making, of delight, of transformation. May we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in Beauty! Blessed Solstice!
“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” ―Bayard Rustin
“Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.” ―Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems
“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.” —Howard Zinn
“It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed.” —Laura McBride
“Love lit a fire in my chest, and everything that wasn’t love left.” –Rumi
“Developing your feeling takes time, especially if it has been systematically discouraged in you. There may be an initial layer of numbness or anger you have to move through and, beyond that, a backlog of grief. But as you make the seemingly bottomless descent, it helps to remember that grief is the downpour your soul has been thirsting for. Like rain, the more excellently and prodigiously you grieve, the more growth and fertility you can expect. There is a future beyond the spiritual aridity and meaninglessness of our time, teeming with life. If each of us has the tenacity to retrieve the elixirs of our discomforts, our combined medicine will heal the collective wound.” —Toko-pa Turner