Elemental

The other day when I got the mail, I pulled a nest-like spider web off one of the letters (that was a fast-working spider!), and without really thinking I spun it like wool. I know that spider web is strong, but I was pretty startled at how incredibly strong this little twist of web is. Think how powerful we become as a movement when we spin firm webs of our deep connections to each other as beloved humans.

Last week, a friend of mine asked me to write a poem for her and her friends who are having a bonfire circle, a healing time and a safe space to express their fears and anxieties and anger and hope in a time when their lives and identities are in danger–it’s a racially diverse group with many gay and trans folks. I love how she has taken on this healing work, and I am so proud to be her friend, and so honored to write a poem to bless them.

You Are Elemental
by Beth Weaver-Kreider
for Faith and her Friends
and in memory of Rem’mie Fells and Riah Milton

Someone once told me we are made of starstuff.
Enough of the dust of the cosmos breathes through us
that we can believe we belong, made as we are
of the essence of that which forms all that is.
Whatever you believe about yourself, know this:
you belong in the web of it all. You are an elemental
miracle of a living, breathing being, and you are the
very expression of Desire Itself, manifested.

Whatever you experience of masculinity or femininity,
what you experience as androgyny, all of that
is emblematic of your Divinity, your connection
to the Source from which we all are born.
Don’t let them tell you, no matter how unsettled
you may feel in the body you were born in,
that you are not made in sacred grace,
each atom, each particle, each space within you,
formed as you are of earth and water,
wind and flame–every name you choose
that means your soul and spirit,
that means your own transforming body,
is sacred, holy, breath and birth.

You, whose journey is all about
transforming who you are into who
you feel yourself to be, are built into the likeness
of the One who made the world, created
in the shape of the Universe Itself,
whose very name is Change, which set
the rules in motion, to cause the caterpillar
to feel her unsettled urge to break away
from caterpillar life, to take his time
in his quiet cocoon, to emerge as their own
beautiful butterfly. You make yourself,
you match yourself to yourself,
you rhyme, you move to the subtle rhythms
driven by the itch for mutability
placed within you by the Holy One Themself.

May you breathe deeply in the skin you’re in.
May you feel your holy fires awaken.
May the blood that pulses in the rivers of your veins
remind you of the waters of the Earth
which bring you, again and again, to birth,
as you shape and form and create yourself
to be the you you know yourself to be.
May the very Earth you walk on hold you up
and remind you every day that you Belong.
Blessed Be.

Kind of a creepy-looking thumbnail, but it was the best of the three that YT offered me.

Gratitude List:
1. Webs
2. Spinning strands together
3. The tender human connections the Fab 5 model
4. FINALLY starting a project that has been hanging over my head, literally. Yesterday, I spent several hours scraping the ceiling of the balcony porch to get it ready to re-paint. It is going to take days, and I don’t have the stamina for more than two or three hours of it at a time. But it is started!
5. Yesterday, we caught glimpses of one of the young raccoons searching the hillside for grubs and bugs. Jon got a good photo of it from the treehouse where he was nailing up walls. Last week, we discovered the body of one of the others, and it’s been hurting my heart so that I can hardly even type the truth of it. It was good to see life continuing on with such focus and curiosity in its sibling.

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


“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. . .

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.” —Tom Robbins


“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ―Victor Hugo


“Everybody’s In, Baby.” ―The Love Warriors


“And when she wanted to see the face of God, she didn’t look up and away; she looked into the eyes of the person next to her. Which is Harder. Better.” ―Glennon Doyle


“When we ask for help, we are building community. We are doing away with this notion that we should be practicing at detachment. We are rapturously attaching! We become responsible for tending to one another’s pieces. Not only is the giver allowed to express their bestowing heart, the receiver is taken into a greater tenderness of their own giving nature. As we grow our capacity for gratitude, which is another way of saying completeness or belonging, we are healing our tinygiant part of the world’s devastating wound of scarcity.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“Forever is composed of nows.” ―Emily Dickinson


Rob Brezsny: ‘So it turns out that the “blemish” is actually essential to the beauty. The “deviation” is at the core of the strength. The “wrong turn” was crucial to you getting you back on the path with heart.’


“If not for reverence, if not for wonder, if not for love, why have we come here?” ―Raffi


“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ―Anne Frank

O’er Rough and Smooth to Travel

Jon found this bookplate in an old book he is selling at work. It was a thin volume, a sort of literary guide to Jerusalem. Because he is who he is, Jon had the idea to Google their names, and he found an image of their gravestone, near Philadelphia. Lincoln Cartledge died at age fifty, while Letty Merrell Shallcross Cartledge lived into her eighties. We became sort of melanchly considering how short their side-by-side travel actually was. Further searches find other old and rare books being sold online noting the Cartledges’ tender bookplate, and several references to, and a few images from, Lincoln Cartledge’s career as a photographer in the Philadelphia area.

At some point, in the very early 1900s, when this couple got married, they placed at least a few special personalized bookplates in their book collection. Over a century later, strangers are moved by the inscription–“O’er rough and smooth to travel side by side”–and left with an ache of knowing how short their side-by-side travel was. Make the most of the rough and smooth that you are traveling side by side with your beloveds. We never know how how short or long our time will be.

Ah. And I said that up there about Jon being the researcher he is, and now, of course, I see again how this is one of the elements that draws us together, because I can’t stop the researches this morning. The phrase comes from this poem:

Sonnet to a Friend
By Hartley Coleridge (1796–1849)

WE parted on the mountains, as two streams
From one clear spring pursue their several ways;
And thy fleet course hath been through many a maze
In foreign lands, where silvery Padus gleams
To that delicious sky, whose glowing beams
Brightened the tresses that old poets praise;
Where Petrarch’s patient love and artful lays,
And Ariosto’s song of many themes,
Moved the soft air. But I, a lazy brook,
As close pent up within my native dell,
Have crept along from nook to shady nook,
Where flow’rets blow, and whispering Naiads dwell.
Yet now we meet, that parted were so wide,
O’er rough and smooth to travel side by side.

Hartley Coleridge is, as you have guessed, the son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wikipedia (the teacher’s favorite source to hate) says that his father even wrote about him in two poems: “Frost at Midnight” and “The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem.” You can follow those rabbit trails if you choose. Does the poem sound sort of Wordsworthian to you? No surprise there: He wrote the poem for Dorothy Wordsworth, William’s sister, also a writer. You can use The Google to find a book about their friendship: Dorothy Wordsworth and Hartley Coleridge: The Poetics of Relationship written by Nicola Healey.

Rabbit trails. May your trails be pleasant today, Soulkin, and bring you small delights of discovery, whatever trails you follow.


Gratitude List:
1. Research rabbit trails. On the Enneagram, I am a 7, which means that when we first studied the Enneagram together, I kept saying I thought I was this or that or another thing, probably all of them (7s want to experience EVERYTHING). Deep down, I thought I was probably a 7, but I didn’t feel like I was worthy of the number, not being adventurous enough. Everyone else said, “Duh, you’re a 7,” so I accepted it gladly. I think I have a pretty strong 6 wing, but I can fall with a thud into 8 when I am stressed. Eights are the people I am most likely to fight with, including my own stressy self. All that to preface the point that I adore my solid 5 of a husband, and I love to follow his researchy rabbit trails. I can’t wait for him to wake up today so I can show him the things I have discovered about the Cartledges and the source of the phrase on their bookplate.
2. People keeping the pressure on the system for change. Whatever you do to be part of that, keep doing it.
3. Time to READ! I’m finishing my half-read books so I can get working on the stack, which has grown even taller in recent days.
4. Soulkin. That’s us. I wish I had crafted that word myself. I discovered it somewhere online. It’s what we are, you and I on our parallel and mingled and divergent journeys.
5. That viny brambly mess on the bluff is threatening to take over the world, but it’s got a thousand shades of green, and all sorts of tinyfolk live in its secret ways, so we must take great care in how we tidy it up, so as not to disturb the families of the little ones who live there. And messy as it is, it’s got a wild beauty.

Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly–in Beauty!


“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.” —Hannah Arendt


“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ―Audre Lorde


Omid Safi says:
“There are three times in life when we experience this kind of a loveglance.
With our parents, our beloved, and a spiritual teacher.
How lovely the glance, how lovely the glancer, how lovely the one glanced at.”


“You are not an Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you.” —Vandana Shiva


“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.” ―Lao Tzu


“If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something.” ―Federico Fellini


“When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.” ―Jane Austen


Rob Brezsny:
Thomas Merton’s notion of what makes a saint doesn’t have to do with being a perfectly sinless paragon of virtue. The more important measure of sanctity, he said, is one’s ability to see what’s good and beautiful in other people. The truly holy person “retires from the struggle of judging others.”


You are the mountain, but awake.‬
‪You are the rain, but breathing.‬
‪You are the forest, but unanchored. ‬
‪You are the soil, but with choice.‬
‪You are the sunlight, but dreaming.‬

‪Soon, you will be these things again. Mountain. Rain. Forest. Sunlight.‬

‪So, what will you do until then?‬
—Jarod K. Anderson, The Cryptonaturalist

Make Sure They Can Tell That You Love Them

Looking out the southern window of the living room just now, I was struck by the vertiginous sense that the world outside was twisting and shifting. It took me a moment to realize that it was the willow tree, beyond the black branches of sycamore and dogwood in my foreground, a yellow veil flowing back and forth in the dawn breezes.

Not everything that appears disconcerting and unsettling needs to be feared. That is not to say that fear and horror are not logical and acceptable responses to these altered days; but it is a reminder to myself (and you, if you want it) that the horror is not all-encompassing. Not everything should be interpreted through the lens of Pandemic. I need to keep reclaiming Wonder and Awe, grasping Calm and Centeredness, reaching out in Love and Openness.

Last evening, about twenty-five people/families from my congregation participated in a Zoom meeting, re-connecting, telling our stories, smiling and laughing together. And then in the night, I had my first teleconferencing dream. There was a screen with the whole Brady Bunch grid of a group meeting, and someone was saying, “Make sure they can tell that you love them through the screen.” That was it, but every time I woke up in the early morning, I saw that image, heard that voice.


Gratitude List:
1. Dream messages
2. Two weeks before the Exile, I went to Goodwill near my school and pulled a bunch of big sweaters and shawls out of the by-the-pound bins. I brought them home and washed them, and felt a little odd for buying more sweaters just as spring was breaking. I have been incredibly grateful, in these anxious and chilly days, to have big sweaters to wrap around me.
3. Even a week of working from home needs a weekend (especially, actually). Tome to catch my breath. Friday’s here.
4. The aconite have gone to seed, after blooming early this year, but the green umbrellas remain, and I take the seed pods and sprinkle them across the bank out front. Last year, I sprinkled them under the sycamore, and this year we had yellow blossoms there.
5. Cress. Bitter cress and water cress, and actually all the spring greens. Yesterday I made a spring greens milky soup. It actually didn’t taste as good as I was longing for it to, but it tasted healthy, so there’s that. I felt fed and tended by the land. I trailed my fingers through the frigid water of the stream as I was picking water cress.

Take care of each other. Walk in Beauty!


“Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but as a path to Awakening.” —Yogananda


“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” —Hermes Trismegistus


“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” —Jane Goodall


“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” —Henri Nouwen


“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” —Margaret Atwood


“Privilege is when you think something’s not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” —attributed to many authors


Dea Ex Machina
by Beth Weaver-Kreider

What we speak
we create.
Writing,
we make meaning
into existence.

These words, cogs
and gears, shift
meaning to matter:

“Let there be. . .”
And there is.

And it is good.

Mostly Rantless

No rants today. I think that from here on out, today will be rantless for me (I can’t call the whole day rantless because I accidentally ranted a bit on Facebook this morning. Ranting is also good for waking up.)

I have a sadness: Our resident Great Blue Heron has died. We need to go do something to honor the body, at least place it serenely in the woods, so the People Who Deal with Death can do their work. The vultures and worms and their communities of goodfolk. I will take photos of the Beautiful One’s feathers. I just need to steel myself. I am not naturally brave with Death, although I value Her, and trust Her.

I also have a lovely happiness: I have no essays to grade this weekend. My soul is free for two days. I need to make something.


Gratitude List:
1. The birdlife here in the hollow. So sad to lose our Blue Heron friend, but this is part of the Cycle. Others will come in their time. Meanwhile, the small wingfolk are singing Spring.
2. Brunch at 301 Cafe! We haven’t done that yet, but it’s in the plan!
3. No big grading this weekend. I feel so light, I could float away.
4. Reassuring dreams
5. Meditating

May we walk in Beauty!

Breathe. Ground. Prepare.

Sweet Shining and Shadowy Beloveds:
This morning, it’s hard to keep believing in justice, hard to keep the long view in mind, hard to hold a vision of a world in which people of courage make decisions for the good of all, with wisdom, humility, and honor.

Part of me longs to enumerate all the horrors and destructions of the past week, to see the hurts laid out like a cadaver, to identify each killing blow, each bruise, each scar.

But that would only serve to feed the rising panic that’s been gathering in my gut this week, and perhaps in yours, too. Those pieces will come later, in poems. But now it’s time to tend to ourselves, to shore up and take stock and plan our way forward.

Let’s fight this collective panic attack. If we’re left lost and quivering, we only feed their power. Oh yes, I’m lost this morning, and quivering, too, re-traumatized. Let’s acknowledge it, notice where it lodges in our bodies.

My muscles actually ache from all the tightness I’ve been holding in. My head is pounding and my brain is foggy.

Now, it’s time to push back the panic:
Breathe in.
Straighten your spine. Lower your shoulders.
Breathe out.
Roll your neck and shoulders.
Stretch and wriggle your spine until you feel yourself to be a line drawn between heaven and earth, a conduit of energy that flows through you.
Breathe in. Breathe out.

Notice every place your body is touching a surface. Notice the sensations in your body.
My backside and thighs on the chair. One foot on the floor, one on a chair rail. This cozy jacket keeps me just warm enough. My tongue’s a little scalded from that first sip of coffee.

What do you hear?
The water in the cat’s drinking fountain, a small boy clicking his tongue, the creaking of an old house on a chilly morning.

What do you taste? (Grab a bite of something, or remember a favorite taste sensation.)
The bite of pepper and the creamy counterpart in the pepperjack cheese.

What do you smell?
Coffee, vanilla, springtime

Look around you. Find a color, a texture, a beautiful thing.
The shining scarlet drop of red on the head of that downy woodpecker. The sweet, soft salmon leaves of the Japanese maple, still clinging to the branches and twigs. So many winter goldfinches on the thistle bag!

Now, here we are in the doorway of a new season.
Today and tomorrow mark the beginning of Imbolc, the Season of Stirrings. New life is coming, cold snap or not. Sap will rise. Seeds will sprout. The Earth spins and whirls on in her dance through the cosmos.

One of the old names for today is Candlemas, when we acknowledge how the light has been within us all along, how much light we have to offer. Take stock of your candles. What is the small flame that you can offer the world in this moment? What is the fuel that you share?

Perhaps you are already doing it–tending daily to children or calling your senators, teaching teenagers to ask discerning questions or planting seeds for the crops that will feed your neighbors, healing bodies, gathering friends, listening. Today, this week, this month, do that work like a prayer, like a magic spell. Do it with intention, knowing that your work is changing the world, that what you do is fighting the forces of wanton destruction and power-mongering.

And maybe take up another thing this week. Make cranes for the Tsuru for Solidarity March, when Japanese Americans for social justice will be marching on Washington in early June to demand the closure of internment camps in the United States. Become an advocate for immigration reform. Send money or food to groups who are taking food to asylum-seekers forced to wait in inhumane conditions in Mexico. Express your support for Muslim people, and people from African and Asian countries which have been added to the US travel bans. Help people register to vote.

To combat the lies and obfuscations: Speak truth. Magically. Prayerfully.
To combat the normalized cruelty: Speak compassion and tenderness. Prayerfully. Magically.
To combat the power-mongering: Share your privilege. Offer the microphone, the stage, the moment. Do it prayerfully. Do it magically.
To combat the greed-mongering: Be generous. Give. Share. Do it magically and prayerfully.

Another ancient name for this day, this season, is Brigid, after the ancient goddess of the Celtic peoples, who offered her muse to poets, to metalworkers, and to healers. She later became syncretized with the beloved St. Brighid, and so this aspect of human understanding of the Divine was not lost. Water and flame and word are her tools, her symbols. Today, make a poem, or make art, or make a nourishing broth to honor the gifts the Holy One has given you to make and change and heal. Do it prayerfully, as an act of defiant hope in the face of lies and cruelty and greed.

And also, this is the Groundhog’s moment. Tomorrow is the day when we check on the burrowers and the underworld dwellers. What light do they see? What shadows? In Advent, we walked into our own shadows. On Epiphany, we celebrated our light. And now, as we feel the heavy weight of the week’s shadows like a physical burden upon our shoulders, we must acknowledge and greet our own shadows. How do they give us power? How do they sap our power? Can we work with them instead of against them? Can we find their deepest meanings?

We can’t know what the coming days will bring. Too many signs point toward historical repetitions that turn me to salt, to stone. I freeze. I feel small and insignificant. But I must remember, constantly: Nothing we do now–to fight the tides of hatred and cruelty, to stand between the powerful and the vulnerable, to create holiness and beauty and health–will be wasted, no matter what happens. Now, perhaps more than ever, every act of hope and healing and love matters.

And:

We are not alone. You are not alone. Reach out. Take hands. Build the webs. Ask for help, and be the helper.

Let’s situate ourselves so that we are always ready–strong enough, centered enough, grounded enough–to step up and do the work of love and compassion and justice, to stand up, to stand between, to risk, to raise our voices, to be the fierce and defiant hope for the future we want to create.

In the Circle of You

Gratitude List:
1. Vulnerable story-sharing. From exclusion and silencing to belonging and connection. May we all be safe harbors for people seeking belonging.
2. Rainbows in the weaving
3. People across the US are bonding out asylum seekers who have been kept in detention centers and prisons. You can help, too, by going to IBAEPA.org–the Immigration Bond and Advocacy Effort–to help bond out immigrants who are being held in York County Prison. Good people are doing good work. Thanks to these forward-thinking folks.
4. Balancing the science-mind and the mystical-mind. They inform and express each other, when we stop pitting them against each other. Einstein knew the secret.
5. You. I’ve seen how people come to you, their hearts battered by past exclusions and defeats, their sense of worthiness destroyed by dogma and doctrines, and how you open the arms of your heart, and it’s clear that that kind of refusal will never happen here, in the circle of you. Thank you.

May we walk in Love!

Will You Answer the Call of Love?

A shadow is a kind of reflection.

Today’s Prompt is to write a correspondence poem. Mine will be about the elemental correspondences with the cardinal directions.

In the east, the birds are singing the day awake,
the breezes whisper through the branches,
and all the bells are ringing.
Inspiration flies in on golden wings.
Weave, spin, and cut the threads
with a two-edged blade of finest silver.
What is being born in you?

To the south, the sun is burning,
and that which came to you as woven light
begins to kindle and flame up.
Life force surges all around you,
and you feel your own fires rising.
Nurture the burning within you.
What is calling you to dance?

In the west, the creeks and brooks
tumble over stones and sand and clay,
on their way to rivers and bays and oceans.
Now is the time to listen to your heart,
to flow with the feelings that stream
through you and around you.
What is the message of your heart?

To the north, the wolves are howling,
where caves are hidden in the boulders.
The roots of things travel fathoms deep,
and earth is a solid base for your footsteps.
Your body is your home, and you must tend it,
listening for echoes from within the earth herself.
What holds and supports you?

Move to the center and feel the spirit swirling,
the place where wind and flame,
water and stone meet and quicken,
where animating breath meets life force,
where heart meets head, and stone becomes flesh,
and the Beloved calls you to Become.
Will you answer the call of Love?

Caretakers in the Garden of the Beloved

The prompt for today is two-fold: Write a love/anti-love poem.

You have heard it said,
though no holy book has said it,
“You shall love the sinner,
and you shall hate the sin,”
which some have interpreted to mean
that they shall cast away
all whose love does not resemble their own.
They have given themselves license
to harass, to bully, and to goad.

But I say unto you:
The world has had too much of hatred.
You shall turn your eyes
from the subject of sinning.
You shall love whom the Beloved loves.
You shall seek after love,
watch for love as a gardener
watches for tender shoots,
and nurtures them,
and breathes upon them.

You have no time for anything
abstract as hatred.
You shall be the Caretakers of love,
the Beloved’s own gardeners,
tending love wherever you see it,
in whatever form it takes,
nurturing bud to blossom.

Rivers of Life


I carefully outlined the significant stages of my life, but somehow forgot to put my 18-22 section on there–and that was a SIGNIFICANT part of my life. It’s where I met Jon, where I met my lifelong friends. Where I learned to hold on to love even through a rough patch. I want to remake it in paint or colored pencils.

I am pretty strongly anti-established-religion. White Christian evangelicals in the US today are complicit with such great evils that I want nothing to do with them. I see people who say they follow the way of Jesus shrugging their shoulders and ignoring the pain of children torn from their parents by a government they support. I see them rabidly calling for more ill-treatment of people seeking asylum at our borders. I see them fighting for systems and policies that further marginalize people who are ill and struggling with poverty. I see them speaking with vitriol and rancor toward people of color, LGBTQ people, women, people from other countries. The list goes on.

There’s a quotation, often attributed to Gandhi (though perhaps erroneously), that goes: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I’m a fan of Jesus, too. I just don’t like a lot of the people who claim him. I don’t think it’s possible to really “get” who Jesus was and support a political administration that tears families apart, that regularly spews such racist and xenophobic and homophobic and misogynist hatred. I sound really judgey here, and I try hard not to be judgey, but I can’t withhold my judgement at times of great injustice and destruction.

On the other hand, I love a lot of Christians. In fact, despite its harsh beginning, this post is really about a church that I love, a place where I–with all my wild, witchy, unsettled, doubtful, defiant, questioning universalism–can feel belonging. We’re all welcome in this place, and questions are blessed, and crunchy feelings are held and observed together. Some people use very specific God-language that I couldn’t bring out of my own mouth, but I don’t feel uncomfortable because my own non-specific and outside-the-box language is accepted, too. I am not the only one who calls the Holy One by the name of Mystery. And I don’t want to be in a place where everyone believes exactly the same thing–just a place like this, where Love is the guiding principle.

And we sing together. And we make art. And we talk and dream and stand up to the powers together. We talk earnestly with each other and we laugh together, and cry. Our children feel safe and loved. It’s Real Church. It’s good community. I am grateful for each of the individuals who make up the circle of us.

Gratitude List:
1. Making collages with Chloe and Monica and the others this weekend at camp. Drawing the Rivers of our Lives with Josiah and Andrea and Maggie. Soulful art-making.
2. Storytelling. Vulnerable, life-affirming, tear-filled, laughter-filled, life-sharing storytelling.
3. Fudgy chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. I have severely curtailed my sweets intake in the past month, and I don’t let myself eat sugary things unless I am absolutely sure it will be worth it. This cake was completely worth it.
4. Christine’s Box of Tea. I tried the Stash Chocolate Hazelnut, which was sublime.
5. We are in the Golden Season: Goldenrod, sunflowers, slanting sunlight in the afternoons, Jerusalem artichokes, yellow walnut leaves. Glorious golden! Now for some coolness, please?

May we walk in Beauty!


“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” —Christopher Walken
*****
“Who has not sat before his own heart’s curtain? It lifts, and the scenery is falling apart.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke
*****
“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance.” —David Whyte
*****
“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its’ imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them.” —Annie Dillard
*****
“Forms are the symbols of formless divine principles; symbolism is the language of nature.”
—Manly P. Hall
*****
“One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening become a lie.” —C. G. Jung
*****
From Omid Safi:
The great mystic Zol Nun (Dhu ‘l-Nun) met a woman at the sea shore.

He asked her: “What is the end of love?” She answered: “O simpleton, love has no end.”

He asked why.
She said: “Because God, the Beloved, has no end.”
*****
“Whenever one person stands up and says, ‘Wait a minute, this is wrong,’ it helps other people do the same.“ —Gloria Steinem
*****
In the silence before time began, in the quiet of the womb,
in the stillness of early morning is your beauty.
At the heart of all creation,
at the birth of every creature,
at the centre of each moment
is your splendour.
Rekindle in me the sparks of your beauty
that I may be part of the splendour of this moment. Rekindle in me the sparks of your beauty
that I may be part of the blazing splendour
that burns from the heart of this moment. —John Philip Newell
*****
Hafiz:
“I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
the Astonishing Light
of your own Being.”
*****
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution” —Emma Goldman

Ride the Wave


Today’s prompt is to write a poem titled __________ Wave.

Ride the Wave

If you watch closely
as it approaches
you can begin to feel
the energy enter your body
before the water
even takes shape.

Enter the sound and the color
before the matter engages you.

And suddenly you are part of it,
caught in the song of it,
bound in the curve and the crash
and the pull of the wave.


Gratitude List:
1. Speedwell and dandelion and grape hyacinth and violet and deadnettle. The little quiet beauties that catch your eye when you’re least expecting it. “Wake up now,” they say.
2. Spring in the air
3. People who put their souls and hearts into what they do. Art that is more than technical perfection, but is a reflection of humanity.
4. Getting some of the work done. Not nearly enough. But some. The load begins to lift.
5. Blooming. Flowers, children, teenagers, relationships, work, ideas.

May we walk in Beauty!