Musings, Poems

Voices Made of Fire

If you could trust your voice completely,
if you didn’t have to consider how how others would respond,
if you didn’t have to be safe, to be tame, to be docile and
humble, acceptable and charming and quiet,
if you had not been trained to make your words
into an easy chair, to turn your voice to honey:
What would you say?

Gratitudes, Musings

Sacred Eating

1. Eating Verlen’s pepper. Great gratitude to the person who harvested them and brought them to church. It feels like such a sacred moment to share the food of a friend who has died. I could feel his smile.
2. Graceful lines of ink on paper
3. Stretching, strengthening
4. Origami. I found a pattern for a sweet little bat today, and my second try turned out a darling little critter. Now I need to find some pliable black paper.
5. Making knots in string. Crocheting again. All these bits of art and craft that make make life shiny.

May we walk in Beauty!

“Why are you so determined to keep your wild silently inside you? Let it breathe. Give it a voice. Let it roll out of you on the wide open waves. Set it free.”
―Jeanette LeBlanc
“Lots of people talk to animals. . . . Not very many listen though. . .that’s the problem.” ―Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
“When war is our only industry, the only crop is blood.” ―Will Giles
So that your own heart
Will grow.

So God will think,
I got kin in that body!
I should start inviting that soul over
For coffee and

Because this is a food
Our starving world

Because that is the purest
“My journey has taught me that I must learn religion as the mystics learned it, through the inward quest that Jungian psychology has helped me with so much. Banding together in institutions, whether religious, academic or professional, helps some feel secure and able to look down on the unenlightened. But I’ve clearly learned that the inward quest must become one’s own before it’s any good at all.”
—Bud Harris, Ph.D.
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: “When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?” —Gabrielle Roth
“Blessed be your longing. Your endless ache. Your sharp crystal shatter. Your sea glass heart.” ―Jeannette LeBlanc

Gratitudes, Musings, Poems, Poetry Prompts

Case Clothed

The prompt for today was to write a “Case ______” poem. I immediately thought of Case Closed, but that felt really cliched, almost what the prompt was fishing for. Then Jon made some comment on my outfit for the day, something about my sartorial responsibility, and suddenly I was off and running. My closet isn’t quite as dire as this makes it sound, perhaps, but. . .well. . .perhaps it is.

Case Clothed

It’s a clear case of sartorial irresponsibility,
a cache of clothes exploded to infinity.
My closet’s filled with clothes that don’t suit me.
Textures and colors that please the eye,
but little that fits my current sensibility,
which is perhaps my own inability
to see the consequences of my own materiality,
to truly understand the concept of simplicity.
It’s time to chase my self-indulgence with austerity,
And close the case on this insanity.

Gratitude List:
1. Soft fur, soft feathers, soft blankets
2. Wildness
3. Wind
4. Poetry
5. Perspective

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings


It has been a long time since I have made a corn dollie. I think it’s because the preparation process is a lot of work–saving the best of the husks and drying them without letting them mold, then soaking them. Yesterday while Josiah and I were out walking, I started picking up corn husks and flowers, and I made myself a wild little dollie. It was a lot harder to work with the brittle husks that I picked up in the field, but it was extremely satisfying, and I like the wild look of her–my “proper” dollies look really tame and domesticated in comparison. We got back from our walk at dusk, so the photo is a little dark.

Gratitude List:
1. Wildness
2. Wind
3. Warmth
4. Wisdom
5. Watchfulness

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Musings

The Wildest One


Lately, I have been calling her The Wildest One.

We say God, we say Goddess. Great Mother or Holy Father. Some of us say gods instead, and why shouldn’t that be appropriate for a concept that is beyond the ability of our brains to comprehend? Like Madeline L’Engle’s conceptualization of a seraphim, so incomprehensibly complex that it’s a being of many-in-one. Why shouldn’t the One be also Many?

I am not even sure that the category of Being is quite apt, quite complete. Being. Force. Abstract Idea. Conceptual Framework.

We say God is Love. But is Love God?

I like the names Source, Matrix, Creator, Web of all Being. Beauty. Magnum Mysterium–the Greatest Mystery. Impersonal forces and ideas, yet oh-so-personal, because there’s a reflection of it inside me. I think it’s there inside everyone, a spark just waiting to be kindled, waiting to flash out.  (But am I spiritually colonizing others, when I say that I think that there’s a god-thing in everyone? A Goodness?)

The Wildest One. Because the wild will not be wholly known, will not be conquered, nor tamed. Because something wild within me longs for connection with the Wildest One.  We think of wild as predatory, ferocious, dangerous, red in tooth and claw. I suppose there are aspects of ferocity and danger here, but wild is also untamability, growth outside boundaries, that which will not be kept in a house. Wild is the curious faces of bat-eared fox kits that my brother and I watched popping up out of their burrows. Wild is the quiet hippopotamus grazing on the bank of the river. Wild is the wren who makes her home in human habitations, but ever on her own terms. Wild is the geese and the monarchs and the hummingbirds and the dragonflies winging south for winter.  Wild is the green that covers everything, the moment the clippers and trimmers have been put away.

Gratitude List:
1. Holding on to each other.
2. Listening across distances.
3. Wise ones.
4. Wildness.
5. Wilderness.

May we walk in Beauty, in Wildness.


Living into the Wildness of Abundance


Gratitude List:
1.  The Lancaster Emergency Women’s Winter Shelter.  I am grateful that my church and so many organizations in Lancaster participate in making sure the program is staffed with volunteers throughout the winter.  It’s cold out there, and dangerous at night.  The motto for the program is “Safe.  Warm. Dry.”
2. Baked oatmeal with mixed berries for supper on a cold night.
3. The Here and Now piece yesterday on NPR about the hyenas of Harar, Ethiopia, and the man who feeds them.  When the city was built in the 13th century, low entry passages were left in the thick walls, so the hyenas could come and go throughout the city.
4. Getting enough sleep.  I lost sleep over the weekend because I did a shift at the shelter, but I have had time for naps, and lately I fall right back to sleep when I wake in the night.  I even struggle to wake up in the mornings instead of my body pushing me out of bed at 4.  I will receive this with gratitude for as long as it lasts.
5. Sunday’s sermon. Live with a belief in abundance: I have abundant time, sleep, resources to accomplish my Work.  There is enough for all of us.  The church has certainly twisted and skewed this concept over time: to believe in abundance is to believe that God will make you wealthy, to exploit the earth for material resources.  I have responded to that erroneous thinking by shifting to a sometimes scrimping frugality that has me living with a sense of scarcity, of never having enough time, enough sleep, enough resources–and that pushes me into a hoarding spirit, not just of stuff, but of time and spirit–and this can be paralyzing.  Writing these gratitude lists has helped me to learn to appreciate the abundance of my life.  The words on Sunday helped me to look at how I can deepen that belief and live into the wildness of that.

May we walk in Beauty!