Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Love anyway


When everything you’ve worked so hard to build is in ruins — 
love anyway.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What truly matters


We artists paint and write or dance and sing;
we act, or bake, or cook and clean;
we protest, we plant gardens;
we adopt both pets and children —
All ways of bringing hope into this troubled world;
declaring worth, patience, and care —
to say, despite it all, this truly matters...

Monday, April 15, 2019

How can you help?


Whose burden might you ease today?
Whose heavy heart could you lift up
with a simple act of kindness?
What might you do to lighten
the dark corners of our world?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Holding out hope


Whenever dark clouds, gathering on the horizon,
seem destined to extinguish hope, or joy,
we hold within our hearts trust and awareness
that light waits just beyond the cross and cave;
that flowers lost to winter’s cold
will break through crusts of earth and bloom again.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

What will you radiate?


From each of us there flows a radiance:
of hope, of love, of anger, sadness, pain...
whatever energy absorbs us spills out in waves,
affecting — or infecting — those around us.
What influence will you radiate today?

Friday, April 12, 2019

Go ahead: lie back and howl!


Some days you just need to lie on your back and howl.
Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed:
Give yourself permission to feel what you feel.
Let it out; let it go — you’re only human!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Why isn't compassion automatic?


The people who seek shelter in this pink house,
behind these bars, are human, too:
like us, they hunger for joy and an end to suffering;
They know the pain of loss
and pray for inner peace just as we do.
Why is it that we humans are so determined
to ignore our common humanity?
Why isn’t compassion as natural as breathing?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The surest signs of aging


What keeps us young is curiosity,
a welcoming of possibility.
The surest sign of aging is a refusal
to look beyond the path you’ve always trod;
to drop the burdens you’ve decided you must carry;
to set aside your prejudice and open to the light.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

You are never alone


Whether you have chosen solitude
or had it thrust upon you, uninvited,
you are never truly alone:
The earth is there to support you,
the sky to inspire you,
and the hills to invite you
to imagine a future full of possibility.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The fountain of grace


There is a fountain of grace,
always flowing at the center of things.
Sit. Rest. Breathe. Listen.
Let it spill over and refresh your soul.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

A head full of hope


Hope is a kind of relentless, surprising optimism
that lives, not in your head, but in your heart;
those times when despite the dark and dirt
you dare to trust that dawn is on its way...

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Beware of looking foolish...


Warning: when you’re that determined
to climb to the top,
you might end up looking like an ...
well, a little foolish!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Feel the tenderness


Stop for a moment. Breathe.
Feel the tenderness that is your birthright.
Know the tenderness you carry within you.
Look around you, and let that tenderness
flow through you into the world.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Tired of tilting at windmills?


Tired of tilting at windmills?
Maybe it’s time to pick something smaller;
Something or someone closer to home
whose life might be brightened by your attentions...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The web of connection


See how the mountains are linked to one another?
And see how those connections are echoed
in the bridges we build to link one another?
We all of us live in a web of connection;
Each of us is critical to the maintenance of that web.

Monday, April 1, 2019

What's keeping you?


What is it that’s keeping you
from where you long to be?
Can you see past the obstacles
to the hope that lies ahead?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hope around the corner


If sometimes things get a bit rocky,
it’s good to remember:
there’s blue sky just over the hill.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The moment when you know


What is it that you’re waiting for?
That moment when you know the choice
you knew you’d need to make before too long
becomes inevitable, unavoidable,
and painfully clear...

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Are you in the best place for you?


The earth is glorious in all its forms,
but different locations clearly require
different personalities and survival skills.
Are you living in the best, healthiest place for you?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Welcome, light!


Welcome, light! Come fill our hearts
and melt the cold of thoughtlessness,
awakening our consciousness,
empowering us to sing our song of joy.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Watch and listen


Spend some time outdoors today,
and tell me what you learn.
The world has so much to teach us
if we just take time to watch, and to listen...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Behind the clouds...


There may be clouds, but don't forget --
the sun is on its way!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Creativity can soften the blow


Somehow, when life wants to smack me down,
a return to the studio almost always helps
to pick me up again.
A creative act can help to soften the impact
of another’s destructive move...

Friday, March 22, 2019

Open hearts to the light


Spring has arrived:
Let us join with the flowers
and open our hearts to the light!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

When past obscures the present


Don’t get so distracted looking back on the past
that you miss the beauty right in front of you...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Take heart from the daisies


I take heart from the daisies,
so determined to sprout in a gravel drive;
their exuberance in the face of overwhelming odds
gives me hope that somehow nature will survive
despite our thoughtless depredations...

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

New life from loss


Nature has her own way of reminding us
that the most devastating losses
can still give birth to new life;
That what’s passed can provide support to the future...

Monday, March 18, 2019

A fan of God

A friend of mine announced this weekend that she was going back to school, to the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, which calls itself "A Progressive Seminary."

"I don't do church," she said, "but I'm a huge fan of God."

I get that. I don't really do church too much any more either. It hurts too much, to see how people use religion to divide and condemn. But I, too, though my seminary days are long past, am still a huge fan of God.  Which may be why, though I didn't go to an Ash Wednesday service this year, it doesn't mean I get to avoid Lent.  In fact, I can't remember the last time I got to avoid Lent.

I kind of want to say I hate Lent. Mostly because it happens whether I want it to or not. Even if I miss all the rituals around its beginning, by the time we're a week or so in I'm feeling it: feeling shame at the resolutions that fall by the wayside; feeling guilt at all the ways I fail at compassion; feeling horror at what the world is, or has become; feeling this deep gut-wrenching sadness at the cruelty and pain we humans inflict on one another and on the innocent.

But I'm still a huge fan of God. As my friend said, "whatever he, she, it, or they is... I just know he/she/it/they is/are out there. And I love that."

I love that, too. It's kind of what helps me get through Lent; like a headlamp, helping me pick my way through the forest in the dark. But I still trip over the roots.

It doesn't seem to matter how many years I've done Lent. Or what I take on or give up for those 40 days. I still end up in this space, aware of all the ways I haven't been as selfless, as generous, as compassionate as I know I'm called to be; of all the ways I am self-absorbed, of all the things I could or should be doing, of all the opportunities for kindness and generosity I allow to pass me by.

It's just a dark time. And predictable, really -- I mean, after all these years, I have to know these dark times are coming. It's just... so odd, to feel so discouraged in this season, when the whole world is warming up, waking up, lightening up; starting to bloom and blossom and grow.

I get that it's a really great leadup to Easter; that you probably need to understand how imperfect and unforgivable you are to appreciate how amazing -- and how undeserved -- the forgiveness inherent in Easter really is.  It never fails to move me.

Back in the day, in the church my husband and I helped to found when our girls were little, someone made a human sized cross with all these holes drilled in it. They used to prop it up at the front of the church on Easter, and all of us would bring flowers (and everyone brought extras for the folks who didn't know or forgot to bring them) and we'd walk up to the cross and put flowers in all the holes.

I suppose it might sound like a silly ritual, but it always brought tears to my eyes -- and did again, last year, when our daughter suggested we re-visit the church of her childhood on Easter Sunday.

So I know I have that to look forward to, even if I don't do church this Easter: that sense that somehow the wonder of spring, and forgiveness, will redeem -- or fulfill -- the holeyness of that cross we all seem to bear. But that doesn't change how I feel right now, deep in the thick of Lent.

And that's okay. Because Lent always has something to teach me; is always a chance to remind me how precious the joy is that fills my heart so much of the year; how much more conscious I need to be about sharing what joy and gifts I have; how deeply wounded this world of ours is and how important it is to use what gifts I have to ease that pain and work to end that suffering, in whatever way I can as often as I can.

It restores my focus, and in the end reminds me -- however surprising this might sound to my friends who find it unconscionable that I'm no longer in church -- I'm still a huge fan of God.

Stopping short


All this time I thought I was building bridges,
I was really only creating docks:
Invitations to consider my way of thinking
stop short of genuine efforts to understand yours...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The light of joy


I hope you find the time today
to revel in the stillness;
to bask in the reflection
of a non-judgmental presence;
to breathe in the light of joy.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Striking a balance


So much of life is about striking a balance...
How, for example, can we stay with a feeling
long enough to let it pass through
and teach us what we need to learn,
without dwelling on it overmuch
and letting it distort our present awareness?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Someone's watching


That moment when you realize
that someone’s watching you;
that you are not alone;
that the choices that you make are being observed...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Alliances vs. friendships


Alliances, like patterns in the sand,
are quick to form, and quick to wash away.
But faithful friendships, on the other hand,
hold strong and true, and deepen day by day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Enjoy the dance


It doesn’t matter that we move in different ways.
What matters is that we both enjoy the dance...

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Basking in the light of approval


Embraced, enfolded in mystery,
the inner self peers out,
hoping for a taste of the sun,
longing to bask in the light of approval...

Monday, March 11, 2019

The key to our hearts


The key to our hearts may very well be
the losses that we’ve suffered...

Sunday, March 10, 2019

When self-doubt looms


Staring across the barren fields,
the empty canvas,
at the looming clouds of winter and self-doubt,
it’s hard to trust that spring,
that creativity, ever will return.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Beneath the turbulence


Beneath the turbulence of our emotions,
bright and varied as they may be,
there lies a deeper pool of trust,
of oneness and compassion.
Dive below the waves, drink deep; return often.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Look beyond the waves of grief


Some days the heart’s a battered, rocky shore,
and relentless waves of grief come crashing in.
Be kind to yourself, and to those who share your pain;
reach deep into the stillness that lies beneath.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The promise of spring


However harsh the winter,
just remember it not only contains
but makes possible the promise of spring.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Letting distractions go


What is it that occupies your thoughts;
that takes you from this moment,
right here, right now? And can you learn
to let that distraction go; to release whatever
keeps you from the vitality of presence?

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Longing for spring


Deep in the throes of winter,
we remember and long for the scents of spring;
the hush of the flowers
gossiping in the breeze...

Monday, March 4, 2019

Help is on its way


In the midst of our tears
it grows difficult to perceive
that help is always on its way;
that this river, too, will be crossed in time,
though it may carve new canyons in our hearts.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

So what if you're not perfect!


Just because you’re not perfect;
You don’t meet some inner standard
You’ve set for yourself —
Doesn’t mean someone won’t find you to be
Both beautiful and lovable.
Trust your instincts,
and be the best you you can be.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Breathe in the beauty


Find time today to breathe.
Look around you, find something beautiful,
Breathe in the beauty,
and let it heal your heart.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Be gentle


Each of us carries
a shadow, and scars.
Be gentle with one another.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A beacon of compassion


Just for today, in anticipation
of a lifetime to come,
can we resolve to become
a beacon of compassion?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Shared mystery


We can, each one of us, in time, identify
with the broken stick, the sand, the shell,
the rivulet, the ocean, the distant hill, the sky;
the island, or its lonely tree; the clouds...
It’s all a mystery, how we can be so different
and yet, each one of us, the same...

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Don't be discouraged


Let not the failed attempts of others
serve to discourage you.
You have your own unique gifts, ways,
and means to propel you toward your goal.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Balancing inside and out


It’s easy to get caught up in creating
a perfect nest for ourselves.
but we mustn’t lose sight of the need to connect
with the world outside our own limited existence...

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Grazing in the field of now


Driven by a false sense of urgency,
we hesitate to graze in the field of now;
fail to appreciate the value of being still
and drinking in the flavors of this moment.