Sunday, July 31, 2016

Broken shadows

You see through me, and I see through you,
and the light shines through us both,
and still we walk together,
casting our broken shadows as we pass...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The choice, again

The choice is ours; it always was --
truth or lies, love or hate,
respect or denigration --
to be one with all creation, or cut off...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Growing from the hard stuff

The dance of the madronas 
as they spring forth from the rock
has a lot to say about growing from the hard stuff...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A dual task

Even as we lead the way
Into a future still unkown,
We continue to nurture 
What's already been born into the world.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Feeling a little blue

A few weeks ago I came across a job description on Facebook that seemed tailor-made for me.  I wasn't actually looking for a job, but this one was so perfect that it sounded like a call, or like it could be a call, and so I responded.

The call came from Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation: they were looking for someone to catalog his works -- to write abstracts, create tweets, and confirm sources for his quotes -- and they wanted a writer with a background in library science and an interest in/understanding of Rohr's theology: a perfect description of me. Twenty hours a week -- I could easily manage that -- and work from home; again, perfect.

So I sent in my application, and they liked it enough to put me through a 24 hour performance test: they gave me meditations, homilies and quotes and asked me to produce abstracts, tweets, and sources, which I did.  It was fun -- I read a lot of Rohr, so it was a delight to find new pieces and summarize them, and it was a hoot searching for the root source of the quotations.  I felt certain I'd done a good job.

But as I did the work, I wondered: is this how I would want to spend 20 hours of my time every week?  I wasn't sure, to be honest, but decided to trust that whatever choice they made would be the right one both for them and for me.  And when notice came yesterday that, though my work had been excellent and my credentials impressive, they had chosen someone with more cataloging experience, there was a sense of relief.  Oh, I thought, now I won't have to carve out time in my schedule for this; I won't risk having to give up the things I'm involved in now.  And if cataloging experience was that important, I might not have enjoyed the job as much as it looked like I would.

And so I let it go, feeling certain that the right choice had been made.  But just because we think we're letting something go, that doesn't necessarily compute with our bodies.  What the head knows and what the heart wants are often different things, and so I went through the rest of my day noticing that though I really was comfortable with the decision, I was also sad.  So I was kind to myself, gave myself an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert, and spent the day finishing a novel rather than plowing through my usual to-do list... and tried to listen to the sadness.

And mostly, I think, the sadness was based in that constant low-level hunger we humans have for recognition, for identity, for association with the known.  It would have been fun, and I would have been proud, to say "I'm working for Richard Rohr." Of course it would.  But instead I will continue to carve out my own identity in the world; to focus on my writing, my painting, my acting, my service to the community -- and that feels like a call as well. 

So it's all good.  And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What goes around

And so,
what goes around comes to a end,
and, upon reflection, begins anew.
What looks like a cloud, obscuring light,
instead brings brightness to the scene,
and what looked like a stepping stone
turned out to lead nowhere --
and all is good.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Welcome this moment

As the flower welcomes the light,
as the bride welcomes her groom,
welcome this moment, 
with all the gifts she brings.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Let Love build a nest

Let Love build a nest in our hearts:
let it take all the broken bits -- the hurts and the betrayals,
the losses and the longings --
and weave them all together,
their hollowness a cradle for the blessings yet to come.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Peace in your wake

May you find peace today,
and leave peace in your wake.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let love keep winning

It feels like the ultimate test of faith:
to continue believing love will triumph over hate.
Please: do something unexpectedly kind today --
let love keep winning, in spite of all we see and hear.

(From a window display in San Francisco, several years ago.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

When nature beckons

There are moments when events, or your surroundings,
seem to beckon: try this! Come over here! Look at me!
Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone:
listen, heed the call, explore: something new and exciting
may be waiting for you, just beyond those familiar borders...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Awash in Sadness

On those days when the world seems awash
in an ocean of sadness, when we can barely stand,
keep putting your feet down, one in front of the other,
and remember this: you never walk alone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

All flags flying

Some days we just enter the world
with all flags flying, full of joy!
I hope, for you, that today is one of those days :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Every loss a becoming

Every loss is a becoming:
something that has bloomed is being harvested 
to make way for something new.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Beauty comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors -- and the beauty we see reflects the beauty of our own souls: our appreciation is at least partly rooted in the spark of recognition...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Breathe love

Take a minute today to breathe in love --
a love that delights in all your gifts,
your strengths and your good deeds;
a love that acknowledges, cradles and forgives
all your sad and broken parts and your mistakes.

Now. Breathe that love out again:
Breathe out delight and gratitude
for all the goodness in the world;
Breathe out acceptance, sympathy and forgiveness
for all the brokenness in the world.

And now, breathe again. And again. And again.
Keep breathing love.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Infused with the Divine

The problem with declaring one place to be sacred
is that it implies others are not.
The truth is, all creation is infused with the Divine;
even the fence has something to teach us.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The choice is ours

We live at the intersection of time and space;
each moment a precious opportunity to choose:
wholeness or separation, hatred or love, 
blessing or cursing, accepting or rejecting --
the choice, whatever the circumstances, is ours.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Phoenix or Geezer?

So here's the deal: however you feel,
you're bound to stay afloat a good while longer.
So which is it you choose?
Will you just be a Geezer, anchored in the familiar
while you rust in place?
Or will you be a Phoenix, prepped and ready
to cast away the ashes of old dreams;
to lift your sails and venture forth to unfamiliar harbors?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Finally, peace

At last! After chasing every stick and ball
my mind can toss in its path, 
peace finally comes home
and collapses, ecstatic, at my feet.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Open hearts

Take a lesson from the flowers,
and welcome all that comes --
the rain, the shadows, the bees and the sun --
open your hearts and trust that all shall be well.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

However dark the seas

However dark the seas we travel on, 
however dark the clouds,
the light we travel by is stronger still,
and will break through to guide us on our way.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Rose Colored Glasses

Sometimes the future we can visualize 
seems much brighter and clearer
than where we are right now.
Take a deep breath, 
and try to stay present anyway.

Friday, July 8, 2016

In these dark days

In these dark days, 
when the shadows we've ignored so long
rise angry from their graves with guns ablaze,
it's no surprise we hunger so for beauty.
Perhaps it's not just hoping we could bury our heads 
in flowers and it all would go away.
Perhaps it's just that we're desperate for reminders
that there's beauty in the world;
that after we find some way to cope with winter
there might still come a spring...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Chittering and scolding

From apprehension to comprehension,
like some prehensile tale, this restless mind of mine 
will grasp and use a thought to swing away
into some other branch and then forget 
what's left behind and sit, chittering and scolding 
til I awake ...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Forward movement

We wait for life to settle out,
seeking some stable ground on which to nest,
or put down roots and rest, contented,
and just when it seems we've found our niche,
we realize things are tipping once again,
that something is impelling us
out of our comfort zone and into some new life...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Grace in disguise

Grace likes to travel in disguise,
and keeps a closet full of unexpected habits.
Dressed as divorce or disease,
an accident, a dead-end job, or death,
she opens doors we never knew were closed,
inviting us to step
where we never thought to tread;
to discover hidden valleys
and new heights within the shadows
of our souls.
Perhaps today she'll masquerade
as a weak ankle, or sore back...

Monday, July 4, 2016

What are you reflecting?

Despite our celebrated independence,
we humans are often mirrors,
and, like mirrors, we take on
the color of our surroundings.
So -- what are you reflecting today?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Surrounded by abundance

Though we may stand alone
as the day draws to a close,
we are surrounded by abundance
and bathed in a golden glow of love and gratitude.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Longing for home

So many of us hunger for a home we've never known;
looking out across the great divide.
But that home's already ours,
and the sense of separation is a fence we built ourselves:
In trying to keep out those experiences we fear,
we've also closed ourselves off from love.

Friday, July 1, 2016


When a tree falls in the forest
and there's no-one there to hear,
the Standing Ones give a sympathetic gasp
and carefully drape a healing blanket of moss
around their fallen comrade
to help ease her transition into earth...