Monday, September 27, 2021

Simple pleasures


In a time when so much has been reduced 
To its simplest, most practical form, 
It stirs the soul to be reminded 
Of the complex, impractical indulgences 
Of the now-so-distant past.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Protective coloration


The choices we make — where we’ve been, 
Who and what we’ve loved — 
Have a way of marking us, 
Leaving traces of the past. 
We can use those marks 
As protective coloration, 
To mask our true intentions, 
But what lies beneath 
Will inevitably shine through.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

In the fallow times


There will inevitably be times 
When we are prevented, or simply unable, 
To be where we were meant to be 
Or do what we were born to do. 
Don’t fret: the tide will rise again 
And lift us back into life. 
Think of this fallow time as an opportunity 
To breathe, to dream, and to listen 
For what new insights we might bring 
To the work that waits for our return.

Friday, September 24, 2021

See and appreciate


Beauty is everywhere, even in the simplest, 
 Most mundane circumstances. 
Our job is simply to see and appreciate.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Pattern recognition


For an artist, repetition is a way 
Both to get into your work 
And to declare it as uniquely yours. 
But for humans repetition offers 
Opportunities to learn: 
We keep getting it wrong until we get it right, 
Or we keep repeating patterns 
Hoping the outcomes will be different — 
Einstein’s definition of crazy… 
Some patterns we repeat may define us: 
They can simplify our lives, 
Help us develop healthy habits 
And keep us safe — 
But then there are the others, 
The mistakes that we keep making, 
The ones from which we never seem to learn.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Hands lifted in prayer


We who have been praying for centuries 
Will continue praying for all that matters: 
For peace, and health; comfort and safety — 
Not just for friends, family, and neighbors, 
But for all who live and breathe 
And dare to love.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Truth will be revealed


First, there is a mountain, 
Then there is no mountain, then there is… 
What fog and clouds obscure 
Will always be revealed again with time: 
Like mountains, truth lies waiting, 
Solid and serene beneath all obfuscation.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Longing for a simpler past


So many of the structures 
That once guided us to safety 
Now seem outdated; obsolete — 
Replaced, in many cases, 
By things unseen, complex, 
And hard to comprehend. 
Is it any wonder that so many of us 
Long for a simpler past, 
And find it hard to trust what we cannot see?

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Patience and a prayer


Whatever inconvenience there might be 
For those of us who are forced 
To slow down and wait 
Pales in comparison 
To those whose lives are changed forever. 
Time to be patient, 
Time to be grateful for your own safety, 
And time, too, for a prayer for those affected.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Unique, but not alone


Look around you as you move through this life: 
Everywhere you look there are echoes: 
Echoes of choices you’ve made 
That others have made, too; 
Echoes of shared experiences 
Of love and loss, successes and failures… 
You are truly unique, but not alone, 
And the sooner we all realize 
How much we have in common, 
The better off all of us will be.

Friday, September 17, 2021

This masking thing


This masking thing can be a bit of a bear, 
And carrying proof of vaccination 
Can be even more so. 
But we do these things 
On behalf of one another, 
In acknowledgment of the common bond 
We share with each other; 
A silent witness to our mutual vulnerability.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Clouds on the horizon


Yes, there are clouds on the horizon. 
The days are growing shorter; 
We no longer wake to light — and yet, 
With that comes the harvest; 
The fruits of all our labors
That will feed us as the winter closes in. 
Welcome the apple; nibble on the fig 
And be grateful for the bounty of the past.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Nurturing uniqueness


The challenge for a parent or a spouse 
Is not unlike the challenge 
We face for ourselves:
How can we protect, nurture, and encourage 
The wild and precious spirit — so unique, 
So divine — that lies within? 
How can we create a safe place 
For the soul to dance its uniqueness into life?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Benefits of boredom


Sometimes a road is just a road, 
A day is just a day, 
The work we do just feels like work — 
And that’s not bad! We need those times, 
Of quiet comfort, of familiarity, 
To balance out the inevitable highs and lows: 
Think of them as the white space 
That every designer uses
To ensure we place our attention 
Where it’s needed.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Transitioning to what’s next


Standing, once again, upon the bridge; 
That all-too-brief transition time 
Between what’s now and what’s next 
(A future often shrouded in fog), 
We realize, once again, how small we are, 
And how alone, each journey so unique, 
Even as we’re guided by 
All those who’ve gone before us.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Misdirected focus


It’s easy to get distracted 
By what is evil or broken in this world; 
To get caught up in judgment 
And focus our time and our passion 
On pointing it out and rooting it out. 
But when we do that, evil has won; 
Has successfully kidnapped our energies: 
Energies that might have been spent 
In the creation of goodness and beauty.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Open to new life


Like the flower who closes herself 
To protect herself from the rain, 
We close ourselves to protect ourselves 
From the memories — which keeps us 
Both from learning from those memories 
And from opening to the return 
Of light, and life, and joy.

Friday, September 10, 2021

A trick of the light


It’s altogether too easy 
To make snap judgments - 
To decide what —or who — is black or white 
Without a second glance, 
When often what we think is wrong or right 
Is merely painted so 
By the light in which we view it.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Shifting landscape of emotions


"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety.” 
Perhaps Shakespeare was inspired 
By the endless variations of a sunset? 
We, too, can learn to look upon 
The same face, day in, day out, 
And marvel at how our responses 
Are colored by emotions…

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Paying attention


A relationship, a community, a country — 
These human creations— 
Like a house, they need to be attended to: 
Without consistent maintenance, 
They’re in danger of collapsing. 
Simple bandaid measures will never be enough.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Attempting to control


We spend so much of our lives 
Attempting to rein in and control 
The uncontrollable, not realizing 
We are boxing ourselves into corners 
When we could be out riding the waves...

Monday, September 6, 2021

Attachment to antipathy


What is is it about our antipathies, 
That we feel we must nurse them 
At every opportunity; 
Constantly locking horns; 
Immersed in righteous indignation 
At the slightest possibility of a slight? 
When will we discover that our greatest enemy 
Is not those whom we perceive as “other,” 
But our blind attachment to our own attachments?

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Plant anyway


Not everything we plant will come to fruition: 
Prepare the ground, protect and plant anyway. 
Care for what does survive and thrive, 
And revel in the joy of those accomplishments. 
Appreciate and be thankful 
For those blessings that do appear, 
And trust that they will balance out your losses.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Truth like a rushing stream


May truth roll down like a rushing stream, 
Washing away all the lies and misinformation 
That divide us, one from another; 
Sister from brother, daughter from mother, 
Friends and neighbors from each other…

Friday, September 3, 2021

Stillness, reflecting


Still waters reflect the light and the color. 
Find a bit of stillness in your heart today, 
That you might reflect the light of love 
And the colors of hope 
Into the encroaching darkness.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

You can choose


If we pay attention, there will always be a gap 
Between what we experience and how we react. 
In that gap, we have the opportunity 
To choose: not just how we will respond, 
But also the lens through which we perceive. 
So then I ask: what do you see? 
Is this a train wreck about to happen? 
Or the flame of spirit deep within 
That ignites the passion in your soul?

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Fuel your future


No matter how fast you go 
Or how far you travel, 
You can’t escape your past. 
Think of it instead as fuel for your future.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Listen to your soul


Make time today to sit with yourself and listen: 
What is it that your soul truly hungers for? 
Is it really “more” and “better?” 
Or might it be simply “this” and “now?” 
Perhaps all the sustenance we need 
Is already here, in this moment.

Monday, August 30, 2021

What and where to give


In a world where there is so much need, 
So much that demands our attention — 
Earthquakes, war, famine, disease — 
How do we decide how and where to help 
When so much is required 
And we have so little to offer?
I think we start close to home; 
Make a difference where we can, 
And trust that whatever we can do 
To brighten the world around us 
Will have larger ramifications..

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Moving through the shadows


We don’t tend to know what’s coming, 
What’s moving toward us in the shadows, 
Or what lies waiting at the crossroads, 
But still we press on, 
Despite the fog of anticipation and worry, 
Trusting that when we reach 
That eternal stopping point 
We will not be alone…

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Your heart as a garden


Think of your heart, your love, your community, 
Your nation, your world, your universe 
As a garden: capable of enormous beauty, 
Of sustaining life, of feeding our eyes, 
Our lungs, and our souls with grace 
When carefully tended, watered and weeded.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Freedom


Invited to paint with a simple piece of cardboard, 
I found myself closer to the canvas; 
More intimately engaged with the painting, 
And more inclined to follow 
Where the mix of colors led. 
It was as if the critical voices in my head 
Had been silenced, and I was free 
To simply enjoy the process without worrying 
 How it looked, or where it might take me…

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Pluses and minuses


Life is full of pluses and minuses; 
Divisions and dividends. 
On which do you find yourself focusing?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Coloring the past


When you look back on the past, 
What do you see? 
Do you focus on the shadows or the light? 
Do you remember what carried you through, 
Or what was happening in the wider world — 
And are those memories colored 
With joy or with pain?

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Keep working!


There will be gray days, 
But still there is work to be done, 
Tasks that must be accomplished 
No matter what the weather or your mood. 
Keep rowing, and remember to be grateful: 
Your activity will keep you warm, 
And your aching limbs will distract your mind 
From worrying…

Monday, August 23, 2021

Echoing our hungers


We carry within us this sense 
Of responsibility to the natural world, 
Which, in its silence, speaks to us, 
Echoing our own internal hungers 
For love, for safety, for respect, 
And for connection.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Fearing change


New opportunities await you, 
Yet here you stand: 
Entranced by the possibilities 
But reluctant to take that final step, 
Not opening those doors 
For fear of what you might 
 Have to leave behind…

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Light at the end of the tunnel


Always, contained within the darkness, 
There beckons an invitation to the light: 
We simply need the courage 
To step into it and through; 
To lean into the difficult and challenging, 
Rather than walk away.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Breathe more deeply


The act of centering 
Takes us down to our roots; 
To the tranquil waters of spirit 
That well up within us; 
To that place where, once again, 
We can breathe more deeply, 
 And know.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Never grow complacent


May we never grow complacent 
About the simple pleasures of this life: 
The shade of trees, the scent of flowers, 
The song of birds and the glorious colors 
Of the sunsets and sunrises, ever new 
And always renewing the promise 
Of new beginnings and restful nights.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

In the Divine embrace


Those of us who long to be held 
In the embrace of the Divine 
May find our longings satisfied 
More outdoors than in, 
Finding peace while floating, 
Cradled tenderly, in the arms of the clouds…

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

When opportunities arise


Yes, there will always be 
Opportunities that arise 
And folks who are quick 
To take advantage of them. 
It’s up to us to evaluate the risks, 
Decide to climb, or simply wait 
For them to fall…

Monday, August 16, 2021

Guiding lights


A word of gratitude today 
For all the saints over the years 
Whose words and hearts 
Continue to light the way 
For those of us who navigate 
The challenging shoals of life.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Oases of love


In these dry and worrisome times, 
I’m more grateful than ever 
For the gardeners who are willing to share 
Their cool and fragrant oases of green. 
May each of us, in turn, 
Serve as oases of love in this troubled world…

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Appreciate imperfections


However perfect life might be, 
There will always be projects we began 
That didn’t unfold as we expected; 
There will always be things that bug us. 
We do our best to appreciate it all — 
Not just the perfect, but also the imperfections 
Which give the perfect character 
And help us appreciate it all the more…

Friday, August 13, 2021

Aflame with love


It’s morning now, and that red light 
From smoke and sun 
Sets our interiors aflame, 
Just as a word of hope or kindness 
Can set the darkest heart 
Aflame with love.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Promise in the night sky


Even as the day fades, blazing with glory, 
The small moon tips its well of light 
Into the night to come; 
A promise of more joy on the horizon. 
The waters, like the light, 
Will rise and fall again, 
Called into motion by the gentle prompting 
Of the distant moon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Celebrate character


Do not bemoan the many signs of age, 
But celebrate the character they display, 
And stand firm in your willingness 
To prepare and point the way 
For a better life for others.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Let the subtle shine forth


Do not assume, when the sun drops 
Beyond the horizon, 
That the wonderful display of color is at end. 
Often the most spectacular moments 
To occur in our lives 
Come after the obvious bright benefits 
Have left the room, 
And the subtle has its opportunity to shine.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Reminders


Everywhere we look, there are reminders 
Of both the suffering in the world 
And the divine grace that brought us to this place.