~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sunbathing in Winter

The dogs are sunbathing and I am enjoying, finally, the view from upstairs again. The last time I was upstairs, the leaves were still green!


Friday, November 11, 2016


Ten weeks. That is how long it's been since I had my accident, nine weeks since surgery on my arm/wrist. Thankfully, yesterday I received exciting news! My broken bones are healed in both arm and leg (although the leg doctor says because of where the fractures were, he wants me to take at least four weeks getting to full weight-bearing), and I've been given therapy instructions for both. I was grinning ear-to-ear at the doctor's office, and practically vibrating all over with joy.

I haven't been typing much these past couple months because the single-hand process was so frustrating for me it was hardly worth the effort. Now, however, I'm eager to begin getting my left hand back to functionality. And, in a few more weeks, I hope to be able to drive again as my leg ought to be stable enough to do so.

I have been spending gobs of time reading and binge-watching Netflix and Hulu, and, while those are things I sincerely enjoy, I'm tickled to pieces to start returning myself to normal … and getting our household back to normal, as well. Hubby has taken excellent care of me (doing all the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc., while also working a stressful full-time job) but I'm tired of it and I'm sure he is, too.

One new hobby I have to look forward to is playing piano again. I took lessons as a kid, and enjoyed playing off and on once I reached adult-hood even though I never had my own piano (we did consider buying one when we were living in Maine but just never got around to it). A couple weeks ago, though, I was able to obtain the piano I had originally learned on; my younger brother had it for the past decade or so, but since no one in his family bothered to play it much, he graciously sent it to me. This will be wonderful therapy for my hand as well as for my heart. I can hardly wait to begin!

With the setback of the accident, I'm not sure I will be able to complete by Christmas the genealogy book I had been writing. It was supposed to be a gift for my nieces and nephew, but I may have to resort to giving them a sort of preview-book instead. I'm disappointed, although I know they will understand. If I do miss this deadline, maybe I can shoot for a Memorial Day gift? We'll see.

For anyone else working on genealogy, or even simply interested in it, I highly recommend the book American Nations by Colin Woodard. It is a fantastic perspective on the cultural and ethnic colonization of early America, and the migration patterns. Whether or not many of your ancestors have been here since the 17th century (like mine), this book can help you better understand Americans and our political growth. The book has a broad scope and is, of course, shaped from the author's own viewpoint, nevertheless, I was delighted in it from start to finish. It's also an enjoyably fast read; the author doesn't bog down the narrative with too many details (though there are plenty of footnotes if you want to explore anything in greater depth, which I probably will).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Apparently,  I was due for an accident. and, since I've never broken anything or ever been in hospital, this one had to cover both of those at once. A broken arm and leg, both left side. Thankfully, I will heal, my trusty K9 companions at my side, and hubby taking care of us all. A little rearranging, and all that I need is nearby!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

An Inspirational Perspective on Being American

Wow! I know that's a mundane word for a book that combines philosophy and spirituality in such an eloquent flow, but, hey, that's been my constant response while reading this book, Jacob Needleman's "The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders". It is inspirational and filled with hope! 
This is one of those books that, if it were within my power to do so, I would have as required reading for all Americans. Profoundly moving and deeply edifying, this book speaks to all that I have been pondering recently. Needleman says that:
"The hope of America lies and has consisted in the fact that its political ideals and forms of government, its iconic actions and archetypal heroes, reflect in two directions at once--toward the external good of a life of liberty and equality and the reasonable search for a normal life of community and creative aspiration; and at the same time inwardly toward the search for inner development, the life of conscience and reason that defines the true nature of humanity and gives life its ultimate meaning. … America needs to recover its mythic dimension. If not, if it begins to live only in its first history, only in the outer dimension, it will have lost all that really nourishes the life of a nation or an individual." [my bolding]
The author talks of "The American Virtues and Their Shadows" and of so much more that the scope often leaves me breathless!
I heard about Jacob Needleman via his interview by Krista Tippett at OnBeing. http://www.onbeing.org/program/inward-work-democracy-jacob-needleman/222

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Don't Ignore Oppression or Violence

I am grateful and deeply honored to have my piece "Ignoring Isn't The Same As Ignorance" published by Feminism and Religion. Many wise women post their thoughts there, and I appreciate every single one of them for sharing their ideas and insights, love and frustration, support and encouragement. May we all be at peace and live into loving voices.
Two Wise Visitors

Friday, July 8, 2016

When will it end?

I’ve been trying to read This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust but it’s tough. She puts the people front and center, and the text is grippingly realistic as she uses quotes from those soldiers who were there … and died or who never “came back”. I’m reading it because I want to understand the lingering effects all that suffering and blood in the soil has had upon our nation — and pour those emotions and patterns into a manuscript I’m working on. 
So while I’ve been reading, there has been (in the TV series Parenthood) a story-thread about a young soldier coming home from several tours in Afghanistan that has broken my heart. War is war, and as the character in the series tries to find a way to live in the “real world” again, I can’t help but reflect upon the Civil War soldiers who wrote to their loved ones of their pain and suffering, of everyone dying around them, of being far from home and being required to kill other people.
I had gruesome nightmares a few nights ago, I couldn’t seem to get away from them; no matter how often I woke up, they returned as soon as I fell asleep. I can hardly imagine the nightmares endured by soldiers when they are awake and asleep.
In the Civil War, soldiers tried many ways to manage the horrors they experienced, from focusing upon their own dying to religious succor to blocking all emotions and becoming killing machines. Faust says that, “As the intensity of this war and the size of its death tolls mounted in the months and years that followed, vengeance came to play an ever more important role, joining principles of duty and self-defense in legitimating violence.” When will this madness end? When will all humans realize the toll enough to stop the killing, the violence, the warfare? How can we release our fear and need for vengeance? One author said that war is a result of impatience, a result of wanting our own way so badly that we are willing to kill to get it.
I believe one way toward stopping the violence is to hold ourselves to the grief instead of the celebration, to the suffering and loss instead of the “victory.” Not all the time, not to the exclusion of the other joys in life, of course not. But when we think of “war” maybe keeping the losses everyone experiences at the forefront of our thoughts, maybe reflecting upon the suffering instead of becoming impatient with the “other” would be more prohibitive. I lament the sacrifices made by soldiers and their loved ones, even while I honor them — but we have to stop killing.

“Battle was, as a North Carolina soldier ruefully put it, ‘majestic murder.’ The carnage was not a natural disaster but a man-made one, the product of human choice and agency.”

Here is another view on "The Other Side of War" -- the writer's poem is so profound in its simplicity.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Firefly Messages

Fireflies are magic. 
A child-like innocence returns to my soul 
as I watch their twinkling small suns, 
winking, beckoning. 
Night becomes sweet and mysterious. 

Messages in morse code: 
indecipherable quick blinks in a row, 
like dot - dot - dot; 
slow-held blinks that create streaks like fairy sparklers, 
as in dash — swirl — dash; 
the ones I hold my breath in wonder of 
that go blink — long pause — blink; 
or any scintillating combination thereof. 
Tiny alchemical conversations. 

As dusk drifts gently into the hillside, 
in our little clearing below the decks, 
a microcosmic field of fireflies begins to flicker, 
the wondrous golden lights reflect upon 
a verdant carpet that grows ever darker 
as the curtain of night falls. 

These precious beings 
spark imagination as they float upward, 
into the thick, damp air 
like stars from within the earth to 
whisper their tales if we listen. 

These are emissaries of tranquility, 
showing us the way to glimmering peace.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Politics, History, and Soul Recovery

What does soul recovery have to do with politics and history? A tremendous amount during our current election year when all of us are concerned about not only the candidates and the process, but also about citizen reactions and over-reactions to what is before us. Where is our dignity, integrity, and compassion? Where is our intelligence? Where is the shadow? Our hearts and minds need to work in tandem toward good for everyone, that’s part of what nourishes and lifts up our souls. But we cannot force the soul to be as we wish. Thomas Moore in Care of the Soul says: 
“Soul is the font of who we are, and yet it is far beyond our capacity to devise and to control. We can cultivate, tend, enjoy, and participate in the things of the soul, but we can’t outwit it or manage it or shape it to the designs of a willful ego.”
Our ego generally drives our political views, unless we consciously invite soul to participate in the continued development of our country. We live in a democratic republic, not in a “pure” or “direct” democracy (or it’s not intended to be one), because originally safeguards were established by the Founding Fathers so that we wouldn’t become either a “mobocracy” or be taken over by tyranny. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t evolve our country and government; everything changes, that’s the nature of living. Plus, those who set up our original government could not foresee how the world has changed, and they were limited to their past and to their own cultural context. However, we need to be as consciously aware as possible to not let ourselves venture into the extremes, which is where we seem to be headed.
That said, when we look at our two-hundred-plus governmental history, we can see the pendulum swing back and forth between conservative and liberal control, indicating that, frustrating as it can be at times, dire as it can appear during certain periods, our system does appear to be working so that no single entity completely takes over our country. But we still have to remain cautious and alert and participate in the process; we need to engage in civil conversation and the process using our hearts and our minds, passion and pragmatism.
One thing I’ve been trying hard to do these past six months is read across the spectrum of liberal and conservative publications; I can’t expand my heart, mind, and, yes, my soul without a greater understanding about views different than mine. I asked conservative friends and family for recommendations on writers who share their views, but few responded. Left on my own, Google has been helpful in pointing me toward publications; for instance, universities often share lists on this topic. The Wall Street Journal is usually listed as a conservative publication, especially in its editorial section, so I read that one daily. However, in a recent New York magazine (not on a list, but probably liberal) article by Andrew Sullivan titled “Democracies end when they are too democratic”, the author provides an interesting summary of perspectives on democracy influenced by Plato’s Republic and reflections upon the establishment of American government. Within this framework, Sullivan provides his interpretation of the perfect national storm that has led to the rise of Trump. It’s a fascinating piece and one I highly recommend (the complete article can be read online).
The soul traverses both worldly and spiritual realms, allowing us to journey toward wholeness. Thomas Moore, in Care of the Soul, says: 
“To some extent, care of the soul asks us to open our hearts wider than they have ever been before, softening the judging and moralism that may have characterized our attitudes and behavior for years. Moralism is one of the most effective shields against the soul, protecting [deflecting] us from its intricacy. There is nothing more revealing, and maybe nothing more healing, than to reconsider our moralistic attitudes and find how much soul has been hidden behind its doors. People seem to be afraid that if they reflect on their moral principles they might lose their ethical sensitivity altogether. But that is a defensive approach to morality. As we deal with the soul’s complexity, morality can deepen and drop its simplicity, becoming at the same time both more demanding and more flexible.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Looking for an emotional antidote to a recent book I read, the perfect palliative publication was waiting for me. I love synchronicity!
The book needing mitigation was Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill by Jessica Stern. Don’t get me wrong, this is an excellent book. It was definitely a worthwhile pursuit toward understanding its topic, and I highly recommend it. There is a lengthy cogent review of the book at the New York Times, but what I appreciated the most was how Stern didn’t focus exclusively upon religion per se. Rather, she delved into the psychology as well; she wanted to understand “how people who claim to be motivated by religious principles come to kill innocent people in the service of ideas.” For instance, she looked at the aspects of alienation, humiliation, demographics, history, and territory. Stern addressed how these particularities contribute to transforming people into religious militants (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim). Nevertheless, when I finished reading, I felt compelled to find a pick-me-up. I needed to wash off the despair and angst provoked by the book.
One of the many books on my end table was Rebecca Solnit’s Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. I had discovered this one via the blog Brain Pickings, but had not yet started reading. HOPE. It’s easy to see why my hand reached for this one, and I wasn’t disappointed. Solnit writes that: 
“Hope doesn’t mean denying these realities [terrorism, war, inequality, rampant capitalism, climate change, etc.]. It means facing them and addressing them by remembering what else the twenty-first century has brought, including the movements, heroes, and shifts in consciousness that address these things now.” 
Solnit provides an exceptional long view of movements in history, many we might have overlooked or forgotten if we keep our eyes locked into tunnel vision. She’s an activist and hope, for her, holds a different perspective than it might for you or me. Solnit states: 
“Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. … It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand.” 
Yes, her book was exactly what I needed. It is a slim volume that reminds and refreshes and returns me to calm, but with an added spark of, yes, hope.
Maria Popova provides a beautiful essay about Hope in the Dark utilizing more inspirational quotes; I encourage you to explore her offerings. She has been a wonderful resource for me to dive into a wide variety of works!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Trusting the Discourse

In winter, we trust that spring will follow.
I find myself having to trust that my current discourse, whether face-to-face or through writing, is necessary. As I delve into culture, religion, politics, and family genealogy, it feels like I’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole. I meant this exploration to be short-lived, a way to become more at ease during my transition to the Ozarks of Missouri where I’ve always felt like a square peg in a round hole. I expected that I could then quickly switch back to working on my novel, a work-in-progress that is about three-fourths complete. Instead, my inquiry process expands and contracts like a fire-breathing dragon, though, granted, this shouldn’t have been a surprise since the local community and our larger American society as a whole is, in fact, the result of complex people, alive as well as dead. 
History reaches forward as well as backward, and each moment of the present investigation compels me to seek an explanation, an origin, but one that never truly manifests as solid. The fear and anger of the American people is full-spectrum, derived from past disappointment and future expectation, compounded by myriad perceptions of how our lives should be — locally as well as globally. This, too, is part of the fieldwork and analysis applicable to all of us; I am within the spiral of events, yet also a witness to them.

Thus, what began as a form of personal therapy has developed into a desire for greater knowledge and, hopefully, deeper wisdom. I have to trust that there is a purpose to my seemingly endless research, encompassing both my inner and outer work, taking up vast amounts of time, and that it will ultimately benefit others as well as myself. And I have to trust that when I eventually return to working on my novel, that it will be enriched as well — perhaps its characters will be more alive and multi-faceted than they would have been without my detour into the quagmire of the American political and religious systems.

I end with Walt Whitman on "How Literature Bolsters Democracy" … certainly something to aspire to when writing! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Closing the Gap

Continuing my journey into understanding our American political differences in ideals and philosophy, I started reading Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J. Palmer, and quickly became an advocate for the tension-holding process of civil conversation described within the book. 
The escalated ugliness revealed through our current election season process has been confusing and overwhelming, a point at which, in the past, I usually found myself completely withdrawing from. This year, though, I have become deeply curious about the “why” and "how" of politics, which has led me to learn more than ever before about my country through our formative documents, the founding fathers, presidents, parties, and political process, the psychology of diversity, and so much more. 
Our peopled government has never seemed more at odds and unwieldy, yet we must — every single one of us as citizens — find a way to support the Great American Experiment. It seems to me that this broader conversation begins at home, with friends and family, at the dinner table and in community. This isn’t easy for me — as an extreme introvert and pacifist, I tend to avoid conflict — but it does feel absolutely vital so that  we may continue growing our country toward greater dignity, compassion, and unity.
One divisive comment I’ve noticed that often halts continuing conversation is when one person speaks of “democracy” and the other states that we are a “republic.” Curious about this, since my high school years of social studies are many decades gone, I googled. Keeping in mind the context in which the Founding Fathers (see my earlier post on this group of diverse men) formed the United States of America, the definitions I found seemed simple and I agree with Parker Palmer’s comment that we are both: “we are a representative democracy set in the context of a constitutional republic.” The terms and their intention do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Parker Palmer acknowledges that “our differences may be deep” — as we are seeing in this year’s election primaries — but points out that this is nothing new (only 39 of 55 delegates signed the Constitution in 1787). What is new to my generation is how many Americans are behaving without respect, dignity, decency or compassion — and trying to call it “honesty.” Palmer says that if American democracy fails, it won’t be from external forces, rather “it will happen because we—you and I—became so fearful of each other, of our differences and of the future, that we unraveled the civic community on which democracy depends, losing our power to resist all that threatens it.” Fear of “the Other” is rampant right now and destroying our ability to discuss the issues we disagree upon; we cannot suppress necessary conversation, we can’t dig in our heels (or walk away) and refuse to talk. I know it’s tempting — I’m an expert at walking away from conflict and volatile relationships. But here, now, there is more at stake than my own personal comfort zone. Palmer speaks of “creative conflict” and his book clearly shows ways to engage respectfully with those whose opinions strongly differ from ours.
I’ve been watching debates on both sides of the political spectrum and, yes, the issues are major. Are they going to disappear just because we get angry and call people names, be vulgar, incite violence, or turn our backs? I doubt it. I lean toward the Democratic party myself, but I certainly appreciated the comments made recently by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan: “Politics can be a battle of ideas, not insults … Our political discourse did not used to be this bad, and it does not have to be this way” (“Wall Street Journal,” March 24, 2016).
During a recent family political discussion, where we all did a fairly good job of remaining calm, we kept returning to common ground, finding the core elements that we could agree upon. In those core moments, we could remind each other that the conflicting issues are how we address and resolve our concerns, rarely the deep issues themselves like how to keep people safe, employed, and fed. We could pause, break bread together, and then return to the table. Politicians in DC used to do that; they used to have their families there and members of opposite parties would attend social functions more freely and openly together — participating in community. 
Parker Palmer’s book Healing the Heart of Democracy was written in 2011 and released in paperback with a new Introduction in 2014 (this is the copy I have); I was struck by the following paragraph — from a chapter on citizen heartbreak (when your heart breaks, does it break open or shatter apart — how we handle heartbreak is reflected through our subsequent behavior), pain, cynicism, and anger erupting in destructive behaviors that are symptomatic masks — in light of our current political schism: 
“There are exceptions, of course. Some of the cynicism, anger, and hatred we hear is scripted and strategic. For example, manipulating our ancient fear of ‘otherness’ is a time-tested method to gain power … if you have a public megaphone. Well-known media personalities—and too many political candidates and officeholders—exploit a market that will yield returns as long as fear haunts the human heart, a profitable enterprise in relation to their own financial or political fortunes but one that can bankrupt the commonwealth.”
This book is a gem that I wish everyone would read. What’s most remarkable about Palmer’s book is that, rather than be depressing, it is uplifting because the author returns again and again to ways in which we can bring about change through compassion, respect, and conversation. The dynamics of difference involved in our political system means that the pendulum swings back and forth from one election to another, but we don’t have to let it become a wrecking ball if we attend to the checks and balances provided initially by our Founding Fathers and allow them to grow in context with changing times and cultures.
I will end with these wise words by Parker Palmer (in a chapter where he is writing about seeing our own history as clearly as we can, rather than through rose-colored glasses):
“If we remain clear about the gap between America’s aspiration and its reality, [the Declaration of Independence] can continue to energize movement toward our goal. But when we imagine or pretend that it describes America’s reality, the [document] becomes an enemy of its own aspiration.” 
“In every generation, we must try again to close the gap between our reality and our aspirations.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Roots, Vines, and Religious Liberty

As I settle into our new home in the southwestern Missouri Ozarks, I’m embraced by trees and vines and roots, by bloodlines and history, by two hundred years of cellular community. Do the trees protect or isolate? Do the vines support or choke? Do the roots nourish or taint? How does any of this help me become stronger and more compassionate? 
I turn to the wisdom of nature and the beauty of landscape for messages of growth and healing. I step into new communities and listen with my heart. I invite the past to share its journey through story. 

I’m reading like mad, as usual, and one of my absolute favorite books has been Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty by Steven Waldman.* Founding Faith is a gorgeous distillation of America’s process toward religious freedom, and a good reminder for all of us right now not to persecute a religion because of extremists within it. Founding Faith is one of those books that, if I were one to highlight pivotal phrases or “ah-ha!” moments, would be a text of almost exclusive yellow markings. This means I find it nearly impossible to narrow my focus and provide only a few quotes, so the blurb from the back of the book will have to suffice in wetting your appetite: 
“The culture wars have distorted the dramatic story of how Americans came to worship freely. Many activists on the right maintain that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation.” Many on the left contend that the First Amendment was designed to boldly separate church and state. Neither of these claims is true, argues Beliefnet.com editor in chief Steven Waldman. With refreshing objectivity, Waldman narrates the real story of how our nation’s Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty. 
Founding Faith vividly describes the religious development of five Founders. Benjamin Franklin melded the Puritan theology of his youth and the Enlightenment philosophy of his adulthood. John Adams’s pungent views on religion stoked his revolutionary fervor and shaped his political strategy. George Washington came to view religious tolerance as a military necessity. Thomas Jefferson pursued a dramatic quest to “rescue” Jesus, in part by editing the Bible. Finally, it was James Madison who crafted an integrated vision of how to prevent tyranny while encouraging religious vibrancy.”
 This book is one that I wish everyone would read; with excellent information (massive amounts of footnotes and extensive bibliography to follow up on any details) and beautiful flow to the writing and layout (resulting in a fast read), it also provides common ground for people to meet each other in conversation. 
An acquaintance on Facebook recently told me, after a brief chat clearly showed our political differences of opinion, that we needed to stop before the dialogue could damage our friendship. A few years ago, I would have agreed wholeheartedly with that comment. But now, I find myself wondering if that’s where our political system has gone haywire? Is that part of what has led to such tremendous polarization? If friends and family cannot participate in civil conversation, and respect each other across and through our differences, how can we expect politicians to do so?

The seasons change, the wheel of life turns, and new visions emerge within and without … below are two photos from nearly the same angle and location on our deck, yet the view is so different. Time and awareness can change everything.
August 2015

January 2016


*I bought Founding Faith after listening to “Liberating the Founders,” an interview with Waldman by On Being with Krista Tippett. If you don’t have time to listen to the hour-long podcast, even just skimming the transcript is a delight. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Oil Spill of Our Words

This morning I woke up feeling such compassion and peace that I nearly cried. Why? Because I am blessed to live in America where we are gifted with the absolute splendor of the natural world plus cultural opportunities and freedom. 
Sadly, I nearly cried again in the next few hours as I read the words of so many people, people I know and had hoped to form community with, who seem to have vitriol spilling out of them. They are awash in a constant turmoil of religious fervor and what they believe patriotism to exclusively be. And this zeal too often emerges as acerbic ridicule of people or enclaves or cultures, as the bitter criticism that heaps blame upon the other, upon someone who doesn’t think like they do. 
I understand the fear and anger, I'm intimately familiar with them, but scathing or derogatory remarks incite vitriol rather than invite tolerance or mercy toward our common need for safety and peace. How do we use our words to respond with healing intention to this acidic oil spill spreading throughout our families and communities? How do we mend the cracked and broken channels of emotion erupting from within that are in direct reaction to the eruptions of threat and violence we see coming toward us? 
I know my reflection upon this arises partially out of an audio interview I listened to a while back wherein naturalist and author Terry Tempest Williams said at one point that: 

“And I was thinking, what is vitriol? What does it mean? And I actually looked it up and it was fascinating because it means an allusion to the corrosive properties of vitriol, which is a strong corrosive acid linked to sulfuric acid, clear, colorless, oily, water-soluble liquid that is produced from sulfur dioxide. Which I thought was interesting, which is the toxic waste that comes from burning coal, used chiefly in the manufacturing of fertilizer, chemicals, drugs, explosives, and petroleum refining. And I thought, well, this is really interesting. Because I think that the conversations that we so often have, and I have to tell you, you know, I don't have to go anywhere but my own family dinner table to find the seed bed of this, both the highest use of language and the lowest use of language with real vitriol, because the people around our dinner table and our extended family do not all think the same. So I have no illusion that we all have this common ground. You know, we have to really fight for that around our household. And we always have.”*

Williams talked about her journey to see the residual effects of the Gulf oil spill (she wrote a piece on that called “The Gulf Between Us”**) and also relates this to the feeling of being caught in the middle because we need something, such as oil, but also are diminished and shamed by what our own desire and need has done to the planet and myriad diverse cultures. 
So, how do we create balance? How do we embrace the other while holding our own center point of integrity and faith? How do we return with awareness, repeatedly, to our own culpability in the current chaos and crises? How do we not blame the other…the other person, the other side, the other country? Not easy questions, I know. 
One thing I can do, to begin within, is try to carefully watch my words, because they can’t be taken back, and because vitriolic words taint, tarnish, and can even potentially destroy all that we hold dear when they escalate actions toward violence. Thankfully, by grace, words can also heal and hearten the weary or fearful or angry, leading to compassion and the ability to embrace the other and to peaceful resolutions or, as Parker Palmer said recently, to revolutions, in "Five New Year's Revolutions." 
And this gives me hope...
Happy New Year and May We Know Peace on Earth.


*Terry Tempest Williams. “TheVitality of the Struggle.” On Being with Krista Tippett. July 19, 2012. < http://www.onbeing.org/program/vitality-struggle/233 >

** Terry Tempest Williams. “The Gulf Between Us.” Orion Magazine. < https://orionmagazine.org/article/the-gulf-between-us/ >
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...