Memorial Day

We pause and honor those lost in war.  

We pause.

Seeing my hair woven into nests of birds, I give thanks for connection shared.

Mark Nepo:

In a world that lives like a fist, mercy is no more than waking with your hands open.

Going Home

In going through my journals, I come across these words and this experience by Dawn Prince-Hughes.  She has Aspergers.  In wanting to understand human communication, she began sitting outside the window of the enclosure for the silverback gorillas at the Seattle zoo.  One day she arrived upset. Congo, a silverback male gorilla noticed and rushed to the window.  He motioned to her to put her head on his shoulder. They touched through the glass and felt the glass as fluid.

She says: I probably stayed with him like that, with my head on his shoulder, for 30 minutes or so. I think it was probably the first time I was genuinely comforted by another person. Congo really set the standard for what social interactions should be like between me and another human being.  You just can’t worry about looking like a fool. You can’t worry about getting hurt. You can’t worry about whether you’re right or not. It just boils down to wanting to be connected at all costs, at all risks. I no longer wanted to allow the permeability of my spirit to seek smaller and smaller shelters. It requires a completely open heart. I felt like I found a way to go home through the glass.  


When someone I love passes, makes a  transition to non-form, I feel a portal open.  I honor the sacred time.

I listen, receive.  

These words of T.S. Eliot in Four Quartets – Little Gidding, comfort me.

And what the dead had no speech for, when living,

They can tell you, being dead: the communication

Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

“Tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.”

What vibrates now?    


When I went through chemotherapy, I learned that in receiving, I was giving. I didn’t have the energetic resources to give anything but reception and I saw the gift in that, the beauty of completing a circle of exchange.

Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about receiving things, which can be much harder than giving.
– Alexander McCall Smith.

Earth Day

Today the fog is a wrap as I sit, contemplate, and appreciate the earth I am and the earth where I live.

Water rationing is beginning again so it will be a return to buckets in the shower to capture every drop.  I worry about the plants and explain to them that they, too, need to carefully utilize every drop.

I’m with Thich Nhat Hanh this morning.

We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we are not doing anything, we are wasting our time. But that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be; to be what? To be alive, to be peaceful, to be joyful, to be loving. And that is what the world needs most.


Sensory Awareness

I came to Sensory Awareness in 1993 and for me, it’s been a lifeline, a lifeline of fluidity and connection.

Here’s a beautiful offering and taste.

Find a comfortable place to watch and participate as Stefan leads us From Isolation to Connection.


I learned about Commonweal years ago when a good friend had cancer.  I’ve loved Rachel Naomi Remen’s books for years. Today I quote from an interview with her in the Commonweal newsletter on A Life with Purpose.

She says, “My grandfather believed that each of us has a holy purpose and that we fulfill this purpose in many ways – through our relationships, our families, our careers, or just on some street corner somewhere. We may fulfill our life purpose simply by something we say to some stranger on a bus.”

She continues on speaking of collective purpose which has a Hebrew name, Tikkun Olam, which translates as the word service.

“One of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, writes about this in his book Cat’s Cradle.  According to Vonnegut, God has organized the world into working units called Karasses.  A Karass is a group of people who have been born to serve one of God’s holy purposes without ever knowing. Their lives and their work may bear no outward relationship to one another. No matter.  They serve their holy purpose together perfectly. Vonnegut says the members of a Karass circle around their holy purpose like electrons circle the nucleus of an atom. Some orbit very close to the nucleus. Others orbit at a great distance. But all are bound to their holy purpose by spiritual bonds, bonds of the soul. Those who orbit very close to the nucleus may be friends or even a married couple. But most others are total strangers: people whose lives and work seems to bear no relationship to one another, people of all ages who speak different languages and have different religions, people who will never meet or have any awareness of one another. Yet their lives fit together in service to their holy purpose. Vonnegut contrasts this to the Grandfaloon, the way human beings organize the world. The people in a Grandfaloon think they are related to one another but actually have no relationship to one another at all; for example, the Yale class of 2003 or any professional sports team anywhere.”

She continues: “According to Vonnegut, should you have the good fortune to meet a member of your Karass, you feel a sort of deep recognition that you can’t explain, a sense of bondedness, a feeling that this other person is truly family.”

And here we are!


Fifth Day of Grief

On the fifth day of grief, my feet are cobblestones, walking ancient paths.

I wonder if part of the grieving process is the other also letting go, a separation, gently, roughly, tenderly, kindly, agonizingly painful separation of paths.

Both stand at a crossroads, and then, how do we let go?

As we gather in connection, I wonder if the one who has passed is beckoning us together, gathering us like flowers into one bouquet and for a time we share a vase, in gathering, a vine.