Paying Attention

Because I enjoyed the delight of caring for my grandson I now have his generously shared cold which means I’ve been gentle with myself.  I listened to the fireworks from the couch absorbing how the day began – more killing by someone who spoke his beliefs and yet was not stopped.

I’m reading Krista Tippett who believes in hope as do I.  She responds to Rilke’s words in “Letters to a Young Poet”, “And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

She says:  The notion of living the questions in a world that is in love with answers. I’ve been reading Rilke since I was in Berlin almost 40 years ago, but what I feel coming back to our world is this idea that to do justice to a question means that you cannot rush to an answer. What you’re called to do is hold the question itself, dwell with the question respectfully, and love the question. Live your way into the answer. If you hold a question, if you’re faithful, the question will be faithful back to you.

I think we’re all with how we stop gun violence in this country.  In 2020, more than 45,000 Americans died of gun-related injuries.  I think it’s time to look at the senators who receive money from the NRA.  Mitt Romney has received more money from the NRA than any other senator.  He has received $13,647,676 dollars.  Here’s the list of senators who receive money from the NRA and the amounts.


What the pandemic has given us is increasing awareness of what we need, and much of that seems to be awareness of caring for ourselves and those we love.  

When I hear the word “space”, I think of Star Trek and exploration of the “final frontier”, but when we look within, there’s a beginning frontier to explore, one that appears to open out into a spaciousness in which to pause, renew, rest.

I’ve been with my journals from Nepal in 1993.  There was no safety net for the people, and yet those we met had their village, the support of their village.  At that time 50% of the children died before the age of five.  

I met a man, Donny, who was sick with worry over caring for his six children.  His corn was destroyed in the monsoon and he lost his thatched roof but he was proud that his sunflowers survived.

Yesterday, my son asked me about the “good old days”.  I spoke of my grandparents who lived through WWI and the depression, and then came WWII.  There’s always something to test us. 

We are here to see how we meet what comes, and I think of Kathmandu in 1993 where the leaves were swept with brooms, and the floors washed by kneeling.  The pace was both rapid and slow, noisy and quiet, and here we are, each of us, wrapped in a world that connects us all.

Tomorrow is a huge day for our country.   Democracy is both fragile and strong.

Yesterday I learned about The Robber’s Cave Experiment that was the inspiration for the book Lord of the Flies.

I read that nearly six decades later, experts have called the experiment unethical as it appears to have left  lasting mental damage on its subjects. I think as more and more comes out on the danger of what happened on January 6, 2021, each of us is shocked.

And yet on Christmas Day, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched.

According to NASA, “thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians” — from 306 universities, national labs and companies, primarily in the U.S., Canada and Europe — contributed “to design, build, test, integrate, launch and operate Webb.”

Smithsonian Magazine noted that “Webb will help scientists understand how early galaxies formed and grew, detect possible signatures of life on other planets, watch the birth of stars, study black holes from a different angle and likely discover unexpected truths.”


May we more deeply and expansively unite in observing the space within us, as we explore and expand our knowledge of the space we share.