Thursday, July 26, 2012

Intenting to live love

"Your dispositions, aptitudes, and attitudes reflect your intentions. If you are angry, fearful, resentful, or vengeful, your intention is to keep people at a distance. The human emotional spectrum can be broken down into two basic elements: love and fear. Anger, resentment, and vengeance are expressions of fear, as are guilt, regret, embarrassment, shame, and sorrow. These are lower-frequency currents of energy. They produce feelings of depletion, weakenss, inability to cope and exhaustion. The highest-frequency current, the highest energy current, is love. It produces buoyancy, radiance, lightness and joy.

"Your intentions create the reality that you experience. Until you become aware of this, it happens unconsciously. Therefore, be mindful.... This is the first step toward authentic power."
(Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul. A Fireside Book published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1990. 120.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Not knowing

A woman who was a sincere and committed Christian Scientist died of cancer after years of denying an increasing presence of tumors in various parts of her body. I think of the harsh kinds of intervention often given for cancer, and the difficulty of the treatments, and I wonder how the outcome would have been different had she seen doctors. Perhaps she would have come to her death anyway, just by the American-way-of-medicine route. We simply cannot know.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Everything happens... one specific moment, in one specific locale. From the largest life quakes, to the smallest, unnoticed cell replacement, this is always true. The echoescall it the wave circleof any event, may spread widely, but even the echo of an event happens in one specific moment, one specific locale.

The earliest, orange, red, gold leaves are turning from green and falling. Everything happens locally and in time, everything matters even if we, with our only-human capacity, can't measure how.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

thank list

Three items from the list today:
*There are books.
*There are friends who recommend books.
*There are friends who like what I write, too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What is true cannot be taken from you. What is false will not remain. (Phyllis Theroux, The Journal Keeper, Grove/Atlantic, 2010. 11.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Set Free

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32  Text around this verse credits these words to Jesus.

"The truth may set you free, but first it will shatter the safe, sweet way you live," says Sue Monk Kidd in her book Dance of the Dissident Daughter.

Tuesday a man told me he had killed a groundhog. He lives amid farms, and groundhog holes can be a serious danger to wheeled farm implements. Killing groundhogs has been farmer practice for more than my lifetime. "It was a young one, and it ran into the shed. It went into the corner, it thought it was hidden there, and so it was easy. I shot it," he said.

Today on the road I came upon the crushed and crushed again body of a bunny. It was the little one I've been seeing, I could tell by the size of its skull and the sad, small length of fur. Not much bigger than my fist, it liked the quiet, mowed lawn near the end of the neighbor's longish lane. It was afraid of the tall grass and weeds, but it would hop onto the road to go feed on the tall stuff.  Walking, I could get very close before I was more fearsome than that tall vegetation. Wholly innocent in its being, it didn't understand about cars.

The truth: my comfortable American lifestyle includes all the elements that demand speed, speed, speed, even for the drivers of cars on this supposed-to-be-slow-paced country road. My lifestyle includes the demands for cheap food, easily available, pure and sealed and in the market. I will sit at my table tonight to feast on gazpacho and corn on the cob, locally grown, without a morsel of animal product on my table And yet the truth is that the lifestyle of which I am an inextricable partand you are, tooalso killed those two defenseless young animals.

I know this truth. I am heart-shattered.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


In this ocean of Mystery, we identify from inside our skins as singular, alone. And in one sense we are. And yet, we consciously know that we are also part of All That Is. A tautology: all-that-is is part of All-That-Is. Nevertheless, who has not at sometime experineced a sense of loneliness so deep it becomes akin to despair? Who has not felt desperately set apart? Remember the term "arrogant loneliness" from the Brenden Knelley poem "Begin"? I think that when we put ourselves either too high or too low-- and we do-- we are practicing arrogant loneliness. It is a place of learning, perhaps, but in the steady exchange between mind-knowing and body-knowing, it is not a worthy place to dwell.

We all struggle in this hard realm. I don't know about the before and after realm, perhaps the spirit realm. Forrest Church said "We were eternal before we became interesting." Well, we're all interesting right now, all embodied, and it's sort of soft but sort of hard, too, for everyone.  In this we surely are not alone.

Monday, July 16, 2012


"Because no one could ever praise me enough,"
is the opening line in to the poem "Invisible Work" by Alison Luterman from her book The Largest Possible Life.

That line grabbed me, and I realized it spoke to my need to measure up, to have others call me valuable before I could notice any specifics of my own worth. Are you that way? 

Along with recognizing that I depend too much on others' opinions to define my value, I notice that I desire to be compassionate and gentle with myself. I want to treat myself as kindly as I would treat any other struggling, beautiful soul I met on the journey. All the beautiful souls I meet daily.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Friendship happens... that special moment when someone reaches out to another, trusts, comforts, believes in another, hopes the best for another, and makes a special difference that no one else can make."

That quote is on the face of a Hallmark card that I've kept since 1986, and inside the note from the one who valued me enough to give it to me as I prepared to move from the city we'd shared. I wonder if she has any idea I still have her card? I must tell her, return her words to her.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Note to Remember...

This morning I heard: 
cicada sing-song;
the splash of water on rocks;
the yearning coo of mourning doves; 
the even, steady, pacing sound of my own footfalls. 

But how can I tell and remember the smell of July? 
Some mix of late honeysuckle, rank-growing sumac, 
all the blooming, bearing earthen scents, 
thick, and varied, and fecund.

Bittersweet comes later.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Love Remains

All things work together.  How we interlock and slide apart and fit together again like puzzle pieces forming and re-forming the picture, over and over shifting to the next new pattern. Designs complex and complete and never static, like the tumbling flow of configurations in a kaleidoscope. 

Where is God in 1+1+2, asks the physicist/author Jena Levin in her book A Madman Dreams of Turning Machines. Mathematics is indifferent to human drama, and so is the natural world. And yet we, a part of the natural world, are often not indifferent to the experiences of our lives.

My heart is comforted by my deep roots in the world of All There Is where death and going on with life are both held gently, maybe indifferently. Allowed, and we cannot know the whys and wherefores. I hold the love I have known in my life, hold it in some inner cauldron. I siphon off pain, so the love remains. The Love remains.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I lived in Iowa for 12 years, and absorbed that place with such land-love that now I carry it with me. My friend Dana Knighten, whose dearest love is the ocean, also lived in the Midwest for a time, and she writes:

Farmland.  Prairie and waving grasses and rounded, golden hills rippling in the wind and the sunlight.  A huge summer moon rising behind cottonwoods as I drive east past the city limits on a summer night.  I did not then appreciate the oceanic nature of the plains.

Here and now in Maryland, the days are miserably hot, hot, hot. Terrible storms, and reports of the hundreds of thousands of households without power three days later. This time I am not one of the ones spoken of in the news, and I am so thankful.