Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Annie Dillard!


"No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?"

--Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize winning American author... and today is her BIRTHDAY!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Victims of Addiction


The following prayer is from my discernment committee homework. In light of all who struggle with addictions and for all those who love & care for them I offer this collect.....


Collect for the Victims of Addiction

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you;
Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health
and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy;
remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding & persevering love. Amen BCP 831

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Longing to be Known...


When we were given the capacity to love, to speak, to decide, to dream, to hope and create and suffer, we were also given the longing to be known by the One who most wants to be completely known. It is a longing woven into the very fabric of the image in which we were made.

— Robert Benson in Between the Dreaming and the Coming True

photo from http://www.lightworksstainedglass.co.uk/
(something about this picture speaks to me of being created in God's Image....)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Easter Rebellion

"On this day in 1916, the Easter Rebellion began on the streets of Dublin. The British police extinguished the rebellion a few days later. Called "the poet's rebellion," it was led by six patriotic poets and men of letters including Patrick Pearse and James Connolly. They barged inside and read their "Proclamation of Independence" to a baffled crowd."

Ok....at this point i have to stop quoting this lovely piece to allow us all to step inside this Irish Post Office. Follow me. What do you see? Bored postal workers? Women rocking their prams? Men with small parcels tied up with string? Just another day in the life....when suddenly 6 poets rush in reading their announcement that they would no longer live under British rule? Can you see the looks on the postal patrons' faces? I ask you.. Is this any way to start a rebellion?

We now return to our quote.....

"The rebellion seemed hopelessly unsuccessful until the British government valorized many of the rebels by executing them a few weeks later. The executions set in motion a movement for Irish nationalism, and in 1921 Ireland finally achieved independence from Great Britain—except for the six northernmost counties of the island that comprise Northern Ireland." (quote from today's Writer's Almanac w/Garrison Keillor)

My grandmother was a young career woman during this period. She was probably referred to as Miss Dowling in the insurance office where she was employed. One day several men rushed in, knocked out the front windows and pointed them towards the street. She didn't know whether to keep typing or run like the wind. She told me that part of her was terrified but a bigger part of her was exhilarated and alive like never before. She grabbed a rifle and told those men to step aside - that she would finish what they couldn't.....ok...ok...that last line was made up.....but i like the imagery of my grandmother taking on the British.....She was told to get the hell out of there which she did....

I looked for a picture to go along with this story.......this was the closest i could find - a real photo from that time......(a chemist is the pharmacy).....I do miss my Granny today.....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Miley Memoirs?


While perusing today's headlines I discovered that Miley Cyrus, the very talented 15 year old Disney star, better known to her millions of young fans as Hanna Montana, is about to write her memoirs. That's right.....her MEMOIRS......Yes, Miss Cyrus will tell us all about her arduous road to stardom and fame. She will trace her life from long, long ago when she was just a young girl wanting to follow in her father's footsteps.........Huh? Just want you all to know - I have SHOES older than her.....perhaps they will write their memoir someday of the long journey they have taken with me....tracing MY footsteps!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Prayer


While looking for an Earth Day prayer, it seemed only appropriate to find one from the people whose land we now inhabit.....

Earth Healing Ceremony
by: Medicine Grizzly Bear

O Great Creator,
I come before you in a humble manner
and offer you this sacred pipe.
With tears in my eyes and an ancient song from my heart
I pray.


To the four powers of Creation,
To the Grandfather Sun,
To the Grandmother Moon,
To the Mother Earth,
And to my ancestors.

I pray for my relations in Nature,
All those who walk, crawl, fly, and swim,
Seen and unseen,
To the good spirits that exist in every part of Creation.

I ask that you bless our elders and children and families and friends,
And the brothers and sisters in prison.
I pray for the ones who are sick on drugs and alcohol
And for those homeless and forlorn.
I also pray for peace among the four races of humankind.

May there be good health and healing for this Earth,
May there be Beauty above me,
May there be Beauty below me,
May there be Beauty in me,
May there be Beauty around me.
I ask that this world be filled with Peace, Love and Beauty.


Spokane, Washington, 1990

from www.indigenouspeople.net



the picture is from www.proseandletters.com

Monday, April 21, 2008

Love is...


Let us keep this truth before us.
You say you have no faith?
Love — and faith will come.
You say you are sad?
Love — and joy will come.
You say you are alone?
Love — and you will break out of your solitude.
You say you are in hell?
Love — and you will find yourself in heaven.
Heaven is love.

— Carlo Carretto from In Search of the Beyond

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ministry Day

Today is the 20th day of April and I'm sitting in my office looking outside at SNOW....what the? Yesterday I attended the Diocese of Olympia's Ministry Day Workshops held at Highline Community College with Ginny, our Sr. Warden. The weather was iffy but it wasn't until the late afternoon when she dropped me at my car and I headed up the hill towards Sequim that I realized I was in trouble. I am not a good driver to begin with due to vertigo issues and eventually had to pull over, call home and have the boys come to rescue me. You see I panicked big time when I passed a pick-up truck sitting on it's roof....If that could happen to that driver, what was going to happen to me? (I know this would have been the perfect opportunity to ask the 4 questions and do the turnarounds on this but I opted to just stop driving)...I was never so glad to see that enormous, deisel guzzling Dodge pull up and hear my son say "Need a lift lady?"

So here are the highlights of yesterday!
I finally met Karen Ward - Abbess of the Fremont Abby - I've read her blog and visited the one she recently started - www.aglimergent.org. She spoke on the Anglimergent movement & showed a clip of their Easter Vigil service, plus clips of other Anglican Emergent churches in England...I particularly enjoyed the clip on Messy Church in which kids and adults create their own artistic (and yes quite messy) liturgies.

The Bishop spoke to me! I passed him (Bishop Greg Rickel) on my way to my small group and he turned and asked me where I found the book I was carrying. "Living from the Center - Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism" by Jay McDaniel. I told me I had just picked it up at the Resource Center Booth and he said that Jay was a friend of his and that it was a good read! So, yes, the Bishop approves of my reading!!!!

The workshop on "Preaching, teaching & singing the many meanings of the Eucharist" was led by Samuel Torvend and it was so good that when it ended I did not pass go but went straight to the bookseller's table & purchased his book, "Daily Bread Holy Meal - Opening the Gifts of Holy Communion". In the front of the room he had placed a print of one of the earliest representations of a Eucharistic meal found in the ancient catacombs. Various people were seated around a small table on which sat a fish,wine,and bread and our presenter interpreted the words that rested above them -"Peace brings the food" and "Love for others brings the cup". Isn't that profound?

All in all a good day!

To Forgive Is....


To forgive
is to set a prisoner
free
and to discover
that the prisoner
was
you.

Lewis Smedes


(photo of Yuma Territorial Prison
Courtesy Bobby Zlatevski)

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Prayer of the Chalice



This is a prayer written by Francis Nutall.....not sure why Rumi's picture is above it but I liked the visual effect....Here's the prayer in an easier to read format:
Father, to you I raise my whole being - a vessel emptied of self. Accept, O Lord, this my emptiness, and so fill me with yourself, your light, your love, your life - that these your precious gifts may radiate through me and over- flow the chalice of my heart into the hearts of all with whom I come in contact this day revealing unto them the beauty of your joy and wholeness & the serenity of your peace which nothing can destroy. Amen!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For the Interim Time

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems to believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

"The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born."

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow your confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

From "To Bless the Space Between Us" by John O'Donohue, p. 119 (Christine gave me this book for my birthday - I love it!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Seeds of Compassion

Some of my readers (Steve) have been clamoring for an update of sorts to what Teresa and I experienced yesterday in Seattle. I'm still processing all that we saw and heard. Many of us have been raised to fear those who hold differing belief systems -after all, we have the one and only "truth" which leads some to believe that no other faith tradition has anything to offer Christians. I'm not here to argue that one way or the other, but I do have to say that being in the presence of such holy people who truly love God and want to honor one another was humbling. I'd love for all of you to experience what we did......you can click on the link below and listen to the first session. Rob Bell, pastor from Mars Hill Church in Michigan & author, spoke beautiful words about bearing one another's suffering and Joan Chittister, one of my personal heros was just brilliant with her responses...And the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu were having way too much fun!!!

So when you arrive at the website go to Tuesday, April 15th - Youth and Spiritual Connection Day......http://www.seedsofcompassion.org/webcast/index.html

As an aside......On the way into the Hec Ed Pavilion those of us making our way towards the arena were stopped by security because the Dalai Lama motorcade was approaching. After several minutes wherein lots of serious-looking security people cordoned off the area we could hear the police escort approaching. Sirens and flashing lights! I counted over 30 motorcycle police pulling into the parking lot followed by black SUV's , a very long van and a Medic wagon - It was quite exciting!

We wondered which vehicle the Dalai Lama was in when Teresa bent down and saw sandaled feet with bits of red robe dropping to the ground (we were on the opposite side of where the doors were sliding open)....His Holiness was quickly whisked into the lower parking level and the men in black SUV's left as quickly as they had arrived. It struck us that we were in a potentially dangerous place and that our world here in Sequim is rather mundane in comparison to such a scene as this. We were pumped! (but we did wonder about how big a human footprint the Dalai Lama has)

What must it be like to live such a life? He describes himself as a simple human being, but we saw him as a humble monk who risks his life on a daily basis in order to spread the message of compassion. We left the arena that day wondering what we were willing to risk to spread God's love and compassion to all that we meet?

Monday, April 14, 2008

What's Happening Tomorrow

Teresa and I are leaving at 6am from Sequim...the Panel Discussion starts at 9:30 @ Hec Ed Pavilion @ the U.W.....The following spiritual leaders will be on the panel:

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a simple Buddhist monk
-Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African Cleric and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
-Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America
-Rabbi David Rosen, Chairmen of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations
-Rosh Joan Halifax, Zen Buddhist Priest
-Rob Bell, Christian speaker, author and founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church
-Sister Joan Chittister, Catholic Nun, lecturer and author
-Doug Pagitt, head pastor of Solomon's Porch and Christian author
-Bishop Steven Charleston, the President and Dean of Episcopal Divinity School and a Professor of Theology
-Linda Kavelin-Popov, co-founder of the Virtues Project
-Ahmed Tijani Ben Omar, Secretary General of the African Muslim Organization in Africa
-Steven Shankman, the UNESCO Chair in Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue and Peace
-Youth from around the region
-Others yet to be announced

The Youth and Spiritual Connection Dialogue begins with a panel focusing on contemporary children. In today’s complex culture, with problems such as media overload, social pressure, short attention spans, isolation and fear, how do we bring awareness of spirituality and compassion to our children in the first years of life?

In the afternoon, workshops and forums on Spirituality and Compassion will provide participants with practical tools they can contribute to their homes, communities and future generations.

Will write all about it on Wednesday.....

The Ferry Ride


As we were sitting on the 9:35 Bainbridge ferry, heading towards Seattle for the Seeds of Compassion event, enjoying the cinnamon rolls that Laura had brought for us, (except Karen who has major issues with gluten), we heard the following announcement: "Does anyone have extra tickets for the Dalai Lama Show? If so please come to the Purser's Office." That struck us as being very funny! Not the ticket part - the "Show" part. What would that look like? The Dalai Lama with a backup chorus of monks singing We are the World?

Well, it just SO happened that Karen had received 2 tickets for an 11:30 event that she hadn't requested. (We were on our way to the 1:30 event at Qwest Field.) We had tried so hard to give those tickets away but there were no takers so we brought them with us in case we had an opportunity such as this. I have to admit - I was feeling just a teeny bit smug! Oh yes! We will save someone's day! We headed over to where a small group was forming outside the Purser's office...hmmm.... there seemed to be others with extra tickets there already....how did we all end up with extra tickets to an event we hadn't even applied for? Who knows? But we joined in...there was lots of talking going on - tickets being exchanged between strangers - more people arriving, others leaving - everyone grateful for the generosity of those with something to give and/or receive......for a moment there it felt like this really wasn't the same old everyday Washington State Ferry at all but The Love Boat! :)


P.S. Extra Credit for anyone who can name the Love Boat characters....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

About Yesterday...

Our day was filled with many surprises and sweet moments - but if I had to point to the part of the day that moved me the most? It was the moment the Dalai Lama walked onto the field - we could only see his back as he made his way to the staging area, for we were seated above and across from him. Though he was surrounded by his entourage of monks and security, there was no mistaking the man of compassion in his red robe. There was something about his walk and his wave. And of course, that laugh that could be heard, floating through the stadium.

more later....i'm off to church now....

Friday, April 11, 2008

He's Here!



"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." The Dalai Lama

Tomorrow i'm heading over to Seattle with K, L, and T to hear The Dalai Lama speak on compassion and youth.....it will be an intimate gathering.....just 55,000 of us......this should be quite the experience!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hate


“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

James Baldwin

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I Bet God

If He
let go of my hand, I would
weep so loudly,

I would petition with all my might, I would cause
so much trouble

that I bet God would come to His senses
and never do that
again.


Love Poems from God, D. Ladinsky, p. 107

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Image that makes them Sad


"How long will grown men and women in this world
keep drawing in their coloring books
an image of God that
makes them
sad?


Love Poems from God by D. Ladinsky, p.117

Monday, April 7, 2008

Meet n' Greet

Talk about Exciting News! I'm now officially a member of the RevGalPal Blogging community (that's their icon over there in the left column - please visit the many wonderful blogs you will find there)...What an Honor...now I feel like I should be saying something rather profound.....hmmm.....my mind's a blank at the moment...how about Thank You!

So here's a little background info for those of you who don't know me...I live in Sequim (pronounced Squim) with my husband of many many years. We have 4 adult kids and 6 grandkids...over 2 years ago I started sending daily quotes out to a few friends by email..what started as a wee bit of daily encouragement grew and grew until I decided perhaps it was time to blog them (though I still do email them too).....So here you will find lots of quotes and a few thoughts and the occasional rant thrown in.

Spiritually, I began my faith journey in the Roman Catholic Church, then in my 20's journeyed over to the Evangelical Church and after 20 years felt a call away from there to a desert experience.....dry, dusty, and dull at times but eventually God brought me, in a very circuitous route, to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington.....otherwise known as My Spiritual Home...I'm a practicing Spiritual Director and Counselor, and I'm a newbie in this strange thing they call "the discernment process".

As for the Leprechaun part.....I was born in Belfast, N. Ireland, my family emigrated to the U.S.A. when I was 2.....and back when my kids were in school I would dress up as the Giant Leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day and visit their schools (which they found very embarassing), local businesses and nursing homes. Nowadays I still dress up on March 17th, passing out chocolate gold coins to those who are wearing green. So far I have not been arrested or taken away by men wearing white coats......

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Road to Emmaus


"On the evening of his resurrection, Jesus came up to two of his disciples who were going to the village of Emmaus. But they did not realize that the Risen Christ was walking alongside them. There are times in our life when we lose the awareness that, through the Holy Spirit, the Risen Christ is with us. Whether recognized or not, he is present, even when nothing seems to suggest it."

from Peace of Heart in All Things by Brother Roger of Taize

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Become One with the Speed Limit!


Last week I told my friend Anita that on this birthday I was turning the speed limit and she (who lives in California) informed me that the speed limit down there was 65! So this signs says it all! I'm so looking forward to this year. There's a vibrancy to my life these days that I never thought I would have again. But God is always being and doing something within us before we know it ourselves. This is the task of the Spiritual Director - to listen for what God is doing in others....and I am fortunate to have so many who help me with this process in my own life - my wonderful husband David, my children and grandchildren, my friends, my family, my rector, my spiritual director, my discernment committee and all the saints at St. Paul's.....thank you one and all for loving me!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Laugh!


"Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God" - Karl Barth

Laughter is such an important part of our lives....did you know that some scientists have said that laughing 100 times equals the same physical exertion as a 10 minute workout on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on a stationary exercise bike? Sounds good to me! Who knew that laughing could work out the diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles! So if you just can't get to the gym - watch a Marx Brothers movie....and LAUGH!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Trials....

Your trials did not come to punish you, but to awaken you.
- Paramahansa Yogananda

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

HEY


The grass beneath a tree is content
and silent.

A squirrel holds an acorn in its praying hands,
offering thanks, it looks like.

The nut tastes sweet; I bet the prayer spiced
it up somehow.

The broken shells fall on the grass,
and the grass looks up
and says,
"Hey."

And the squirrel looks down
and says,

"Hey."

I have been saying "Hey" lately too,
to God.

Formalities just weren't
working.


Love Poems From God, p. 82 Daniel Ladinsky