Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resolutions....

Happy New Years Eve! 
May it include party hats, confetti, and noise makers! 
And don't forget the resolutions! 
Do you make them? 
Are they like this one?
 
 
I read today that 45% of us make resolutions while 38% refuse.
Also read that if you're in your 20's you have a 39% chance of success,
but for those of us over 50, our chances drop to a measly 14%.
What does that say?
So while the usual suspects top the list of the ten most popular resolutions
(i.e. weight loss, getting organized, and quitting smoking)
 I prefer these words from author Neil Gaiman's blog:
 
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.
You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes.
Make glorious, amazing mistakes.
Make mistakes nobody's ever made before.
Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough,
or it isn't perfect, whatever it is:
art, or love, or work or family or life.  
Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. 
Make your mistakes, next year and forever."
 

Monday, December 30, 2013

sheer joy

What do wise men do all day?
Meditate?  Pray?  Discuss deep theological topics?
I often wonder if they tire of one another
as they are always together.
As an extrovert I love being around people,
but I would tire of being in the constant presence of others.
And yes, the wise men have had their tiffs,
 but for the most part, they exude such a strong bond of love.
 
So I asked them today.
Me:  "How do you get along so well with one another?

Wise1:  "Ah...excellent question, dear one." 
 
Wise2:  You see, we really don't consider ourselves as separate."
 
Me"Huh?  I'm not sure I understand?"
 
Wise3: "Understanding is not the holy grail."
 
Wise2:  "And seeking explanations will only make you cranky."
 
Me: "Sounds rather Zen to me."
 
Wise3:  "Our spiritual practice is to focus on Love."
 
Wise1:  "And we practice Loving one another. 
Just like the Love born in Bethlehem.
For is not God known by relationships?"
 
Me"I don't completely comprehend your mysterious ways but I do love you!"
 
Wise2:  "And we love who we are when we are with you."
 
Wise3:  "Thomas Aquinas said it best:"
 
"God is sheer joy, and sheer joy demands company."
 
Me:  "Oh, I like that image of God as sheer joy!
 
 
And once again, the company of the wise ones brings me joy....
 
 


Monday, December 16, 2013

Wise Men Seeking the Light


 
 
 
 
While lighting my Advent wreath last night for the 3rd Sunday in Advent I noticed the 3 wise men had made a move.  They had been back in the corner for the longest time so I was surprised to see them this close.  Not wanting to irritate them in any way (which they say I do on a regular basis) I just stood there, waiting for them to initiate a conversation.  It didn’t take long for them to speak and as usual they got right to the point.

Wise1:  Why haven’t you been speaking to us?
Me:  Whatever happened to people greeting one another with ‘Hello, how are you?’ 
Wise1:  Hello, how are you, and why haven’t you been speaking to us?
Me: That’s a bit better.  I’m well, thank you very much, and you know me,  I like to give you guys your space.
Wise2:  We think you forgot about us. That you’ve moved on or outgrown us.  We figured that’s why you moved us into this storage unit.
Me:  First of all, this is not a storage unit, it’s a 5th wheel and I could never forget about you three!
Wise3:  5th wheel?  We’re on 5 wheels?  Dear God, don’t start this thing on an odd number of wheels!!!
Me:  Silly wee men, we would have to be attached to a truck to go anywhere.  This is our home at the present time.  Don’t you think it’s kind of cozy?  I thought you’d like it better since you are no longer closed off in a bathroom.  Now you have a view of the whole world…
Wise1:  Which reminds us of that Disney song, “It’s a Small World After All.”
Wise3:  I apologize for my compadre's rude remark.  We just miss our bathroom shelf, especially our leprechaun and our book.  We felt comfortable there and don’t understand why we had to leave.
Me:  Well, life is about change.  Unfortunately your leprechaun pal caught a glimpse of a rainbow outside the bathroom window and ran off in search of yet another pot of gold, but I could provide you with some sort of diversion.  How about a new book to read.  Would you like that?
Wise2:  Yes please. We so enjoy a good read.  And we're pretty sure that leprechaun took our Thomas Merton book with him!
Me:  I've told you fellas that you can never trust a leprechaun...
Wise2:  And wifi would be terrific.  In the meantime, is it really the 3rd week of Advent?
Me:  Indeed it is.  The week of Joy.  Known as Gaudete Sunday which comes from the Latin word for “rejoice.” This marks the halfway point.  Are you feeling joyful?
Wise3:  Not really.  We’ve been having a bit of a pity party and not wanting to reach out.
Wise1:  But now we’re glad we did. 
Me:  Me too…I haven’t been good about keeping connected and for that I apologize.  Which reminds me of this wonderful quote about our need for one another.  Check it out while I search for that book…
Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.   -Albert Schweitzer
Wise3:  Yes, this is a lovely quote that wise men like us should practice.  And we really didn’t mean to complain about the housing you’ve provided.  You are kind, but when we focus only on ourselves, we tend to get a bit melancholy.  Here’s to rekindling one another’s light as we continue walking this path together!
Me:  Amen!
(If you are new to this blog and would like to read of previous adventures of the wise ones click on the "wise men" in the Labels section to the left.)
 
 
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Guadalupe Feasting


Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
This image (which I stole from Sara Miles FB page)
gives a much richer meaning to "feast" day!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

practicing eternity

 
"Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity."
 
Tao Te Ching - Stephen Mitchell
p.52


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

something on the horizon

In light of artist/author Jan Richardson's husband Garrison Doles having died today, I wanted to use one of her wonderful Advent quotes.  May she find the light in the darkness as she grieves the loss of her beloved.
 

The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon
the likes of which we have never seen before… .
What is possible is to not see it, to miss it,
to turn just as it brushes past you.
And you begin to grasp what it was you missed,
like Moses in the cleft of the rock,
watching God's [back] fade in the distance.
So stay. Sit. Linger. Tarry. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder.
There will be time enough for running.
For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay.
Wait. Something is on the horizon.”

Jan L. Richardson, Night Visions:
Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas.
 
To join her Advent online retreat go to the painted prayerbook.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cast Away Calendar


Do you remember Cast Away?
Poor Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) spent four years on his island waiting.
The good news is that we have only four weeks to wait.
And we don't have to converse with only a volleyball.
(unless you're into that, which of course is just fine.)
  
 
 
photo from Occupy Advent

Sunday, December 1, 2013

First Sunday Advent 2013

'Tis the first Sunday in Advent 2013.....in today's sermon I heard "it's time to do the deep work of Advent"....I wonder what that will look like? 
Here's what I have for today - a quote by Fr. Alfred Delp who lived a deep and meaningful life...



"Light your candles quietly,
such candles as you possess,
wherever you are."
 
Do you like my 'candles'???
My husband put lights on my prayer flag that attaches to the side of our 5th wheel....
They are making me very happy~!


 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

touching difficult memories

Two delicious quotes from  Stephen Levine's book " A Year to Live"



"Simply touching a difficult memory
with some slight willingness to heal
begins to soften the holding and tension around it.
 
Page 74
 
 
"If there is a single definition of healing
it is to enter with mercy and awareness
those pains, mental and physical,
from which we have withdrawn in judgment and dismay."
 
Page 48

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Sacredness of Autumn


 
O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher,
for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment.
As I gaze upon your full-colored beauty,
I sense all about you an at-homeness with your amber riches.
 
You are the season of retirement,
of full barns and harvested fields.
The cycle of growth has ceased,
and the busy work of giving life
is now completed.
I sense in you no regrets:
you’ve lived a full life.
 
I live in a society that is ever-restless,
always eager for more mountains to climb,
seeing happiness through more and more possessions.
As a child of my culture,
I am seldom truly at peace with what I have.
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received,
may I know that it’s enough,
that my striving can cease in the abundance of God’s grace.
May I know the contentment
that allows the totality of my energies
to come to full flower.
May I know that like you I am rich beyond measure.
 
As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let me also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
may I truly appreciate this autumn day.
 
Edward Hays, contemplative, spiritual director, author, chaplain, etc.
This poem/prayer is taken from the book Earth Prayers
 
photo is of leaves at Earth Sanctuary taken by Helen Forshee. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

the hardest of these is love

I received this poem today from Inwardoutward.org and loved it:

IF PRAYER WOULD DO IT

If prayer would do it
I'd pray.

If reading esteemed thinkers would do it
I'd be halfway through the Patriarchs.

If discourse would do it
I'd be sitting with His Holiness
every moment he was free.

If contemplation would do it
I'd have translated the Periodic Table
to hermit poems, converting
matter to spirit.

If even fighting would do it
I'd already be a black belt.

If anything other than love could do it
I'd have done it already
and left the hardest for last.

Stephen Levine
Source:  Breaking the Drought

That first line about prayer brought discomfort.   I often commit to praying for someone in an effort to remain detached or to comfort myself with the thought, "well, at least I'm praying for them."  

My prayer for today is to remain open to new ways to love one another, for that is what Christ continues to do ....Love costs but as the saying goes, it pays well.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

prefer truth

It's ironic that my last post from August says "be here now" and yet I've been everywhere but here! 
As life unfolds I'm willing to go where Spirit leads. 
Today she led me to the blog and this photo of Morse Creek in Port Angeles, WA. 
I discovered the quote in Richard Rohr's Immortal Diamond.
May your path lead you to truth. 
 
 
 
 
"Christ likes us to prefer truth to himself,
because before being Christ, he is truth.
If one turns aside from him to go toward the truth,
one will not go far before falling into his arms.
 
- Simone Weil, Waiting for God

Friday, August 9, 2013

be here....now

 
"Peace is the result of
retraining your mind
to process life as it is,
rather than as you
think it should be."
 
-Wayne Dyer
 
photo from here

Friday, July 26, 2013

 
"The greatest service we can offer anyone
is to mirror their true heart."
 - S. Levine, Embracing the Beloved
 
What does this child see in the mirror? 
That she is beautiful?  And loved? And cherished?
This is the core of  all of our callings,
and as a hospice chaplain,
the only thing I do that truly matters.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

handshakes

 
“To make peace, any peace

nothing, absolutely nothing visible

may need changing on Earth.

Peace is made up of handshakes

that take place

entirely in the mind.”

 

- Theo Grutter

 

from Thinking Wild - Its Gifts of Insight

 

image from here

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

uses of sorrow

“The uses we make of sorrow
are the measure of our spiritual growth.” 

- Diana Lampen

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What is Prayer?


Expanding the concept of prayer...one beautiful poem at a time...
 
 
 
 
 
What is Prayer?  
 
Prayer is intimacy with the Great Mystery.
Be every moment aware of the Presence —
how you are loved!
 
She takes off Her wings
to heal you, He surrenders
everything for your sake.
At all times in every
hidden, open place
It lives in your deep
soul’s core, It moves
in your moving and acts
through your skin
and the skin or bark or shell
of all living beings—  forms of angels,
and also of water, rocks, and fire.
 
So be awake to the life that is loving you
and sing your prayer, laugh your prayer,
dance your prayer, run and weep and
sweat your prayer,
sleep your prayer, eat your prayer,
paint, sculpt, hammer and read your prayer,
sweep, dig, rake, drive and hoe your prayer,
garden and farm and build and clean your prayer,
wash, iron, vacuum, sew, embroider and pickle your prayer,
compute, touch, bend and fold, but never delete
or mutilate your prayer.
 
Learn and play your prayer,
work and rest your prayer,
fast and feast your prayer,
argue, talk, whisper, listen and shout your prayer,
groan and moan and spit and sneeze your prayer,
swim and hunt and cook your prayer,
digest and become your prayer.
 
Release and recover your prayer.
Breathe your prayer.
Be your prayer.
 
Let prayer be your thinking
and thriving, your passionate
living and humble dying
back into Earth and God.
Let prayer be your senses and sex,
your political power, your confusion
and vision for good.
 
Let teaching tolerance and all childcare be prayer.
Let your mistakes be a prayer, and your unknowing.
Let remorse and forgiveness be prayer.
 
Make love in every act,
create growth in each intent.
Nature in any form serves
as sanctuary and temple.
 
Let your bath be an oracle chamber,
every trip anywhere a pilgrimage,
and your dream bed each night
the Holy of Holies.
 
And so you are praying.
So you do what you be,
and all your being is blessed
and all your life is a prayer.
And all your acts are a blessing.
 
           Alla Renée Bozarth
 
From Moving to the Edge of the World
by Alla Renée Bozarth, iUniverse 2003. All rights reserved.
For permission to reprint or for any other reason, contact
the poet at allabearheart@yahoo.com Write “Permission”
or “Poetry” in the subject line. Also see
 
 
photo by Helen Forshee taken at Butchart Gardens, B.C.

 
What will you do with your prayer?

 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

being present to the life we have

 

 
“We travel so far only to land where we are.

We imagine other lives, only to meet who we are.

We seek out love in special ways, only to find everyone is special.

Humbly, we can’t avoid this journey.

It is precisely through it that, if blessed,

we wake to the life we want by being present to the life we have...”

 

- Mark Nepo

The Book of Awakening

 

taken from an ad for Mark Nepo’s LIVE workshop slated for June 2013 in Colorado

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tea time



"There are few hours in life 
more agreeable than the hour 
dedicated to the ceremony 
known as afternoon tea."

Henry James

Last Saturday my friend Helen invited me to spend the day in Victoria.
This photo was taken at Butchart Gardens, where we enjoyed Afternoon Tea,
while enjoying the gardens & the water through this window.
This was our Downton Abbey moment.

Here are 2 other photos that Helen took in Butchart.
She takes marvelous photos!


 




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

tiptoe through the tulips

Today my friend Karen took me to trip through the La Conner tulips to celebrate my 60th birthday.
What a glorious day.  I have no words for the beauty of these flowers. 
Enjoy!
 
 
Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.
-Theodore Roethke


Life is a celebration of passionate colors. - Leialoha Cator

 
If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom,
maybe your soul has never been in bloom. ~Terri Guillemets

 
Sometimes I imagine colors as if they were living ideas, being of pure reason with which to communicate.
Nature is not on the surface, it is deep down. - Paul Cezanne

 
Color is joy. One does not think joy. One is carried by it. - Ernst Haas
 


Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors,
there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, April 8, 2013

Make a Wish

 
"The strength of the genie comes from
his having been confined in the bottle."
- Richard Wilbur
 
I read that Richard Wilbur was referring to the structures of poetry,
but what about the various forms of  confinement we face in life
that hold the possibility of making us stronger and more determined?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Another milestone

 
Someone asked me recently what my plans were for my 60th birthday. 
My response?  "I'm getting my shingles shot!" 
I don't think that was the response they were expecting,
but having watched several of my friends suffer through the shingles
and knowing that the recommended age for the shot is 60,
this is a no-brainer! I'm off to get that dang shot!
 
And yes, I do plan to do other awesome birthday type activities
which include blowing out birthday candles and 
delighting in my friends and family.
 
I am one very blessed gal!

Friday, March 29, 2013

It's a Good Friday

 
“If you want to see just how far
God has fallen in love with you,
then look at Jesus – look at Jesus on the cross.”
 
Rev. Alan Jones, Passion for Pilgrimage
quote from today's Good Friday sermon

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Prodigal Pup

Today's gospel is from Luke 15 in which Christ continues to shock both pharisees and scribes by hanging out with the less desirable members of society.  In response Jesus gives them the parable of the Prodigal Son. 

Below you will find a reprint of my blog post from three years ago.  I loved it then and I love it now.  And frankly (no pun intended), my wiener dog is the perfect prodigal prop.

"Every time I return home my dog, Lucy, goes berserk. First there's that sweet moment when she realizes that I have returned from wherever I've been. Then there is that mad dash to get to me. This can occur at a dizzying level of speed. This is followed by the jumping up on me, the piddling, the squeaking, and the frantic tail wagging. And the length of time that I'm away doesn't seem to factor in to her uber-excitement. I can be gone a week or 20 minutes. It's all the same to Lucy. And I love it for who else is so consistently overjoyed just by my walking into their range of sight?

Here's what I know about my dog. She is the spittin' image of the Father in the parable of The Prodigal Son. You know the story, boy is unhappy with his lot in life, asks dad for his inheritance, dad hands it over, boy blows it all and has to crawl back home. He is expecting to hear a litany of "I told you so's" but instead his dad acts just like my dog. Running, kissing, hugging, and I am undone by such a display of love - as I'm sure that son was. Like the Prodigal Son's Father, Lucy's mercy is neverending. I continue to learn a lot from her.

P.S. Oh yeah, and about that "put-out attitude" of the older brother. Definitely cat behavior."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Mothering Hen

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13 has the Pharisees trying to convince Jesus to run away from Herod in fear.

But Jesus doesn’t give in to the “what ifs” because there is nothing that will stand in his way of heading towards Jerusalem.

Speaking of Jerusalem, Jesus laments:


"How often have I desired to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
and you were not willing!"

I took this photo and the following prayer

(which was based on the Lord’s Prayer) from a previous blog post

because it was just that good!


"Our Mothering Hen
Who art brooding over us
hallowed be thy sheltering wings.

Forgive our unwillingness to come into your embrace
And gather us in, reluctance and all.
Free us from fear of foxes
And the sharp bite
of anything that separates us from you.

Open our eyes
To the plenty around us.
Open our hearts
That our plenty be shared.

Lead us not into contention
But into the dance of connection.


For thine is the grace that wakes us each new day
And thine is the mercy that puts our souls at ease
And thine is the love that sets our hearts alight.

For ever and ever, amen."

Tammerie Day - posted at Day at a Glance



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

bless our journeys

This past weekend while attending a retreat
at St. Andrew’s House on the Hood Canal
I walked over to Harmony Hill and spent some time
within this exquisite seashell labyrinth.

And this morning I came across
this prayer from the Iona Community
which fits perfectly:
 
“Lord, bless the journeys we never planned to take,
but through your surprising wisdom
discovered we were on.”
-Peter Millar, "A Time to Mend"
 
 
Which of us could have predicted where our
journeys have taken us?
Sitting on bench in middle of labyrinth,
looking forward to the journey back.
 
plaque at entrance to shell labyrinth
“In memory of all those who have
walked this path"- The Ferrari Family