Sunday, February 27, 2011

think spring!

"Going from this place to another place
is like the bird in winter
who remembers the beauty of her Springtime nest
just to keep herself from freezing."
Nancy Wood

Oh Spring, wherefore art Thou?

Local Sequim birds photographed by Diane Nelson

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the way we were or weren't

"Surrender is the crossover point of life.
It distinguishes who I was from who I have become.
Surrender comes in grand ways and in small ones,
but, sooner or later, I must admit, that there is no turning back
from the rejection or the loss or the turn of age or the abandonment.
Life as I had fantasized it is ended.
What is left is the spiritual obligation to accept reality
so that the spiritual life can really happen in me."
-Joan Chittister, Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope p. 59

Accepting the spiritual obligation of entering or staying in reality
is difficult but it's truly the only way to move forward in order
to give up the hope of a known past for an unknown future.
(And some days I need a good dose of Joan Chittister
to get my head on straight!)

And why this picture you ask?
The last scene of "The Way we Were" fits this part of the quote -
"Life as I had fantasized it is ended."
Yes, Hubbell and Katie reconnect here for one moment
(& why doesn't Hubbell make the top baby name list every year?)
and in that moment there is the fantasy of "what if & what was" in his eyes....
cue the tissues....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Giving away our best

"We are cups
constantly & quietly being filled.
The trick is,
knowing how to tip ourselves over
& let the beautiful stuff out." 
Ray Bradbury

And  that can be a challenge at times, what with our propensity to become distracted by thinking that others might not see us as the beautiful creations that we are, thus losing our grip on our saucers, scalding ourselves and those around us:)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

if roads could talk...

"How long the road is.
But, for all the time
the journey has already taken, how you have needed every second of it in order to learn what
the road passes by."
-Dag Hammarskjold, Markings

photo of Bridge of Tears
Donegal, Ireland from

In the nineteenth century, before the railway was built, local people emigrating to America, Britain and Australia crossed this bridge on their way to the port of Derry, which was the main departure point for Donegal emigrants. The emigrant was accompanied by family and friends as far as this point, but crossed to the opposite side alone. (I wonder why?) This walk had all the finality of a funeral, as most of the emigrants never returned.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prayer for My Enemies

The following prayer is from the end of the sermon I preached yesterday. 
The prayer is based on Matthew 5:43-45 in which Jesus expands 
"love your neighbor" into "love your enemies"
and oh yes, pray for them too! 

"Thank you for enemies Lord, for they drive me back to you in prayer.
Thank you God for your sun that rises on everyone.
May it bring warmth and comfort to my enemies today.
Bless them Lord.  Heal the hurts in their lives just as you heal mine.
Give me the grace to show your love to them today.

Thank you God for this rain that you have sent to quench your earth.
May it quench the thirst of my enemies today.
Bless them Lord.  And as you have forgiven me,
May your Spirit give me the grace I need to forgive my enemies today.

Thank you for these tangible reminders that your grace is bestowed on all.
And when the pain of hurt and hatred begin to overwhelm me,
and I consider seeking solace in resentment and revenge,
may your Holy Spirit direct me to the only place I can receive true comfort
and healing - in your loving embrace.  Amen"

Roberta Hiday, Spiritual Director
Sequim, Washington

Thursday, February 17, 2011

stop, sit, & listen

"The greatest spiritual act
we can take is to stop and sit down."
— Anne Lamott

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Savagely Funny Chickens

I look forward to receiving "Savage Chickens" cartoons as a daily email.
I loved today's cartoon and thought I'd share some of my favorites.
Check out Doug Savage's website here and take a moment for a's good for the soul!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the high cost of living

"The price of anything is
the amount of life you have to pay for it."
- Henry Thoreau

photo of walden pond by benjamin meagher found here

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Eau de toilette?

"Love makes your soul
crawl out from its hiding place."
~Zora Neale Hurston

And let's face it,
without love one can feel as though they've
been flushed down the toilet bowl of life! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lift me up O Lord!

"I was like a stone
lying deep in mud,
but he that is mighty
lifted me up
and placed me
on top of the wall."
St. Patrick (c. 360-c.461)
photo found right here

I was in the mood for something Celtic today. I'm not even sure if this quote is actually attributed to St. Patrick but for right now, I'm comforted by the image of God reaching down and lifting me up.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Haiku - The Sacred Art

Yesterday I had the joy of joining my friend Margaret McGee at Seattle University's 3rd Annual "Search for Meaning Book Festival." Margaret provided a workshop on her book, "Haiku, A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines," and I spoke briefly on the use of Haiku in Spiritual Direction.  There's something about spending the night in the big city where people are actually eating dinner after 9pm that does a rural woman's soul some good.

There were 2 keynote speakers: Anne Lamott, author of fiction and non-fiction was excellent and funny, and Tariq Ramadan, professor of Islamic studies at Oxford, was intriguing to say the least.  It's also great to run into people you haven't seen in a few years, and to end the day engaged in great conversation with a dear friend during the 2 hour drive home.  Did I mention that this Book Festival is FREE.  Yep...So mark your calendars for next February. 

So I leave you with a couple of quotes from Margaret's book and several Haikus:  "A haiku expresses the heart of a moment in a few brief lines.  Using images and senses, a haiku brings feeling to life... A haiku is a form of instant communion.  A haiku involves an exchange of sensory experience: taste and touch, bread and wine.  In haiku, the experince is shared in a few brief words, offering both the feeling of the moment and the insight that we are not alone." (p.9 Haiku-the sacred art by Margaret McGee)  And here is one of my favorites: "Haiku is a way to let God know we are paying attention."

shown a flower
a small baby
opens its mouth
         -Seifu-ni (1731-1814

a bitter morning:
sparrows sitting together
without any necks
         -James W. Hackett