Saturday, May 28, 2011

Do you want my advice?

"The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it,
to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not
and never persist in trying to set people right."
-Hannah Whitall Smith

One of my pet peeves
is people's need to give unsolicited advice.
I even have a rule against it in my classroom.
And while we are on this topic,
the best advice I ever received
from my mother was to take a good hard look
at anyone who gives you advice!
But if you have been asked for your advice,
Hannah's words are of great, great value.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Be Fruitful!

"Preparing food is not just about
yourself and others.
It is about everything."

Shunryu Suzuki

At our recent church staff meeting I was completely undone
by a fruit salad. Really. I was overwhelmed by the beauty
of the fruit - the colors/shapes/textures/ and yet I could not separate all of that from
the inner beauty of the woman who had carefully and lovingly crafted this work of art
for our nourishment and delight. It was a Christ-filled Eucharistic moment.
And I was not the only one to take a photo of this offering.
We all felt the "everything" that the author of this quote speaks of.
For a moment we hesitated about digging into that pineapple,
but we did so with gusto and do you know what it tasted like?

Thank you Elizabeth Sepesy
for gifting us with your fruitfulness

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the koan

"The koan* is like a pebble in the mouth of a man
who walks in the desert.
It does not quench existing thirst,
but it stimulates the means of quenching it.
-C. Humphreys, Buddhism

*koan - n. A puzzling, often paradoxical statement,story, or parable,
used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and
as a means of gaining spiritual awakening.

I know the photo distracts from the beauty of the quote - but really,
how often do you see a man walking with a cheetah in the desert?
That's a koan worth pondering!

Taking a stroll: A Nomadic tribesman walks side by side
in the company of a cheetah that he has helped to tame.
More cool photos of the man with the cheetah from here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

we are the light bearers

"There's an old Sufi story about a man who dropped his keys
on the dark side of the street at night,
then crossed the street to the lamppost where it was bright to look for the keys.
When a friend asked why he was looking under the lamp
instead of where he dropped the keys,
he replied, "I'm looking here because there is more light."
That's what we do with our lives: the familiar framework is where we want to look.
If we have a problem, we follow a familiar framework: thinking, stewing, analyzing,
keeping the crazy business of our lives going because that's what we're used to doing.
Never mind that it doesn't work.
We just get more determined, and keep searching under the lamppost.
We're not interested in that life which is out of space and time,
constantly creating the world of space and time.
We're not interested in that; in fact, it's frightening to us.
 - Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special

I like this story but I like the artwork even more.
The lamppost is just as lost as the man
who is looking for keys in the wrong place.
The lamppost is looking for the light,
not knowing it is the bearer of light!
And just as yesterday's post emphasized our blind spots.
Today I wonder what glorious gifts we refuse to recognize in ourselves?

photo: Lamppost, by Matt Irie and Dominick Talvacchio,
is situated in a park near the Metrotech Center in Brooklyn.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

blind spot

"May you have good friends to mirror your blind spots."
-a line from John O'Donohue's "For a Leader" blessing,
from the book, To Bless the Space Between Us.

Part of me says "Oh Yes! Great Idea"~
but the shadowy part of me falsely believes
that being shown those blind spots might actually be unbearable.

Friday, May 13, 2011


"If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds
and I would pick more daisies."

---part of a response from 85 year old Nadine Stair,
when asked what she would do if she had her life to live over.
Fredrick's first merry-go-round.
Lydia is showing him how it's done!
What is it about watching children on a carousel
that makes one feel so hopeful?

Monday, May 9, 2011

curtains for toto

"Over and over, my disappointments draw me deeper
into the mystery of God's being and doing.
Every time God declines to meet my expectations, another of my idols is exposed.
Another curtain is drawn back so I can see what I have propped up in God's place -
no, that is not God, so who is God?
It is the question of a lifetime, and the answers are never big enough or finished.
Pushing past curtain after curtain,
it becomes clear that the failure is not God's but my own,
for having such a poor and stingy imagination. God is greater than my imagination,
wiser than my wisdom, more dazzling than the universe, as present as the air I breathe,
and utterly beyond my control."  - Barbara Brown Taylor - The Preaching Life, p.10

not sure if you can see it, but it's Toto who actually pulls back the curtain on the "wizard."
Dogs are so smart:)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama's Day

Some Mother's Day Trivia

What TV mama drove this bus?

(So glad she was careful and nervous, all at the same time!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day Blooms

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale

This plant is unique to the Sequim area, blooming only after Easter!
(spotted on Port Williams Road this morning:)