Thursday, June 30, 2011

pack like a pilgrim

"God of Pilgrims,
Give us always a table to stop at
where we can tell our story
and sing our song."
- Father J. Giuliani,
The Benedictine Grange,
West Redding, Connecticut

According to the website where I found this photo pilgrims carried purses (scrips) which usually contained a bowl, a knife and a fresh set of undies...Realizing that we are all on a pilgrimage, may we always remember to pack so lightly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


"Small children somehow know that they have nothing of themselves on which to base any claim to gift or favour, yet they still believe that love will reach out and enfold them.  Devoid of adult pretentiousness, and full of their belief in being unconditionally loved, they have not yet begun the endless, competitive quest for self-justification, for proving their worthiness, for being in 'the state of grace', for relentlessly producing something better than anybody else.  Here lies the freedom and joy of the  daughters and sons of God."
 - Daniel J. O'Leary, Travelling Light - Your Journey to Wholeness,  p. 125.

photo - Fredrick's first time on a swing.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Love is not an emotion.
It is a policy."

-Hugh Bishop

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

try again?

"In everybody's life there is something that we want to do more than anything else.  The only question is whether what we want to do is what we can do and whether what we can do we are giving enough effort to doing.  Anything else is either tragic misunderstanding of the self or a comedic misuse of a natural gift."
- Joan Chittister, O.S.B.

Friday, June 17, 2011


"Mere words have something of quicksand about them.
Only experience is the rope that is thrown to us."
-Georges Bataille

unless of course one is actually sinking into quicksand
and the words are "grab the rope"

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

unreasonable expectations

"Though we often tend to blame them,
it is not the external things like families, jobs or money
that create problems for us in our lives.
Rather, what actually makes us unhappy
is our tendency to desire that these things bring us happiness.
This expectation that family, job, money, a new car, whatever,
will make us happy is what binds us and causes our discontent.”
- D.W. Moore

for more bizarre cards visit

Monday, June 13, 2011

absurdity of certainty

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."
– Voltaire: philosopher, writer

It's been several weeks now since this day arrived without the predicted outcome & I'm wondering how those who believed with such certainty are coping in the aftermath? Have they walked away from their faith? Have they made amends with their loved ones? Or have they just chosen another date?  At the very least, I hope they had enough money left to have their truck painted.

Monday, June 6, 2011

God & Grass

The following story has been blatantly nabbed in broad daylight from the weekly email I receive from Joan Chittister's e-newsletter: Vision and Viewpoint, which you can sign up for to have delivered to your inbox. It is always filled with encouraging words. I highly recommend it. ( but I chose the clearly- in-bad-taste photos)

God & Lawn Care
God said: "Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles."

St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But, it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It's sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it—sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.
God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, Sir.
God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.
St. Francis: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.
God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.
St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
God: No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?
St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.
God: And where do they get this mulch?
St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.
God: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?
St. Catherine: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It's a story about....
God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Intentions & Transformations

"There is a huge force field that opens
when intention focuses and directs itself
toward transformation."
- John O'Donohue

I recently took my granddaughter down to Kah Tai Lagoon in Port Townsend. Lydia, who is 9, was intrigued from the moment she entered the park. It was all I could do to keep her on the path as she darted to and fro, talking at 100 miles a minute, while touching wildflowers and pointing out all the strange bugs. I could hear myself saying, "be careful" and "don't get too far ahead" and other sorts of adult admonitions. It wasn't until she ran straight towards a tree (off the path of course), wrapped her arms around it and exclaimed, "Oh Grandma! this is my favorite tree in the whole wide world" that I realized that she was having a completely different experience than I was. She was seeing through a child's eyes. Lydia was intent on blessing everything in her path and her intention was having a direct effect on me - it was actually transforming me.

John O'Donohue penned a beautiful book of blessings* several years ago that never ceases to move me. Listen to these words: "We have no idea the effect we actually have on one another. This is where blessing can achieve so much. Blessing as powerful and positive intention can transform situations and people. The force of blessing must be even more powerful when we consider how the intention of blessing corresponds with the deepest desire of reality for creativity, healing, and wholesomeness. Blessing has pure agency because it animates on the deepest threshold between being and becoming; it mines the territories of memory to awaken and draw forth possibilities we cannot even begin to imagine!" **

As I watched Lydia hug her tree I wondered if the tree was aware of her blessing, her love. And as we reached the water's edge and Lydia dipped her hand into the cold current, I began to sense that the water was enjoying the pureness of her attention. I was crossing the threshold between my perception of the park and Lydia's...and with that came a deep sense of kindness towards my surroundings. It's amazing to think of the power of one's intentions, isn't it? May we remain open to all the blessings that are coming our way today.

* To Bless the Space Between Us, A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue, Copyright 2008
** quote from page 217