Thankful—Full of Thanks

THANKFULconscious of benefits received, relieved that something has (or hasn’t) happened, contented, appreciative, grateful благодарно, reconnaissant, אסיר תודה, grato, 감사한, riconoscente, agradecido, 感謝している, dankbaar, ευγνώμων, 感激 “Thankful” is expressed and felt differently. Many of us have the privilege of being grateful for people who love us, health, a career (or retirement), a roof over our heads. In […]

Unbalanced and Running on Empty

Balance is a state of equilibrium: stability, calmness, harmony, serenity. But, for many, that equilibrium is missing. My life has been unbalanced. I’ve often not spent as much time honoring and caring for the core of me as I’ve spent dealing with body and mind matters. (Have you experienced that?) Professional jugglers know the importance of balance in […]

Privileged to Cast My Vote

This morning I voted. I stood in line for just about two hours, winding up and down outdoor lines marked six feet apart. I wore my mask, of course, and boots and gloves and a hat under my hood, but the cold wind still seeped into my veins. But that didn’t matter. The crisp air […]

Poetry on a Tuesday

I started a post then scrapped it—too serious (life feels serious enough right now). I started another one, but it felt too “minimal”—not strong enough for the times we’re living in. So, I decided that this would be a good day to post pieces from Poetry and Other Random Thoughts. All of these poems have […]

Lost & Found

Some things that might be found in a “Lost and Found” box:a single glove,an umbrella, a book.Much of what’s “found” and deposited in the box is forgotten, never reclaimed by its original owner. You look in the box for what you’ve “Lost.” You put into the box something you’ve “Found”—something that’s not yours.  “Lost” doesn’t only apply […]

Truth & Dare

“Truth or Dare” is something I’ve never played, having heard too many stories of young (and not-so-young) people divulging personal information or performing dangerous, humiliating, or out of their comfort zone “dares.” (What we sometimes do to others, or allow them to make us do, is heartbreaking.) Unlike the game “truth or dare,” I’m talking about truth and dare. […]

Peer Pressure

As children, your peers were likely close to your age, but as adults, they’re usually people who have similar backgrounds, social statuses, lifestyles, or abilities, regardless of age.  Peer pressure occurs when you’re influenced to adopt views, goals, or behaviors matching your peer group.  We often think of teenagers when we hear “peer pressure” because […]

Life and Awareness

IIn the winter, when I was very young, I would curl up, as small as I could, next to the bathtub as it filled with water. There wasn’t yet central heat in our home, and the little bathroom was a room without that luxury. The house was heated by coal delivered down a chute and […]

Tree People

This idea started with a simple concept: “Love songs aren’t just for others. Love songs are for you too.” But, as I thought about the number of people who don’t truly experience love or struggle with trusting love, I realized that, for many, it’s often really tough just to get to the place of self-love. Sadly, some […]

Z to A

Amid the sorrow and challenges of COVID-19, significant changes have taken place in the lives of everyone I know. It was seven months ago that the World Health Organization declared a global emergency. And, since March, when a national emergency was declared in The USA, it often feels, for me, like time moves as slow […]

Hope

We need hope—a reservoir of spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental strength. Without it, we wrestle more with the challenges of this world. Hope acknowledges dreams and desires for something “better.” Hope leads to expectations that become birthed into reality. Hope champions optimism, fans flames of faith and silences gongs of hatred. Hope is Rosa Parks […]

Heart & Breath

We’re familiar with the expression “thinking outside the box”— choosing to see things from a different perspective, perhaps more creatively or unconventionally, not boxed in. There’s value in “breathing outside the box,” too, taking the time to hear your breath, slowing down, consciously inhaling and exhaling, honoring and acknowledging what’s often taken for granted.  Breathing sounds simple, but […]

Perspective

Often, true happiness is borne out of understanding what unhappy is. When young, you, likely, didn’t have a myriad of choices, but, as you “came of age,” you may have been able to turn the lens, culling joy from relationships, choosing where to share your heart, knowing when to run from pain, creating (at least to some […]

Wisdom Words

There have been decades when I moved through life at warp speed, by necessity. Now, cognizant of the fleeting nature of time, “where am I rushing to?” is a question I often ask myself. Although COVID-19 has changed realities significantly for many of us, dashing through life still seems like an embedded part of our […]

Found Words

Words create images, express emotions, tell stories, elevate the mundane. They are gems just waiting to be strung together and transformed into a new way of viewing life. At their best, words soothe savage beasts, carry us to far-away lands and breathe hope into our beings.  WINGED FLIGHT a ladybug lands on the book. her […]

Greener Grass and Rosier Glasses

When “the grass seems greener on the other side,” you look over the “fence”—literally or proverbially—and see your neighbor’s “lawn” as healthier than yours. But, just like us worn-down mortals with eroded and less-than-perfect parts of us, you’re often not close enough to recognize the crabgrass, brown patches, or bare places. As humans, we often have a bias […]

Rainbows and Wizards and Yellow Brick Roads

The chorus to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”➀ has been taking up space in my mind. The background to Dorothy’s adventures, its lyrics, both haunting and hopeful, also spoke to the world as it was in 1939. Then, as I was going through old, hand-written pages of notes, I found this analogy, between The Wizard of Oz (the movie) […]

Letting Go

Two weeks ago, a large, heavy ceramic pot broke into a dozen pieces. I decided to glue it back together. It was time-consuming, requiring a lot of patience—which I sometimes don’t have—as I clamped individual pieces together, waiting for them to dry before adding the next part of the puzzle. Eventually, (with almost an entire […]

Awareness, Pain, Movement, Grace

Death Awareness In earlier posts, I’ve written about Maraṇasati—recognizing that as we’re living, we’re dying. I always hold the fragility of life somewhere in my frame of consciousness, but, right now, it takes center stage even more often. Rampant Pain racism hopelessness stress judgment being unseen fear shame hate with big capital letters psychological abuse marginalization brutality […]

In Pursuit of Being Real

In Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, a stuffed toy is given to a boy as a Christmas gift, but soon forgotten, set aside in favor of other “more expensive” toys. The older and wiser, Skin Horse, befriends the rabbit, teaching him about love and becoming real. “Real…. is a thing that happens to you. When a […]

The Fabric of You

A while ago, I made pillow covers from delicate fabric with silk fibers of amazing colors. These different threads, woven together, make gorgeous patterns of free form flowers and leaves. The non-selvage edge of this fabric unravels easily and really looking at each strand, I was surprised by how much movement and beauty they had, […]

Bridges & Life, Knowing What to take on the Journey

Bridges Series:Part 1: Bridges & Life 6/17/20Part 2: Bridges & Life, Crossing Troubled Water 6/19/20Part 3: Bridges & LIfe, Crossing Bridges Instead of Building Walls 6/23/20Part 4: Bridges & LIfe, Knowing what to take on the Journey 6/23/20 A friend was getting her large home ready to sell after her husband’s sudden death. As we purged, sorted, and […]

Bridges & Life, Crossing Bridges Instead of Building Walls

We build a little wall first—just tall enough so that when we venture out (into the sometimes scary world), we can turn around, run fast, jump over it, get really “small” and hide behind it. It’s the “level 1 protection wall” built from something like sand or leaves (sad, lonely). If we have to jump over that wall often enough, we end up creating a sturdier divider. This “level 2 protection wall” is made of materials like brick or wood (bullied, wounded). It still allows us to venture out into the world, but now we have to climb over it to safety. When we’ve had to retreat behind wall number 2 long enough, we finally build the “level 3 protection wall”. This one is serious stuff, an impenetrable structure that no one is getting through! It’s made of steel or concrete (scarred, crushed) and reinforced with pain and abandonment.

Bridges & Life, Crossing Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”➀ was one of the most performed songs of the twentieth century. I’ve always loved the simplicity and significance of these words: “When you’re weary, feeling small,when tears are in your eyes,I will dry them all.I’m on your sideoh, when times get rough,and friends just can’t be found,like a bridge […]