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 […]

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 […]

Bridges & Life

There are times in life when you’re “on the same page” as another person, seeming to grow together in tandem. Maybe, your relationship blossomed from acquaintance to dear friend, or from friendship to significant partner. Perhaps, you met someone and instantly knew you were kindred spirits. (How wonderful is that type of synchronicity?) For many, however, the path […]

The Positive and “Aha” Moments

These past few months have been, unarguably, incredibly challenging times. Last week, I wrote about racism and its painful impact on our world. This is a critical conversation that needs to be ongoing. During the past few weeks, I also asked friends and readers:Has there been anything “positive” that you’ve experienced as a result of […]

Hatred, Violence, Pain, How Do We Move Forward? (Part 2)

Today, I intended to share the answers I collected from questions regarding the impact of COVID-19. However, responses are still pouring in from: “With all the hatred, violence, anger, pain, and sadness going on right now, how do you think we move forward; how do we make a difference?” This is a big picture life question—a […]

Walking Through the Dark (and COVID-19)

Many years ago, I experienced moving in and out of the dark. Someone I love was in crisis, and there were times I feared a tragic outcome. It was terrifying and tested my strengths and beliefs. I was walking in the dark. But, in that dark, there was still light. I was continually shown the […]

What Languages Do You Speak?

I love this story from my grandson’s first year of grade school: Ethan had an excellent teacher, and at the beginning of the school year, she asked if any of the children spoke a second language. A few children raised their hands. When she got to Ethan, he said, “I speak Duck➀.” She heard that […]

The Journey

I am a journeyer, traveling through this life, looking and seeking, searching and learning. I pick up things as I journey— a book, a photograph, a postcard and put them in my backpack. Sometimes, I take those things out and look at them, mostly at night, mostly when I’m alone. I smile, I laugh. I […]

Closed Minds

Pre, COVID-19, I parked next to a car with this bumper sticker: “A Closed Mind is a wonderful thing to lose.” When I went back, two women were in the car, so I knocked on the driver’s window and shared how much I love that message, which led to a short conversation about life. Closed-mindedness, unreceptive to […]