Friday, December 24, 2010


--pictures at Old Colorado City (used to be with Santa)
before the lunar eclipse
 relaxing few hours with the four girls at Wisdom Tea of our newer, but favorite traditions.
an evening of cookie decorating
 and reading by the fire

Wishing all of our friends peace and joy this season!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

blessing and time

Because rituals remind, the experience of time during the holidays can be bittersweet for us. Maybe, because of what is lost, we have to "fight through," pretending to enjoy for the sake of those we love. 
As O'Donohue writes, the work of day-to-day living is precarious:  there can be danger or darkness anywhere. Habitual time can turn in a second, and suddenly some unforeseen suffering is taking up tenancy in one's life... 
Blessing, he says, calls the potentiality of the future into the present moment and into the loss of the past:
To live like this is to experience time as a constant invitation to growth--to become more than you have been, to transform loss into presence, and to allow what is false to fall away. At the gates of time, blessing waits to usher toward us the grace we need....A blessing awakens future wholeness...a blessing 'forebrightens' the way. When a blessing is invoked, a window opens in eternal time.

One of my favorite poems by Wendy Cope evokes this achingly beautiful image of forebrightening, one I hope is present for all of us this year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


"We're going to start with a headstand." I felt my shoulders tense and evidently every one else in the room felt tense too. The instructor commented on the sudden heaviness and fear in the room. So she told us to breathe and notice where that tension was settling. To detach and look at it. I immediately started thinking about the vertigo I was feeling in my life, like my world was upside down. How do I retain any sense of balance, of vision, when it just feels like I'm about to fall?

John O'Donohue writes, in his book of Celtic blessing, about how we encounter those tilted spaces between and within us: 
We never see the script of our lives; nor do we know what is coming toward us, or why our life takes on this particular shape or sequence. [But] a blessing...opens a different door in human encounter. One enters into the forecourt of the soul...Our longing for the eternal kindles our imagination to bless. Regardless of how we configure the eternal, the human heart continues to dream of a state of wholeness, a place where everything comes together, where loss will be made good, where blindness will transform into vision, where damage will be made whole, where the clenched question will open in the house of surprise, where the travails of life's journey will enjoy a homecoming. To invoke a blessing is to call some of that wholeness upon a person now....When you bless another, you first gather yourself; you reach below your surface mind and personality, down to the deeper source within you--namely, the soul. Blessing is from soul to soul.

Perhaps the way out of fear is through blessing, giving and receiving it. If you've ever tried a headstand you know that it helps to cultivate a strong inner core as well as to focus on something other, outside yourself. And the result just might be balance, even when, especially when, all around appears upside down.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


     Jan Richardson, over at The Advent Door, writes about the first readings (Matthew 24) of Advent:
It can be tempting to recoil from the imagery...: Christ as burglar, coworkers and companions left bereft, the anxiety of not knowing when or how the Word who became flesh for us will come again. Yet the season of Advent challenges us to resist recoiling and instead to press into the insecurity and unsettledness of this passage—and of our lives. Advent beckons us beyond the certainties that may not serve us—those sureties we have relied on that may have no substance to them after all. Advent is a season to look at what we have fashioned our lives around—beliefs, habits, convictions, prejudices—and to see whether these leave any room for the Christ who is so fond of slipping into our lives in guises we may not readily recognize.
     What an odd image. What an uncomfortable picture.  Isn't advent supposed to be about hope? about  joy and peace on earth? Yet the picture we get here, where advent begins, is one of pain, of freedom and salvation coming in disguise, more than that, in ways that we would not choose, that we may not recognize.
     And what do we do with it? I know my tendency is to hide in business, in taking care of others. Because it's scary to see Christ as a thief...and yet that is what he calls himself in this reading. And that's what he feels like sometimes. Have you ever felt like the one left in the field or left grinding the meal? Alone and with all the work?  Have you asked where is the Christ for that person? Where is freedom? Richardson says it's in the seeing, in being awake to uncertainties, to the unexpected. Perhaps it's in letting go of the expected.
     Read the rest of her poignant, yet encouraging writing here.