A space of no place

The entrance to the Spiegeltent

Last week I had the honour to conduct a handfasting in Dumfries, for two of the most wonderful people it's been my pleasure to meet here in this region (or, indeed, anywhere). The whole event was amazing, but the venue: that was spectacular. It was a Spiegeltent, a construction of wood and canvas, reminiscent of a circus tent, but designed to hold entertainments of all kinds.Spiegeltents originated in Belgium, and were built between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. As well as a stage, … [Read more...]

The Work Of Our Hands: beauty, delight, and the sacred

Electric Cock : free range organic fried chicken : South Congress

The weather this week in Austin has been scrumptious!  Glorious sunny, mild days that are perfect for getting out and discovering just what makes this city sacred.  Today, on my last day, my Little Big and I went on Pilgrimage.We made our way to South Congress; home to groovy Austin art and eclecticism, where we ordered fried chicken (a southern delicacy).  We watched Hipsters and Cowboys; Freaks and Rednecks.  All are welcome on this strip of Old Austin weirdness.Any road pointed at … [Read more...]

A Place Within A Place: reconsidering what is sacred

Elisabet Ney Museum : Hyde Park : Austin, Texas

The bees are still. The wild hive in the back garden is quiet. It's cold out. A sliver of moon rides high in the sky: french tip manicure nail of beauty. The air is crisp, with hints of sycamore leaf, tobacco smoke, and steel--the numb metallic smell when too cold air is breathed in through the nostrils.This week, winter weather dances over Austin.As dusk deepens, I walk to one of the neighborhood coffee shops. A faint glow graces the horizon. Porch lights are on. Colored bulbs drip from … [Read more...]

10 things to look forward to in 2013

By Aaron Fulkerson (http://www.ninje.com) (en:Image:MountRainierEastTrail arf.JPG) [CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

It's a new year. I'm not much for resolutions, but I do like to set intentions for the year. What's the difference? Resolutions feel like ways to set myself up for failure. This list contains things I can look forward to. So, here are ten things I am looking forward to seeing/doing/experiencing in western Washington in 2013.Some of these are simple enough to do. Some require some serious family planning. Some will easily connect me to that sense of place I crave. With others I run the risk … [Read more...]

The land is made of stories

"The Coming of Bride" by John Duncan (1917)

Today in the Christian calendar is Epiphany: the official end of the 12 days of Christmas. In the Roman calendar which was adopted by Christianity, the 12 day festival of Saturnalia, beginning on 25th December, was a period out of ordinary time, a time of divination through dream and weather watching of what to expect in the year to come.For all that the period between the winter solstice and Epiphany is a time of rest, review and renewal, it's always a relief to me to be able to put this … [Read more...]

Lessons from the river

River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland

I spent most of my young life living near the ocean. I could never imagine what it was like for people who never saw a beach in their lives, or who called the banks of a large lake "the beach". To me, the idea that a place where the waves weren't large enough to surf could be called a beach seemed silly, wrong headed, even. I grew up taking great comfort from the smell of the sea, the blanket of fog in the morning and evening, and the sounds of the waves. So, when I was 29 and found myself far … [Read more...]

Sacred Space

Stained Glass At Glasgow Cathedral

On this Christmas Day, I'd like to tell you about a place that is sacred to Christians that had a profound impact on me. This is not the only Christian sacred space that has touched me or taught me a lesson. (I'm sure I'll tell you of another come Easter.) But this place is special to me right now because it is right here in Glasgow. But I can't just tell you about the place. I have to tell you the story...Once upon a time, in July of this past year, to be precise, I came to Scotland for the … [Read more...]


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