The tops of clouds that no one sees illuminated by the sun.   The inside of the heart that no one sees softened by the soul.   The calm waiting at the center of all silence.   The warmth waiting at the center of all feeling.   The coolness waiting at the bottom of a lake.   The emptiness waiting at the bottom of all ideas.   The first sign of light that stirs birds to sing.   The wordless… Read more

The proper function of memory is to re-member, to put the members or parts of our life back together. We often get lost in reliving the past, when the gift of memory is to knit things back together, to re-member the whole. In my thirties, I had a powerful dream that showed me this. I was stopping by my grandparents’ home in Baldwin, New York. They lived in a small brick house, just off Sunrise Highway. In the dream, there… Read more

When I decide I love you just as you’ve left town, when you muster the courage to forgive your father and go to say so only to find he’s had a stroke, and you never know what he hears as I never know where you are, when I hold my face to the wind and my questions dis- appear—it’s the music of near misses that lets me know that my heart is just a reed.   In the realm of… Read more

When you feel you have no more to give, keep your heart open just a while longer, because this is when the deepest gift we have is about to show itself. This is the foundational side of a paradox that can’t be explained: as we’re humbled over time to honor our very real limitations, the light we carry is ever more exposed through those limitations. And just when we’re at the end of what we know, the soul’s lips are… Read more

Bartering for affection has come to an end.   I love you with no hope of return like some inner sun that has to spend its rays or I lose my voice like a singer hiding in a hood.   If you love me back, we will come alive. If not, I will glimpse the whole of life by igniting my heart like a match.   A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of a time when you gave… Read more

Now, in her seventies, Ruth remembers being a girl, the daughter of a sharecropper in South Carolina, one of ten kids. They lived in an old wooden cabin. One day in spring, her fourth-grade teacher said there would be a talent show. Ruth went home troubled, thinking, “What talent do I have?” She couldn’t sleep that night and paced the back porch before the field. It was then the clouds parted and the moon, almost full, filled her face and… Read more

It isn’t long after we arrive that everyone starts pointing and telling us where we need to be and what we need to do to get there. There’s no time to really ask why. Soon, things happen and we’re thrown off course and now there’s all this effort to win their approval. If lucky, love will distract us more than suffering. If blessed, we’re broken of everyone’s plans and regrets and thrown like a hooded bird into a sea of… Read more

All things reveal the Whole. Through one rounded shell, the depth of the ocean. Through one determined bee, the entirety of spring. Through one cold withholding, the dark snake of cruelty. Through one lift of care, the long history of kindness. Through one voice speaking beyond its fear, the tidal wave of courage. Through one firm encouragement, the bedrock of all worth. Through one nail hammered, the hope of all repair. So pick up anything particular and love it till… Read more

I’m watching the sun rise over the Rockies. The foothills are rounded and closer to the living, as if bowing to let us wander among them, the way a camel might kneel so someone can mount it. Watching the hills so quietly outlive us makes me know how blessed I am to land after sixty-six years into the bones of who I am. Imagine a jagged stone kicked from a ledge by an elk, and as it falls, its edges… Read more

Sometimes, though I’m not supposed to know, I feel such a deep and timeless ache that I’m certain my heart has been alive for centuries.   Sometimes, it pulses with wounds and joys that no one can withstand alone and I go speechless.   In the actual moment of such feeling I am a flag with no country   and in the days that follow I often talk about freedom and start to read many books, never finishing them.  … Read more

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