The Practice of Return

The ocean is smart—the waves recede to gather energy for the next one. —Carole Starkes   Despite all the blessings of an awakened life, and all the support we can give each other, we can stumble and lose ourselves in a second. I can leave home tomorrow and trip into an old insecurity and flounder for days. And you can become lost, no matter how many times you’ve found your way. Accepting how quickly our course can change opens each… Read more

Rising Through Our Faults

I was hiking near the tree line when it started to rain and I was washed of where to go. Looking about, I realized that the fates wait for the moment that we finalize our plans to set our maps on fire. They send a storm to blow the secret from our hand. And let a downpour wash the trail from under our feet. Not to be harsh but to force us to believe in ourselves. When overcome with things… Read more

Before the Twice-Locked Gates

I speak to you from a land where elders have shown their grandchildren how to sing their way through. I speak this in a land where skin pounds skin. From the outside in, we call this brutality. From the inside out, we call this song. The gift of Africa tells us that song is the only thing that can outlast brutality. Whether you suffer an unjust system or an oppressive father, whether you have been in a prison of another’s… Read more

The Silent We

Through the hotel wall a woman cries, “I can’t do this anymore!” One soft life in one small box in thirty-story boxes across the city. She sends her alarm like a cell letting the body know it can’t hold up its part anymore. If I were a superhero, I’d put my hand to the wall between us and with my X-ray vision, I’d search her heart like a surgeon of love, pouring light from my palm through all the walls… Read more

To Glow

Like light in the sun spilling out of the sun, the spirit within beams its way through all our cracks till our most treasured walls come down.   The coming down of those walls is the blessing we crave and resist.   The coming down of those walls—so the light of the soul like the light of the sun can help the world grow—this is the call of calls.   A Question to Walk With: Describe a personal wall that… Read more

The Career of Awakening

By staying in relationship, we gather meaning. By staying in relationship, our Spirit draws closer to the surface. To follow our aliveness is the career of awakening.   Inevitably, certain experiences rearrange us. These unexpected events puncture life as we know it and turn us inside out and upside down. For me, this rearranging event was cancer. It could just as easily have been wonder. For you, it might appear as being loved completely when you’ve never been loved before…. Read more

A Thousand Stories On

We play with the dog on the floor and laugh and lean into each other and your eyes which I know so well stop me. We talk some more, taking off the day before our clothes. Holding you lightly as the wind dies down makes me believe that intimacy is the silk of the world. The rest of the night is one long kiss, as is this life. In a while you will sleep. Tomorrow, the sun will curl up… Read more

The Siren of Insecurity

I was recently in a social setting where a small group motioned for me to join them. Yet when I approached, they made no effort to include me. It seemed a small thing. Perhaps they were immersed in their conversation, but I immediately felt invisible. I don’t think anyone meant any harm. They were unaware at best. Nonetheless, the situation felt very adolescent and though I didn’t know these people well, I left feeling a little insecure, not even sure… Read more

Things Carried Through the Fire

My grandfather’s Talmud. Your picture of Uncle Billy. The innocence of our dog. The things I never show the world. The things I never show myself. The things we believe in. The dream I no longer need. The uncertainty at the center of all my plans. The small flame that keeps changing names. Now the days burn like bones, slowly and all at once. And what we thought would last burns like wax. Under it, everything.   A Question to… Read more

The Story Behind the Story

The great sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is a moving example of how an artist was shaped by his unwavering commitment to find the story behind the story. In 1891, Rodin was commissioned by The Society of Men in Letters in Paris to create his now legendary sculpture of the eminent French novelist Balzac (1799-1850). Rodin immediately immersed himself in understanding who Balzac was. The sculptor researched the character and personality of Balzac, and read all the author’s books. He traveled… Read more

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