I almost died. It could have gone either way. And as I was jettisoned back into life, I saw something that’s hard to put into words. But let me try. You might be working to pick something up. Or put something down. You might be desperate to forget something terrible. Or longing for a love to set you free. Or grieving someone who is irreplaceable. Or trying to find what will keep you going. Fortune or misfortune. Love or loss…. Read more

When you pace at the edge of life, worried and afraid, mount your will like an arrow of salt and plunge into the ocean of experience.     A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when, though you resisted, you were called to dive in to make your way through. This excerpt is from my book, The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting, 2016 Nautilus Award Winner.   *photo credit: Pixabay Read more

It was a summer day. Bees were sticking their heads in flowers. Birds were bringing worms back to their nests. And the master was walking another apprentice through the garden. The young man was confused, “You tell us to work hard and you also tell us that what matters just happens.” The master said, “Yes, both are true.” The young man felt toyed with, “Why should we work hard if it doesn’t matter?” As the apprentice kept talking, the master… Read more

Millions paused all over America to look to the sky. Finally, everyone stopped bickering and stood together. From the hills of Virginia to the streets of New York, you could hear everyone breathe beneath their arguments. As the moon bowed to the sun, reasons unraveled. Without the noise, you could feel everything come alive a little bit more. We couldn’t look directly into such a powerful truth. The sky dimmed. The ancients must have thought the world was turning inside… Read more

Like so many, I’ve been deeply troubled by the events of Charlottesville and Trump’s response. I wrote this piece to help myself make sense of where we find ourselves. I share this with all of you and invite you to share it with others. Always, we must remember and affirm that we are more together than alone.   In the wake of white supremacists marching violently through Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, in the aftermath of Nazis stalking a synagogue… Read more

I just saw a handwritten note from Galileo. He was under house arrest for believing we’re not the center of everything. Now behind me, in the park, a dozen beginners, of all ages, learning how to juggle. We have to start somewhere. The young man who’s so magical at this is asked to instruct. He smiles, “You have to keep trying. Just not the same thing.” Earlier, I leaned over a letter from Lincoln to a dead soldier’s mother. This,… Read more

My wife, Susan, was ill last spring with a serious stomach flu that took us to the emergency room. Tending her brought me closer to the paradox of true care: that giving our all is what matters though we can’t take another’s suffering from them. Yet this awkward tending means everything. On the eighth day, after fixing her pillow and rubbing her head, we heard a bird we didn’t recognize, and that sweet short warble brought us back into life…. Read more

Your mother has died and you feel her tenderness everywhere you turn. You reach for her and come up empty. You long to pick up the phone and call. You look for things of hers to hold. But the dearest thing she held was you. Perhaps her greatest gift in going is that to feel her now, you have to hold yourself.   You ask how I can go on? Why don’t I have regrets? I guess I’ve been worn… Read more

It was in the attic of my heart, one of those darkly stained, cherry dressers with slender legs turned on a lathe and lacquered. It had a small keyhole but no key. After all the years of opening and closing, the doors were slightly warped. I had forgotten it was there. But on this clear day, I felt at ease, and the breeze made the dresser rattle way inside and I went to see. The attic in my heart was… Read more

It was the son of a soldier, a soldier who killed his own people. It was that gentle son who went in despair to his grandfather’s bridge to ask in his solitude why.   And that night he dreamt that everyone who’d been hurt and everyone who’d done the hurting met on that bridge. And in their awkwardness and pain, it began to rain flowers which grazing their skin opened their faces and they were healed.   And the flowers,… Read more

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