The reward for love is closeness. This is a treasure that cannot be bought or stolen or achieved. It is a law of the living: care leads to intimacy. Often we discover our dearest friends when stopping to help another or when someone is kind enough to carry us when we have fallen. The truth is there is no substitute for going through things together. There is no way to language what two whales share who swim around the world… Read more

After coffee, I went quiet till a cloud parted in my mind and the light within made it briefly to the page. I rubbed my eyes to search what had surfaced, the way a diver catches his breath and wipes the muck from the treasure he’s brought up. Just as I began to under- stand, the sun came through the maple and covered the page. When I looked, a cardinal was bobbing out my window, as if to say, keep… Read more

Years ago I wrote a song on the piano, discovered its patterns, played it over and over so I could remember. Even tried to score it. Then we moved. I found a good spot for the upright, had her tuned, but seldom got to play. There was the tree that almost fell on the house and your mother’s surgery and the new push at work. Sometimes I’d pause near the keys just before bed feeling the tug at my heart… Read more

In silence or in crisis, we can put down the gun, bandage the wound, carry the water and share our bread. But under all that, all we can do is hold each other and listen. The one, an indispensable lifting. The other, an indispensable putting down. So when you fall, I will help you up. But when I fall on the inside, just sit with me and rub the cuts no one can see. This is how we make it… Read more

In the early light, complete stillness. In the snow, two remaining leaves. At first I think their quiver is because of a small wind, but watching dawn creep toward us, I realize they are trembling because of the light. Nothing else moves. I watch long enough to remember that it is bowing to the sun during our night that brings day. I stop, put down my growing list and all I work toward. It isn’t yet day, but the ground,… Read more

What would you ask if you had the chance? Would you trade that asking for what opens on the top of a hill when no one’s looking and the clouds give up and the light makes you and I remember all that we were born with? What would you have if you could have anything? Would you give that away to feel the peace drifting in the center? What would you say to those yet to come? Would you say,… Read more

It seems we are asked by love or forced by experience to sit with what it means to be alive until we deepen into what holds us. At first we might feel the self like a rock packed in the earth after a long rain. Then we might deepen into the heart of the Universe like a star shedding its watery light in the night sea. Even this might give way till we seem to flutter like a baby bird… Read more

I tried to think about my problem but the wind from behind the cloud turned the umbrella and brushed the thought from my face and my worry entered the crow on the roof who started to caw. Then the crow having coughed up my worry began to fly. We can’t caw and fly at the same time. I never noticed this. It’s worth remembering. Look. The tall grass bows to show its beauty. How do I remember this? Read more

Her sister was dying of cancer, a thousand miles away. She had no way of getting there and time was short. Feeling helpless, she took a bus to the clinic in her town. She’d never been. She volunteered; lifting strangers out of bed, cleaning their bedpans. At lunch she rubbed their arms in the courtyard; helping where she could. She did this for days and one of those days, while she slept on the ride home, a stranger visiting someone… Read more

In the exhibit of scrolls from China, I am lost in a river scene when a heavy man with a beard leads a young woman by the hand. Maybe his daughter. She is blind. They stand before a scroll called Clearing After Rain. In a soft whisper, he says “The trees are swaying. The river is moving. The wind is picking up from the east.” She paints the scene for herself somewhere inside. His voice is a bird that darts… Read more

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