Thresholds

We come through one gasping for air and leave by another gasping for air. Most of our time on earth is spent crossing them. After fifty-eight years I think they may be my home. On this trip, I walk from night into day, from home into car from car into plane, from plane into the old world. In Prague there are nets over the heads of statues. No one knows why. Perhaps to keep them from coming alive. Perhaps tearing… Read more

I Have Not Forgotten

any of you. Not the long friendship we somehow broke into pieces so sharp we couldn’t hold. Or the love we tried so hard to mend though it splintered like a fence we didn’t post. I’m still not sure what we were keeping in or out. I have not forgotten the tender place in which we met, where everyone gets to put down the lies they’ve been told are true. I don’t know where you are these days but I… Read more

For His Students (for Steve Severin)

I have come to tell you that your teacher is gone. Much too soon. He was a good man with a good heart and he was my friend. Every- thing else grows like a branch from this strong wood. He was a great teacher because he loved you. Because he believed you are young horses who not only can cross the stream but drink from it. He would hold up a question like a lantern, swing it ahead and shout,… Read more

Breaking Bread

The giver is used up in the giving as rain evaporates in what it helps to grow. It is human to fear this, but we can no more resist it than the pit can resist becoming fruit. When you listen, I release my song of silence. When I see you, you release your light waiting in the dark. When you help me up, you absorb part of my fall. But somehow it doesn’t make you fall. This is the inoculation… Read more

What Then?

What if you slept? And what if, In your sleep You dreamed? And what if, In your dream, You went to Heaven And there plucked A strange and Beautiful flower? And what if, When you awoke, You had the flower In your hand? Ah… what then? —Coleridge Like sunlight on a spider’s web, this small poem illumines a web of relationships between the inner world of spirit, presence, and dreams and the outer world of roots, wires, and pavement. Coleridge… Read more

The way we practice

The earth spins on its axis drifting through the dark, seeming to go nowhere as it inches its way around the sun. What if this is the way of things? What if every heart spins on its story? What if every mind spins on its best guess of how this all goes together? What if the very cells—in stone, bird, fish or camel—spin on their little nodes of life force inching things to heal and grow? What if history circles… Read more

What I Really Want to Say

If what I have can help, you can have it. Why? We are carriers not owners. As soon as we think we own, we start longing to receive. And everything stops flowing. How? Whatever it might be, if it’s stuck, we can take it apart and build something together. Are you ready? To be as loving as the hole that receives the nail? Is that too harsh? Then, as the shell that hides the minnow from the eel. Let’s give… Read more

Why am I the only one crying?

I met a woman who had loved Mozart her whole life. We were at a large dinner party. She sat next to me and quietly said, “You know, I have a Jewish background, but I go sometimes to their church. It’s so somber that it makes me cry. I’ve lost two teenage girls, you know. I look around and no one even moves. Their Lord died two thousand years ago. Why am I the only one crying?” She stared off… Read more

2 poems by Robert McDowell

Robert read two of his poems during Saturday’s class: 400 Apples The Sheep That Feeds You Read more

To Be and Belong

Let go your want for greatness and feel the tool that’s in your hand. Let go your fear of emptiness and receive the wave still reaching from the beginning. It only wants to enliven you the way a candle fills an entire room. Let the web of living things entangle you. Only stars are free and they are so lonely. Curse what you will but give thanks that everything alive wants something from you. Read more

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