She was riding a horse sidesaddle through the yellowing leaves. He was watching her with such longing that I knew he would never love another. It is often this way. The heart relaxed open at the right time meets someone in the middle of coming alive and we think it can only be this one or we are lost. It can take decades to understand that nothing over there holds anything more precious than where we are. Yet it’s a… Read more

Having burned dreams to keep warm, I think of dreams as kindling now. Having carried loved ones as far as I could to the other side, I make your coffee and bring you a tissue, as if these gestures open us to Heaven.   Because they do.   Having outlasted the noise in my head and yours, I can at times hear the breath of life between our disappointments.   Meeting this way, more than halfway through, I ask different… Read more

Sometimes, when I can let things come and go naturally, it’s possible for me to glimpse the truth that, though I’m frustrated, not everything is frustrating. Sometimes, in the midst of sadness, it’s possible to glimpse that, though I’m sad, not everything is sad. Like everyone, I struggle with finding the courage to face pain, heartache, disappointment, and betrayal, trying to face those who have hurt me and to face myself. But I remain committed to facing things, convinced it’s… Read more

Peace is an odd word for the bubble of all there is breaking repeatedly on the surface of the heart, but I know of no other. The Native Americans come closest; nothing between inner events and what to call them. I see you and you always glow. Why not call you One-who-shines-like-a- sun-upon-first-meeting. Why not call the moment of doubt and fear: Dark-point-spinning-loose- that-presses-on-the-throat. Why not call the moment of certainty, the fleeting moment when everything that ever lived is… Read more

I was in the air, frustrated that fog had delayed us. Now, I would miss my flight to Dallas where I was on my way to speak about obstacles as teachers.   I was feeling pissed off when I noticed my left hand on the seat—it was my father’s hand—the large knuckles, the pronounced veins, the bark-like wrinkles at the base of my thumb.   It was his hand as I had seen it countless times: guiding a piece of… Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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