September 20, 2021

I have always loved the café life where I can sit by the endless river without leaving the river, where I can remove myself from the sweeping current but still drink from life. Known as “schools of wisdom,” the first cafés were opened in Damascus, Mecca, and Istanbul in the 15th century, places to stop before making the trek across the continent. The English word coffee comes from the Italian word caffè, which in turn comes from the Arabic term qahwa, which originally… Read more

September 13, 2021

Keith Jarrett is a legendary pianist and composer who is part of the pantheon who have led us into new realms of music. His legendary ability to improvise is astonishing as are his renditions of classical music including Bach, Handel, and Mozart. Like so many, I have been both softened and strengthened by his company my entire life. On January 24, 1975, you arrived from a long wet drive from Zurich. You had not slept well due to back pain…. Read more

September 6, 2021

As ancient Buddhists drank tea to prevent drowsiness during epic mediations, we drink of each other’s pain and joy to prevent our souls from going back to sleep.   In the second chapter of Lu Yu’s Cha Ching, the holy scripture of tea, he remarks that the most potent leaves have creases that have held the sun which when softened release an aroma from the Beginning.   This is what a life ushered into acceptance looks like: crease, soften, and… Read more

August 30, 2021

When my father was close to death, we were stripped of our history. I sat by his bed, holding the ancient, twig-like hand of a ninety-three-year-old who, though absent for years, was mythic to me.   As he lay there, under the weight of a stroke, life undressed the myth I put on him and he was just a frail old man who had introduced me to the sea, who had loved wood into marvelous shapes, who sur- rounded himself… Read more

August 23, 2021

Our utter devotion to whatever is before us reveals the nearest detail as a doorway to the Infinite Latticework that holds the Universe together. This moment of spiritual fluency makes us a conduit of life-force. Such moments recharge the heart the way plugging in a lantern revitalizes the reach and intensity of its beam. Through each instance of inner thoroughness, the heart educates us further in what it means to be alive. A Question to Walk With: Tell the story… Read more

August 16, 2021

Early on, I realized that being a poet was mostly about being an awake human being, which in turn was mostly about living each day as a tuning fork in the midst of life’s currents. As a young poet, I would stumble into a vision, or trip into a metaphor, or glimpse a truth, or be stopped by a deep question. Then, I’d reach for expression after expression in an effort to capture each of them. Of course, I’d inevitably… Read more

August 9, 2021

I believe there is a garden in our heart where some part of everyone we’ve ever loved takes root. And no matter what happens in the world of circumstance, we continue to love them in that interior garden. We may lose someone to death, betrayal, mistrust, or cowardice. We may find that we fail each other, or discover that, love each other as we might, being together is toxic. Or we may be torn apart by world events—wars, injustice, or… Read more

August 2, 2021

Hundreds of artists sharing what they’ve been driven to create. No one knows why, but here it is: in pots that spiral to their spout, in jewelry to wear over the heart, in a photograph of a still spot in Maine, and in wood from the forest carved into a chair. Above us all, the summer breeze twisting through trees that watch us come and go.   Now, a woman with a scar in a beautiful dress interrupts my wonder-… Read more

July 26, 2021

Across the years, my drift into understanding has been like a hawk descending in glide, one spiral after another, until I have landed where flight is no longer necessary. And my breakdown into peace has been like a cliff standing up to the sea, until after all my suffer- ings, I only long to join, until with each crumble, I utter, “Take me.” Now, my ability to give is ever increased by my acceptance of surrender, like a dandelion finally… Read more

July 19, 2021

No matter where you look— near, far, up, down, out or in— there is a bareness of being that lives in the center of every ounce of life, the way air waits inside every bubble as it rises from the deep. The way a small pocket of worth waits inside every attempt to love. The way wonder waits in the center of our heart for something to wake it. The tone keeps ringing in the center of the bell, long… Read more

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