December 9, 2019

I was stranded in Washington D.C. due to a storm in Chicago. It was sunny and cold and I wandered into the National Gallery of Art just beyond the Capitol. On the ground floor in the west building in two small rooms was an exhibit called In the Dark Room, which mounted examples of the early process by which photographs were developed in the 1800s. We don’t see many darkrooms any more, given the ease of digital cameras. But darkrooms… Read more

December 2, 2019

In our modern age, the noble art of reading has been truncated and compromised. Today, a skilled reader is judged as someone who reads rapidly, who can scan the skeleton of any piece of writing and abstract its silhouette of meaning. Yet this is like taking an x-ray of a person and thinking you now have met the whole person. The word “read” comes from the German raten which originally meant “to guess.” So reading is always a guess at… Read more

November 25, 2019

I believe that teaching, reading, and writing all have to do with searching. Each involves searching for Wholeness through dialogue and experience. When that search involves other living things, we find ourselves in the province of learning and teaching. When that search involves other living things that are not present or of our time, the dialogue takes the form of reading. And when that search involves things that are present and living but not yet visible or known, we have… Read more

November 18, 2019

To see takes time like to have a friend takes time. —Georgia O’Keeffe   I was born a seer. Early on, words became the brushes with which I tried to paint what I saw. In time, I learned that while art is movement through space and music is movement through time, poetry is both. And each of us is born with an inclination toward seeing or hearing. I was born a painter and sculptor in a poet’s body. Over the… Read more

November 12, 2019

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. —Rumi   Because all young people are taught to be ambitious, I began as all young artists do—working toward some imagined greatness that might reveal itself in time if I could stay devoted enough to my craft. But along the way, I was humbled to be more uplifted by what was true rather than what was great, by what was… Read more

November 4, 2019

I suddenly knew I was looking at it from the wrong angle and I gave the cloth in my hand a quarter turn. Immediately I saw a beautiful and coherent golden pattern . . . In wonder, the pattern had emerged, to be seen in all its beauty by those who could learn to make the quarter turn. —Helen Luke   The above quote is from Helen’s inner autobiography, Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On. She begins the book… Read more

October 28, 2019

I started writing in high school after my first love dumped me. I was devastated. Though I wasn’t a loner, I didn’t yet have any close friends. So, I started talking to myself as a way to heal. Once on the mend, I realized I wasn’t just talking to myself. I had begun a conversation with the Universe. In college, I wasn’t allowed to write creatively in the English department. This was before the burgeoning of creative writing programs. But… Read more

October 22, 2019

Bearing witness is one of the primary ways that human beings hold each other up and help each other grow. Bearing witness is also one of the primary functions of art. No matter what we long for in our imagination, we are just as obliged to affirm the truth of how we mistreat each other and how we lift each other up. Social media is becoming a modern form of bearing witness that is adding to our communal sense of… Read more

October 15, 2019

There are two beautiful notions that speak to our innate yearning to release and be released by the Divine. What I mean by the Divine is the inherent quality of Spirit that informs everything in life. One notion that speaks to the uncovering of the Divine is Michelangelo’s sense that the statue is already in the stone and that rather than create the statue, our task is to figure out a way to release it. The legendary sculptor would carve… Read more

October 7, 2019

Wherever I go, I’m blessed to climb with others into the interior we all share. And after a weekend with a group of kind souls, working to listen to each other without judgment but with care, after we’ve journeyed together honestly, we’re closer than when we came together and what that closeness opens is palpable. Often, at the end of our time, after I read a last poem, there is a silence that holds us, which is quieter and softer… Read more

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