February 12, 2019

You ask why such things happen, why hearts break, and why we hurt each other. I don’t know. And anyone who says they know is pretending in order to avoid the tidal wave of Mystery that surrounds us. We are cast about as soon as we wake, every day, and this unpredictable surge, this sweep as soon as we enter the street, is something we crave and fear. I only know that this surge is sometimes disguised as surprise, and… Read more

February 4, 2019

And what of an afterlife? In our humanness, the question stays too small. Like crabs on the bottom asking each other if there is life after the ocean. What if one thing is supposed to carry another? What if the purpose of the snake is to keep the process of shedding alive? And the purpose of being human is to keep the process of loving alive? What if heaven for the wave is evaporating into sand? And destiny for the… Read more

January 28, 2019

For all we go through, for all the heartache and loss, for all the messy ways we’re dropped into the depth of life, for all the ways we’re pried opened by great love and great suffering, I feel certain there is something unbreakable and regenerative about the force of life we each carry. And while we are the very breakable human container that carries that essence, the Spirit we carry is not. Somehow, resilience comes from letting what’s unbreakable rise… Read more

January 21, 2019

When we can open our hearts and work with what we’re given, loving what’s before us, life stays possible. Then, through effort and grace, we do what we can with what we have. And when exhausted by all that’s in the way, we’re faced with the chance to accept and love what’s left, which is everything. This is how we discover that Heaven is on Earth.   A Question to Walk With: Describe a time when you experienced a moment… Read more

January 14, 2019

When you’ve lost something dear, and you can’t stop hurting, and everyone around you is full of light, let the lightness they carry soothe your sore heart. Even though you don’t want to be touched in your grief. And when everyone around you is hurt, or lost in their grief, or near death, just as you’ve landed in a small patch of joy, don’t feel guilty. Just touch whatever they might touch, without judgment, leaving a trail of softness and… Read more

January 7, 2019

I have longed for people I thought I would die without. And wanted books and music I was sure would bring me peace. And I’ve driven myself to accomplish things I thought would secure my worth. And though I seldom touched what I longed for or got what I wanted or achieved what I pushed for, the remnants of my longing burned like ancient wood on the fire of my soul, making the heart of my being burn brighter. To… Read more

December 17, 2018

Over the years, I talked so much that, like a car speeding down a dirt road, I couldn’t see anything but what I stirred up with all my talk.   Thankfully, loss broke my axle and forced me to stop. When the dust settled, I could see.   Then love picked me up and took me to the nearest town, where I started a school for seekers who talk too much.   In time, we taught each other to listen… Read more

December 10, 2018

In late November, I had an odd sensation in the night of not being able to breathe properly or easily, especially when lying flat. Upon going to urgent care, I was told that I had a small amount of fluid on my left lung. This led a three month fall into a dark hole of worry, as the common causes of fluid on the lung are serious: congestive heart failure, a pulmonary embolism, or the appearance of lymphoma, just to… Read more

December 3, 2018

I’ve lived long enough to know that every sigh opens a story, the way a mouthful of water inflates a dry sponge to the form it had when found in the deep.   My grandmother, for example, lives in the mezuzah she brought from Russia, though I can hardly see her face. And I feel her son, my father, in the awl and chisel I have, all weathered from his hands.   And to say your mother was kind holds… Read more

November 26, 2018

I was raised like our backyard, only tended with a sigh when I began to grow wild.   You ask if there were good times. You’ve asked before. I’m sixty and have spent most of my life dealing with their absence, many years of un- locking what I never had. So I know how to face what went wrong. I even know what made them so frightened and angry, children of the Depression, unsure if they wanted kids, saddled with… Read more

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