March 18, 2019

I always hear what’s soft breathing inside what’s hard. I think this comes from my great-grandfather’s family, who hid from the Nazis in Romania, who slept in cemeteries under the blue night and woke with the stories of the dead, which filled them with resilience. Just today, I heard a woman who’d been tortured softly play a wooden flute. Though she can’t put to rest what was done to her, her softness filled the room, making each of us think… Read more

March 11, 2019

When I admit I’ve been wrong and that you’ve been true, I want to pick up all I’ve broken with my insistence and bring you flowers you’ve never seen.   This is what it means to make amends.   When a misunderstanding unravels, I want to linger in that clearing, and put aside our beliefs, which weigh us down like old iron castings we’ve carried around for generations.   This is what it means to listen.   When we use… Read more

March 4, 2019

Though I run to get out of the rain, it’s standing in the rain with my hands on my heart that is cleansing. Though I run from the pain, it’s standing in the pain with my face to the sky that is healing. So I never stop peeling the hurt, never stop trusting life to burst through whatever I have to face. Even when lost, there’s a truth we carry that—when released—can return us to the ground beneath all trouble,… Read more

February 25, 2019

My teacher appeared to me in the midst of my grief for him. I was on a bench in a park in the city. Buses were coughing by and small shops were opening. And since my teacher no longer has hands, he swept a bird in my face to break up my sadness. And since he no longer has a mouth, the light off the windows twenty stories up drifted through the leaves. I said, “I miss you.” And I… Read more

February 19, 2019

In the 1950s, it was thought to be a Sumerian hymn written on clay tablets 3400 years ago, likely played on an ancient harp. But in 2008, archaeologists discovered fragments of flutes carved from mammoth bones in a cave in southern Germany called Hohle Fels. These instruments date back almost 43,000 years. Yet the oldest song in the world lives in what prompts us to carve holes in bone, in what prompts us to hold our lips to the holes…. Read more

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

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