February 10, 2020

The drop of ocean teaches us about integrity and faith because, no matter how churned up it is, it never loses its transparency or its ability to go clear. As transparency and clarity are intrinsic to the true nature of water, integrity and faith are intrinsic to our true nature. Regardless of how churned up we are, restoring our transparency will enliven our integrity, and restoring our clarity will enliven our faith.   As one drop of the sea contains… Read more

February 3, 2020

When humbled, we finally stop fighting—  against life, against the tide of time, against the avalanche of disappointment, if we can outwait the stubbornness of our dreams. For  every storm, no matter how fierce, dissipates  itself. The question is how much damage  it does while wearing itself out. Eventually,  once broken open, once our soft center  spits out its pearl, we try to put all that  we’ve damaged back together. And no  one tells us that the storm hurts itself. … Read more

January 27, 2020

The more a comet burns away, the brighter it gets.   As it enters the atmosphere, more and more of it flakes off and burns up.   Until there is only light.   This is our journey as a spirit in a body over a lifetime.   As the years wear us down and burn us up, we grow brighter.   Until at death, we are all light.   A Question to Walk With: Describe an aspect of who you… Read more

January 21, 2020

Death has been with me, getting my attention, saying nothing. So this morning, in a hotel in New York, I take a long shower, hoping the hot, anonymous stream might wash the aches from my heart and the fear from my mind. Yet once rinsed of my memory and worry, death takes off its mask and it is only life trying to get my attention one more time. But I insist, I have never taken any of this for granted…. Read more

January 13, 2020

Living with an open heart, all is real. And we become briefly all that we meet.   I touch your sadness and I become sad. I brush against your wonder and I am restored.   But under all the sadness and wonder, I remain who I am.   This is integrity, the want to feel everything and become nothing.   The orchid in the sun stretches but remains an orchid.   The wave that swallows a diving gull remains a… Read more

January 7, 2020

You know someone loves you when they put the moon in your tea to calm your worry. You know someone is honest when they put what they’ve broken before you, not out of anger, but softly on a pillow in the middle of the house. You know you’ve found your family when they come over, no questions asked, and listen carefully, even when you have nothing to say. And to dream of birds circling ahead of you as you wander… Read more

December 23, 2019

Each of us is called to listen our way into the underlying truth that connects us all, though we experience this calling as a very personal journey, the way plants and flowers grow and blossom differently, though they all root in the same soil. This rooting and breaking ground until we flower is the necessary art of coming alive. As Rainer Maria Rilke offered in his legendary Letters to a Young Poet: “Go into yourself and test the deeps in… Read more

December 16, 2019

In 1514, a young Michelangelo worked hard to sculpt his version of Christ the Redeemer. When close to finished, the statue was ruined when he discovered a dark vein running throughout the marble. I think if he had sculpted this later in life, he might have seen the dark vein as an unexpected dimension adding to the statue, not ruining it. When first learning woodblock carving, I spent weeks carving the reflection of moonlight in a lake. When close to… Read more

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

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