January 8, 2018

I’m watching the sun rise over the Rockies. The foothills are rounded and closer to the living, as if bowing to let us wander among them, the way a camel might kneel so someone can mount it. Watching the hills so quietly outlive us makes me know how blessed I am to land after sixty-six years into the bones of who I am. Imagine a jagged stone kicked from a ledge by an elk, and as it falls, its edges… Read more

January 2, 2018

Sometimes, though I’m not supposed to know, I feel such a deep and timeless ache that I’m certain my heart has been alive for centuries.   Sometimes, it pulses with wounds and joys that no one can withstand alone and I go speechless.   In the actual moment of such feeling I am a flag with no country   and in the days that follow I often talk about freedom and start to read many books, never finishing them.  … Read more

December 26, 2017

The sun doesn’t stop shining because some of us are blind.   The birds don’t stop singing because some of us are deaf.   The heart doesn’t stop loving because some of us are afraid.   What lets the flower in the forest bloom though no one is watching?   A Question to Walk With: In conversation with a friend or loved one, describe one quality you were born with which no one gave you and no one can take… Read more

December 18, 2017

I was dreaming of the one who doesn’t see me and the one I’m afraid of, when our dog, shaken by the thunder, shimmied between us. I turned on my side and she curled into my belly. My wife in her sleep brought her legs up close. I rubbed our dog’s chest slowly, and she calmed down. In about thirty minutes, the storm passed, and all that was left was the softness of holding something we love in the night…. Read more

December 11, 2017

Funny how we love in the way we want to be loved, how we think of others in the way we want to be thought of, how feeling abandoned I vow never to abandon, how being termed a disappointment I slave not to disapprove, how finally disappointment and disapproval grow indiscernible as burns from ice or heat, how now I’m up in the night certain if I disappoint you I am not worthy of your love, how loving’s become an… Read more

December 4, 2017

You may have expected that enlightenment would come like zap! Instantaneous and permanent. This is unlikely. After the first “aha,” it can be thought of as the thinning of a layer of clouds. —Ram Dass Every pilgrim on a journey feels the exhilaration and glow of being liberated. Then, as the work of the new world becomes real and trying, there arises a want to go back to where we lived before awakening. Because in the challenge of growing, we… Read more

November 27, 2017

When I saw the wheelchair man with spindly limbs twist his neck to the sun, I wanted to take the newborn from the blanket and put her in his hands.   And when the blind woman knelt at the stoplight to hug her dog, I wanted to embrace everyone who ever showed me an inch of truth.   There is less and less between heart and world. In the morning, I am sure this is a deep blessing. By night,… Read more

November 20, 2017

If I rise out of being her child, if I rise out of being a child, if I rise out of my identity, and drift as a seed before she and my father called me into the world, I can see how frightened she’s been of this life. Far away and out of her reach, I can wish her peace. At 86, she’s losing her mind. The tragedy is she didn’t lose it sooner.   A Question to Walk With:… Read more

November 13, 2017

A bird hits a window in a tower in Dallas, startling a man at his desk. A bit of feather and blood is stuck there. He calls maintenance but no one comes. It’s all he can see. He doesn’t want to die while filling out another form. In the same mo- ment, an old rancher in Montana drops his hammer while nailing a fence his father built. As he dies, the extra nails fall from his mouth. In the same… Read more

November 6, 2017

The Chinese poet Po Chü-I (772-846) recounts in a poem how he’d traveled so long on horseback that he’d fallen asleep in the saddle. For a moment, his reins had slackened. It seemed like an instant but he’d gone a hundred lengths while asleep. He’d exhausted himself all day; prodding the horse to push on; to go here, then there. But in his sleep, he loosened his grip, gave up control, and the horse, which seemed to wait for this… Read more

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