The In-between Places

A friend recently commented that she envied me: “You’re at such a spiritually rich time.” She was referring to this “in-between place” I am in. I have had other times in my life that I consider spiritually fertile, where uncertainty was abundant.  In truth, I’m glad to be on the other side of those spiritually rich and uncertain times. Like putting down a good book. I enjoyed the suspense and time while reading, then, felt satisfied when done. I will be happy to be on the other side of this time of uncertainty and spiritual fertility as well. But she has a point. The suspense of uncertainty … Continue reading

Don’t Spare Yourself

Okay, so… I’m still taking violin lessons. Along with my violin lessons I discovered another life lesson, as well as a good lesson for writers. If I want to learn how to play the violin, I have to be willing to play poorly. Like I remind my writing students all the time — be willing to write several shitty drafts before the story works, before you “sound” pleasing.  The enjoyment found in writing several shitty drafts, as well as playing crude on the violin, is indispensable to progress in both. I delight in holding an idea and seeing how it comes out on the page. I enjoy holding the violin and … Continue reading

My Valentines to You, Love Julie

Accidents   She said, “There are no accidents.” I didn’t know how this could be true. how can everything hold meaning? dark accidents made beneath shadows, discovery of a dead chickadee under the apple tree, red-blooded accidents of visitors from the past, wine spilling, i didn’t mean to say that, in that way, it was just an accident, golden accidents of passion, down by the horse barn out of sight, a secret is discovered, the timing of your visit, what filled the emptiness when you were gone, the rippling accident of water splashing over the edges of the bowl that I carry to put out the fire. … Continue reading

US: Exceptional but not The Exception

“We may be exceptional, but we are not exceptions.” This above insight was shared with me recently by a friend. At the time I felt I was having an exceptional experience. And it was. Exceptional. But this in no way made me, or others involved exceptions. What does this mean? It means we are not special in a way that sets us apart from others or the natural world. We are all bound by natural (nature’s) laws, and ideally, we are internally directed by ethical boundaries and spiritual principles that remind us of this interconnectedness. Whatever this exceptional experience is—some … Continue reading

Dear Friend,

I had a blog written on uncertainty. But can’t seem to post it. Here is what I have, from my heart to yours: “Life happens on so many levels, simultaneously. It’s very hard at times to hold all of it in a life-giving way… Yesterday, my brother-in-law died. I grieve for my sister and her children who have lost a husband and a father. Yesterday, something that feels like a death to me happened in this country—something contrary to values I hold dear, values at the heart of this country’s unending quest for democracy. Life must go on. The quest for democracy must … Continue reading

When The Soul Calls

“In This Moment” In this moment One foot in front of the other I hear chickadee I see spaciousness of blue above me In this moment One foot in front of the other The road meets my feet, while Above a flock of blue birds migrate In this moment One foot in front of the other I make my daily walk To the broken tree In this moment One foot in front of the other I host the longings in my heart As the friends they are In this moment One foot in front of the other one foot then … Continue reading

After The Final No

After the final no there comes a yes And on that yes the future world depends.                          – Wallace Stevens I led my first book, Hidden Victims Hidden Healers with this verse from Wallace Stevens.  I chose it to remind myself, and the reader, that there is a yes there, somewhere. You know as well as me, life is full of various versions of “NO:” rejections, pit falls, mistakes, losses, disappointments, misses, and more rejections. With the above book it took three years to find a publisher and I could have wallpapered my … Continue reading

Are You A Tiger or a Fox?

“The modern dogma is comfort at any cost.” -Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac There are eleven pithy slogans that can be used as practice points and reminders of living the zero point agreement, which is to live life from your side; to live life from the inside-out.  These are not exhaustive or to be used as clubs. They are simply pointers, references to help in being the cause rather than the effect of our life. Each of these are brought out throughout the book, The Zero Point Agreement but can be more quickly referenced here. Pithy intentions, slogans, and principles can redirect the mind, in the … Continue reading

Grasping The Opportunity

“Whichever step of the staircase you enter upon, the journey will, in its own way and own time, lead you to all the other steps. The only requirement is that you continue to put one foot in front of the other—one thought, moment of interest, and effort after another. That is all teachers really require of their students. They have trust that the teachings will unfold their results naturally, if the student will only grasp the opportunity.” –Geshe Lhundub Sopa with David Patt, Steps on the Path to Enlightenment As I write this I am surrounded by my beautiful home and … Continue reading

The Importance of Being

If “well-being” — [defined as] functioning well as a person, not as an instrument — is the supreme goal of one’s efforts, two specific ways stand out that lead to the attainment of this goal: Breaking through one’s narcissism and breaking through the property structure of one’s existence. –Erik Fromm, The Art of Being What Fromm means by “breaking through the property structure” is for us to focus less on doing and having and more on being. In my view, if we are secure in who we are, strongly rooted from a sense of self, our actions and “property” (stuff) will … Continue reading