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 go on. At age 77, I want to be involved in all of it as long as I can. But first, I have grief work to do… So today, I will take time from my work to read some poetry, to walk quietly in the woods, and to listen to music.

More than once, I will listen to this song by Mary Gauthier, praying “Mercy Now” for those near and dear to me, and those around this country and the world who have suffered great loss. 

May we all find peace. May we all find our way back to the stream of life, personal and political…” – from Parker J Palmer’s Facebook page today.



What I know (for now)

Everything we do matters. We are all leaders. How we greet each other tells our shared story. My heart is breaking. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people know what it is like to lose a country. The old hangs on. Entitlement is a cultural disease.

When I was in my 30’s and feeling confused and alone I would wake and say out loud: Julie be Merciful to you. For the past month I have been waking and saying out loud: Julie be merciful to you; Julie be merciful to others. Be merciful friends, we could all use some mercy right now.

We must keep gathering. We can’t just belong to our own in-groups, churches, circles. Everyone now is the in-group. We are not the exception. And, limits are real. Love doesn’t always prevail but love anyway. There are opportunities here for great healing-find them every day. Run toward what scares you. Face what repels. We must give up our distractions or say good-bye to democracy. More than 10 minutes on Facebook, twitter etc., a day is an utter waste of a life. Stop just singing to the choir. We must hold more conversations with the stranger (and that which we find strange). Be in nature everyday when possible, walk. Don’t give up. Hope is only good if it moves us to act. Do that one thing you thought you couldn’t. Drop what doesn’t matter. Don’t be seduced by slogans, listen to your discomfort.

Read some poetry. Listen to music.

Many have not had a happy ending.

We are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

Read Healing The Heart of Democracy.

Finish the book, the painting, the poem, the song, and get it out there for consumption.

Listen to your longings and help others obtain what they long for.

Give yourself time to grieve and be in solitude.

Let our hearts break open, not apart. Anything can happen; it just did.

Learn to live compassionately and actively with uncertainty.

The Universe (the God of our understanding) is not limited by our lack of imagination.

Don’t become overwhelmed by fear. Something beautiful can happen from here, with our help.

Be merciful to yourself and each other.


In mercy and love,  Julie


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