Swing dance at our Reception

Swing dance at our Reception
Dancing to Come on Come on: by Mary-Chapin Carpenter:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ordinary Activities can Feed the Soul

...to the soul, the most minute details and
the most ordinary activities, carried out
with mindfulness and art, have an effect
far beyond their apparent insignificance."

Thomas Moore
, Care of the Soul: A Guide for 

Knowledge better than Opinion

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Dogwood Tree

Two views of our dogwood tree, one of the reasons that we are moving back to our old neighborhood.  As you can see, the one on the right is through the screen on our porch.

On Life's Complexities

Thomas Moore (@thomasmooreSoul) tweeted at 7:56am - 27 Apr 13:

Blame is always an avoidance of life's complexity, a way of protecting oneself from facing the difficult realities.


On Honoring the Soul of Your Other

Thomas Moore tweeted at 8:47am - 28 Apr 13:

The person we love has his or her own destiny and underworld of emotions and memories. Allow for the differences. (https://twitter.com/undefined/status/328490535801196545)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Do I Live Life as a Sacrament?

“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”

― Wendell BerryThe Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

On Finding a Life's Purpose

All my life I've looked for a signpost, a hint of my Life's Purpose. Yesterday, I was able to glimpse one very viscerally.

Imaging sitting in an open field of a local park with the bright warm sun illuminating everything. A trellis is set up with white, yellow and orange flowers decorating  the structure and two young lovers getting reading to take their wedding vows. A timid close friend is singing 'Morning has broken' and I become aware that everyone is watching for the beautiful bride in her white dress to be revealed as she walks down a non existent path in the grass to the minister who will marry them. No one seems to be aware of the singer. I set my intention to seek the vocalist out at the reception and to let her know that I was listening and was touched by her heartfelt rendition. As the minister set himself to performing the ceremony that will join the couple as husband and wife, I am happily surprised to hear touches of humor in both the minister's admonitions as well as the couple's personally handwritten vows. 

I imagine myself walking up to the vocalist and recognizing her and in a sense giving her my blessing. I picture myself doing the same with both the minister and the newlyweds. For this moment, at least, I have found my purpose: to reach out to these individuals, co-inhabitants of this thing called life and giving them all that I have to give: my blessing, an appreciation of what they have contributed to the lives of those who were fortunate enough to attend the activities this day. 

From where did this generous spirit come from? I've given compliments and shown appreciation over my over 70 years but this seems different, coming from a vision of what my aging could become, a blessing to others. There was probably a confluence of several causes, but, I sense one that was most responsible. I had been listening to a couple different audio programs that I downloaded from the internet. Both were programs by Mark Burch, author of 'Stepping Lightly: Simplicity for People and the Planet: ' One was an interview in which Mark recommended daily mindfulness meditations  to slow down our thought process and become more aware of what we want out of life and to consciously choose those things that contribute to the purposes that float to the surface. The other was a talk  in which he added the idea that our habitual need for consumption can be overcome by becoming deliberate, again through mindfulness. During this a very chaotically stressful time in my life, I decided to try these periods of mindful meditation. 

Mark says that he is on no social media. No wonder I had a hard time finding resources by him, but, it was worth the effort and beneficial for this one person, and those who have to put up with me and my crankiness during these challenging times. I hope you get a chance to listen to these programs yourself because I can't promise to review them in detail for you, but, as I disconnect from the distractions of social media we'll see what happens.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Help Wanted: Must Have Compassion and Grace

While trying to change some formatting on this site, I discovered that I had this saved and archived but not published. It was from Jan of 2012 and, in some ways, it's a challenge that I have yet to really realize.

"... I am facing the most important role of my life as I attempt to harvest my experience, gather my courage, access my wisdom, and prepare to live and serve with the compassion and grace that is so greatly needed in my life and the world."
~~ William Martin from 'The Sage's Tao Te Ching