Reflections

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The Promise of New Beginnings

Sometimes the light of the new day feels faint like the late December sun rising over Chesterman Beach in Tofino (above).  There is mist around us, we can’t quite make out the shape of the future, but we place our hopes in the faint glow making its way upward across the sky. While I have some mixed feelings about the celebration of New Year’s, I also find hope in it as a way for people to recollect and renew.  Like Thanksgiving, I appreciate the importance of secular holidays that celebrate important values like gratitude and remembering.  While resolutions often seem to lead to unrealistic

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The Fire of Endings

  We had a lot of rain while up in Canada, but one evening was particularly beautiful and the world was on fire for a brief window of time.  We often think of endings as only sad, but I find there is a beauty to them as well.  Against the fierce edges of life, things around us suddenly become more vivid.  Endings can bring us gifts of awareness we did not have before.  I am thinking about limits and endings a lot these days.  My father-in-law was just diagnosed with Parkinson’s and has heart disease, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with

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Returning

I am back from my trip to Tofino, it takes about 9 hours to travel back between the 3-hour drive to the ferry, waiting for the ferry, the 2-hour ferry ride, the 1-hour wait at the border and then another 2 hours home.  But it is so worth it because Tofino feels wild and remote.  I had a wonderful time:  walking along the beach, taking lots of photos, doing lots of art (I am hooked on carving, Bette!), reading, writing, reflecting on directions for my sabbatical time, gazing at stars on clear nights, eating wonderful food, and just being with

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Room for Christ

It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ.  Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late.  Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that he speaks, with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that he gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that we gives.  It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that he walks, and with the heart of

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Winter Solstice

I discovered this wonderful reflection by Ron Rolheiser at Antony’s blog: Coming to the Quiet. During my last years of seminary training, I attended a series of lectures given by a prominent Polish psychologist, Casmir Dabrowski, teaching at the time at the University of Alberta. He had written a number of books around a concept he called “positive disintegration.” Positive disintegration. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Isn’t disintegration the opposite of growth and happiness? It would seem not. A canon of wisdom drawn from the scriptures of all the major world religions, mystical literature, philosophy, psychology, and human experience tells us that the journey to

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Carving

**I added some information below on the tools I used for the stamp carving I have been really captivated by rubber stamp carving these days.  Bette got me started and now I keep thinking of things I want to carve.  I love making a design and then carving away the excess until only the form remains.  It becomes very meditative as I am fully mindful and present to what is before me.  I also love the look of the metallic ink on black paper:    I love trees, so of course had to carve one!   This cross is from

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Things I Love (Part 2) and True Confessions of a Cover Girl

What fun that so many of you jumped in on the “Things I Love” meme, I had as much fun reading yours as I did writing mine!  Here are those who participated (click on their names to go read a celebration of gratitude!): A for Kayce at Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy B for Antony at Coming to the Quiet C for Krina at Queen Heroical E for Chartreuse Ova F for Lisa at Groggy Froggy H for Bette at B’Oki Journal I for Rachel at Swandive M for Me at Those Northern Skies N for Trish at Story Midwife  (coming) P for

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Vessels

I measure my life in vessels.  They trace the contours of my days.  Teacup, bowl, oil lamp, pitcher, baptismal font, Communion chalice, basin, bathtub.   I sleep in the belly of night and wake under a downturned bowl of blue. I ponder their shapes as I begin to understand my own longing: wanting to be held, fighting against being contained.Teach me, I say.  Tea, food, oil, water, wine, stars, sky.  Teach me how to gracefully, powerfully fill my space.from Jan Richardson’s Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas Below is a bowl I designed with mosaic several years ago.  The

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Awakening

There are many metaphors for spiritual transformation: birthing, unfolding, awakening to name just a few.  I love the image of waking ourselves up from the ways we have been asleep to our callings and to the nature of the world.  Milton at Don’t Eat Alone posted a wonderful poem by Antonio Machado who writes: Beyond living and dreaming there is something more important: waking up. Milton describes Machado as a “poetic alarm clock calling us to awake, look, and listen.” I was reminded of one of Michael Meade’s lectures I was listening to in which he asked, why do we insist on

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Things I Love

This is a “Things I love” meme that I found at Cathy’s blog.  She assigned me the letter T.  A little holiday fun and a good time to reflect on some of the things that mean a lot to me. Ten things I love beginning with T: 1. Tea with cream and sugar, although I mostly drink decaf now because I find the caffeine aggravates my migraines.  Right now I am drinking Ginger Peach Decaf from The Republic of Tea.  My husband and I love the tradition of High Tea and the best one we have had is at the

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