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Articles of Interest

I have been asked if I would make my recent article in Presence (the journal of Spiritual Directors International) available.  It is on Using the Arts in Spiritual Direction and Discernment, and you can read it here. Also, Christian Century posted a great article about the RevGalBlogPals, a webring I am a part of.  You can read that one here.

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Respite

Such a wonderful few days it has been, a whirlwind of activity in my life, but also a rich feast for me.  It will take me many days to just be present to it all, to mine the treasures given to me, and I am eager to write about the unfolding journey. Our first Monthly Gathering of the year was a rousing success, and not just because we had 25 wonderful creative souls attending.  For me it was the passion present in that room, the sense of connection we shared in our stories. These Gatherings always give me hope about what is possible when

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The Whirlwind and Tears

Not as much time to write as I had hoped this week, with our first Monthly Gathering tomorrow (with 22 RSVP’s!), then my spiritual direction peer supervision group and women’s group in the afternoon and evening to recharge my soul.  Then Saturday I lead a workshop down at the Priory and stay overnight for our first Oblate meeting of the year on Sunday.  My own little whirlwind of activity, I am grateful for an open week next week to write and to be. In my blog journeying today I found two things that especially touched me, an image and a quote: Art is

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The Grace of Limits

There is irony to be sure, in the fact that yesterday I wrote a post about how helpful walking is for me as a spiritual practice in general, but especially as a part of grieving.  Then last night I pulled a flattened box out from beside the fridge and out popped a strip of wood with four long nails sticking out.  It seems to be the remnants of getting our flooring replaced last March and has been hiding ever since.  I didn’t see the offending nails and stepped right on one with my bare foot and then promptly screeched.  It

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Rituals and Practices for Grieving

When my mother died I felt let down by my church.  It wasn’t even so much my particular parish—we had only been in Seattle a couple of months—as it was the lack of rituals for grieving in the Christian tradition as a whole.  Certainly the funeral was comforting.  Even the month of the dead, which so happened to start twelve days after her death, offered its own solace.  Then there was nothing to guide me.  I could have found a grief support group, even one sponsored by a church.  But I was hungering for something different.  I wanted rituals to

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Blog Recommendations

Apparently yesterday was Blog Day 2006 which I found out from Swandive who tagged her readers (by the way, I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post, that she has some great comments on the poem she posted.)  The purpose is to recommend 5 new blogs, these are some I read pretty regularly:  (maybe this will prompt me to finally set up the blogroll sidebar?) Trish at Story Midwife writes such wonderful stuff on art and dreams and mystery, and she is a wonderful musician! Rachelle at Monkfish Abbey is a Seattle friend and fellow writing group member who is also the urban abbess

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Delightful Discoveries

In my blog-hopping adventures this morning I discovered two absolute gems.  The first is from Rachel at Swandive: a poem from Jack Gilbert’s book Refusing Heaven: A Brief for the Defense Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils. But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants. Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women at the fountain are laughing together between the suffering they have known and the

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The Vulnerability of the Body

Grief resides deep in the body.  My sense of loss is palpable. At times my heart literally aches, I breathe deeply letting out heavy sighs for relief, I long for my dog’s warm solid body to hold.  Now it is simply a pile of ashes. When my mother ended up in the ICU unconscious, with pneumonia that had entered her bloodstream and caused kidney and respiratory failure, and the doctors told me that she would never be able to recover from the seriousness of the infection, I knew what I had to do.  I was profoundly grateful for our conversations

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Communion of Saints, Cloud of Witnesses

After my mother died I was very comforted by the image in the Christian Tradition of being surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). I had always loved the image of the Communion of Saints, but suddenly it became much more personal. Certainly I had lost grandparents previously whom I had known, but was not as close to them as to my mother. One of the lovely physical gifts she left to me was a collection of Inuit Soapstone carvings. The Inuit are people who inhabit the Northern regions near the Arctic and are wonderful artists. They depict

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The Art of Grieving

This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. [S]he may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. —Rumi (trans. Coleman Barks) I

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