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Sacred is the Call

I went away to the woods and water expecting to meet God. Instead I met Myself. And we swam together for hours in a blue pool of desire for silence and beauty and stillness so strong that it threatened to drown me with its urgency and longing. The skin of my fingers and toes curled into rivulets, water flooding my ears, I emerged as if from birth again. Naked, alone, and new. Certain of only one thing, that God had whispered my name and my soul reverberated like a gong. It is still humming within me you see. With a

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The Solace of Darkness

I know I am at the start of another long journey.  There is no way out of the landscape of grief except straight through the heart of it, even though we may construct all kinds of useful diversions to try and avoid it.    These last few weeks I have been feeling this invitation to move even more deeply into the contemplative life, and to spend even more time than I already do with dreams, darkness, wild places, and the wisdom of the body.  There is a call from deep within me to claim these as essential parts of my being

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Love and Loss

My dear friends and readers, I am deeply grateful for the prayers and support I have received through comments, emails, and phone calls.  I kept imagining myself surrounded by this circle of light and that was comforting. All day yesterday I lay on the floor holding Duke, telling him how much I love him, trying to say goodbye.  The vet came in the afternoon, she was very compassionate and affirmed our decision based on the test results.  We lay him down on the marble tile in front of our fireplace, a favorite place of his because it is cool.  First she

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Request for Prayers

Dearest Friends, Last night our beloved dog Duke became very lethargic and wouldn’t eat. We took him to the vet this morning where they felt fluids in his abdomen and so they sent us on to the hospital in Lynnwood where the did a number of blood tests and an ultrasound.  The diagnosis is Hemangiosarcoma of the liver, a very serious and invasive type of cancer.  The ultrasound showed that it has spread throughout the liver and so chemo and surgery are not options.  What caused the lethargy is bleeding of the masses.  It seems to have stopped in that his

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The World Needs You

There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy,a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all of time this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.  The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open;whether you choose to take an art class,keep a journal, record your dreams,dance your story

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Creativity and Community

I am currently co-writing a book with Sister Lucy of St. Placid Priory, on the ancient prayer practice of lectio divina for Paulist Press.  The deadline for the completed manuscript is November and the publication date will be spring of 2008 – yes indeed, the publishing wheels turn slolwy. This process has been a gift to me.  I get to write about a topic I love — cultivating the contemplative life through a particular practice.  I have a writing partner who has wonderful research and notes, and we have fruitful conversations before each chapter about how to shape it.  Writing can

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Expressive Arts Resources

The other day I wrote about the field of the expressive arts and how discovering this resource has really augmented my work in integrating spirituality and the arts.  Here are some books I would recommend: Spirituality and Art Therapy, edited by Mimi Farrelly-Hansen This book has chapters written by different expressive arts practitioners from various religious and spiritual perspectives.  Each chapter explores the connections between a particular spiritual tradition and work in the expressive arts.  Some chapters are stronger than others, especially good are “Prayer, Sacraments, Grace,” “Pilgrimage: Celtic Spirituality Revisited,” and “Nature: Art Therapy in Partnership with the Earth.” Foundations of

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Expressive Arts

Neither of my parents were religious people, but they did instill in me an aesthetic appreciation through regular visits to museums and cathedrals and listening to great classical music.  My aesthetic sense was cultivated long before my spiritual sense, of course, now I realize that my spirituality was being shaped through my love of beauty.  So when I did make a formal commitment to a faith tradition, the two things that captivated me were the aesthetic and justice dimensions.  While working at a Catholic high school in Sacramento as a religion teacher and campus minister in 1994, part of my

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Journey Into the Beating Heart of the World

I have been feeling very introspective lately, probably the result of having some sort of virus with a rash and fever that caused me to retreat to my bed for the last four days (the prescription-strength Benadryl helped that along quite a bit!)  Or maybe it is because summer is waning, and while I am probably one of the few folks in Seattle who actually tires of sunny weather all the time (I adore cool rainy days and curling up by a fire with a book), summer also means lots of time with my husband who is on break from teaching.  Early

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Join the Cosmic Dance

“What is serious to human beings is often trivial in the sight of God. What in God might appear to us as ‘play’ is perhaps what God takes most seriously. God plays…in the garden of creation, and, if we could let go of our obsessions with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear God’s call and follow God in God’s mysterious, cosmic dance. “We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating

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