Reflections

Category: Advent Christmas Epiphany

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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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Begin

This is now.  Now is, all there is.  Don’t wait for Then; strike the spark, light the fire. Sit at the Beloved’s table, feast with gusto, drink your fill then dance the way branches of jasmine and cypress dance in a spring wind. The green earth is your cloth; tailor your robe with dignity and grace. -Rumi I feel my creative fires continuing to kindle and spark.  How lovely to have some time this week to simply craft and play.  I share below my initial experiment with lettering, carving stamps, and using pastel and paint.  Unfortunately the vibrancy of the silver and gold

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Windows

The window above is from the Shafer Baillie Mansion and the window below is from the Conservatory in Volunteer Park (this photo is turned on its side and then duplicated in mirror image to create a mandala).  I walk by both of these lovely buildings almost every time I go for a walk in my neighborhood and I have never before taken photos of the windows, never really noticed their beauty.  For some reason on this particular morning their shapes intrigued me, inviting me into reflection and playing with new perspectives.  I am feeling drawn to get some photo coloring pens and highlight the patterns with colors. I

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Revealing the Bones

As I walked this morning, I became aware of the bareness of winter branches and the beauty of naked tree limbs dark against the sky.  The questions of winter stirred in me.  This year a new one is emerging:  When I let go of all the embellishments of my life, what is the core that remains?  What constitutes the bare bones of my life?  I am reflecting on this question in a number of ways.  Part of it is the literal level of the question.  I have felt the impulse to make space lately in my home for something new that is emerging

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Preparing

This season beckons me to ask, what am I preparing for?  What is the way that is being prepared within the wilderness of my life?  What does it mean for my own life to become a path, a way of welcome for the Holy One?  How do I give myself time to notice the ways that the path unfolds before me and within me?  What are the acts of preparation that bring delight to my daily life?  Whom do I ask or allow to help me prepare?-Jan Richardon, Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas Today I really

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Gratitude

Advent invites us into a sense of gratitude for the gifts God offers us.  In this time of darkness, we become more sensitive to those places of light and illumination.  In our eagerness for new birth, we become aware of the life bubbling inside of us, pulsing and readying.  In waiting, we come to recognize the hope we hold in our bodies, anticipation knit into our bones.    My life is filled with gifts.  This weekend, one of those gifts is in a twelve-pound package.  Doesn’t that sweet little face make you smile inside?  Niko belongs to one of my husband’s co-workers, they

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