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Category: Grief


Perilous Dark Path of True Prayer

“We seldom go freely into the belly of the beast. Unless we face a major disaster like the death of a friend or spouse or loss of a marriage or job, we usually will not go there. As a culture, we have to be taught the language of descent. That is the great language of religion. It teaches us to enter willingly, trustingly into the dark periods of life. These dark periods are good teachers. Religious energy is in the dark questions, seldom in the answers. Answers are the way out, but that is not what we are here for.

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This is from Barbara Cawthorne Crafton’s Geranium Farm daily email, originally discovered at Possible Water: Well, when would be the best time to commit a crime? Wouldn’t it be right after another one had been committed in another place nearby, when everyone’s attention was focussed on the first one? Such a plan makes enough terrible sense that even a person whose mind is diseased enough to do such things could follow the logic. And, as we know today, it worked — just well enough, for a shooter who doesn’t mind dying himself — at Virginia Tech’s Norris Hall. So there

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Ash Wednesday

Today we leave ordinary time to enter into the journey of Lent through the desert. The desert is that uncharted terrain beyond the edges of our seemingly secure and structured world, where things begin to crack. We begin this desert journey marked with ashes, the sign of our mortality. There is wisdom in these ashes. If you have ever been near death or had a loved one die, you know the clarity that an awareness of our bodily limits can bring. How suddenly what is most important in life rises to the surface. This is the invitation of Lent, to

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Marigold Path Grid Blog: Saint Duke

One of the ways I understand Saints are as those people who have been honored for embracing their flowering, for allowing themselves to bud and blossom and burst forth fully into the world. These last few months, I have been contemplating the idea of what it would mean to extend my image of the Communion of Saints to include not only the ones I love who have gone before me, but other members of creation as well.  Animals don’t refuse their own flowering, they are simply what God created them to be.  This image has arisen for me especially in response to

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Signs and Wonders

As I shared before I left, this retreat was a time of remembrance for me and honoring of my grief and loss.  Last Thursday was the third anniversary of my mother’s death and two months since we lost our beloved dog Duke.   I drive out to the Hood River Valley in the morning, listening for how the day needs to unfold. I stop at Rasmussen Farm and pick out some vanilla pear jam, sugar dumpling squashes, and chestnuts to roast.  I take in the beauty of brilliant purple cabbages. I visit the Pheasant Valley Winery because I read about their

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The Slender Thread

I am heading off for a few days of retreat this week.  The idea began with an art class I wanted to take down in Portland over the weekend, knowing it meant I could also have a chance to see an old and dear friend from my doctoral program who teaches down there now.  Then I realized after teaching my class Tuesday morning, there were only a couple of appointments I was able to reschedule to give myself a little window of retreat mid-quarter.  I am longing to be out in the autumn splendor and have never been to the Columbia River

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Just a few simple offerings

Michelle has left a comment under my previous post of her Litany for the Wounded with ways to help support the work she is doing, so please click here to go read! (scroll all the way down)She is doing such meaningful work and Michelle is a woman with a passion for justice and being present to those on the margins. And once you have read that, go over to Story Midwife and read the incredible post Trish has written about creating an Altar of Attending for women who are dying.  I drink in great writing about grief and dying like wine and

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