Archive for January, 2010

Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist on-line class continues to offer opportunities for reflection and writing.  One of this week’s projects was creating a French Pantoum ~ the more of these I read, the more I am fascinated with them.

My daily walk on the beach is transforming as well.  This view, a Cloister on the Water,

was a call to prayer for my monk which brought forth this French Pantoum:

At the water’s edge, as the waves lap at my toes
I try not to think; instead, I ponder this:
Might some of these molecules of water have come from Haiti,
Bringing the weight of despair and grief in their core?

I try not to think; instead, I ponder this:
Can we help hold this despair and grief, here on our shores
Bringing the weight of despair and grief in their core
Deep into our hearts, woven into our prayers, and sending back hope and love?

Can we help hold this despair and grief, here on our shores?
I try not to think; instead, I ponder this:
Deep into our hearts, woven into our prayers, and sending back hope and love
At the water’s edge, as the waves lap at my toes.

With continuing prayers and hope for Haiti


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I’m in Florida for a “Health Thaw” ~ it feels so good not be wearing 3 layers to stay warm!

The other day I rode the Trolley along Gulf Boulevard to the south end of the route,

with no particular agenda other than to listen and watch.

It was a delightful afternoon!

Pink is a popular color, and this doesn’t include the flamingos!

Artists on the beach…the “Earth Friendly” Art caught my attention.

Gary Clark uses only recycled products, and creates beautiful images with evocative words:

Returning home I listened and watched some more, receiving the stories of life that get on and get off the bus. It felt like a chapel of sorts, a bit of a haven transporting those going from one place to another: to work, to shop, to dine, to visit, to home.

And walking up Dolphin Drive to my brother’s home, I couldn’t pass up this photo op:

What stories have you heard lately as you’ve traveled?

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One of this week’s projects in the on-line course The Way of the Monk has been to create an altar in our home, reflecting what we value, what we’re seeking, how we are opening our lives to the Spirit.  As I started working on this I realized that I already had a couple in my home.  My favorite is the dining room window with this piece hanging above it:

(Heaven is under our feet as well as above our heads)

To the right of the window is the China Hutch, displaying pieces that were stored in basement boxes or in hard to reach cupboards for years.  Now they are accessible where I can enjoy looking at them.

This is a special photograph of my Grandma, Mother, 2 Daughters and myself that I keep in my bedroom

(the smaller photo is of me on my first birthday)

on this table

My newest altar, created in response to this week’s project, is near my desk.

The stole was given to me at my ordination.  The names Ruth and Rachel ~ the names of my daughters ~  are next to each other.  The stole is long, I am rather short, so when I wear this the ends touch the ground.  I like the feeling of being grounded, and I feel the faith of our biblical foremothers moving up one side, across my shoulders, through my heart, and back down the other side.

It’s a work in progress…

Are there places in your home that are sacred?

Would you like to consider creating one, displaying what is sacred and holy to you?

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Synchronicity has been a part of my life lately, otherwise put: the Spirit has been busy.  This morning’s “Baptism of our Lord” worship and a poem for an on-line course  Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist came together in the following words and image…

I am going to start living like a monk
I probably won’t look any different tomorrow than I look today:
same jeans and shoes, hair style and glasses, smile and sweater
It’s the inside that’s changing:
The ear of my heart is listening for the ancient rhythm ~ sunrise and sunset, inhale and exhale, song and silence
The eye of my heart is searching the coffee shop for acts of grace and glances of hope
The soul of my heart tastes the deep richness of the earth in the bread, the river of life in the wine
And without using my hands, the monk within feels for the pulse of life and the passion of love
This is baptism that is tempered with water

I am going to start living like an artist
And this artist knows it’s still not about the clothes ~ the closet will remain the same,
tho I am inclined to add more color!
The change will be in my eyes ~ no, not a stronger prescription with bifocals
A deeper vision…well actually a kind of bi-focal
One that sees beauty and love on the surface and beyond
Eyes that see beauty in the work at the soup kitchen or in my cat’s green eyes
Hands that remember love in holding an artichoke or shoveling snow
Voice that speaks beauty when answering the phone or offering a prayer
Heart that feels the love of the Holy One in an infant’s’ first breath or in a loved one’s last
This is baptism that is passioned with fire

I am going to start living like a mystic
Maybe now I’ll think about my clothes, or maybe not, and instead just add a colorful scarf and call it my stole
Look deep into the winter woods and out across the parking lot
Love with all I have and seek even more from the One who gives all
Read words of the ancient ones and sing songs that beckon the future
Savor the fullness from the market and embrace the despair of the lonely
And call it all prayer
This is baptism that is immersed in life

How are you going to start living in this New Year?

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Just as I was pondering that last year was clearly a year of “closure” comes Christine’s invitation at Abbey of the Arts to consider what is our word for the year ahead.   A delightful way to move forward; my word for this year came forth easily. . .


Pain lessening,

health returning.

Seeking creative wholeness,

making room…


Stretching not only my muscles

but also my spirit.

New life emerging,

making room…


Claiming my gifts

as they find expression.

Listening in new ways,

making room…


Come Holy Spirit,

open my heart

to the touch of your love,

open my eyes

to the beauty of your grace,

open my life

to all that awaits me.

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