Thursday, August 28, 2014

What You Don't Know

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.
Anatole France

We spend a great deal of our education committing facts to memory, beginning with letters and colors all the way through to quantum physics, rhetoric and Chinese literature. We strive to be experts in our fields ~ which generally means being reluctant to say, "I don't know."
As I've begun each new school year, I realize there is more and more that I don't know. We're getting Chromebooks by mid-September. Although I as often considered one of the 'resident' tech experts, I know nothing about that technology. My position has altered slightly for the new year and I don't know the trajectory of its course. I find myself spending more and more time in the space between breaths, feeling my way forward. Learning a more true definition of life-long learning.
According to Anatole France's definition of education, I am growing more fully into mine. I am more and more aware with each passing year just how much more there is to know and understand in the world around me. I am grateful for all that I do know and remember. The magnitude of information around me could easily overwhelm me. As I marvel at that, I recall another quote, this one from George Washington Carver:
"When I was young, I said to God, 'God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' But God answered, 'That knowledge is for me alone,' So I said, 'God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, 'Well, George, that's more nearly your size.' And he told me."
What an amazing view of education!
What do you recall of your school years? How do you define life-long learning? Are you a participant in life-long learning? When do you think your education will be complete?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Angel Dance

Make me an angel
     that flies from Montgom'ry
Make me a poster
     of an old rodeo
Just give me one thing
     that I can hold on to
To believe in this living
     is just a hard way to go
Angel from Montgomery by John Prine

The past two days, this snippet of song has been the background music in my head. The first line caught me up: Make me an angel...  In the song, I suspect it's asking an angel to fly from Montgomery and give the singer some physical expression to hold on to, even an old rodeo poster would do the trick.

My perspective? To be an angel ~~ not the kind with feathered wings or the one that's sworn to be good, but the kind that dances through life, light and airy and filled with joy and goodwill. That was my version of the chorus. That's what I want to hold on to. An attitude rather than a thing.

The final line of the chorus weighs me down creating the desire for a change ~ or a dance. Sometimes it's hard to face day-to-day living. Sometimes it feels impossible. Yet if I can find the rhythm, the dance, I know I can hold on!

What do you hear in this song? What song plays the background of your recent days? How do you interpret the song? What meaning does it carry for you?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Women's Equality Day

Women's Equality Day celebrates the certification of the 19th Amendment (Women's Voting Rights) on August 26, 1920. Nearly a hundred years later, the argument about the rights of women continues.
"When women are given the opportunity to succeed, they do.  Younger women graduate college at higher rates than men and are more likely to hold a graduate school degree.  They are nearly half our workforce, and increasingly they are the primary breadwinner for families.  But too often, the women and girls who lift up our Nation achieve extraordinary success only after overcoming the legacy of unequal treatment. ...In the 21st century, a mother should be able to raise her daughter and be her role model—showing her that with hard work, there are no limits to what she can accomplish.  On Women's Equality Day, we continue the righteous work of building a society where women thrive, where every door is open to them, and their every dream can be realized."
~ President Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, August 26, 2014
The Amendment was ratified after more than 50 years of campaigning. The passage of the 19th Amendment fell to one vote: Representative Harry Burn of east Tennessee. 35 states had ratified the Amendment, it needed 36 to pass. The vote was being taken in the Tennessee House of Representatives and was tied at 48-48. Harry's mother, Miss Febb, sent him a letter imploring him to vote yes. Much to the surprise of his House colleagues, he cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of passage. He later admitted it was his mother's letter that sent him in that direction.

Each step taken toward equality is met with resistance for a variety of reasons, most of them embedded in resistance to change. Some, certainly, infused with a desire for power.

In my immediate circle, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (for which I marched 40 years ago) is still a strong issue. As is the right of women in every Christian denomination to be ordained (focusing primarily on Roman Catholic and Mormon traditions). It is long past time for women to be fully equal.

Where do you stand on Women's Equality? What does the term equality mean to you? How do you resist full acceptance of the equality of others?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My First Death Cafe

Today I attended and participated in my first Death Cafe. I heard about Death Cafe last October after their event had occurred. I found the title intriguing at the time. Other than curiosity, I felt no pull of interest in it.

In June, I heard about an upcoming Death Cafe event: a picnic in a park. It sounded innocuous enough. How deep into the subject can one go in a park? I hadn't bothered to ask the more pertinent question: How deep did I want to go? and it's accompanying: What does 'deep' have to do with it?

The day was broken into three parts: participatory 'assignment'; lunch (bringing one's own); participatory small group discussions. I dawdled enough with my regular Sunday morning routines that I missed (purposely) the first segment. I arrived halfway through lunch and parked my camp chair in a sunny spot to ground myself before the last segment ~ which is the one I really came to attend. When we began to gather, the instructions were that we would talk in our small groups for 40 minutes, have a dessert break, and then re-group for another 40 minutes. If we needed to do so, we could leave at the dessert break. Ah! A way out!

My small group consisted of two other participants and a person loosely deemed the guide of the group. Every group ranged from 4-5 people ~ and there were 7 or 8 groups. It was one of the most comfortable experiences I'd had discussing whatever we wanted to discuss regarding death. At the break, we gained another participant. I chose to remain. When it ended, I knew I'd return to attend another one.

After attending one, I have no clear description of what a Death Cafe is. It is experiential and unique to the group and individual. I'm glad that I pushed through my resistance to attend. You can find out more about them at: Death Cafe

Would you consider attending something titled a Death Cafe? What kind of images are conjured in your mind when you think of that term? Why would you choose to attend or not attend one?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lion in Life

Animal Wisdom Tarot

Animal Wisdom Tarot Guide book:
Traditional: Strength
Keynote: Courage, Compassion, Acceptance, Love
Message: Be true to self, claim authority
"Admired for physical prowess and spiritual wisdom, Lion represents strength, stability, and leadership. ... Lion walks gracefully, encouraging us to embrace our noble spirit.
Receiving this card advises honest appraisal of inner strength and character. ... Lion roars and commands respect - a clue to express yourself and step into your power. ... Lion advises patience, compassion and respect - find balance with an open heart. ... Channel passions and align wayward energies through creative, meaningful projects of self-discovery.
Originally associated with the Goddess, Lion melds feline and feminine energies, reminding us that true strength is not violent or controlling, but emerges through love, appreciation, and acceptance of self and others. Be present,overcome fear with trust, and advance on your journey to self-actualization."

As I edge closer to Monday's renewed work journey, I find myself seeking deeper connections to the strengths I have. Wanting confirmation that the strengths exist and that I have the capacity to work with them. So with that in mind, I drew a card ~ and Lion arrived!

The last paragraph struck me most deeply. Yes, I like the roaring for respect and finding balance and channeling passions. But I'd let go the connection to the Goddess, to the Feminine Energies alive in the world.

Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet ~ who could dare to forget Her? Strong, powerful, deeply connected to our gut instincts. Also the goddess of war and vengeance. Whew! Not the side of Lion and Goddess I willingly embrace!

The Goddess on a Lion Throne ~ abundant in the archaeology of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Canaan/Israel. Some of the Goddesses are Inanna, Ishtar, Kybele, 'Ashtart, Asherah, Anahita and Hebat. Strong, able to be mistress of the strong feline powers of the Lion!

Goddess Durga (Sanskrit for fort or a place difficult to overrun; OR "the one who eliminates sufferings") is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Her incarnations include Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java, Rajeswari. She has nine forms. Her 8 or 10 arms are considered to protect her devotees from all directions. Her lion represents power, will and determination ~ qualities over which She has mastery.

Maybe it's time for me to study more of the Goddesses with Lions!

How do you view the qualities of Lion in your life? Do you feel strong, confident? How do you exhibit those qualities? How can you develop them further in your life?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Story Life

Stories arrive in our lives in a variety of ways and from multiple sources. People seem ever to want to reveal pieces of themselves. We have different manners of response. Most of the time, we listen to the stories of others with our minds only half present. Our thoughts wander to responses we can give. Occasionally allowing them to formulate our own stories that are close or tangential for when it's our turn to speak.

We've forgotten how to be present, how to listen to one another. Our culture and our society have increased their speed significantly. We have no time. Or we believe that we don't. We believe in the myth of multitasking. We have checklists inside our heads that we inspect and need to complete. We've forgotten the importance and significance of others' stories. We've misplaced our priorities along with the value of interconnection that happens when we truly listen and honor each other's story.

If you don't believe me, check out how many people are writing their memoirs ~ at 25 or 30 years of age! Listen to the people around you who want to 'write a book' with their stories in it ~ whether a teaching/experiential book or another memoir. Each of us has a desire to be heard. Listen to the next person who starts relating his or her story to you. Ask questions that lead her or him to tell you more. Put aside your active mental wanderings that bring the story back to you. See what happens.

Who listens to your stories? What do you do when you don't feel that your stories are heard? How does listening to others help you? How can you honor the story of another person?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Turning Life Sacred

She's turning her life into something sacred: Each breath a new birth. Each moment, a new chance. She bows her head, gathers her dreams from a pure, deep stream and stretches her arms towards the sky.
~ Monique Duvall

It's time for me to once again focus my breath on fashioning the sacred moment into my life. In the eyes of some of the people around me, it's past time. In the opinion of some others, the sacred has never been out of focus. I know I've traveled the path between focus and fog when it comes to the holy and the sacredness of my path.

I am positive the Sacred has always had a hand on my life, irregardless the convergence of my vision or dream. It's a retreat to that internal gyroscope I mentioned several months past. I weave and wander, yet ever return to the Holy One who remains at the core of my being.

My dreams gather from every shore, from each pinpoint of starlight, from the core of the world. As they gather, I remember ~ truly putting my pieces together again ~ and breath in the pure, wild essence of them. I recognize that what I do for a living, how I am perceived by others, whether or not I am appreciated, matters little as I face the light exploding through those dreams. I want to let go the mundane ~ even as work begins anew ~ and let creativity soar. Perhaps I can do that. Perhaps not. I will be valiant and true in the attempt!

What do  you do with your dreams? How do you interact with the sacred? How will you move into your future?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Become a Lion

A high school teacher gave her students an activity at the end of the year. She instructed them to write their opinions of each other on pieces of paper and share them anonymously. It was a strong focus on the opinions of others. At the end of class, one young woman tearfully shared with the teacher that some of the students wrote horrible things about her. The teacher's response: "Maybe you should think about it; maybe there is something to what they're saying."

It's difficult for youth to become lions, to roar in the face of others' opinions, especially if those opinions are reinforced by a trusted adult. It's not much easier for those of us who are older either. Especially since we often trust those who offer the opinions. Part of our social nature is wanting to be good citizens, to think well of others and to have others to think well of us. Society operates smoothly because of that desire. Yet we must temper the strength of that desire so it doesn't box us in, provide a sense of not belonging, stop us from embracing our individuality and unique expression.

I love the sense of freedom when I let go of that particular concern. The opportunity to stand aside from the crowd, to be a totally singular expression of humanity, is that roar within my heart. My goal for the remainder of the year is to remain as creatively myself as I can.

How do you express your creativity? Do the opinions of others affect you? (be honest!) How? What can you do to diminish the effect?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Unexpected Visitors

Colette Baron-Reid, The Enchanted Map

From the booklet:
“If you expect the unexpected, you’ll be prepared for miracles.”
Detours, surprises, and paradigm shifts . . . expect the unexpected. No matter how detailed your plans are, and how clear you believe the road ahead to be, there are times when the best plans are waylaid by unforeseen circumstances. At first, detours may seem inconvenient, but a surprise turn of events signals that the adventure of life is beginning to get interesting. No one can plan for synchronicity—for fate and destiny to meet—except Spirit, who knows what you can’t comprehend for now. Life is full of surprises, so stay on your toes and enjoy this exciting new adventure you weren’t expecting. There is a plan for your life that may not match up with your agenda.

What irony ~~ looking for a card for my coming week, only to draw Unexpected Visitors. Recent experiences culminated with paradigm shifts ~ unexpected movements rock my world. Awareness blossoms regarding all the changes in the offing right now. Family changes; professional changes; personal changes. Even though I stumble through the newness and feel raw from the transformations, I feel the deep inner peace of blessings on the way.

I see this card as more of a reminder than a response... Remember! it cries. Remember your experiences. Remember how connected you are. So connected that you synchronously pulled the precise card to provide that message!

What unforeseen circumstance has shown up at your door recently? How have you allowed for the synchronicity? How do you deal with the emotional shifts that come with the changes?

Friday, August 15, 2014

More on Cohen's Anthem
"That is the background of the whole record, ... if you have to come up with a philosophical ground, that is "Ring the bells that still can ring."  It's no excuse... for an abdication of your own personal responsibilities towards yourself.... "Ring the bells that still can ring.": they're few and far between but you can find them. "Forget your perfect offering", that is the hang-up, that you're gonna work this thing out. Because we confuse this idea and we've forgotten the central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the garden of Eden. This situation does not admit of solution or perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect.... The thing is imperfect. And worse, there is a crack in everything that you can put together, physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But that's where the light gets in, and that's where the resurrection is ..., that's where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation, with the brokenness of things."
~~ Leonard Cohen from Diamonds in the Line

I seem to be in a Cohen-state-of-mind lately. He is one amazing musical talent. His songs are poetry, philosophy and calls to action. The above quote is his explanation for the song Anthem, which I quoted in the past two entries.

There is no perfection in the world ~ we need to work with what we have, keep moving forward and find our deepest, truest selves in it all. Part of his explanation refers to the "central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the garden of Eden" ~ which is true in terms of Western Abrahamic-based culture. Is it true in other cultures? Maybe. Maybe not. But I come from that particular culture and I understand his reference.

Do you agree with Cohen's philosophy? Do you believe that there is no perfection? that we are responsible for our lives in spite of that fact? For what do we need to repent? How does that repentance affect our lives?

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Expansion by Paige Bradley
Another view of Cohen's quote:
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.
I love the image of light entering my life through the cracks. Even so, it was surprising to learn about the Japanese art of kintsugi ~ a beautiful metaphor!

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powered gold, silver or platinum. The philosophy is akin to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.

Sometimes, if the break has left a gap, another piece of pottery is blended in to the original piece. What may seem useless or broken beyond repair is renewed. It doesn't look the same, but the gold which joins it, which brings it back to wholeness, provides a visible acknowledgement of value.

Many times in my life I've felt broken, sometimes even shattered. The outpouring of love, prayer and caring from friends has helped to mend me. It's been the golden lacquer of healing. I'm not the same as I was before that sense of brokenness. My flaws and imperfections are even more visible. My self-definition changes ~ I have the opportunity to see myself negatively, as broken or lost, or to see myself positively, as whole though different. I fluctuate between these definitions and images of myself. No matter what I project to others, I know what's happened. I know what I feel, what I've experienced, how I've been hurt. My heart is drawn into Cohen's words: "That's how the light gets in." That's how I allow others to patch me with their golden lacquer of love.

How do you heal? What do you allow when you feel broken? How does the light get into your world? How do you re-define yourself?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How the Light Gets In

from Leonard Cohen's Anthem:
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.
In the midst of dark, depressive thoughts ~ feeling broken into pieces myself ~ this snippet of Cohen's poem brings me hope. The final couplet repeats within my mind, yet I love all four lines. It's a reminder that parts of my broken self "still can ring" ~ they remain sound and whole and interact in the world in a healthy way. When my dark belief moans that only my most "perfect" form is good enough, I slip into the warmth of not needing to be a "perfect offering" in order to be useful, acceptable, healthy.

Those last two lines fill me with the same awe as any prophetic statement. Light can only enter my life, my being, my prayers through the cracks, the imperfections. The words resonate within me and I relax. I feel hope seeping in through the various cracks in my life. It helps bring me out of the Darkness and into the Light.

Do you ever feel darkness closing in around you? Are there other descriptions you give to that feeling of being alone in the world? What brings you hope? How do Cohen's words affect you? Are there other words that bring you more hope? light? prayer?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Transient Existence

There have been many news stories around the transience of life ~ although the media does not refer to it in that manner. They're a bit too fear mongering for that.

A month ago, a friend of mine had a stroke at the gym. She died four days later, never waking from the stroke and consequent surgery. Why did such a vibrant, loving young woman die?

Recently, a mother of two young boys left home late one afternoon and wasn't heard from again. A week later, it was discovered that she had taken her own life. So many unanswered questions.

Yesterday, Robin Williams apparently took his own life. He leaves behind a legacy of bringing much joy to so very many people. He himself must have felt much pain. More unanswered questions.

Police in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old young man. His grandmother found his body in the street. Again, unanswered questions.

Today Lauren Bacall died of a stroke at age 89. After living a long, productive life. None of the angst associated with the other deaths, and yet a loss, a passing from our world.

Buddha equates "the birth and death of beings" with "looking at the movements of a dance." Depending on the influence of the particular being's birth or death on our individual life, the dance has a different appearance, a distinct interpretation. Yet it remains transient. It passes us by without asking our permission.

Do you feel or believe that life is transient? that births and deaths are like dance movements? How else are you affected by the passing of others into and out of this world? Are you more or less affected by those who've been 'larger than life' (like Williams or Bacall)?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Another Super Moon

Cloud Reflection by ML Monroe 2014
The more Super Moons we have ~ or label ~ the less impressive they sound. Suffice it to say, no matter how many there are, I will be impressed. I've taken more pictures of Lady Moon than of any other person, place or thing. I'm continually fascinated by Her.

This one is the closest and the brightest of 2014.

The theme for this Full Moon is about standing in your own personal power. Own your power as it is in this very moment ~ because this moment is truly all you have. What's past is past. Own your choices without dwelling on them, without second-guessing whether they were right or wrong. Step into clarity and steadfast healing. Let go of resistance to change ~ evaluate what is going on in the present moment and allow for grace to enter and move you and your life into the best direction. Stay aware of what motivates you and how you move into your core, your truth, your purpose. As with all Full Moons, open yourself to letting Light into every corner and watch what it reveals!

What motivates you? What is your purpose? How do you feel about the Light brightening the darkest corners of your life? How do you feel about the Moon?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Remembering Nagasaki and Hiroshima

In 1985, peace activists in many cities participated in the International Shadow Project to mark the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the time, I was a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation as well as the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. [This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of both of those groups.] It was an amazing undertaking ~ and not soon forgotten.

The images here are not FROM the Shadow Project, but are the reason FOR it. The images show 'shadows' caused by the atomic blast. The heat of the bomb hitting a person standing close to stairs or a building left an image because the person's body 'protected' the stone or metal. What shows in the picture is the opposite of a burned in image. The enormous heat of the bomb made it to the wall, the curb, the stairs, etc, and changed the color of it. The body stopped some of the heat and created what appears as a 'shadow.' The person, subjected to that intense of heat, most likely died, but his or her image remained as a reminder of how terrible the explosion was. As the second image shows many other items left images like that as well.

Today, August 9th, marks the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Few people acknowledge it. Governments continue to posture and talk about using nuclear weapons. Countries are afraid to destroy or limit their nuclear arsenals. What are we missing here? Why is this kind of power so important? What are we offering to and leaving for our children?

Do you remember the history around the dropping of the bombs? How do you feel about nuclear weapons? Do you feel safer? What feelings do these images stir within you?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Snake's Gift

I walked out my front door the other day to find Snake had left a gift on my rather small concrete stoop. Although it was a simple garden-variety snake, I was awe-struck seeing the skin sitting there. In the 20+ years I've lived in this house, this has never occurred before.

Snake is about transformation and transmutation ~ life, death, rebirth. All in all, it's about change. The coming year promises to be one of change, of letting go of old ways, of rebirth.

Snake sloughs off it skin as it grows. It sheds and leaves behind what no longer serves, what no longer fits, what has become limiting.

Finding Snake's skin reminds me to let go of what no longer serves my soul's purpose. It's not about berating myself for having the skin to shed in the first place. Sometimes what I've come to rely on, to take for granted, to expect, is fitting too tightly. I need to be willing to shed and to leave behind what I find myself clinging to with the most rigid force. The skin is going to split, I'm outgrowing what it is holding in. Like Snake, I need to trust the instinct that leads me forward to the place where I have room to grow into the transformed and transmutated person I am becoming.

What animal has left gifts for you recently? What do you need to give up, pass on, let go? What other gifts come to you from what the animal world? How do you find the time and energy to work out those gifts?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reaching for Peace

Sadako. Yes. She of the thousand paper cranes. I love this statue of her reaching for peace with her cranes, believing that if she could only make a thousand of them, she would be cured of the cancer that was eating away her young life. To have that kind of faith! Though she didn't make it, her story has inspired many people.

Inspired us to what, exactly? To make the beautiful paper cranes that continually adorn this statue. To work for and to believe in peace. More than that, to practice peace, to continue forward in faith, even when all around us looks otherwise.

For anyone who studies and believes in the Christian tradition, there is a verse in the gospel of Matthew (24:6) that reads:
"You are going to hear the noise of battles close by and the news of battles far away; but do not be troubled. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come." (GNT)
Why would Jesus tell his disciples not to be troubled? Does it sound like he's saying to ignore the incoming information about battles and wars? Maybe it sounds that way to some. To me, it sounds like he's telling his followers to be steadfast, not to let the rumors sway their faith. And to understand that the world will continue and so must they.

We must work toward peace without being pulled into the battle, even if it's a battle of words. Move forward. Hold steadfast. Have faith. Keep your heart clear and faithful. It really isn't a Christian message alone. It's the message of every spiritual leader since the beginning of time. It's the message of a 12-year-old girl from one of two cities which experienced first-hand the results of atomic bombing. If anyone had reason to fear, reason to hate, reason to give up, it was Sadako Sasaki. What she held on to was hope, faith and love. We must as well.

How do you reach for peace? How do you maintain peace within your own life? How do you maintain a peaceful balance in a world gone mad with battles, wars, power-mongering?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Light on What is Concealed

from the booklet:
The Shadow Queen ... has come with a lantern to help shed light on what is concealed within you or your situation.  .... The Shadow Queen asks ... that you have the courage to ask someone in the know to shed light on your circumstances. She promises to send that person to  you. Beware of moving too quickly in the dark ....
Have you ever moved forward on something only to discover you didn't have all the information you needed to make a good decision? Or, to later meet someone who had relevant, pertinent information?

As I drew this card, my question was: Considering all that's happening in the world today, what strength or gift can I bring to the world? Drawing the Shadow Queen lets me know that at least part of my gift is patience and continuing to gather information or knowledge. When looking at the 'bigger picture' would also mean reminding others to be patient, to continue to seek answers and information, to proceed with caution. That's often good advice for any of us!

I ponder the facet of this ally that is 'manipulation' ~ who and what is being manipulated?  and why? Is the Shadow Queen manipulating the world around me? preparing it for what is to come next? or is she manipulating me?

What questions do you have of the Shadow Queen? How do you respond to 'manipulation'? What do you want to see done in the world? What is the Shadow Queen telling you?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Learning Curve

Learning curves are a natural part of learning new tasks, new jobs, new means of expression. No matter how old I get, every time I find myself in the midst of a new process, I recognize that I am also beginning a new learning curve.

At my workplace, we don't discuss our dreams and/or our healings from the night before or the previous weekend or any time for that matter. Occasionally, we talk about our goals or even dreams/plans we had when younger. Those momentary references to personal insights are rare. We exhibit a level of uncomfortability with that kind of sharing.

I cherish the times I'm with friends who share a common language of feelings, dreams and healings.  Those are the moments, the times when I feel truly seen, known and appreciated. It is a learning curve to continue the conversation into the mundane pieces of my life and allowing for the stares and the stammers and the misunderstandings of those who don't know that facet of my life and my being.

I also believe I can talk about the football, baseball and soccer games and the lottery and the news with all of those people as well. Part of the learning curve for me is allowing, even encouraging, the wide variety of expressions to come through. Then my life is full, enriched and enriching.

Do you have people to discuss your dreams with? and your healings? Do you have, take or make the opportunity to focus on those parts of your life? What is your learning curve?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Reading the World

Think about it ~ reading the world like you read a book! Travel provides the diversity of stories. Every place I go as I travel is a new chapter overflowing with information about people, places, culture and history. Travel is exciting as well as educational. It has opened doors on cultures in ways that I never could see from only my little corner of the world.

Some places I'd love to 'read' that I haven't yet: Malta, Poland, Scotland, Croatia, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Nova Scotia. So many adventures ahead! So much to explore and discover! Travel is one of my top five activities.

Also akin to reading books, sometimes there is not enough time or energy or resource to get through them all. I believe the desire brings me closer to the accomplishment ~ and keeps me seeking ~ than if I were to give up.

Augustine was broadly traveled. Born in what is now Algeria in 354 A.D., he was a Roman citizen and traveled to Carthage (in modern Tunis) at 17 to attend school. Later he moved to Milan as well. In 391, he was ordained a priest back in his native Algeria, where he remained until his death in 430. When I think about what travel must have been like at that time, he certainly was quite the adventurer!

Sometimes, too, travel through the world is an internal affair. Not that one doesn't want to go beyond the home base, but there are often reasons for not leaving. In our modern day, much exploration can be done through words and images in both print books and online resources. Though not quite the same, it's nevertheless an adventure in its own right.

Where would you like to travel? Why? What do you see to 'read' in that place? What have you 'read' or discovered in your travels, in the world at large or in your community? Look around you. Read what's there. Learn from it.