Friday, July 31, 2009

Voiceless Chick

The always creative BlissChick has invited us to work on our “stuck chicks.” I recently came face to face with one of my biggies, Voiceless Chick. Now, many who know me, whether in person or via blog, might question the presence of Voiceless Chick (VC), since I usually appear to have something to say.

VC, however, is a strong hanger-on in my life. She doesn’t show up often, but when she does I really need to pay attention. It is through paying attention to her that I find my voice. She isn’t trying to shut me down (which is what it can feel like). She’s actually trying to help me move forward.

Yesterday I created this collage to represent VC. Today I spent time making space for what the collage needed to say. Here are the words that arose:

I see her eyes pleading with me.
Help me speak.
Help me find my voice.
Only you can help me.

They whisper inside my head and behind my back.
Shutting me down.
Keeping my gut in turmoil.
It is not safe.
Not safe here.
There is a silent scream somewhere,
but even it is hidden.

I want to scream.
To yell.
To pound.
But I am voiceless.

So, I shut my eyes and
hope it will all go away.
But I am the one who starts to disappear.

But the silence is only on the outside.
It is anything but silent within.
Shut the F up.
Shut up.
Take this and keep your mouth shut.
Like raw meat stuffed inside me,
I gag.
I want to roar,
but I choke on my words.

The chaos and confusion swirl.
Still she pleads with me.
Help me.
I have words.
I am not safe here.
Take me away.
Make the voices stop.
Why are they so loud and I am so silent?

(to be continued…)

Who is your stuck chick? (btw—chicks come in both genders.) Do you try to ignore and silence this chick? Or are you willing to listen to what he/she may have to teach you? Where/when does your Voiceless Chick show up?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


we never really know what resides inside of someone until we choose to sit still and listen very closely...perhaps with our eyes closed...

hopefully when we open them again our vision will be changed.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer's Sweet Slowness

Dressed in my glossy red coat
adorned with perfect black dots,
I tip a feeler into the warm summer air.
The bark feels cool and
safe beneath my bare feet.
Perfect for a slow stroll
on a summer day.

Shall I stick close to home or
spread my wings and fly?
The world offers much to explore.
Which outlook will I prefer today–
comfy barkside view or
daring aerial vista?
Summer sweetness beckons.

Image © and poetry prompt can be found at Abbey of the Arts. Check it out!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sacred Sunday

Today I am pulling one out of the archives - prompted by my pleasure of being associated with two amazing women, Christine Paintner and Betsey Beckman, who are working on their new book about the Awakening the Creative Spirit program. Their writing reminded of a poem I penned almost three years ago during that program. It seemed perfect for this Sacred Sunday.


Six Senses of God

No old man in flowing robes and long white beard for me. My God looks like the wind, the rain, the sun & moon. He is creation all around--both seen and imagined.

Rainstorm beating on a tin roof & brook gently babbling through the forest. The laughter of children and screams of childbirth. Tinkling bells and booming gongs. These are the voices of Majesty.

God smells like spring after the first rain. Roses, old and fragrant. Wet dog and fresh baked bread. Homemade cookies & pie.

Taste the sweet nectar dripping from fresh berries. Complexities of a gourmet meal. Chinese food and take out pizza. Communion wine. God pours flavor into life.

Experience God with the touch of a newborn’s bottom, a soft kitten or the bark of a gnarled tree. The suede of a child’s head and the crepe of a woman’s weathered hand.

A presence that embodies pain and sorrow, joy and laughter. A tugging of the heart and a whisper in the ear. The flutter of stomach and the pounding of heart. Our God is the feast of eyes and the fullness of soul.

photo by lucy

Saturday, July 25, 2009

consider this...

“I no longer seek any perfection from my own efforts…but only the perfection that comes from faith and is from God…We who are called perfect must all think in this way” (Philippians 3:9,15).

Where the text finally points, leads and calls is to the total mystery of divine union—and nothing less.

You don’t have to figure it all out or get it all right ahead of time. You just have to stay on the journey. All you can do is stay connected. We don’t know how to be perfect, but we can stay in union. “If you remain in me and I remain in you,” says Jesus, “you can ask for whatever you want and you’re going to get it” (see John 15:7). When you’re connected, there are no coincidences anymore. Synchronicities, coincidences, accidents and “providences” just keep happening. Union realigns you with everything, and things just start happening. I cannot explain the “chemistry” of it all. Some people call it “the secret.” All I know is that the “branch cut off from the vine is useless” (John 15:5), yet on the vine it bears much fruit (15:5, 7). The True Self is endlessly generative, in touch with its Source; the false self is fragile, needy and insecure.

--Richard Rohr

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blind Date

Every now and then the virtual world meets the tangible world in the form of flesh and blood. I had that wonderful opportunity last night as fellow blogger, His Girl Friday, visited Seattle and we met face to face. I titled this post Blind Date, because meeting someone you don’t know can stir up all of those crazy feelings even if you’re not looking for romantic involvement.

I imagine you know what I’m talking about. The anticipation. What will she/he look like? Will we know each other when we see each other? Where shall we meet? Coffee or cocktail? Public place? Definitely. Ability to leave quickly or discreetly, just in case. What if we don’t like each other? What if there’s nothing to say? What if…

After e-mailing a few times, a couple of voicemails and a handful of text messages, we decided on beer at the local micro-brewery. I waited outside to make sure she found it and when she drove by in her car, we looked at each other, smiled and waved like old friends. We knew each other at first sight. We greeted with a comfortable hug, because we were not strangers. We had been conversing for a couple of years. We know things about each other that people we see on a regular basis might have no idea. She wanted to know about the rest of my vacation. I needed to check on the healing of her accident. There were no pregnant pauses in the conversation.

An added bonus was that I got to meet not one blogger, but two. Her hubby, Sleepy Bear, pulled up a little later on his “bike” and regaled us with tales of his own. Alas, they had to leave too soon to connect with their traveling companions and her departure for home this morning.

Beers, a Bear and His Girl Friday. It was a great blind date. At least I think so…Gosh, I wonder if she’ll call again ☺.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Do I Need a List to Get It Right?

Have you ever noticed how certain themes pop up in your life from time to time? A recent one for me is the theme of petitioning God. There is a part of me that calls petition “the laundry list” or “I need fill-in-the blank.” Each time I have recently encountered the idea of petition, I have felt resistance and in those circumstances I am called to consider why.

Pondering this notion, questions arise in my mind: Do I believe in a God who answers lists? Do I consider myself above petition? Or is it resistance to the notion of somehow needing a list to get it right? The first time this came up was while meeting with my spiritual director. I felt the resistance again on Sunday in a potentially self-righteous, but curious kind of way. The priest was encouraging us to spend time with God without the need to bring “the list,” i.e. to be grateful, to honor God, to be in God’s presence. I felt very smug at that moment because currently "being" is more my style. I feel like every breath is prayer. In and out. Yah…weh…I have thrown away my list.

So where is the balance? Do I believe in a God who answers prayer? How can I not? But/And how can I believe in a white-bearded man who sits at a desk in heaven and follows each of us like Twitter? God’s magnitude is beyond description. I continue to experience Her presence most when I am in nature and times of just being. In those moments, there is no need to ask. Still I wonder about the notion of petition. I hold others in my thoughts and prayers – safety for travel – healing of sick – hearts to be protected. It no longer feels like a list (or petition), but breath. One movement.

My critical voice steps in and speaks. Am I getting it right? Have I evolved? Look at me! So, where is the balance? Do I need to be doing something different? Is it ok to simply be? Can I merely be in the presence of this God I cannot name and yet know throughout every cell of my bones? The paradox is huge. The belief is strong and the unknowing and questions run side by side. I continue to seek even though I have already found. I continue to grow even though I am an adult. I continue forward – most days. Do I need a list to get it right? Do you?

steeple in the clouds - bermuda 7.09

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer Soul Singing...Slowly

It’s always hard to know where to pick up when you’ve been away from anything (blogging, home, friends, etc.) Reading Christine’s post, Summertime Slowness, I am reminded to pause and savor these moments as I re-enter home life after being gone for two weeks. The time was spent with my family of four and so I do not feel pressure to catch up with them or recount my time away.

We had a wonderful house sitter, so my home is in order with no need to deep clean or sort through piles of mail. The air is fresh outside and I long to linger in my bed as I catch up on e-mail and sprinkle in a few to-do’s along the way. Amazon Fresh delivered groceries to my doorstep before dawn and my sweet husband put them away and placed fresh flowers in a vase. I have appointments and meetings scheduled throughout the rest of the week, but for now I have the luxury of entering this time slowly.

As I recount my past weeks of travel I am aware that many of the moments I most enjoyed were the seemingly small and slow ones I could savor. Here are a few that come to mind:
  • Waking up to the sunshine and delighting in my morning latte
  • Watching snails move along the tide pool
  • A mid-afternoon nap
  • Coming face to face with a bunny in a field
  • Seeing Christ Church for the first time
  • Watching my children surf
  • Rubbing the ears of a dog
  • Strolling through Central Park
  • Feeling my husband’s arm around my shoulder
  • Entering the cool of The Cloisters with the rush of the world drifting away
  • Singing “How Great Thou Art”
  • Sharing a glass of wine with my niece
  • Watching the sunset over the Olympic Mountains on our return ride from the airport
  • Unlocking the door to our home
  • Sleeping in my own bed
  • Delighting in my morning coffee…
So, how is your summer pace? Are things frantic and rushed or are you allowing yourself time to see and savor each precious moment? Can you name the moments when your soul sings?

Friday, July 10, 2009

glow, baby, glow!!

“Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
Lead us lest too far we wander
Love's sweet voice is calling yonder
Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer
Hey, there don't get dimmer, dimmer
Light the path below, above
And lead us on to love!"

Discussions this week have led several times to the value(s) of Facebook and this technological age in general. While it would be easy to veer off on that topic at this moment, I am going to reign myself in for now and simply say: I love what happens when you toss something out into the universe (technological or not) and wait. Last night I put two words on my FB status, “glow worm”, and the above response showed up in my inbox this morning. It is the perfect intro to today’s post. Thank you, Country Parson!!

There are myths and legends around the world pertaining to what happens in the days of the full moon, many of them pertaining to bizarre happenings or behaviors.

We arrived in Bermuda two days before this month’s lunar fullness and our hosts were reminded of something they witnessed a few years ago. The story goes that for three nights following the full moon in Bermuda at exactly 56 minutes past sunset, the waters begin to illuminate with the mating ritual of GLOW-WORMS. This frenzy lasts for approximately ten minutes (for three nights) and then subsides until the next full moon.

This sounds entirely too precise to believe, doesn’t it? 56 minutes after sunset??? So, not to be easily gullible we decided to seek out the luminous worms. Night before last, we ventured on our own to a nearby ferry landing following the big storm of the day. The precision was indeed there for at exactly 56 minutes after sunset, we witnessed one lonely chartreuse worm glowing in the water, although he appeared to be swimming circles inside of a transparent jelly fish. (I posed that he warned the others not to come out, lest they meet the same fate.) While we were slightly disappointed in the lack of numbers, it did not deter us from trying again. What better way to track a potential myth down than through the locals? So...

We found a Bermudian friend who declared a friend of hers had one of the definitive glow worm sighting spots. This time all of us went (including the teenagers since they were probably hoping to prove their crazy parents wrong.) Ten of us lined up around the dock waiting for the magic time. My husband was our official time keeper. Five Minutes. Four. Three. Two. One. Blast off!!! I kid you not. At exactly 56 minutes past sunset, two days after the full moon, the water started glowing and the frenzy began. Amidst clouds of love potion, the fluorescent green worms did their thing. We oohed, ahhhhed, shouted, “look look look”. It was amazing (and sad to say impossible to photograph)!! Hubby finally quit trying, put down his camera and said, “I’m just going to enjoy the show!” And, what a miraculous offering it was!!!

So, what do you think? Random? Precise? A fluke? God? All I know is I will sing that little diddy with a whole new appreciation!!! “Shine little glow-worm, glimmer, glimmer”!!!

Wishing you your own glimmering, glowing day!!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wednesday Highlights

  • Cafe au lait served in bed.
  • Reading "Anam Cara" with my beloved.
  • Lounging.
  • A brisk 1 1/2 hour walk with headphones and camera.
  • Sacred act of lunch making (& eating, of course.)
  • Sangria and bocce ball.
  • Battening down the hatches (in anticipation of the brewing storm.)
  • Swimming in the pouring rain (the storm arrived.)
  • Hot tub. Shower.
  • Reading.
  • Napping.
  • Dinner al fresco (the storm moved on.)
  • Searching for the glow worms...stay tuned.
  • A rousing game of Sorry.
  • An even more scintillating game of Tiddly Winks with moi being the winner.
  • Conversation & cigars.
  • More reading.
  • Night. Night.
kitteh - a found friend on my walk

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

What Makes the Difference?

Sunrise Sister has been engaging her readers in a conversation about the "small things" in life. Is there really such a thing as something too small or insignificant? This is something I ponder much of the time.

Currently I have the pleasure of posting from a special little version of paradise. Some have commented it is easy to enjoy things when you are surrounded by such beauty and caring friends. True. I also recall visiting here a couple of months ago and experiencing one of the darkest periods in my recent past. So what makes the difference?

This morning before I read SS's post, I ran across a quote that resonated deeply with me and I recalled when I read the words of Sunrise Sister and her thoughtful commenters:

"Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

If we fulfill our "obligation" as Eleanor suggests, I believe that moves us right out of ordinary and into extraordinary - even if multiple people are doing the same thing.

One of the most sacred things I did yesterday was to lovingly set the table for those with whom I was going to dine. As I rolled the napkins and silverware and placed the paper plates, I considered each person and viewed my gesture as an act of love. While I did not verbally share this with anyone (until now), it was a vision that stayed with me into the next day. It was also amidst many other events that could have been viewed as much more extraordinary. Does setting a table become more sacred in "paradise"?

So, what do you think? Is there anything ordinary? My response: Only if we allow it to be so.

the view from my window in paradise 7/7/09

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

How Do You Fill Your Creative Well?

Blisschick in one of her always-thoughtful posts asks the above question. My inner response is “by being creative, of course.” It is an interesting cycle, because to be creative I need to feel creative. The other response I came up with is “by listening to my inner voice that says, dance, sing, create!”

Last night I did just that. On vacation with my family at the wonderful Bermuda retreat home of our dear friends, we finished dinner on the veranda around 9:30 p.m. As we walked inside to finish up the dishes, our host said, “If anyone has not seen the moon outside, you are required to do so now.” (Another way to fill the creative soul is to surround yourself with friends who require dropping the dishes and heading out to view the moon NOW! which btw--was on the opposite side from the veranda.)

So, being the obedient guest, I headed outside with the rest of the crew and stood in awe, ahhh, awwwwwwwwwweeee, of the incredible moon shining over the open sea. Discussion ensued about how bright the beach is at night when the moon is full, etc. etc. Some what ifs or we shoulds were thrown around and finally I said, “What are waiting for, let’s go to the beach! Who knows what tomorrow may bring?”

Bill and I loaded up the camera and tripod, hopped into the golf cart and went the ½ mile down to the beach to set up and await the arrival of the others. Setting the tripod and camera for time exposures, we played and did “light painting” which resulted in the photo(s) here. I skipped on the beach with the moon shining full and bright. We splashed in the rising tide. Scribbled in the sky with penlight in hand. In the midst of laughter and play, my creative well was filled to the brim. Delight seems to have that affect on me!

I considered adding even more ways the well rises to the top, but hey, I’m on vacation and more play awaits. I’d love to know though, how do you fill your creative well?

Monday, July 06, 2009


i feel like the fairy godmother of restoration has tapped me with a powerful wand that says "relax!". i have willingly obeyed. 10:30 a.m. Bermuda time - almost ten hours of sleep - heaven.
a gentle breeze. warm air. the sun bright, but not harshly so. the kiskadees call. my skin looks fresh and line-free. my hair falls softly. my body needs a good stretch. a swim may be in order.

Welcome to Paradise...returning home to myself. wonder who i'll find.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fire Revisited

We have passed the midway point of 2009. The summer solstice has come and gone. Days are already shortening even though they still feel long and luxurious. And, Kate I has reminded me it’s a good time to reflect on my word for the year – FIRE.

Fire. Being the 4th of July in the US, what better day to reflect on this word? The sound of firecrackers has been punctuating the air for days already and the culmination will come tonight with the blasting fireworks that won’t be seen until well after 10:00 p.m. It is my hope to be near sleep by then since we have a very early morning flight tomorrow. Off on vacation. Yippee!!

But I digress. Fire. Fire has been a well-chosen word for me this year. I have pondered its warmth and its ability to be destructive. My nature can be one of nurturing and tending others, but sparks can also fly when I feel scared or threatened. I have considered what it is like to be fire when the one I am closest to connects most deeply with smooth calm sands of earth. How shall the two comfortably meet? Must the fireworks blaze out and descend to the ground? Is it necessary for a storm to brew to send the sand of earth flying to meet the sky? Will wind prevail and both fire and earth disappear? Or can a fire be nestled into the hollowed out sand of a beach where peace and joy reside? The answers, of course, are not simple. Neither am I singularly elemental - only fire.

Fire has showed up in beautiful and surprising reminders throughout the year. Metaphors abound in my life and I hope I have been present to at least a few of them. There have been times when I could only see the death and destruction of fire. And, then there are those sweet moments when I feel as though I have flown into the sky and exploded into brilliant bursts of color and life. Fire has met me in my contemplative time; in my play time; in times of passion, growth and, yes, even destruction.

Reflecting on fire today…this midpoint in the year…this day of independence…I think I have to say, Fire has been an excellent choice of words for me this year. We shall see what the remainder of 2009 has to offer.

If there are others of you who selected a word for the year, what do you think? How does this midway point find you engaging (or not) with your word?

fireworks by h3images
my happy place by lucy