winter

West Wind

There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe...When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks—when you hear that unmistakable pounding—when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long fall plunging and steaming—then row, row for your life toward it.

~ Mary Oliver from "West Wind" in NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, VOL. 2

Bright possibilities

Those are red letter days in our lives when we meet people who thrill us like a fine poem, people whose handshake is brimful of unspoken sympathy, and whose sweet, rich natures impart to our eager, impatient spirits a wonderful restfullness which, in is essence, is divine...The perplexities, irritations, and worries that have absorbed us pass like unpleasant dreams, and we wake to see with new eyes and hear with new ears the beauty and harmony of God's real world. The solemn nothings that fill our everyday life blossom suddenly into bright possibilities.
~ Helen Keller in THE STORY OF MY LIFE

Lesson of the moment

Lesson of the moment: I am not a little autonomous being, deciding this or that about my own life without interference. I am a thread in a tapestry of people.

~ Deborah Good in LONG AFTER I'M GONE: A FATHER-DAUGHTER MEMOIR

What Divides

A fragment of fence long trampled
by those who needed most to pass.
Pilgrim, immigrant, refugee,
all journeys severe, all made in longing.
Most cross over what's already breached,
but the step is long and touches down
In a world that takes heart
in the breaking of what divides.
~ Steve Godwin from "What Divides" in FINDING HEART

Just Another Song

Sometimes I can sit under a tree
looking into the spaces
between branches,
And wait on the silence...
~ Steve Godwin from "Just Another Song" in FINDING HEART

Far better things ahead

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

~ C.S. Lewis in THE COLLECTED LETTERS OF C.S. LEWIS

November

You are not obliged to be beautiful
You don't have to shine.
Blooming will happen when it happens.
If you can be still for a moment
you might notice that
the roots that feed you
are still reaching silently through the dark.
~ Lynn Ungar in "November" from THESE DAYS: POEMS FOR THE PANDEMIC AGE

I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded

I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
~ Khaled Hosseini in THE KITE RUNNER

Falling and rising again

If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.
~ Julian of Norwich

The heart broken open into new capacity

...there are at least two ways to understand what it means to have our hearts broken. One is to imagine the heart broken into shards and scattered about—a feeling most of us know, and a fate we would like to avoid. The other is to imagine the heart broken open into new capacity—a process that is not without pain but one that many of us would welcome. As I stand in the tragic gap between reality and possibility, this small, tight fist of a thing called my heart can break open into greater capacity to hold more of my own and the world's suffering and joy, despair and hope.
~ Parker Palmer in A HIDDEN WHOLENESS: THE JOURNEY TOWARD AN UNDIVIDED LIFE
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