Dear Friends ~ Last year I reconnected with Rick Ruggles, a former neighbor and a photographer of what he calls "found hearts". Some years back, he teamed up with Steve Godwin, a poet-friend who often visited Still Point (the home of Friends of Silence in the woods of West Virginia). Together they connected their photographic and poetic heart-work, creating a tiny book called FINDING HEART. I'm grateful both agreed to allow me to share a snippet of their work here to warm our hearts this month.
In the crystal cold of February, the commemoration of St. Valentine, and the cacophony of shifting scenes and specters of our world, what does it mean to "take heart" for each of us, dear readers, especially as our earth heats up, and the pandemic continues around us?
Friends of Silence—as a nonprofit organization—is feeling the lingering effects of the pandemic, just as we all are. While many of you responded generously to our annual appeal—giving wholeheartedly—the donations so far simply are not enough to fill the deficit left by our inability to host in-person retreats, particularly the Wisdom Schools. And while revenue is down, mailing and printing costs have risen greatly. So, we are taking the extraordinary step of making another donor appeal—in the hope that if you have not been able to respond the first time, you may find it possible to "take heart" now so that we will have what we need to continue the legacy Nan Merrill passed to us. ~ Mary Ann