January 2019 (Vol. XXXII, No. 1)

Dear Friends ~ Each year the turning of the season calls us to reexamine our way. Where have we been? Where are we going? Last month's newsletter contained a quote about a "traveling light." In the long, dark months of winter we become more mindful of our dependence on light. Where do we find our traveling light? What will sustain us and lift our spirits through these long nights? Will it be the twinkling lights of stars glittering in the small spaces between tree limbs? The tiny glimmer of light in another's eyes? The steady flame of a candle honoring a friend's passing? Can we be traveling lights for each other? In this new year of as yet unknown paths, may we dance on the edges of the eternal dappled interplay betwixt light and dark, trusting love to be our traveling light. As it says in the song, "Love will guide us."

Read Email Newsletter

What does the future hold

The past is past, no need to wonder; the present is now, where our love grows daily. What does the future hold? That's up to us. It seems the best thing to do is what we're doing right now, holding on to each other with love in the calm of the eye of the storm, with only one intent: to love one another as we are—completely—as two people raising each other up, as we move through this thing we call life.
~ from DEAREST WAIKI by Marilyn Markham

The shape of shadow and light

I am remembering a lifetime of trying to map
the shape of shadow and light,
To draw the clean edges of change
And what has made me an oddity
Asked me to live far more closely
To the center of all that awe and ache.
~ Carrie Newcomer

Blown again into instant flame

Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.
~ Dr. Albert Schweitzer

At least we would get off the ground

Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to "Jump at de sun." We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.

~ Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God
By Zora Neale Hurston

Light becomes more evident

In the midst of gathering darkness, light becomes more evident.
~ Bonnie Bostrom
Quicksilver Dreams
By Bonnie Bostrom

Shaped and defined by light

Einstein told us that our universe is shaped and defined by light. We live in a visual cage, and what we call time is simply the ever-moving shadow of the bars which confine us....But suppose that...we were able to outrun the waves of light which undulate across the universe. As we leap...across the galaxy we overtake and leave behind the light which left the surface of the earth...the image will travel forever in this everlasting night, seeking its home among the stars, reaching ever outward toward some hypothetical destination at the universe's problematic end. Is light, then, the stuff our souls are made of?

~ from CELESTIAL CHESS by Thomas Bontly
Celestial Chess
By Thomas Bontly

They just stand there shining

Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.
~ Anne Lamott

Darkness deserves gratitude

Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
~ Joan Chittister and Rowan Williams
For All That Has Been, Thanks: Growing a Sense of Gratitude (Paperback) - Common
By By (author) Joan Chittister By (author) Rowan Williams

The heavens declare

Through science we have created magnificent spacecrafts and telescopes to explore the night and the light and the half light. We have made visible things that are invisible to the unaided eye. We have brought the dreamy heavens down to Earth, held them in the mind's eye. Our explorations have produced a vast archive of remarkable astronomical images...The riches are too many for choices, the revelations beautiful and dreadful. Who can look at these images and not be transformed? The heavens declare God's glory.
~ from SKEPTICS AND TRUE BELIEVERS by Chet Raymo

Shed a little light

There is a feeling like the clenching of a fist
There is a hunger in the center of the chest
There is a passage through the darkness and the mist
and though the body sleeps, the heart will never rest
Shed a little light oh Lord so that we can see
Just a little light oh Lord...

~ from James Taylor's song " Shed a Little Light"

To kindle a light

The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

~ Carl Jung, as quoted in brainpickings.org

We must learn to reawaken

We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Walden and Civil Disobedience
By Henry David Thoreau

May the stars light your way

May the stars
light your way
and may you find
the interior road
Forward!
~ an Irish farewell

Turn your face to the sun

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
~ Maori proverb

Uphold the Light

Uphold the Light that your inner light
may illumine fear-filled hearts...
Light comes with each new dawn.
yield to the Light within;
become a chalice of light
for the world!

~ from LUMEN CHRISTI...HOLY WISDOM by Nan Merrill

Because we are here, let us dance

We did not ask for this room or this music; we were invited in. Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces toward the light. Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty...We did not ask for this room or this music. But because we are here, let us dance.
~ Stephen King and Bridget Carpenter in a poem from 11.22.63
11/22/63: A Novel
By Stephen King

Only an invitation

Our world is so full of conditions —
demands, requirements, and obligations
that we often wonder what is expected of us.
But when we meet a truly free person
[a truly giving person]
there are no expectations,
only an invitation
to reach into ourselves
and discover there
our own freedom.
~ from Bread for the Journey by Henri Nouwen, as quoted in "Thin Places" Sept/Oct/Nov 2010

Laden with messages

The circumstances of our lives are another medium of God’s communication with us. God opens some doors and closes others.... Through the wisdom of our bodies, God tells us to slow down or reorder our priorities. The happy coincidences and frustrating impasses of daily life are laden with messages. Patient listening and the grace of the Spirit are the decoding devices of prayer. It is a good habit to ask, What is God saying to me in this situation? Listening to our lives is part of prayer.

~ Marjorie J. Thompson

December 2018 (Vol. XXXI, No. 11)

Dear Friends ~ American culture tends to prize maximum choice with minimum limitations and, especially in this season, urges us to want more —not less. We tie ourselves in knots stressing over constraints of time and chafe at the notion that others may impinge on our space or have more resources. It seems to be human nature that however much space or time expands, we keep filling it and still feel cramped. Perhaps we could contemplate cultivating alternate perspectives. Freedom and structure are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In some ways, having or expecting to have unlimited choices is an unearned "entitlement" of the privileged few. Could being grateful and attentive to what we have help us to be fully present in the time we are in and actively inhabit the space where we live? Sue Bender, in PLAIN AND SIMPLE, ponders the metaphor of patchwork quilting to understand how to make sense of the rhythms of our lives.

A journey unencumbered

Traveling light—imagine this meaning: unencumbered journeying, a graceful way of traveling through life like a single leaf. Now imagine another: the light by which we journey, the light that shows the way. Our traveling light...

What would it mean to live like a single leaf? What would it mean to make one’s life a journey of simplicity? a journey unencumbered, uncluttered, without distraction—a journey of focus and intention? a journey of lightness and light?...

We take delight in things; we take delight in being loosed from things. Between these two delights, we must dance our lives.
~ Philip Harden

Awaiting that which comes

We look with uncertainty
Beyond the old choices for
Clear-cut answers
To a softer, more permeable aliveness
Which is every moment
At the brink of death;
For something new is being born in us
If we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
Awaiting that which comes...
Daring to be human creatures,
Vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.
~ Anne Hillman

Claiming your true priorities

Busyness is not a reason for not getting other things done. It is an excuse for not claiming your true priorities.
~ Alan Cohen
Deep Breath of Life, A
By Alan Cohen

There is only one great thing

I think over again my small adventures
my fears
those small ones that seemed so big

For all the vital things
I had to get and to reach

And yet there is only one great thing
the only thing

To live to see the great day that dawns
and the light that fills the world.
~ Old Inuit Song
Syndicate content