J. Ruth Gendler

Beauty is expressed in relationships

The Navaho word hozho, translated into English as "beauty," also means harmony, wholeness, goodness. One story that suggests the dynamic way that beauty comes alive between us concerns a contemporary Navajo weaver. A man ordered a rug of an especially complex pattern on two separate occasions from the same weaver. Both rugs came out perfectly and the weaver remarked to her brother that there must have been something special about the owner. It was understood that the outcome of the rugs was dependent not on the weaver's skill and ability but upon the hozho in the owner's life. The hozho of his life evoked the beauty in the rugs. In the Navaho world view, beauty exists not simply in the object, or in the artist who made the object; it is expressed in relationships.

~ from NOTES ON THE NEED FOR BEAUTY, by J. Ruth Gendler

Dear Companion of my day

Dear Companion of my day, You are the Holy Mystery I surrender to when I close my eyes. I give You myself, my flaws, the mistakes, the petty self-congratulations. I give You my dear ones: my fondest hopes for them, my worries, and my dark thoughts regarding them. Take my well-constructed separation from me. Hold me in Your truth.

This day is already past. I surrender it. When I think about tomorrow, I surrender it too. Keep me this night. With You and in You I can trust not knowing anything. I can trust incompleteness as a way. Dark with the darkness, silent with the silence, help me dare to be that empty one -- futureless, desireless -- who breathes Your name even in sleep.

~ from Gunilla Norris in CHANGING LIGHT by J. Ruth Gendler thanks to Gay Grissom

Courage

Courage has roots. She sleeps on a futon on the floor and lives close to the ground. Courage looks you straight in the eye. She is not impressed with powertrippers, and she knows first aid. Courage is not afraid to weep, and she is not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to. When Courage walks, it is clear that she has made the journey from loneliness to solitude. The people who told me she is stern were not lying; they just forgot to mention that she is kind.

~ from THE BOOK OF QUALITIES by J. Ruth Gendler with thanks to Gay Grissom
The Book of Qualities
By J. Ruth Gendler
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