Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Friday, March 31, 2017


When time is reduced to linear progress, it is emptied of presence.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

What is the sum of our days?
As we plod on
In this linear life
Going merely from one damn thing to another

First growing up
Having an entire town
Plan out your life

(well of course you are going to be a doctor)

Then more of the normal thing
College (go Blues! AKA Missionaries)
More school

Life as a minister
Going up the ladder
Small church, medium church, large church
Yahoo!  Lake Oswego

But in all the progress
A loss of self
Just progressing, not living

Then crash!
A disaster of my own making
Then start again

Disaster relief
Teaching at a medical school
Executive Director of a mental health program

On, on, on
Progressing forward

But most of life has had one dimension

A line ____________________________
Yes so much happened
So much life, so much death
So much success, so much failure
So many jobs

But just progressing from one thing to another is not enough
Life should be two-dimensional
Three dimensional

The plodding line cannot define
There must be soul bursts
And heart breaks
There must be
Connections that add lines to our lives
Children, lovers, family

Above all sacred
Which makes the line not a line
but something much

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Just sit there

“You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.”
                              John O'Donohue

Don’t just do something
Sit there


Put down the phone
Turn off the TV
Leave your computer

And take a walk
(having a dog will help)
Look at the mountains
Listen to the owls hoot

Think about nothing
Think about everything
But let each thought go
Into the deepening sky

And just notice
Your feet as they touch the soggy earth
Notice the rain on your face
And the wind brushing against your cheek

Be in that moment

Or sit on your deck
(if you prefer)
And sip your coffee
Noticing its heat
Its taste

Think of nothing
Think of everything
Just let it go
And feel yourself
Rooted to the earth

You have traveled to fast
Over false group
It is time to let your soul
Catch up with your body
And take you

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

listen to the Silence

“One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people.”
                              John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Slowly the light is consumed by darkness
the pickups no longer rattle down the road
and the sounds of the day
are muted

cloaked by night

the stars shyly peek out through the darkness
gathering points of light

as the moon creeps above the mountain tops
shining a ghostly light
across the ground

the deepening silence reveals
hidden sounds
the hoot of an owl
a calf search for its mother
at the foot of the hills
a coyote choir

and in this quiet space
the sound of my heart
beating in the silence
the grudging creaking of my joints
and my murmuring mind

shout secrets
long hidden
the ears of God