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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Bless your little crooked heart

“You shall love your crooked neighbor, with your crooked heart.”
                                                                         W.H. Auden

We are all in this together

We are together in fear
Together in anger
Together in hurt, and sometimes rage

We are together in hope
Together in love

And here is the thing

As we all stumble down this road called life
As we move toward our dreams
As we wander toward, hopefully, the Kingdom of God

Toward that place when war is no more
And equity exists
And justice is real
And honesty and kindness are the norm
And love rules

We must get there

This is the great error that some make
Perhaps all of us making

Thinking that it is ok for us to gain
At the cost of another
That it is OK if we pave our way forward
On the backs of others

When we create economic inequity
When we profit by using and abusing others
When we create safety by abandoning others
When we create comfort by excluding others
And convince ourselves of our righteous, by judging others

We don’t win
We lose

For we must get there together
This is


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The gift of failure

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
                              Winston S. Churchill

Ever failed?
I have
More times than I can count
Bad choices have closed doors,
              Blocked paths
                             Left me scarred

But I have been lucky
              Time and time again
I have been able to take lessons learned and skill developed
And forge a new path

From minister,
To working for a non-profit
To a medical school
To a community mental health program

Somehow a door always opened
Some way, there was always something new

And now
Although there is no drama
No doors closing
It feels like this path goes nowhere

That I am going no where
Just wandering deeper and deeper into

Perhaps there is just not enough in me
At place in the journey
To keep getting up
To keep moving

So I creep along
Trying to avoid another failure
But getting, nowhere
Perhaps now is the time to just stop
At least for a moment

At take some time
For my soul to catch up with my body
To take some time
To find again the passion

To get up
And fail again

Monday, February 26, 2018

what is beneath

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.
                                                                        Mark Nepo

What is it all about
Those words, that behavior,
That way of thinking?

People (not just kids)
Say the craziest things
They behave grandly, and poorly

they believe strange and not so wonderful things
and have an addiction to extremes

what is behind it all?
What drives people?

Understanding what is behind
And beneath
Is the beginning of wisdom

And also the beginning of compassion and kindness

What wounds are hidden by the anger?
What loneliness lurks deep in the soul?
What fears leave that person depleted and helpless?

Can we take the time to find out who that person in front of us is?
Can we take the time to wander deep within ourselves
to where the hungry demons roam?

Can we find our best self,
And reveal it?
Can we find that precious soul in front of us
And accept it?

Is this not
what it means
to be a Sacred Child?

Sunday, February 25, 2018


Every once in while I pause
And take a breath
And lift my head up and look around

Released for the moment from all the busyness
I have woven around myself like protective armor

And in that brief moment I know
We are all alone, born alone, die alone

Perhaps not we, just me

I can look back on my life and realize
That in spite of co workers, and more, and
In spite of being surrounded
By fellow therapists,
And by the saints in my little church
And at times by family

That in spite of the company, I have been alone the whole way
I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—
but essentially, and finally, alone.

Oh there is human contact
And moments of grudging respect
For what I can do….

But there is something that keeps people from “sticking”

I am the Teflon man…
Perhaps I am too arrogant?
Too greedy?
Not kind?
Too insecure, and thus too self-promoting
Too opinionated?
Definitely too opinionated!

It matters not the flaw

It is just that
In the dark
When my self-esteem falters
And I realize I am too tired, too old, too whatever
To really do and be what I want to do and be

That I am marking time
I am alone

And not respecting myself I must look in the hearts and minds of others for my happiness

But there is no one really there
Or perhaps I can’t see him, or her

There is no one really there
Except happy dog

Which is something
Which is something indeed

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Open the heart

“Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart ever close, I am as good as dead.”
                                                                        Mary Oliver

Every morning I walk around
The base of the mountain

Opening my heart to the sunrise
To the mountain
Watching happy dog gallop exuberantly
In search of balls, and mice
And things that smell

This is the time when the light gets in
Seeping through the left over doubts
And fears
That came with the night

This is how my heart expands
and embraces
Life and joy

In these brief moments
As the sun returns
The doors are open wide

And for a moment
I know my divine heritage
And for a moment
I dare to believe

that I might bear
the likeness
of the Sacred One

if only for
a moment

Friday, February 23, 2018

Beautiful, terrifying

So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,
one of which was you.
              Mary Oliver

The morning is a crying forth of Sacred joy
Bursting forth in colors
Darkness dying
Light being birthed

Unseen things
Becoming clear in the brightness
Of that precious light

So too the sights and sounds of days
Winter winds
Snow on the mountains
Dogs galloping joyfully, full of life
The eagle soaring

The evening is crying forth of Sacred sadness
Light fading
Something ending
A final burst of brilliance
Then day is gone
And blackness descends
Pressing into our own empty space
Our own grief

And alone we walk
Accompanied by memories of things past
And fears of things to come
We walk and walk those dark roads

Until the Sacred cries forth again
Beautiful, terrifying
The ideas of God

Of which I am one
Of which you are another

Sacred children
Born of joy and grief
Living, dying
Coming, going

Each day
Each moment
A new song

Thursday, February 22, 2018

it is how we treat each other

To be humble, to be kind
It is the giving of the peace in your mind
To a stranger, to a friend...
To give in such a way that has no end

We are love
We are one
We are how we treat each other when the day is done
We are peace
We are war
We are how we treat each other and nothing more

To be bold, to be brave;
It is the thinking that the heart can still be saved
And the darkness can come quick;
The Danger's in the Anger and the hanging on to it

Tell me what it is that you see
A world that's filled with endless possibilities?
Heroes don't look they used to, they look like you do

We are love
We are one
We are how we treat each other when the day is done
We are peace
We are war
We are how we treat each other and nothing more
We are how we treat each other and nothing more
We are how we treat each other
                                                          Alternative Routes

We talk a lot
We pontificate
We argue

We spew forth
Anger, even rage
Ideologies and theologies

Even hope
And sometimes love

But it is in our living
It is in our loving
That we are revealed
That we are

Sacred Children

It is in our kindness
Our listening
Our generosity
Our compassion

We are peace, we are war
We are love, we are hate

We are how we treat each other

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Small things

So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?
                                            Alexander McCall Smith, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

It is the small things
That are the big thing

Random acts of kindness
Call them what you will

It is not so much the big gestures
But the little things

Sometimes unnoticed
That reflect true love

It is not masses of flowers
Or boxes of candy
Or romantic dinners out that prove love

It is acts of coffee (or tea)
Acts of laughter
It is the picking up of dirty clothes
Putting down the toilet seat

It is listening at the end of the day
Or taking the dog for his walk

These are what make life better
More loving
These are the things

Saturday, February 10, 2018


How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
We all remain
Too frightened.

Anyone out there afraid?
Afraid of failing
Afraid of bad things happening
Afraid of Muslims, or Christians
Afraid that the country will fall apart
Afraid that we are as power hunger as we seem
And as racist?

Anyone out there afraid?
To open their hearts
To open their minds
To God’s new thing

Anyone out there afraid
To take a risk?
Love the unlovable?
Ache for justice?
Mourn for the oppressed?
To say “I love you” first?

Afraid to be humble?
Afraid to turn the other cheek?

These are difficult things
These are “sacred” things
But they make us vulnerable
We might get hurt

Only radical trust in,
Radical connection to,
The Sacred
Will allow us to open ourselves to the wonder

Of love

Only the light of Sacred Presence
Will free us
to open our hearts
our minds
our hands

and give

Friday, February 9, 2018

It is time

“If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
                                           Leo Tolstoy, Essays, Letters and Miscellanies

We are constantly assailed
With voices from outside ourselves
Telling us what is true
What to believe
What is right
What is wrong

We are constantly responding
Our hearts beat
Our heads roar
We are in turmoil

There is something ugly in all of this
All of this fear and anger
All of this exultation and ecstasy

For our emotions become weapons
Used against other
And sometimes, even, against ourselves

It is time
It is past time

To Stop
To Breathe
And then to listen

To the voices within
Not to the bully that lives in our brains
But to the voice of the Sacred that comes from that deep place
That place that persists
That is the truth

It is time
It is past time
To look at the sunrise, to feel the breeze
To wonder at the mountain
To watch the deer leap gracefully
And the fox glide through the field

Time to look around at that which comes
From the voice of the Sacred

It is time

Thursday, February 8, 2018


“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”
                              Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

How we people remember me?
When gathered around my grave,
What kinds of memories will arise, what kind of words will be spoken

If they hold a funeral, will anyone even come?

If one looks at one’s life one can find many moments
One would like to have back
Many statements one wishes one had never spoke

We make good choices
We make horrible choices
We are driven by angels at times
And at other times drive by our demons

By fear and need, and anger and greed

Sometimes we do acts of kindness and nobility
Sometimes we do things that hurt others, or destroy ourselves

I have seen much
Said much
Done much

On a scale from  1 to 10?
What percentage was good, what percentage was bad?

It is foolish to even go there
Because we cannot undo what has been done
We only have this moment
And what we create from this moment forward

If we have been arrogant, we can now from this moment, live with humility
If we have been self centered, we can relax, in this moment
And begin to focus on others
If we have been greedy, we can from this moment on, live generosity

We can live each moment as if that moment
(which is the only moment we have)
Is the moment which defines us
Because for the moment, it does.