Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice, David Whyte, and Morning Has Broken

I attended a beautiful winter solstice event last night in Windham. There was poetry, prayer, meditation, dancing and beautiful music. The winter solstice has become a sacred reminder to me of the importance of honoring both the cycles of nature as well as those that occur in our own lives such as sleeping and waking, working and resting, embracing and letting go. And then there is the miracle that occurs each and every morning - the dawning of the light following the deep darkness of night.
The solstice above all else symbolizes this to me - the promise that light will always follow darkness. If we are patient and open we will discover that so much can be illuminated by the darkess, and great wisdom comes forth in the silence...

Winter poem

"No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.

All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
and intense
round every living thing.

What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
its presence.

What we strive for
in perfection
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
we desire,
what disturbs
and then nourishes
has everything
we need.

What we hate
in ourselves
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.

Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.
All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.
All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous
Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

By David Whyte

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life and art

"Being a Creator, at its deepest level, means that you create your life. Being a Creator, at its deepest level, means that your life is your work of art."
- Christine Kane

This past Sunday I crafted an almost perfect day. A quiet morning with a period of brief meditation and journaling, a long winter walk in the afternoon followed by a good book before a blazing fire, a meal of homemade aromatic stew and delicious healthy muffins, and a soul nourishing visit with a very special friend. Nothing extraordinary, just a whole lot of wonderful ordinary thoughtfully placed upon my canvas - a work of art...

Friday, December 11, 2009

crisis line numbers

Following is a list of crisis line numbers that can be useful to have on hand if you or someone you care about is in crisis.

National Crisis Helpline:


National Suicide Prevention Hotline:


Calling a warm line


Mental Health Crisis Line:


Grief Recovery Helpline:


Crisis Hotline for the Physically & Mentally Challenged


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Cocaine Anonymous (CA)

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Battle for the Soul of America

Nick Unger - CBHC Annual Meeting from Campaign for Better Health Care on Vimeo.

Above is a powerful 14 minute speech delivered by Nick Unger on the health care reform bill. He asks a question that each and every one of us needs to answer, "what kind of country do we want to be?" You can read a transcript of the speech at the Universal Health Care Action Network website.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Aging and Growth

I watched one of my very favorite movies this weekend, Harold and Maude, which was released in the early seventies. I try and watch it at least once a decade and always with friends.

Harold is a depressed and death obsessed adolescent who meets and falls in love with Maude, an elderly free spirit who is about to turn eighty and will teach him a tremendous amount about life and love and the wonder of it all. Among the many junkets of wisdom she shares with Harold is, "A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. *Reach* out. Take a *chance*. Get *hurt* even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room."

If you're willing to overlook the ending and travel lightly with the two zany main characters then it's a very special movie. It reminds us that life is to be savored at any and every age and that as Betty Friedan asserts, "Aging is not 'lost youth' but a new stage of opportunity and strength."