Friday, August 31, 2012

hawaiian kitty

Holiness consists in doing God’s will joyfully. Faithfulness makes saints. The spiritual life is a union with Jesus: the divine and the human giving themselves to each other. The only thing Jesus asks of us is to give ourselves to [God], in total poverty and total self-forgetfulness.

Mother Teresa

A small colony of feral cats live at the resort where we are staying. Though skittish, they are very sweet and grateful for whatever food the guests supply.

One night we fed them left over dinner meat. The next morning when I opened the drapes to the lanai, two kitty faces waited for me. They know a sucker when they see one. From then on, I couldn't not feed them.

All I can say is, it is good I didn't stay longer or my poverty would be much greater...and I would have lots of cats.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

love thursday 08.30.12 ~ love bomb

We are love, and we are made for love, and our natural abiding place is inside of divine love. As St. Catherine of Genoa said, “My deepest me is God!”

Richard Rohr

My least favorite part of traveling is the airport. Now that we have to undress and parade our toiletries while being x-rayed, it's a bit more than my delicate sensibilities can handle. I decided to change the experience.

When I arrive at an airport from which I plan to travel, I love bomb them. I create a big sphere of love energy around myself and send it in the door before me.

I'll take off my shoes and jacket. I'll put my liquids and gels in a baggie. I'll put my computer in its own tray.

I won't be x-rayed. I opted instead for the pat down. In spite of all the horror stories I have read about people being groped and otherwise handled inappropriately, that risk was much more acceptable to me than being exposed to the rays. I know a doctor who says, "They can give me a rectal exam if they want. I'm not going through that machine."

The woman who did the pat down was very nice--respectful. She told me what to expect and did exactly that. She asked if I hurt anywhere that she should know about. She was pleasant and her touch was--well...nice! As she ran her hands down my back, I said, "Who knew I would get to start my vacation with a massage!" She laughed.

Later I said to SO, "It's kind of fun to love bomb people and see how nice you can get them to be."

If you're going to the airport, I recommend Love Bombs. They can only be detected by seeing others' kindness and pleasantness.

For me, love bombing sets the tone for the whole trip.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

do snakes have souls?

Wherever you stand,
be the soul of that place.


Do cucumbers?

Monday, August 27, 2012

blooming artichoke update

Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

Mark Victor Hansen

Each step of the bloom has its own level of beauty.

Sunday, August 26, 2012



You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

Matthew 12:34

Not only are we what we eat...we are what comes out of our mouths. May we speak words of kindness and lift one another up.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

naked lady

Never think that you need to protect God. Because anytime you think you need to protect God, you can be sure that you are worshipping an idol.

Stanley Hauerwas

Did I get your attention? That's the name of the plant...naked lady. She's about to bloom.

I suppose some people worship naked ladies. I wish more were interested in protecting them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

this is how i ought to feel

When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

Surely, this is how the lime tree feels about these future limes, too.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

love thursday 08.23.12 ~ love in the dark

Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.

Wendell Berry

Or new limes on a tree.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

eternity is now

Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Yeah...what she said. Eternity is what you make it NOW.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

well...there you go.

One good thing that silence and waiting has taught me is that our lives are always usable by God. We need not always be effective, but only transparent and vulnerable. Then we are instruments, no matter what we do. Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform, or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing.

Richard Rohr

It seems that suiting up and showing up is enough. I don't mean sitting on the bench playing games on one's phone...I mean, sitting on the bench being fully engaged in the game before you on the playing field--in case one gets called into active duty.

Monday, August 20, 2012

i wish i had that much faith

It is a time of hope; it is a time of despair. I have seen enough of God’s wily ways with the Powers to stake my life on the side of hope. I believe that even these rebellious Powers can be transformed in the crucible of God’s Love.

Walter Wink

The Powers that Be
I continue to be stretched.

Perhaps it would help if I would just remember to expand.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

a good reminder

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

Luke 6:37-38

I've always loved these verses. I haven't always been successful at living by them--yet, I try.

I know a lot of people don't like the word "try." I think it gets a bad rap. If we don't get to try, we don't get to do. If we don't get to try, we don't get to fail.

Try. Don't let trying be an excuse, but let it be a path to success.

Friday, August 17, 2012

9 years

The built in obsolescence of our appliances.

Air conditioner. Check.

Refrigerator / freezer. Check.

Washing machine. Check.

How do I know you ask?


I just do.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

love thursday 08.16.12 ~ love is love is love is love is love

A life without love is a waste. “Should I look for spiritual love, or material, or physical love?” Don’t ask yourself this question. Discrimination leads to discrimination. Love doesn’t need any name, category or definition. Love is a world itself. Either you are in, at the center…either you are out, yearning.

Attributed to Rumi

Those who live in the center of love know.

Not always a warm fuzzy feeling, love is action...decision...choosing to be in an act of love toward the other--all others. Love is acting toward others as the Beloved.

So be it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

happy birthday, so

My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."

Song of Solomon 2:10-13

You are my beloved.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

hannah's potato

This is a volunteer from her compost bin. 43 ounces! (Yeah...almost 3 pounds.)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

today i can walk...

...because of Rubin.

I was moving our annual load of wood chips from the street end of the driveway to the beds needing cover. We get free wood chips from arborists. They need somewhere to put them. We need mulch for the beds. It's a great deal all around.

Moving slowly, because that's what I do these days, I filled the wheelbarrow and pushed it to the bed. Dumping the wood chips in piles, I cover the whole area then come back later with a rake to even the coverage. This is no small pile of chips. I figure it will take me days to get it all spread.

A nice young (to me) man on his morning walk says hi as he passes and I return the greeting. Then he stops. "Do you want some help?"

I smile. "Yeah."

"I'll help you."

"Really? You want to get sweaty and dirty?"

He shrugs and comes closer. So I hand him the shovel and tell him my work plan. He starts loading the wheelbarrow and we add a couple of unused recycling bins to make the work go faster. He loads. I haul and dump.

For three hours we work together and visit. He is from Mexico and just returned from a visit to his family. His oldest son, now 19, is there and wants to stay. Rubin would move back in a heartbeat if he could--but he has a house and is suffering from the drop in property values. He doesn't want to lose money by selling it now. I think he is lonely and a bit homesick.

Rubin suddenly says, "Well...I gotta go." We shake hands. I thank him again. "Thank you for giving me something to do," he says, and he is on his way. I send him off with zucchini and cucumber and invite him to come back in a few weeks to get tomatoes and serranos. (I hope he will.)

To me, Rubin is an angel. He worked tirelessly for three hours, making my work much faster and easier. We spread 3/4 of the chips. The remainder my neighbor will use.

Today, because I didn't have to do both the loading and hauling yesterday, my usually cranky low back is only speaking to me when I first start to move, but it loosens up easily. I can walk without struggle.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thursday, August 09, 2012

love thursday 08.09.12 ~ greg, 30 years later

Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.

Bell Hooks

I had lunch yesterday with a former student. We reconnected on Facebook. He lives in the East and was returning to go to his high school's 30 year reunion. He wanted to connect and I was happy to oblige.

Not only did I get to meet his lovely wife, Debbie, but I also received the most wonderful gift. Greg wanted to tell me how much he learned from being in my class. It wasn't just the grammar; although I know he learned that. The ideas he encountered from books I "required" them to read changed his life.

He was studying for seminary. Then he thought about ideas he read in those books. He switched his field of study to philosophy where he is PhD, ABD. And...he is a songwriter.

That's one. If that is the only student I reached (and I don't believe it is) it was worth it.

Thanks, Greg, for delivering the message in person. Thanks for showing me the love.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

how many of us love our enemies?

The Christian tradition became so concerned with making Jesus into its God and making sure everybody believed that Jesus was God that it often ignored his very practical and clear teachings. (How many of us love our enemies?) Instead, we made the questions theological and metaphysical ones about the nature of God (which asked almost nothing of us!). Most of our church fights have been on that level, and no one ever really "wins,” so it goes on for centuries.

What Buddha made clear is that the questions are first of all psychological and personal and here and now. We created huge theories about how the world was saved by Jesus. I think what Jesus was primarily talking about was the human situation and describing liberation for us right now. Clearly the Kingdom of God is here and now, as Jesus said. However, we turned Jesus' message into a reward or punishment contest that would come later, instead of a transformational experience that was verifiable here and now by the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). For Jesus and for the Buddha both rewards and punishments are first of all inherent to the action and in this world. Goodness is its own reward and evil is its own punishment, and then we must leave the future to the mercy and love of God, instead of thinking we are the umpires and judges of who goes where, when, and how.

Richard Rohr

I have to stop and think that Love is not just a feeling. It is a behavior--a verb.

"…Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

(Matt 5:39-40, also see Luke 6:29-30)

And wasn't it nice of Paul to give us vengeful humans another reason to do good when he said:

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.

(Romans 12:20, citing Proverbs 25:21-22)


Before you get too excited, it doesn't appear that "heaping burning coals" upon the heads of one's enemy is really about revenge. It is about waking them up. Among those who are truly seeking the divine--it will wake them up and cause them to feel remorse for their own bad behavior.

I get so sad when I see how badly we treat each other in the name of the divine. Truly.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

and while we're on the subject of gardens....

We cannot hope to create a sustainable culture with any but sustainable souls.

Derrick Jensen

Endgame Vol.1: The Problem of Civilization

What is it about municipalities not allowing residents to grow vegetable gardens in their front yards? I mean...really? Some will allow it if the garden is not more than 30% of the area. Some are outlawing them (or trying) altogether. I've even heard of authorities coming and pulling up the garden planted in an area that was previously construction dirt and debris.

Isn't this an answer? Isn't this a way to get people to eat more vegetables and start putting a dent in the obesity epidemic? Lowering health care costs?

God help us all...please.

Monday, August 06, 2012

isn't that what santana said?

Indeed, a quick glance around this broken world makes it painfully obvious that we don't need more arguments on behalf of God; we need more people who live as if they are in covenant with Unconditional Love, which is our best definition of God.

Robin R. Meyers

Saving Jesus from the Church

I have always believed in the definition of "christian"--to be a little christ. It's not what we say about what we believe or what words we use to describe our religion or faith. It's how we live.

Put up or shut the vernacular, of course.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

here's one for today's political climate

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I hope I make it to November...and I hope we all make it beyond that.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

saturday haiku

Summer day hottest
Air conditioner deadest
After hours repair


Friday, August 03, 2012

divine manner

Peace has never come from dropping bombs. Real peace comes from enlightenment and educating people to behave more in a divine manner.

Carlos Santana

I love this quote. While I believe that there are "things" worth fighting for--I wish it weren't so often necessary the first line of problem solving.

"Divine manner..." wouldn't that be lovely? We could all use more divine manners, methinks.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


It's time to start living the life you've imagined.

Henry James

Like this cucumber. I guess if you are a vegetable, being a reptile is evolution.

love thursday 08.02.12 ~ a part of you has always said yes

It is good to remember that a part of you has always loved God. There is a part of you that has always said yes. There is a part of you that is Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there. Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance. Once you learn this, why would you ever again settle for scarcity in your life? “I’m not enough! This is not enough! I do not have enough!” I am afraid this is the way culture trains you to think. It is a kind of learned helplessness. The Gospel message is just the opposite—inherent power.

Richard Rohr

I think I am going to have to keep learning what this is all about. It's one thing to say, "I won't settle for scarcity." Quite another to turn around the tides of this great rolling ship on the ebbing waves.

I'd rather have my fortunes turn...not just my attitude about it.

And yet, I know...a part of me has always loved God--always said yes.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

may i offer you tea or water?

(i don't know whose picture this is.
i'd attribute credit if i did.)