Monday, December 31, 2018

a winter prayer

Spirit, grant me the strength
to rise and relight my torch
that i may build something new

grant me the insight
to understand and undergo
my transforming
ever-broadening edges

grant me the peace to love
the unfinished parts within

grant me the wisdom
that comes with always
becoming

--joran oppelt

welcome morning

so while i think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my
palm for this God, this laughter
of the morning, lest it
go unspoken
the joy that isn't shared,
i've  heard, dies young

--anne sexton

Saturday, December 29, 2018

a glorious freedom

one of my favorite holiday gifts is the book "a glorious freedom: older women living extraordinary lives" by lisa congdon.  i immediately read it cover to cover.

because, of all years, i love this one. being 44 feels like coming home in the best sense of the word and from the inside out.

i am drawn to those who take action when it would be easier to complain, who are honest and yet positive, people who are willing to try new things; let life break them open instead of apart.

sure, my hair has some platinum by nature streaks and laugh lines crinkle around my eyes--but they're from laughing; why would i want to cover them up?!

i'm proud of the work of discerning spaces between mystery and intention; the power that comes with letting go of what we can't control and going for it where we can.

my body is happy to be swimming again. my spirit is grateful i gave church a second chance. my soul loved learning in foster parent classes even though i don't know what's next.

i get to create warm and friendly experiences with seasonal shifts at a local winery, making people smile so their laugh lines can grow to crinkle up around their eyes, too.

i love all of my kids, from school students to neighbors and everyone in between.  i was challenged to receive in new ways when beloved friends held a "just because" shower for me.  i tried a dating site even though they're not my style. the first "gather.nourish.make" art retreat brought creativity and connection in our community.

and, as we come upon another year, i've enjoyed charting the lives of others and giving thanks for those who: got jobs, beat cancer, persevered in transitions, cared well for their parents and children, traveled, had healthy babies, published books (word babies), and celebrated milestone birthdays and anniversaries. i am proud of you!

let it be said that i am equally proud of those who lost jobs, had to move when it wasn't their idea, lived well with chronic pain, healed from the unexpected, and faced disappointments big and small. because winning is easy, but when life is rough real character has a chance to shine.

as we grow, what are you most proud  of?  who inspires you to want to become even more wonderfully radical with age no matter what life brings your way?

waiting for paperwhites


Friday, December 28, 2018

painting invitational

the painting invitation to self: 12 canvases in 12 hours.

holiday vacation is a time for me to create.  i had a surplus of ideas come to mind for subjects, so i asked myself one key question to narrow the field, "what has filled you with the most joy lately?  paint what's in your mind's eye." 

so when these images, "earth, sky & sea" tumbled out spontaneously, i realized it must be from taking in a steady diet of beauty!

they have, to me, a gentleness and simplicity about them that is pleasing, both in the process and the final result.  (i often add metallic foils or iridescent paint as a finishing touch, but these seemed best and most unified with bare brush strokes and simple ink lines.)

enjoy these open, uncluttered spaces of nature inviting us to relax and enter in...


Thursday, December 20, 2018

open door

i've  taken to taping inspiration to the back of my door. this way, every time i leave i think, "adventure awaits!" and every time i come home i wonder who might be next for hospitality...

no legs, no limits

doing holiday errands yesterday, i ran into kanya.  we caught up briefly and i learned that she is doing motivational speaking around the world to raise awareness for special needs adoption.

i watched her roll her wheelchair up to her car, hop out, load the chair and drive away, an independent and beautiful young woman without an ounce of self-pity who leads her life with humor, grace, and strength.

i remember when her adopted parents brought her here to the US from Thailand almost twenty years ago.  born without legs, she had been abandoned as a baby and rescued by buddhist monks.

now kanya is a model, super athlete, and actress with engagements across the globe.  to learn more about kanya, visit:  no legs, no limits


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

hope

need hope this holiday season?

i found a very strong dose of it by watching the documentary "pope francis:  a man of his word". 

adopting  the name francis after saint francis of asissi, our current pope lives out what he believes; choosing a humble apartment instead of lavish living quarters and riding around in a fiat when he could have his choice of status in luxury cars.

the pope is not afraid to speak about the socio-economic issues of our day, nor does he shy away from environmental realities.  but what struck me the most was his sheer simplicity; statements such as 1) talk less 2) listen more 3) always look people in the eye.

he seems just as comfortable with prison inmates and refugees as he does with top world officials and princes; every age, race, and religion.  and they all seem to love him back!  coming from flights and meetings, speeches and hugely significant world events, he is the first to say simply "get lost in play with your children.  smile.  keep your sense of humor alive."

he brims with wisdom and tenderness; light in the darkness.



Wednesday, December 5, 2018