Tag: the ten thousand things

The Why of Glasses

The Why of Glasses I missed my glasses. Folly to mourn healing of the cranium, the return of equilibrium in the timing of an eye's focus, no more headaches.  No need. But I missed them over and over, magic blue glasses. Instant focus not of the eyes but of the mind. Perched on my head top announcing my greatest strength and weakness: you read too much. Sexy glasses for looking through and under and over. Sat-on, slept-in, dropped, re-bent, lost and found. Scholar's badge along with the inky fingers, thesis knee and the dent in the side of the first joint of the middle right finger. I wanted them back, silent messengers. They said,

How to Eat Love

Love is going out to kill a turkey in 20-degree weather so that your wife can tend other things.  And love is still liking the man who is grinning and handing you a large turkey to pluck in 20-degree weather, and it is the rueful smile in return.  Then it is catching each other's eyes over the table, biting into turkey but also into the body memory of cold fingers touching, the grin, the rueful smile, the puppies wrestling over feathers, the bucket steaming from the boiling water, blood in snow, the times a turkey attacked our daughter and another chased the

The Sermon of Lorca’s Animals

When I was asked to speak again this year for the St. Francis-inspired sermon of animals, my first thought was, “What if I said everything I had to say last year!”  Last year's sermon of animals was a flow coming from multiple places of animals in the life of family and field, forest and farm, and it was very broad spectrum — all the species, all the roles, all the interaction between creatures and family and land. But there is always more about animals.  So this year, it’s not the macro, but the micro — three short portraits.  I want to

Profanity for Children

I refrained from swearing near my young children, not precisely for their sakes, but as much in love for the cherished Lutheran couple next door who, already feeling sorrow for our unsavedness would be further dismayed to hear the Lord’s name taken in vain. Perhaps, too, it wasn’t really my genius, lacking early conviction. We sea kayakers were ever the less salty dogs. Later, I did offer the kids three-score Elizabethan epithets for the self-indulgent entertainment of hearing the snarls across the game board — “Gleekish wraith-borne ambsace!” “Beslubbering sheep-biting hedgepig!” World across, we each choose the obscenities that most shock our own inner alien — the sacred, the sexual, the emissions, the

A sample mini-adventure from a new collection on buoyancy? Here!

GAMES BEYOND ESCAPISM... This is from my upcoming podcasts of mini-adventures in human buoyancy.  Stay posted! Play. RADICAL COMPASSION TOOLS: field notebook and good pen, a timer, other humans, and a supple imagination TIME:  ten minutes DIFFICULTY:  RISK: low, but you will come back changed. ORIENTATION:  Compassion is often perceived as an experience, something that we feel or that can come upon us.  By the strategically resilient, it is to be treated more as a skill, a commitment, a practice, and a source of usable life energy.  This short adventure places it squarely in this second zone. Neurologically speaking, there are few practices we can engage in that so clearly demonstrate positive and

Radical Awakeness: Living Among Animals

Spoken to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman for the Blessing of the Animals... I was invited to share today in part because my life and my work has become embedded in so very many animals.  Our river farm is and has been home to homing pigeons, white doves, Icelandic sheep, pigs, dogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, honeybees, rabbits.  It is also home to great horned owls who called as I wrote this, nesting kestrels and red-tailed hawks, eagles, magpies and snipe, woodpeckers and Eastern kingbirds, snakes and mice, porcupine, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, trout, turtles and whitefish, and the occasional moose, bear

This I believe.

We are all together on this ship and some of us will die sooner.  Some young.  I will grieve again, and comfort.  It may be me.  Those of us who are lucky will know ahead of time and not be incapacitated by pain and exhaustion and messes we have not cleaned up.  If we are luckier this heightened awareness that is the gift of death may be seized  by us periodically and good and great things and moments will be brought into the world as a result. What do I want to have been in my life with my mothers?  my

Burnout is an open door.

Sometimes I feel I must be an alien, because I really, really love to talk about death, and about burnout. But this is really why. When I start from death, and burnout, we skip over the trite, and the hiding places, and the escape hatches, and go deep into the real. And then I can speak into survival, vulnerability, leadership, and of recovery and resilience into a listening of reawakening, because over and over, if we do it right, the deepest parts of ourselves become our new skin. Tomorrow, at the Bozeman Public Library at noon I'll be talking

On living on the right side of the tapestry.

Death. Love. Emergencies. Sheep. Cleaning. Gardening. Paperwork. Phone calls. Making things. These are all steady players in a season, gardens sometimes excepted. And all of them are lived through a metaphor -- held up in my mind to an old, half-completed piece of embroidered tapestry tucked in a basket on a high shelf. It doesn't matter what it shows, though I believe there is a pond, a distant house and some small horses. The silk colors were lovely. I may never finish it. But its value lies in