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"Of magic doors there is this: you do not see them even as you are passing through."



"Can't you be serious?"

"I am serious. It's just that this time, in this life I've chosen to be seriously joyful. "

And with that, she resigned herself to a lifetime of being seriously misunderstood...



Come on over and sit a spell...

The good citizens of my town have been trying for days now to extricate their cars from the snowy mix of flakes and ice that turned the streets into an eerie cemetery of cars laid to rest in impenetrable frozen mausoleums.

A few determined souls have managed to dig their autos from their icy graves, but, once free, they hesitate to leave the newly cleared spaces for fear that someone will swoop in and claim them as their own. A dilemma for sure, and one that requires a bold and dramatic gesture born of remarkable ingenuity...

Behold: The Folding Beach Chair.

Each colorful aluminum seat
stands guard, centered in the patch of excavated pavement, while its owner is at work or running errands. The chairs are sprouting up every where like primroses in the spring - a veritable rainbow of plastic webbing and metal - each a testament to the tenacity and perserverance of winter-weary warriors.

It always surprises me to see these traditional icons of seaside exuberance dotting the city streets while mountains of snow tower around them. But it cheers me, too. Because while the worst of the winter may well be waiting in the wings, ready to swoop down yet again, surely summer's just around the corner.

I mean, we've got the beach chairs already. We just need a bit of that Global Warming stuff and we'll be good to go, right?

Hope, like beach chairs on city streets, springs eternal.


Can you hear me now?

It was a festive occasion and she had looked forward to the celebratory dinner with friends all afternoon. It was all that she had hoped for; good friends, good food, good conversation.

But later, as she sat in her living room reflecting on the evening, she wondered if the others had felt the same way - at least about the conversation.

It hurt her to realize that, exuberant with merriment, she had totally lost touch with her intention to listen closely to the people she was with, to ask them questions, and learn more about them. She wondered how and why her intention was so easily lost, and she cringed at the memory of her incessant chattering.

She groaned...

And leaned into the embrace of silence enfolding her.


As snowflakes fall, a prayer for peace...

Lord, I am part of the tension
and injustice of the world.

Forgive our human selfishness,
to which I contribute;

heal the resentment between people,
of which I am a part;

and come into the world's conflicts,
in which I share by being human.

Take my unworthiness and sorrow,
and use them in your great work
of healing and redeeming humanity.

— Angela Ashwin
in The Book of A Thousand Prayers
compiled by Angela Ashwin


O Magnum Mysterium

As I write this I'm listening to Morten Lauridsen's choral piece "O Magnum Mysterium" as recorded by the Dickinson Collegium directed by Prof. Blake Wilson. Well, truth to tell I've been listening to it all afternoon...there's just something about it that wraps itself around me and makes my heart say "YES!"

There are two moments in "O Magnum" with dissonant chords so exquisite that they give me goosebumps - just the kind of dissonance I hear/feel when I sense I'm right at the edge of a Thin Place;
a place where the world we know that's here and the world we sense is there are separated by nothing more than a thin veil. The chords send shivers up and down my spine, capturing my attention and drawing me in. There's something in them that I recognize; a signal that I've entered a holy space and that all around, and within, is sacred. A space that feels immense and fragile at the same time. As the dissonant chords are resolved there's a peace; a feeling of returning home.

The past week has been a pilgrimage of sorts for me. A familiar paradigm shifted as a sudden clarity took hold, and I'm not the same. There was a moment last week when the truth shimmered in front of me and a Thin Place opened. I heard a dissonant chord...and then it resolved. Grace-fully. And I feel as if I've come home.

I'm grateful for the gifts the last week brought. I'm grateful for the journey I'm on and the mystery that is all around. I'm grateful for the dissonant chords in music and in life that alert me to the Thin Places that welcome me home and give me a sure sense of peace.

O magnum mysterium...


The Intention

She felt as if the world had stopped. Silence everywhere. The Universe was waiting in quiet anticipation.

She cleared her throat and took a deep breathe.

"Here and now I declare my intention; I will find the right job, at the right time, with the right compensation."

She smiled and thought of Dame Julia of Norwich's words:

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

And then she went to bed and slept wonderfully!



Today I rejoice in the freedom I feel. I rejoice in the certain knowledge that there are angels, that they look and sound just like you and me, and that they are, thankfully, incredibly persistent in getting my attention.

My angels must be exhausted. I'm usually pretty distracted and not paying attention. But persist they do, and appear they do. In the flesh. When I least expect them. Where I least expect them.

Like yesterday when my angel appeared in the elevator carrying a trashcan and broom.

Yup. Angels are all around. But sometimes a quick elevator ride is all they have time for. They're pretty busy these days...

Go figure...

"You're kidding!" he said. "How could that be? I'm a janitor and you're an administrative professional...and I get paid more than you?"

"Yep. Yep, you do. Apparently you do."

He walked away, shaking his head and saying, "Go figure."

So that's exactly what she tried to do while she tossed and turned for three hours instead of falling asleep. She finally concluded it was impossible (both the figuring and the sleeping) so she got up, made hot chocolate, and composed some trite sentiments to post on her blog.

She did feel grateful that, after their conversation, he seemed to feel better about how much he was paid. He was a loyal employee and hard worker - he deserved every penny and more.

Somewhere deep inside, though, she felt that maybe, just maybe, she deserved more, too.

Go figure.


Molting Season...

I've been feeling really antsy the past few days. Fussy. Fed up.

I'm ready for a change. Good thing, because I feel like one is coming whether I'm ready or not.

And this feels like the kind of change you can't rush. Believe me, I've tried. It ain't working. So I've been sitting on my hands. Bouncing up and down. Rocking back and forth. Whistling under my breath. Humming. Sighing heavily. Very heavily...

I'm eager to find out what awaits. Truly. I relish the idea of a fresh breeze in my life; a new way of seeing; a new way of being. I feel dry and tight and itchy and flaky. Like I've outgrown my skin - literally and figuratively.

Change, schmange. Maybe it's just molting season...