Food for the flying……

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I’ve been reading instead of writing this weekend,
feasting on an artful cluster of healing stories by Rachel Naomi Remen
and,  wow,  I want to serve it up,  this goodness I’ve been feeding on
……some nips of nectar
to nourish your bright wings:)

~ “The life in us is diminished by judgment far more frequently than by disease.
Our own self-judgment or the judgment of others.
and
this judgment does not only take the form of criticism.
Approval is also a form of judgment,
but we are harmed by it in far more subtle ways.
To seek approval is to have no resting place,  no sanctuary.
Like all judgment,  approval encourages constant striving.
It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value.

 (there’s more!)

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This is as true of the approval we give ourselves as it is of
the approval we offer others.
Approval can’t be trusted.
It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been.
It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy.
Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.”

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“A label is a mask life wears.
We may need to take our labels and even our experts far more lightly.
In my experience,  a diagnosis is an opinion and not a prediction.
Like a diagnosis,  a label is an attempt to assert control and manage uncertainty.
It may allow us the security and comfort of a mental closure
and encourage us not to think about things again.
But life never comes to a closure;  life is process,  even mystery.
Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change
and the unknown.  Given the nature of life,  there may be no security,
but only adventure.”

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There.
Do you feel a little stronger in your wings?
Wishing you fresh,  healing breeze in all your parts.

“I don’t need stress to do what I need to do.
That isn’t efficient.
Love and sanity are.”
-Byron Katie
(from her brilliant Loving What Is)

There may always come a breeze……

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Reasons to keep showing up,  wholehearted,  to life.
A life-hugging list:

~ Because there are still stories and songs to meet and know and share

~ Because rogue waves of goodness sometimes sweep me up
(and it’s joy to get swept up)

~ Because wind moves things,  and there may always come a breeze.

~ Because I’m curious,  and there is shelter enough
to go wilding with hope

~ Because seeds and somedays

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~ Because I’m not alone.  Ever.
Even when the halls sound hollow.

~ Because healing happens,  too.

~ Because beautiful beginnings get born every day
and nothing is beyond redemption.

~ Because a smell can drift up sudden and escort me
to places of unspeakable comfort

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~ Because pain is not the final word
on anything

~ Because I’m brave enough
(and so are you)

Because restoration and color and farmer’s markets and gentle dogs
and moving water and tall trees and fresh mercy and Scarborough Fair sorbet
and the way muscles seem to sigh peace after a massage.

I hope maybe this simple list feels a little like that to your heart,  too,  my friend.
A breath of sweet peace to you:)

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“Everybody is a story”
and
“Every great loss demands that you choose life again.”
-Rachel Naomi Remen

Simply soaking……

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In all of your tired places,

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your wilted spaces,

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feeling weary and parched and needing fresh graces…..

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I sing your heart the sort of rest that feels like this:)

A good long healing soak.

“I drank the silence of God
from a spring in the woods.”
-Georg Trakl

(It gives me joy,  just so much joy,  to send a copy of my July Ripplesongs
to the beautiful Gwen Lily)

Plain sayin’ …………

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It’s hard to wade into the steam of people-speak anymore
without recoiling in pain,  so many barbed words raking across soul so vicious
it’s a quick trip to make it out with tender parts alive.
Everybody talking at each other;  no one listening.
Like a nightmarish cocktail party where everyone’s drinks have been tainted
so that no one can see another’s face.
Just pasting labels over breathing souls with a narrow slap of hand.
And all the while,  shame working the floor like some crazed maestro,
conducting a symphony of suspicion,
painting a jury so harsh that we rush to condemn before the gavel comes down
on our own feelings of failure and flaw.

Where we could be a team,  a community,  a family,  a tribe,
there spews a flood of blind judgment and false accusation.
But we don’t know,  you and I, the being beneath the label
that we’ve just nailed into tender flesh.
We may have some facts,  but we don’t know the sum.
And their story will never be told or heard or understood
in this poisonous room.
It just won’t.
And what you think you know,  the heart of the matter,   likely you don’t.

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And the people you just criticized,  do you think they crawled back through generations
and hand-picked the brokenness their wounded stuff springs from?
Do you think your belittling scorn is the medicine
that  may punish them hard enough to kill the cancer?
Like a strong dose of chemo?
Really?

No,  if you’re criticizing,  you’re part of the sickness,
shooting up from the same root that started the whole damn thing.
It’s only fuel,  your hate and blame and scorn,
when you slap a narrow label on a living,  breathing thing.
Call it activism,  politics,  ministry,  passion,
….whatever cheap aerosol spray you wanna mist around the filth of
words like “bigot”,  “racist”,  “monster”,  “pervert”,  “heathen,” “religitard,” “redneck,”
“sexist”, “ignorant,”  “hater”…..whatever flavor you’re better than.

Because you think you know them,  don’t you,  that “conservative”
who must therefore be a narrow-minded,  tight-fisted,
self absorbed, greedy,  judgemental, arrogant, woman-hating, heartless,  unseeing person of privilege.
Or that “liberal” who has got to be an irresponsible,  lazy,  immature,  unmotivated,
short-sighted, hedonistic, free-loading, immoral, self-serving professional victim.
It’s got to be one or the other,  right?

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No.   Sure,  both parties are out of balance.
Because both are wings that we need in order to fly.
Torn apart,   we’re all flopping helplessly in dirt.
(Yes,  both have virtue;  both have corruption….it’s part of the package)
So we suck it down,  the tainted information the talking heads are selling,
an IV laced with fear,
and construct from all the pieces,  like legos in a bin,  a form
to label and love or loathe
Our own comfy version of the truth.

And who loses?
We all do.
The abused and the abuser,  the hungry and the homeless,  the marginalized and the rich,
the sick and the helpless,  the lonely and the pimped.
We’ve built some good walls;  supply can’t get through.
Except for  where people of solution
are bypassing politics and creating change and finding effective ways
anyway.
It’s happening.  Quietly it’s happening.
No party has a corner on compassion.

But think what we could do if we all started building together
instead of against.

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In honor of the fourth and all the freedom we enjoy
in in this land that I love,
my first and last political vent:)
I’d love to send a zine to someone…..will draw a name next weekend.
Leave a comment and I’ll toss in your name:)

“You may say I’m a dreamer.
But I’m not the only one.”
-John Lennon

“We all need a little tenderness,  how will love survive,  in such a graceless age?”
– Don Henley

happy birthday, little zine……

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I can’t believe it’s been a year since I patched together and sent traveling
my first little batch of Ripplesongs,  a handmade zine I cobble together each month
with a whole heap of love
to savor and  share.
Frankly,  I don’t sell many at all……mostly they find homes with people and places near and dear to my heart,
like handmade bouquets I pluck from my garden.
It feels like setting up a farm stand each month and laying out my produce and flowers;
I get as much joy from the whole glorious mess of the process
as I do from seeing the finished product all ready to shine.
If someone comes around to buy,  well I like that.
When they don’t,  it’s still crazy-joy to scoop it all up and give it away.
Either way it feels like Christmas morning:)

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Why?
Because I want to pour you out a river of breeze,
to gather you a bouquet of sweet,  soft lay-me-down moments
and hold this sense of relish like a seashell to your ear
so you can hear the whisper in your wounds
because I think maybe that it’s the sound that healing makes

because I feel it so strong inside that you are the priceless art,
more beautiful by design than sea or sunset or gossamer wings,
that there is precious little balm to waste in the hard flee of time
and I choose to share the salve I find
because I know that living can stone you sudden till your heart rattles pieces
and hope can get upended in the tumble

 

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and when you find a well that keeps on giving
your heart stretches out wide and thumps love so ebullient
that it reaches and offers and speaks.
You just want to share the shimmer from the waves you’re riding,
the blooming from your field of dreams.

This is mine.
It may not be “successful,”  as some would say.
But it makes my own heart sing
and you’re free to help yourself to as much as you like:)

love rain down
” Earth’s crammed with heaven,  and every common bush afire with God.
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
the rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Feel free to browse over some of the pages in each month’s zine over here at my very unkempt little etsy shop,
www.Ripplespeak.etsy.com
Dismal empty right now,  but that will change shortly:)

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