Blog Posts

On Solo Retreats and Opercula

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retreat photoIt seems that my May blog post on “stillness, silence, and solitude” struck a vibrant chord with readers. I’ve heard from several folks yearning to “go on retreat,” but then wondering how one prepares to “do” a retreat? One SOS email came from a woman wanting to bail...

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My Avian “Jewelry Boxes”

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bird feeder photo     y favorite chair is one next to the large window overlooking a dozen flower pots and three bird feeders. At least twenty different species visit those feeders, and I love getting to know them and learning their behaviors.   I want to know the...

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THREE WORDS

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silence photo   In emails from friends, in blog posts, in discussions over tea, more and more often lately I’m noticing certain words: Stillness Silence Solitude   In poetry and books of prose, in conversations at the grocery store, in magazines, there they are again: Stillness Silence Solitude   Is it just that I happen to notice these particular words? Is...

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Gold Medal for Meeting in the Margins

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  Four years ago when I first began this blog column, it was with reluctance, and solely for the purpose of promoting my not-yet published book, Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People. It was one of those things, like ”having a Facebook presence”...

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Body and Soul

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In last month’s post I described sitting in a sixth-floor hotel room watching the construction of...

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Work-Watching

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In a cozy room on the sixth floor of a Capital Hill hotel...

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Mortality's Positives, Problems, and Philosophies

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  his week a little brown bird crashed into the window where I sit and write. He broke his neck and died instantly. I laid his body under a tangled mat of evergreen phlox in the front garden, and I thought, “There it is again: memento mori - remember death.” And I took a...

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Appreciating Life

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  [Please see a brief self-promotional save-the-date announcement at the end of this post]   n last month’s...

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"Memento Mori"

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      My friend Susanne facilitates a circle of women, each of whom...

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The Rewards of Fantasy

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After hosting a series of short-term renters and Airbnb guests over...

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Reaching Across a Mountain Range

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wildfire photoSomewhere near the corn-on-the-cob display in our local grocery store I heard a snippet of conversation. The speaker was bemoaning the murky skies that were ruining our record-breaking string of sunny days here on the western side of the Cascade Mountains.   Just past the mushrooms and sweet peppers...

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GASTROPODS

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Snails have been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, “snail” is probably a good...

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Ocean Dance, Mountain Song

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Some twenty years ago I regularly participated in the Dances of Universal Peace as a communal spiritual practice. Dancing and chanting The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic was my very favorite experience, but that full chant, with phrases repeated dozens of times in the original language of Jesus, took nearly three hours to complete, so...

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WORDPLAY

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One reason I’m a writer is that words fascinate me. Better than that, they amuse...

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STAGESTRUCK

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Sometime in 2012, a few women who have since dubbed themselves Seriously Fun Productions, headed by Diana Lindsay, realized they wanted to learn more about the local women they met in coffee shops, at workshops, at the gym, or choosing vegetables at the local farmers’ market. And how about the artists, the farmers, the...

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Poetry on my Mind

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poetry photo

Photo by rolandmey

Poetry is much on my mind these days. It is my intention to complete a book-length manuscript of my poems, and to have found a publisher for the book by year's end. I'm deep into the processes of polishing and organizing 70+ poems, and...

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Coloring Inside the Lines

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It is just a tiny memory, the flicker of an unexpected something seen from the corner of my...

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THE GENTLE SPORT

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  There is so much serious stuff going on in our world. So painfully much. You probably know the global stories far...

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WHAT IS OURS TO DO?

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constitution photo WHAT is ours to do? Only time will tell what the results of our November election mean to us. But one thing I'm sure it means: Helen Price Johnson, a local politician that I admire and respect, will be serving her third four-year term as one of our three...

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Six Things I Don't "Do"

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cocktail party photo   Where I live, on a large island floating in the Salish Sea, there aren’t many urbane, urban-style cocktail parties. That’s a good thing, to me, because COCKTAIL PARTY is on my list of things I don’t do. I used to be able to make small...

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THIS TIME OF YEAR

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HARVEST photoThe falling of leaves changes the face of a forest, and we can see beyond the trees. The produce of the harvest in our pantries gives a sense of wellbeing. Pondering the demise of the gardens that made the harvest possible reminds us of mortality....

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Me and My Car

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  Fact One: I plan to...

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Crones with Tool Belts

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In the corner of a coffee shop I sit across from a woman 30 years younger than I. I’m drinking...

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REGRETS and CURIOSITY

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REFLECTION photoOne of the human qualities I most appreciate, about myself and about others, is curiosity, and its cousin courage. A person who wonders is a person who is engaged with life regardless of their age or circumstances. From the trivial (how many people DO live in Chicago?)...

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A Drop of Holy Silence

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drop photo Even at noon the Friday traffic was miserable, mostly 30 mph from north of Seattle to south of Tacoma. It took us four hours to make the two-hour trip from Whidbey Island to St. Placid Priory in Lacey, WA. Janice had been to the priory before. When she...

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The Rudest Question

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It can stop a conversation short: the word WHY. Especially when it’s asked about feelings.   In our culture WHY carries...

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Writing as a Radical Act

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    All the chairs in a circle, Whidbey-Island-style, three recent authors gathered with a room full of writers to...

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Rehearsing dying (without being at death’s door)

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When it comes to dental work, I’m a real wuss. If anyone...

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AMEN

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A friend of mine who’s a rabbi teaches that if you say amen to a blessing, you have said...

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Margins: Where the Familiar seems Strange

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Last week Meeting in the Margins and I were welcomed to Ravenna Third Place...

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