reflections after august

As concepts, faith and hope need not be reserved for the churchgoer or the expectant mother. They have the ability to be gentle and godless states of being—born in art, or in an unfailing belief in the goodness of others.

underbelly of the rose

Verbal excess does not necessarily resolve things. Yes, there is catharsis in vocalizing every arising thought, but this process has the tendency to overwhelm a treasured listener and devalue any wisdom that may be expressed.

 
The truth of life that we continuously seek is a simple, uncomplicated truth. And yet, we desire complex solutions to match our complex problems—spiritual remedies as convoluted as our thought patterns.

a cat's view of the street

An important yet frequently dismissed part of life is the experience of pleasure. Not pleasure as an end goal, necessarily, but pleasure as a byproduct of essential human acts. Things like admiring the arc of a tree branch, cupping a rose to inhale its lovely scent, petting the intricate fur of an animal, gazing upon the lushness of an oil painting, touching the skin of your beloved, or savoring the sweetness of the raspberry jam on your morning toast.

monet close up
Close-up of a rose from Monet: The Late Years exhibition at the Kimbell.

reflections after july

photo by Gavin Allanwood ; collage elements my own

In every moment, the Angel of Objective Rationality and the Angel of Empathic Sensibility perch on each of your shoulders. There they sit, lovingly throughout your days, waiting to be consulted.

Indeed, there is meaning in everything, but I don’t always have to find it.

What is the most challenging—but ultimately, perhaps, the most worthwhile—way to live? The middle way. The path that neither blindly subscribes nor cynically rejects and derides. The place where dullness and tranquility come to dance.

Emotions are vibrations I experience in my body. They are not who I am. They are not who I am.

reflections after june

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl

It is easier to forgive someone for failing to act (the sin of omission) than to forgive someone for acting wrongly (the sin of commission).

The goal of the Enneagram is not to reinforce the ego pattern of your number but to act from the shape’s center—to adopt each number’s essential quality according to what a particular moment in time requires of you.

Just because something has happened in the past doesn’t mean it will happen again.

There is importance to belonging, to being a part of something, to transcending the absorption of the self.

Not everything has to be exciting or inspiring or creatively stimulating—nor should it be. Life is a full spectrum of moods and modes.

The waves of time build and recede, then wash over everything. True patience is wading through its swells with the faith that storms pass. They reappear cyclically, yet they always pass.

reflections after may

I may need a little time to open up and be myself, but I am worthy of the space I hold.

My future is, always, an empty room to be filled with the objects, the people, and the activities that I choose.

I fear the possibility of it all receding away from me, in an instant. But faith is the key that unlocks the door to my glorious, empty room.

The beauty of life is too abundant, too plentiful to restrict oneself to pain. Pain is a cage that is self-imposed.


This song by Inner Wave that makes me want to daydream at dusk on a softly spinning merry-go-round.

This interview with Mary Oliver from the podcast On Being.

“What we are made of will make something else . . . There is no nothingness — with these little atoms that run around too little for us to see. But, put together, they make something. And that to me is a miracle. Where it came from, I don’t know. But it’s a miracle, and I think it’s enough to keep a person afloat.” 

Mary Oliver