Solstice and the magic swing of simultaneity

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I’m preparing for an Advent Restorying retreat coming up this weekend, reflecting on the diversity of ways to celebrate and keep the season. I’ll share what’s emerging in the next few posts, and hope to have some juicy explorations from the retreat next week.

This time of year in many traditions glows with a feeling of anticipation, of waiting and tending, of renewal and rebirth of divine light and love. Sometimes we tend to assume this renewal of love is confined to the realm of humans, that the stories somehow only apply to us. Here’s a thought from D.H. Lawrence about the trade-off we make when we restrict love to the human story. Continue reading

The gift of storytelling

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The gift of storytelling is a felt sense of connection that awakens hidden kinships and renews our belonging to the whole community of Life.

Sitting with a group of people around a fire and telling stories opens us to an experience of shared creativity that goes back millennia. Even if we have only just met, our stories have a way of weaving in and among each other. One story will trigger another story, long forgotten but now just as alive and relevant as it was fifteen years ago. That story will contain an image or character that sparks a third story.

The stories come through individuals and have their way with us in a collective mystery. Each story seems to take form and move among us, conjuring themes and shared emotions. As the stories are spun, we create worlds within worlds. Or maybe they create us. Continue reading

Sentimentality and Cynicism at the crossroads

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Once upon a time, in a far-away land, a sister and brother lived in a tiny cottage at the edge of a vast forest. They were called Sentimentality and Cynicism. You might be thinking that the sister’s name was Sentimentality, while the brother’s was more befitting a man of the world. In fact, it was the reverse.

Their parents were lost to them when they were young children and they had fended for themselves for ten years. They had a few neighbors who sometimes dropped by with eggs or a loaf of bread, but for the most part, they were on their own.

Cynicism was older by two years and ruled the house with an iron will and military order. Sentimentality was grateful for the safety of a roof over his head, but he was happiest wandering in the meadows and fields surrounding their house, conversing with the grasses, flowers and birds. Fortunately, he had started a vegetable and herb garden, so his sister couldn’t complain that he was outside from sunrise to sunset nearly every day. He also cared for her with his medicinal herbs, for she often had terrible headaches and weeping fits. Continue reading

Shining Clarity

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At the end of a yoga class a while back, I was visited by a marvelous insight. The class sat facing the teacher after Savasana for our Namaste and goodbye. I caught sight of someone’s water bottle standing alone in the space between the group and the teacher. It was a clear orangey plastic and the water inside was glowing with light. Looking around, the room was rather dim. The windows were far away from this spot. Certainly, no direct shaft of light was hitting the bottle. I imagined that light is as dense and real a medium as air, and as ever-present. It takes a glowing water bottle to reveal that. As though the water is in league with the light — standing in the gravity-defying vertical column of that vessel.

The sudden insight was this: we are like that water in the bottle. Our substance can glow just like that — as the light flows around and through us. Continue reading