Consider This

scottish fall

In Blackwater Woods


Look, the trees

are turning

their own bodies

into pillars

of light,

are giving off the rich

fragrance of cinnamon

and fulfillment,

the long tapers

of cattails

are bursting and floating away over

the blue shoulders

of the ponds,

and every pond,

no matter what its

name is, is

nameless now.

Every year


I have ever learned

in my lifetime

leads back to this: the fires

and the black river of loss

whose other side

is salvation,

whose meaning

none of us will ever know.

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.


 Mary Oliver




Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror

up to where you’re bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,

here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.

If it were always fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated

as bird wings.

~ Rumi





“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

~ Brene Brown

I Eat Life For Breakfast

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

~ Brené Brown

Oh this is a tough one….how to convince people that it’s worth it to be vulnerable, to stay vulnerable?  Especially when we know, somewhere in the emotional meat of our bones, that it is this very thing that might have caused so much anguish in our tender youth.  I guess the easiest thing to say is that we can’t quite grow right without it.  We can’t quite love right without it.  Frankly, if you ask me, I’m not even sure we quite think right without it.  Put it this way:  think of it as the oil for our psychic engines.  It keeps all the parts and gears working smoothly.

But what is it?  How could I possibly convey a way of conceptualizing this in just a few small steps…just a few key words?  It’s openness.  It’s kindness.  It’s accepting that you do not know what you do not know.  It’s curiosity’s country cousin; a willingness to look without blinders, to see without needing to “know,” to learn without agendas.

Brené Brown describes it more clearly and more compellingly than any Western thinker I’ve come across.  She’s fabulous and worth taking time to listen to.

It’s knowing you are a soft-bodied mammal, and coming to terms with the fact that other humans are at the top of your food chain, and you theirs.

This, at least, is a start.



This Being Human Is A Guest House



 This being human is a guest-house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


~ Rumi