Invitations from Crocus

Fun to see the Crocus arriving,
as it is every year.

They are the first of the flowering bulbs in my garden
that find their way to blossom.

They hold my attention,
inviting a bit of wonder,
and beauty.

They invite my commitment,
to a day of wonder
and beauty,

in the things on my calendar,
and to the unplanned spaces between.

What of the Loudness?

My offering today is another expression of relationship between “quiet” and “loud.” It is true for me that the world often feels loud. That it overlooks a contemplative way that I so love, and that it overlooks an “emptied” experience.

I doubt that this will change much. So, I return myself to how I orient myself, my sometimes denied inner loudness, to live as a kind human being, contributing in what I hope are mostly good ways. I don’t like the competitiveness that can live in loudness. The way that loudness hijacks the game, or the life path.

And so I keep noticing, sometimes through poetic form.

What of the Loudness?

I suppose it is true
that an inherent quietness lives within me.
That I seek to enjoy the slow turns
that honor transitions, blending one soft now to the next.

What of the loudness?

But then it is also true
that there is a normed loudness in the world that defaults to provocation.
That persists with volume,
that aligns with amplification, 

There is the loudness of circumstance.
It is world’s news of this and of that, real things,
that exceed a human capacity to attend,
and thus is so often elevated to categorical extremes.

What of the loudness?

There is the loudness of people doing what people do.
It is the passion for this and of that, real things,
people in varied causes,
shouting over needed distinctions of yours and ours.

What of the loudness?

And then there is the loudness that is deeply and personally within me.
It is the hope of this and that, real things,
that brings forward long buried fears,
silenced voice that lives under old hurts.

What of the loudness?

I suppose it is true that like many others,
I am coming to terms with the loudness in me
that wishes witness,
and companionship with that sweet beautiful quietness.

Living Beautifully

One of the narratives that I most appreciate from Fire & Water, the Rite of Passage program that Quanita Roberson and I created, is the narrative that invites wisdom and soulfulness. I appreciate it because it lifts up a fruitful way of being. Because it points to a reality of the human condition — that we are more than the narrowed stories and distortions of contemporary pattern. That we are meant to open our hearts and to welcome life and love to live with and through us.

This book above by Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change, remains one of the most helpful books I have encountered. It helps me to live with more wisdom and more soulfulness. It helps me to do so in many circumstances. It helps me to grow inner courage and practice that I can then invite with others — be that in friendships, in teams, in committees, in formal organizational leadership, and in everyday acts of common participatory leadership.

Pema’s energy (I know her through words and voice; not through meeting her personally) inspire me to find simple clarities that help navigate paths of uncertainty learning and of change learning. It isn’t resolved problems. Rather it is real-time principled continuances and clarity, including these words that I wrote in my journal this morning.

Have courage.
Act on it, even if in the smallest of ways.

Welcome blessing.
That which arises to move from one step to the next.
From one moment of being to another.

Live flow.
There is life that so adores each of us.

What a thing to be alive in these times. Living with what is sometimes the deep and painful churning, and then also with the sweet claiming.

Pema Chodron finishes Living Beautifully with this paragraph:

“May we all learn that pain is not the end of the journey, and neither is delight. We can hold them both — indeed hold it all — at the same time, remembering that everything in these quixotic, unpredictable, unsettled and unsettling, exhilarating and heart-stirring times is a doorway to awakening in a sacred world.”

May it be so. Fruitfully. And beautifully.

Courage & Toleration

It is the 1800s German Philosopher and Poet, Friedrich Nietzsche, that I know to have spoken, “No artist tolerates reality.”


For, it seems to me, artistry challenges the edges or reality. It has the energy to expand, even if momentary. It has the invitation to shift lens through which to see and question reality. It invites the medium of feeling, a knowing through other means not restricted to cognition. Artistry, from someone else or from ourselves, invites wonder, so as to be in a life more fully.


Recently I wrote, in the form of poetry, an artistry that helps me to wonder.


a life 

to life

So here’s to the not forgotten courage, the surrender, and the artistry of living lives as we do, in jobs as we do, in communities as we do, and in moments of listening to artistry nudging our perceptions, and toleration, of what is the real that we give ourselves to.