Your Way

There are many

ways

to

lead

an Examined Life.

On your own

or

in a place

which gives you

space

and

silence

to contemplate,

observe

and

learn.

Moment by moment

awareness

examined

at the end

of each

day.

Maybe a day

or several days

to

Be

not

Do.

Do

you

have

a

way?

Soul and Body

Soul and body,

I suggest,

react

sympathetically

upon each other;

a change in the state of the soul

produces

a change in the shape

of the body,

and

conversely:

a change in the

shape of the body

produces

a change

in the state of the

soul.

Artistotle, Physiognomics, c. B.C.E.

Synchroncity and Opportunity

I see

synchronicity

In

the shocking murder of

nine people

in a Bible class

at the AME Emmanuel Church

in Atlanta

by a young white supremacist ,

many retailers no longer

selling Confederate flags,

the decision in Georgia

and other states

to remove the

Confederate flag

from public display.

President Obama’s

moving eulogy,

words moving into

singing

Amazing Grace with

all joining in.

Conjecture, publicity

To Kill a Mockingbird

 Harper Lee’s beloved book and movie

told by young Scout

seeing her father Atticus

through a child’s eyes.

The much anticipated

release of the

old, discovered

first book

taking place twenty years later.

Go Set A Watchman,

portraying Atticus

in a segregated  town,

challenged by a

climate, calling, demanding

equal rights for blacks and white.

An Off Broadway show

Hamilton

moves to Broadway

full of hip hop

historical characters played by

multi-racial cast.

Another play

Amazing Grace 

opens on

Broadway,

its writer, leaving his job

compelled to write this story

and produce it.

Publisher of Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

moves up release date

so we can read

his words written to

his fifteen year old son.

Growing up in Baltimore,

he feels the same

fear for his son

as week by week

there are

unnecessary murders

by police of young black men

barely adults.

Whatever events, words, books, musicals

might stir you,

move me,

the convergence

is an opportunity.

In the words of Amazing Grace

that forgiveness and redemption

are possible

regardless of sins committed,

“Amazing grace!

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost,

but now am found,

Was blind,

but now I see.”

What can I see now

that I did not see before?

What do you see

that you did not see before?

“‘Twas grace that taught

my heart to fear,

And grace my fears

reliev’d;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed!”

Where To Begin

You

do not

convince

people

with arguments,

strategies,

or tactics.

You

convince them

by learning

how to

welcome

them.

For that,

it is

necessary

to keep

doors

open,

above all

the doors

to the heart.

Pope Francis, South America, July, 2015

Let there be peace

on Earth.

And let it

begin

with me!

Bittersweet

Bittersweet.

Bittersweet

Sometimes

we are

aware

that

life is

bittersweet.

Even

when we smile,

there can be

a river of

sadness

flowing

through us.

Our smile

is not

a band-aid.

It is

an authentic

feeling.

Putting on

a happy face

isn’t

being

false

or phony

or denying the

sadness

we feel.

Neuroscientists

tell us

that a smile

can change

our body chemistry.

When I

get into bed

I fluff

my pillows

just right,

straighten my spine.

Then I smile.

Sometimes I

have to dig a bit

to find

something

in the day

that I am grateful for.

Smiling

as I close

my eyes,

I think I rest

better

and sleep

renews me

for the next day.

When Sadness Reveals

When Sadness Reveals.

Ritual

Ritual

Tradition

Out of the darkness of winter

Primal celebration

Holy Week

Passover

Easter

Some continue to come together

Honor

those who have gone before.

Some are too busy

or don’t believe rituals and traditions

are important anymore,

at least to them.

Have we lost a gift of community

leaving rituals and traditions

in the past?

Can we find a way to be grateful for the gifts

of life, light, new growth?

Seeing beauty

All around

Can bring dissonance

into harmony.

Seeing beauty, being grateful

for a bird’s song,

green shoots poking through layers,

for the smile of another.

Love is the ritual we can

all share.

On the Edge of Awareness

There are times when feelings seem to be

just on

the edge of our awareness.

A sudden, uneasy sensation.

A fluttering of the heart.

Signals of feelings waiting

to be

expressed?

Sometimes,

such sensations

are just

mysterious,

passing perceptions.

Other times,

I realize

that a fluttering is

a signal of a feeling waiting

to be acknowledged.

Occasionally,

I recognize

that I have received

a message, but only

in retrospect.