Handle with Care

They say there are no accidents, those that throw such weight behind limited wisdom. Maybe so, maybe not. But today, sitting in a bookstore whiling away the time, I ran across this post I had saved in draft mode a while ago. As fate would have it, it is exactly what I needed to hear.
Today. Funny how that can work. 😉

Thank You.



The life we forget to live is our own.

The craft most urgently needed is to attend life’s unfolding with the same care as one has for the borrowed lamp on the living room table.

It is priceless and must be returned in a while.

It is a beauty (born the same day love was conceived) that stops the eye,

even as nicks of time appear–

a devil wind spilling it,

overzealous polishing,

a child’s ball.

That craft finds a way to love what comes, with joy or sorrow.

Never forced or contrived, it remains in a fluid state.

Never consumed, it is deprived of nothing, but rather increased, by its object.

It remains forever in the background, a penumbral glow to the dawn and dusk of experience.

This craft, of love, of urgency, is that of real desire.

Desire lives in the absence of its fulfillment and grows fuller.

Since what it seeks can never be won, desire moves restlessly about,

“a mighty hunter, and a master of device and artifice” (Plato, Symposium).

Most energetic in a still moment of existence, its ceaseless pursuit of that which lives beyond–Life–nourishes the world.

Its transit of the space of its longing opens a heart to what there is.

A faintest glimpse of its object intensifies yearning, loosening bonds of petty thoughts and vain appetites.

What is this craft, and how does a householder practice it?

He carefully wipes dust from the window each morning to let the sun in. Shining through, the sun illuminates the care with which the home is kept.

— David Appelbaum Everyday Spirits



What makes a book you’re reading a ‘well-written’ book?”

Errrr…. I don’t… know. Hmmm. Never really thought about it before! Give me a minute…

A friend and I were talking about books – what we’d been reading lately. Having been a voracious reader when I was young, I fallen out of the habit sometime in my 20’s. Life had crept up and ambushed me with all sorts of things that left me mostly comatose by the time my days ground to a halt at night. Outside of an article here and there, a bedtime story, or maybe a label, reading had become a luxury. Opening a book and sticking with it until the last page wasn’t high on the priority list. But life is always moving along and priorities change as surely as spring follows winter.

You see, it had occurred to me that my life’s pace had changed. As in S – L – O – W – E -D down.  Between problems with my backbone, stepping out of the work force, and my kids advancing through their education, I really had no excuses as to why I couldn’t start, read, then finish a book. Well … except being out of practice.  And while I do love to write, if I don’t feed my inner WORD NERD (the ever hopeful romantic in me), then writing is an exercise in futility. Stymied by a lack of inspiration and haunted by an absence of muses, I knew I could revive myself through a little reading CPR.

So I picked up one of the many, many books collecting dust on my shelves and began to read it. I didn’t let myself pick up another one until I had finished the first one.  Uh uh. No easy task, especially if you’re like me and you tend to start one, pick up another one and read it through the end of chapter one, put it down and see yet another one and want to  “just read a couple of pages“… an nauseum.  Is it possible to be ADD with books, as in life? How better to break that cycle then to force myself to finish what I start?

So as I’m telling my friend about this book or that book I’ve read, I qualify what I’ve read. I say one book was so-so and not as “well-written” as this other one I just finished.  The question she interrupts me with is this: what do I consider a “good” book or one that is “well-written”?  Hmmm …

I love a book whose words I can wrap my soul up in. Words that flow like prose and make me say “Oooooo, I LIKE that!” Words that paint a picture in my mind that I can not only see, but feel and smell and taste. Phrases that marry the most unlikely subjects together in a way that makes the most unexpected sense.

Giant sunflowers, like junkie scarecrows on the nod, dozed in one spot with their dry heads drooped upon their breastbones. Their lives extended another day, flies buzzed everything within their range, monotonously eulogizing themselves, like the patriots who persist in praising the glory of a culture long after it is decadent and doomed.

–from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Oh,” she said. “So a well written book for you is like colors are to a painter: YUM!

Yes. You could say that! 🙂

I wonder what everyone else uses as criteria for a “well-written” story?



If Life is Poetry, I’m an Opus

Life is Poetry

from Zen Habits by Leo

‘My life is my message.’ – Gandhi

Each of us lives a life that expresses who we are, reacts to the world around us, shows our passions, reflects our deep river of feeling and being.

We might sing out in joy, through our words and actions and expressions, we might hide in fear and pain, we might lash out in anger. Every thing we do, everything we are, expresses.

Gandhi’s message was his life, and yours is your life. What message are you giving the world, through your actions, how you live, how you treat others, what you accomplish, how you choose to be, every moment of every day?

Are you an angry rant? A ballad? An epic poem?

Perhaps a sonnet, a limerick, a haiku?

If your life is a poem, what do you want it to say? What would you rather leave out? What will the essence be?

Enjoy each moment as the perfect syllable, recognize the lyrical in the everyday, and sink your teeth softly into that cold delicious fruit.

I claim to be an Opus ~ music lyrically written in four parts (epic), which all have an underlying rhythm of laughter and love. 🙂






Let my dream while I’m wide-awake

loose. Let me be drowned, baptized,

in the light given me. Day comes around,

night, fall, winter, spring,

summer. Leaves overhead, underfoot.

Waves arrive, buffets from friends

offended, enemies. Let it all come:

this is my way, this is the canoe I’m in.

— William Stafford

via such stuff




There is a goodness … a Wisdom that arises,

sometimes gracefully, sometimes gently,

sometimes awkwardly, sometimes fiercely,

but it will arise to save us if we let it,

and it arises from within us, like the force that drives green shoots to break the winter ground,

it will arise and drive us into a great blossoming like a pear tree,

into flowering, into fragrance, fruit, and song …

into that part of ourselves that can never be defiled, defeated or destroyed,

but that comes back to life, time and time again,

that lives — always — that does not die.

— China Galland, The Bond Between Women

Passing Through


Passing Through

The distance receding, each step closer

My own opacity decreasing by shades

Until, face to face

Pausing to gaze into and through

My transparency illuminated

By Your spirit moving into, with, and through

Lighting me from within

Fragmenting and shattering the shadows

That lurk

In the shades of my doubts

Passing through

Forever altering the opacity that colors me


Undone by the very degree of Your luminosity

And the force of Your presence

Waves of the Spirit that defines You

Cascade over me

Undulating throughout my soul

Lingering with me

Long after Your light

Moves away and dissipates

And I am forever changed.

Summer Nights

Summer Nights

Summer Nights

Air heavy and stagnant

Mimosas’ redolence

Lade the night

In dreams salient

and silent