IT’S Monday morning, sun is out, already warming, and I type with arms lifted to avoid lifting the paper as well, from the
moisture. I read Joe Riley’s Panhala this morning and I want to repeat the last lines,
as all I can say today as a beginning of a new week, of any other ‘new’ hanging around.

“May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.”

(from To Bless The Space Between)

always with love,


This is part of a story of a father and mother, Greg and Tara Mortenson.
Greg co-wrote the book , Three Cups of Tea, about his peace work
building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I picked up this book
this morning because I had remembered it as being poetry in action.

This small quote is about the birth of their daughter in 1996:

“At seven in the morning on Sept. 13, 1996, exactly a year since the
fateful evening at the Fairmont Hotel, Tara felt her first contraction.

At 7:12 p.m., accompanied by a tape of chanting Tibetan monks
that her father had chosen, Amira Eliana Mortenson made her first
official appearance on the planet. ‘Amira’, because it meant “female
leader” in Persian. And ‘Eliana’, which means “gift of God”, in Chagga,
the tribal language of the Kilimanjaro region, after Mortenson’s late
beloved sister, Christa Eliana Mortenson.

After the midwife left, Mortenson lay in bed, cocooning with his wife
and daughter. He placed a multicolored ‘tomar’, Haji Ali had given
him, around his daughter’s neck. Then he struggled with the cork
of the first bottle of champagne he’d ever purchased.

“Give it to me,” Tara said , laughing and traded Mortenson the baby
for the bottle. As his wife popped the cork, Mortenson covered
hid daughter’s small soft head with his large hand. He felt a
happiness so expansive it made his eyes swim. It just wasn’t
possible, he thought, that those detained eight days in that kerosene-
smelling room and this moment, in this cozy upstairs bedroom in a
house on a tree-lined street, snug in the embrace of his family,
were part of the same world.

“What is it?” Tara asked.

“Shhh,” he said, smoothing a furrow from her forehead with his
free hand before accepting a glass of champagne, “Shhh.” ”

I find I am now living in a world strangely like that contrasting
experience. So, I have shared this story to remind us of the
value of tenderness and the amazing resilience of the human

Thank you, all the forces that be.

always with love,


On page 26, I quote:
“But first let us begin at the beginning, back there
in the Garden of Eden, and explore not where it all
went wrong, but what in fact was so right, so gloriously
right about Eve and that scrumptious apple. And why,
above all else, we are so fortunate to have the pleasure
of sitting here in a human body with all five senses up
and running.”
………………….ROGER HOUSDEN, from his book,
Seven Sins for a LIfe Worth Living.

Pleasure, indeed. We’ve had a July 4th weekend, for
some of us, three days away from the usual. That’s re-
newal. Curiously, there was not much traffic, not the
usual bumper-to-bumper, traveling thru 3 states.

And then there was the heat.

Have you noticed that we are very aware of our bodies
when it’s very hot or very cold? We call it ‘weather’ but
it’s a time we change pace and allow ourselves to meet
the weather where it is, either very active or simply slow,
your choice.

All my five senses are up and ready to be running, what
joy! Summer is here. Just that word, summer, brings up
the idea of easy pleasure, evenings still full of light, and
permission to ‘come aboard’.

I suggest you pick up that book I mentioned earlier, and
let that be your guide for the season.

with love …


I have been asking the universe (Universe ?) to help me find
where I am blind to myself. It’s there somewhere because I
find I am often not happy.

I have made this a conscious search and request, and I have
today seen enough to know I am on a path to the answer.
Well, maybe to the right question!

Fast forward to the poem that has given me the clue today.
It’s called “KINDNESS”,
by Naomi Shihab Nye.

This poem has many lines, and it’s worth reading, but I am too
impatient to let go of that in me that needed to be seen and
which you might also find to be familiar in you if you take a
moment to notice, with courage, what’s present. Stay with me
on this one.

I would not describe myself as one who avoids contact, who
finds it easier to leave quickly after a moving movie, a spec-
tacular spiritual experience, a poetry reading. And yet, that’s
what I want to do. I can make up lots of good stories about that.
Instead, I’m sitting here, letting it settle in, staying with that.

Here’s what the first lines of each of the poem’s four stanzas says:

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve, in a moment…..”

“Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead at the side of the road,”

“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.”

“Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,”

It was with kindness that I was able to see how I had projected my
inner environment on others, felt the pain from those others that
I, also, may have caused unknowingly along the way.

Many of you who read these dailies are my friends.
Wow! It is with kindness that I befriend myself now.
How much easier it is to be with you that way.

Always with love,