Composed on August 29th.

It’s a summer Sunday.
‘Deep’ can wait.
I found this Introduction to a spiritual book as it was
written by Ram Dass:

“Introduction: Uncle Emmanuel”

“When I was a child I had a wonderful uncle who
brought me ‘surprises’. Now, fifty years later, the
spiritual child within me that is just waking up still
delights in the thought of having a benevolent uncle
who would give me gifts. But now, rather than
material benefits, I would prefer that my special uncle
share certain qualities with me.

The uncle I might look for now would be wise and
compassionate, with a dry sense of humor;
tough yet tender;
someone who would keep me at the edge of
consciousness through
and loving me;

someone who by constantly reframing my reality
would help me to see the theatre of illusion
in which I am acting, the shadows on the wall;

someone who would transform my ‘problem’ into
exciting possibilities, and when I took myself too
seriously would show me how poignant I am;
someone who could guide me through the minefield
of my mind with cavalier confidence and joie de

someone who is not afraid. Such a being would
be an ‘elder’ whom I could properly honor,
and at the same time fully enjoy..”

………………..from the Introduction to
Emmanuel’s Book II, The Choice for Love.
compiled by Pat Rodegast & Judith Stanton.

My edition of that book (1989) is full of underlines,
corners notched, coffee stains. This morning was
the first time I’d read the Introduction!
Well, Uncle Emmanuel, it was worth the wait. These
messages come when I’m ready for them, ready for
the simplicity of just saying I love the gift of being
surprised. Each of you is always surprising me.

always with love,



Composed on August 16th

Today’s poem just opened up to the page that spoke to me,
as I find this Monday I am a reluctant awakener:

“It must be we are waiting
for the perfect moment.
It must be
under all that struggle
we want to go on.

It must be, deep
we are creatures
getting ready
for when we are needed.

It must be that waiting
for the listening ear
or the appreciative word,
for the right
woman or right man
or the right moment
just to ourselves,

we are getting ready
just to be ready

and nothing else.’

from his book of poems, River Flow (1984-20070

That feels right. It’s early, not dawn yet.
I can let the hangover from a dream I cannot recall be
gone, and perhaps sleep a bit again, just getting
ready to be ready for the morning.

If you read this when the sun is up, I hope you awoke
from rest. I intend to.

always with love,


Composed on August 14th.

In my middle years I was in therapy with an amazing woman,
Gunilla Norris, who lived in a beautiful small old house on
an energy ley line near Monroe, CT. It had a steep staircase
onto a front porch that greeted the sun. She wrote a book
of meditations about that house, called ‘Being Home’.

Here is her way of beginning a day:

“I climb downstairs to the first floor
and I think of ladders … the one that Jacob saw
with the angels going up and down … the one
rising out of the kiva … the one against
the burning building on the evening news.

Help me to not be so afraid
of the heights and depths! Help me
to concentrate on the connection
between the two: those humble steps,
those one-after-another steps,
which are the only ones I can really take.
Help me to love a slow progression,
to have no prejudice
that up is better than down or vice versa.
Help me to enjoy the in-between.

Standing here on the first floor I remember
going down the stairs on my bottom
as a toddler. THUD ..THUD …THUD …
It was energizing.

I want to reclaim bumping along again …
Please keep me from all spiritual ambition.”
This morning, first thing, I showered, dressed, had some sips of coffee,
and strode outside, carrying my cane over my arm (just in case), and
walked before sun-up.

It was only ten minutes. It was a beginning.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/ Antoinette


Composed on August 4th.

“Some nights stay up til dawn,

as the moon sometimes does for the sun.

Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way

of a well, then lifted out into light. ”

…………………….The Essential Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks.

If you ever wonder “why poetry”, just read those lines above again.

I really wanted to talk about causing no harm, had chosen the book
by Pema Chordon, When Things Fall Apart, and needed a way in,
so to speak. This was the message:

“Not causing harm requires staying awake. the more we witness
our emotional chain reactions, and understand how they work,
the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake,
slow down, and notice. As the moments of our lives go by, our
ability to be deaf, dumb, and blind just doesn’t work well anymore.”

See what I mean? I had been following the Ariadne thread of why
I’ve had hives this week. I had to slow down, go back and notice
what the words of my thoughts had been. The ‘harm’ can apply
to ourselves as well as others, dear ones. Got that?

Pema’s words gave me a way in. Rumi’s lines awoke my heart,
and allowed me to find my way out.

always with love,