Crossword puzzles didn’t work early this morning.
Sun not up, I had to use a flashlight to reach into
a shelf to find something that just wanted to be

Here it is:

“If this world
Was not held in God’s bucket

How could an ocean stand upside down
On its head and never lose a drop?

If your life was not contained in God’s cup

How could you be so brave and laugh,
Dance in the fact of death?

There is a private chamber in the soul
That knows a great secret

Of which no tongue can speak.

Your existence my dear, O love my dear,
Has been sealed and marked

“Too sacred,” “too sacred,” by the Beloved —
To ever end!

Indeed God
Has written a thousand promises
All over your heart

That say,
LIfe, life, life
is far too sacred to
Ever end.”

………..from the book,
THE GIFT, Poems by Hafiz,
The Great Sufi Master.
Translations by Daniel Ladinskyf

And so it is.

always with love,

“There is a private chamber in the soul
That knows a great secret”


We say “hello” to summer this week. Ah, finally!
In the midst of beginnings I realize we also are saying
“good-by” to what has been an unusual springtime.
There is room on any threshold for a pause to
acknowledge the transition.

I have chosen a poem by David Whyte to share today:

“F O R G I V E

I arrived at last, five hours before she died,
through airport and grounding fog at Heathrow
and the crowded irrelevance of King’s Cross.
On the train north toward her I read the paper
with a close, obsessive, intelligence,
knowing I couldn’t face the relevance of the day.
Amid a crowd, we live a strange anonymous maturity,
not knowing how deep inside the body,
or how, with each turned leaf of experience
the word ‘mother’ lies waiting to be read again.
In the paper there was no news of her going,
no witness to the courageous continuation
beneath the mask to breathe until I got there.
I travelled as freely in my health as she
struggled mightily to wait, as if we held together,
so far apart, and each in our struggle
opposing corners of creation.
She would let go of her corner
of our world only when she saw me again
for a last time. Imagine then,
the necessity for rest
before the great sweep
of her unspoken life into mine.”

………..DAVID WHYTE, from his book of poems,
River Flow, 1984-2007

In there not a strength in the simple acceptance of
what’s so? To honor and acknowledge what’s so and
then to heal by walking through the pause, resting
of necessity, as often as needed.

I am a mother. I had a mother who chose not to say
good-by years ago after major surgery. She took one
look at the nursing home across from Norwalk Hospital,
and she thought, ‘no way!’ and she quietly left this world,
just before they served her first dinner,
without saying a word to any of us.
My mother, who loved words, somehow set an example
by her own great sweep of her lifetime’s choice of
how to go.

Always with love,

Pause to acknowledge the transition….
Painting: “My Sweet Rose” by John William Waterhouse


Back in June, 1936 I was awarded Best Drawing Award at the Museum School of Industrial Art, now Philadelphia College of Art.  It was my first year at art school and the prize was a book by Robert Henri, ‘The Art Spirit’.

Henri’s name is no longer familiar, but he was an eminent painter and extraordinary teacher, and I found inspiration from his approach to art over so many years as I developed as an artist.

Here are some of his views:

“Don’t worry about rejections. Everybody that’s good has gone through it.   Don’t let it matter if your works are not accepted at once. Just remember that the object of painting pictures is not simply to get them in exhibitions. It is all very well to have your pictures hung, but you are painting for yourself, not for the jury.

Every student should put down in some form or other his findings.

All any artist can hope to do is to add his fragment to the whole.

No man can be final, but he can record his progress, and whatever he records is so much done in the thrashing out of the whole thing.  What he leaves is so much for others to use as stones to step on or stones to avoid.

The student is not an isolated force.  He/she belongs to a great brotherhood, bears great kinship to his kind.  We take, and we give.  We benefit by taking and giving.”


Why am I sharing this today?

I pulled out a book and there it was, the spine of THE ART SPIRIT!

Just in passing.

What a curious phrase to use for what we do:”thrashing out the whole thing”!

Henri’s life itself was full of drama and heart; perhaps this enabled him to pause and seek out the individual possibility in each student, embracing all differences.

Just an homage to all who serve as teachers.

always with love,


Robert Henri (1865-1929)
Self Portrait
1903, oil on canvas