I slept longer than I thought I might, and lo, it is already almost dawn.
We are approaching the traditional celebration of a change of season: labor day weekend.

There is still time this morning to hold on to the mystery of just the change from night to day!
Time enough to listen to a poem?
Let’s try:

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them —

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided —
and that one wears an orange blight —
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away —
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above the difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

– MARY OLIVER, (from her New & Selected Poems Volume One. 1992)

The sun is turning a gold rim on the horizon, the trees
stil dark and patterned on the sky.
The whole day is before us.

always with love,



August, the most mysterious month of our year, is also the pause before the next step.

This morning, I got up and chose a book on the seasons, looking for a gesture with which to welcome
the return to the work world shortly ahead.

I found this:

“Any time we make a garden, even a tiny one,
we are in the work of remembering.

Working the soil, cultivating our inner ground,
we have a chance to appreciate and praise
the great gift of life and the earth that sustains us.
We are held
by something so beyond our ken
and so essentially unknowable.
We call it God though no word can
name it.

Humming through us, through the ground,
through all things, it asks us
to be particular, to be living expressions,
to be sons and daughters oF EARTH and to care for life itself.
It asks us to be fruitful—to tend the garden,
to protect the garden, to share the garden,
to be the garden.”

GUNILLA NORRIS, from A Mystic Garden, 2006

There’s just one more line, too good to miss:
“One who plants a garden, plants happiness.””
(old Chinese proverb)

always with love,



There are some days when I awaken and lie sleepless, and that’s OK.

Something is knocking, trying to tell me

The reason I know it’s OK is I am not feeling anxious, only curious.
I got up just now and knew that I could find a clue in a poem.

And I have:

Hardly a day passes I don’t think of him
in the asylum: younger

than I am now, trudging the long road down
through madness to death.

Everywhere in this world his music
explodes out of itself, as he

could not. And now I understand
something so frightening, and wonderful —

how the mind clings to the road it knows, rushing
through crossroads, sticking

like lint to the familiar. So!
Hardly a day passes I don’t

think of him: nineteen, say, and it is
spring in Germany

and he has just met a girl named Clara.
He turns the corner,

he scrapes the dirt from his soles,
he runs up the dark staircase, humming.
MARY OLIVER (New and Selected Poems, Volume One. 1992)

This reading this morning has reminded me of the fine line of art in our spirits. No matter what follows, to trust the impulse from the heart that explodes into art of any sort is true eros.

If that can move me, approaching 95 now, to a place of a common joy, where now in quite another century,
I find I am running up a staircase just as eagerly for the life to be found there, then all is well.

always with love,



The room today will be brimming over with love for the family of one boy whose star briefly shown in our midst.

I turn to the poet for the words I cannot find myself, to offer Holly, Joe and Kelsey some heart’s ease:

Jupiter in the western sky
and my
son walking
with the whole arc
of the sea behind him.

Above his head
the fishing pole
bent as if to catch
the day-lit star,
on the broad horizon.

The mere shape of him
in silhouette
I love so much.

The whip of his wrist
and rascal slant
of his cap

like some
of love I deciphered
long ago
and read to myself
again and again.

When I first heard
him in the fluid darkness
before his birth,
calling to his mother and I
from the yet unknown
and unseen world
to which he belonged,

I could not know that
slant of his
face or hand.
I could not know
how he would speak
to me.

Our love then was
for an unknown promise,

but just as strong
as if the promise was known.

May all our promises
from now
be just as strong.
– DAVID WHYTE, from his book,
River Flow.

Love is present, always and all ways.
with deepest love,