Monday, November 28, 2011

Witnesses of Tolerance

Tolerance, by Jaume Plensa
via glasstire
Driving through Houston, you may discover the seven sculptures of Tolerance by Jaume Plensa. At night, they are illuminated and sit like peaceful guardians, keeping watch over the city.

The figures are composed on individual letters. The artist grew up with a love for books and sees each letter as a symbol of the individual. Together, the letters come together to create language, culture, and humanity. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Voice Project: Songs for Forgiveness

Voyage Home, by Joe Carr

Have you heard about the Voice Project? It began with surviving women in Uganda singing songs to call their sons back from war, to let them know they've been forgiven. Now artists are recording cover songs in support of the peace movement. 

Check out the LA Ladies' Choir singing "Hallelujah."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Walking Meditation

Maiden Crone, by Bonnie Wildwood

The great teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we try walking meditation while holding the hand of a child.

I would also suggest visiting an elderly relative or friend and walking with them. I visited my grandmother this weekend, and going at her pace, stopping with her to smile at the people we passed by, and remembering that growing old and frail is a natural part of life were all great lessons for me. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Postmodern Hymn: If It's Magic

Here's a little Stevie Wonder for you.

"If it's special 
Then with it why aren't we as careful 
As making sure we dress in style 
Posing pictures with a smile 
Keeping danger from a child."

Just a gentle reminder to take care of your life, dear friends.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Playful Songs

Western Meadowlark, by Adam Grimm

Did you know that some cultures consider the meadowlark to be capable of human speech? 

Arapaho mothers would feed their children meadowlark meat or eggs for four days and say certain prayers to give their children the gift of eloquence.

But meadowlarks are also thought to say mocking or dirty things! The bird that creates great orators is itself a joker. 

May our speech by playful, wise, and fearless.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Song of the Day: Good Life

I've been listening to a lot of Richard Julian lately, a singer-song writer that works with Norah Jones as part of the Little Willies. What I enjoy about Richard is his way with words—he's poetic and sarcastic and opens up new ways of seeing the world—and the movement in the melodies that he creates with his guitar.

Here's one of my favorites.

If you like what you hear, check out "Love of Mine," "World Keeps On," or "If a Heart Breaks." The last one is a play on the koan "If a tree falls . . . "

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gold Beneath the Clay

I just heard the story of the golden buddha today. Have you heard this story?

Here's the short version:

A clay buddha started to develop cracks. One Thai monk felt compelled to look inside the cracks with a flashlight to see what how it was made. To his surprise, the statue was gold! It had been covered by layers of clay years ago to protect it from looters, and all who knew this had been killed.

Buddha at Wat Traimit, via Thailand's world

The woman who told me this story talked about the layers that we put on to protect our golden nature. In some ways, these layers are an inevitable fact of being human, but in other ways, these layers prevent us from sharing our selves.

How might our layer of clay be softened, so that the gold below can shine through?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Taking a Break

Carpal tunnel has struck, and these easiest way to fix it would seem to be spending less time on the computer.

I will return when the feeling in my fingers also returns!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Temple of Learning

painted and embroidered allegorical picture, by Maria Crowninshield
via Salem in History

If there's one thing I believe in, it's learning and community. I think learning from each other is one of the most powerful acts of love and affirmation there is. I see images like this, and think about Mary Wollstonecraft arguing for equality around the same time, and I feel so grateful for all the opportunities I have to learn, and to learn from other women. 

Some things I've learned lately from teachers of mine:
  • laugh—it shakes up any bitterness that may be starting to set in
  • go slower than you think is necessary, and time will open up
  • invite others to tea—it is one of the best conversation potions out there

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Art, Poetry, Dream

I love the magic in Irene Belknap's art. The way her figures seem to measure the earth with their long triangular steps. The way fruit and wheels serve as reminders of time and no-time. The way her figure's dresses are often adorned with the poetry of David Whyte. What does it all mean?

Fall Back, by Irene Belknap
To the Feast, by Irene Belknap
via Chico Paper Company

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Early to Bed

Sleeping Beauty, by Roberto Innocenti
via Fairy Tale Mood

I'm a night owl. If I could, I would stay up later and later each night, because my internal clock seems to have thirty hours in a day instead of the real twenty-four. The truth is, I can never quite believe that I've done enough in a day. Thus, I'm beginning a new practice—intentionally going to bed early—to affirm that I've spent my day well and that all I can do is honor each moment as it comes.


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