Show Your Soul

Show Your Soul  is an online journal of writings and artworks from the members and friends of all ages of White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church.

GRATITUDE: the practice of reckoning

Posted by on May 1, 2018 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

This is my first dog Lily. I remain grateful for the unconditional regard in which she held me. - Ellen Lowery

This is my first dog Lily. I remain grateful for the unconditional regard in which she held me.
- Ellen Lowery

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Humanist Haiku

Manifested true
Into people together,
Unified, transformed
—Jocelyn Stein

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PROMISES: the practice of creating the world

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

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Ellen Lowery

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Random or Divine?  by Don Lifto

Fifteen billion years.

Big Bang regurgitation.

Random or divine?

The meditative song, “Where Do We Come From?” is based on an oil painting by French artist, Paul Gauguin.  It chants three fundamental questions about the universe:  Where do we come from?  What are we?  Where are we going?  These three questions are framed in the reproduction of Gauguin’s painting below.  The artist encourages us to interpret the painting from right to left.  The three women and child on the right of the painting symbolize the beginning of life.  The middle section represents the daily experience of young adulthood.  The composition on the left is most complex and depicts the end of life with an old woman approaching death.  Gauguin includes a white bird to represent the futility of words and a blue image to suggest the beyond.  Reflecting on the painting, the artist was quoted as saying, “I believe that this canvas not only surpasses all of my preceding ones, but that I shall never do anything better – or even like it.”

The setting for these larger than life questions is our shared universe, which scientists estimate is about 15 billion years old.  This is unfathomable to me in terms of both its seemingly endless, refluent passage of time and its disputed origin.  As the Haiku questions, was the creation of the universe random or divine – a deliberate engineering by an omnipotent force, or a big bang explosion of cosmic elements swirling about randomly for eons, without the benefit of a divine architect?

Gauguin’s unusual painting and the song it inspired provide us with both visual and auditory stimulation from which to reflect of life’s most fundamental questions.

Where Do We Come From?

I don’t know.

What are we?

Soulful beings.

Where are we going?

I don’t know.

The meditative chant concludes with what for me and many others is a central truth and an understated reality: “Life is a riddle and a mystery.”

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SOULWORK: the practice of centering

Posted by on Mar 1, 2018 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

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Hummingbird by Karen DahlI spent several hours watching for hummingbirds thru the lens of my camera. I was propped against a screen door with Lake Superior in the foreground, but I was lost in my focus on the hummingbird feeder. It was a happy surprise when I saw that the Lake was also captured in the nectar bowl. 

The practice of Zen is forgetting the self in the act of uniting with something.
– Koun Yamada

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Pond by Karen Dahl

Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.
– Eckhart Tolle

Chairs by Karen Dahl


Chairs by Karen Dahl
I forget sometimes that it is OK to sit. And it doesn’t have to be an invitation from a mossy seat. Sometimes it can just be a view: a sunset, chickens pecking in a yard, or birds at a feeder. Sit, enjoy.

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.
– Shunryu Suzuki


Photo by Karen Dahl


Photo by Ken Stewart

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DISRUPTION: the practice of being fully present

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

 What is exposed when there is a tear in the fabric of things? -Ken Stewart

What is exposed when there is a tear in the fabric of things?
-Ken Stewart

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Rebel

Although it has been years,
in autumn,
when the sumac firelights the roadsides
filling the air,
not with smoke but with clarity,
I am on the farm again.

I breathe the warm snorting
smell of his blackness, grip
him tight with legs and hands
as we cross the fields
with the speed of geese in flight.

The fields are black, too,
ready for winter to etch
their clods with frost,
stiffening them like Lot’s wife.

But I do not look back,
for I am fifteen and ready.
I match my rhythm to his,
fast walk, trot and then–
In one enormous exhalation–
we are stretching out,
beyond the farm, the fields, the woods,
beyond the highway leading into town.

Into Saturday,
into summer,
into hills and dark mountains,
possibilities coming faster and faster,
my hair streams behind
like a comet’s corona,
two times around the sun,
leaping planets, dodging meteors.

Yes, sometimes in autumn…

-Jean Doolittle

 

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HOSPITALITY: the practice of belonging

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

Welcoming unexpected guests. -Ellen Lowery

Welcoming unexpected guests.
-Ellen Lowery

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Snow On Branches After the snow storm -  designer trees laced with white greet my  friends at my door. -Gail Diez

Snow On Branches
After the snow storm -
designer trees laced
with white greet my
friends at my door.
-Gail Diez

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Belonging by Don Lifto

Enveloped in love;
grounded like roots of an oak.
Holding fast to life.

Feeling alone at times is a shared human experience.  Sometimes aloneness is simply being lonesome, longing for company and the satisfaction of togetherness with family or a friend.  On some days feeling alone is occasioned by fear and a realization that a problem or situation must be confronted by yourself or a sense that no one can hear your plea for help.  Alone can also take on the form of desperation or depression when life’s circumstances feel overwhelmingly crushing in their intensity or perceived consequences.

Although we know being alone, in all of its forms, is part of life, the Haiku “Never Alone” shines a light in a different direction.  This light illuminates love as the antidote to all forms of aloneness, holding us fast to life like the intertwined roots of an oak tree.  Enveloped by a love that is ours to give and ours to receive.
So how does one recapture this sense of love, belonging and safety when the yoke of aloneness weighs so heavily on our shoulders?  There is no answer to this question, of course, because everyone has to find their own path out of the sometimes dark woods.  In recent years, I have used meditation and mantra to capture the power of nominalism – finding the reality of love’s healing powers by naming it such.  In doing so I am able to refocus my thinking and calm my spirit when feeling alone:

May my heart be filled with loving kindness.

May I be free from suffering.
May I be happy and at peace.

Repeating this message in a meditative chant can help regain my sense of balance and keep me in the moment.  I use this same meditation when “sending love” to others by simply replacing “I” and “My” with the other person’s name.

I believe we are never alone if we consciously open our soul’s window to radiant love – ever present, abundant and healing to the soul. Phillip Booth wrote a beautiful poem [First Lesson] about overcoming aloneness and fear with rich images of love in the form of cupped hands and the buoyancy of the sea.  It is shared in full below.

Labyrinth:  Wandering through San Francisco with no destination in mind but, as always, drawn to elevations, I found myself entering Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill, tailing another wanderer. I had not hesitated to enter, and once inside, was filled with a sense of arrival, wonder, and welcome as the labyrinth embraced me, pulled me in further, and held me until I was ready to leave.


Photo by Laurie Kigner

Labyrinth:

Wandering through San Francisco with no destination in mind but, as always, drawn to elevations, I found myself entering Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill, tailing another wanderer. I had not hesitated to enter, and once inside, was filled with a sense of arrival, wonder, and welcome as the labyrinth embraced me, pulled me in further, and held me until I was ready to leave.

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sound in my life. Sound is present in all of my memories. There was only one thing I was forgetting; I am Deaf. I can’t hear song lyrics, I can’t hear the ocean while I am swimming in it, I can’t hear people when they turn away from me. I am Deaf. I realized, that although I needed the hearing world, I needed something else too- something only the Deaf world could provide. A common bond with the Deaf community- we all struggle to hear in a LOUD environment.

Last year, all of these thoughts were constantly running through my head. Now, looking back, I have come to the conclusion that I need to have a balance. A balance of both worlds; I can be a part of the hearing world, but I can also be a part of the silent.

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Hen and Chicks: Though it was two years ago, I still smile in delight when remembering this hen providing warmth, shelter, and such a clear sense of home and belonging to her chicks on a finger numbing morning in SW Utah. This image is one simple definition of community - a circle [of feathers] that opens to receive us.

Hen and Chicks:
Though it was two years ago, I still smile in delight when remembering this hen providing warmth, shelter, and such a clear sense of home and belonging to her chicks on a finger numbing morning in SW Utah. This image is one simple definition of community – a circle [of feathers] that opens to receive us.
- Laurie Kigner

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BALANCE: the practice of grace

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

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Like the famous landmark, Balance Rock, in Arches National Park in southern Utah, we all need to have balance and to be able to withstand all kinds of assaults to that balance (wind, rain, hot, cold, etc). And if we can keep grounded – if even on a pillar of rock – we can keep balanced and be an inspiration to others.
- Ken Stewart

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Grace by Don Lifto
To save or be saved?
Healing balm, salvation’s grace
(It’s not about me!)

 

The Haiku above contains two emotive and spiritual words –generally understood, but uttered infrequently in every-day conversation:  grace and balm.  In referencing the Merriam-Online Dictionary, it is interesting that it is the second meanings for both words, not the primary definitions, which speak to us from the seventeen beats of the Haiku.  The technical definition of balm is an oily, pleasant smelling substance from specific tropical trees used to heal or protect the skin.  The literal meaning of grace, on the other hand, describes the elegance of movement as in a beautiful dance.

The secondary meaning of balm speaks to the powerful soul medicine of comfort, soothing, relief, succor and the salve of soul healing for a troubled spirt (whether your’ s or someone else’s).  The alternate meaning of grace, on the other hand, embodies the generous, free and underserved good will and favor of God. (or spirit)  In combination, balm and grace are the building blocks and mortar of a spiritual soul grith – always possible to give and receive, albeit sometimes just out of reach like a dessert mirage or shrouded and unrecognizable through the lenses of life’s circumstances.

The parenthetical reference in the third line of the Haiku (It’s not about me!) is a reference to a comment by Kate Christopher, who was a member of what I affectionately coined my “UU Kumbaya Group” at the White Bear Lake Unitarian Universalist Church where we attend.  The Sharing Circles model, which I was a part of in 2013, is small groups that get together monthly to explore spiritual themes within the context of the church’s principles in general, and more particularly the monthly themes throughout the year.  Kate’s (It’s not about me!) reflection was her reminder that to be the source of balm and grace one must focus on the needs of others rather than how particular situations or behaviors are affecting (or inconveniencing) us.

The antonyms for balm and absence of grace include such words as grief, desperation, exacerbation and misery.  The reservoir to provide balm and grace is only limited by the capacity (and regeneration) of our hearts and courage.  The capacity to accept these salves of soul healing requires a willingness to break one’s heart open in order to make space for love.  Or as Dar Williams reminds us in his song, “Every time you love just a little/Take one step closer to solving a riddle/It echoes all over the world.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XEOVl875d0

May it be so.

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The Epitome of Grace by Peggy Ludtke

I looked up at the fast rolling clouds hoping to catch at least a glimpse of the solar eclipse and was graced instead with a raindrop landing on my forehead. My expectations for the once in the lifetime event  were literally called on account of rain; Instead of witnessing an astrological phenomenon, I got grace. Grace, in this case rain, is what happens when I go after what I think I want but get something else. Grace is the consolation prize.

I have come to understand  that grace needs hurt, disappointment or at the very least something unexpected before it arrives and then only if I am  broken open enough to receive it. More poetically put, grace is the light that shines through the brokenness whether it’s a matter of a broken spirit, a broken dream, or a broken heart. Put one more way in a baby boomer context, it is like the chorus in that Rolling Stone song, You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need. (Aka, grace.)

Broken in spirit since the November election, and searching for something to counter or fill in at least a crack or two,  I started volunteering at Valley Outreach, the food shelf in Stillwater. I am a front desk volunteer which means for a couple of hours each week, I answer the phone, process food and clothing donations,  occasionally call homebound clients to remind them a food delivery will be coming to them later in the week.

When I am not there, other volunteers do this same front desk gig, and when there isn’t a volunteer, one of the paid staff sits at the desk and does these tasks as well as their other duties. In other words, the front desk is always filled whether I am there or not.

Am I making a difference? It is difficult to argue that I am since the good work Valley Outreach does goes on whether I volunteer or not.  I am not sure why I picked such an obtuse way to take to task and fight against the current mean political climate.  It is definitely a roundabout way to combat a government bent against rather than for all the people. I won’t try to explain my actions, although I have heard volunteering and donating are way up since November.  I will say that what I’ve witnessed in the process of my volunteering is the epitome of grace.

From the front desk, I  watch need and generosity intersect. Anyone who walks in and says they need food, will be given an emergency bag of groceries no questions asked, no proof of necessity or citizenship required. Perhaps because of the name Outreach, or simply the reputation it has, people come in asking for help finding housing or paying their bills too. Always they are met with respect, and either helped with what they need or directed to another service.

Then there is the other side of the graceful equation: generosity. During my two hour shift,  a fairly constant stream of people back up their cars to unload garden produce, can goods,non perishables and clothing. The front bins are always full and the back rooms overflow with benevolence. There are hundreds of volunteers that come here to help out with sorting and organizing this too. I know because I alphabetize their name tags when I am not busy with other meet and greet tasks at the front desk.

From the front desk, I witness this dance of goodwill, and even though this is not what I expected to get out of volunteering at Valley Outreach, this is the symmetry, the grace that goes on here.  V.O. is a good place resisting the meanness that is going on in the world. Looking expectantly for something else, I suppose a chance to make a difference, it is the splash of a raindrop reminding me the world needs this too.

Grace will take you places hustling can’t.– Elizabeth Gilbert

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This tree has been precariously balanced on the edge of a cliff - for decades or maybe centuries - pummeled and graced with the forces of nature. This brings to mind a conversation in which these words were shared: 'Grace is a gift and an invitation into the unexpected. We give up all control of balance and in the giving up, in allowing one's self to surrender, we find balance.'

This tree has been precariously balanced on the edge of a cliff – for decades or maybe centuries – pummeled and graced with the forces of nature. This brings to mind a conversation in which these words were shared: ‘Grace is a gift and an invitation into the unexpected. We give up all control of balance and in the giving up, in allowing one’s self to surrender, we find balance.’
-Laurie Kigner

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Balanced Rocks
Who stacked these rocks?
How did they do it?
Joyfully placed
Imperfect stones
Did they know that tree branches break?
Or that deer run these woods?
“Quick!” they holler,
Take a picture.
-Jennifer Miller

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A marsh wren in delicate balance. - Ellen Lowery

A marsh wren in delicate balance.
- Ellen Lowery

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Balance: A Deaf Perspective by Tehya Daniels

I am going to tell you a story. This is a story about an identity crisis that I had last year. As I have explored what it means to be balanced, I have realized that this crisis was caused by an imbalance of sorts. Before I begin, you have to understand something about me- I am Deaf, and use a cochlear implant on my left ear to hear. Without the implant, I cannot hear anything. I was born hearing, but I have a genetic disorder that caused my hearing to progressively go down. My parents, knowingly, started to teach me American Sign Language (ASL) as a baby. I knew over 60 signs before I could talk. As my speech developed, I started to use ASL less and less. When my hearing dropped for the first time when I was two, my speech skills were already flourishing. By the time I was four, most of my hearing had been lost, and I was implanted.

For the rest of my childhood, ASL became the language I knew little about, and it became the culture I could be a part of, but never was. The extent of our ASL use became the small signs here and there that we used when I was swimming, and had to take my implant off.

When I started high school last year, I enrolled in the ASL One class for my language credit. My teacher, who taught hearing students, was Deaf. In this class, I learned so much about Deaf culture, and what it meant to be Deaf. I started to have feelings of resentment towards my parents for not completely exposing me to this new world in the Deaf culture.

At this time, I was also the “new kid” at school. Before ninth grade, I had gone to a private school. For high school, I had to start over, and make new friends. Because I am shy, I struggled to connect with people. I blamed my inability to connect with people on my hearing: I struggled to hear people, so THAT was why I felt so alone. I started to question my role in the “hearing world.” I sought comfort and friendship in the Deaf world.

The first time I went to an all Deaf event, I was extremely nervous. People were signing everywhere. Because I was still an ASL beginner, I felt lost. I felt alone in a crowd of people who were very similar to me. I was extremely upset. In the hearing world, I struggled to hear. In the silent world, I struggled to sign. I could not win. At this moment, I vowed to become fluent in ASL. If there was nothing to do about my hearing ability, at least I could improve my ability to sign, and be able to easily communicate in at least one world.

For the first few months of school, as I learned more about the Deaf community, I planned to grow up, become fluent in sign language, take my implant off forever, and never speak or hear again. I had so much anger trapped inside me. Anger against my parents, anger against myself, anger at the universe for making me have to deal with my situation. I felt as though I had to chose between the hearing world and the silent world. I made a pro-con list: How would my life be affected if I were to take off my implant for good? I realized that my life is based on my interactions with the hearing world. All my friends are hearing. I listen to music, I love movie sound effects, I love the sound of the ocean waves lapping on the shore. I love the sound of leaves in the fall, the silence of winter, the humming mosquitoes in summer. I realized I need sound in my life. Sound is present in all of my memories. There was only one thing I was forgetting; I am Deaf. I can’t hear song lyrics, I can’t hear the ocean while I am swimming in it, I can’t hear people when they turn away from me. I am Deaf. I realized, that although I needed the hearing world, I needed something else too- something only the Deaf world could provide. A common bond with the Deaf community- we all struggle to hear in a LOUD environment.

Last year, all of these thoughts were constantly running through my head. Now, looking back, I have come to the conclusion that I need to have a balance. A balance of both worlds; I can be a part of the hearing world, but I can also be a part of the silent.

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Baking

Take cupsful of light
Sifting off a blue jay’s wing
Toss briefly with morning coffee,
Then remove yourself
To the measured sounds of traffic, and
Winter crisping beneath
Your boots, add
Children’s voices,
And liquid smells—
Exhaust from buses,
Dirty hair
Chicken for lunch.
Words flow everywhere–liters–gallons
So much to choose from–
Rhymes of hat and bat and cat.
First grade things…
Numbers adding up to cookies.
Stories in books, on shelves,
The disarray from 500 bodies
Using 1000 hands to choose or reject.
Didn’t their mothers teach them anything
But conflict?
If I could I would feed them all a poem.
Fearless life in 200 words or less–
No angry streets, no guns, no absent parents.
But Mark says,
“I’m throwing it away. Teacher, look at me.
I’m throwing it away.”
Can I save him?
He’s only seven.

Fold him in gently, try again.
Words can heal,
Love can mend,
Giving up is not an option.

Thank God for bird feeders, sunshine
And coffee in the morning.
-Jean Doolittle

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Gratitude for a Man of Grace
For Tim Stoddart

It’s easy to take Tim’s generosity for granted.
His approachable nature draws us in; his broad
life connections weave us one to another.
Tim is a man of water, a man of movement.
He has spent hundreds of hours kayaking lakes and
rivers; he has made meals for the hungry and the hopeful.
We cannot know what it feels like to have these things
taken away too early and face such a challenge.
We can only hope to model his courage and his grace.
-Bill McCarthy

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CELEBRATION: the practice of naming

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

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After picking a handful of wildflowers
later -
Shutting my eyes their beauty is
Still in my head
—Gail Diez
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That Day

Is he alone who has courage on his right hand and faith on his left hand?
Charles Lindbergh

That day is waiting,
Imminently,
Off-stage,
In the wings,
When the mathematics change—
When a given is taken away.

Perhaps they all wanted a nickname,
A moniker, a distinctive sobriquet,
Those changing, giddy adolescent girls
Who gathered at the lunch table
In that small town high school cafeteria.

She wore hers with a jaunty aspect.
Carol became Charlie,
Charlie Lindberg,
The flying ace,
The intrepid adventurer.

Who else would have
A skunk named Artemis?
Who else could twirl the perfect DQ cone,
Or make you laugh just to hear her giggle?
Her face was made for happiness.

But she was more grounded than aloft,
With love of home and church and family;
Chose to be Carol again and never fly
Too far away from roots
Sunk deep in small town soil.

Giddiness fades and high school ends;
Promises of forever are made.
Ties of friendship stretch and fray,
But do not break.

Time
Moves.
Busy with jobs and homes and children
Arthritis and gray hair can approach Unheeded.
Where, you ask, did fifty years go?

I still dream of missing the bus and
Making the honor roll, and
Wondering, will there be a place for me
At the lunch table?
The smell of fish sticks conjures memories.

There is much talk of Heaven
And of hope,
Of faith and coming glory
And God willing, that may be,
But.
No lunch table girl had yet crossed;

Exit stage left.
Second act, perhaps.

That day,
Sadly,
Came too soon.

Jean Doolittle
In honor of classmate and friend
Carol Lindberg Braaten, 1950-2016

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This summer I had the privilege of recording the stories of young people who are experiencing homelessness. Ten youth, aged 16-24, and two case workers, barely older than these youth, came into a make-shift recording studio and spoke the truth of their lives. It was a project of Oasis for Youth, a Bloomington-based organization providing services to youth in southwest Hennepin county who are experiencing homelessness.

Among the youth and staff, ten identify as African American, one Caucasian and one Hispanic. I, a 66-year old white woman from a typical Midwest background, have nothing obvious in common with these young people. Yet, they came with astonishing courage and honesty to give voice to their experience. To name it. That they were willing to do so in my presence is a gift I will treasure always.

They responded to questions such as …
“How did you find out about Oasis?”
“What was happening in your life?”
“What is your greatest worry?”
“What is your greatest joy?”
“How has Oasis helped you?”

Their answers are both completely the same as yours and mine might be, and completely different.

“I was riding the bus and saw the Oasis sign. I wondered what it was, so one day I got off the bus, went in and checked it out.”

“A friend who had been coming to Oasis told me about it. I needed food.”

“For me the biggest thing was housing. When I wasn’t staying with my mom, I was couch-hopping. One time I slept in a park, one night. That was a bad situation. At the end of the day, you never want to worry about where you will sleep. It’s scary.”

“My greatest worry is me flat-lining someday, out on the streets.”

“I often worry about my young guys. I worry that a young person I have been working with will be on the news, being shot.”

“My greatest joy is family.”

“My greatest joy is to be respected, that someone actually cares.”

“I found Oasis, and Oasis lifted me up.”

These youth voices were shared with a generous community who contributed a record amount of money to support Oasis. And, as a community, we celebrated.
—Margo Berg

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A number of years ago, as I was wandering along an evolving path of spiritual discovery and understanding, I began thinking about spiritual traditions and holidays. I grew up in family that observed typical Christian traditions (not that we went to church), and had acknowledged and celebrated such holidays all my life. But I had to admit to myself that Christmas and Easter no longer had any real spiritual meaning for me. I had to admit that I didn’t, in fact, have a true spiritual holiday at all. So I decided to create one. No, that’s not quite right. I decided to try to figure out if there was a day or an event in the year that was significantly spiritual for me. I was going to try to find my spiritual holiday… if I had one.

I began thinking about the year… my annual calendar… the events that happen… but nothing stuck. There was no day or moment that fit. So I starting thinking about when I feel spiritual and if there is a time of year when I feel more so. Then it hit me with great clarity. In the autumn, when the leaves are changing and the air is crisp and smells of… whatever that indescribable fall smell is, and the angle of the sun seems more intense, and the colors of the leave! Oh, the colors! I feel more alive, more connected, more grateful for just existing and being outside. It physically changes me in ways I’ve never been able to explain. It is mysterious, and beautiful. And it is sacred to me… deeply spiritual.

I now celebrate this more deliberately each year. I take time off work. We adorn our house with leaves. We take extended pilgrimages into the woods to worship the leave and breath deep the fall air. I needed a name for it. I tried on several names for size. The one that stuck, and lives with me today as my most sacred time of year is “The Holy Month of October”. Happy Holy Month of October everyone!
— Mark Kotz

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TRUTH: the practice of diving and divining

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

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Photos by Ken Stewart
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YES
For Henry 2012 from Grandma Nancy

maybe
with enough pepper

and after the sandals fall apart
some actual boots

then maybe
the mountain becomes climbable
never mind the coyotes
(they’re  cowardly)
jungle drums will fade
and the blare of sun
will slowly blend
into velvet dark

the purple sax
blues an invitation
to the Yes
that comes
venturing up
over the horizon
from the edge of the world
out of the surf
tall cool and ready
Yes
—Rev Nancy Holden

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This piece includes text from the song “Lao Rahal Soti” by the musician Samih Shqer. The song discusses the fleetingness of the singer juxtaposed to the eternalness of the song within the context of the Palestinian diaspora.As we come together once again this Autumn in the spirit of unity and togetherness, it is essential to remember those who cannot return home. In light of the current refugee crises throughout the world, we must recognize the privilege of returning.
—Hope Safford
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Diving takes us head first into the
Pool

Story

Chaos

Routine

We hold our breath against the

Water

Secrets

Sorrows

Tedium

Divining we find

Ease

Forgiveness

Comfort

Joy

Hope

—Margo Berg

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Spirit: the practice of inhaling and exhaling

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Show Your Soul | 0 comments

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Artwork by Tehya Daniels 

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Too Small

Imagine a proton. Desperately watching the electrons orbit them.
Imagine an atom, buzzing amongst the others.
Imagine an element, trying to make a difference in the world.
Imagine a cell trying to create and preserve life.
Imagine an organ, working with other organs to keep somebody alive.
Imagine a human, working to keep a job.
Imagine a family, trying to comfort each other in the dark of night.
Imagine a village trying to flee the raiders.
Imagine a country trying to flee the raiders.
Imagine a continent trying to get the chaos to cease.
Imagine Earth trying to live, but there are too many opinions.
Imagine Earth, orbiting the sun, stuck on an endless loop.
Imagine the Sun, a small speck of a star, moving through space, with little planets clung to it, holding life.
Imagine the Milky way, controlled by a black hole, where eventually everything will go.
Imagine all the galaxies, destined to someday collide.
Imagine all the universes, and other dimensions, trying desperately to convince themselves they are real.
Imagine the unknown, trying so hard to be found.
Imagine the trillions of unsaid thoughts and ideas floating in space.
Imagine the oh so small humans, trying to find their place.
Imagine the humans that are imagining something bigger.
Imagine a human child, where the littlest thing could be a trigger.
Imagine a teen, trying to be seen,
When really, they are quite small,
With almost no value at all,
Compared to the Sun, and stars.
Whose light shines too bright
For anyone to match.

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Mother Moon

I love the moon
I want to cover it all up with frosting and eat it like it was cake
I love her
and I will give you a piece.
- Delilah Rose, WBUUC R.E. second-grader

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Chalice Reading: Julian Schwendeman

Leon Logothetis, is a man who decided to take an awe inspiring journey across the world with only a yellow motor bike, no money, relying on the kindness of others for food and shelter. He said:

“From a distance the world probably seems like a big bad scary place, if you listen to the news or even ask the person next to you they will likely talk about war, poverty, corruption and hate. And they are right – from a distance. But I believe that up close, there is enough good, enough love and enough pure kindess to make the world go round and that is what inspired my journey.”

This month’s theme is power, and I thought this was a perfect example of how power is being used for good. So I light the chalice today for the power of love and kindness.

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