Wisdom: the practice of unknowing


Known for keen hearing and vision, the owl is associated with wisdom and foresight. Nocturnal and soundless in flight, she could be said to quietly find what is hidden to us,
what is ” just there” as we sleep.
–Ellen Lowery


In Case Family Can Be Found
Always scanning the faces
of people in queues
in case family can be found
at the Dairy Queen
on dollar Blizzard day
or at Target
in the returns lane

Always saying Lovely green beans!
Cute dog!
Ah, Margaret Fuller!
to people
behind tables at the farmers market
on the trail
in church
in case family can be found
behind tables at the farmers market
on the trail
in church

Always stopping to read the bulletin board
in the foyer of the library
in hopes family can be found
between the minutes of the last
city council meeting
and the poster
on the safe disposal of sharps
–Katharine Holden



This is the gift you receive when you have the wisdom to patiently wait out the long cold winter in Minnesota – a lovely early Spring flower called Hepatica.
–Gail Diez



The Catholic Church Leading Us Away
from “Just War Theory” and WBUUC Was There

One of the definitions of “to know” is to “be absolutely certain or sure about something”.  What we think we know is that to be secure in conditions of armed conflict, one must have a weapon.  Whatever our doctrine or belief system says about love thy neighbor, nonviolence, respect for others, or forgiveness, we still hold to the belief that a weapon keeps us safe.  We are not of course the aggressor, but practice arming ourselves “just” to be safe.

The doctrine of “just war” held by the Catholic Church and practiced by governments claiming other religious faiths has just been liberated.

That dramatic shift took place as Nonviolent Peaceforce with the handprints of members of WBUUC participated in a commission appointed by Pope Francis in Rome. In recognition of the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, people from many countries gathered at the Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference.

It concluded:

“We believe that there is no “just war”. Too often the “just war theory” has been used to endorse rather than prevent or limit war. Suggesting that a “just war” is possible also undermines the moral imperative to develop tools and capacities for nonviolent transformation of conflict. The time has come for our church to be a living witness and to invest far greater human and financial resources in promoting a spirituality and practice of active nonviolence and in forming and training our Catholic communities in effective nonviolent practices,” the statement said.

“In that spirit we commit ourselves to furthering Catholic understanding and practice of active nonviolence on the road to just peace… As would-be disciples of Jesus, challenged and inspired by stories of hope and courage in these days, we call on the Church we love to: “…promote nonviolent practices and strategies (e.g., nonviolent resistance, restorative justice, trauma healing, unarmed civilian protection, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding strategies).”

But it took wisdom: the practice of unknowing…the practice of trust and hope…to support the practice of responding to violence with nonviolence.  And WBUUC was there.    –Ann Frisch




There seems to be some kind of innate wisdom in spiders to be able to make something that is at the same time incredibly practical and exceedingly exquisite.
–Mark Kotz


Always Take Love
when someone reaches out a hand
take it and do not feel unworthy
always take love when it is offered
it may be a life-saving event

when you are down reach out to a friend
you never know which one will reach back
always reach out for love when in need
you may change where you are going

someone smiles at you with kindness
let the kindness fill your heart with joy
always let love in when it shows up
you never know when you will need that joy

when you think that life has nothing more to offer
smile at a child who may need a smile to cheer them up
always seek out those you can bring you love and joy at no cost
for they will return much more to you than you gave to them

when you reach out your hand to offer love and kindness
remember the times when someone reached out to you
always give love when you are able to
you never know when you will change someone’s life even your own
–Michael Kullik


“If the sun and moon should doubt, they’d immediately go out”1
This too shall pass
Paper plates & napkins, plastic utensils
Be yourself
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”2
It gets better
Don’t run on ice
Ask for help
Breathe in, breathe out, repeat
Love always trumps hate
Check ALL outlets before working with electrical wiring
Don’t spit into the wind
One day (or minute or second) at a time
Mama spit is the best solvent
Babies can’t fall off of the floor
Recognize, acknowledge, release
Angels (and superheroes) walk among us
“Do one thing every day which scares you”3
We are all broken and beloved
Ice cream is good for sprained ankles
“Every rose has its thorn”4
–Sieglinde Waller

1Robert Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”
3Eleanor Roosevelt