a lost compass.jpg

Where did I put myself?
Surely, if I run around
Peeking under every thought or action
Second guessing every move,
Surely, I will uncover my true self.

But, no,
Instead, the empty box remains empty.
All the busyness is just a desperate attempt
To fill the void and distract the mind.
There is still no substance, there.

The more I fuss and fuddle
The more I do and do
The more I hide behind the masks of effort
The less my heart is sure
The less my soul is true.

So, finally, I fall exhausted in a heap.
Relieved, at least, there is a me to fall.
(At least, I think so … let me look.)
Have I managed to erase myself
Instead of just hiding my mistakes?

The perfect me is a fiction.
Even the efforts to be a better me
Fall useless to the ground.
Only this befuddled, messy me is left.
Yet, turns out, that is the me you love.

It is the real me
The one I keep losing under the mess
The one that I try to deny or fix
That is the one you hold within your heart.
And in that holding I am made whole.

Thank you.
Thank you.
If you love me
Maybe I can love me, too.
And then true transformation can begin.

[photo by Observe The Banana per cc 2.0]

too much intensity

barbed wire

Is your jaw tight?
Is your heart clinched around fear?
Is there a knot in the core of your being?

I know.
Me, too.

So, today I will set a different intention.
I will look for opportunities to smile.
I will listen for the kind laughter of friends.

I will release the world to the care of the Holy One
And step into the flow of grace.

All I have to do, is force myself to relax.
Arrrgh! …. Oh! Ahhhh!

[photo by Thomas Hawk per cc 2.0]


There in the midst of goblins and glitter,
There where shy eyes peek out behind scary masks,
There where audacious personas dance with secret dreams,
There you are.

On this day you pick your fantasy
Or face your fears in your own mirror.
There is more to us than school uniforms or suit coats.
Isn’t it interesting what can be revealed by a mask?

And isn’t it a wonder, a gift of grace,
That all the strange variety of life,
Can knock on our doors this night,
And we smile and give candy and well wishes.

[photo is my own]

There are no words …

quiet wordless beauty.jpg

There are times when words won’t do.
In the face of great beauty or great loss,
Words show their frailty,
Their ragged edges fraying in the wind.

We clasp our hands across our mouths
When we encounter horror.
Or wonder.
It is all too big for words; for us.

So, it should not be a surprise
When we discover
That no words can capture God.
(A turn of phrase that makes it doubly clear.)

Words are a wonderful gift,
Helping us scoop meaning from the soup of life,
But they are not enough, not enough, to hold it all.

And so, when words fail,
I hope to stop the struggle to find them,
And, instead, let myself be found,
Snuggled worldessly within your arms.


[photo by Wade Brooks per cc 2.0]

The question

The question is not whether you will fall … or fail … or get it all wrong … or totally screw up.

The question is whether you will get up and try again.

That is faithfulness.

That is faith.

Like a little child.

[photo is my own]

the space between the words

whispered wisdomSometimes, in reading other’s words, a phrase rings so very true that it expands my soul and feeds my journey. For me, these are among the ‘thin places’ that the Celts acknowledged – places where the space between the mundane and the holy is whisper thin.

I hope they will brush your soul with grace, and, perhaps, stir us all to action, as well.

Here’s an addition to this collection, added 1/17/19:

Matt Fitzgerald.png

“Let beauty be beauty, don’t worship it. Let your family be your family, don’t expect everything from them. Let work be work, don’t let it define you. Let our nation be our nation, not something to kill for.

Let life be what it is: a beautiful gift full of trouble, days of joy and contradiction, expiring in our hands. Life isn’t everything. We shouldn’t try to wring eternity from existence.”  – Matt Fitzgerald [as posted here]

Image of Franz Kafka

Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts, Franz Kafka – [as quoted here by Maria Popova – photo by per cc 2.0]

Hannah BonnerTears were not weakness when falling from her eyes, they were what courage looks like when it takes a minute to breathe.” [Hannah Bonner-photo and quote used with permission]

Frederick Buechner

One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” – Frederick Buechner; photo by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

photo of Richard RohrJesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” – Richard Rohr – [Image cropped from photo by Festival of Faiths per cc 2.0]

[From time to time I will add to this collection, placing the new phrase at the top of the list.]  [photo at the top of the post by Pearl Pirie per cc 2.0]