Sunday, November 13, 2011


O is a circle, a gathering of the like-minded.

C is a dipper that scoops up those it finds in its path.

C is a hook for catching the world's attention. "See?"

U is a vessel into which we pour our hopes for the future.

P is a banner held aloft, above the heads of those willing to follow.

Y is arms lifted to heaven in appeal, lifted as a call to arms, lifted before a crowd first in command and then in victory.


When the tail of the y underlines the word, it's a cradle.

The cradle of a new democracy.

Rock this democracy.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I saw a photo once, of two adults standing in the aisle of a grocery store, facing opposite shelves. Each of them had a small child in a carrier strapped to their back, so the two children faced one another. The children's arms were outstretched, reaching to touch the hands of the other child. One parent and child were white, one parent and child were black. The caption read, "How peace begins."

I like to imagine other pairs of people. A rabbi and an imam. A female soldier in uniform and an Amish housewife in plain dress and bonnet. A white-blond European and an African with skin like ebony. A state trooper and a Mexican laborer. A truck driver and a bicyclist. A lumberjack and a hiker.

Children loving children, not knowing that anywhere in the world there might be parents who would dissuade them from loving the child before them. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

New essays: Clean Talk and NVC, and "The King's Speech" from a Shadow Work point of view

I've just published two new essays to the Shadow Work website.

A Comparison of Clean Talk with Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

The Healthy Warrior in The King's Speech

Both were very fun to write. It's harder for me to find the focus needed for this kind of incisive analysis while I take care of my mother. So it took months longer.

As a result of writing the essay about Clean Talk and NVC, I'm now planning to write a book about Clean Talk, the communications model for conflict resolution that we use in Shadow Work.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


On the topic of trees, written, as with the last entry, at Song Circle, rather longer and more serious than those written by the others. I used to write a lot of poetry when I was in my teens and 20s, and not much since then, and touching back into this form of writing has been wonderful


Trees, so much the bones of my groundedness and my image of God's sheltering presence that they tower over my grabs at their impact on my limited span of time on this earth.

They are not moved by my hot air or windy self-importance, serenely knowing their own poetic justice.

Growing up the child of parents who couldn't nurture themselves or others, I looked to the trees that surrounded our house and dropped their leaves on our green-tiled roof that mimicked the canopy of nature.

Once a tornado jumped high above that roof and kept spinning away eastward. Several of our sheltering circle were laid down like long, still bodies, uprooted but unbroken. One fallen guardian lay a few feet from the house corner bedroom where I slept, but I didn't blame or fear the tree, only the winds, its master. In the gray morning I stood silent to mourn its standing.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing truly, that restores me to faith in life and the palpable sense of God's presence and still quiet of God's voice in my head so much as walking in an old forest. I amble, hands stuck in pockets, sustained by the root systems of trees that drink deep of the water of this and every eternity; I am buoyed by their branches that sway and mutter above me, I am protected by their soft canopy of green or gold or red in season, I am befriended by their tenants the squirrels who leap among their housetops, I am serenaded by cicadas awakened to new life among the creases of bark, I am dazzled by splashes of cardinals in winter.

Trees, the still companions to my solitude, my honored protectors, comforters, walking alongside me without stirring, deeply rooted guides to awareness of earth and time and presence and the gold-drenched fragrance of God's compassion.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fire in Spring

I haven't blogged here often of late because life has been full with care of my elderly mother, who is now on hospice care. Last night at Song Circle, an improvisational singing group led by Gerry and Denise Dignan, each of us wrote about one of the four ancient elements (fire, air, water, earth) for spring and then chanted what we wrote to Gerry's guitar accompaniment. I drew Fire.


Fire in spring, the sun achieving a pale yellow after months in the wanness of frostbit winter, reaching, longing on its way to the golden of summer.
The sun lifting our eyes from sleep minutes earlier each morning as it looks ahead with eagerness to the fullness of summer's longest day.
Fire-warmed air soaking into dark earth to excite seeds and bulbs that sleep beneath the surface.
The ardent sun kissing slender branches, pleasuring the latencies that will sprout to become the darling buds of May and the lustrous leaves of June.
Sun-warmed breezes that tempt the winter-weary children of women and men out from their chill recesses of routine, their reflections in gray windows, from air vacant of the caresses of fragrance, out from the structures made by human hands into the wonder of forests, to the banks of streams and reviving meadows.
Thin sunlight melting snows on the high peaks, liquefying winter to feed the green shoots on riverbanks and baby rabbits huddled out of the chill wind beside massive boulders that wait to fill themselves and radiate with the heat of summer sun.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Practically Shameless" now an e-book for Kindle, iPad, Nook

Practically Shameless is now for sale as an e-book for the Amazon Kindle, the Apple iPad and the Barnes and Noble Nook.

for Amazon Kindle in the US

for Amazon Kindle in the UK

in iBookstore for Apple iPad -- Apple ID is 418821610
ISBN is 9780979832659

Apple's iBookstore sells the iPad version in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France and Germany.

for Barnes and Noble Nook