ON the Road to Calm

February 28, 2020

“. . . when the Light of the World shattered, it fell into all events 

and all people, past, present, and future. . . . We are here to find the hidden light in all people . . .

it is not about doing something huge . . . it is about healing the world that touches you.”

- Rachel Naomi Remen, quoting her grandfather -

I’ve been feeling a great grief in the air, laced with anger and melancholy. Visiting our property today, the first line of this poem began singing in my head. The saguaros stood rooted with arms outstretched. The line kept singing, then turned into this poem. 

May we find the compassion, strength, and wis...

July 27, 2019

let go of your hold 

to your former selves 

allow the river to carry you 

this new trust 

is the undercurrent 

holding up your bones 

float 

- AKU_MATU* -

Four months have passed since I’ve written a blog. I found myself having nothing to write, as I took the March blog’s quote to heart and let the river of life carry me, trusting that my bones would be held and that I would indeed float.

I can’t say the last four months were easy. The turbulence was strong, and from what I’ve heard from friends and can sense in the air and in others’ eyes, I don’t imagine it’s been so calm for many of you either. 

Yet allowing myself to trust...

March 2, 2017

I am short on words today after handing in The Book of Calm manuscript to my publisher this week, and am sharing others' words to express what I have been thinking and feeling during February (and here it is, March). They are wise words, thoughts to ponder and consider, to compassionately embody during these paradoxically turbulent and grace-filled times.  

First is a line from the movie Arrival, spoken by the main character Louise:

"Despite knowing the journey, and where it leads, I embrace every moment of it."

Second is a poem by Mark Nepo from his new book, The Way Under the Way:

Things No One Asks About

...

January 30, 2017

Querencia comes from the Spanish verb “querer” — to desire.

           

Querencia speaks of a safe place, where I gather strength, and therefore become stronger. Where suddenly remembering my true character in the midst of noise and confusion, I speak and act from that knowing. 

Querencia is the palpable, bone-tingling sense of "I'm home" that envelopes me in places as diverse as sitting at my dining room table, walking barefoot at the edge of the ocean, and hearing cello music in any form. It is also sometimes interpreted as "nest" — a place of retreat and reju...

March 23, 2016

 

“A mystic is anyone who has the gnawing suspicion that the apparent discord, brokenness, contradictions and discontinuities

that assault us everyday might conceal a hidden unity.”

– Lawrence Kushner*

 

Stories, in the form of long-held beliefs, thoughts and behaviors, have fascinated me for many years, and lately I’ve been watching how some of my own stories have faded away like smoke disappearing on the wind, and how others seem to have a half-life similar to nuclear material. The last few weeks I’ve been touched and inspired by mind-stretching information about the extent of our cultural stories, an interview about t...

December 29, 2015

 “We must risk delight…We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.” - Jack Gilbert, from Refusing Heaven

 

At the beach last week I was struck by how glad I was to be in the company of ocean, palm trees, clouds, sunrises, and sunsets. My bones relished the heat and humidity. I marveled at the way pelicans flew in such graceful formation, swooping low over the crests of waves looking for the next meal, the persistence with which the egrets fished the tide pools, the treasures of multi-colored rocks like jewels offered up from geologic depths.

 

I was also reading the eye-open...

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". . . as necessary for

today as breath . . ."

The Gift of In-the-Moment Connections

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NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE