ON the Road to Calm

June 1, 2020

". . . trust depth and darkness, 

then flower."

- Bonnie Thurston -

Darkness, anger, and deep, huge sorrow are swirling alongside incomprehensible deaths and violence. As a writer and a human being, I am at a loss for words despite feeling pulled to speak. 

Yet I found words to share today, written four years ago in The Book of Calm, when whole paragraphs flowed out to honor  "una herida del alma" — a wound of the soul, what we feel below numbness and anger and disbelief.

 "Sorrow lives here with its silences and wails, the excruciating suddenness or slowness of someone or something disappearing, and it...

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...

March 25, 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* -

Since last month's blog we've traveled a big circle from Colorado to Arizona to California and back again, heading for the southern deserts to escape cold weather and meet up with friends. Soaking up the warmth for a few days, two days of big rain and the sight of the Tucson valley ringed by snow-topped mountains surprised our heat-seeking bodies. With the return of the sun the deserts erupted into brilliant spring blooms cascading down hillsides and blanketing valley floors....

February 19, 2019

on morning walk wind 

nips at ears, whispering of 

snow, a broken branch -

Last week I attended a program called 500 Years of Haiku at Upaya Zen Center. Natalie Goldberg and Clark Strand were teaching, two important mentors in my writing life through their respective books, Writing Down the Bones and Seeds From a Birch Tree. I was craving quiet and inspiration. New to group meditation, I was surprised by the silence of seventy people within one room, the way it opened up a river of quiet that I gladly let sweep me down its soft current. There was bowing on entering and leaving the zendo, also before sitting dow...

January 25, 2019

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance…" 

- William Hutchinson Murray (1913-1996), 

from his book The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.

A friend wrote a...

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". . . as necessary for

today as breath . . ."

The Gift of In-the-Moment Connections

July 22, 2020

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NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE