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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

 

This was a picture waiting to happen. We were having a wonderful visit with Lois in the woods in her cabin on Lois Lane in upper New York state near the Fingers Lake area.  We had been neighbors for a brief time in Newton, North Carolina. Lois and I walked the street together on occasion and she always came up with charming, if a bit surprising, tidbits to share.

We still keep in touch, particularly around big sports events, where Lois faithfully waves the Notre Dame flag and colors and checks in with us on how the mighty Green and White are doing.

The table above, was placed near her kitchen window, overlooking a wide green expanse to the back of her property. It was very common to see the deer come from the woods into the open space and even play together before retreating. I believe Lois sent Tom and me  on a journey to dump some feed back there for them among the natural foliage.

A healthy start to the new day — coffee, an apple, a pair of specs to read the Good Word.  I am pretty sure she still does this.

 

 

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I believe it was the Dali Lama who said that kindness was his religion. On Sunday, the dismissal hymn was “And they’ll know we are Christian by our love, by our love. And they will know we are Christian by our love.”

Will they? It is up to our and how we choose to share ourselves in the world, a world so much in need of kindness.  Mother Teresa said, “Christ has no hands but ours.” I look to see what my hands are doing.

Pema Chodron is a favorite author and spiritual influence upon this Christian. Her Zen Buddhist way of life and teaching indeed teach me much. I particularly like her book, “When Things Fall Apart.” The title was a shoo-in for me when I ordered it off Amazon.com.  Things were pretty much falling apart for me at that time. I found it and my Christian prayers both to be way-showers for me.

“Be kinder to YOURSELF.  How frequently I need that reminder. For kindness cannot flood into my world when I an unkind toward myself.

“Her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.” That continues to be a guiding scripture for me. I am That I am.

 

 

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beautiful-moon

Napkinwriter is wishing my readers, family members and friends NEWNESS in your day……exciting STARTS in creativity, spirituality, kindness and wondrous living in your lives and in our world.   PEACE BE in 2017.

 

“Start Close In”
by David Whyte

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

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newton-nc-door

 

We have moved and lived in a lot of houses over the years. Our home in Newton, NC had the prettiest front door we have ever had. It was built by a man, who lived across the street from us, and he and his wife became our good friends, Terry and Judy Rhead. Neighbor friends on our other side of us Lois and Jim, — the six of us were a little neighborhood in our own. Terry and Judy’s back yard looked like an English garden. None of us are in that neighborhood anymore. Jim and Lois moved back to Jim’s home town of Cleveland Ohio where he passed from cancer. Terry and Judy are back in Terry’s homeland of Wales. We hope to visit them there one day. And Lois moved back to her home in Upper State NY where she carries on ministry work and tells the next best joke she knows. What a nice little slice of life that was for us.

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lucretias-first-sc

 

Lucretia’s Poem
                     Susan Heffron Hajec

She is the one.

She is one who has traveled
to be with friend.

She is one who opens
to grace in the day.

She is one who lives the grief
of her earthly loss of her love partner
who has traveled on.

She is the one.

She is one whose curiosity awakens
the glory of God in her surroundings
inside and in the landscapes of land and sea.

She is one who hears happiness and remembrance
in songs of long ago that touched her heart and spirit.

She is one whose girlish giggle
fits her womanly presence.

She is one who sight of tulips
brings instant connection to her love.

She is the one.

She is the one who laughs, sees, and
both understands, yet questions

The many mysteries of life and death
love and loss, family ties and

The sacredness of ancestor roots,
and spiritual truths and traditions
passed down through generations.
She is the One.

jude-and-lucretia-wedding

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labyrinth cardinals

 

Good morning, Duane. I have a pair of cardinals for you today in honor of you and Marsha. They visit us frequently although I did not take this picture. But it looks like they are on our labyrinth arch. Tom and I walked the large labyrinth in the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France in 2000.

IMG_7764

A labyrinth is a quiet space….a sacred path….a metaphor for life….with its turns and circling….but the one path it has is never blocked, as in a maze….no, the one path leads always to the center, where God resides with his gifts…..and all the way in while you are on the path you can let go, accept and take your journey one step at a time, watching your feet place one foot in front of the other, and TRUSTING your Divine Companion is with you all the way.

Tom helped me build our labyrinth in the back yard. I will walk it for your intentions of healing.

IMG_7776

 

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backyard sunset

A repost from Napkinwriter  September 19, 2015
I dedicate this to my friends, Duane and Marsha English
Duke, there are too many questions here, but we can make up the next step together, for I am along side of you.
Which question do you want to take on?
Where is Home? 
Lately, I’ve been involved in such a little matter of making order out of my little room where I spend creative time and energies when I write, draw, doodle, meditate or search the web.

Meanwhile all around me on a world-wide scale, millions of people are trying to make order of their lives, finding most of it destroyed by the violence of the human race or the ravishing energies of natural fires and disasters. Innocent people and their families are victims of random singular acts of violence; the threat of terrorism is ever-present. Whole nations are seeking new ground and new life in a setting which doesn’t threaten their daily way of life.

The sheer numbers are stunning and tend to make me feel like a sideline observer.

Yet, there is a call within that tells me I am a “companion on the journey”. That somehow, even in my own simplified and scaled down life, I walk with these others in compassion, in prayer, in belief and hope they  and all of us shall somehow be renewed. But just how do I “do something”?  Aren’t there many of us wondering that? Are there large needs that need to be fulfilled by small people or…..are there small needs that need to be fulfilled by large people?

Alfred Delp, who was a German Jesuit Catholic priest condemned to death by the Nazis in Berlin, believed and said we need to be men and women who are fulfilled. That faith is the path to fullness. “Fulfilled men and women are not pious caricatures,” he said. “They are people who are genuinely impregnated with the spirit of their calling, people who have prayed with all sincerity: make my heart like unto thine.”

In the midst of the destructiveness, pain and suffering of the Nazi power-driven and mad regime, he called people to have willing hearts that beat with compassion and return to the ideal of….service.  He defined this as meeting people on their own ground, in all circumstances, with a view to helping to master the challenges at hand. “That means walking by his side, accompanying him even into the depth of degradation and misery. Go forth, our Lord said — do not sit around and wait for someone to come to you.”

Why do bad things happen to good people? This is the eternal mystery.  Psalm 33 explores it. “The designs of his Heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death and to keep them alive….” The promise is held in Jeremiah 29;  “I know well the plans, I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.”

Today, I received a reminder in my email from Betty Lue Lieber, who resides and works in the midst of the endangered California forests burning right now. She has been supplying reminders on a daily basis for ever so long, but today’s reminder speaks right to being a person fulfilled and one dedicated to service. I share some of her words here.

Thursday, Sept. 17 at 4PM
From Betty Lue.

Robert and I have been living in Hidden Valley Lake, our Reunion Lake House, for over five years.
We also have a holistic counseling and healing center, Reunion ReSource Center, in Middletown.
We have a Reunion Community Room for everyone in Middletown and surrounding area to use.

We have been very fortunate during these wildfires with everything still standing.
Many of our friends and neighbors have lost everything.
As soon as the highway opens with electricity and water available, we will return to be helpful.

Many are grieving the losses.
Some are already conceiving the rebuilding.
We are believing together it can and will be done.
We appreciate good thoughts, help and support.

Blessings multiply with gratitude and Love.
Betty Lue

Update on the Wildfires in Lake County.

Valley fire
(as of Thursday, 8 a.m.)
·       73,700 acres burned
·       35% contained
·       13,000 people displaced
·       7,650 structures threatened
·       585 homes, hundreds of other buildings destroyed
·       3,580 fire workers
·       4 injured firefighters
·       3 confirmed deaths
Butte fire (as of Thursday, 11:30 a.m.)
·       70,760 acres burned
·       49% contained
·       10,000 people initially displaced
·       6,400 structures threatened
·       252 homes, 188 outbuildings destroyed
·       4,403 fire workers
·       2 confirmed deaths

What Can You Do?
For the thousands displaced by the wildfires and so much more around the world!

What Can You Do?
What Can I Do?
What Can We Do?

When we want to be helpful, what can we do?
When we don’t know what to do, how can we help?
When things are unknown or unclear, what can we do?
When caught in confusion, conflict and concern, what can we do?

When we feel hurt and frightened, what can we do?
When we are lost and alone, what can we do?
When we feel disconnected and separate, what can we do?
When in grief and without comfort, what can we do?

We can let the tears fall to wash away the hopelessness.
We can sing a song of comfort to soothe the pain and sorrow.
We can breathe in inspiration and seek some revelation.
We can write a poem and draw a picture to begin to create anew.

There is always something we can do.
We can give thanks for everything we have.
We can watch the sunrise and feel blessed.
We can let go and flow with what seems to be needed.

We can do what is valuable.
We can forgive and erase what is not.
We can make up our own next step.
We can give what we have to feel good.

We can tell stories of hope and faith.
We can remind ourselves to be kind.
We can reassure those who are worried.
We can give what we want to receive.

We can build a new world of possibility.
We can seek inner guidance and outer information.
We can share the best we know with others.
We can give thanks we can do something good.

We can remind ourselves, we can do what we choose.
We can encourage those around us.
We can care deeply for those who are lost, depressed and confused.
We can do the work to repair, rebuild and renew.

I am with you in Love, trust, support and encouragement.
We can, because we are willing.
Betty Lue.

Because I am willing and because I live as a fulfilled person, today what I can do that matters is to encourage anyone in my surroundings today in whatever way I can. One of the ways I encourage is to write Napkinwriter and remain faithful to the writing of it. Does it put out the flames? I don’t know but I write in the faith that my words matter.

I can care deeply for those who feel lost, depressed and confused. I can also pay particular attention to and offer myself loving kindness when I feel those things.

I can always work to repair, rebuild and renew that which provides fullness in my own life and what touches others.

That’s a pretty complete TO DO list for today. I can always begin again tomorrow.

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