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Archive for the ‘Thoughts in Passing’ Category

crash-7-16-15

Dipping again into my journals again. This one from 1997

Lists

I Am a friend.
I Am a wondrous woman.
I Am Truth Seeker.
I Am Peacemaker.
I Am Love Giver.
I Am writer.
I Am traveler.
I Am teacher.
I Am Spirit-guided.

I am not possessive.
I am not a secretary.
I am not angry with my brother.
I am not a social butterfly.
I am not a step-daughter.
I am a daughter.

I would like to be an author
with a published book.
I would like to be a person
with a healthy heart and managed weight.
I would like to be someone
who travels around much of the world
with my beloved Tom.

I seek and I learn.
I smile and I listen.
I see light in my elders’ eyes.
I write and people respond.
I laugh in joy and I cry in sorrow.
I pray and receive healing for myself and others.
I take care of me and I am provided for.

I am One with others.
I am happy and I connect with other people.
I know there is Divinity in all.
And knowing that
makes my world
a very good place to be.

 

Aug. 28, 1997   (From Skidmore IWWG summer Writing Conference
Parting is such sweet sorrow, and we’ve done it many times.

Upon leaving this house…..

I take with me
the deep green freshness of the towering pines
the open window to the stars exclaiming
their wonder in the cool black skies
the sweet melodious songs of the birds
perched amid the pine branches
the landscaped blessed with the deep pine green
on a blanket of freshly new-fallen glistening white snow.
I take with me the hallway-formed pine trail
that my collie Bleu and I walked together
on sunny, crisp colorful days, or with raindrops
protected from reaching us under the protective
arch of the pine trees
much like a chapel visit by an aging dog and his human.
I leave him buried here among the pines where
his spirit runs free.
Beloved dog, wondrous woman graced by his being,
precious, furry, friendly  gift in my life.

 

 

 

 

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sue-beach-profile

It is not quiet enough in my life to hear the things I want to say. There is a level of quietness when words, thoughts and ideas rush in like unending ocean waves rolling onto the sandy beach.

Yet, before I can catch them in my pail or collect them like unique and individual sea shells left upon the sand, the tide of daytime with its noise, duties and distractions sends the messages swirling back out to sea.

And I get trapped in the undertow, fearing once more that what is mine to co-create is lost in the vast ocean with only a little hope that perhaps it may visit me again at another time, in another place, on some distant stretch of quiet seashore.

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Advent Post

In Father Jim’s homily on Epiphany this morning, he offered to us that God is always being revealed to us through our experience. Always. In every experience. He said at the time of the birth of Jesus and the Epiphany of revelation at the visit of the three kings, that Mary didn’t know at that time what was being revealed.  What was she doing? She was “holding these things in her heart…..she was pondering these things in her heart“and continued to do so throughout her life.

How could she possibly understand what was happening now? How would she understand what was to come?  How?  She held them in her heart…a true contemplative.

I approach a lot of my life this way now, having just turned the age of 73. There is much going on above, around and through me. I journal, I hold these things in my heart. I feel gladness and joy; I experience pain and tears, uncertainty and fear. But I ponder and I am aware of gratitude for the gift of life and love all around me so freely given.

I love the words and art and spiritual vision of Jan Richardson and I share her poem of Epiphany with you for my first 2016 Napkinwriter blog.

 

For Those Who Have Far to Travel
A Blessing for Epiphany

If you could see
the journey whole,
you might never
undertake it,
might never dare
the first step
that propels you
from the place
you have known
toward the place
you know not.

Call it
one of the mercies
of the road:
that we see it
only by stages
as it opens
before us,
as it comes into
our keeping,
step by
single step.

There is nothing
for it
but to go,
and by our going
take the vows
the pilgrim takes:

to be faithful to
the next step;
to rely on more
than the map;
to heed the signposts
of intuition and dream;
to follow the star
that only you
will recognize;

to keep an open eye
for the wonders that
attend the path;
to press on
beyond distractions,
beyond fatigue,
beyond what would
tempt you
from the way.

There are vows
that only you
will know:
the secret promises
for your particular path
and the new ones
you will need to make
when the road
is revealed
by turns
you could not
have foreseen.

Keep them, break them,
make them again;
each promise becomes
part of the path,
each choice creates
the road
that will take you
to the place
where at last
you will kneel

to offer the gift
most needed—
the gift that only you
can give—
before turning to go
home by
another way.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

“© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com

New from Jan Richardson
CIRCLE OF GRACE: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Within the struggle, joy, pain, and delight that attend our life, there is an invisible circle of grace that enfolds and encompasses us in every moment. Blessings help us to perceive this circle of grace, to find our place of belonging within it, and to receive the strength the circle holds for us. —from the Introduction

Beginning in Advent and moving through the sacred seasons of the Christian year, Circle of Grace offers Jan’s distinctive and poetic blessings that illuminate the treasures each season offers to us. A beautiful gift this Advent and Christmas. Available in print and ebook.

 

 

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Suspended

 

Suspended

Susan Heffron Hajec

From within a grand design
of life’s evolving path
I know within my heart
that one small part
needs me to be complete.

Responding to intention’s call,
I listen for its beat.
Within the wondrous spider’s web
my mandala moves begin.

 

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Liberty2

In admiration of this anonymous veteran I met one day and in respect for all veterans of war, living and passed, I re-blog this post in honor of our Memorial Day Weekend. Be safe and be grateful for these people and the blessings of our country.

I’m Great!

We were sitting in the waiting room of Tom’s Primary Care Physician waiting for a question to be answered when a sprightly  elderly woman came in accompanied by another woman.

“Frances! How are you?” the receptionist greeted her.

“I’m GREAT!” she replied. And you could hear the exclamation point in her voice.

“That’s wonderful, have a seat and we will be with you shortly.”

She went across the room from us, placed her walker beside her and sat down. The other woman, whom I came to guess was a caretaker, not family sat near her.

The woman continued in conversation with her. She talked loudly so the conversation was easily overheard. She started to talk about friends whom she wondered if they were still here or not. It soon became apparent she was talking about a “unit” of friends, so I am thinking she probably served as a Navy nurse.

I was correct. She was talking about the recent memorial they had in Washington for senior vets and about some who got to go there. She knew there was a plaque of her nurse’s unit, aside in a special place with all of their names on it.

“I would have liked to have seen that,” she said.

Two more people greeted her while we were there, asking her how she was. And each time she replied enthusiastically and confidently, “I’m GREAT.”

She said she tried to keep tabs on her old friends but that now most of them were gone. “I’m 97 and so there are not many left, but I’d like to know,” she said.

Her youngest nephew is 76 so he was not “doing so well that he could keep looking after me” she revealed.

She had called one friend who had been still living independently, but was receiving no answer and she feared her friend was either now in a nursing home or passed on.

This woman brought a noticeable high energy into what feels most often to me a rather complacent, resigned waiting space…..one where we hope the doctor has answers for us and we can feel some measure of relief for what ails us. There did not appear to be too much ailing Frances and I’m pretty sure when she was taken back she also cheered up the professional staff waiting on her.

I thought about my age of seventy-one. I am pretty aware of living into a new decade of my life. I am grateful for each and every day and my present excellent status of health. However, I am also aware that “age is catching up with me”.  I am sometimes surprised of some limitations I did not even know had arrived or was not mindful enough of the fact that I am no “spring chicken” anymore.

But thinking of Frances, I walked out of that doctor’s office with a new mentor in mind. I think I am living the kind of life that, if I am granted the grace of a long life lived on this earth, I also will be able to continue to respond to the query of how I am with:

“I’m just GREAT, thank you.”

I'm Great - Memorial Day

 

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Celebrate Living

I am combining two efforts of late in this writing: to continue writing 50 stories of our 50 years of wedded life and love together and: to share some of the images I’ve been busy with for the 50 days of Resurrection Prayer/Creative Art project through Christine and John Valters Paintner’s Abbey of the Arts and Dancing Monks community. I am having so much fun with the various art images and techniques and word reflections they are offering, that my writing activity has lessened and I’ve just fallen into the fun of color and creation.  So here is the word for today!

LIFE…...”I just want to celebrate another day of living!”

My life is total gift, given by God and a mother who died shortly after my birth. Completely unknown by me for many years, I was raised by a second loving mother, whose God qualities were order, discipline and cleanliness. I loved her too but I yearned for the “hugginess” I knew my birth mother would have given me. All is gift and as I searched and discovered the realness of my birth mother, outside my family, I was given a great gift….from her best friend….who erased doubt and guiltiness from my soul over my birth, her death. She told me my mother rushed to her when she discovered she was pregnant with me and in great excitement told her, “NOW I KNOW the purpose of my LIFE.” Such a great unknown and mystery, erased from my life forever. Mom wanted to give me birth. I celebrate the LIFE and LOVE I have in my family life of husband, children and grandchildren. My mother’s life and love and purpose carries on through them.

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Even though this story begins before our marriage, indeed at my very birth, the story carried on well into our marriage and Tom supported me deeply as I put the pieces of my known and unknown heritage together.  Nothing much was said during my growing up years of my birth and my birth mother’s death immediately following.

Aunt Resh2Diane Tanberg, cousin (far right)…..My birth TANBERG side

After the birth of our first daughter, Laura, my mother’s presence to me was unmistakeable, and I set about finding out the details of my birth history, mostly through my cousin Diane on my mother’s side. Also through my mother’s nursing student companion and best friend and maid of honor at her wedding.  The pieces came together over time and through deep seated pain.  It was important to me to add name and photo of Doris into my daughters’ and grandchildren’s baby books.

1969

And this has been done. She is in our family through three more generations. Mom LIVES.

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As a writer, I’ve been told by my much admired mentor that the FIRST story you must write is your mother story. Mine comes in so many layers that it seems it is a kalaidascope of reoccuring glimpses, each one emitting, celebrating or grieving one glimpse of the total.
As for the creative word of the day from Valters Paintner…..LIFE…..I am deeply grateful for mine. I am also aware of the “thin thread” upon which I came into this world and in surviving a difficult birth, that grace was given to me to continue the lineage of Tanberg-Heffron through the very fine, abundant and happy lives of the Hajecs, Warriners, and Mitchells.

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Devereaux - Lift up My SoulImage by Angie Devereux (c)

The words below are not mine but I have copied them from the words of a reading I did during a quiet time meditation. They touched me deeply as I try to apply them to a time in our world where Christians are being persecuted, tortured and killed simply for the act of being Christian. It astounds me that as a young child, I tried to imagine the courage of the martyrs in the early Christian era, being sought after, persecuted and killed.

So many revolutions of the planet later with the passage of more than 2,000 years and the same exists today for millions of people, seeking some safe haven from their own homelands from those who would kill them for being Christian. My heart can hardly hold this.

So I ask myself too, “How is it that we are not living from the center of love?”

From a reflection in the April 2015 Magnificat
“….I believe that we all came from love. That the Love that is All begat us as individualized human love. That we are made in Love’s image and likeness. So I wonder as I look back across the eons of time and into our present times across our planet, “how did we get this so wrong”. How is it that we are not living from a center of love? How is it that it takes great effort and awareness to BE love in our world, in our lives, in our relationships to our loved ones, friends, and strangers?

I believe the most radical religion on earth today is Christianity. It tells us we must love. Its founder, the Christ Jesus lived a life that showed us just how radical this life of Christianity is and designated others to continue the message and the life of a Christian.

Love our enemies? Turn the other cheek? Be not afraid?”
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” John 18:37

“Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid”. John 14:27

Witness of Peace – Pope Benedict XVI

“In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy, and successful human life…Man is made for peace which is God’s gift…In effect, peace presupposes a humanism open to transcendence. It is the fruit of the reciprocal gift of mutual enrichment which has its source in God and enables us to live with others and for others…Peace is the building up of a co-existence in rational and moral terms, based on a foundation whose measure is not created by man, but by God.”

Note from Napkinwriter:

So still, in my life, I am seeking to be this radical person of love in my personal life, believing that somehow, along with my prayers, that my tiny contribution will somehow send a tiny ripple out to touch the larger world…..that I can plant a seed…..that this seed will not fall upon rock….that it will bear the fruit of love from an enriched soil and a plant that regularly bears “pruning back” and speaking and acting only from a radical love that serves its highest purpose.

Lofty? Perhaps. Attainable? On some days. Worthy goal? Absolutely. Covered with grace by the Benedictine precept of……Each Day, We Begin Again.

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