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“Good grief, Charlie Brown,” says Lucy many times over in frustration of their childhood antics.” And now in our world, both adults and children are suddenly shot into a world very unfamiliar to us. The coming of the Corona virus is the only thing that is “sudden” about it. Every day, restrictions, losses, and new rules “of being” flood into our day. If we have not lost any family member or friend by now in the fourth week of its rapid spread, we are the lucky ones. Many have and are losing loved ones that  leave many stranded with isolated good-by’s and inexplicable grief.

As much a many are helping the rest of us with upbeat messages, music, innovative ways of “being together, and the promise, that we will go through this together, and we will win over it together, the population of the grieving is building daily.

This poem posted today I think takes this population under her wings of prayer. This truth that now lives amongst us, when contemplated is both complicated and simple. Amid the living, there is much death. Therefore, also much grief.

I do not believe this poem to be a downer. Contemplative Christine Valters Paintner has crafted a very real part of the remnants left in the wake of Covid-19. Last night, I lay awake deep in the night, praying rosaries for #1 those “at the hour of my death. Amen”, as repeated over and over in the Hail Mary prayer who are in that hour as I prayed. Between the Hail Mary’s, as I slipped the beads through my fingers, I asked Mary and the Mantle of Mary to be so present to give peace to the person dying and to the health care worker closest to the patient, so that a “bond” could exist rather than “aloneness” between them.

And so I also prayed for all health care workers providing the last sense of touch and caring to the dying. What a sacred mission, and with whatever feelings I had during prayer, I just sunk into that reality alone—and left all the outer world (our world) changes and hopes, and losses alone for the moment. It was the dying and their families, and the endless effort of the professional caregivers I put into the sanctuary of my prayers. No, grief, and perhaps even rage, is not to be ignored; it is all around us and through us.

This is an invitation to rest in the space of grieving for all that is being lost right now, before we try to “make meaning” from it all.  Yes we must claim grace and gratitude, but let’s not bypass sorrow.

*In a Dark Time*
Christine Valters Paintner

Do not rush to make meaning.
When you smile and say what purpose
this all serves, you deny grief
a room inside you,
you turn from thousands who cross
into the Great Night alone,
from mourners aching to press
one last time against the warm
flesh of their beloved,
from the wailing that echoes
in the empty room.

When you proclaim who caused this,
I say pause, rest in the dark silence
first before you contort your words
to fill the hollowed out cave,
remember the soil will one day
receive you back too.

Sit where sense has vanished,
control has slipped away,
with futures unravelled,
where every drink tastes bitter
despite our thirst.

When you wish to give a name
to that which haunts us,
you refuse to sit
with the woman who walks
the hospital hallway, hears
the beeping stop again and again,
with the man perched on a bridge
over the rushing river.

Do not let your handful of light
sting the eyes of those
who have bathed in darkness.
—Christine Valters Paintner

 

When I studied SpringForest QiGong with Master Chunyi Linn, he gave us a very beautiful meditative and healing verse to repeat:

“I am in the Universe.
The Universe is in my body.
The Universe and I combine together.”

 

So there are many spiritual and faith traditions and ancient learning that come from long ago that teach us to know there is union between all. I and the Universe are One. In God, there is only One. In God, I live and move and have my being. The Universe lives, moves and breathes as ONE.
I just recently caught up with the fact that there is a solar eclipse today on November 13. I was looking forward to this date for another reason.

In December 2011, I, with Sara Houseman, presented three workshops based on the writings and work of Barbara Marx Hubbard at Unity of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The purpose of the meetings were to simply acquaint others with the life and the work and the grand vision Barbara Marx Hubbard had for Conscious Evolution.

She, too, in her pursuit of the “pulse of Evolution” came to the conclusion that there is only One and our earthly time is spent within that One. She has studied the history of Evolution and says whenever crisis and chaos appeared in the chain of evolution, that the species has always moved forward. That has been true, she says, since the time that the first single cell needed to grow into two cells to survive. It did so, and it did it again and again changing species along the evolutionary timeline to today.

With the global pandemic of  the Corona Virus – Covid – 19 racing across the globe, claiming thousands of lives in it’s wake, and in a way we never thought possible disrupting our lives, work, family interaction, school and business closings, and social isolation, we are at another crisis point of evolution.

Marx Hubbard calls these current times a “chaos point.” Things are broken. There are many things systems-wide that need change. The way we communicate and lead needs changing, in order to grow past the chaos today into what she calls a “Universal Being” — a species we homo sapiens are all capable of being.

But first, we need to become more familiar with our heart. Indeed, we must learn to breathe through our heart. We hear the beat of our heart, and without our heart, there is no breath. This is the exact muscle, we need not only strengthen for fitness, but for our very life, itself.

All outward appearances point to this being the type of change — Universal change — that she foretold in 2011. A global happening which required a global response. A response that was heart-led.

And as we await the eventual physical cure of this with a vaccine, the American health system is overrun, food suppliers are over-worked, first-line responders are over-taxed, children are confused with the changes and not being able to go to school, and businesses hope that in the long run, they do not lose their business, and people are generally stressed to keep on time with their bill paying, while they protect their families as best they can.

Amid these catatrophic changes, the human heart is out in front beating just for the present moment with love. Also concern and attention to who needs help and how to give it. This is the prediction of the Universal Homo Sapien being born right in this troubled and unprecidented time. Our hearts are beating as one. Our eyes are tuned to the needs of others. Even when groups cannot come together, the actions of one are spreading out over and over into this world of need. The common question is How Can I Help? What Can I Do?

HeartMath Institute, under the direction of Doc and Sarah Childre has studied the workings of the heart and the effect it has on ourselves and others. We are encouraged to “lead with our heart”, to become aware of heart resonance, which beats with the pulse of the Universe – with all that is.

They have a measured Science with convincing data, that our hearts produce an electro-magnetic field of about eight feet extending from the center of our being. When filled with heartfelt peace, acceptance and resonance, this field CHANGES the interaction and the space it is holding – for the good.

Long ago, we heard the story of “one little candle” at a time being able to light up the whole world. The same is true with heart resonance. It is a practice that benefits us physically (it is more than just being calm, it is a frequency that the Oneness in which we exist recognizes and beats in harmony with us).

I will write another blog on the actual practice of Heart Coherence and how you can easily put it in practice and accomplish immediate results with it.
An old tune comes to mind. (by Dusty Springfield or Rusty?)
“Once upon a time I was falling for you
Now I’m only falling apart.
Nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart.”

In the movement of Birth 2012, we wanted to get beyond the feeling there is nothing we can do to fix the things in the world that are now falling apart. We believed we could do something, within ourselves by recognizing our soul Essence, our Oneness, and joining what Marx Hubbard calls “our genius” with another or others and then — see what wants to be born within us in the new year as a new world.

Now, in 2020, eight years later and one year past her death at the age of 89  on April 10, 2019, the woman who is credited with “the birthing of the human” over the long, long time of evolution, would see for herself the appearance of joining “our genius with one another as scientists, business leaders, entrepreneurs and   philanthropists and common citizens indeed “join genius” to make forever choice of evolution to MOVE FORWARD, and birth a new reality. Most serious commentators agree, life will no longer be what it was, something new is coming, but we are working in a time unknown for that something NEW to be GOOD for us and our neighbor.

 

In times of crisis and chaos, we have ALWAYS moved forward. We can move forward into the world, leading with our hearts, within the spheres of family, church, community, and even bigger stages. It all depends on what “is waiting to be born” in us.

A new moon….a solar ECLIPSE…..a TOTAL eclipse of my heart.

Namaste.

Shattered

Napkinwriter

IMG_7849

The world breaks
broken places
shattered mirrors
to reflect what is neglected
in dark corners.

My efforts are needed
i will turn to meet my destiny
reflected in shattered mirrors.

Unmolded clay
in my hand
nourishes new life.

The world breaks
I am a humble artist
molding my earthly clod.

Prayerful hands

i will trust to love.

Several years ago, I was grateful for the opportunity to return to a weekend workshop at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and be with my artist sisters of WWAM  (Women Writers and Artists Matrix). A loving, powerful, far-seeing community of good living and loving in the world.

In one of the workshops, we played with broken pieces of glass added to a collage we made on a trypearche.  Color, fabric shapes and designs and paint went on the surface.

Then we added the lines of a poem, selected from many she handed…

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Napkinwriter

Trust to Love

Shattered Mirrors

By Susan Heffron Hajec, inspired from
Mimi Foyle,’s Shattered Mirrors

I will turn to meet my destiny,
reflected in shattered mirrors.
The world breaks
My effort is needed.

I am a humble artist
with prayerful hands
I nourish new life.

In dark corners,
unmolded clay in my hand
in broken places
molding my earthly clod
to reflect what is neglected.

I will trust to love.

Hello Napkinwriter readers. Well just a few moments ago, my blog was shattered…..I typed “glog”. That’s what I feel like now. I had expressed in the first “blank” issue of this, how many ways this workshop experience at WWAM from artist/writer Kittie Bintz had excited me.  Now, I am left looking in a seeminly empty draft land to come up with my version.

Recently on MeetUp, I joined a WordPress group and missed the first meeting. This is one of the first things…

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Unprecendented

“Social Distancing” is a new vocabulary word that needs to be added to Webster’s dictionary. The empty bench above is now a familiar sight of Spring 2020. The world-wide spread of Coronavirus has brought “unprecidented”  changes in our American way of life. We are now entering into a second and third week of staying apart from one another, six feet is what is recommended, and no gatherings of large groups of ten or more. Now it is even less than that. It is a matter of isolating in your own home.

Businesses have closed, all large events with audiences cancelled or postponed to some future unknown event. Sports seasons, cancelled, or upbruptly ended. March Madness fused into March frustration as a favorite spectator yearly event fizzled down the tubes. The World Summer Olympics has been postponed until 2021, the first Olympic games to be held in an odd-numbered year. Spring American League baseball never held practice or got started. Baseball diamonds are empty.

Schools have closed. Some won’t reopen the rest of this school year. Others think they may go back in May. The Federal Government has shuttered businesses, big corporations and all mom and pop small businesses. We have been asked to “Shelter in Place.”

Unprecedented. That is what we are living now. The pandemic Coronavirus has stopped our life patterns. COVID-19. This is not an inspiring post. It is just a place-holder for what is happening in America and around the world in March 2020. The virus started in China and was reported to WHO too late to stop the spread and now whole countries and continents are experiencing its rapid spread. It is like a viral respiratory flu and the elderly are especially susceptible to the illness and death.

President Trump issued a 15 day isolation phase as the CDC and WHO work  a plan to stops its rapid advance. Millions of people are out of jobs and small businesses threatened by uncertainty of surviving.

In Kentucky, the new governor, Andy Bashear has been very aggressive in clamping down and insisting on citizens’ isolation. Closing playgrounds and taking the hoops out of public basketball courts, backed by new mayor, Linda Gorton.

While the cases are still growing throughout the states, NYC and California and the state of Washington are hardest hit. President Trump is trying to get enough information to begin a safe start up back to business around Easter time which is two weeks out. On Friday, March 27, the US Senate and Congress passed a 2.5 trillion “UNPRECENDENTED” Economic stimulus bill aimed at large corporation, small business and individual citizens out of work to put a band aid on the harm that has been caused, both physically and economically.

We are all wanting this to end and return to life before this struck.

 

 

Just a Little Slice of Life
October 19, 2016 by napkinwriter

I had a beautiful photograph of the door on the 2016 blog post, but I am barred from adding photos to my blog recently. Have to check that out with Admin. But the story is still true and current in our feelings. 

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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March 14, 2020

Judy just wrote this note.

Sue this is so lovely. I have just found it. Terry sends his love to both. We hope you are both well.
Love and best wishes,
Judy

Napkinwriter   March 14, 2020
I responded:

Judy, how sweet to see this now in the time that travel can’t happen. Yet we know our hearts stay young for special friends at special times in our lives.

 

Just For Today

Just for today, I release all worry.
Just for today, I release all anger.
Just for today, I live this day in integrity, doing what is mine to do.
Just for today, I honor every living thing.
Just for today, I show gratitude for all my many blessings.
Thank you, Universe, for my life.

The first five are The Reiki Principles, the last one is an add-on thank you.

I am a Reiki Master, and I find Reiki to be a centering peace in my life. I attune others to receive the blessings of Reiki and I practice healing and balance for others with Reiki.

If our present world circumstances are causing a high level of anxiety for you, I give you this gift of the 5 Principles of Healing Reiki. If you incorporate them into any quiet time you take for yourself, you can experience a grounding influence and the perspective of just living in this day — not the unknown picture down the road. I promise you, the repetition of these five principles will support you and companion you on a day by day basis.

A Pause in the Air

 

The loss of Kolbe Bryant is so sad on the sports scene where he excelled. A family life with those loved left behind. A rough road ahead, no doubt to lose husband and daughter and children to lose their father and sister.

It sounds like before the crash, they had a delay “in the air” while fog could clear or safe routes could be found. It amounted to fifteen minutes, at least. Tom and I experienced that kind of “in the air” delay on a flying adventure we undertook in the Hawaiian Islands.

 

 

On our 40th anniversary, the very date of June 19, Tom wanted to celebrate with a helicopter ride on Maui and we did so, boarding a two seater, right behind the pilot flying machine and away we went in perfect weather. He flew us back into the green valleys and hills to see beautiful interior tall waterfalls you could not get to by foot. He intended to fly us over the top of Mt. Haleakula.

But a breeze came up and he had to turn back. Flying back into the valley, the breeze turned to wind and the wind turned to rain storm that began swaying the helicopter sideways and tilted. The pilot had to mount height to get up and over a low mountain top (like the one that always opened in M*A*S*H) and he had his hands full, radioing what his attempts were and what he could/could not try — we heard it all (I was into my Hail Mary’s). He told us to stay quiet and was a wonderful pilot that finally pulled up over the ridge and headed out to follow the water’s edge back to the airport.

That night, we feasted and enjoyed the best lulau food and entertainment in Hawaii, and were called down to dance under the stars (feet on the ground) to celebrate with others who had anniversaries. The gift of grace as we continued life through our 50th coming up on our 55th this year in a few months.

I realize the news will be endless about the professional star Kobe was. My thoughts and prayers are with his young widow and mother of two other now fatherless daughters. God bless them one and all.

The Wonder of It All

 

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish of the sea speak to you. They all know that the Lord has done this. For the life of every living thing is in his hand.”
Job 12:7-10
There is no lack of wonders; only a lack of wonder.

I admit it. I am lost in the wonder of it all. Well, maybe not lost, but having a very good time wandering around. Writing my memoir, exploring watercolor; keeping focus on my spiritual path; learning from masters; taking a new step everyday.

It feels wonderful to enter into 2020 knowing I have completed a manuscript for my memoir, Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary. 

I feel a wonderful release to come to the watercolor paper and putting some shapes, lines, texture, and color on it to see what together, the paper and I, can co-create.

It is breathtaking to be really looking into the God-created nature around me and right under my feet. I can write about or create an image of what is the handiwork of the Great Artist who made all. I can deepen my spiritual center by Lectio Divina, and listening to the written word given us. I can make a Quest Circle and enter the traveling community on-line to process, through art, what is my daily reality.

I can breath easily and freely.

 

It is stabalizing to me to have a room dedicated to the work and the wonder of words and art.

I am so thankful to all those who have helped me find and explore the wonders of this literary and artfilled path;  Janet Conner, JoAnn Deck, Cat Caracelo, Angela Fehr, Carla Sonheim, Mary Gilkerson, Christine Valters Paintner,  Karen and Robert Gifford, Betty Lue Lieber and Robert Walton,  Catherine Anderson, Diana Marra,  Anita Lehman, to name the ones I am most connected to. There are others.

It is a wonderful start to 2020.

 

Grandparent Blessing

 

Reprinted from text of Journey Girl, Steps in Secrets and Sanctuary, a Memoir planned for release in 2020.

Grounding and Flow – Supported in Mystery

Native Americans refer to the moon and the sun as Grandmother Moon and Father Sun. The great gifts my grandparents bestowed on me were both connection and flow. They provided me with loving touch and experiences and connected me to both the earth of my daily life and the skies where future dreams formed like puffy white floating clouds.

I am a child of the Universe, stretched between two worlds of living and passed parentage. I am supported in mystery. Love leads me and grace lights my way.

I wish to thank my grandparents
for providing the daytime seeds
that anchored me to the ground
and for supporting me with the spiritual lattice-work
that helped me seek the wonders of God.

I shared wide-open days with my grandfather
who produced the miracle of planting seeds
in the spring-turned sod and reaped wholesome harvests
after a season’s care.

He, the laborer in the vineyard,
answering to the God he called
the Man Upstairs
with the faithful, daily rhythm of his day.

I learned from grandmothers who mentored
the worthiness of female in me
and taught me to ponder the delicacy of Irish lace
and the strength of good-will and persistence.

I treasure my grandparents who helped me touch the stars
and roll around in the grass,
secure in our snuggles
and whispered secrets in the night.

I bless my grandparents with a grateful heart
for I absorbed mystery in the midst of love
freely given, if not explained,
by their being present in ancestral place-holding.