“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”― C.S. Lewis
“Back on the caregiving roller coaster, I struggled to remember the lesson I had just learned so painfully with Mom: the end of caregiving isn’t freedom. The end of caregiving is grief.”― Margaret Renkl, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss
A friend’s Mom passed away yesterday.
Another friend’s Mom in July.
Mine in March.
Others a few years ago, some decades.
Grief is both individual and communal.
Same and different.
Fresh and lingering.
Deeper than platitudes.
Beyond the words of a Hallmark card.
Not a process but a winding, rocky, sometimes beautiful journey.
A bi-polar SOB.
Depths and heights.
Laughter and tears.
Drops and waves.
Never over, merely changing its form.
Do not go around it, avoid, or run from it.
Right through the middle.
Loss is overwhelming and always overcome by love.
Friends and family, show up.
Not just in the beginning, but months later too.
Simply be there and available.
Don’t assume, always ask and listen.
Actions over words.
Peace, love, light on this journey friend.
Love walks beside you softly, quietly, fiercely.
“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
“According to the Talmud, every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, grow.”― Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone until those smiling possibilities are dead… By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.”― William James
Strokes on a blank canvas.
Doing the dishes.
Repetition to mastery.
Progress in steps married with time.
Finding beauty along the way.
Precisely where it resides, in ordinary days.
Overflowing, in abundance and not complicated.
Before us awaiting for our senses to ignite and notice.
Change. Learn. Transform.
Plant. Nurture. Bloom.
An angel whispering, grow, grow!
“Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.”― Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life
Today marks 1000 posts in a row on Cast Light. A decision I made to post every day, to publish imperfectly, to commit to practice, to the gift of ritual. Thank you to those who take the time to read this, who hopefully find encouragement, commonality, community and some beams of light. May we all continue to grow and cast light.
“Let the sun set, let the darkness fall, do not be afraid, as long as the sun does not set in your mind!”― Mehmet Murat ildan
“In a world where everything comes at a price, if you’re choosing to stay kind, if you’re choosing to value your dignity and your integrity, if your choosing to understand and embrace the smile of Solitude, if you’re choosing to employ your faculties to understand the real questions of Life, then you’re alive, much more alive than your human dreams could have made you feel. Because no matter what, when sunset hits the night, and the day comes to a close you know you’ve done your part, you know you have embraced one more day with gratitude and grace, with a formidable zeal for Life and an invincible spirit of human understanding that stands firm pillared with Hope and Faith. And then no matter how many voices shrill your mind, the echo of your soul would pierce through your heart and enlighten every inch of your mind, body and soul, and you would know how proud the Universe must be to see the faithfulness, the strength and resilience in your soul, the very mould that was shaped in the fire of the Stardust that shines upon the sky, sometimes becoming a beacon to others while sometimes lying beautifully hidden but always there, always alive.” ― Debatrayee Banerjee
As summer tumbles into fall slowly but surely.
As seasons change without fail.
The sun remains.
Rising and falling.
Inviting us to find and make meaning in each day.
Beginnings and endings again and again.
The middle, the makings of our life.
Stay kind, gentle, curious, and alive through it all.
A beacon, a light.
“The sun’s descent marks not just the end of another day, but a symbolic passage—a reminder that life, like the sun, moves in cycles, each ending giving birth to a new beginning.”― Ryan Gelpke, Peruvian Day
“Nothing like a little judicious levity.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
“The body, she says, is subject to the force of gravity. But the soul is ruled by levity, pure.”― Saul Bellow
Weight and levity.
Gravity and flight.
Ground and sky.
Both and all the in between.
Awe and wonder.
Play and laughter.
Ignite your imagination.
Illuminate this day.
Let joy in.
“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” – Mother Teresa
“Magic is seeing wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.”― Ama H.Vanniarachchy
“Dragonflies hover on an abundance of air.”― Anthony T. Hincks
Pausing to rest.
Summer sun and soft breeze.
A declaration of light.
Abundance singing out loud in summer.
Reflect the light.
Bring the ease of summer wherever you pass through.
The dance of the dragonfly.
Magic and awe.
“Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.”― Robyn Nola
“Art replaces the light that is lost when the day fades, the moment passes, the evanescent extraordinary makes its quicksilver. Art tries to capture that which we know leaves us, as we move in and out of each other’s lives, as we all must eventually leave this earth. Great artists know that shadow, work always against the dying light, but always knowing that the day brings new light and that the ocean which washes away all traces on the sand leaves us a new canvas with each wave.”― Elizabeth Alexander, The Light of the World
“Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.”
― Elizabeth Alexander
Poetry of life
Grace and gratitude
Awe and wonder
Enter and submerge in the ordinary
Letting in the glory and new light
A new canvas with each new wave.
“…now I know my capacity for awe
is infinite: this thirst is permanent,
the well bottomless, my good fortune vast.”― Elizabeth Alexander
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” – Mary Oliver
“Poetry isn’t a profession, it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.” – Mary Oliver
Infuse yourself with nature, fresh air, poetry.
Be made new, spark your imagination, write your story.
Gaze at the sky, allow awe in, be made new.
A blessing that you be awake, aware and paying attention to each moment.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
A rare interview with the late Mary Oliver was re-released again from On Being with Krista Tippett – a treat to savor and enjoy.
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
On this day of “2”s – second month, second day, twenty second year – may we be prompted to move out of self into other. To the collective, to us. Expand, seek, reach out, connect with others. Partake on this shared journey, knowing that we are not alone, present for others, listening, walking along side in companionship.
When we cast light, the light shines back on us twofold. Compounding, multiplying, exponential. Go out of self and see other people. Tell them you see them with a smile, a hello, an invitation to go ahead in line, an embrace, a prayer for their well-being.
Kindness, concern, empathy, laughter, joy, understanding open our hearts, expose our souls, extend our hands to a wide world that needs our attention and love, one person at a time.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“We shake with joy, we shake with grief. What a time they have, these two housed as they are in the same body.” – Mary Oliver, Endure
Listen to your thoughts and words, where they lead you. Consternation and complaint are pit of quicksand. Hope and light are the path to contentment, peace and joy amidst the struggles. Stop holding your head under water, claiming others are drowning you. Make the daily decision to rest in gratitude, see the good yourself and others, release worry that only steals our days and never affects the outcome or eases pain that comes and goes with loss and change.
Steadfast, continue the journey anchored in hope, looking for light and ready to shake with joy.
The Gift, Mary Oliver, Felicity
“Be still, my soul, and steadfast
Earth and heaven both are still watching
Though time is draining from the clock
And your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.
So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
Know you are grateful.
That the gift has been given.”
“Such lovely warmth of thought and delicacy of colour are beyond all praise, and equally beyond all thanks!” – Marie Corelli
“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle
The ice melts from the edges to the center, slowly and with certainty;
With warmth and light, the hardness dissipates into its natural fluid state;
In seasons, cycles and transitions, the hard center holds on longer;
Softening with patience, the edges move to the center bit by bit to break the full surface into the shape of water;
We break open from cracks that allow light in to soften the hardness borne of experience and time;
Allow the cracks to become openings to transform ice to water, rocks to sand;
Soften your heart, uncover your soul and release your spirit;
In the midst of the moment and depths of being, breaking becomes transformation, blessings bloom along side burdens;
We are not our burdens or blessings, we are vessels that carry them;
Separate being from doing;
Detach from effort and outcomes;
Let go of hardness and allow softening;
Let the melt of seasons happen;
Embrace, integrate and continue on;
Openings that transform ice into water.
“Change, when it comes, cracks everything open.” – Dorothy Allison