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April 04, 2011


I love getting these little windows into your life and practice.

I often think of your father-in-law. He has especially been on my mind since my grandmother's troubles started. I always loved reading about him. Looking forward to more, Beth.

Perhaps the post was more peaceful than the experience! Less chattering, anyway. Less sound.

Yes, it's strange how the dead-who-disagree pop up as if you weren't quite done with working it out with them. Or need to begin. Something.

(Speaking of the dead, left you a sort of funereal fb note but am afraid you won't get it in time--I have to be lay reader etc. for a funeral on Wednesday morning, so that time won't do after all. I'll have to leave here by 10:30...)

Ah, lovely, Beth. Makes me miss Sesshin.

I gasped at the black and white photo at the top of this post--astonishingly beautiful. I will ponder it further--maybe my own pathway to silence.

Thank you for writing, Kristin -- what was it about the photo that struck you? I love the view too, it says so much about the contrast between "inner" and "outer" - with both being beautiful. Best wishes for your own Lent...

Rachel, Kim, Marly -- thank you.

Kat - I'm sure silence seems pretty far away for you right now, with that brand new little one!

I love the starkness of the altar, contrasted to the steeple outside and the crucifix (coming from a Lutheran tradition, I don't remember seeing a crucifix much until recent years, so they always seem un-stark to me, in terms of a decorated cross, not in terms of suffering depicted). I love the mix of architectures outside of the window, from the sleek and modern office tower to the steeple to the brick buildings (which I imagine as red brick, built about the time the 19th century shifted to the 20th). I love the way the light coming through the windows makes crosses on the floor. I love how the pillow just lies there so casually.

Part of it is the black and white, which always makes me take note.

And I love the idea of the retreat, and how that picture signifies retreat time. And the larger notion of being in the world, but apart from the world.

Thanks for sharing it!

This is beautifully told, and I began to wonder why it could be that personal isolation in the presence of others might have some sort of healing effect on the human spirit. I am deeply skeptical about things like this, but you have convinced me -- almost -- of its value.

I find my own thoughts turn with great frequency to my mother. I wonder why. It needs some internal investigation.

Now I shall read your next installment and expect to find further enlightenment.

Anne, thank you for reading this and taking it seriously. One thing I realized during those days was that every one of us had some difficulties - the death of a husband, a chronic illness, older age, divorces, difficulties with children, life-changes, recent immigration to a new country - and those were just things I knew about! None of this was mentioned out loud, nor was it like this was a company of crippled people - quite the contrary. But it was quite apparent to me that I was not the only one who was working on inner things, but glad to do it with the silent support and presence of others, and that my support - through a smile or touch or other forms of acknowledgment we gave one another - was important to them. Some of it wasn't completely comfortable to me, but I just made a decision to roll with it, and that seemed to work.

these images are beautiful, Beth. And I'm not just talking about the photos. :)

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.