Closing 2021 Through Poetry and Song

In addition to wading in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans this year, gazing at the strength and wisdom of ginormous redwood trees, fostering a few new friendships, and growing an abundant garden, this year is laden with much grief and loss. And so, I reflect on the year through the words and phrases that have encouraged me and held me along the way. Perhaps you too will find solace, comfort, and joy in these beautiful pieces. 

I've also created:

from Brian McLaren, Faith After Doubt

I offer the simple benediction, modeled on the beatitudes, to remind you that your honest doubts are not a curse but, rather a blessing, indeed:
Blessed are the curious, for their curiosity honors reality.
Blessed are the uncertain and those with second thoughts, for their minds are still open.
Blessed are the wonderers, for they shall find what is wonderful.
Blessed are those who question their answers, for their horizons will expand forever.
Blessed are those who often feel foolish, for they are wiser than those who always think themselves wise.
Blessed are those who are scolded, suspected, and labeled as heretics by the gatekeepers,
for the prophets and mystics were treated in the same way by the gatekeepers of their day.
Blessed are those who know their unknowing, for they shall have the last laugh.
Blessed are the perplexed, for they have reached the frontiers of contemplation.
Blessed are they who become cynical about their cynicism and suspicious of their suspicion, for they will enter the second innocence.
Blessed are the doubters, for they shall see through false gods.
Blessed are the lovers, for they shall see God everywhere.

I’m Learning to Sit With Not Knowing

I am learning to sit with not knowing.
Even when my restless mind begins jumping
From a worried
What next,
To a frightened
What if,
To a hard edged and impatient,
Why aren’t you already there?

I’m learning to sit and listen
To pat myself on the knee,
Lay my hand on my heart,
Take another deep breath,
Laugh at myself,
Befriend my mistakes,
Especially the ones,
That show me how, I most need to change.

I’m learning to sit with whatever comes
Even though I’m a hopeless planner,
Because so much of this life
Can’t be measured or predicted
Or evenly portioned.
Because wonder and suffering visit
When we least expect
And rarely In equal measure.

I’m learning to sit with what
I might never know
Might never learn
Might never heal
With what might waltz in and surprise me
Might nudge me into the risky business of growing
Might crash into my days
With unspeakable sorrow
Or uncontainable delight.

I’m learning to sit
With not knowing.

The Art of Unmissing

by Nikita Gill

i have been incanting my heart
in how to uniss you,
spelling myself into mastering the art
of forgetting the damage
you have done stitching back my soul
from the savage way you ripped it apart.
i think i finally know
where i went wrong.

you see, yesterday, someone asked me,
'how do you heal
from losing
the greatest love of your life?'

i smiled and answered,
'you make yourself another one.
and you make
that love love yourself.


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