Saturday, July 1, 2017

Witnessing Ourselves

Getting Into and Out of Your Own Head 

To a disciple who complained of his limitations the Master said: 
“You are limited indeed. But have you noticed you can do things today that you would have thought impossible fifteen years ago? 

The master continued: “What changed?” 
The disciple replied: “My Talents changed.” 
The master paused for a moment and then said: 
“No. You changed.” 

And the disciple quickly replied: 
“Isn’t that the same thing?” 
And the Mastered replied:
You are what you think you are. 

When your thinking changed, you changed.

From Anthony De Mello’s One Minute Wisdom 

 Our minds control us so much more than we know until we learn to pay attention to our thinking. Until we develop the skill of watching the mind. Part of Papa's reason for taking time every morning to be quiet and still is to develop the skill of being able to observe my mind during the day as I am working, playing or whatever. It is a way to stay in touch with the truth about who we really are and not be tossed and turned, completely unaware, by our thoughts. The story suggest we can change our thinking but that too can be difficult until we become aware of our thoughts. 
 That awareness is the gateway to our thoughts. 
Yeah, I know this sounds a little confusing. 
Think about it.
Then go somewhere. Sit down. Be still. And watch your mind. It's amazing.


Thursday, June 1, 2017



You are six years old. Hopefully by the time your are sixty you will have some sense of what Thomas Merton is talking about in the below quote.
I'm sixty-seven as I am writing this and have only an inkling of understanding at this point in my life.



“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is 

untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point 

or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our 

disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is 

inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities 

of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute 

poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is so to speak His 

name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our 

dependence, as our sonship. It is like a pure diamond, blazing 

with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we 

could see it we would see these billions of points of light 

coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make 

all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely ... I have 

no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of 

heaven is every- where.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Here you are at your sister's four year old birthday party with your cousin Caroline.
I pray that someday you and Caroline can look back on this picture and be thankful for the relationship you have had with each other over the years.

It's all about love and relationships Alice.
But I have told you that before.
I pray life teach you that in the most tender way.


Sunday, January 8, 2017


But first and foremost, I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple— or a green field— a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing— an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness— wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak— to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed. I remember the delicate, rumpled way into the woods, and the weight of the books in my pack. I remember the rambling, and the loafing— the wonderful days when, with Whitman, I tucked my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time.

Oliver, Mary (2016-10-11). Upstream: Selected Essays . 

These are words from one of my favorite poets. She will be dead when you can finally read her and attempt to understand her words.
But understanding is not always what poetry is about, as she alludes to in the above. "...a place to enter...", that's what a poem can be.
I pray you take time to enter that place. I think it's even possible for that place to change your life.

Poetry Alice. 
Give it a try.