i am that


 “i am that which i am seeking.”
—franciscan mysticism

i spend many daytime hours writing and editing, but it is an interesting treat when i write during my sleep. during rare late-night or early-morning hours, i will wake up remembering an experience—and, further, remember having written about the experience while dreaming.
this happened last night.

i dreamt that i was in my hometown at a local cafe. a few high school friends, whom i haven’t spoken with since that time, walked in. we were all excited to see each other. one of the guys began negatively speaking about the state of our world. he wrapped up his delivery by telling us all that there is nothing any of us can do about it—aside from asking God to change our experience.

once he was finished, and everybody was in a space of quiet contemplation, i offered up the idea that Source, or the energy of God, runs through each of us—and through our daily intentions and actions, we, ourselves, have great ability and potential to change our experience, both individually and collectively.

“God is a verb, not a noun.”
—buckminster fuller

there are quiet, surrendered moments during which i choose to speak, create and pray with Source in a more conversational way—in the way that i learned and was accustomed to while growing up in both a catholic and protestant church.

many more moments, i choose to speak, create and pray simply through the ways in which i live—through kindness and compassion, through playful interaction and understanding, through focused intention and visualization…through plan, process and movement.

the specifics of what we each have and will come to believe about God matter less than the ways in which we allow this divine energy to move us and to move through us.

“within myself is that which is perfect, that which is complete, that which is divine; that which was never born and cannot die; that which lives, which is God—the Eternal Reality.”
—ernest holmes


i am here


thirteen years ago, after a short stretch of teaching, i had the treasured opportunity to work on a state-funded project at the state nursery in southern indiana. i spent many, mostly-solitary days grafting trees and taking care of the orchards—a couple of which i planted, while trying to stay onboard an old, shaky planter making its way through rows of rugged terrain.:)

i cultivated lasting friendships with these trees in the same way that i cultivate friendships with any other being. they have listened to my dreams and have heard my laughter. they have caught frustrated tears and have touched my sweat. they have witnessed both weak and strong moments.

it’s been over ten years since last visiting them.

they have grown and changed.

so have i.

often, while working here, i would slow down the tractor—or pause, if on foot—to take in the beauty around me—the trees, the insects, the animals, the forested, hilly vistas just beyond my immediate surroundings. i remember frequently, during these momentary breaks, hearing myself say the words, ‘i am here’—an audible acknowledgment of all encircling grace.

this majestic world was and is a part of me, in ways that i am certain i will only appreciate more as i continue to age with this planet.

i really loved working and being here.
it was good to be here again.



country mouse & the big city


while i am not typically drawn to large cities, i can barely make it through a day without reading or hearing something about new york city—enough to be interested in checking out its paths, people and on-goings at least one great time during this life. these past couple of days have gifted this time.

not being a fan of crowds, my first impression, as the openness of the highway gave way to the nighttime hustle and bustle of times square, was of feeling stifled and disconnected. i could no longer see the sky. i could no longer see the ground. there were only people and pavement and buildings and cars and lights and noise. …and it must have been trash day—at least i hoped that it was, because the streets were lined with piles upon piles of plastic bags. the following day, however, the same streets were lined with the same amount of bags and somewhere in between seeing how much waste the more congested areas of our country can produce in one day and retaining a trust that each of us is continuing to make big ways-of-living changes, a couple of tears traveled down my cheeks.

any interest in the lights and the buildings, the noise and the hurried, forward rhythm and pace has quickly shifted to an interest in the people around me—an interest that is often present.

i have watched lovers parting ways, bikers weaving through traffic, a woman, cozy in her sidewalk home space, painting her fingernails purple with a huge smile on her face—a sincere smile which she freely offers each time that we cross paths, groups of people deep-steeped in their normal, everyday routine and groups of people very far away from theirs. everywhere i look, i am reminded that, regardless of where we are, who we are with and how our lives are momentarily rolling out, we are all human, with human hopes and joys, human pains and problems.

i really like the subway. in its own unique way, the crowded, hot, under-city stretches of people waiting for a ride feels like a different brand of ‘real.’ doors sliding, time overlapping, people meeting and maybe meetings missed…by only seconds.

ellis island is especially interesting to me, as well. even while surrounded by the intense on-goings of the city, my mind often drifts to thoughts about the many groups of people who ventured to this ‘new world’ with little aside from a few belongings and dreams of a different life.

would i want to live here? nah, but i’m not ready to leave this morning and i have a feeling that ‘one great time’ will be an idea that i once had before deciding that ‘many great times’ is a better fit for this place.
as we were driving away, i turned around—as if a few more seconds, through my eyes, would more permanently etch the skyline somewhere in my mind. i thought about one of my favorite childhood books, “country mouse, city mouse” and how abner’s own snug bed in his own little house had never felt so good.

side note: i love that i was able to write most of this while sitting in central park. …maybe i’ll keep the ipad.;)



clinical environments are impressively distressing to me. although i occasionally find myself immersed in them to be with and support someone else, i am otherwise skilled at avoiding them. this morning, i had one unruly (yet really lovely:)) wisdom tooth removed. though i realize that this a common procedure that may seem like a small matter to many or most people, i felt terrified—and have spent the past two weeks barely able to think about much else. very early this morning, awake and unable to sleep, i scribbled out the following:

‘i trust.
i am grounded in confidence.
i trust myself to create the best version of my life.
i trust the man who will be working with me this morning—in his confidence and his experience and his skill.
i trust myself, in every situation, to be a giver and receiver of light and love and good.
i will soften my shaking, deepen my breathing…
…and trust.’

i can recall few other times during which i have felt so challenged to surrender any unsupportive mind chatter and/or fears—and to more fully trust that all is as it should be.

at one point, this morning, the surgeon, obviously aware of my tension, simply said, ‘trust me. i know what i’m doing. just trust me.’
yes, sir. yes, please.

everything went so well—so exceptionally better than i’ve envisioned it going, during moments of focused intention.

i am grateful to have the experience behind me.
i am grateful for good people who, when needed, do good work.
i am grateful for reminders that, while they are essential for this physical experience, we are not our physical bodies.

we are expansive and connected and creative and powerful…
we are, at all times, whole.

holding on while letting go


i am finding time, each night, to sift through a few things that my parents have saved throughout the years and recently sent home with me. my mom is a card giver and a card keeper. i have never been much of either, yet i’m taking the time to read through each sweet card that she saved before placing them in one of two piles; one on its way to the recycling bin and the other to my closet where i have somehow condensed decades of living into two small suitcases. within them, i stash away the few things that i imagine my children might enjoy seeing some day.

i love the little things that i am noticing as i read through these cards—like the shift from my parents signing ‘mommy and daddy’ to ‘mom and dad’ around 1989, how my grandma’s unique character spiritedly splashes out onto the thick paper and becomes conveyed through her eccentric handwriting…and the way that my grandpa ciula habitually wrote ‘love ya’ so that the end of the ‘l’ swept across the entire page.

i smile.

these experiences and people are forever etched in my mind without palpable reminders. still, it is fun to reminisce through the occasional unfolding of these safeguarded keepsakes. while i enjoy looking through these things, i also enjoy an uncluttered and simple living space. at some point, taking a photo of and writing about the sentimental items that i don’t necessarily want to keep, yet appreciate, became my way of simultaneously holding on while letting go.

for now, it is a compromise that works.

“the art is not one of forgetting but letting go. and when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.” —rebecca solnit, from a field guide to getting lost