desert poem 21


PRAYER: I Do Not Understand Your Ways, by Thomas Merton

My God, I frankly do not understand your ways with me. You fill me with desires that people have been canonized for having and for carrying out. Then you tell me not to carry them out, and you tell…

Source: PRAYER: I Do Not Understand Your Ways, by Thomas Merton

A silent retreat — where do I sign up?

Various forms of prayer have helped me experience God’s presence directly during the daily moments of life with the brothers… during those early morning times alone, I have learned to devote some time to silent prayer. Not every day, but frequently, my mornings start with that time of openness, contrition, and longing. Making deliberate efforts for prayer have helped me actually receive the gift of love available in life with the brothers.

See Mindy’s fabulous full post at……

MYSTICISM: From Faith to Wisdom

Now faith actually brings all of the unconscious into integration with the rest of our life, but it does so in different ways. What is below us is accepted (not by any means merely rationalized). It is consented to in so far as it is willed by God. Faith enables us to come to terms with our animal nature and to accept the task of trying to govern it according to the divine will, that is, according to love. At the same time, faith subjects our reason to the hidden spiritual forces that are above it. In so doing, the whole man is brought into subjection to the “unknown” that is above him.


Source: MYSTICISM: From Faith to Wisdom


We live in a world requiring light and Darkness … partnership and solitude … sameness and difference…”


An amoeba is lucky it’s so small … else its narcissism would lead to war … since self-love seems so frequently to lead to self-righteousness …

I suppose a case could be made … that there are more amoebas than people … that they comprise the physical majority … and therefore the moral right … But luckily amoebas rarely make television appeals to higher Gods … and baser instincts … so one must ask if the ability to reproduce oneself efficiently has anything to do with love …

The night loves the stars as they play about the Darkness … the day loves the light caressing the sun … We love … those who do … because we live in a world requiring light and Darkness … partnership and solitude … sameness and difference … the familiar and the unknown … We love because it’s the only true adventure …

I’m glad I’m not an amoeba … there must be more to all our lives than ourselves … and our ability to do more of the same …

By Nikki Giovanni

A Parent’s Advice

Pick your battles.
Be kind.
Thoughts matter.
Count to five before you speak.
Look beyond what you see.
Don’t judge.
Rescue an animal.
Keep your word.
Give back.
Be present.
Give thanks.
Choose your words with care.
Dance to your own music.
Character matters.
Listen with your heart.
Honor your family.
Respect your elders.
Play fair.
Be honest.
Remember where you came from.
Root for the underdog.
Be charitable.
Keep the faith.
Look people in the eye.
Mean what you say.
Follow through.
Be a good example.
Color outside the lines.
Purple glitter makes everything better.
Feed the birds.
Remember that squirrels like birdseed, too.
Be compassionate.
Enjoy thunderstorms.
Talk to animals.
Be true to yourself.
Visit other countries.
Try your best.
Put in an honest day’s work.
Hold fast to your beliefs.
Patience really is a virtue.
Nothing is random.
Follow your moral compass.
Never give up.
Ask for advice.
Reach out to others.
We’re all in this together.
Admit when you’re wrong.
Offer a firm handshake.
Laugh with gusto.
All things in moderation.
Good will always triumph over evil.
Life isn’t fair, but that’s okay.
Give good hugs.
Don’t lose hope.
Be passionate.
Seek the truth.
Look within.
There is meaning in suffering.
Listen to the birds each morning.
Don’t forget the sunsets.
Go sailing.
Surround yourself with color.
Hunt the Northern Lights.
Water your flowers.
Plant a tree.
It will be okay.
Every ending is another beginning.
Write real thank you notes.
It’s okay to say no.
Sing to babies.
Remember those who have gone before you.
Take your hat off inside.
Offer your help.
Say thank you.
Don’t take it personally.
There are many levels of love.
Don’t hold grudges.
Be a gentleman and a gentle man.
Avoid toxic people.
Tip well.
Look to the stars.
Lose yourself in the clouds.
Stop for all rainbows.
Take the road less travelled.
Be well.
Remember that your parents love you.

You are our greatest blessing.


I’d love to do more reading of James Hillman’s works; as I’ve heard others extolling his many virtues. What stood out most for other authors as they analyzed his ideals?  Was it his ability to re-vision: helping the reader to understand themselves and the world from a poetic, metaphorical standpoint?  Hillman knew the soul needs depth, and it finds depth through the imaginal, an internally-held locus of soul-making that commences with images and deepens them into meaning. Words become imaginal, as they become stories; and they always tend to point deeper, beyond the literal – and in this process of soul-making we live lives that make more sense, are richer, and more connected.

When it comes to spiritual notions and understandings, however, things can become very prickly. People want to ‘fix’ (concretize) their words; they want to argue finer theological and ontological bases. Fundamentalism and other –ism’s can easily rear their ugly heads.  Absolute ‘certainties’ become deemed as fact.  Truth is fashioned into a blunt implement with which to subdue the other into conformity.  What happens when piety and certitude reign supreme?  Freedom is sacrificed on the alter of All-truth.  So, when we come to anything with a whiff of Christianity, the stakes seem even higher, with the divisions tending to be even more defined.  I don’t like what’s become of Christian orthodoxy; but I refuse to throw the baby (Jesus) out with the bathwater.  I also refuse to throw out certain words (notions) that have, in some circles, become taboo.  I’m thinking of words like: “Lord”, “Gospel”, “perichoresis” and “G!d”.

I came across an anonymous channeled work online recently (ca. 1900) from the California Digital Library ( — entitled “Christ in You”[1]  — which, for me, held considerable sway.  I also think the existing markings made by previous owners are so poignant to where I’m at, spiritually-speaking (highlights are not mine).  The image shown below, and the quote, seems to explain that Heaven is a ‘consciousness of G!d’ (i.e. as in the kingdom of G!d).  And what is G!d here?  Hillman suggested God is a synonym for the GSB – The Ground and Source of Being. (Or maybe we could imagine “G.O.D.” as an acronym in and of itself i.e. the Ground of all Ontological Dimensions).  G!d is not limited to what’s  understood or theologized.  My G!d  is much greater than anything finite….


Furthermore, the author (believed to be Richard Dodd) says to “make the most and best of our lives NOW.”   Only in the PRESENT are we afforded such access to G!d’s “all-pervading love”.   The past prevents it… the future precludes it.

On the very next page, the author exhorts us to “do away with our limitations” and to break down the artificial walls created by our false selves.  “G!d is ALL LIFE, seen and unseen”, he writes.

What could we understand (appreciate, love, accept) differently, through the “eyes of an infinite G!d”?


[1] See , p. 5