Getting real; staying clear

Strange Fire

Angels Prostrate before the light OrdinationGreg Peters and I found each other on Facebook about two years ago. He read my blog, and wrote to say that I was his hero. Until then, I had no idea that he had struggled with matters of the heart, just like me. He also had a congenital heart defect, and he died on August 2, 2013. I dedicated my last book giveaway to him, and gave away 1120 books that weekend; without advertising.

We were in Honors English in High School. I hadn’t had contact with him after that, but it didn’t matter. Life had rounded him, and tenderized him too. His razor sharp wit got sharper, his sense of wonder more expansive, and he was raising two boys after a divorce. I delighted in his posts, and pictures of them. Greg more than encouraged me as a writer; he made me know that I had lived a message. Because he came to me saying so. Just like most readers that take the time to reach out do. That grace is why I write. That grace is why I live. His review appears on the back cover of the Print On Demand Edition, and I couldn’t be more honored.

I awoke around 4:00 a.m on a Sunday morning, and caught a post from a friend in Marquette Michigan about Greg’s death. I felt that news like a limb had been severed, and that grief almost surprised me. I didn’t really know him. But, I really did in another way. In the way of the heart, that doesn’t need time, or touch, or fancy occasions. Only an opening, a courageous extension, and a loving embrace.

Greg was a brilliant man, and artist. I wanted to share something that he wrote, because more than that, he was a hero too. He was a Hero of Love.

~”Little Rituals”

In the coffee shop
spill sugar
on the table.
Draw a circle,
“This is our world
you and I,
in this circle of
wasted sweetness,
we exist.”

Look into the eyes
of flowers, bees,
the hearts of dogs,
silent strangers,
each new bud of
myrtle and tiny oak
“I am still,
and still here,
still with you.”
Pet the dogs.

Look to a blue sky
and open a window
and say,
three times,

Find a sandy spot
near water.
Draw the circle in the sand.
Place a tiny box
next to you,
count waves
up to
“This is our world,
We live here,
with birds and sky
and water and earth.
Just you
and I
and the birds and sky and water.”
Say this once and be silent.

No sweetness is wasted.
No words may set a soul to flight.
No stillness can quiet longing.

Leave your heart
in a circle of sand.
Hold a tiny box to your chest.

No stillness can quiet longing.
No ritual can order grief.

VI. Repeat. ~ Greg Peters

The gorgeous photo above is about being received by grace. It is accompanied by this quote from Rudolf Steiner, and seemed a fitting way to send my friend off; to the light and expansive love where he now abides.

“I have received another life through grace; the first one was forfeited.

~Rudolf Steiner
The tag line of Greg’s email once read, “I still believe in God, but God no longer believes in me.” Greg knows better now; it’s not about belief anymore. He’s having an experience, I’m sure.

I miss you. I really, really do. Thank you for your courage, and your tender heart.

Here’s Strange Fire, by the Indigo Girls


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