Getting real; staying clear


A Gracious and Generous Gift

going naked being seen

A true gift is given without expectations,  like a grace. I’ve received so many of them in my life, you think I’d be more gracious in receiving. This past weekend broke me open to a whole new capacity because that grace showed up in everything I saw around me. I felt like God had kept track of my loves and reflected them back to me in a perpetual experience. Even down to the type of coffee that my friend served, and the behavior of the stray cat whose affection arrested me because he looked like my beloved cat Gracie that I left almost seven years ago, when I couldn’t care for myself, let alone a cat.

I met some new friends recently, and took a road trip to spend time with them last weekend. In their presence I felt seen; that I mattered, and where I had been before our time together…

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I Don’t Know~ Defying Logic and Gravity

going naked being seen

Let nothing disturb you,
Angel with no eyesLet nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

St. Teresa of Avila


I’m not the answer guy; more like the question woman. When people come to me for counsel or advise, I find myself asking them questions, and they often come to their own conclusions. Some problems are tough though, and they don’t yield right away. It’s when I have to say I don’t know.

When my friend Christi used to respond, “I don’t know” when I pondered something I was grappling with, it frustrated me at first. Recreating a life is real work, and most of it is internal, before the changes appear on the surface as demonstrations. Christi is wise, and she is kind, because she has done the inner work. She radiates love…

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Catch and Release

going naked being seen

There is something that I would die for, and I die daily to get it. Freedom. I don’t fight others for it though, it is usually something within me blocking the light, that I need to let go. It isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always pretty. Maybe that is why I’ve been captivated by my friend’s moving story of a field mouse rescue.

Mike found him outside while he was doing something on the lawn, and brought him in. He was tiny and ugly, and probably would have died without Mike’s amazing triage and continued care. I watched Mike’s posts of his progress; feeding by eye dropper, heated cage with perfect fiber blankets, and later, more solid food. Captivated, I looked forward to the growth reports. This week, Mike set him free, and said this:

[among my sisters] I had to take one last picture and cage him to do it.

As I…

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going naked being seen

Look through all appearances and feel me. The beauty comes through you; radiate it.

I was talking to my friend on the phone and soaking my feet in sea salt bath at the same time. I knew better than to mix water with talking on the phone, but  both activities felt so good, I couldn’t give one of them up. Sure enough, I dropped my phone in the water. Splash!

I fished that phone out faster than greased lightning, and immediately thought of lightning.

“What if I get electrocuted?”

Of course, I didn’t say that out loud, but I got scared just the same. My friend was talking so fast and was full of such important information to share, that I couldn’t even interrupt her to share my fright. So, we kept talking for about an hour. My phone seemed fine and I plugged it in before I went to…

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Responsibility and the Ability to Respond

going naked being seen

“And God is amused you once tried to be a saint.” ~Hafiz

I really spent way too much time preparing for Court hearings and trials as a young lawyer, but I didn’t know better and I was terrified to make a mistake. I can’t say that I ever overcame this painful habit, but I guess it didn’t hurt my clients, even though it threw me off-balance and allowed me to neglect almost everything else in my life before the hearing. I came to know that being prepared is a conclusion that I could only make after the trial or hearing when what I couldn’t foresee before it, played out. It took far more than a rehearsed speech or rigid outline of questioning to be a good and effective lawyer; I had to respond to what came up live, from the witnesses testimony or the questions and rulings from…

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And the Darkness Did Not Overcome It

going naked being seen

Come he said
and she approached.
Come, he said
and she stood still.
Come, he said
and she expanded.
Light moving
She has known this before.
Love waking,
fresh in his taking so much time.
So much tender time.
Come, my love,
sit, he said
penetrating her without touch.
And she, 
pausing long enough to remember him for the first time. ~ Love Letter to Light, MaryAnn Fry

They say that recovered alcoholics are people who would not normally meet. It’s meant to be a statement of the real depth that unites us; the escape from darkness. Some of the finest people I have ever met are alcoholics, and they’ve appeared in my life, like apparitions of grace, moving me somehow and reflecting light.

Last night I sat with one of those grace filled people during a performance by a brilliant french cellist, and we were both transported…

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saudadeMy writer friend Greg Peters introduced me to the word Saudade, and I felt exotic, just seeing it. Greg was exotic too, and brilliant. He died several years ago, not long after he wrote a review of my book. I have an affinity for exotic people, because they seem alive in a way that I admire. I reconnected with Greg on Facebook after a 30 year absence, and still find myself scrolling his page, even after his death. Greg lived out loud, and I feel like I’ve been in hiding. It’s funny how these things arise in my consciousness, but I’m sure glad they do. I’m missing something within myself too.

A friend told me that people don’t say “I love you”, to each other in Sweden, but rather, “I love who I am when I’m with you.” That resonated with me, and I shared it with my dear friend Christi, one evening when we we trying to make sense of longing, and loss and emptiness. Christi loved the phrase, and it shifted something inside her when I said it.

It’s been rare for me to experience longing for anything but God, but I have. It’s easy to think that a change in circumstances will fulfill the longing, but I’ve come to understand something deeper about longing. For me, I’ve felt most alive when I am creating something, and writing was my art. I’ve had a long drought with writing, and it’s been painful. It’s doubly hard because I’m not around the exotic friends that helped me feel alive, and encouraged my expression. Today, I simply acknowledge this longing, and accept it as a sign of a missing connection. I’ve learned not to judge these states of being either, because my mind cannot appreciate the breadth of the mystery and spirit that moves me.

The other day in meditation, I felt a release, and an embrace of the gentlest vibration. For a moment, my mind stopped, and I accepted the peace. I heard myself say, “Oh yes, this is what I’m really longing for,” and I simply sat still.

Longings can look like people, or things, or situations, but at the heart of all of them, is the same essential desire; that I feel seen, loved, and there is enough.



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