Sanctuary

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Peace cannot be kept by force ~ It can only be achieved by understanding.

~ EINSTEIN ~

…Promote an understanding of deeper human value – which is compassion…The concept of universal responsibility based on compassion is now essential.

~ the DALAI LAMA  ~

 

I live in a sanctuary city, help in a sanctuary education center, volunteer in a mediation/resolution center. For me, it’s time to act, not just talk. The conversations for years have been important and necessary: a sharing of concerns, anxieties, values, beliefs. But it is time to do the work, become a part of the active solution.

There is a quiet revolution occuring around and within many countries, a new chapter in the historic “underground railroad” of providing sanctuary for the oppressed, the refugees, the immigrants – neighbors and global citizens. There are over 500 sanctuary cities & counties across the United States ~ not only in the East & West Coast liberal enclaves, but in the heartland of the Midwest and South, including Washington DC! Hundreds of towns and cities, here and abroad,- liberal & conservative, standing up for the most basic of human values: equality, freedom, peace with justice, compassion & understanding, sanctuary.

There is no time for fear. No time for anger. It is time to give support, to educate, to be the best we can be – not through conversation alone, but by being a part of the solution. Being a part of the sanctuary. Accepting the responsibility of compassion.

I resolve to do more with this life than I did yesterday, or last year, or all the years before. Be a safe place, a sanctuary for those in need, in whatever way my education & experience can provide. This “journey of resilience” challenges & sustains.

“We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who’ll make a better place, so let’s start giving.” (Jackson/Richie)

…you know the song – start singing! 

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ageless continuity

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Even in the midst of all the mess of human nature ~ the struggle, fear, grief, hurt…~ there is still a quiet beauty present in small significant moments, ~offering, to those who observe, some miraculous hope.

As world leaders search for clarity & intelligent compassionate community, the natural world is abundant in an ageless continuity.

 

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Summer Light

 

“HOPE  spreads around the earth, brightening all things… We beckon this good season to wait a while with us…implore you to stay a while with us, so we may learn by your shimmering light.”

~ MAYA ANGELOU, from the poem Amazing Peace

 

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Summer Solstice, early morning. Just as I left it, in last night’s late sunset, the forest is resilient in the light of every new day. Light is always available. SOL…sun. STICE, from Sistere…stand still. Here it is! The longest moments of light. Embrace and hold the memory close for the shorter days of winter. Each day the goal surrounds me: Believe in the abiding power of an earth that is beyond our comprehension; know you are given such beauty for safe keeping. Be present.

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Summer light of the Solstice day, brightening and enlightening, strengthening and giving.  The symbolism of light is endless through the ages of  ancient and new thought. When I stop and really see, really listen ~ the light is simply life, nothing more & nothing less, still inspiring, guiding, shining hope. In sunlight and in shadow….

Therefore, the wise take care of everyone and abandon no one. They take care of all things and abandon nothing. This is called ‘following the light.’ ”

~ Tao Te Ching, verse 27

 

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peace

 

 

Preservation

In wildness is the preservation of the world.

Thoreau

So that they will respect the land, teach your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin……THIS WE KNOW: The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected.

Chief Seattle

On this day, at this morning hour, I celebrate and give thanks for 67 years of life on this earth, surrounded by wildness and green growing life. This is the story of my life: a love of all things green and growing, of land & sea, of mountains and valleys, of family & friends, fine art and faith. This year, this new number comprised of the birth dates of my children (6/6 and 7/7), will be a continuing celebration in honor of the richness they have brought me, the challenges and freedoms born of sharing this earth with my children.

~A Journey of Resilience~ 

Stillness

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~ When you are fully present, ….you see that everything you are looking for is already there.

Thich Nhat Hanh (Your True Home)

THE STILL IS THE MASTER OF UNREST. ~ from verse 26 of the Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu

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In this peaceful retreat, I have found a stillness unfound by the ocean~ a calm healing time, a gift of restoration and rejuvenation, a moment to practice breathing, ~along a profound and constant path.

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~ and find “light” in all its varied beauty.

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Grace ~ gratitude ~ and a renewed sense of hope. 

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Flight

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To have faith is to have wings.

-JM Barrie (Peter Pan)

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Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight, –

sings, knowing she has wings.

-Victor Hugo-

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For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward-

and there  you will long to return.

– Leonardo Da Vinci –

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FLIGHT: Freedom, Exploration, Lift, Surrender, Grace, Trust, Faith –

The power of community and individual, of solo and chorus, of one voice amid many, of the mystery and strength, the freedom of faith ~ To have faith in something we on the ground can never achieve…and yet hold onto the wonder of another being in flight! My life moves and soars with eagles, gulls, geese, sanderlings, crows and ravens ~ and hopes for such freedom.

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dawn ~ on the north Pacific shore ~ Feb. 2017

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Note: When I arrived here in 2011 from a traumatic time in the Peace Corps ~( a neighbor’s dog had just taken a huge bite out of my leg, a family had just been murdered down the road, someone had been beheaded while walking through town, numerous random robberies were occurring to colleagues) ~ I needed a sense of safety again ~ something we all too often may take for granted. I walked out onto this long expansive broad-horizoned beach, and sang thanksgiving. Here was a safe place, a foundation of faith, a country where we are freely given land and liberty. I will forever be grateful for the five years on this blessed coast, where I have healed and found resilience.

The Power of Books

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Simple liberation strategy from ignorance and intolerance: Read! I believe: Our first line of defense AND offense is found in reading books. Leaders in the highest office of this land have claimed they do not need to read books ~ they know all. Their loss is my gain, as I claim the power of books.

Cicero, ancient Roman politician and philosopher, said: A room without books is like a body without a soul.

For three glorious years, I was given the chance to share a room full of books, serving  many souls ~ My last day at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore brought the usual wonder and life to my day. I left one copy of my tiny bookshop memoir high on a shelf, watching readers and browsers and dogs wandering through the scent of paper and ink.

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And my last day behind the counter (or searching the stacks with customers) was filled with a singing gratitude and nostalgic satisfaction. Even as I absorbed the essence of those 3 years, saving it for another quiet moment to be remembered, I knew it was time to move on to another learning, reading, giving adventure and purpose. As some leaders have said: “There is still much to be done.” I will miss the peace; the challenge is ahead.

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Most appropriately, and prophetically, the last book I sold, was Ivan Doig’s final novel: The Last Bus To Wisdom. Just as I started to close the shop at 5pm, a friend came rushing in to find the Doig book ~ and blessed my final hour in that living, breathing space of countless reading & writing souls. I love this book: go read it!

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The Power of Books!! My reading and conversations with readers have motivated me to put this power into action. May I suggest my own library, here photographed in part, but now boxed up for the move north, into a liberal college town where questions are explored, studied, read, argued, every minute. YES! Here are new and very old volumes from 60 years of reading…to learn, to understand, to wonder, to laugh, cry, be amazed and just escape. Oh, and to sing……

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So, friends and readers ~ I’m wishing you amazing peace and gratitude, and most importantly, the power we all have as readers to affect positive change. Read to children, teach reading, read everything you can from all sides and positions ~ embracing the power of knowledge to make the most informed choices which will benefit all. Onward!

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no power after the tornado, October 2016, still reading

Thank you, Cloud & Leaf and Jody, my friend and owner of the most inviting, well-curated bookstore ever ~ and thank you everyone who shared, both near and far, my transformative experience of selling (and reading) books!

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in Manzanita by the Sea, on the Oregon Pacific coast…….

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