This Fragile Life….

When we bring our energies together, they are increased a thousandfold. Systematic change cannot be achieved without the energy of community. If you want to transform society, you need a strong community. Without that, we can’t do anything at all.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh (The Art of Communicating)

(this post is created in honor of the expectant, intelligent, demanding voices & integrity of youth in a world of loss & inaction, after the tragedy at a U.S. high school.)


This forever fragile life ~ yet fierce and brave and so insistent. These past hours & days brought grief, horror, loss ,and pure clear insistence by the integrity of youth: Life is fragile, is miraculous, is to be honored and saved and loved.

Life – death. Light – darkness. Cold – warmth. Hate – love. Confusion – compassion. Fear – hope.  Anger – commitment. Intention – action.

These contrasting words of this past week, in a country full of chaotic change, lacking leadership and inspiration ~ led by the voices of children. How are we all so continually fortunate? Yes, fortunate, given another chance and another sunrise over & over,…to find a new morning full of youthful, intelligent expectations & demands – reminding the elders of their responsibility to preserve life, to stand for what they KNOW is right & just. To ACT on their useless words. TO HELP. 

This fragility upholds a constant strength. In every snowstorm, there lies the promise of spring. Out of the senseless loss from angry gunfire and irresponsible politicians, rises the power of transparent truth. We WILL choose a different path. The day cannot come soon enough.




Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


When violence erupted in our nation, a man named Martin Luther King Jr. taught us unyielding compassion. He gave us a dream that all races and creeds would walk hand in hand. He marched and he prayed and, one at a time, opened hearts and saw the birth of his dream in us.

Pres. Barack Obama (from his book, “Of Thee I Sing”)


….and we are still marching, still hoping, still living UNYIELDING COMPASSION. 50 years since MLK was killed….when will we ever learn?


(Global Women’s March, Jan. 20, 2018, Be the Change!) 


True Home


“Your true home is in the here and now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality or race. You can find your true home….in the present moment.

     Go back and take care of yourself….Go home and be there for all things.”

~ THICH NHAT HANH (from True Home)



A true Journey of Resilience is a journey toward, into and through “Home”. Again and again, over & over through time, we revisit the search for “True Home”. Is it community, solitude, place, family, a tree or a blade of grass, breath of wind, sunlight or endless space? Trusting in the gift of resilience, the blessing of faith ~ the journey continues.


“Almost every moment of your life…you have a choice….whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften, whether to hold your seat or strike out….That choice is presented to you again and again and again.”



“November” ~ R.Frost



NOVEMBER ~ by Robert Frost

We saw leaves go to glory,

Then almost migratory

Go partway down the lane,

And then to end the story

Get beaten down and pasted

In one wild day of rain.

We heard “T’is over” roaring.

A year of leaves wasted…..




….OH, we make a boast of storing,

Of saving and of keeping,

But only by ignoring

The waste of moments sleeping,

The waste of pleasure weeping,

By denying and ignoring

The waste of nations warring.

NOVEMBER ~ Robert Frost



Every wall is a door. ~ R.W. EMERSON




Being Peace in the Midst of Anxiety



If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, ~ not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

This morning, I watched the bright edge of the dawn become covered over with a blowing, darkening cloud bank. The light of a new day disappeared before it was completely born. I stepped outside and found gratitude for the fresh winds, for the light rain which, for just an instant, thankfully replaced the sound of city traffic. 

Yesterday, I drove to work in early cold fog ~ but looked up to the swirling clouds and lightest blue sky ~ the migrating birds soaring over the water ~ Seeing the transient, brilliant, warm shades of autumn in leaves painted just for our need of joy.

Such a time of anxiety and fear our world has never known ~ and yet children still smile, leaves still vibrate in myriad colors, birds still fly and dive, winds still refresh and cleanse. Religious leaders….like Thich Nhat Hanh and Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama….insist that “being peace” is possible every moment, and our attention to that possibility is essential in establishing & maintaining a sane world.

I find this a difficult assignment at times….and only remember how to claim it when I really see the constant beauty & calm of the natural world, hear the subtle sounds which can help my mind and heart to believe and have hope once again. I stand up for tolerance and compassion, rail against the fears/anxieties being generated throughout the world , grieve with the victims of natural and man-made disasters~ but I try every day, over and over, to see the gift of a smile, the curiosity of a student, the confidence of my sons. The future is now; the past moment is gone ~ I am trying so hard to look forward and acknowledge the great good surrounding all of us, the open door which might take us through and onward to a real peace of spirit and community.


9/11 ~ remembrances


9/11/2001 ~

~ I remember my aging mother in shock, watching the television news for hours…silently, fearfully grieving. ~Her generation having lived in HOPE  that we would never live through another world war.

~ I remember my husband calling from his school classroom, so early, having just arrived with our oldest son, firmly telling me to turn on the television now…. his voice all fear and shock and horror.

~ I remember driving our younger son to his school, because he insisted on being with his friends and teachers, as the morning’s events unfolded across the hearts and minds of this wide country….leaving him there so reluctantly, not knowing what was safe anymore.

~ And I remember my own college students, especially those from other countries, far from their homes. The shaking fear they shared as we grieved and searched for answers together. I remember so intensely the tears on the faces of the young Korean students who knew better than we how unbearable it is to live in constant fear of war.

9/11/2017 ~

Today, I wonder and question what this world has learned. So much has changed, yet so much stays the same. Perhaps we still hold onto hope, but what will we do with that hope? How are we all affecting the quality of the day in our wish to help make the world a better place? What course are we following; what intentions do we hold; what commitments to act on change do we embrace?

“To protect creation, to protect every man and woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, ~ is to open up a horizon of HOPE.” ~ Pope Francis

To affect the quality of the day~ That is the highest of arts.” ~ H.D. Thoreau





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


…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, volunteer in a sanctuary education 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!