Are We Grieving? (thoughts on some poetry)

There are two poems for fall that I love best. One, “Ode to the West Wind,” I’ve written about in Reflections. The other is by Gerard Manley Hopkins, one of my all-time favorite poems. (Check out “Pied Beauty” for sheer glory of words.) The Hopkins is called “Spring and Fall,” and has the dedication, “to […]

Into the Fire: Sunlight and Lightning

Fire is both creative and destructive. Its reputation is often largely as something destructive, and yet it gives life, as well. The humble candle can lead to a house fire, destroying lives, possessions and a sense of history. Or, attended and respected, it can create a sacred atmosphere, a romantic environment, or even a place […]

The Privilege of Rebirth: Compost

Last night, I had the privilege of talking with folks about the metaphorical and material power of gardening, of plants, of the powers of weeds, watering, thinning, and composting. Composting as a metaphor for “putting death in its proper place.” The need for death to feed life. Recognizing that even human death feeds the cycles […]

Sweet Sweet Water

In my tradition of Wicca, when we call ourselves to look to the Directions that go out to the horizon, call ourselves to mindfulness of the Elements within us, we begin in the East. We begin where Sun rises and Day begins, with the Element of breath and breezes and gales, of Air. We begin […]

Of Limitations, Yoga, and Death: Ash Wednesday

Ah, the beauty of the movement of the body! The glory of muscles stretching, limbs pulling and pushing, bending and lifting! The rhythms of breathing, running, bicycling, rolling, climbing, jumping, dancing…the innumerable ways we can attend to joyful movement. So many! But then, sometimes, OUCH! I am a bit laid up this week, as it […]

We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest

While it is not my habit to post what some people would call “overtly political” material, tonight is different. Tonight is also different in that I wonder whether I should post at all, or simply refer you to the blogs of people of color who are so thoughtfully writing, speaking, and acting for racial justice. […]

I Speak Their Names

Any list of ancestors is incomplete. We are all one another’s ancestors. We are all creating the world they created and the world they left us. It is also we ourselves whom they have created left to this life and so we are among their greatest gifts. They continue, as we will continue, forever and […]

Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis

The dead are not dead; they are not under the earth… Moferere moferere eggun eggun… Lux perpetua luceat eis… The text above, in English, Yoruba and Latin, is the body of a three-part song that was written for Samhain, the Celtic—and now Pagan—celebration of the Mighty Dead, the ancestors. It was written by a largely […]

A Season of Relinquishment

This is the season of relinquishment. In October 2010, right around this time, I stood near the bank of Laurel Run, the Chesapeake Watershed stream that falls down Pine Grove Mountain to Slab Cabin Creek. I was in the mountains outside State College. My brother carried the box, heavier than you’d think, with my father’s […]

Earth and Starry Heaven

A dear friend/former roommate of mine is now dying. Actively. I think of D’s and my times together, and right now, one special memory, or set of memories, comes to mind. We loved glitter. Both of us. I don’t think she loved it as much as I did/do, but we loved it. We put it […]