Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good Day

Today was a good day. In retrospect, I almost started to say, wow-- "well balanced" between work and play. But then I remembered that I'd spent most of my work hours at our staff holiday luncheon--indulging on scrumptious appetizers, wine, and Hudson River views. Most of the real work I did today was for church--organizing for a Green Sanctuary forum and putting together the Christmas Eve order of service. I worked steadfastly on these after putting the girls to sleep. Again, they were exhausted by 7:30-- good quality time before that spent playing Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land, reading stories, and cutting out pictures of things that begin with P from magazines (for homework). Good Day. Even if the "christmas spirit" still eludes, I do like the lights of my tree--so peaceful and mild.


Most mornings my husband goes jogging or climbs a mountain. This is his time-- sacred time, you might say. Time to be alone, focus, begin again in the light of a new day.

I have been feeling a real dearth of such time in my life. The go-go-go is immeasurable. And even with my personal go-go-go, I am still feeling that I am letting people down. It was just too much last night to take Camille to her school Christmas concert at the high school--one which seemed fairly unorganized and without expectation of attendance. Or maybe I'm just saying that to assuage my guilt. Walking into the house at 5:30, waving to my husband on his way out the door to his job, I spent the first half hour consoling a 3-year old out of a tantrum. By the time I had a chance to consider the concert, I realized that Lance had driven away with the car seats. Was this blessing or curse? My kids had a great time last night--oranges and bagel snacks, stories cuddled with mom, an extra long bath time, playing together. They were exhausted and ready for bed by 7:30 actually--the time the concert was slated to begin! I could just imagine how Elisa would have held up there, with mom feeling completely frazzled.

But again, I have mixed feelings. The go-go-go seems an imperative of culture--I am definitely not keeping up with the Joneses in Christmas consumption. This has led me to avoid extended family gatherings around the holidays where the idea is to pass out presents to everyone you've ever said hello to in your life. And the thing is I would pass out homemade presents-- if my life were such that I had time to spend carefully planning and preparing and making these. But my life consists of 40 hours of administrative work each week, caring for children (most times on alternating schedules from my husband), and a couple personal passions mainly related to religion, church, and history (most of this I fit into that 40 hours of administrative work--eating lunch at my desk while focusing on these--or in the hours after the kids fall asleep).

I'm not exactly sure what to do with time. It definitely is NOT to replace writing, reflection, and dreams with consumption or sedentary activity (i.e. TV watching). Those things are the easiest to give up--no-brainers really. And yet, I still feel pulled between activities of goodness and worth.

I am happy though--Camille will have the opportunity to participate in a Christmas Eve service at church--to process and sing with other children for this event. And I will try to plan better and make the Christmas concert at school next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Attic Ramblings

There is a certain heaviness I cannot seem to shake, except in moments. Two nights ago was one of those moments--hanging out in Adrian's attic with him and Sarah. His record collection and memorabilia stored in that finished space, accessible only by ladder. Chillin with some cider, cheese and crackers, sprawling on pillows and talking about Georgia O'Keefe and tarot readings... It took some serious opening to get to that point, to get past the clouds I've been feeling surrounded by. But there is a point of laughter you get at, sometimes, when you just see a flicker of the way life should be. Felt a little irresponsible, sure, like teenagers--but these planned once a month support group meetings have become my treasures--and my moments of clarity.

Connections arise in these moments of truth. I told them about my latest exploits in the life of Margaret Fuller, and Sarah told me that she used to do the lights for a one-woman show on Margaret in the late 80's. Laurie James, Fuller actress and historian, had given her a couple books which are still in Sarah's attic, which she will pass on to me. This seems a fitting calling of late-- to bring Margaret out of the attic of this place where I live-- and let her light walk along the shores yet again. I am convinced there is magic in this place, perhaps imbued by sacred dancers centuries ago.

These explorations into past and present bring me to life, more than the holidays. I have not been able to bring myself fully to the spirit of Christmas-- though now fully decorated, I feel surrounded by unrest in this house. Today, arising early, I might slow down and take in the light. I suppose it isn't really "Christmas" in its commercial sense that I long for, but rather the pace of Advent and the awareness of Solstice. I blame work for getting in the way of Christmas, but maybe it is Christmas that is getting in the way of the holiday? (though work is not helping either...time feels crushed as we race toward the end of the fiscal year...)

But may these candles continue to glow and quiet our days, and may I find my way out of the attic and into the light.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I'm very tired...but just need to send myelf a little reminder that connections are happening like fireworks everywhere.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The absence of writing is, yet again, the sign of an overcrowded life. More than anything is the feeling that life is spinning out of control. And when life begins to spin, I find myself falling into "control freak" mode- getting edgier than I would hope and more intolerant of mistakes than I would like to be. It is sometimes easier to just take things into my own hands than to have to tolerate and make room for others' mistakes. So while I offer the advice-- "Why not just forgive one another our mis-steps?"--to put this into practice is something I struggle with.

My husband is the king of excuses for his rough actions--lack of exercise, lack of sleep, hunger, lack of time, and beer. It is always one thing or another. The list is endless.

For myself, I would simply add it up to character flaw. I like a sense of order. For some reason, I have a mind that is exceptionally attuned to details; I remember more than my share of dates/times/and who said what and when others don't... I get irked.

On the other hand, this character flaw has also made things very interesting--- in poetry writing for instance, the search for the exact word is an art. And lately, it is this over-attention to detail that has unearthed history and nurtured surprising connections. I have been an ardent and furious researcher, and found great meaning in this search. I now feel inspired by a mission to share that rich story with others.

I sometimes feel alone in my excitement for this story. Do others really care? Fellow poets and researchers do. We're a select group, I suppose. To outsiders, we might appear odd. Maybe I can make my message compelling enough to reach a broader audience...

But to begin, I must grow a kind heart. If only I can find a way to curve out those edges, to smooth the angles, and to grow an accepting heart in a world of continuous inaccuracy and disorder.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Making Room

Children are asleep in our bed tonight. "But I want to give you guys room," Camille says while still requesting these new arrangements. Elisa is less concerned about her parents' comfort. As long as we leave the light on in the hall. "It's ok Camille, we will move you to your own bed when daddy gets home."

Is there room? This seems to be the question on my mind in my schedule is a big one-- is there room to get everything done? Is there room to reach out to those who might ask more of me? Old friends, new friends, husband, children, community members, family, coworkers, and what about strangers? Is there room for all? I am a habitual overscheduler--though this seems to work ok for me, downsizing mentally as I go along, it drives my husband crazy. Is there room for all I want to do? Probably not, but we'll work it out.

And what about making room for new ideas--giving up control of all my "know-it-all" ideas and letting someone else take the wheel to see where it goes? This might be the hardest one of all to make room for--humility.

It is a quiet night; I have about 5 dozen projects on my mind...surely not room for all. But I'm letting them stick around for now.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It was not a good morning, of no one's fault but my own. Something in me snapped, and I said words I regretted, in tones I wish I hadn't used.

It's a stupid thing really-- how we get triggered. A misplaced set of keys for one. A misplaced set of dates for the other. One's weakness becomes the other's unbearable nemesis. And what seems like breathing to one, is to the other an impossible handicap. Will we ever learn to assist each other, work together to make this a true union?

Or is the problem much deeper than keys and calendars?

For today, I can only renew my intention to practice lovingkindness. Beginning with myself.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Is this a season of peace, or of chaos? Every December it seems I feel particularly sensitive to an air of negativity. Today at church, things just felt busy...even though the weather kept some away I'm sure. People who are usually friendly seemed stressed, though there were definitely connections and moments of light. I have felt upbeat and positive about life, for the most part, just a little disorganized, and disappointed that I can't seem to get this together. I guess "Disoriented" is the word to express my state in a season that is supposed to feel like home.

I guess it is just taking me a bit to acclimate to the season. Trying to keep track of all the things that need to get done.

Meanwhile Lance tells me I'm staying up too late... but it has taken this long to get my bearings.

The compass of our lives seems to point in two directions, as we spend half our time arguing over which way it should go. Wouldn't it be easier to leave it to chance?

Outside the garland and bows are up. Camille and I made her puppy dog ornament together for school. The tree is lit with lights, but missing its ornaments.Second week of advent, and the wreath is finally ready to be lit.

Slowly, my eyes grow heavy and droop...Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.

Let It Snow

I am sitting in the sunlight streaming through my inlaws window, reflection of the snow against my back. It is a lazy Sunday morning, a good respite from yesterday's full schedule of Christmas shopping and birthday party, dance theater class and house maintenance, car repairs and inlaw visiting. My feet ached last night, as I lay on the couch watching The Wedding Planner (my Achilles heel...), interspersed in commercial breaks with Bloodsport (and we wonder why I have an Achilles heel at all???). The remote was out of my hands, of course. There is a kind smile I can only imagine, as I slip away into dreams...

And now back to the morning reality, the stories put back on the shelves where they belong. We crashed on the couches here. The snow outside kept coming down, so we stayed over at my inlaws. Church today, but it's been a good slow morning so far. I don't need to worry about cleaning this house; I only need to look out on black dirt fields covered with pristine snow, sunlight gleaming, the house fully decorated from head to toe with garland and bows.

I sip on another cup of coffee and return to present. All is well.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Through Children's Eyes

We are getting closer--the lights and garland are on the tree, if not the ornaments. And the first candle of my advent wreath has been lit, Songs of Angels playing in the background. Not sure how life got more complex, while also getting simpler! There are just a lot of great things to do in our life now, since moving to Beacon...taking a moment to focus and center is both challenging and essential. (But I did get Camille to sit five minutes on a cushion with her eyes closed before the lit candle, before getting started on Noggin! Elisa meanwhile was running all over the house, but is now making up stories and acting out scenes with shepherds and wisemen from our miniature Christmas manger!)

Just watching my girls, my spirit grows. I learn. It is through them(and a disgruntled email I received yesterday...) that I have found the inspiration for Christmas Eve service. I have decided to theme it: Through Children's Eyes. The email I received was a rant against intergenerational services; I could not comment on the past few at church, as I haven't been attending regularly due to schedule, distance, and getting adjusted to my new home. I do admit that it takes more than just having children present to call it "intergenerational". And I also know that some of the things that might bore a child, also bore an adult! A good service for children is also a good service for adults! Of course there are times when we need to be adult-directed, and times when we need to be child-directed--but the most joyful services of all are found in the center, in the overlap of all ages.

This year Christmas Eve is a family service--music, children's procession, storytelling, dancing, celebrating--these are the elements of true worship. All good poetry is a story, and it is the narrative around which we build our lives and our worship. Narrative worshhip might be a better way to imagine intergenerational worship.

With christmas, the story is here already, but in Unitarian fashion, it is the imagination which creates the new. As Camille once added the Little Mermaid to the manger scene, and Elisa now enlivens the characters of this timeless story once again, so we must also create a new story of what it means to open the inn, to let in the stranger, to share in hospitality with all.

The RE program has looked at the curriculum "Creating Home" this past year; the children have collected toiletries, hats and gloves for the homeless... perhaps then it is the children who have the most to teach us about this season.

And perhaps, at home, it is my own children who are the candle of my season's meditation.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Question of Life

The tree is half decorated, the advent wreath candle-less and bare. Not sure what the hold up is this year. Ordinary Christmas rituals are slow in coming maybe, replaced by regular AM and PM writing practice, it seems.

This morning I have little to say. I awoke with a moment of panic last night, out of nowhere it seems struck by the notion of death. I ran upstairs and kissed my children, those miracles of life who did not even exist six years ago. It seems they emerged from nowhere but their lives are created each and every day.

Gives a new wondering to the notion of when life begins--it seems that it is always beginnning and arising. There is no moment when God "inserts a soul" into lifeless matter, even a heartbeat or a breath being just one flicker of that full being. I have never been able to wrap my mind around the question of life-death matters such as abortion or euthanasia within the framework of this reasoning. Life is so much more a process, an interdependent evolution than it is a moment, turned on like a light-switch. To view the difficult questions outside of an interdependent context seems to deny the real nature of our existence.

It seems that in order to make sense of the most difficult choices in this world, it must all be viewed within the context of our broken world. Brokenness creates brokenness, and the question lies at which point we might begin to heal. And so, to point a finger at a woman who has been victimized again and again as if she were the sole perpetrator of violence is to ignore the complex systemic violence which has compressed and eliminated her life options. And again, there are circumstances where violence is necessary--where to save one life, a dependent arising one must be lost. To legislate and define so strictly as to eliminate choices is to perpetuate a violence toward women.

I'm not going to get into a political argument here. I am an advocate only for compassion--in our words, our thoughts, our actions. And I am an advocate for the continuous birthing process that takes place with the help of all of us to support and uphold all beings. To show compassion for one life, while ignoring the whole is not true compassion. For, as the Buddhists know, compassion is more than sympathy. It is an understanding of the interdependent connections of all beings and all moments of time.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Insights of the Day

No walk today. The pressures of working with a lot of stressed out people got to me. If only the atmosphere of this work place reflected more closely the experience it offers to visitors!

But even so, I did realize a few things today through the sideview mirror of life:

1) I am tired of hearing the same conversation discussed over and over and over again. Talking and making plans to make a difference is getting tedious. It is too often a matter of spinning in circles, in so many matters. If there is no proposed action at the end of a discussion, then I begin to wonder what the point of the discussion really was. (Referring specifically here about discussions that aim to change the world...there are many discussions whose inherent worth is in the connections that are formed in the present.)

2) My girls require different kinds of interactions, and I need to spend one-on-one time with both of them. I find spending time with Camille both stimulating and fun, as she is at an age where our conversations are both deep and interesting, but I fear I have neglected Elisa--being so frustrated with her just-turned-3 year old whininess. With Elisa, another kind of interaction is needed. Her concentration isn't quite there yet, but what we can share is lots of cuddling and silliness. I curled up in bed with her to read/sing a modern version of "Froggie Went A Courtin'". We laughed and tickled. She loved our silly talk about rat pudding, and asked "why?" about fifty million times. (No action plan from our "conversation", but definitely time well spent!)

3) Report cards mean very little to me. Is it strange that my first impression upon receiving Camille's report was a sense that something was missing? Even as we have practiced skills, I have been measuring my child's growth this past year in the intangibles--curiosity, creativity, compassion. So, while I am very happy that she is learning to read--I am even happier that she WANTS to learn to read. That she loves stories and books. I may never get her to slow down enough to write her name legibly...but seeing her spend hours at the craft table with pens and markers is progress enough. Marks of inconsistency tell me more about areas she might feel a lack of confidence than they do about her intelligence. I know my child's intelligence, despite what the scorecard may say. But mostly I know her soul.

These moments of self-realization in my day are just stepping stones in a daily life. What would a life be without these countless little insights?

Morning Musings...

I have arrived at work early today, as my car is in the shop and Lance needed to drop me off. Of course, the first half hour was spent just trying to connect to the well as a bit of browsing through Emerson and Thoreau while I waited for my laptop to warm up. Now I sit in the third floor lounge, before a window overlooking the Hudson through bare December trees. In the background, the sounds of people going to and fro begin to gather-- the start of busyness pulling at my sleeves.

It is difficult to find peace to pursue the creative spirit. Last night I wanted so much to spread out my notebooks and create--but by the time I got the kids to bed, I was exhausted, and crashed on the couch before 9. Sigh.

Today I will take notes at an all-day meeting of Wellness trainers; followed by an evening of picking up the car...and then decorating the house for Christmas. And somewhere in there preparing and serving a home-cooked meal...I hope.

Christmas does not seem fully present yet this year. That is, the past few years I have lit the Advent wreath on that first Sunday, and begun the rituals of welcoming the morning with candle-light. It is warmer this year so far, so maybe I am still in November, having just pulled the wreath from the trunk of the car. So, while the Carols are playing, the creche is on the mantle, and the gift lists have begun, I haven't fully been able to put myself in a place of presence to the meaning of this season.

A month just doesn't seem long enough to fully delve into a "theme". I am steeped in the monthly First Unitarian themes of Hospitality, Ghosts, and Memory with such rapture this year....the transitions seem harder from one to the next. Perhaps they are only like separate chapters of one long book... Compassion does seem the next necessary place to travel. But getting there only takes time.

Sunday I am meeting with others at church to plan the Christmas service. I am also meeting with Verne afterwards to discuss the UUCRT history project we are creating. There is so much on the calendar this December that I am looking forward to. It seems odd to feel dissatisfied and impatient now-- if perhaps this is what I am is hard to tell.

Emerson wrote of Thoreau that he could not write without his daily walk. I am looking out on a river, a tree swaying in wild wind, the air crisp, yet still no need for gloves.

Making art of life is as much--if not more--in the walk as it is in the work of the pen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wrapping Up the Day

It was a day of setbacks and flat tires. On an international level, more war. On a state level, marriage rights were denied to citizens in the State Senate vote against gay marriage (38-24). And on a personal level, plans went awry as Lance forgot to pay the rent, leave me Camille's booster seat, and pick up cash at the bank. To top it all off, I got a flat tire in town. Ugh.

Overall, it could be deemed a bad day. All over the world seems to be vigiling and rallying for one cause or another, and I am still fighting the battle of flat tires and bathtime. It is frustrating.

But on another note, there were hints of light and possibility. For one, a conversation may be evolving in the city of Newburgh--an opportunity for us Unitarians to open a conversation to the public in connection with Martin Luther King Day. This conversation seems a point of entrance for what we uniquely have to offer to a community in need. I have been seeking this entrance point for awhile, and have yet to find it....but this one seems like it may be more than a crack.

And from other ends, I finally got to go to the library with Camille...picked up Little House stories,Louisa May Alcott, picture books, and her choice-a Barbie Pegasus video. We also did a little window shopping, and--after our flat--had a great uphill climb back from Main Street to home. Camille also told me how she wants to be a "cooker" as we worked together to make butternut squash soup. I ordered Lance's Christmas present too...(Won't mention here in case by chance he discovers my blog...). I also met with Camille's teacher and am very happy with Camille's progress in reading (mostly it is confidence in speaking we are still working on.)

So, wrapping up the day, it seems that good shone through--in spite of (or because of) setbacks. And it is these things which give me strength...and these that I will carry with me in the struggle.

The Sediment of Violence

It was with strange anxiety and sadness that I awoke today to hear the story of a woman from my former congregation who was murdered. While I did not know Christine, the story impacted, and my heart goes out to those who knew and loved her.

In the wake of this tragedy, thoughts emerge in my mind around the story of personal violence, and the impact it leaves on all our psyches. Christine was a lover of wetlands and of art--I connect to her poetic attraction to ponds, swamps, parks, beauty. News stories capture her, as a true Unitarian Universalist, committed to living an authentic life and putting her values into action. I am drawn to read the books she authored on wetlands--having endeavored in my own way to capture the spirit of such places in poetry--such places which have received me in times of death, reviving my soul in the midst of winter. It was by wetlands where Christine's body was discovered, in a park I have visited with my family on a few occasions. As mourners gather to vigil tonight, in the hour before the Unitarian writers session, reaching out to one another in the struggle for comfort, at a loss for meaning, I wrestle miles away with the sediment of this tragedy.

This is, sadly, not the first time murder has entered my religious life. When I was a child, an 85 year old woman in my church, Mary, was killed by an intruder in her home. Mary was a poet and lover of beauty (she admired my mother's church flower garden...), and my mother has somewhere books of her nature poetry. As a young child, I heard the stories of violence--murders and rape by strangers, by partners, by spouses; silent suicides; abuse-- whispered and spoken aloud, and they seeped into my consciousness. Today I hear them still--not in news stories remote and distant as one would hope--but in the periphery of communities--families, churches, shared acquaintances. It is these stories which settle and linger around the edges of our lives; it is another way of viewing the landscape.

There's not really an understanding of what to do with the sediment of violence and harsh loss. It can appear anywhere at anytime, it seems, as much as we wish to predict its course and segregate it to detached quarters of the world. We are, as the wetlands know, interconnected. So while my husband returns home from work with the tales of his immigrant students, with the too-common stories of gangs and machetes in the city of Newburgh across the river, there is at the same time the hushed violence of suburban well-to-do families. Some is routine perhaps--the angry shout, the slap to the face--but simply unknown to the world, shoved behind closed doors. Other acts of violence seem to appear from nowhere--as if one day something just snapped. There is more here than we presently know.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, knowledge of Christine's death brought with it a strange anxiety. Recently, I read the story in the UU World of a mother who wrote poetry to heal from her daughter's strangulation by a man she had dated. I also heard recently from the voice of a good friend--a fellow lover of wetlands and environmentalist--how she found her life disturbed by a man she once loved at an earlier point in her life. And while she swore that he would never have harmed her, the tale of his pervasive stalking is enough to leave anyone to wonder--who then can we trust? I wonder this sometimes myself, hearing stories of people I think I have known and trusted, and creepily disturbed by the thought that we may not really know what dark thoughts lurk inside each others' minds.

The quest to end this kind of violence then is more than simply calling for a ceasefire--of guns and swords and human abuse--though this is most certainly a part of the story. But violence can never truly end until truth is revealed, and we are able to give voice to our hidden consciousness in the comfort of one another's gaze. In the words of Carl Jung, "What we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate." Last night I dreamed of hurricanes, a giant snake, and of broken windows. I don't know fully the meaning of this dream, or of others. But something which I do know is that to heal our world we must also heal ourselves. Together, listening to the dreams and the losses we share, the hidden emotions and thoughts, maybe we can begin to find our way, to reveal and to heal the darkness that lurks beneath algae-covered waters.

At least it's a hope that we might begin.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


At any given moment, there seems more good to do in the world, more just causes to support, more fruitful activities, than there can possibly be time or energy to do. Sitting, spinning, undecided how best to use my time seems its own kind of violence. Is this a tragedy of the digital age? It is no longer a choice between the moral and the immoral; rather it is a choice between doing many worthy things, each of which bears its own costs.

Tonight, I could have been present at a peace vigil across the river. OR I could have witnessed to a message on World AIDS day. In Beacon, I could have shared art with strangers. Or in the comfort of my home, I could have listened to a radio broadcast on transforming our cities.

Instead I stayed home and did nothing to impact the larger world. There was no question really. It was a long day staring at databases and endless multitasking to manage the restlessness of work. My youngest daughter, Elisa, had her flu shots and crashed on the couch by 5. My husband was working, teaching GED classes as he does on every Tuesday night. So it was just Camille and me. As we ate dinner, she gobbled up my roasted "delicious" (her words!) cauliflower. And as we did homework together, and read a story, she cuddled against me and said, "Mom, I'm so glad we get to spend time together alone." She did not ask to play video games or watch tv once, and I was amazed over and over again at how grown and insightul and compassionate she has become.

When Camille was two years old, we took a trip to our first DC march for peace. She sat on my shoulders then and called out "home". And when she was four, we visited DC again for an inauguration; this time she called out "Obama". There will be time again to march together.

We did not make it to West Point tonight to stand in solidarity with all who have died... and to tell this president whom we love that we cannot abide more bloodshed. That no matter the political ins and outs, we are still hoping for another way....

In any given moment there is more to say than we can possibly say to the world. But there is also more to do and more to say right here in this place. And tonight after all the mental surfing and searching it's just where I needed to be.

The Spirit of these Days

As the week begins, so does the rush rush rush go go go of over-sccheduling and ASAP imperatives. Already, my artist's brain begins to languish, as I spent last evening just staring at a screen just trying to make order of my Church History Research. That is, I spent the later part of the evening doing this (after working all day, making dinner, doing homework with Camille, and driving to and from Montgomery for an Adult Programs Planning Committee Meeting). The need to "make order" sits alongside a need to let go and experience chaos. It is out of chaos that creativity arises, and yet unbridled creativity meets no deliverable ends. So, I am wary of overscheduling and desire instead to find a way to discipline withhout control, to balance in spirit.

Balance is not simply a matter of watching the calendar. It is rather a matter of remaining human-- and keeping at the center of all activity that human spirit. At work and committee meetings, it may mean putting aside the "TO DO" list in order to focus on the human beings I am interacting with. Two occasions yesterday elisted that spirit-- a friend at work reminds me with glimpses of her inspiring photography and paintings of the Hudson River. If we are both enchanted by the spirit of Muheakkanuk, but do not celebrate this in the details of our work, than what are we doing with our days? Why are we where we are at all? We cannot be "here-- and nowhere" and be alive.

Another reminder came to me during last night's meeting... it is not all about finding bodies to do the work, it is more importantly about honoring bodies--whether they are in need of rest, of care, or of the desire to be of service. If one member of the committee needs to take a break due to health reasons, then a pause in our meeting reminds us why we do this work to begin with. That we are here to celebrate our place in the sacred web of existence. And to support one another in our lives.