Friday, September 19, 2014


If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is
your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.

Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.

Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear- to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
so happy.

- Rumi, From ‘Love Poems From God’ by Daniel Ladinsky.

Moving into autumn, one gets a sense of the deep humility of Life. Red sumac and bittersweet line the fence rows and acorns crunch underfoot. A gust of wind lifts red, yellow, and brown leaves from their childhood homes and carries them into the unknown, a new place to serve the eternal order. And eventually the stoic trusses of their birthplace stand empty of those laughing children, whose shimmering and shaking brought such life through the summer months.

Perhaps it is those very trusses that were used to turn the oar on which we are invited to put our hand; to hold the surrendered life and know that without it, we could not make this journey. This insight brings us to our knees in reverence for such a tenderly graced give and take that lays the humility of our being before the work of our hands, the doing; the willingness to let go before any and all new expression can birth. Like the push and pull of the oar, or the eternal stillness that stirs between strokes.

Peace to you all on this still....and know,  Peggy
Photography by Life in the Northwoods

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Until Your Own Dawn

Daybreak: everything in this world is a luminous divine dream
I have spun.

I did not know life was a fabric woven by my soul.
Any form that can appear to you-should I confess this?-
it is something I made.

All roots nurse from me.

God’s art is mine.  I did not want His divine talent.
It simply grew in my heart from
the way I

Existence is as a young child moving through
a lane at night;

it wanted to
hold my

Here, dear earth, hold me,
until your own

— St. Catherine of Siena, 1347-1380, Dominican Doctor of the Church
Artwork: Mike Karakas

St. Catherine of Siena was devoted to relieving suffering in the world. "Strange," she once said, "that so much suffering is caused because of the misunderstanding of God's true nature. God's heart is more gentle than the Virgin's kiss upon the Christ. And God's forgiveness to all, to any thought or act, is more certain than our own being." At the age of seven years Catherine desired so strongly to wed God that she left home with a loaf of bread and attempted to live alone in a cave. She had a vision, while there, of God telling her how brave she was, but to "let the wedding be later." The next thing she knew she woke up in her own bed. Was it a dream or reality? Later, she took her brother to the cave and asked him to enter and let her know of anything he found there. He brought out two sticks bound in the shape of a cross. Catherine had made this during her stay there with thread torn from the hem of her skirt.

Catherine joined the Dominican Order and lived a life of both deep contemplation and active devotion to the suffering and destitute. She died at the young age of 33. Although completely uneducated, she was highly revered as a theologian, even during her lifetime, and was officially made a Doctor of the Church in 1970. Her book, The Dialogue, can be found here:

Grace and Peace of the ever-present New, Peggy _/\_