Come, stand by me and watch the flames dance.
Come stand by me and talk of Peace.
There is so much Peace to be made. Let us fill our minds with Beauty and our hearts with friendship. Let us make Peace.
Everybody loves a rainbow it seems. I laughed last night that my niece posted a very similar pic (although it’s true, hers included her oh-to-cute lil boyo as well). But Evans girls finding joy.
I love looking at this pic because it’s beautiful, and I still love the mythology that surround them — but this pic was particularly fun because Lorraine and I, my friend of 50 years, were standing together looking at beauty and an arc that joined two points together. Since Lorraine and I live 5000 miles apart and it was the day before I was leaving on the train, it felt not only auspicious, but comforting.
But Rainbows always remind me of Peace and now friendship. Friendship always reminds me of Peace too.
Beauty is not meant to be hoarded and tucked away protected from the world; it is meant to be shared.
Peace shatters if it’s sacralized and kept apart.
The more Beauty we bring into the world and share with one another, the more we learn and acknowledge what another finds beautiful, the better able we’ll be to create something lasting and possible between us.
I woke up thinking that everyone needs to build themselves friendship cells. I need to know women who are Muslim, Christian, Jews, and the Hopeful. I need to form such a group deliberately. We need to learn one another and love one another. The more of this that do so, the harder it will be to foment differences between us.
We are people who believe in Beauty. We are people who believe in Peace.
I had a lovely visit with my friend Faye Wilson this winter. She is many wonderful things, but among them, she is a stellar friend. It’s not just that she’s my stellar friend, although she is, but it’s that she knows how to be a very good friend and enjoys that richness in her life.
Friendship is one of the bedrocks of my life. I learned this, I think from my Mom. She had good friends and kept them throughout her life. She tended those friendships. She taught us that.
I am lucky in my friendships. This week, I’m enjoying a lovely intersection of fabulous friends. It would be a richness in and of itself, but with so much of my family gone, these particular friends, although there are many other ones, know how to take places at the table.
Faye and I thought that perhaps, not that I can imagine every creating another CV, that friendship ought to be listed. It’s time to change what’s important in our lives and to remember how friendships define, inform and transform us.
Such rich Peace, these friends of mine. I hope yours are that for you. Having friends, deepening friendships, building new ones are, I believe, building blocks of Peace in the world. You learn the value of another human being; you learn how your life can expance when you treasure your friendships. You want more. And that’s a lovely thing. Friend Peace; I’ll raise a glass to that!
Summer! Hot Weather! Hot food to take your mind off it!
Cool Shades and Cool Cafes to hang out in.
Friendship, troubles and laughter and love.
It all adds up to Summer Peace.
I just had a visit with an old friend. What a delight. 30 years of friendship — the last 15 sustained by occasional phone calls. No matter. How is it possible the babies I held are now grown ups? Whom I don’t know. And they know only as Annie the Witch.
such fun. The sweet Peace of friends you think with. Shout Hallelujah!
We know that Spring happens, but it still feels miraculous to see those flowers burst forth — and to weather the early spring storms. The brilliant green of June, the blink of fireflies in July, I can name you something in every month of the year that we find miraculous either because they take our breath away or restore our hope.
Should we quibble that they’re not technically miracles? Because they really, really, really feel like miracles.
And what about things like friendship and romance. They develop across the most unlikely barriers and differences. Are there sweeter miracles than these?
All the impediments sometimes don’t seem to make a difference and love blossoms and flourishes, just as the narcissi flourish in the Spring.
So, isn’t it possible that something as ridiculous, as astonishing, and as unlikely as Peace could also bloom and flourish? Imagine the first perfect strawberry you eat in a season. Peace might taste like that. Strawberries are possible. Why not Peace?
And if miracles are possible, what would it take to keep them happening. The Earth does a pretty good job with Spring, although heaven knows, humans are doing their best to screw that up. And people keep falling in love and friendship, despite the barriers. So how do we keep Peace happening? How do we encourage it’s burgeoning?
Let’s Peace. Let’s find out. Let’s be the Miracles we need in this world.
Yep, this weekend has been flurries of fun mixed with serious moments…
It’s been a long time since I did anything that spectacularly, well, anything…
Taking off your clothes, putting aside good sense, and hopping into the cold water.
But Faye had always wanted to… and i had always wanted to see if I could… So we did and I could.
It’s important to have friends who dare you to deeper things.
Yesterday we hopped in the river. Today we’ll hop in the pulpit. That will be equally fun, very safe, but in its own way equally daring. In between we sat on the couch or at the table and laughed and talked seriously…
And then I’m hopping in my bed for a nap. Poor Faye has to hop in her car and drive for five hours.
I’ve got thinking to do about how our women’s college — Wilson — shaped my life. Today i’m just mulling about how that early connection holds fast in so many ways… and how good and rewarding that is.
Peace… through wackiness. We’ll laugh to that!
I was caught off guard. It’s not that I don’t miss them all individually. And sometimes I miss the family. I know a lot of people who know that I lost them. But I don’t know many people who knew us together.
But when El walked in, and I’ve not seen her since Deb died, it opened floodgates that had obviously been lurking.
I was home. I was safe. And there were memories here to pull out and sort through. I had a long drive to do that very thing. It was very sweet. It was very sad. But I not only got to see my very dear friends, I got little snippets of my family back when I least expected it.
Love is so very sweet, even when it’s sad… even when it’s hard. Our work is to find the Peace in Love.
I have wonderful friends. I know wonderful people. People who do ordinary and extraordinary things. People who do things to the best of their abilities. People who stretch beyond what is expected of them… whether by others or by themselves.
We have this weird thing going on in today’s culture… we have both very low expectations of people, jumping up and down when you phone in a an experience — and ridiculously high ones: failing to notice when when people reach deep into themselves and pull out all that is bright and beautiful and put it to work.
When we do our halting best and do a good job, that means something.
Too often we don’t turn to those we love — or even to those we barely know and say good job you worked so hard, you really tried. Not even you succeeded — you worked your heart out on that. The least I can do is be present enough in the moment to notice and to tell you.
And it’s good to know that your friends treasure your work because they know what it costs you. We all do a lot of things that aren’t the easy things for us. We should be proud of ourselves. And we should be proud of people we know. And we should tell them.
I know this is dicey. I know that that pride can be a dangerous thing. It can become more about the pride and less about the doing what needs to be done.
But sometimes we need that encouragement. Sometimes we are so petrified at what we’re undertaking it means the world to have someone turn and say, yep. you’re doing a wonderful job. Keep going. You’ve discovered new possibilities. You’re working hard and doing good. A friend of mine always used to say 5 attaboys or attagirls for you. Yes, you.
My friends, I’m proud of you. Be Peaceful with yourselves. You’re doing the best you can — so much more than you imagined you could.
It was such a beautiful day yesterday. Wildly, out-of-season-ly beautiful. And oh, it looks like it might be the same sort of day today. hurrah.
So, yesterday and today, in terms of their beauty, are days to remember — and to be enjoyed.
Yesterday was also a day to remember a friend whom we buried. I’m mostly called on to do memorials and interment of ashes. I rarely do a casket funeral. But this is what my friend wanted. (and before we get too far off topic, they’re now saying that perhaps it’s better to bury than to cremate due to the immense amount of fuel and the release of particulate matter.)
People always say to me, you must hate doing funerals. In fact, I don’t. I am so honored to do them. Weddings are fun and baby blessings are a joy. But funerals, to work to get the memories right, to help people remember their loved one… oh, that is such a privilege.
I have people I work with at church, musicians, poets, kitchen magicians who deepen the experience. Will you do this, I ask, and they say yes. And then it all gets better. It was even richer because his friend, who doesn’t speak in public, opened his heart and spoke for his friend. We use who we are and what we know and make space for family and friends to be comforted in their loss and maybe even inspired to live more fully by this person they knew so well.
It’s silly, but wonderful to be so glad that my wedding table cloths and those little salt and pepper shakers are useful in lifting a family’s heart in the gathering afterwards.
Funerals, just like every other experience in life, should engage as many senses as possible. This one did. The service helped us remember. The day was so beautiful, so that standing at the graveside for this man whose struggles had ended, everything seemed joyous and right. Poetry and song wove ties around us.
And then back to the church for another opportunity for building memories.
Thank you my friends. For that day, in that group, Peace was in that place.
And then there’s the totally absurd fact that having done two funerals in one week in what must be county cemeteries, I’m on a winking and grinning basis with the gravediggers. It’s a weird world.
There’s birth and death and a whole lot of life in between. But at the end to be laid to rest with gentle words and reinforcing bonds, this is good.