Dark Moon — New Moon Peace Lunacy

And so it ends. And so it begins again.

Both have meaning. And in between is a pause. The silence. Sometimes, as an centenarian drummer told my husband — you have to play the silence.

Stop. Listen to the Stillness. Stop. Notice how strong you are. Stop. Take stock of what needs to be done and what skills you have to .

People say you can’t work on Peace until you’re at Peace yourself. Peace is hard enough without waiting till each individual’s craziness settles down! Peace is out there as well as in here… at the Dark of the Moon is a good time to Listen.

Breathe that Peace in and begin to wonder how you might contribute to the Peace cause.

What is your role, now that you notice the needs and your strengths?

Every month you have this built in pause to reassess. Use it. Luxuriate in it.

Soon that little crescent will start making herself known. But for the moment, Pause. Breathe it in. Take a moment before as the prayer says, we forgive ourselves and begin again in love.

May the Lunacy of Peace be with you…


Diamenté Peace Lunacy

Out we go, into the cold and starry night! There, to be overwhelmed with the frigid beauty.

When the temperatures drop and the moisture disappears from the air, we have a much better view of the sky.

Wrap up and go out and look at the beauty.

I can’t imagine you won’t find it stirring. And consider, this black heaven filled with dancing light blankets the world (ok half of it at this point). People who think far different thoughts than you, people who live far different lives are looking at these heavens in awe and wonder.

May they look at Beauty in safety and Peace. All of them. Every last one. And then wait, here comes the Moon…

And in this frigid weather, may everyone have a place to go to be warm and cozy…



Showing Up for Peace, llvl

There is an art to participating in life, in coping with the daily events and in rising to the occasion.

Some of the skills we learn in our family — if they know them — and others we learn from our community — if we have one.

More and more, I am reminded of the importance of community and yes even organized community. We see the stats of falling membership in churches, and worry that the churches are fading… But I’m not sure that should be our only concern about these diminishing communities. As a minister, no big surprise, I believe faith is important and that it matters that we put our Love to work in the world, but I also think that membership is important. It enriches our lives if we belong to a group, particularly if that group helps us look at why we show up.

One of the ways showing up can help us is that we learn from others who show up. We watch, we observe, we imitate. This is so important in the observing of life’s milestones.

Sadly, tragedy is one of those milestones. There is no life free from it. Death is the inevitable end of life. Many of us think we will end our lives in quiet old age in our sleep, but this is true for only about a third of us.

One of my friends would argue that a person’s death is not a tragedy, but if that person is beloved to us, it is a personal tragedy. We lose that person, we are reminded that life is fleeting, we realize how precious and fragile life is. And other life events impact communities, even nations, even the world.

We want to say something. We want to make sense of things. But death is a simple reality and the surviving deal with that devastation in many ways. Our own experience is different from that of others’. So do we say? A simple “I’m sorry.” or and “I’m thinking of (praying for) you.”

We don’t know what others believe about an afterlife, that’s for them to tell us. There’s no sense to be made of such loss at this time, that just tells people they can’t feel what they feel. So we show up. With some cake, or some fruit, or an easily digested meal. We offer presence, knowing that we can’t make this awful reality any better by anything we say.

We listen. Because people need to tell the story. We step up and handle things the mourners might have had to handle. And we wait. We keep vigil. We are present to their needs without imposing ours. It’s a hard lesson to learn, and it helps to have a community because there will be those people who manage these things graciously and we can learn from them. Because as with any art, there’s a lot of practice, missteps and discipline to make it as effortless as it looks. The effortless is well-rehearsed. So presence is sometimes all that offers Peace. And sometimes being presence is withdrawing. It’s what they need… so it’s what we give.  Peace.


Quiet, Sabbath Peace

Sometimes, when life has been very busy. Sometimes when life has been very disappointing. Sometimes, just because life is life, it’s lovely to take a day off. A day where something gets accomplished, but the biggest milestone might be a visit to the drugstore to restock your kleenex supply. A day where you indulge yourself in a new book and a luxurious read. A day when you sit across a table from friends and catch up.

It’s been a busy week. No one had planned on the need to respond to fearmongering. It didn’t take a lot of big work, but a fair amount of busy work. It was very satisfying that we showed up, a diverse interesting bunch of folk. We stood around and chatted, dropped some cash in the barrel for Love Flows, drank some cider and just generally said Peace and Community matters. It was very sweet.

It’s been a disappointing week. I’d been very excited to be doing a workshop on the Five Fold Goddess, so when the weekend folded, I was sad. I’m sure I’ll do something with it, but it was a chance to step into some work I miss doing.

And there were just things that need to be done around the house. I didn’t make much of a dent in that list, but a little. Here’s to civilization.

And for me, nothing says luxury like a long comfortable chat with friends. I had not one but two of those.

All of that adds up to a day of gentle, simple Peace, the kind of which I would wish for all of you. Maybe today… who knows… Your life will be the sweeter for some quiet indulgence. Blessings on your day. May it be joyful.


Peace in the Storms, llvl

Anyone who lives in a River Valley knows you have to take storms seriously. You have to be prepared. Although not all storms have flood potential, you want to be watching. I have a sister- and brother-in-law who have the furniture movers on speed-dial, in case they need them to come and load their downstairs into a truck. They’ve done what they could to make their house fare better in the storms and be easier to clean up. (it’s totally ingenious and lovely.)

When storms happen, people start calling around letting others who have traditionally had water problems (why say flood when a euphemism will do?) and remind them that their second (third, fourth) bedroom is open. Others dash to the store in case they’re going to be cut off for a while.

But we live in open space. There are wide swaths of fields in these valleys and the storms often roll down alleys of least resistance. So we get to watch the beauty and power build before they let loose. And let loose they do. This is a part of the country where thunderclouds build and then explode into light and sound. Nature throws a beautiful tantrum.

And then the storm passes and all is still and clean and Beauty. The creeks are full and then the river. The land is plump and satisfied. The trees drip on unwary passersby as the birds start to sing once again. Peace visits the Valley. If it’s been a really big storm, the neighbors come out and start helping others dig out. But mostly, there’s Peace and Quiet, and it’s a lovely, lovely thing. (in Deb’s lovely photo, the storm is building.)


Sweet, Summer Peace Days, llvl

I’m having the loveliest time… So many sweet summer days in a row, “no particular place to go…”

Although today we do, Lorraine’s sister Dorothy and her daughter Sigrid are coming and we’re taking the “banana boat” over to the island and going to Kjell and Lorraine’s favorite rocks on the island. Lunch is coming along. Swimming will ensue. It’s only going to be mid 70s today, but the water’s still warm… ahhhhhh. And it’s nice because there’s a rigamarole attached to it. Drive to the boat. Stand in line. Ride to the island (we’re on the Vanern Lake now, the large, large lake in central Sweden, Karlstad is the closest town that’s usually visible on the map, but we’re in Kristinehamn.) Then it’s a 20 minute walk through the woods to get to where we’re going. (that’s the scary part for me… my balance, my balance!) and then out onto the warm, warm rocks that slope into the sea. yay! Everyday’s a holiday.

Yesterday there was dinner with a well known Swedish filmmaker… small art films, not big commercial ones. Gunvor Nelson lives in the same Artists Area in K’hamn that Lorraine and Kjell do. (There’s a print of her house in the snow, done by Kjell that hangs in my office). Pizza. yum. Really, it’s a perfect vacation, lots of eating, lots of swimming, lots of talking to beloved friends and visiting beloved places.

And so I’m reading and enjoying life. Writing a little. And at the same time, fretting a little because after all… There’s a war on and my friend Sonia’s family is at risk. But I guess my prayers from here are carried as well as they might be if i were at home. It’s a very frightening time we live in. As Pope Francis, quickly becoming beloved, said: No more war! No more War! No more War!


Whatever Happens, Sabbath Peace

Well, we’re either getting the biggest snow ever or nothing. They’re predicting a trace to 20 inches.

It’ll be what it is. In the meantime. You and I had better get on with our lives. if it’s a big snow, it’s Sunday shoveling, snow angels, hot chocolate and the NY Times by the fire… or something. It’s going to be wonderful, whatever it is. Or will be if you decide to let it.

Peace. Sabbath. Snow. (nevermind the date) Or No Snow. If it’s snow, it will be Peace and Quiet, the beautiful muffling quiet of snow…

I can’t be bothered worrying about what’s going to happen. Because it’s going to happen whether or not I worry about it. So I wish you a Joyous and Peaceful Sabbath — a mid week break before resuming whatever passes for normal life.




Silent, Sacred Footsteps for Peace, LLVL

Quick this morning, shoveling awaits… want to get at it while the snow’s still dry.

Nothing like a lazy morning waking up to silence. And white, unbroken expanses of snow.

My neighborhood is old, much of it built around the time of the just post civil war era. On days like this up a few steps from the street, you can believe that there have never been cars here.

Peace be with you my friends. Let go the frustration, nothing to do but live with the weather. Might as well enjoy it. Soon enough the cycle will turn and winter’s beauty will disappear. Consider living each day where you are. Too much? Consider living this morning where you are and finding it just right. And make a few footsteps for Peace.


Quiet Sabbath Peace, LLVL

The living la vida local part of sabbath for me is being present to where I am, being right here. It’s also about being deliberate and making space for sabbath, the calm, the quiet observation of it, in my life right here.

I’m trying to balance the quiet calm and moments of reflection with the digging out from under, steadily whittling away at what nags at me. I did some of that yesterday. I’ll do some more today.

I’m not always good at making space to really see the Beauty in where I am. I’m so lucky. My house is filled with beauty some of it inherited from my friends and family. Some of it chosen by the keen eye for line and color I inherited from my parents.

And often I let the clutter of my life and my mind obscure the Peace and the Beauty. Perhaps the sabbath is about re-membering, putting back together the Beauty of my life. That means allowing the dead to dance and the future to sparkle. It means being present, sinking into its peace and quiet. Peace and Quiet. Blessed Sabbath. Love. Peace. Beauty. and maybe popcorn. You decide. As for me, I always like popcorn and a good cup of tea… and Quiet. I like the quiet of the sabbath as well.


Wishful Thinking on Christmas Peace Past

So, here’s the deal, it’s all a pretty fantasy. Annandagjul sales (2nd day Christmas!) another big sales day. It’s good to have Swedish Sisters who keep track of you to keep you on the straight and narrow.

But I am going to sit in my chair and pretend. (Making it so, thanks Jean Luc!) Nothing but visiting, walking and because I’m Ann, swimming. I love me some fantasy, so I’ll keep spinning the stories… In a land far away… there is comfort  and joy, comfort and joy… oh, well, but at least the pastry shops are probably open over there! And at my house, there’s strata waiting to be warmed and salad to be consumed. Brunch. Yes.

Why not make your Christmas Peace last… The Priestess gives you full permission to laze about today. Need a note from your Priestess? Lemme know.

We had a dusting of snow, and I’ve got a dusting of laziness… ahhhhhhh. Enjoy your day. I’m going to enjoy mine. Peace, out!