Last summer I found this photo of myself while going through a box of my mother’s photos that had disappeared for over 15 years, before a lost parcel service in Utah accidentally discovered it and sent it to me. It’s a proof picture from one of our annual Christmas card photo shoots that took place every fall for the first ten years of my life.Read More
Starting in 2019, I will be leading group walks wherever I am on the first Saturday of each month. Since I know my schedule for my first three months of the year, I will be leading walks in Cleveland OH, Santa Fe NM, and Portland OR in January, February and March respectively.
I will also be setting up walks as I travel — in the hopes of connecting with as many of my fellow walkers wherever I go. I hope to walk in New Orleans LA, Albuquerque NM, and Bend OR in the first months of 2019.
If you would like to be on my EverWalk list, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified of upcoming walks in your area or about how to participate in virtual EverWalks with my nomadic group.Read More
A few days ago, I had the great joy not only of visiting the cell of Julian of Norwich in England — but also of sharing this experience with a group of old and new friends.
Julian lived in Norwich, England, from 1341 to 1415. She was a mystic, an author, a healer, a spiritual guide to countless seekers. She was canonized by the Catholic Church, and is now known to many as Saint Julian. Visiting her shrine has become a pilgrimage for those who revere this humble and devout woman.
But that’s not why I wanted to visit.Read More
Here in the UK, today is Remembrance Day, the day that honors the end of World War I.
This Remembrance Day is particularly noteworthy, as it marks the one hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day. One hundred years ago today, the Great War, the war — it was then hoped — to end all wars, came to a merciful end, but not before over a quarter of the male population of Europe was killed and many more permanently disabled (mentally or physically) — and the entire sociopolitical landscape of Europe forever altered.Read More
Today in the United States our clocks turn back. The days are getting shorter. On Tuesday, here in the US, we vote in the most divisive and important election of many of our lifetimes. The time to make the changes that can save our planet are getting shorter, too.
But all around us, beauty persists. All around us is the presence of joy. All around us is the impetus to speak the language of love and connect with the world in joy. All around us is the hope of the future.Read More
This is a blog about practicing joy. In these dark days, it can seem hard to summon joy, let alone practice it. But joy and love cannot exist without one another. So to practice joy is, by necessity, to practice love. And so to practice joy every day is to summon the heart within each of us that knows that there really is nothing and no one to hate, because we are all one in Love.
Anne Frank wrote, “How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.”
Right here, right now — each of us can improve the world by learning to love more and hate less. To eradicate any justification to hate, and learn to forgive in love. It’s not easy. Sometimes it feels as though hate should only be met by hate and that love is some pie in the sky nostalgia for better times.
It’s not. Love is the ONLY answer.Read More
We have become such a distracted society. You cannot go into a public place without seeing half of the humans hunched over their smartphones (and I, to my great chagrin, am often one of them), not even paying attention to the person they are with, let alone their surroundings. Our surroundings have come to reflect this approach to life. You would be hard pressed to find many places where the architect or designer has created the kind of visual surprises that you find in architecture of another age. What a genuine shame that is!Read More
. . .it is my profound fear that we have become a senile empire and that our leaders are waging war on the world with a bellicose frivolity that many of us believe may lead us to where Austria found itself — become a dinosaur empire filled with relics of an overwrought past.
So what happens from here? Well, what happens is what always happens. The eagle turns out to be a raven that wisely knows nevermore.
Something has to change. Something has to stop. And those of us who have the voice to speak have to find means to speak to that change in ways that feel true to ourselves.Read More
At this weekend’s horror/paranormal convention here in Kentucky, an older white- haired gentleman with a big smile kept coming by my table. I later found out that his name is Bill.
Each time he stopped by, Bill would lean in and tell me something he liked about my dad’s movies in a Kentucky accent so thick that I had to lean right back in to understand him.Read More
Last week, my friend Karen was looking at my Instagram feed and asked, "What's with all the flowers?"
What IS with all the flowers? I found myself wondering. Surely there are other things that will strike my eye, I thought.
So, for the past seven days, every morning and evening as I walked, I found myself looking for other things to photograph. But all I ended up taking pictures of were flowers.
I had to ask myself why.Read More
Last week, I was invited to give a talk at the Ethical Society of St Louis on the topic of desire.
Desire? I thought. When the world is falling apart, they want me to talk about desire?
And then I found this. . .Read More
Today is Gay Pride weekend in many parts of the world. So I wanted to share two stories from the early days of Gay Pride that have always brought me joy!Read More
When we are little kids, we are drawn to grownups who haven’t lost their capacity for childlike wonder and enthusiasm. That enthusiasm and our desire to connect with it means that what we learn most easily is what our parents are most enthusiastic about — be it fly fishing or football, baking or Broadway shows. Those things we learned from that place of easy joy are the things we will always hold closest to our hearts.Read More
Last week, my friend Greg and I drove the fabled Alaskan Highway. It took us six days to drive from Portland, Oregon, to Anchorage, Alaska.
This past Wednesday morning, I found myself back at the very place this blog began -- the rose garden in front of the Santa Barbara mission.Read More
When my dad visited Europe for the first time in 1928, he was just seventeen years old. Although overjoyed to be on a great adventure in Europe, he missed his beloved mother so much that he stood on the shores of the Netherlands and tried out something they had both heard about -- telepathic connection.Read More
As a child, it was my mother who taught me "right" from "wrong" by putting the literal fear of God into me, and being the gatekeeper to what was good and permissible and what was not. As a child, though I bridled agains her will, it was often just easier to do it her way . . . for both my father and for me.
I was a child of immense enthusiasms. The ones she approved were usually the ones that most resembled her own. The ones she did not -- the messy ones, the inexplicable ones, the ones that smacked too much of privilege -- those became our battlegrounds. But my greatest enthusiasm -- my love for my father -- was the one enthusiasm we both fully shared.Read More
Over these past three years, I have shared my various joy practices here in a variety of ways, but it has always been the honest truthtelling that has resonated most for all of us. So that's what I'm going back to. . .My weekly blog just honestly sharing where I'm at, in the hopes that my words and my experience will land where they need to for anyone else who needs them. So while this website still has access to everything that I've posted these past three years, the focus going forward will be one weekly blog. I've rebuilt this website to reflect that. I hope you enjoy it. You see, I realized that's what I've been missing. Our weekly "conversations" about heart, joy, love, life, struggle, redemption, learning, living, being, becoming.Read More
Studies have shown that 85 - 90% of what we spend our lives fearing NEVER comes to pass.
Let me say that again: The VAST MAJORITY of the things we worry about never transpire.
And yet, we spend inordinate amounts of time worrying about these imaginary disasters. And when we worry, we behave and feel and live like the things we fear ARE going to happen.Read More
True confessions: For the past four months, I was struggling with my daily practice of joy. It felt flat. It felt rote. It felt empty. It felt fruitless. I showed up. I did it. I walked Allie. I photographed beauty. I prayed. I remembered to be grateful. I connected with friends. But everything felt flat. Friends suggested I might be depressed. I prayed about that, too.Read More