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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Touching Mountains

We are traveling to Spokane this weekend so I can continue the doctoral journey. We go through Fernie British Columbia which is a small town in the mountains.

These were not my best pictures, but they resonated with me on another level.


Touch the evening sky

Two shades of grey become one

Slowly day joins night.

the last gold flecks dance

bidding farewell to daylight

night gently arrives.


Love After Love by Derek Walcott

Here are a couple of poems. The first is by Derek Walcott and speaks to the relational nature of being with our self. The second is a haiku I wrote yesterday about the need to live in relationship starting with one’s self and extending out to beloved others.
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Sitting in circles
Revealing our inner most thoughts
A covenant grows

This is an amazing thought and important to each of us as we move through life. Be with good friends and bring good cheer.

The Rules for Being Human

This showed up today. It is true, old, and universal.

Naming Values

I posted several times about the need to name values. I think this is important at the personal and collective levels. The word value shares the same root as the French word valoir which connects to such words as valour and valiant. Values give us strength and courage so we can act in a meaningful, purposeful, and courageous manner.Values anchor us our lives. We are not simply adrift on the sea losing sight of the horizon.

I think naming values, as nouns, brings them to life differently than saying something like, “I value” which monetizes the value as if it were currency. Naming a value allows me to hold the value. Although I do not think values are fluid in the sense they change definitions, certain values are important at times and others at other times in life. In this regard, it is important to not only name the values, but to return to them from time to time and tend to them like a gardener would to their flower bed.

Some values I will name and explain connect to others either in creating a balance or without the other they would not be fully understood.

Compassion – Buddhists refer to this as loving/kindness and it begins with one’s self. Compassion and its close cousin patience allows me to make mistakes or to be distracted and gently return my self to the moment. It balances the passion I have for certain things in my life. Without compassion the flame burns hot and is quickly extinguished.

Respect is the honouring of one’s truths and respecting the truth of others. Truth comes from the word troth and happens in relationship. Mindful listening and speaking are essential to respect. It is more than nodding one’s head and turning away.

Community is living with another, sharing what is common and important – the named values – and lifting each other up in difficult times. Mindful listening and speaking play a critical role. The functional community, one with purpose, is able to recognize its moments of dysfunction and communicate effectively. Within community, there is an honouring and respecting of the diversity and autonomy of each other.

Responsibility allows one to respond mindfully. I am responsible for my words and actions. Living in community calls on its members to be responsible or the community cannot survive. I think autonomy and responsibility are companions. Autonomy is the freedom to choose, but not at the expense of others. I set aside self-interest as I mindfully attend to the truths of others.

Wisdom is that which is shared and passed on from generation to generation. It allows the community to act prudently while expanding. Wisdom in this way is a common sense held by the community and learned by each ensuing generation. Carefully and attentively, we choose those things which apply and add as necessary.

Open-mindedness is in part the honouring of truths. Curiosity and the concept of beginner’s mind play a critical role. I step away from my expert’s role with predetermined solutions and replace it with the beginner’s mind of mindful listening, mindful speaking, and right action. The possibilities are generously fueled by curiosity with a sometimes playful face.

Justice is the fairness and equity we find in the most functional of communities. Things are not always equal, but understanding the multiple truths within a community, respecting those truths, and working with a beginner’s mind allows justice to emerge. This is not relativism gone wild, but born out of wisdom, being responsible for words and actions, and being compassionate brings justice to the forefront.

This list is not exhaustive. For the moment, these are the values I choose and name as the most important.

Reading and Blogging

I love to read a good book. I feel I have conversation with the author. As Carl Sagan suggested, I hear the voice of the author. It is the same with blogs. Each time I read a blog, look at its pictures, or both, I feel I am listening to the person share something special about their life with me and the world. Blogs break both the shackles of time and space.

I am grateful.

One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person -perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millenia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time.

~Carl Sagan

You Reading This, Be Ready by William Stafford

To be present and aware in the world is a rare gift. Here is a gift from William Stafford.


Companions – by Ivon

I occasionally forget what got me where I am today. I follow a blog called Slappshot and its author poses questions. Recently, he asked, “What’s your line of work and if you could choose another career…what would it be?

I responded, “I would not want to change anything, but, if I could keep everything else in tact, I want to be a professional hockey player.” You see what I have is very good. Yes, I struggle with things each day, but around me there are people who care and this poem is for them. I am learning to focus on the positive in life instead of the negative.

 Each morning


Tentatively step forward

Discover voice

Discover meaning

That which nourishes, waters, and heals the soul

With those who stand with you

For you

By you

Share the journey

Break bread

Mutual, Reciprocal, Companionship

A refuge in each other

Speak mindfully, heartfully, graciously

Hear mindfully, heartfully, graciously

Your self and the other present.


A Little Sunday Morning Humour

While traveling through the Crowsnest Pass. we took a picture of this sign and wondered what was for sale. We were left wondering where the river front was? We have driven by this sign many times and it has never been on dry land. In fact, it has been submerged so only the first two lines were in view: “For Sale 80 Acres.”

I wonder how the sale is going?

Just a little to the east of the sign we noticed two horses grazing, sort of grazing. They seemed OK with the situation.


Here is great advice. I am sure we have all heard something like this in some form. This is a great little refresher.

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