Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used in order to exist at all. -William Faulkner
My great-grandma’s name, Alma. Alma Evalo Latta. Who gave me a mother’s love when mine was incapable of giving.
The grand parent is able to relinquish center stage and to stand on the sidelines, and thus be in solidarity with those who need their support. Children can feel secure in the presence of their grandparents because, while their parents are still rushing to find their way through life’s journey, grandpa and grandma have hopefully become spacious. They can contain problems, inconsistencies, inconveniences, and contradictions—after a lifetime of practicing and learning.
Grand parents can trust life because they have seen more of it than younger people have, and they can trust death because they are closer to it. Something has told them along the way that who they are now is never the final stage, and this one isn’t either. We need to be close enough to our own death to see it coming and to recognize that death and life are united in an eternal embrace, and one is not the end of the other. Death is what it is. I am a grand father when I am ready to let go. To the grand mother, death is no longer an enemy, but as Saint Francis called it, a “welcome sister.” -Father Richard Rohr
I chose this place to stay in Collioure, on the Mediterranean, because of my grandma who I miss everyday and talk with in my prayers and meditations. When we arrived after a day of back road DRIVING IN FRANCE (WHAT?!),
[A Citroën in France. Bien sûr.]
[Thank G A I A for co-pilots.]
it was not what was advertised, not so much structures on a beach connected by private platforms,
but na extremely dirty once white tent on rocks with no windows and a bathroom quite far away. We didn’t have what we needed for a cold night of rain and thunderstorms…in a tent. <sigh> Alma is camping, not ‘glamping.’ So we left and went searching for a new place, on a Saturday. Pas bon. Looked at a Templar hotel, with a window opened to access pigeons in a dark, damp, alley. No merci. Finally, we landed, Grand Hotel Du Golfe, on the Gulf of Lion. Tres bon.
The colours of Collioure, a small village, home to about 2,800 people, in the south of France. It’s just over 2 hours to Barcelona.
Matisse, Soutine, Gauguin, Picasso, Miró. All artists who made pilgrimage to Colloure for the colours…
A perfect good morning in Collioure. ☀️
Qu’est-ce tu as fait aujourd’hui?
What did I do today? I explored Southern France with two of my most favorite people on the planet, Annie Glenn and Michael Gillette. Radical Grace. Thanks be to you, dear Gaia. (I miss you William Henry.)
Exploring the ruins of Puilaurens and Montsegur, traveling the back ancient roads of Landguedoc/Occitanie. ღ
Father Richard Rohr reminds us today,
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897) called a simple, childlike path her “little way.” It is a spirituality of imperfection. In a letter to priest Adolphe Roulland (1870–1934), she writes: “Perfection seems simple to me, I see it is sufficient to recognize one’s nothingness and to abandon oneself as a child into G A I A ‘s arms.” Perfection is, in fact, our ability to include, forgive, and accept our imperfection. As I’ve often said, we grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. That might just be the central lesson of how spiritual growth happens, yet nothing in us wants to believe it.
If there is such a thing as human perfection, it seems to emerge precisely from how we handle the imperfection that is everywhere, especially in ourselves. A “perfect” person ends up being one who can consciously forgive and include imperfection rather than the ones who think they are totally above and beyond imperfection. It becomes rather obvious once we say it out loud.
Our greatest gift to give. jai
Finding light’s colour.
Limoux’s waning moon.
By asking “Whom does my soul serve?” we learn to turn our attention to the deeper purposes of what we do. We enlarge our vision of what’s possible and gradually learn to root our actions in soul.
Could it be that this earthly realm, not in spite of but because of its very density and jagged edges, offers precisely the conditions for the expression of certain aspects of divine love that could become real in no other way? This world does indeed show forth what love is like in a particularly intense and costly way. But when we look at this process more deeply, we can see that those sharp edges we experience as constriction at the same time call forth some of the most exquisite dimensions of love . . . qualities such as steadfastness, tenderness, commitment, forbearance, fidelity, and forgiveness. These mature and subtle flavors of love have no real context in a realm where there are no edges and boundaries, where all just flows. But when you run up against the hard edge and have to stand true to love anyway, what emerges is a most precious taste of pure divine love.
Cynthia Bourgeault, author, ‘The Meaning of Mary Magdalene’
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
From author and scholar Jean Houston:
Once you answer the call to a larger life, there is no turning back. Indeed, each of us might usefully consider where we find ourselves right now on the cycle of our own particular journeys. Have you heard a call to the larger life? Have you refused it, and if so, why? Have you accepted the call but then met with monsters of recalcitrance who refused to let you pass across the threshold to your own deeper capacities and possible life? Did you finally outwit these monsters and get across? Are you caught in the belly of the whale through despair, depression, or just plain sloth? Have unusual allies or helpers shown up? A telephone call at the right time? A book falling open at an important passage? Do you find yourself in the midst of the road of trials, and if so, do you experience it as full of adventures or as just one damn crisis after another? Is there awaiting you a sacred marriage or a transformational friendship? Do you feel the yearning for the inner beloved of the soul? Are you seeking atonement or attunement with your father or mother . . .? Are you finding a boon, an insight, a project that may bring some healthy solution to your own and the world’s problems? . . . Or perhaps you find yourself, like the rest of us, in several different stages of the journey at the same time.
From the Center for Action & Contemplation, ‘experience a version of this practice through video and sound.’ Turn it up so you can hear the birds. :)
Being in a different country, immersed in a second language and culture, the grail journey is seemingly more acute…magnified. Yet, these journeys are available to us anywhere…time or place. The calling is profound. Listening, imperative. And then, time seemingly elongates…expands…where the stories we once carried seem so much quieter, smaller. Maybe it isn’t that life is short, but that we live it fast…choices and consequences and ‘next.’ As Cynthia shares, it’s the ‘density and hard edges’ of this iteration in time that gives us the grace and possibility…mercy?…to examine the most exquisite dimensions of love within the constructs we create with fear, rage, and violence, the dimensions of
As Cynthia reminds us, “That’s our business down here. That’s what we’re here for.”
Saint-Martin’s in Limoux, for Ukraine.
Barns in France
I saw this barn earlier, in August, in Alet-les-Bains.
So much potential. Just need some input from Chip and Jo.
And then, I noticed another barn, not far from where I’m living in Limoux. After seeing the structure in Alet-les-Bains, I recognized it as a barn, too.
It must be ancient, in that other buildings are for residents in Limoux. There’s an address over the archaic door, thinking, again, about the potential for renovation.
When I returned from Rouen, look!
This is going to be so fun to watch being renovated.
A peek inside…
A loft and skylights, right?
This is a photo I’ve saved for, gosh, I don’t know, I think three years now.
Same basic structure as the barns in Alet-les-Bains and in Limoux.
Oui s’il vous plaît. ღ
From Queen Elizabeth II’s cortege today in London.
[Image from the BBC.]
7 Reasons The Queen Loved France
(and why France will always remember her)
The Queen was very much the “friend of France” that French President Emmanuel Macron referred to in his tribute.
by Zoë Smith
From choosing Paris for her very first overseas trip to visiting the Elysée more times than any other foreign sovereign in history, The Queen was very much the “friend of France” that French President Emmanuel Macron referred to in his tribute.
Here are seven special reasons why The Queen loved France and why France will always remember her.
1. Queen Elizabeth’s first ever trip overseas was to France
2. Her Majesty made six state visits to France during her reign
3. The Queen is also the Duke of Normandy
4. The Queen and Prince Philip vacationed in France
5. The Queen inaugurated the Channel Tunnel
6. France gifted The Queen a horse for her Platinum Jubilee
7. French was The Queen’s second language
[Full piece: https://francetoday.com/culture/7-reasons-the-queen-loved-france-and-why-france-will-always-remember-her/?utm_source=France+Today&utm_campaign=c898565112-LPJ_10_02_2016_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_48663ae590-c898565112-295618390&mc_cid=c898565112&mc_eid=5280d28ccc ]
Forget Me Nots
Center for Action & Contemplation
‘I am sorry. Forgive me’
The English ‘I am sorry’ wraps the plea in the logic of individuality and the English ‘Forgive me’underlines the same. What I have done was done only by me and thus is only my responsibility. This ‘I am sorry. Forgive me’ is all about me.
‘Ndicela uxolo’ means ‘I ask for peace.’ It is an ubuntu apology and it is about we. ‘I ask for peace’ sees our interconnectivity.
Ubuntu peace is peace between us and peace within each of us. Ubuntu forgiveness is peace that heals.
‘Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.’ -Kahlil Gibran
Just finished my first France journal my daughter made for me at Christmas.
‘If you think one noble thought in a mountain cave, then it will form vibrations throughout the Universe and will do what can and must be done’ [p.95, The Manuscript].
‘We all take part in the cruelty of the world. Even when we think we know nothing about it. We all carry a Hitler and a Yeshua in us. At one time or another each person must stop and face their own failures and cruelties. Otherwise they are just projected on’ [The Manuscript].
Indeed. When we forgive and offer grace, and it is not received, it is gravity. [Dualism] ‘Earth is a half-way house.’ And then, it is no longer ours. Forgive: to let go. If the other does not, it is their path now, not ours.
From Marianne Williamson today:
‘With every breath, I breathe in the holy substance that infuses all things.
On this day, I remember and will not forget that love is all around me. I acknowledge love’s presence in myself and others, and breathe in with every breath all the power it bestows.’
Cue The Troggs. :)
From the book, ‘The Beauty and Mystery of the Languedoc:’
‘The Languedoc region has a very extraordinary history, full of tragedy, conquer, drama and mystery. When you drive through the sleep villages today, it is hard to imagine that this region was once a metropolis of the highest importance and was at other times the seat of power from which large parts of the world were ruled. That is why it is worth while to have a closer look at its amazing history, because if you know what to look for, you can still find relics of these high times hidden in the most remote places.’ -Julia B. Kingsley
Look what I found. This ancienne église (ancient church) in Limoux, set back, and fenced off from the public due to safety concerns. I believe there is a renovation plan in place. Gorgeous. Even the tile. In many apartments and homes in the Occitanie region, the buildings are original, like the building I’m staying in, and often the original tile and flooring is in place, as well as stone walls and cobbled streets. In France they preserve and honor their history. How I wish the stones could speak. If we vibrated just a little more slowly, perhaps we could listen!
I want to hear their stories. It was once a convent in 1358.
I remember what Sir Henry Lincoln once said to me, ‘Stop looking, and see.’
“The Holy Grail ‘neath ancient Roslin waits / The blade and chalice guarding o’er Her gates / Adorned by masters’ loving art, She lies / She rests at last beneath the starry skies.”
‘This moon is good for grounding, generosity, courage and the support needed to show up in your life in a bigger way. We are all striving for more; becoming more powerful, wise, accomplished, conscious, successful, satisfied, happy and fulfilled. Allow this full moon to feed your self-confidence so you can be all those things.
Forgive all the times you have been hard on yourself for the illusion of “not doing it right”.
Take in as much sunlight as possible and honor the masculine in yourself, the quality of taking action, and the ability to manage your energy in a productive way.
In this surge of energy, you may experience things feeling a bit out of control and it may be easy to get irritated and impatient especially around a process you have no control over, such as traffic or weather or other peoples issues. Stick to your own sense of management, stay in your own lane, and don’t get caught up in any drama that is taking place “out there” or with others. Your best service is being a grounded focused example of stability in the midst of turmoil and chaos.’ -Power Path
‘Still I Rise’
‘Nevertheless, she persisted.’
When someone disagrees with you today, stay present, listen, and then let them solve the problem.
Problems are transformed when we are present.
-Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD
“By contemplation, we mean the deliberate seeking of God through a willingness to detach from the passing self, the tyranny of emotions, the addiction to self-image, and the false promises of the world. Action, as we are using the word, means a decisive commitment toward involvement and engagement in the social order. Issues will not be resolved by mere reflection, discussion, or even prayer, nor will they be resolved only by protests, boycotts, or even, unfortunately by voting the “right” way. Rather, God “works together with” all those who love (see Romans 8:28).”
The only way out and through—for either side of any dualism, including that between action and contemplation—is a kind of universal forgiveness of Reality for being what it is; it thus becomes the bonding glue of grace which heals all the separations which law, religion, or logic can never finally or fully restore.
-Fr. Richard Rohr
The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down
How bout no longer being masochistic
How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping.
Will we ever be able to forgive you?
The aim of restorative justice is to return the person to a useful position in the community. Thus, there can be healing on both sides. Such justice is a mystery that only makes sense to the soul. It is a direct corollary of our “economy of grace” and yet the term restorative justice only entered our vocabulary in the last few decades. How can we deny that there is an evolution of consciousness?
What humanity really needs is an honest exposure of the truth and accountability for what has happened. Only then can human beings move ahead with dignity. Hurt needs to be spoken and heard. It does not just go away on its own.
As any good therapist will tell you, you cannot heal what you do not acknowledge. What you do not consciously acknowledge will remain in control from within, festering and destroying you and those around you. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus teaches, “If you bring forth that which is within you, it will save you. If you do not bring it forth, it will destroy you”.
Only mutual apology, healing, and forgiveness offer a sustainable future for humanity. Otherwise, we are controlled by the past, individually and corporately. We all need to apologize, and we all need to forgive or this human project will surely self-destruct. Otherwise, history devolves into taking sides, bitterness, holding grudges, and the violence that inevitably follows. As others have said, “Forgiveness is to let go of our hope for a different past.” Reality is what it is, and such acceptance leads to great freedom, as long as there is also both accountability and healing forgiveness.
-Richard Rohr, Center for Action
is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, the act of forgiveness not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source. To approach forgiveness is to close in on the nature of the hurt itself, the only remedy being, as we approach its raw center, to reimagine our relation to it.
It may be that the part of us that was struck and hurt can never forgive, and that forgiveness itself never arises from the part of us that was actually wounded. The wounded self may be the part of us incapable of forgetting, and perhaps, not meant to forget…
Stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting…
Forgiveness is a skill, a way of preserving clarity, sanity and generosity in an individual life, a beautiful question and a way of shaping the mind to a future we want for ourselves; an admittance that if forgiveness comes through understanding, and if understanding is just a matter of time and application then we might as well begin forgiving right at the beginning of any drama, rather than put ourselves through the full cycle of festering, incapacitation, reluctant healing and eventual blessing.
…at the end of life, the wish to be forgiven is ultimately the chief desire of almost every human being. In refusing to wait; in extending forgiveness to others now, we begin the long journey of becoming the person who will be large enough, able enough and generous enough to receive, at our very end, that necessary absolution ourselves.
Excerpt from CONSOLATIONS