Thursday Therapy: getting rid of closure


Let’s get rid of the word closure today. We don’t need it. I’ve never been interested in that idea at all. I’ve never have any closure and I don’t want any closure. I don’t like to use that word because therapy means that you care for the deepest elements in your life from the day you’re born to the day you die and maybe beyond. You don’t want closure for these things. Healing is a tough word, too, because it seems quite active. You heal something and then it’s over with. You’ve fixed it. I did my own translation of the gospels not too long ago and I found that the word usually translated as healing (“Jesus healed the sick”) really should be translated as care. Jesus cared for the sick. That’s how I see this idea. I don’t use the word healing much. I’d rather care for the sick and alleviate suffering in that process.

I’m interested in these aspects of the soul, things that happen in our hearts that just go on and on. I’ve seen it in myself over years. I see little changes in some issue, but it remains there and it doesn’t go away. I think that’s a little intimation of eternity. There’s a timelessness. The alchemists used to talk about a rotazione, a rotation of themes. That’s how I see it sometimes. A slow wheel turning around and around and we think that we have solved it but then it comes back again. I think it’s very interesting to look at it that way. That’s why I like Jung’s use of alchemy in talking about dealing with sadness and illness.

–Thomas Moore from this interview

Photo by thierry ehrmann

Monona Drive: 3:30 a.m.


The surrealism of not
another car in sight.
Sunrise nowhere on the
horizon as of yet,
enabling you to notice,
there are undulations and
subtleties, with the glow of the street lights
like a nightlight, almost soothing.
Except not, because the blinking
yellow caution traffic lights are almost
blinding at this hour.

Certain of life’s mysteries, ones
briefly wondered about in
the past week, but no time to ponder them,
start to float to the top
of your consciousness.
Such as, why do cockatiels like to
eat cello rosin? A harkening to
their origins in the Australian wild?

What is it about the German word
for French fries, pommes, that makes
you hit repeat on the pronunciation button,
in Google, and repeat it over and over
again, but you can’t ever
pronounce it exactly right.

Left onto Frost Woods.
No light pollution here.
The leaves on the road swirl as if they are
A flock of birds taking off from the ground.
So much energy and early
Morning productivity.

Now pulling into the driveway.
The wind is howling.
But the large silver maple in back is
Barely moving.
You came to an understanding with this tree.
Last summer.
As Jung said, sometimes a tree tells you more
Than can be read in books.

You enter the house.
Fall back asleep almost immediately.

Monday Morning Inspiration: Get Back Up

Sunday Morning: even the gods speak of God


It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes,
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living,
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.
I have heard, in that fierce embrace,
even the gods speak of God.

Self-Portrait Poem by David Whyte from River Flow: New & Selected Poems. Photo also by David Whyte.

Happy Halloween: a baby owl does the Monster Mash

Bach Break

This is my favorite Bach violin concerto, as performed on my favorite instrument by 2Cellos:

Sunday Morning: the spark of a redwing blackbird

Just when I had adjusted to, but never fully accepting,
The absence of morning birdsong.
It punctured the fall morning crispness for about 5-7 minutes.
The perfect length for a Sunday morning sermon.

A redwing blackbird’s song.

Redwings are a quintessential spring bird.
Always in a calvacade at the feeder.
Because this fall redwing blackwird was alone.
It required that I listen to its exegesis of the fall Gospel.

Spring is being planted as the leaves fall.
Use fall and winter to get used to calm as you work on yourself.
Be patient enough to let things come to you.
Like the spark of the redwing blackbird.


Photo: John Carrel

Lagoon Walk: Fall Festival edition

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Thursday Therapy: the exquisite and vulnerable frontier of shyness


“Shyness is the first necessary crossroads on the path of becoming…Without shyness we cannot shape an identity ripe for revelation.


Shyness is the exquisite and vulnerable frontier between what we think is possible and what we think we deserve.

Without shyness it is not possible to apprehend the new. Total confidence at the beginning of a new phase of life means we are misinformed, that we are deeply mistaken, that we think we know what is about to occur and who we are about to become. Shyness is an invitation to a particular form of beauty, to qualities that are meant to be both practiced and cultivated; shyness is our friend; the annunciation that we are just about to walk through the door and through all our difficulties, attempt another beginning.”

—David Whyte in Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

Photo: Justin Wolfe

Autumn: real and colorful, fruitful and whole


“Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline. The days grow shorter and summer’s abundance decays toward winter’s death. Faced with this inevitable winter, what does nature do? She scatters the seeds that will bring new life in the spring, scatters them with amazing abandon.

In the autumnal events of my own life, I’m rarely mindful of the fact that seeds are being planted. Instead I fixate on what I’m losing – on the decay of meaning, the decline of a relationship, the slow death of a vocation. If I were to look more deeply, I might see the myriad of possibilities that are being planted to bear fruit in some season to come.


In a culture that prefers the simplicity of either/or thinking to the complexity of paradox, we find it hard to hold opposites together. We want the glories of spring and summer without the demands of autumn and winter, gain without loss, light without darkness – and we end up making Faustian bargains that fail to sustain our lives.


Autumn constantly reminds me that my daily dyings are necessary precursors to new life. If I try to “make” a life that defies the diminishments of autumn, the life I end up with will be artificial and colorless. But when I yield to the endless, interplay of living and dying, the life I am given will – like autumn – be real and colorful, fruitful and whole.”

Parker Palmer

Photo: mendhak

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