Archives for the month of: November, 2015


The week has brought another wave of terror. Amplified by instantaneous images and incomplete story lines, the stark reality that millions of people live with daily penetrates the walls that distance and privilege have built for the perceived safety of others.

The root of all hate is fear, the weapon of choice that perpetrators of every ilk employ, be they sick individuals or religious and political extremists.

Love waits at the other end of the continuum, the wellspring of personal worth and our most intimate relationships. Love is the progenitor of compassion and the golden rule that summons the best in our connections among communities, cultures, nations and our planet home.

May each of us pause to revisit the core of our being that is nurtured by love  and then in our own unique way raise our voice to speak our NO to fear and our YES to compassion.

Words by Daniel Martin from Life Prayers may help guide us to reclaim truths that we ignore at our peril.

We who have lost our sense and our senses – our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are; we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our Earth and injuring ourselves; we call a halt.

We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the Earth to rest. We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.

We declare an Earth Holy Day, a space of quiet: for simple being and letting be; for recovering the great forgotten truths.


My paternal grandmother was a weaver. Her loom was a large, intricate contraption that filled half the room. As a youngster in wonder I watched her hands throw the shuttle back and forth and her feet press pedals that squeaked mysterious parts into place.

Nearby was another enigma to this child, a wooden wheel she used to spin wool into threads that her loom transformed into cloth. Most treasured was the clan tartan she wove for ties for her grandsons and skirts for her granddaughters.

As did many crafts born of the necessity to provide one’s own food, shelter and clothing, weaving yielded to impatience with the pace of production and the progress of technology. Still, the power of its metaphor remains a guide for the spirit.

In this prayer from sisters Pat Kozak and Janet Schaffran we are both weavers and woven.

Weave for us the tapestry on which our lives are stretched. Give us patience with the endless back and forth of shuttle, hand and effort. We look too closely, seeing only strands and knots and snarled threads of too-much-trying or none-at-all.

Grant us to see the whole of which we are a part.

In the end, we ask for gentleness with ourselves, acceptance of our less than perfect ways. We pray that what we do and what you weave form patterns clear to all, of mercy in the warp of it and love throughout.

My grandmother’s loom remains in the same house that is now her town’s historical society. Her spinning wheel graces the landing on the stairs of our home in NH. As I pass it daily I am reminded that the task of each of us is to create and stretch the fabric of our life in our generation.


In April I had a phone conversation with the new exec of an organization that had retained my services for several years. In addition to congratulating him, I wanted to assess his awareness of the money they owed me.

He knew. He shared his intention to make me whole along with others to whom they were indebted. He also said it would take time. He suggested we meet this fall after he settled into his job. This week I took him up on his invitation.

We had lunch and an engaging exchange. It is evident that he has a grasp on the challenges and has a thoughtful plan for turning the organization around. It seems to be working.

Mid way through our conversation he pulled out a print out of all my invoices, payments made and the amount owed me. I confirmed. He then handed me an envelope with a check for an installment on the balance due.

Elation was my mood on the drive home. Certainly the money is welcome. Perhaps more significant is the fact that he was true to his word. Integrity is one of my top values. I believed in the organization and had invested in it during a difficult period. He believes in making good on his promise to improve the company’s financial health and retire its debt. In doing so he conveys a core value of leadership for himself, the organization and its stakeholders.

What a contrast to so much that goes on today in relationships, business and politics, where truth is often the victim of the quest to put “me” first and “the other” down. In defining who we are and what others can expect from us, our word may be our most treasured gift.