Self-Help Love-Hate

I’d like to read some Montaigne — partly because it’s like 18th-century self-help, and partly in spite of it. I have a love-hate relationship with the idea of self-help. On the one hand, it’s a genre full of charlatans, fly-by-night money-back guarantees, misguided seekers, and people looking for ways to get rich quick. On the…

Moon

The moon was full this morning in Virgo — an earth sign ruled by the messenger god Mercury. What better time to bring the moon to earth? And by coincidence (?), just as the Earth was placed directly between the sun and moon, the sun reached out with a massive solar flare. Moon comes from…

The Upper Airs: Layers of Landscapes in Meditation

In meditation I almost always return to an inner landscape which I’ve described in a lot of detail elsewhere, but starting about a year ago I discovered I had access to another world, one that felt like it was directly above the old one — as if it were a mile or two up, floating…

Sound

This afternoon, shortly before four o’clock, the sun, which had been low and sickly most of the day, began to seriously consider setting, her flames licking the clouds and igniting them all along the horizon above the Olympic mountains, and tracing the waves of Puget Sound with gold and scarlet, as I stood at the…

A Wedding on the Edge

Ocean, a poem Mary Oliver I am in love with Ocean lifting her thousands of white hats in the chop of the storm, or lying smooth and blue, the loveliest bed in the world. In the personal life, there is always grief more than enough, a heart load for each of us on the dusty…

Storm and Throng

Last night a whopper of a storm raged through Pittsburgh, with thunder in hordes and lightning thronging. For hours it bellowed and shouted, grumbled and threatened, like an old man sitting on the porch, banging his stick and raging against the government. Finally it huffed off, leaving only a gentle rain to greet the dawn….

Snake, Serpent, Drake, Dragon

Ali and I almost jogged right over a great black snake in the park this morning. Alison said: Black snake stretched, unwound across the path. We stopped to watch in the steam and sun-slant of morning as it melted back into the brush. It was about three or four feet long, and a few inches…

The Druid and the Wild Goose II: Conversation With Doctrine

In the previous post of this series about the emergent / progressive Christian Wild Goose festival, I talked about the courage of Christians facing moral contradictions between church authority and Biblical doctrine on one hand, and the call of heart and culture on the other. The Wild Goose was a place where they could come…

The Druid and the Wild Goose I: Christians Courageous

At the emergent/progressive Christian Wild Goose festival this year, I was extremely fortunate to meet a new kind of Christian. I was raised with a sort of American Zen / New Age philosophy. But growing up in the American Southeast, I met a lot of Christians. Christians I’ve known well mostly fall into a few…

Musings on Wild and Goose

Ali and I just got back from the Wild Goose festival, a gathering of “emergent” Christians — those who, broadly speaking, are seeking a way to reconcile Biblical authority and church teachings with issues of justice, technological and social change, and the place of Christianity as one religion among many. It was fascinating to spend…