Rumi is rather beloved. This 13th century Persian Poet has touched many hearts.

Today, I’m moved by these simple words, carried forward 800 years.

Stay together, friends.
Don’t scatter and sleep.
Our friendship is made
of being awake.

It’s core, no? In these times. This awakeness rooted in friendship.

The Rose Growing Over the Fence

It’s a meandering walk, this one that I’m on with my friend Charles. We are on Edgecliff, named for it’s nearness to the steep drop from land to Puget Sound. We have time today. To be slow. To be free to notice simple beauty together. That’s what friendship does. It animates a certain quality of attentiveness. And of course, some other things.

I love the way this rose looks, having climbed 3-4 feet, and now hanging over this top rail of wooden and weathered fence. It’s beauty, dare I say, its moment of offered friendship, also animates attentiveness.

There is beauty, pretty much everywhere, if we are willing to look. This is one of the conversational wanders that Charles and I are in. Except, of course, when there isn’t — trauma too is real. Or hardship. Or completely stuck.

Charles and are sharing stories about work, about life, about silly things, about serious things. Because, well, there is always a story. And there is delight to share it and to be heard in it, those personal stories that have climbed and flowered over the fence for each of us.

I have the impulse, that working and being together as humans — in jobs, communities, families — it’s messy, yet with inherent beauty. It takes just a bit of noticing to perhaps reclaim, or welcome, the way that it animates our attentiveness.

I’m glad for that. And walks. And roses over fences. And friends.

Off Center, Fucking Rattled

I love these lupines growing in my yard from earlier this summer. I love their full flourishing. I love the round stone balanced on top of these other stones. The total set of three stones stands about two feet above the ground.

First, let’s be clear. “Centered” does have a context in which it is perhaps just a bit over rated, no? When I reference “centered” I generally mean grounded. Or clear. Or in flow. Those are all great things that I seek. When I reference the over rated part of centered I generally mean the blocking of needed disturbance (or some weird inherent shame of being off center). The commitment to a myth of stability. The rejection or repression of learning only available in some disequilibrium.

It was several of my teachers that helped me to learn about the value of change. The reality of change. The ever present process of change. When I reference “change” I am talking about the whole scope and scale. The inner changes in awareness and psychological maturity that have everything to do with outer world. It always does. No, seriously, always. When I reference “change” I am talking about a much more encompassing sense of time, how now connects to a perceived past and future.

I suppose it is true that belonging has always been a challenge for me. It’s a bit funny to say that because I’ve always been with good people in family, friendship, colleagueship, community. I expect belonging. And at the same time, some deeper level of belonging, with its fears and worries, the integration of life’s inherent wounds, particularly in childhood, also accompanies me. I know it is this way for many of us, living in such apparent contradictions. Some of the deepest work I know is an integration of self.

Well, with some of this as background thinking, I wrote this poem recently. I gave myself permission to amplify my description. Sometimes it is some amplification that creates access to the gem. Perhaps the greatest belonging, or the must abundant seed for belonging, is the belonging that we claim with self (and often through good friends that can remind us again and again — I’m grateful for those in my life).


Off Center, Fucking Rattled

I get off center
(by that I mean fucking rattled)
when I do not trust
in the stories I share,
in the experience that I know,
and in the teachings that I create. 

I get fucking rattled,
thinking that I need to be
something other than what I am,
that I must once again,
abandon myself
to have belonging.

That’s fucked,

Alpine Loop Hike

Yesterday I drove with a friend up Provo Canyon, past Sundance, along the Alpine Loop. It’s a road that is only open in summer. It twists and turns. It is mean to be enjoyed slowly, 10 mph.

At the peek, near 8,000 feet. We left car behind to hike. Through Aspen forests, to meadows. All of it back-dropped by Wasatch Mountains that still have patches of significant snow, though the daytime temperatures now press 100 degrees fahrenheit.

Days like this change me. They change how I orient to all of it.


In Front of Me

What is in front of me,
holds enough,
to make sense,
of it all.






Yesterday I hiked with a friend.