A Poem of Appreciation

by Tenneson Woolf

In the end, 
I suppose,
it is just good 
to be with 
good people,

to be blessed
with their presence,
their gifts,
their kindness,
their interests,

and to experience
for a moment,
a kind of togetherness,
be that for a mere few breaths,
or a longer encounter of days,

so that maybe,
any of us,
might also 
be that blessing
with others.

There is life
in the connecting,
just as there is
life also
in the parting.

Belonging is Biological

Palm Tree Seeds in Palm Springs, California

It occurs to me
that human beings seek

It’s not just emotional comfort,
though that can be just right.

Belonging is biological

It’s the belonging of being on a team,
or a committee,
or a community,
or a family,
or a moment of sharing a park bench with a stranger.

It’s the belonging, not just for talents exchanged,
but rather, where we discover
and grow our gifts,
our inherent and innate gifts,
so as to offer them,
and to be witnessed as contributory.

Belonging isn’t transactional,
though that can be helpful.

Belonging is irrepressible biological
human instinct and contribution
that brings irrepressible and life-affirming fulfillment.

It occurs to me that that matters
and underlays so much of what is contemporary
deep human discouragement, and,
deep human yearning.


Wonder & What If Thimbles?

As a young boy growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, I suppose it was episodes of Star Trek (the original series with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) that opened up some of my initial sense of wonder in the world, that there was so much more to be discovered. Star Trek and, a decade later, the original Star Wars movie. Those and, a couple of Grandmas who wanted to grow my imagination. All of that and, a bit of painful life experience that had me reaching for meaning. As far back as I can remember, something in me sought for what was not seen as much as what was seen. Something in me sought for alternative ways of doing things, not just the established norms. Something in me sought relationship to what was timeless, not just what needed to be squeezed into a todo list.

With that as backdrop, I recently wrote this poem below, stringing together some of the “what if” questions I carry now, in both my work and in my personal learning, as I’ve sought even thimbles full of the unbounded ethereal, that likely started when I was a boy


What If, What If?

What if, what if,
this life could be lived 
as connection to the infinite?

What if, what if,
the infinite were found
in but a thimble of experience?

What if, what if,
those thimbles of experience
were available anywhere?

What if, what if,
changed everywhere?

Life is but a dream,
calling for our waking
to the infinite of the every day.



On The Incessant Worry of Not Belonging

Black Mountain, near Carefree Arizona, from Civana Retreat Center Rose Garden

I write this personally (but then it is all personal, isn’t it), inspired by views like the one above this week. Yet I know the subject of this writing is common among so many people that I meet.

I’ve loved the people that I meet, particularly, that just seem so much to not question belonging.

Perhaps it is not for any of us to overcome worry, or so many of the other universal fear-commonalities. Perhaps it is for many of us to come into a different relationship with worry.


I just wish
that I could feel
a consistent level
of belonging,

such that,
I worried 
very infrequently,

and rather,
very frequently,

gave myself to the joy
and exquisiteness of my existence
with just me,
and with others.


For reflection.