Friday, July 21, 2023


Dancing Lessons


            In her book, Many Winters, Nancy Wood records the wisdom of the old Indians of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico:


All of my life is a dance

            When I was young and feeling the earth

My steps were quick and easy.

The beat of the earth was so loud

That my drum was silent beside it.

All of my life rolled out from my feet

Like my land which had no end

            as far as I could see.

The rhythm of my life was pure and free.

As I grew older my feet kept dancing

            so hard that I wore a spot in the earth.

At the same time I made a hole in the sky.

I danced to the sun and the rain

And the moon lifted me up

So that I could dance to the stars.

My head touched the clouds sometimes

And my feet danced deep in the earth

So that I became the music

I danced to everywhere.

It was the music of life. 

Now my steps are slow and hard

And my body fails my spirit.

Yet my dance is still within me and

My song is the air I breathe.

My song insists I keep dancing forever.

My song insists I keep rhythm

With all of the earth and sky.

My song insists that I will never die.


            In the community I have chosen to live there are more of us who rely on scooters, walkers, wheelchairs and walking sticks than there are those who walk upright without help.  All the more reason to reimagine dancing as keeping rhythm with the creative Spirit.  We can all tune our spirit to sing of grace, if we so choose. The music of Life will keep us dancing. It will keep us open to the joys of the present and the hope of the future.

Monday, July 10, 2023


Scars and Stars


        Don Quixote, a quiet middle-aged country gentleman, somewhat mentally deranged, set out in a second-handed suit of rusty armor to roam the world and set right whatever wrongs he might run into, all in the name of social justice and personal honor. His quest was “ live in the world as it is traversed by man as he ought to be.”  After a series of misadventures, Quixote dies as the author says, “having gained his reason and lost his reasons for living.”

         The misadventures of Quixote and his sidekick, Sancho Panza are  comical and misguided. We cannot take the mad Don's exploits seriously, but we can't help but be inspired by his courage to live his life passionately no matter what others think.

        It is that passion I choose to take away from Cervantes' story. We can't ignore the presence of evil in our world today, nor can we pretend human suffering is not real. We need to change our focus. There is a darkness of the spirit that will take control if we but let it. But the light of healing and wholeness has not gone out. The power of love and compassion still burns brightly and that is where we should focus. Instead of turning and running away from that which threatens to devour us, we must realize that we have the power to take hold of the spirit that allows us to take charge of our own destiny and act accordingly. Let others keep score. We will keep the dream alive.

         In the time that I have I am determined to “to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far and dream the possible dreams.”

        My suffering will not define me, my dreams will.

        Actually, I find that reasonable.