a collection for April

Image result for nikki mcclure calendar 2019
-Nikki McClure

I have Nikki McClure’s brilliant calendar in my room – more for the art and message than the date tracking – and I’m not sure I’m going to ever move on from April’s image, which I can see every morning when I wake up. It’s like the Spirit is just waiting each day to encourage me, which is a kindness I readily welcome. My mind has been full of so many things I want to accomplish and I do feel the life hours burning up quick, but I’m resisting that internal pressure to be stressed and driven. My best work comes out of rest and abundance and I need to stay in that place.

My mind is busy though, and there are stacks of books on every surface. If I was a painter, my studio would be a mess all the time. As much as I love and long for a Shaker-like plainness and order, my creative mind needs to roam and forage. I’m forever picking books up and putting them down, pulling out old friends and trying to find underlined sections or flipping through journals to find the random notes I made. If I put them all away, it’s like the stream of thought ends. (My computer desktop is the same, much to the horror of all the linear-minded males in my house.) All this mental grazing is okay, I’ve learned. We’re constantly being encouraged to declutter and only own what we truly need and love, but I find that so limiting – when it comes to books, in particular. Consider this wisdom, about the way readers collect unread books:

“The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and nondull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with “Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?” and the others — a very small minority — who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight real-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.”


~ You can watch Eco walk through his unbelievable library here.

Other things that have caught my attention this week:

~ Rebecca Solnit’s letter to children about reading.

~ This beautiful tribute to poet W.S.Merwin and his arborial legacy.

On a Lenten note, I have been thinking a lot about what prayer is and isn’t. (I’m in a process of deconstructing the first half of my life these days.)

I love this from Padraig O’Tuama:

I’ve been spending my life trying to become a bad Catholic because I had an innate trust of authority. When the teacher said, “Now you won’t understand what I’ve just said,” I thought, “OK, that has to be true.” And what that teaches me is that it’s important to listen to the intuition, because we might know more than we know we know. I think that’s a deep, trusting relationship we have to have with ourselves.


~ Jo Harjo’s Eagle poem has also been helpful.

~ I’m also meditating on these Liturgists’ podcasts with Richard Rohr . I need to listen about four more times to understand it all and then maybe I’ll read his new book. I need to go at these things slowly now.

Well, it’s back to work. I’m taking a break from social media for awhile. You can find my contact info in the header if you need it.

May the light shine upon you, friends. (a line I have newly adopted from Helena Sorensen’s beautiful book, Shiloh.)