Sunday Best – November 28, 2021

 

The lumpy mashed potatoes that we share.

The blurry photos that bring forth stories from long ago.

The delayed flights that carry us safely home.

The creaky knees that remind us of living.

The missing chairs that remind us of loving.

 

For all of the perfections wrapped in imperfections, 

we give thanks.

 

***********

A PERFECT GIFT

 

 

If you are planning ahead for holiday gifts (maybe a good idea, with global supply chains in disarray), we hope you might consider Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

Sunday Best – November 21, 2021


Yesterday I spent the day on fall chores, which I always leave until just a little too late in the season. Digging up the dahlias, dragging the outdoor furniture into the barn, and raking some giant leaf piles made for a satisfying morning, despite the frost.

I was clearing a fallen limb by the roadside when I spotted a flash of yellow – one lone narcissus, totally out of season, either six months early or six months late.

Sometimes I dismiss an unexpected joy, precisely because it’s unexpected. But who doesn’t need more joy?

Let’s pause for the beautiful sunset, even if it’s only 4pm.

Let’s drop everything to see the friend who happens to be in the neighborhood.

Let’s admire the quirky outfit, or the exuberant dance move.

Let’s marvel at the narcissus,

no matter the season.

 

******

A PERFECT GIFT

 

 

If you are planning ahead for holiday gifts (maybe a good idea, with global supply chains in disarray), we hope you might consider Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

 

Sunday Best – November 14, 2021

 

During my studies at Divinity School, one of my classes focused on the essential question, what makes a gift? Is it the intention of the giver, the gratitude of the receiver, the nature of the gift itself?

To frame our discussion we watched Babette’s Feast, where an extraordinary dinner is prepared for a community that overtly does not want to receive it. Is this a noble generosity on the part of the chef, a kind of bullying wrapped in good intentions, a chance for both to discover something essential about life, a once in a lifetime transformative experience… maybe all of the above? 

The film prompted a lively debate, yet every once in a while we get to witness a gift that is un-debatable, perfectly matched between the giver, the receiver, and some greater purpose. Whether the perfect book at the perfect moment, or the time to share a cup of tea and stories, or a grand gesture that shifts the course of a whole community, these magnifying, multiplying gifts can bring ripples that extend across time and space.

Dear ones, we are tipping into the holiday season for many, where we have a chance to grow our capacity for both giving and receiving.

Let us be generous.

Let us be gracious.

Let us be loving.

Let us be grateful.

 

 

************************

A PERFECT GIFT

 

 

If you are planning ahead for holiday gifts (maybe a good idea, with global supply chains in disarray), we hope you might consider Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

Sunday Best – November 7, 2021

 

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify into every corner of our minds.    – John Maynard Keynes

 

This week I’ve had the chance to reunite with two of my most beloved communities, one linked to Wellesley College and the other to the Santa Fe Institute. It’s given me the chance to reflect on what makes these groups beloved to me.

First, the individuals assembled are a mix of brilliant and generous and quirky folks who might never be connected, were it not for the group in question.

Second, each community is connected beyond the individuals — to a shared place, with its own particular beauty and history and meaning, and to a shared mission, eternal in its relevance.

Third, each of these groups illuminates new ideas. By the end of a gathering I feel like I’ve drunk a goblet full of sparks, full of energy and vitality.

Most precious – and most unusual, if the Keynes quote here is accurate – these communities allow for letting go of the old ideas, the ones so deeply rooted that we might not even realize they are there.

We can’t let go of the safety of one riverbank until the appeal of the other side is greater. Sometimes that means we wait and wait, digging in deeper even as the other shore beckons.

But if we are lucky, we have a star beyond ourselves to guide our progress.

If we are lucky, we are surrounded by others who show brilliance and courage and candor and generosity and love.

We can let go together,

and swim.

 

 

 * The quote in this image translates as, “In the above, there is above.” Mountains beyond mountains, never ending.

Sunday Best – October 31, 2021

 

“There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand.”  

               – Walton, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

 

Between the jack o’lanterns and the peanut butter cups and the babies dressed as sharks and the puppies dressed as tacos, there might not be much time for soulful reflection today. But All Hallows’ Eve reminds us that there are many layers to life, some simple and some mysterious.

Dear ones, even if we do not understand it,

something is at work in our souls,

leading us to wonders big and small.

*****

A PERFECT GIFT

 

 

If you are planning ahead for holiday gifts (maybe a good idea, with global supply chains in disarray), we hope you might consider Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”

Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around.  We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.

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