Keeping It Together

We’ve all had such times… times when life spins out of control and we ricochet from one thing to another.  The last month felt at times like being trapped within such a pinball machine.  Sometimes the best we can do is to remember to breathe!

Yesterday things returned to a more humane rhythm. This morning a ten-day ache in my jaw has noticeably subsided — a reassuring indication that my stress induced tendency to clench my teeth while sleeping had begun dissipating.

With this welcome — and not too soon — return to life-as-normal comes a desire to resume more regular postings here, to get back to Kneading Bread. Toward that end, I share a poem that appeared like manna to nourish me during these frenetic weeks…

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.
Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness. Stay together.

This poem by Margaret J Wheatley is entitled, “Turning to One Another”.

Not a Blanket, but the Cross

A profoundly wise woman! Tragically, she died of Lupus at age 39! Now that I have lived many more years than she, I am all the more moved by her insight, faith and honesty — imagine if she had lived a full complement of years. Perhaps she had…

“I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe. I know what torment this is, but I can only see it, in myself anyway, as the process by which faith is deepened. A faith that just accepts is a child’s faith and all right for children, but eventually you have to grow religiously as every other way, though some never do. What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe.
― Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor