Friday, December 20, 2013

Ecstatic Disharmony

"The longest night
The wheel is turning
What will we give to the night?"

This is the sacred Winter Solstice chant Caroline Casey included in her mythological trickster-redeemer  sharing on Tuesday night at Earthrise Retreat Center in Petaluma, CA. Situated in verdant silence far above the freeway, with a full Gemini moon casting a luminous spell, we drank deeply of the darkness with a fervent urgency. 

"Ecstatic," Caroline reminds us, literally means, to stand outside ("ex" + "stasis") — which is what those of us called to midwife this transitional time on the planet feel, to the marrow. Embodying the sacred means returning from the Otherworld with wisdom gained. "To love disharmony back into harmony creates a greater harmony than existed before," according to author Michael Gruber.

What will YOU give to the night? The old way (but not the Old Ways!), the one right answer, outmoded beliefs and behaviors, fear of the unknown? Whatever it is, toss it into the cauldron and affirm, "xxxx is gone with the night!"

~ Blessed Be ~

Monday, December 02, 2013

Want to Be a World-Class Wordsmith?

I was blessed to have an exacting, exciting English teacher in high school who loved language as much as life itself, and was on a mission to see as many students as possible embrace it ardently. His work could have been called, "Extreme Literacy." I earned highest accolades for penning a 7-page essay without once using the word "thing" in lieu of a specific noun.

Those of us who signed up for Mr. Boyce's Advanced English class worshipped his precise pedagogy. One of the enduring expositions he shared is Leo Rosten's The Power of Words. I rediscovered this luminous learning in a file today and want to share it with you:

The Power of Words
by Leo Rosten
They sing. They hurt. They teach. They sanctify.
They were man's first immeasurable feat of magic.
They liberated us from ignorance and our barbarous past.
For without these marvelous scribbles, which build
letters into words, words into sentences, sentences
into systems and sciences and creeds, man would be
forever confined to the self-isolated prison of the cuttlefish or the
"One picture is worth ten thousand words," goes the timeworn Chinese
"But," one writer tartly said, "It takes words to say that."
We live by words: Love, Truth, God.
We fight for words: Freedom, Country, Fame.
We die for words: Liberty, Glory, Honor.
They bestow the priceless gift of articulacy on
our minds and hearts — from "Mama" to "infinity."
And those who truly shape our destiny, the giants
who teach us, inspire us, lead us to deeds of immortality,
are those who use words with clarity, grandeur, and
passion: Socrates, Jesus, Luther, Lincoln, Churchill.
Give thanks for words' endless riches.