Even just a few days in Santa Fe can leave me speechless... Partly because I'm parched -- my rain-soaked soul, so used to wandering the misty shores of Puget Sound, rebels against the high elevation and incredibly dry climate... But mostly because, in the midst of the desert, the astounding color and diversity of human culture overwhelms me with amazement and gratitude.
To dig my soul-toes deeper into this fertile soil, I’ve decided to pair my Word of the Day practice with reflections on the #UULent Photo-A-Day challenge. My Word-of-the-Day calendar is full of verbs. The #UULent reflections are mostly nouns. Each morning, I sit down and craft an altar that expresses an aspect of these two words in combination. I'm looking forward to discovering what intriguing combinations I'll spiral through over the next six weeks! I'll be sharing my altars daily (along with some inspiring quotes and a few words of reflection of my own) on both my Facebook page and my Holy Wild Tumblr, if you'd like to follow along.
"It's funny how family can bring you back to yourself because they know you so well and for so long, they treat you as if you were always just the same. Which is exactly what can drive you out of yourself, too, after a while. Because of course, you're not."
This post is about small things. It's about moments that we take for granted. There is no big revelation here. I took a bunch of pictures of my cat and put them on the internet. I write this post in defiance of the expectation that only big revelations matter. I write in homage to the repetition of small rituals, in honor of grounding and self-care. This post is about the simple companionship of ordinary objects and creatures and beings, and the way their presence shapes our lives even when we think we're not paying attention. A part of us is always paying attention.
Sometimes I get sick of the flat, bright rectangles of computer screens and book pages. When that happens, I go on crafting binges. My latest was inspired by the steampunk aesthetic and my recent spiritual work with the local flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. This little guy was the result.
Jeff and I spent last week enjoying the beauties of the Oregon coast, where I got my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean in earnest, and then went on to attend the amazing and inspiring Wild Goose Festival during Labor Day weekend. More on that in an upcoming blog post, but for now I'm still catching up on things like email and sleep. So in the meantime, here are a few glimpses of the gorgeous Pacific Northwest that I now call home.
Let's just say that life has been a bit stressful lately with everything going on. Back in high school and college when life was understandably a bit like being high strung on a high wire, I would throw myself into poetry. I spent long hours playing with words and sounds, line breaks and juxtaposition. Now, since writing is kind of a career for me these days, I find that I need some other creative outlet that I can throw myself into head first without worrying about being good at it.
As someone who's never even managed to win at Bingo, I'm pretty much over the moon to be able to announce that one of my photographs recently won third prize in the 1000Kalema photography contest! 1000Kalema is a project sponsored by Think Peace and NaYa of the United Religions Initiative, an organization that coordinates grassroots groups all over the world "to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings." The 1000Kalema photography project brings together word and image to tell stories of overcoming violence, fostering social justice, and cultivating sacred relationships with people from religions and cultures all over the world.
Out here in the rust and russet landscape of Utah, I'm taking a break from the afternoon heat by escaping with my husband into a tiny local café. Cold drink, lots of ice, wobbly ceiling fan — and in the distance, the rippling, pine-studded ribbons of sandstone cliffs beneath a hazy-brilliant, unbrokenly blue sky. Best. Honeymoon. Ever.
Wildflowers in the garden, a riot of purples, pinks and golden orange among the feathery green in early morning sunlight. Gorgeous skies cresting to a deep sapphire blue, a smooth, unblemished arch above the subtle scents of autumn, crisp and rotting, wafting on a breeze that all summer moved sluggish and hot but now finally dips into cool. Click for more photographs.