• "Raccoon babies" - Image by Char

    Prayer for the World

    by Rabbi Harold Kushner “Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations. Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect. Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows. Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly. So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color. Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness. So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors. And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors. Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty. And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Amen.” That all people be one people, send rain to wash the face of the earth. Chief Joseph “Thank you, Mystery. Hear my brother’s prayer…” Char...

  • Clearcutting-Oregon

    Fallen

    Great Mystery  There is very little I understand I once in a while like to act as though I am sure of something But I’ve noticed that everything is always changing -  I have some Insights I even have some good ideas We all do…. and then, well – sometimes, Creator I have some pretty wild ideas that seemed like a good idea at the time But, Great Mystery, your ideas are better  Today was a good day. I minded my own business. I saw the sunrise today, I wept. Creator, I prayed today for the families and friends of the fallen in Orlando   I asked that your Hand Comfort their grief in whatever ways, Creator, you see fit. I asked that you hold them and carry them to one another so that they may be close to you in heaven and on earth and I ask, Great Mystery, more than anything else for this violence to stop.  I know that the Internal causes the External, always – so help us each to change in small and big ways and give us tolerance for ourselves...

  • IMG_7496

    To be seen/or not to be seen: that is the question

    How we ride the line in between being seen and not being seen, failure and success. offering our gifts and talents and hiding our gifts and talents saying what’s on our hearts and censoring, rehearsing and figuring out what others want to hear. How do we stop thinking about what others are thinking? And begin to have our own ideas of success. And what aligns with the heart. The real question is how do I stop being afraid? And how can I clarify the fear so I can mend, tend and heal the fear?  Something I have been appreciating is watching the geese and their goslings this spring. There are at least 30 goslings. There are 2 sets of parents who are constant steadfast and patient. I’ve noticed these goslings are always surrounded by the adults and usually one in each of the directions They are protected, guided and backed up by the loving, watchful and protective eye of the adult geese.  That we could be so loving and protective of our own Dreams, of our capacity to e...

  • Public_Domain_great-egret-by-the-lake

    Black & White Blessings

    They tap incessantly, their Morse code from the sun. Black feathers iridescent as they tug and push the wooden shingles with long black beaks… Made for such things as raising the roof and catching the moon. In the Basque tradition the raven carries away your fears, self doubt, and insufficiency…. Anything that denies your true nature… Creating a place for the blessings to come. Relief is given by the sighting of a white bird of any kind.  In the northwest coast, storytellers remember the time when the Raven had to return the sun to the world, the lord of heaven wanted it all for himself. The raven risked everything so people would have light to grow and see by…  Here they are, in the subtle cool of a morning on the bay between Mt Tamalpais, and the shallow silver mudflats. All carried and protected by the bay and held by the watchful voices of oak, madrone, and redwood spine. I have landed here remembering you… my teacher who granted me entrance to this sacr...

  • bluebird-1-23841293760049umN

    The Color Blue

    The color blue is the great swath…. Even in the snow or gray days the air would have been alive with them, one with a sky that protects us, remembers us. How they would come, not like thunder more like rain. in an Ordinary everyday not particularly original blue sky, sun with a sunrise and a dusk which happens every day… except if it doesn’t.  There are a few other blue celebrations as though the sky has come to earth. The Navaho people tell how the sky gave the earth turquoise to remember him always when she could no longer live in his world….  And how he still holds her each day as he promised and she accepts this holding. She reflects him back to himself in her swirling skirts of ocean.  There are other colors of blue that touch the earth…. they strike me as firework tracers….. an anomaly of soul. As though blue bodies on earth couldn’t possibly be real.  But they are, and I wanted them near me.  I attempted to buy 80 acres ...

  • Gasworks Willow Before - picture by Char Sundust

    gasworks park willow / Before

    Across from the houseboats there is a hedge of trees all deciduous with gray and green. Holding and releasing the wild and subtle seasons We belong to them, the shimmering aspen,  maple, the sage and silver grey of the poplars on the hill… but the tree that we wait for is the Willow – the thin winter orange to fissure through the limbs like tendons budding into the water and how they leaf so bright in spring but subtle shielding and shelter all summer long, the catkins pressing their tiny faces into the world.  How the storm began and kept us until my 7 year old nephew said, “Should we be afraid?” His mother and I said no…. holding onto things that were opening, closing…. To stop them from free fall or upward flight. He and his sister of three huddled as close to the sofa…. as the wind would allow and watched the waves as the boat lurched and landed the bodies of trees began their frantic  gestures to the world, to one another….  I di...

  • "Gasworks Willow One" - picture by Char Sundust

    gasworks willow one

    crow, cedar, red squirrel watch this morning as I have the courage to approach the storm downed tree, to ask permission  As I sometimes press my luck taking one more photo than is a good idea, perhaps when that reticent feeling comes over me I could stop, but this morning there is no reticence to arrive at the great fallen willow and sit here with the trunk, the great green waterfall of branches, taproot to the sky a myriad of toxins behind and below her and worship on the paper made of her ancestral body and receive the blessings Of entire life times spent gathering sunlight.  Picture perfect, says the fisherman  My heart torn…. As a photo made on paper As they once were  and so he does take a photo of us together in the wilderness of the city… I find her on her side, resting – more alive than the rest of us, continuing to bloom, leaf, and flower. ...

  • CharInsight25-pic

    The myriad….

    The world is Beautiful and it is everything that makes up life – sadness, suffering, life and death, delights, kindness, creativity and destruction – I think many of us only want to be in the Beautiful. What I notice if I only notice the Beautiful is that there is no contrast – and no contrast leads to no appreciation.  It’s as though if we are only willing to engage with the Beautiful, we end up without the capacity to hold our own, and other peoples’, less than becoming features – we are not built only for joy, we are deeper and richer and more multifaceted than that – but we inoculate ourselves from the world with its experiences of everything it means to be Here, Now…. in a world where there is cruelty, kindness, substance, depth, shallowness, callousness, creativity, divinity, ugliness, terror and beauty…. how can we look, how can we be a part of everything in the world without being overwhelmed or underwhelmed with this myriad of life experi...