Famous like a pulley? A buttonhole?

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

 Naomi Shihab Nye's words stop me in my tracks. What would it mean to achieve "fame" by honoring our own given truth? Following our essence back to its source and sitting with that, knowing we can tie things together or fasten what seems ruptured or that we can lift lift lift our spirit flag and let it unfurl?

Ask Different Questions

In my quest to understand how we got here as a nation, I'm thinking that maybe if we asked different questions - "HOW" questions - maybe we wouldn't have ended up in this mess. Here are some examples; I welcome journalists to plunder this list:

How do you make difficult decisions? Can you give us an example of how you've handled conflicting information from trusted sources and reached a decision?

How do you choose advisors? What's important to you in the circle you keep close?

How do you take in information and tell us what your appetite is for learning, giving us a concrete example?

The Lyf So Short...

Chaucer (c. 1343–1400) observed "The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." I'll say. I've been wrestling with a story for more than a decade. One day I awoke with something braiding into my heart center; a genie had visited and dusted me with pixie droppings. Did I have the wazoo to bring it forth? So 15 years ago I began to follow it, to listen to it, to tame the story into submission. Abandoned it after seven years.  It's still there, gnawing at me like a squirrel in heat. Maybe it will be like the miracle of bamboo growing underground all those years  - sprouting forth with confident victory? Or not. Elizabeth Gilbert: surrendering to Big Magic. 

A blind child

Four years ago, I found myself on a rooftop in Pune India getting ready for yoga practice. Our leader read us the words of Kikakou: A blind child/ guided by his mother, / admires the cherry blossoms...  These words, captured in Mark Nepo's handy "Book of Awakening," pierced my jet-lagged heart. In 11 words, Kikakou reveals a mystery: To what are we blind? How do we guide someone who cannot see what we see? What beauty is offered to us every day, expecting nothing in return? Four years later, still a blind child finding my way. 

Story Time

I'm more convinced than ever that stories will save us. They always have. Don't you agree that if we had a global reading group of Dr. Seuss's "Butter Battle Book" we'd have a real shot at world peace?  I'm underway with @KristaTippet's #BecomingWise: she recounts words from @RachelNaomiRemen  "..the important knowledge is passed through stories. It's what holds a culture together. Culture has a story, and every person it it participates in that story. The world is made up of stories; it's not made up of facts." More on storytelling from the genius behind #BrainPickings @MariaPopova. 

About That "One Wild and Precious Life"

Mary Oliver's poem about prayer and promise just gets to me. I am learning that prayer is not about asking for things but listening for the Spirit and exploring its questions. Lost a dear friend this year. Wasn't the first. Know it won't be the last. And yet absorbing the loss, weaving it into a shawl of comforting memory is elusive. It hurts, big time. So before me is that question about that one wild and precious life, more poignant than ever. I am going to work on memorizing this poem. And call on it in the days to come. http://maryoliver.beacon.org

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver