No matter what happens to your body, madame,
if your heart is free, you are free.
~Martha Beck

In the attitude of silence, the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.
~Mahatma Gandhi

In your lifetime the most sacred space you will ever need to create is the space within yourself — the place deep within your soul where you go to find peace and serenity and to connect with your true self. It’s the quiet place inside where you return over and over again that keeps your thoughts sacred, your heart protected and your dreams alive.
~Nancy SantoPietro

I was writing a friend the other day, replying to an email and her simple question, “…how have you been?” when I found myself sharing with her the experience of letting go or maybe of being let go by life, and the stillness that has come into my world.  How in the beginning I resisted it, thinking I would one day recover my joie de vivre and resume my days, eventually putting this illness behind me.  But when that didn’t happen, I was forced (and I do mean forced) to make friends with the stillness because resisting was just too painful.  And how every few years now, I have a setback and fall further behind, and the stillness grows.  Luckily though, after that first, terrible ravaging, it has come more gradually allowing me time to adapt and accept.  And I can’t help but think that it’s moving me to some great end, or perhaps simply to an end. 😉 But no matter, I recently realized that I am who I’ve always longed to be and how ironic too that it should be the stillness that led me here.


There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the
singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.
~Howard Thurman

We jump into the void with only our courage
and the beauty of the world to sustain us.
~John Turrant

I am a great believer in beauty; beauty of all kinds, whether it’s the written words of Rilke or Mary Oliver or the ink paintings of Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) a famous samurai warrior.  I’m especially fond of his painting, Kingfisher Perched on a Withered Branch.  It’s so beautiful in its simplicity, and there’s something about it too that feels fragile and impermanent, just like me.  Then of course, there’s God’s poetry – the world itself.  Some days I almost lose myself simply looking out the bedroom window.  On those occasions, I’m often in awe of just how much beauty there is in the world, if you look for it, if you pay attention.  You see, beauty needs us in order to become.  As Dawna Markova says, “What is loved, reveals its loveliness.”  And that’s true for everything, including us.  Maybe especially us.

I didn’t always know the power of beauty, how it can inspire, and sustain you.  When I was younger, I didn’t really have time for it.  I was too full of everything else.  All the things I wanted and was so sure I just had to have. Maybe I didn’t have room for it then, or perhaps I simply didn’t need it.  Perhaps beauty is intended especially for wearied souls who walk a stone path and find themselves, as I had, in desperate need of salvation.  Maybe it’s only then that beauty really speaks to you and offers up her luminous soul, filling all the empty places left behind after life takes, and takes, and takes.  We’ve been years together now, Beauty and me, and I’ve grown certain of at least one thing; to sit with her is to worship at the feet of God.