Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

being here now Archives

a bowl of weeks

Remember how I told you last week that I was trying to be more mindful of time passing? And about reading in Lewis Richmond’s Aging as a Spiritual Practice that his mentor had put pebbles in a bowl, to represent the […]


island time

This is a liveoak, one of my favourite trees. Because they wear their age gracefully — their gnarled branches reaching out to passersby, beckoning with welcome. Battery Park in Charleston is full of them. Even Hurrican Hugo couldn’t kill them […]


rainy days and Mondays

This is the view from the balcony, as I write. A study in silver, grey, moss & a blued-white. Beach grass, beach umbrellas, and beach birds. The pelicans that usually circle in front of & above the condos that fringe […]


more on the home front ~

Today was ‘look at houses’ day. Funny how pictures bear so little resemblance to the real thing. When I taught, I used to give my students postcards from a local museum prior to a field trip. They were to write […]

moody weather

What colour is a bad mood? Not blue — I’m not sad. Not red — I’m not angry, really. Not purple — I’m not depressed. I googled ‘bad mood,’ for images (free to use!) of ‘bad mood.’ And this is […]

recognising change and transformation

Sometimes we forget we’ve changed. Sometimes all we see is the old photo, out of date, blurred by time. But still razor-sharp in our mind’s eye. Once, the story goes, there was a caterpillar. Who was bright green, ate stinky […]

letting go, or, what teaching teaches

You know that old joke about giving a party and nobody comes? Well, for presenters, it’s a truism. I’ve given workshops w/ only one person (and she left early!). Last night, however, was a new one, even for me. An […]

meatloaf and dishes and errands and family…

This kind of holiday doesn’t just happen… Nor does a big-ass tree, replete with crystal icicles, the last remnants of childhood ornaments, and a couple of true heirlooms. And the gifts beneath, wrapped in foil and French ribbon, sprinkled w/ […]

more everyday magic (on the road) –

This is what you see when you leave home: familiar scenes (twilight, for instance) with new eyes. Because everything old is new again, on the road. It’s trite, I know. But when I travel, everything — even pizza, which I […]

laps, luxuries, love –

My grandson slept for three hours in my lap yesterday afternoon. Slept my legs into their own nap. Slept through phones ringing, dogs barking, and the afternoon sun waning. Wrapped snugly in his swaddling cloth, he might have been another […]

three-step practice ~

First, come into the present. Flash on what’s happening with you right now. Be fully aware of your body, its energetic quality. Be aware of your thoughts and emotions. Next, feel your heart, literally placing your hand on your chest […]

dancing to my own music ~

I love this video. I’m indebted to a FB post by the amazing Parker Palmer — teacher, philosopher, thinker, and all-’round good rôle model — for the link. And the bright spot in a day otherwise dedicated to work (and […]

day #25 of National Poetry Month ~

Last night I walked a metaphor. Staying here on Mauie, with a close friend, at her mother’s house is certainly cool enough. But an inward journey? Under a full Maui moon? Pardon the pun, but celebrating the rebuilding (& ‘reframing’) […]

tea (again) ~

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I drink alot of tea. I like everything about it, except the colonial exploitation thingie… And I confess: I love the whole ritual of tea and tea time. When I’m tired, […]

time — that queen of bees — flies ~

If time were a bee, she would be the queen these days. At least for me. These days, she is slower than the frenzy of summer bees, storing up for winter. She is less hectic than early spring bees, tending […]

Sofía the sparrow, Barney the blue jay, Fiona the finch, & others ~

One thing you learn when you draw birds: you’ve never reallyseen them previously. How different each one is. I thought I knew the birds on the deck — I can even distinguish a few from each other. But I recognise […]

day 23 of a month of Thanksgiving: just quiet, lazy peace ~

I did right at zilch today. I didn’t cook, or get ready, or clean, or entertain. I didn’t vacuum or change the sheets or do holiday cards. There were leftovers (cold pie for breakfast! whoohoo!), and all they required was […]

listening to incense ~

Sometimes when you’re stressed, what you need to do is two simple (and at least partly practical) things: light a stick of good incense, and clean out a drawer. Seriously, it’s that simple. I don’t remember where I heard the […]

time like a river ~

I’ve always been short on time. At least since I was small.  Then, there were summers. But even as a child, being the eldest meant watching sisters (and they know how easy that was!), or walking the dog, or washing […]

crabby days & family miracles (of the small, beginning kind) ~

I woke up cranky today. My feet hurt, my joints ache, I should eat healthier. Middle age sucks. (And yes, I know I should consider the alternative…) I tried my usual remedies: a cup of tea, a sit on the […]

bird epiphanies ~

Anyone who’s read this blog knows our deck (and yard) are like habitat central. We have multiple feeders: nectar for hummers, in the spring; suet & seed blocks for woodpeckers and wrens (and the ubiquitous grackles); small seed for sparrows, […]

Previous Posts

of outsiders, refugees, and the sound of hearts, breaking
Perhaps it's because I lived so many years in places where I was the 'outsider.' Perhaps it's because 10 of those years were spent in Muslim countries. Perhaps ...

posted 6:01:54pm Nov. 20, 2015 | read full post »

connection, and the web, reprised
Buddhists believe firmly in connection. We don't always see eye-to-eye on other tenets -- reincarnation, the divinity of leadership, vegetarianism. There are ...

posted 3:38:54pm Nov. 18, 2015 | read full post »

happiness is...
It's true. You can DECIDE to be happy. I promise. And it doesn't reaallly take a whole lot of effort, despite what cranky people may think... There's a ...

posted 1:20:52pm Nov. 12, 2015 | read full post »

After any death, there is (at least in all the cultures I'm familiar with) a ceremony. In our case, Mom's funeral. It was definitely a family affair: my ...

posted 1:53:20pm Nov. 10, 2015 | read full post »

the hardest kind of letting go
All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them. ~ Buddha As my beloved & my ...

posted 3:12:49pm Nov. 04, 2015 | read full post »


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