Sunday, July 23, 2017


The Mystery within...
Loneliness is almost never an issue for me.  I am guessing that’s because it is really hard for me to find time to do what I want to do like writing another book.  Keeping up the house, yard, and myself, and being on-call for others can be all time and energy consuming.  But I did feel lonely last night and felt its value.

I decided to forego a weekend trip up north with my daughter and son’s family and just stay home alone with my yellow lab Oliver, and daughter’s cat Zu Zu, and the tick tock of my grandfather clock.  But as the day progressed and my writing didn’t I began second guessing my decision.  By evening I was feeling lonely and wondered where the lesson is in that feeling.

So I took a bike ride at dusk, my favorite time of day.  All the chaotic dysfunction I was missing out on became apparent as I rode in the quiet near evening.  I valued that revelation and am hoping I can embrace more of the chaotic dysfunction when they all return.

What if we could experience the value in loneliness more often?

Friday, July 14, 2017


The Mystery within...
I became painfully aware how much the world of electronics is consuming the time and attention of so many and it is a worry.  As I sat outside my grandchildren’s summer school waiting to pick them up, I watched parents walking into school with their heads down looking at their electronic devices and barely glancing up in time to see how close they were coming to the school door.  And when coming out again, these parents had the same downward fixed gaze as they walked back to the parking lot.  That same afternoon when I took my granddaughter to her orthodontist appointment, we walked into a full, but very quiet waiting room.  Parents, and grandparents, looking down at their electronic devices, occupied every chair.  And later that day, when I went to lap swim at the pool, sunbathers reclining in poolside chairs were also absorbed in that fixed downward gaze.  I checked out the lifeguard to see if he was minding us swimmers who were temporarily free from that electronic grip.

I recalled my earlier reading of the evolutionary biologist and anthropologist, David Sloan Wilson, who wrote, “Every movement made by an organism is based on a physical environmental input, which initiates a physical chain of events inside the organism, which results in the physical movement of the organism—its behavioral output.”  And “Left unattended, cultural evolution will take us where we don’t want to go.”

Wilson highlighted the late priest and paleontologist, Teilhard de Chardin, and wrote of him:   “For Teilhard, the vital spark that transformed us from a mere species to a new evolutionary process is the capacity for reflection…the power acquired by a consciousness to turn in upon itself, to take possession of itself as an object endowed with its own particular consistency and value…to know oneself…to know that one knows.”  

Teilhard believed an atmosphere of trust was needed for reflection; trust in the slow work of a Loving Vine Dresser who leads us through some stages of instability and gradually forms in us a new Spirit.     

What I wonder is all this absorption in electronic devices affecting our evolution as a species?  Is it taking us where we want to go?  Does all that information being absorbed facilitate trust?  What are we loosing in being less present to our surroundings and one another? Do our devices broaden our focus and lead us to ask the right questions to become better people? Do they help us listen? Do they facilitate reflection and contemplation? Are they improving our behavior?  Can we reflect on our use of our new technologies so we will be led to better love, serve, and forgive one another?

I’ll confess I am at the other end of the spectrum and should be more facile in the electronic world.  I have a little flip phone that I try to remember to take with me in case of emergency.  I never leave it on because I won’t remember to recharge it and then it would be useless in an emergency.  This frustrates my children since they can’t always get in touch with me, which at times has its advantages.

What if we each reflected on our use of electronic devices?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


The Mystery within...
Watching parades makes me want to cry good tears.  I’m not exactly sure why.  Part of the reason must be watching young and old proudly display what they give themselves to in life, be it in service to country, fire fighting, entertaining others, dog rescues, historic preservation in autos and agricultural, and service to youth and families. 

I left this year’s 4th of July parade with real regret.  Regret that I did not take up the invitation on a small groups’ sign to join them as they marched for “Democrats for Wisconsin.”  I clapped and yelled, “Hooray! for Democrats for Wisconsin!”  My feet and body wanted to join them.  But my head said I can’t leave my lawn chair and when my son returns from helping my granddaughter, who was waiting in the line up to proudly parade on a horse, he won’t know where I went.  So regrettably I stayed.  I later realized that this grandma does have a cell phone and needs to remember to use it.  I was at the very start of the parade route and am hoping many others did accept Democrats’ for Wisconsin invitation to march with them.

Service to others, over self-interest, is easy to spot in a parade and in those who watch it.

What if our minds, hands, feet and whole body, marched in service to others more often?