Midsummer Blessings

Solstice stones on Holt Hill, Ward Reservation

“Solstice Stones” on the top of Holt Hill, Ward Reservation, Andover.

Today is the Summer Solstice, the stillpoint of summer, the longest day in the Wheel of the Year. A few years ago I wrote a stanza of this poem, and I have since “finished” it, by adding a stanza that was missing. (The first stanza appears in a post on Mabon, the beginning of autumn “Tumbling Toward Mabon.” 9/17/12) Please enjoy this time to pause, but also celebrate abundance with abandon.

Surya Namaskar

This time of year I
Like a bit of dry tinder
Easily woken by the birds
Who themselves
Crackle in a blaze of

No creature anchored to this
Blue orb
Can choose but to
Lean toward that fire
Greeting its moist green gifts
Where it kisses the earth.

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Peace, Progress, and the Pause Before the Push


I am enjoying the pause before the final push of the first summer session class. Next week,I get to teach about strategic nonviolence, peace movements, and peace education.

I will miss teaching social movements in second summer session, and I could really us the dough, but I am going to treat July and August as a sabbatical. As an adjunct, I don’t really ever get one.

In a week, I also lose the sling and start driving again. I still won’t be able to carry anything heavier than a cup of coffee in my right hand, but I’ll take it. I got to 145° in the overhead plane in physical therapy Wednesday. Who can say what today will bring? Maybe the surgeon will move me to active range
of motion after I see him on July 2.

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Our precious mother

Chris Wallis, author of Tantra Illuminated, posted a video of “Machi” by Peia on his Facebook feed. He highly recommended taking a few deep breaths, and watching this fullscreen. One experience I had was feel how precious is our Mother Earth, who is so embattled these days.

Here is the album on Bandcamp.

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Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten

Richard Hudak:

On the lighthearted side, there are funny people.

Originally posted on Writing by Alan Annand:

Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten! 


Feeling wobbly, forgetful, and introverted during this Mercury retrograde cycle? This can be a great time for renewal and self-reflection. The Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten (TM) is designed specifically to contain and counteract the powerful negative mental and energetic effects of Mercury retrograde.

Each body mitten is hand-knitted by celibate Virgos using hypo-allergenic squirrel wool inter-woven with strands of unicorn hair that were marinated in lavender oil infused with emerald powder. This energetic matrix provides a comfortable and fashionable garment to create an aware and stable personal environment before, during, and after Mercury retrograde. 

Production of our body mittens follows a strict process of spiritual guidance, prayer, and attunement to the planet. After knitting, garments are dyed a limited range of peaceful colors (aquamarine, blue, green, mauve, teal) in a solution of Clematis, Narcissus, and White Chestnut flower essences to help ground thoughts and calm an over-stimulated…

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I’m halfway through the first summer session at the university. I’m five weeks post-op. My passive range of motion is increasing beyond 90° in the overhead plane.

We pay so much attention to the things that occurred dramatically, all at once. We don’t pay enough attention to those things which occur incrementally. Yet the earth rolls toward and away from the sun each day; it circles the sun every year. The flower bursts forth in its own good time, still managing to create drama. The fruit ripens on vine or branch, and seeds grow in these secret places.


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It only took 28 years to get solar panels back on the White House roof!

Richard Hudak:

This is a wonderful redevelopment.

Originally posted on Grist:

Today, Jimmy Carter gets to enjoy a gleeful chuckle while Ronald Reagan rolls over in his grave. Today is a good day.

After four years of repeated grumblings of “we’re going to do this, we promise,” the Obama administration has plunked some solar panels on the White House roof. And like all great things, they’re American-made, American-installed, and run off of good ol’ American sunlight!

A little bit of backstory: Back in 1979, Carter was ahead of the curve in installing solar panels at the presidential residence. At their dedication, he provided an apt analysis of what they symbolized at the time: “A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people—harnessing the power of…

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What makes Boston “strong”?

Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While a marathon may be an experience of individual triumph, our experience of last year’s terror remains collective. From near misses to eyewitnesses, our lesson should be how well connected we are. We count among our friends the fallen and heroes, and those left puzzling how their schoolmate “Zack” could have gone so wrong. Despite subsequent efforts of some to appropriate “Boston Strong” as a mere brand, it is both through our celebration of individual striving and shared determination that we remain strong this year.

Read my previous posts on the Boston Marathon bombings.

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April Fool’s

This has got to be the best April Fool’s prank I have ever seen. Watch it and see if you can keep a dry eye. I dare you.

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On Being Intimate on the Internet

Sherwin Nuland was a clinical professor of surgery at Yale University, where he also taught bioethics and medical history. His books include How We Die, Lost in America, Maimonides, and How We Live: The Wisdom of the Body.

Tim Berners-Lee, the person credited with outlining the principles of the World Wide Web, is widely reported to have said he didn’t expect so many pictures of cats. But reportedly, he also said he didn’t expect people to be so open about personal things on the internet.

I was referring a friend to the work of Sherwin Nuland, when I listened to the opening of his conversation with Krista Tippett of On Being, talking about the death of his grandmother and his celebrated book How We Die.

The more personal you are willing to be and the more intimate you are willing to be about the details of your own life, the more universal you are.

When you recognize that pain and response to pain is a universal thing, it helps explain so many things about others, just as it explains so much about yourself. It teaches you forbearance. It teaches you a moderation in your responses to other people’s behavior. It teaches you a sort of understanding. It essentially tells you what everybody needs. You know what everybody needs? You want to put it in a single word? Everybody needs to be understood. And out of that comes every form of love.

via Transcript: Sherwin Nuland — The Biology of the Spirit | On Being.

This may be counterintuitive, but I think it is true. Today, my church celebrated 20 years as a congregation which has welcomed LGBTQ people. Congregants told their stories, which I think teach us an openness to all lifestyles, ways and forms (with apologies to the Beastie Boys). It teaches about ourselves, the ways in which we need to move, and the forbearance we need to express to ourselves about not moving there quickly enough. Yoga is about change, but it also is about discovering the Truth that is already present.

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A school within a school

I have been following the work of the Karuna School, and had been disappointed that the economy had contributed to their “failure to launch.” But now new life has been breathed into their vision. This is one way in which we begin the transformation of our culture.

Cambridge School of Weston to partner with Karuna School for peace and equity studies (via boston.com)

Lucinda Burk A Karuna School class in motion. By Maggie Quick, Globe Correspondent When Lisa Prajna Hallstrom founded the Karuna School with her husband in 2008, she dreamed of raising funds to build a high school to house the school’s unique peace…


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