Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign: HELP FUND MY BOOK

My Dear Friends & Supporters I am collaborating with Kate Whittaker to publish a collection of my poetry weaving throughout a tapestry of Kate’s beautiful paintings. The publication reading/reception will be mid-October. I have been awarded a grant through ARAC, but am in need of additional funds to support the publication so have started a Kickstarter campaign. Any support you are able to offer (even just $10) would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your time and consideration :) Follow this link to support:

Kickstarter LINK

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scarred By Struggle, Transformed By Hope

I would like to share a bit of correspondence between myself and Cindy Spillers inspired from an earlier post of mine. In addition, included therein is a power point presentation by Cindy that includes some of Joan Chittister's quotes as it relates to the topic at hand. Enjoy, I certainly did:

So, early in April I checked into Grace Intoxicated and read and reread your post about Joan Chittister. Thank you so much for posting that. At the time, I was putting together a paper for the MN Speech & Hearing Association conference, on the inner transformational journey that some clients travel while they are traveling the external therapeutic road. I used the Wizard of Oz as an example of a hero's quest and as a metaphor for this inner journey. AND your post helped me to articulate and tie together some things that I was struggling with. I borrowed some Chittister quotes from your blog and cited you as the source in my references.

Here is the link to the slides that I put together, if you're interested.
Power Point Presentation

I developed this topic and presentation for the Minnesota Speech and Hearing Association Conference (MSHA), April 2012. The link goes to the slides that I used in the MSHA conference.


Cindy Spillers is an Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her main areas of professional practice include fluency, voice, and counseling. Most recently, she has conducted research and written on the topic of incorporating spirituality into professional practice.


Ph.D. in Communication Disorders,1982
Associate Professor at UMD
UMD faculty for 28 years
Certificate in Spiritual Guidance and Direction
ASHA Certified
MDH License

The initial version of this topic appears as part of a chapter that I wrote for a book on the therapeutic relationship. The citation for the chapter appears as one of the references at the end of the slides.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

All My Life

By: Mary Oliver

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

Friday, June 15, 2012


By: Amma

"Love just happens. Nobody thinks about how to love, or when and where to love. Nobody is rational about love. Rational thought hinders love. Love is a sudden rising in the heart. Love is an unavoidable, unobstructable longing for oneness. There is no logic in this. It is beyond logic. So do not try to be rational about love.'

Monday, June 11, 2012


T. S. Eliot, 1944

There is, it seems to us,
At best, only a limited value
In the knowledge derived from experience.
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
For the pattern is new in every moment
And every moment is a new and shocking
Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived
Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.
In the middle, not only in the middle of the way
But all the way, in a dark wood, in a bramble,
On the edge of a grimpen, where is no secure foothold,
And menaced by monsters, fancy lights,
Risking enchantment. Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possessions,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Best Day Ever

By: Kyle Elden

I was recently reading Deborah Adele's blog entry entitled The Best Day Ever, follow to read:, and I loved it. She describes little kids playing with bubbles in her neighborhood, swept away in the present moment with the simple, yet profound joy found in experiencing the good and beautiful moments in life. One of the children, caught up in the magnificence and wonder of bubbles exclaims, "this is the best day ever!" Deborah Adele reflects on her own life at this moment pondering when it was she last felt that sentiment. That got me thinking about the way in which we take in our lives. I recently read James Bryan Smith's The Good and Beautiful God and there is a chapter, "God is Trustworthy" with a soul training (a daily, practical practice to help one connect with God) Counting Your Blessings. He discusses the way in which we tend to overlook the many ways in which we are provided for, the ways in which we are surrounded with incredible beauty and blessings. What if we awoke each day reveling in the absolute miracle that we can simply breathe and open our eyes to see a spectacular sunrise or watch lightening dance in the sky and rain splash against a window pane? I notice that, even when things are tough, I am disappointed or frustrated, or my little heart is breaking, when I do take the time to shift my perspective of life and allow myself to revel in the bounty of goodness that is at hand - well, I can't help but become flooded with absolute gratitude and feel close to God. I can't help but be filled with hope and peace. So, thinking of that little kid deeming the bubble chasing moment day as the best day ever - well, I freaking love the spirit of that statement. And, although I may not proclaim every day as the best day ever!!!perhaps at the very least I can appreciate and ruminate on precious moments and days in my life that are more than pretty damn good and find myself saying more and more, "Damn! This is good, this is the best ever!"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Jacob's Ladder

Gary Boelhower, a local Duluth resident, mentor and friend was awarded the 2012 Foley Prize in poetry from America magazine for his poem "Jacob's Ladder." The poem appears in the current issue of America and a reading is available on the America magazine website His book Marrow, Muscle, Flight won the Midwest Book Award from the 12-state Midwest Independent Publishers Association. To me this poem is more like a prayer. It is a beautiful reminder of shifting our perspective of life and seeing through eyes that are God-focused, and to notice the way in which so much of life is a blessing, a miracle.

Jacob's Ladder
Gary Boelhower | JUNE 4, 2012

The editors of America are pleased to present the winner of the 2012 Foley Poetry Award, given in honor of William T. Foley, M.D.

When you are on the ladder with a paint brush
twenty feet of air between you and the ground
do not swing in anger or fear at the yellow jackets.

If angels are ascending and descending the ladder
of your spine let them stretch their strands of light
into the small spaces between the discs of bone.

When you notice the way your heart can lean
toward shadow pay attention to the story
you keep telling yourself as if it were the truth.

If you are keeping track of the times you
fold the laundry or take out the garbage
you are not an angel ascending or descending.

When you curse the baby bunny eating lettuce
from the garden it is time to notice and listen
how the angels sing of mercy and bread.

If the spider is crawling up your sleeve
use your opposable thumb and consider the vow
of the bodhisattva and the levels of humility.

When you forget to roll up the car window
before the rain storm think of each silver drop
as an angel descending with blessed reminders.