Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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It’s always right now

Photo courtesy of Tamela Rich.

When the web site It’s Write Now ran a feature for my novel last week, I reconnected with the very enjoyable interview the site offered me last year.

In its timely way, my revisiting of those questions is helping me reflect on my current writing project, a sort of spiritual memoir, as I look back on the process of writing The Munich Girl.

It’s another powerful reminder that right now has what’s just right for right now. 🙂

 

The experiences of Germany through this period is really told through the characters that the readers meet during the book. How you breathe life into these characters?

Eva Braun, left, with her younger cousin, foreground, and friend, right.

The dynamic that each of the three women in the book experiences, of never feeling that she can be fully herself – of having to choose between things, based on others’ views of her — is conditioning that overshadowed my own life for a long time.

Today, I know that I experience my own power of choice more deeply as a result of the process of letting myself explore a potentially controversial or volatile subject like Hitler’s mistress in as neutral a way as possible, to see what sort of larger picture might emerge as this story unfolded for me.

You really are tackling a controversial or volatile subject in The Munich Girl. What did you want to give readers who were brave enough to explore this subject with you?

Initially, it was to give a glimpse into the experience of Germans during the war, and show how varied it was. Though they lived in a very dangerous place they could not necessarily escape, many Germans took risks to help and protect others, but many of these stories got lost once they were seen as part of the “losing enemy” country.

Within the first year of writing, I also began to accept that the goal, to the best of my ability, was to convey themes that the story was suggesting.

These include that any good we seek to do will always have an enduring effect, sometimes for successive generations.

Another is that it is our willingness to build what is good, together, that is the legacy of love that always outlasts war, destruction, and violence.

What are lessons you learned during this glimpse into wartime Germany that have endured in your mind?

One paradox that I think could tell us a lot about our present imbalances of inequality in our world is that the very sorts of caring, nurturing qualities that the Nazis sought to demean and suppress were exactly what Hitler came home to Eva Braun for.

With sister writer and International Women’s Writing Guild member Kelly DuMar at the IWWG’s summer conference.

One question for me is, when, and how, will we find the collective will to value and honor these qualities in both genders, and all situations? It is the devaluing of them that has allowed, and continues to allow, violence and atrocities like the Holocaust to happen.

I admire your desire to explore and present things like this paradox in terms that people can understand and learn from, but I am curious to find how working in this sensitive situation has impacted your writing. Do you feel energized or exhausted working to ensure that you present this period well?

Sometimes the struggle is in making peace with the inescapable fact that every writing work has its own timetable. It’s directly related to the one connected with my own development, and it’s wise not to try to force or speed that up. What never fails to delight me is that I’m always happy when I let myself be absorbed in a project that attracts me, and it’s something I can pursue anywhere I am in the world.

Find the rest of the interview at: https://itswritenow.com/84433/author-interview-with-phyllis-edgerly-ring-of-the-munich-girl/

Find The Munich Girl at: ‘The Munich Girl ( ASIN: B01AC4FHI8 )‘.

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Time for our new story

Image: Judy Wright

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

The Earth and your own soul require you to live magnificently and fiercely; it is time for a new story.

~ Mary Reynolds Thompson, author, Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness

In the morning when you wake up, reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind.

At the end of the day, before going to sleep, think over what you’ve done.

If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that.

If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance.

This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion. 

~ Pema Chödrön

Grandmother Twylah1912545_715883631833593_4178046946350743142_n

Seneca Grandmother Twylah Nitsch

One of the first things Seneca children learned was that they might create their own world, their own environment, by visualizing actions and desires in prayer.

The Senecas believed that everything that made life important came from within. Prayer assisted in developing a guideline toward discipline and self control.

~ Twylah Nitsch, Seneca

You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.

What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.

~ Thomas Merton

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.

 ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


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The trees of our hearts

Berries

Photo: Eric Olson

May you become as growing plants.

May the trees of your hearts bring forth new leaves and variegated blossoms.”  ~ ‘Abdu’l-Baha

Storm 223

Photo: Nelson Ashberger

Arguably, the most important question in the entire process of engaging our spiritual intelligence is this:

What sort of person do I wish to be?

It is a question most of us seldom call to mind, yet which we answer many times every day in the decisions and choices we make.

It literally shapes our life, so it is worth pausing occasionally to give it some conscious thought.  ~ Dave Tomlinson

The spirit, I think, is a stream, a fountain, and must be continually poured out, for only if it is poured out will more and clearer streams come.  ~ Brenda Ueland


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With our own eyes, and our own hearts

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Art by Lisa Congdon from “Whatever You Are, Be a Good One.” Learn more about her work here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/04/01/whatever-you-are-be-a-good-one-lisa-congdon/

 

Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.

~ Carl Jung

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

~ Albert Einstein

If you desire faith, then you have faith enough.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Would it surprise you to learn that optimism is not a synonym for positivity, nor an opposite of negativity? Optimism transcends both. … Being optimistic ultimately means that an individual expects the best possible outcome from any situation. Such a person’s mindset and heart-set responds to whatever arises in the moment—uplifting or challenging—knowing that within it is a grace, an opportunity for their soul’s evolutionary progress.

Have you caught it yet?

~ Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith 

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What is the freedom and power of seeing and understanding with our own eyes?

Learn more about the gifts of this divine possibility at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thine-Own-Eyes-Imitate-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/ref=la_B00IS9LEZA_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404764134&sr=1-4


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What are the fruits of our living and giving?

It can be a rich world out there in the blogosphere.

Some gleanings here and there:

IMG_1014Trust truth. It claimed us long ago. It uses us and aspects of life to push, pull, confirm and challenge us to a deeper realization. ~ Gangaji

How does truth make use of us, in the fruits of our living and giving?

In a week that included the anniversary of Sept. 11, blogger and Strategic Monk Greg Richardson notes: “When we talk about someone giving their life for someone or something, we are usually talking about how their life ended. … It is often not the way a life ends that best describes it. …The lives that are given include much more than how they end, each moment of each day. They give all their experiences and emotions, their thoughts and secrets, their passions and wisdom, their abilities and desires.

Read the rest of Greg’s “Focused on Giving Our Lives” at http://wp.me/p2kVKj-1Jq.

IMG_1997And while we’re talking about living and giving, writer Kathy Custren makes me smile with her admission, “Personally, I can only multi-task if I concentrate on one thing.”

Find her singular thoughts on the subject of being universal and individual and the part concentration and focus play in that at “Clarity of Singularity” at http://omtimes.co/17yV8HW.

Artwork courtesy Saffron Moser and Nelson Ashberger.