Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Jewel-like, radiant, and fleeting

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

What a heavenly potentiality God has deposited within us! What a power God has given our spirits! He has endowed us with a power to penetrate the realities of things.

~  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Fidelity to your heart’s deepest dream isn’t primarily a matter of self-discipline or productivity systems. It’s more a practice of remembering—that this life is jewel-like, radiant, and fleeting like the dew on a spider’s web.

~ Eric Klein 

Yin is the receptive, feeling, compassionate force within. It knows the wisdom of surrender and chooses to yield, even when everyone else is getting ahead. For Yin, withdrawing is entering. It’s there that we gestate our dreams, refine our intuition, and have a center from which to interrelate!

~ Toko-pa

When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude!

~ William Wordsworth

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Walking a path that loves us

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Painting: Judy Wright

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

Wisdom is a creative power that enfolds, encircles, and encompasses the cosmos, quickening it from within creation.

Wisdom is only realized in and through creation, through our cooperation with the divine power available to us in our creative work.

~ Christine Valters Painter (from Creative Flourishing in the Heart of the Desert: A Self-Study Online Retreat with Hildegard of Bingen)

 

The more you work with your dreams and your unconscious, and honor it, the more you understand it and it understands you.

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Photo: Kathy Gilman

When you develop a relationship with your psyche this way, you begin to carry that energy into life and your relationships.

~ Marion Woodman

 

I think being motivated is naturally built-in to one’s vocation. When you walk a path you love, there is something deeper calling you forward on it, like a beautiful question that can never be answered. In the hard times you may turn away from it, but a part of you knows you’ll always turn back because you can’t give up on what you love, even if you try.  In the end, I think the real work is not finding inspiration, but attuning to it.

So when I’m not feeling inspired, I know somewhere along the line I’ve been distancing myself from life. This feeling of being separate from “something greater” is usually brought about by numbing habits; so I’ll take myself to the forest and let my senses be reawoken and warmed back to life. I think pleasure is really the gateway to feeling connected and inspired.

~ Dreamwork with Toko-pa

 


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Larger than we have imagined

It’s a big gift when readers respond to a story, its characters, and its world as if they have visited and are sad to leave. Even better is when a book lingers on in their own world afterward. 

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Photo: D. Kirkup Jewelry Designs

Someone told me recently that after reading Snow Fence Road, she had a dream set in its world, among its characters.

She may never know how deep an affirmation this is for me. The book came into being through my vivid dream about the trauma that shatters its hero’s life. Then, like an accompanying mark of closure the week after I finished writing it, I dreamed of the characters in the next stage of their life, after “The End”.

That experience the reader shared is also a reinforcement because in my newest work, The Munich Girl, a character’s dream life is as important a resource for her as every other kind of knowledge. Just as dreams have always been for me. I experienced some inner debate about this when I received feedback that questioned whether it’s of any value to include dreams and their contributions in the novel’s story. I had to remind myself that, for some, dreams have little or no validity in life.

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Image: Cary Enoch / EnochsVision.com

“Dreams are the threads that weave our unconscious wisdom, wishes, knowing and foreknowing into the tapestry of our waking lives,” says Paula Chaffee Scardamalia of The Divining Muse.They often call us to live larger, to be more than we have imagined for ourselves.”

If anything sums up the call pulling at my novel’s protagonist, it is that last sentence of Paula’s.

“Life consists of two journeys: the outward journey of the body through time and space, and an inner journey of the soul,” writes Dave Tomlinson. And stories are one of the most enduring ways that humans reflect and learn on each of those journeys.

“We are, as a species, addicted to story,” says Jonathan Gottschall in The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human. “Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”

Isn’t it interesting that what we call those nocturnal stories is the same name we give to our most cherished hopes and visions: dreams.

Find more about The Munich Girl at:

http://www.amazon.com/Munich-Girl-Novel-Legacies-Outlast/dp/0996546987/


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A practice of remembering

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Photo: D. Kirkup Designs / http://www.etsy.com/shop/dkirkupdesigns

What a heavenly potentiality God has deposited within us! What a power God has given our spirits! He has endowed us with a power to penetrate the realities of things. 

DKbfIMG_1485

Photo: D. Kirkup Designs / http://www.etsy.com/shop/dkirkupdesigns

~  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Fidelity to your heart’s deepest dream isn’t primarily a matter of self-discipline or productivity systems. It’s more a practice of remembering—that this life is jewel-like, radiant, and fleeting like the dew on a spider’s web. 

DKshadIMG_1443

Photo: D. Kirkup Designs / http://www.etsy.com/shop/dkirkupdesigns

~ Eric Klein 

Yin is the receptive, feeling, compassionate force within. It knows the wisdom of surrender and chooses to yield, even when everyone else is getting ahead. For Yin, withdrawing is entering. It’s there that we gestate our dreams, refine our intuition, and have a center from which to interrelate!  

~ Toko-pa