Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Section V.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree
Are of equal duration. A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple­tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half­heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in­folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Read Full Post »

So What is Loss?

What will other people think?

Is what they think anything close to the shade of the color of your experience?

Will they get it when you lose your lifelong dream instead of a person?

And when you’re crushed forever. . .

Will posies be left at your door?  Will they get it if you don’t wear black veils?

Will they get it when it’s that worthless momento lost forever,

and that you’d give your life to find it again?

Does anyone understand that secret passion of a love-unknown and

what it’s like when it goes away?

Crushing your soul. . . .

As it dissipates into no-thing-ness?

They say growth comes with change and loss. . .

but what happens when it’s the wrong fertilizer for your secret garden

and nothing will grown in the moonlit path that is your life?

Meaning and purpose can be extinguished like a birthday candle

and who knows if they can be returned in this lifetime.

Do you have to work hard to find it again?

Could you ever really find it again?

Can you open your heart to the process that comes

With searching for those things again?

Or are they just gone?


What about when it’s loss of innocence that someone

rips away from someone you love?

And all you can do is stare or weep when you realize

that this is an existential Humpty Dumpty won’t stay together

with any amount of glue. . . .


They say growth comes with change and loss. . .

but what happens when it’s the wrong fertilizer for your secret garden


nothing will grown in the moonlight path that is . . .

your life.

Read Full Post »

English: The Red ribbon is a symbol for solida...

Image via Wikipedia

Before me sat an angry young man,

Confused and wounded.

A soldier fighting too many enemies

And not know who they really were.

Before me sat an angry young man,

wanting his way in all that he did.

And not knowing what path to take to find his way in the world.

This young man,

reluctantly tried

to keep his armor from getting scratched by me.

Me, a worthy opponent he knew not what to make of,

let alone believe.

He struggled and fought and tried every trick.

And flashes of magic seemed to finally come, though sparingly at first.

A stumble, a trip, but still on his path

with book in hand, soon beginning to understand what it was all about.

Here sat before me

A handsome young man,

believing in miracles when he could remember that they were all around.

This young man, who had walked behind me,

unable to trust or love,

struggling to walk on the path,

was soon by my side.

We walked hand and hand

as fears were conquered and dreams became more real.

This angry young man is no more.

He opened himself up to all that Is

and his spirit began to soar.

This striking your man now knows

each day, that the greatest battle to fight is to Be each day.

Now god and miracles are not foreign land.

And strangers and enemies do not exist,

for we all are One,

no enemy left, except the past,

which melts away with each passing step.

And now this man

has become a soul friend.

Someone to be proud of

and stand by until the end

No longer his enemy,

no longer his guide,

blessed to see the

miracle of his growth and the wonder of this man on his journey.

By:  Jennifer R. Stevens,

for all my dear friends who have died of AIDS long ago and recently.

And to my only and dearest brother. . . You are not forgotten.

Read Full Post »


Chögyam Trungpa

Chögyam Trungpa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Generosity. . . arises when the Bodhisattva is intoxicated

by compassion and is no longer aware of himself.  His mind is

not merely filled with compassion,

it becomes compassion, it is COMPASSION.”

~~Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Read Full Post »


“There is an “allness” to community.  It is not merely a matter of including a matter

of including different sexes, races, and creeds.  It is also inclusive of

the full range of human emotions.  Tears are welcome

as well as laughter, fear as well as faith.”

~~M. Scott Peck, The Different Drum

Read Full Post »

To Do What Needs to Be Done

“It doesn’t interest me

to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up,

after the night of grief and despair,

weary and bruised to the bone,

and do what needs to be done

to feed the children.”

~~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Read Full Post »

What Frightens Us Most

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~~ Marianne Williamson, from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Read Full Post »


“May I walk in Beauty before me.

May I walk in Beauty behind me.

May I walk with Beauty above me.

May I walk with Beauty below me.

May I walk with Beauty all around me.

As I walk the Beauty way.”

~~ Navaho Prayer

Read Full Post »

Darkness Before Light

Truly, it is in the darkness that one

finds the light, so when we are

in sorrow then this light is

nearest to all of us.

~~ Meister Eckhart

I’ve written before that I think that death provides us an edge, to whole the container of our lives.

It provides us with some sort of outer limit, always there, even though most of the time we don’t acknowledge it.

And I think that is why I write this blog.

To remind us to acknowledge it.

Did you know that there is a field of study that actually looks at a phenomenon called Post Traumatic Growth?

It’s true. . . google it.

I have found, for me, that it is coming out of the darkness of grief or pain, when there was a sliver of light as contrast against the field of darkness, that I have found healing, have believed in a wholeness of sorts.

That was out of my view when I was in the midst of nothing but darkness.

It was out of my view when the sun shone brightly. . .

But it was in that moment when I was rounding the bend, starting up the hill, that I knew I had learned something profound.

I don’t know if I can say that I learned about friendship when I was blessed with the bounty of many friends.

I am not sure it was in perfect health that I understood how fragile mine was (or that of others).

I don’t think we truly understand the depth of love we have for someone until they are no longer in our lives. . . when the pain, physical, spiritual, psychological, etc. is so deep and so raw, that we get that a part of us has died along with them.

And just as light follows darkness, we get in touch again with the fact that we have lost a part of ourselves, our world and yet, nothing is forgotten or lost, we are just no longer in touch with it.

Read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book No Death, No Fear, if you really want to understand.  It is a powerful commentary on our interdependence and our impermanence.

I appreciate all those who stop by here for a little dose of my ramblings and my musings.

What a great privilege of today’s post modern world that we can all connect and share our lives.

Honoring the dark moments on your journey and the slivers of light that inform your path.

Metta, Jennifer

Read Full Post »


By Doug Smith, MDiv.

“When we label some deaths right,

and other deaths become wrong.

When we label some deaths good,

and other deaths become bad.

Living and dying create each other.

The easy way and the difficult way are


The long life and the short life are relative.

The first days and the last days accompany each other.

Therefore, the true caregiver of the dying does all

that needs to be done without asserting herself,

and saying all that needs to be said without

saying anything.

Things happen, and she allows them to happen.

Things fail to happen, and she allows them to fail

to happen.

She is always there, but it is as though she is not there.

She realizes that she does nothing,

yet all that needs to be done is done.

In letting go,

there is gain.

In giving up,

there is advancement.

Don’t practice controlling.

Practice allowing.

Such is the mystery of happiness.

Such is the mystery of wealth.

Such is the mystery of power.

Such is the mystery of living and dying.

Excerpt from:  Caregiving:  Hospice-proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »