Light In Action

Herring-AleWife-Feature

Returning Home

THIS MAY I LOOKED FORWARD TO A SPECTACULAR MIGRATION in the midst of Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, and Medford (MA). With species in rapid extinction, I had given up on this migration, much as the grey whales disappeared from migrating the 2,000 miles up the Atlantic Ocean. I was wrong.Read more


Rivers in a Viral Desert

As summer’s soft breath greets wisteria and peach trees, stores are closed and schools have barricaded doors. In Massachusetts, the plague still hovers close. COVID asks humans to shut bodies inside, not to shut off attention. Fear is on steroids but hiding helps noone. Thin iris blades are rising, and swans arrive ready to nest.  I want to show up too. Early in the morning I start by running off yesterday’s stress. Being on Earth, 60-something years, I should be a pro at curbing stress. Keep dreaming! My spine is riddled with ropes of tension. Luckily I can still run the Quinibecquin River that meanders through Watertown and Cambridge. I go most days... religiously. Quakers don’t worship the church. But without doubt the riverbed runs sweetly in my soul--it's a religious experience. You doubt me?Read more


Cormorant and Flowers

Quakers, Loving in Crisis

Well you see, my work is more than my job. I get paid as a psychotherapist reducing aggression, and building compassion. My work is the practice of peace. Quakers can be passive peace-lovers. I wrinkle my nose because many Quakers remain quiet around violence, supporting the status quo. I was asked to talk to South Central Yearly Meeting this April, and I eagerly agreed. And I didn't go. Instead all of humanity shared communion around a common foe, the Virus. Here, in video form is the SCYM keynote address. The accompanying PDF expands on my experiences in embracing Divine Love when facing evil. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Click image below to download/view PDF

South Central Yearly Meeting 2020 Keynote


Daffodills

COVID-19 as Teacher within Tapestry

Pestilence and fear reverberate around us like a scary Hitchcock movie. There is evil in 2020 and compounded by a whopper worldwide virus.  But that’s not the main event. Not at all.  For thousands of generations, over hundreds of centuries, a great tapestry is being woven. Can we act from the tendrils of this beauty?

Spirit is weaving this majestic tapestry especially during crisis. It's kinda unbelievable. Quakers are part of the world’s weaving. We, bright beings, are weaving along with the Great Mystery, or the Holy One, the Creatrix, One Love. There’s evil, sure. And we transform it with the power of love. Evil is morally reprehensible, it is greed in the midst of hospitals crushed; it’s pipelines for the rich; it’s bailouts for banks when children lack clean water. Let the Words of My Mouth and the Meditations of my Heart, be Acceptable in Thy Sight. Oh, the Light!Read more


Bow Power Plant, New Hampshire

Fighting Fakefuel with Finesse

Acting in Love during Times of Fire

My stomach dropped down to my knees. Holy cow! I shivered on the tracks as the train curled around the bend. It was 9 pm, Dec 16th, dark and cold. I was in the presence of something awesome like the shepherds on Christmas night who heard the angels shout, “Fear not.” Two dozen warm bodies had camped by the train tracks north of Worcester MA to stop a freight train carrying 10,000 tons of coal. We had been asking the Granite Co to shut down the Bow, NH Power Plant, a huge coal burning factory with no shut-down date.Read more


Humans Rights on ICE

When I came to the Border Project for Human Rights, Mexico was under the chilly grip of winter. I left Baja California on March 1st, enchanted by the world of whales mating and dolphin pods leaping. In Magdalena Bay I traded my swimsuit for a scarf and wool hat. Baja California basks in beauty and I was headed for the top of the peninsula. Organ pipe cactus turned to tall palm trees. The pelicans followed me north along the coast, I thanked them as they dipped and dived around craggy islands. I made it through to the Tijuana Monumental Arch, three blocks south of Trump’s Wall and a lot taller. I introduced myself to the trees near the cathedral, saying I was a pilgrim far from my native maples.Read more


Sunset

Learning AVP When Enemies Are Everywhere

How are prisons violent? Humans learn to reciprocate love and leverage power with each other. Like lumbering bears, we grow every day. Prisons stunt growth. A herd of humans can become a stampede that tramples each other. Humans howl—when threatened we snap our teeth. Violence is taught—sometimes on Main Street. I can assure you—violence is taught in prison. Ahhh, but, violence can be unlearned, in prison and anywhere.
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Clock Pocket Watch

33 Years of Resistance

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.



How can I remove myself from the war economy? Jesus’ message is to drop the sword and find wholeness. Can I embody Truth — to become a clear bell — to offer concrete love? I need to take my money out of the US federal bank account. On Tax Day, April 17, 2018, I will not voluntarily pay a nickel for war. I don’t support how the White House is defacing national parks for oil drilling, nor how they deport parents, nor how the chief uses hate-language and allows the assault of women. But I understand that we voted for Donald T in November 2016. I can’t justify stopping taxes because I don’t like his business style and self-serving ethics. I will not pay for a nuclear arsenal that can turn Earth into a toxic desert.Read more


Grapes on the Vine

Purification, Leaves Resurrection

What is power? Power lines carry dangerous levels of electricity. Queens use a scepter of power. Between you and me, all human power is finite. Yet most power is infinite. Where can I tap into power to change my rubbery life? To change trash blown onto my street? To change my city so that you, me and the microbes thrive? Starhawk (if you never heard of her, look her up) speaks of power over which is the world’s power, associated with dictators, Popes, head honchos. This is the weakest of the 3 powers. A second type she calls “Power with” is the power of a circle, where all gifts and people are cherished. This could be a cooperative that builds a library or a community garden.Read more


In Nepal, Listening for Peace

I’m living these last ten days in Kathmandu, near Baktapur, Nepal. I’m living with a family—Pradip, Barsha and Prabel. The family works hard and sleeps in one bed. One night there were 5 people in a double bed. They are very sociable and close to their parents, often visiting them and arranging their health care. They come from farmers and we visited one set of grandparents yesterday.Read more


Flying Up and In

October 31, 2017
Qatar Air Flight to Doha
Today is a tricky day. Maybe the climate being so hot-cold-hot makes it volatile. One day in October seems like July, the next day is gusty like March. Maybe this day really is a node in the yearly cycle- Samhain is a Celtic holiday known as the end of the year. Maybe the gods have plans that I cannot predict much less plan around.

River Manohara in North Kathmandu

Jonathan and I are flying to Kathmandu for an international peace conference, AVP, Alternatives to Violence Project. We were to leave on Oct 30 with Qatar Airlines. But at the last minute our airplane was grounded for mechanical failure. We got no compensation and had a hard time rerouting our flight the next day, the day known as Halloween. My friend told me, the airline gave me a bad trick with no treats.Read more


Sanctuary from Persecution

Guido and child

“Part of understanding Justice is to recognize the disproportions among which we live..."

it takes an awful lot of living with the powerless to begin to understand what it is like to be powerless, to have your voice, thoughts, ideas and concerns count for very little. We, who have been given much, whose voices can be heard, have a great responsibility to make our voices heard with absolute integrity for those who are powerless.”  John O'DonohueRead more