weekly photo challenge – fleeting

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Share a picture that means ‘fleeting’ to you.

weekend weavings

depiction of individual and community

touch drawing by deborah koff-chapin

I have just returned from my annual writing retreat with sister-leaders in Women Writing for (a) Change. United in our commitment to living a more conscious life in our lives and work, we function as a community of practice across the miles year-round. But four days each June, we meet in person to renew – ourselves as writers, our connections as wise leaders, our commitment to our work in the world. Looking back at a section of my first and last writings for the weekend, I trace those same three themes:

TODAY I BRING
less of anything and more of everything
than ever before –wanting more
time to write, to complete

what started with such promise
and keeps morphing
into more, then less

I arrive here emptied, prompted only
by desire to attend and attune
to what will fall, to fill

By Sunday, my words had become:

MORNING GRATITUDES
invisible ties made tangible
in soul-filled cards,
in warm woven words;
in hearts carrying one another
across years, our lives entwined
like lovers’ limbs coming together
and moving apart, all ways a part
of one another

how we have twined this past decade
loves, daughters, adventure, loss
and yes, deepening – our threaded lives
foundational to the who and how
of each of us

let us speak gratitude beyond words
for this mending time, this weaving time,
this moving time in which we launch
ourselves once more into work we love
and will not leave

silver lining in violence?

Daily Prompt: Write about something you consider “ugly” — war, violence, failure, hatred — but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.

wild summer sky in VT

by tim bartlett, nephew

Gratuitous violence. As entertainment. OK, that’s two things I consider beyond ugly. Sadly, however, they are often linked in our culture: movies showing extreme/graphic violence of one human to another. I remain revulsed and numbed by the insensitivity of those who claim it entertaining to watch children maimed, women raped, men senselessly killing one another point-blank and in increasingly appalling (if creative) fashion.

As you might guess, I do not support such ‘entertainment’ in any form – by watching, even discussing it. There’s enough toxic energy in our world. Why introduce more? And how is it entertaining? The ‘news’ is violent enough. And I won’t start on my opinion of the (rather direct) connection between watching/playing at violence and learning to be violent.

So where’s the silver lining? When my children were young, shows and movies that portrayed (never mind glorified) violence in any form – name-calling, gun-swaggering, knife-pulling, bullying, abuse of one over/against another – became a supreme teaching moment.  And I’m proud that each of them has emerged into adulthood compassionate, thoughtful and actively working for change in fundamental systems that impact us all: criminal justice, education, the environment. Now THAT’s a silver lining to support.