favorite quotes

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”  ~Brené Brown from The Gifts of Imperfection

“Caring passionately about something isn’t against nature, and it isn’t against human nature. It’s what we’re here to do” Annie Dillard

“Women catch courage from the women whose lives and writings they read,
and women call the bearer of that courage, friend.”

– Carolyn Heilbrun, The Last Gift of Time: Life beyond Sixty

For things to happen …you must write
– G. Lynn Nelson

You do not become good by trying to be good but by finding the goodness already within and allowing it to emerge; which can only happen if a fundamental shift occurs in your state of consciousness.
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose

 

“It’s not what you produce as you write that matters.
It’s who you become as you write that matters.
Louise deSalvo, Writing as a Way of Healing

 

Nature invites us to discover connection. This is the same invitation of poem-making: . . . these connections become catalysts for insight. . . As we write, these interwoven elements help us to discover more . . . about how our life is ultimately connected to everything around us. Sound, imagery, rhythm, metaphor, personification are all ways to express natural connections. –  John Fox, Poetic Medicine

Recent Posts

St. Francis

Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi, Italy

 

In the month of October we remember Francis of Assisi, the saint who answered Christ’s call to “repair my church.” Above all, St. Francis stands as one who … boldly challenged a world obsessed with power and status, and a church that conformed to such values. Those today who pursue the cause of peace, who stand with the poor, who engage in respectful dialogue with other faiths, or defend the Earth and its creatures, are following in Francis’ path … a way of kindness, gentleness, and humility that could truly repair our world, which is evidently falling into ruin.

This appeared in my inbox this morning from Orbis Books, the publisher of HEAR ME, SEE ME: Incarcerated Women Write which I co-edited in 2013. By coincidence, earlier this week I received a copy of Colere, A Journal of Cultural Exploration published annually by Coe College. They just published my poem, ‘The Tomb of St. Francis.’

Tomb of St. Francis of Assisi at the Basilica

The Tomb of St. Francis
Assisi, Italy

They come, pilgrims of every shade
in bright red-orange prints, with canes
their grayed heads bound in matching cloth
eyes encased in winkled brown.

Dread-locked youth, his lengths spilling
over dirty blond pack as he kneels,
falls to the stone step marking
the edge of adoration for the deceased.

A lanky dark-haired youth
in plain white tee and tattered jeans
pulls the iron grate tight to heaving chest
entwines hand, arm, head bowed in prayer;

then rises, damp-eyed, whispers, croons,
his body speaking anguish, joy
at this momentous meeting
faith and love lived large

as his beloved Saint before him,
example of the living word
that permeates the air, the bones
of ancient-walled Assisi.

‘The Tomb of St. Francis’ by Sarah W. Bartlett, in Colere Journal of Cultural Exploration, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA, 2018

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