An Immodest Proposal: Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse

"And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." 
(King James Version of Matthew's Gospel)
In the entry hall to my home hangs this photographic meditation on the profound preciousness of children. A feeling for the numinosity of the young  has marked my life from my earliest days in Hermosa Beach, when an older girl—one of the many Dust Bowl refugee children who'd settled with their families in our then-humble beach town—welcomed this child of Jewish atheists into a backyard, Baptist prayer circle and introduced her to the baby Jesus. I'd learned about the value of children in my own noisy and loving home, where I listened to stories describing the tragic loss of all my grandparents' many babies except for my mother and where I witnessed my family's c…

Singing in the Dark Times

Today I find myself turning again to those fateful lines from  Bertolt Brecht's Motto to the Svendborg Poems, penned in 1939:
“In the dark times  Will there also be singing?  Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.”
In 2017, we humans (or at least some of us) have managed to do it again, bringing upon ourselves and our planet a desperate darkness that threatens democracies across the globe and our very continuation as a species. The earth is crying out to us to come home to the realization of our profound interconnection with one another and all the phenomenal world.

Alas, it's all too easy to succumb to despair, hopelessness, and paralyzing anxiety ~ to forget to savor the richness of the gift of life in such dark times.

Most of the folks I know are doing whatever we can to turn the dark tide ~ and blessings to each of you who, in your own ways, are exercising time, thought, action, energy, and prayer on behalf of healing our broken world.

The winter solstice and its m…

Love in the Time of Climate Change

We're living in some seriously dark times. Yet all around us ~ and inside us ~ the generous, green spark of life continues to bring forth new discoveries, new pleasures, new opportunities to dance our way into what Fleur Robins likes to call further incarnations of ourselves. 
In the midst of the godawful events of 1939, Bertolt Brecht wrote in this motto to his Svendborg Poems

In the dark times         Will there be singing?                     Yes, there will also be singing        About the dark times.  Similarly, early alchemists expressed the unquenchable spirit of life as "a blessed greenness," a divine energy in all things that can persist in even our darkest moments, an embodied manifestation of what Mylius described as "a virtue of generation and the preservation of things (that) might be called the Soul of the World." (C.G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis). 

But, as Fleur's Nana might put it (with no little impatience), "What's all that when it&…

Songs of Root and Sky

I'm a city girl. For most of my life, I've lived in SoCal, with a brief stint in Berkeley as a young teen. My family moved around a lot, but the closest we got to anything resembling raw nature was in my earliest years, when we lived just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean in the smallish city of Hermosa Beach. In the summers, as my shoulders darkened to a deep brown, and my young feet and fingers dug happily into warm sand, I was lulled by the lavish roar of ocean waves. But it wasn't until I turned fifteen that I paid much attention to birds.
I've written previously on this blog about my appreciation for crows, those intellectual giants of the avian world, as well as my sorrow over one particular member of that species, Mr. Crow, whose plight elicited the communal action and angst of my little neighborhood, sandwiched between a couple of L.A.'s busiest thoroughfares. But if I have to be honest, mockingbirds have always been my favorite birds.

In the summer my f…