We, as solitaries…allow the Light penetrating our lives to shine out as through stained glass windows and awaken others to the beauty, hope, and goodness that surrounds us.

—Karen and Paul Fredette, “A Word from Still Wood,” Raven’s Bread, May 2019


Dear reader,

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been here much.

There are reasons. For one, revamping the website has occupied a chunk of my time and energy. (You did notice, right? ; ) I launched the original version in 2008, and a boatload has happened since then, so a new look, feel and focus was appropriate.

The bigger reason is that my own inner work has dominated my to-do list for the past 12 months. This work has been very difficult and very good. I may write about it in the months to come, just in case it contains something useful for you.

For now, though, I want to tell you about the “workshop” where this work takes place: a deep inner stillness, which the Light, whom I often call God, penetrates to make things clear. More and more, I live my whole life into, and out of, that deep inner stillness.

Here’s a story to illustrate what I mean.

Last year my most beloved tribe erupted in conflict. Harsh words were exchanged, a lot of them. We lost good people. Many others, including me, sustained emotional wounds that ache to this day.

I spent nearly a year taking the conflict into the stillness, letting the events turn quietly in my mind and heart and seeing what emerged. The Light illuminated many things, mostly about me and my shortcomings: the sludge in my soul that the conflict brought to light, how that sludge makes me utterly human (warts and all), my insatiable craving for validation and my mistakes in trying to fill it.

The result has left me a bit breathless. The conflict still stings here and there, but the flame has died down to embers. I treasure the lessons I’ve learned and the insights I’ve gained. The exercise of my deep inner place has made it even deeper and more supple.

That place, illumined by that Light, is indispensable to me, in the way oxygen is indispensable.

The beauty of the Light is that it doesn’t stay in the deep inner stillness. As the quote at the top of this page notes, it “shines out as through stained glass windows and awakens others to the beauty, hope, and goodness that surrounds us.” Engaging this deep inner stillness, in other words, is a matter of going in to reach out—in to one’s deepest self, out to bless and heal and add beauty to the world. It’s another way of expressing what it means to be contemplative.

I’m not sure what all this means for the blog. I do want to post here more often, but the format and topics may be different. Figuring that out is on the current to-do list. I’d love you to come back from time to time and see what happens.