“The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” – an invitation to read together: Number 8

Since the end of 2015, I have sent out an Invitation each week to folks both near and far, to join me in reading this beautiful and powerful book…read more

 in February

To you dear Singers and Weepers, Workers and Wanderers,

I call out to you to come and join us here as we begin another round of remembering how to let our hearts fill to overflowing with Grief and Praise. Join us as we begin another approach to Martín Prechtel’s beautiful, sweet book, The Smell of Rain on Dust.

Arrive so you have time to settle in with a cup of tea or a glass of delicious well water from up here on this dear ridge that some say was once known as the Place of the Deer by the Suquamish, when this was part of the lands they roamed as they followed the trail of the Salmon People.

We’ll begin at 7:00 and go ’til 8:30, or maybe longer if we just can’t help ourselves. Here’s a link to some writings about the book if you’re wanting a little more information to digest.

Enjoy the miraculous springtime transformations as they unfurl all around us,

 

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“The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” – an invitation to read together: Number 7

Since the end of 2015, I have sent out an Invitation each week to folks both near and far, to join me in reading this beautiful and powerful book…read more

 in February

To you, dear travelers on this winding path,

it is me, Lauren,  and I call out to you, to join us as we share our hearts, our grief, our praise. It’s always tender, precious; we share hot tea, laughter, sometimes tears and always it’s a Gift for our thirsty souls.

It seems that we will be arriving at the last page of The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise, at this reading, although truly, we just never know.

We will begin all over again next time. If you’ve felt a little funny coming in the middle, although you are ALWAYS WELCOME…join us as we begin again!

Come if you can… The timing is always…-ish. If you arrive “late” we will sweep you into our circle. And be so grateful that you came.

Remember that if “Danny the Irish Setter” is outside, he has a very loud bark…is completely harmless and also pretty clueless…about cars, about most things. He’s very sweet and also large.

As the grand and fiery Sun whose face remains hidden today, slides beneath the horizon, I watch Madrone, Big Leaf Maple and Red Alder trees waving grandly and sometimes wildly, from the base of their trunk to the very tops of their branches, as one gust and then the next, leads them to another dance.  I am grateful for these graceful neighbors.

much love,

“The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” – an invitation to read together: Number 6

Since the end of 2015, I have sent out an Invitation each week to folks both near and far, to join me in reading this beautiful and powerful book…read more

 in February

The stars are twinkling in the sky this evening – what a grand treat – two weeks in a row these dangling messengers from some other time and world, greet us in their sparkling ways.

I call out to you, to join us as we share our hearts, our grief, our praise. It’s always tender, precious, with hot tea, laughter, sometimes tears and always a Gift.

Come if you can… If you arrive “late” we will sweep you into our circle. And be so grateful that you came.

As you come up our driveway this time…take a little more time and caution…my landlord has taken down a few trees and driven his back-hoe back and forth across the driveway. There might be more work done; cars might be parked in odd places around here – so keep your eyes open. Remember that “Danny the Irish Setter” has a very loud bark…and is completely harmless and also pretty clueless…about cars, about most things. He’s very sweet and also large.

much love to you as we receive more and more daylight each day,

“The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” – an invitation to read together: Number 5

Since the end of 2015, I have sent out an Invitation each week to folks both near and far, to join me in reading this beautiful and powerful book…read more

 in January

The stars are twinkling in the sky this evening – what a grand treat.

I call out to you, to join us as we share our hearts, our grief, our praise. It’s always tender, precious – with hot tea, laughter, sometimes tears and always a Gift.

And. My dear Godmother whom I spoke of last week…she is, miraculously, on the mend. As we come together, she will celebrate her 99th birthday! Maybe you’ll join me in singing to her on the phone. !!!?!!!

Come if you can…If you arrive “late” we will sweep you into our circle. And be so grateful that you came.

love,

“The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” – an invitation to read together: Number 4

Since the end of 2015, I have sent out an Invitation each week to folks both near and far, to join me in reading this beautiful and powerful book…read more

 in January

A call out to each of you finding ways to walk in this world with your tender heart open,

I’m a bit late sending out this notice…been swirled up in the shimmering waters of life and death this weekend.

My life-long and self-appointed GodMother, who is one week shy of 99-years-old, is, we believe, preparing to make her way Across the Great Waters. I’ve been in touch with her daughter, hearing the tales of her mama as she meanders on this Side and then the Other Side. We grew up just five houses apart, and have known and loved each other since we were three-years-old. Her mama has continued to be a big presence in my life

AND there is a brand new baby girl!!! born to dear, sweet neighbors yesterday just after noon.

Life and Death. Grief and Praise.

We’ll meet here in my little nest…reading aloud. Hope you can join us as we gather up our precious hearts and Remember ourselves. Bring snacks, a cushion to sit on if you like…I’ll have hot water, tea and honey ready for you…most importantly…join us.

with love, on a beautiful winter day,

there is a crack in everything

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

~ Leonard Cohen

 

As I write, it is only the third day after the 2016 US Presidential Election and I can’t help but notice that one line seems particularly appropriate…

there is a crack in everything

These four lines written by Leonard Cohen arrived via email from a dear friend back around 2001. They came to me as a rope being thrown to someone who is close to drowning. I was in the midst of what became a four-year stay: years that contain some of the greatest challenges of my life, but would not trade for anything. I left the precious town that continues to be my home; left a cabin in the woods along the Puget Sound in Washington State, with Bald Eagles flying above the tree line and crows telling jokes to each other as they harassed their arch enemy, the eagle. I reluctantly returned to the place of my birth – North Hollywood, California.

there is a crack in everything

I had a two to three-hour-a-day, bumper-to-bumper commute that landed me at an apartment that was so close to the street, the sounds of the traffic continuously moved through our living room, all night long. My increasing despair about living in a world so inhospitable to my wild soul led me to drown my sorrows by watching a movie every single night after work. I walked into the apartment, turned on the air conditioning, closed all the blinds, turned off the lights and did my best to disappear into another movie. In the midst of all of this, I must have written to my friend and in response he sent these blessed words by Leonard Cohen.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

At the time, I did not know that these lines came from a song. All I knew was that they spoke deeply to my soul and gave me some kind of faith that the road I was traveling…had something to do with how the light gets in. It would be many months before I saw anything remotely resembling light.

By the end of the four years that I lived in Los Angeles, I had made deep and tender connections with both my mother and my father. This kind of a declaration is an absolute miracle of the highest degree when it comes to my relationship with my father. With my mother, it wasn’t that we had a horrible relationship…which is how I described what went on between my father and I, it’s more that my mother and I, at some point early on, had forgotten, or lost track of, or become frightened of the bond between mother and daughter. This is a tragedy in itself, but somehow was easy for both of us to just let lie fallow, when we compared it to the ongoing battle between my father and me.

WHAT a MIRACLE. I made a deep heart connection with BOTH of them…in person…while they were alive…while I lived close by.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

During these years, I was so numbed and at the same time, heart broken, I never even noticed the last line, and its optimism.

that’s how the light gets in

It wasn’t until I returned to this place that I call home, and went to see a documentary film about Leonard Cohen; I’m Your Man, that I heard the song Anthem, and realized that this poem that had kept me afloat for years was actually a song. When the singers came around to the chorus, tears streamed down my face.

that’s how the light gets in

Four days ago, at the age of 82, Leonard Cohen Crossed Over: just one day before the 2016 US Presidential Election. Timing is everything.

Bless you Leonard Cohen as you make your way Across.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in

 

“The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise” – an invitation to read together: Number 3

Since the end of 2015, I have sent out an Invitation each week to folks both near and far, to join me in reading this beautiful and powerful book…read more

 in January

Dear tenderhearted fellow travelers on this miraculous blue-green globe,

As the songs of the resident birds increase in length and variety with each tiny increase in the amount of day-length we are gifted with,

I invite you to gather at my precious little home, to share in reading aloud Martín Prechtel’s new book, The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise. Here’s a link to information about the book on Martín’s website.

I’ll have an assortment of teas and honey and hot water ready for you. If you’d like to bring finger-food snacks, lovely, but most importantly bring your tender heart. I have four chairs and plenty of floor space – bring a cushion if you’d like.

I hope to see you.

I’ll be here, reading out loud, and hope you’ll join me and share the Beauty.

Much love to you,