Sunday, April 17, 2016

MOSS ON STONE - An Excerpt

an historical novella based on the diary of 
Susannah Norwood Torrey (1826 ~ 1908): Publication Fall ~ 2016


To have a dream is to remain hopeful—a vision of some future time when all will be well and worry ceases. I have found that when dreams fade, there are other ways, if not to cherish thoughts of the future, or to reflect upon regrets of the past, then to sustain us day to day with a small measure of light—mine were things of beauty—moss on stone.
Now, from this distance of space and time, indeed, the absence of those illusions that do not exist here, I linger, preparing to return to life anew. What did I leave behind? A portrait for others to look upon, a scrapbook of moss designs, a diary, and a stone cottage by the sea. I review my life as one would a colorful tableau, and find that mine was a life worth living. I will tell you something of that life—of dreams,, and dreams fading; of time passing; of dear family and friends, loved and lost; and of people and places changed. Through it all, there were the immutable gifts of nature to renew my soul with unequaled joy, asking nothing in return.

Between the thicket and the wood, lay the sought for valley covered with rocks piled one about another….and these rocks were covered with the most beautiful mosses that I ever saw. 
(Oct. 17, 1849)

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state…. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not. (David Whyte Poet/Philosopher)

I love these thoughts by poet, David Whyte. They remind me that vulnerability is partly what allows us to be fully human and feel a sense of belonging. Our tendency to try to remain invulnerable prevents us from taking the risk of connecting with others. We are vulnerable when we share our creations in any of the arts; when we are committed to relationships with others, when we empathize with the pain, sorrow, grief and joy of others. We are most vulnerable when we hold ourselves accountable to our highest ideals.

David Whyte suggests that vulnerability is our natural state, because no one of us is in control. We all must face the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” So, it would seem we must change our tendency to remain invulnerable and choose to fulfill our potential to become fully human.

We are the only part of creation able to choose to BECOME.

Does the Biblical verse which says we are made in image of God partly mean that we have the capacity to participate consciously in and contribute to the creation by being creators ourselves--even of our own being? I believe so.

The rest of creation becomes what is meant to be without choice or consciousness: a seed becomes a flower; a larvae becomes a butterfly. All things fulfill their nature without choice or reflection. Humans have the opportunity to choose consciously in small and large ways throughout a lifetime to be better, to be more than we are, to be more whole, to become more true to our higher selves.

We are capable of bringing all manner of new things to creation--first through our unique individuality, then through evolving and transforming, which always involves allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. There are many times when are vulnerable through no choice of our own. Then there are many opportunities to make the decision to allow ourselves to be vulnerable through living fully, loving unconditionally, taking risks and trusting that all will be well.