•  

    “You see these words on a screen, 

    little dots of light, like lots of tiny lanterns 

    on your own horizon. 

    Imagine them held high, 

    being waved by many people 

    who wrote many more glowing words before me. 

    These little dots of light are apparently illuminated 

    by even tinier streams of electrical intention, 

    of zero’s and one’s, 

    little yes’s and no’s, 

    constant flickerings of presence and absence. 

    Just like souls. 

    Imagine all of that nearly cellular energy 

    like the energies that have pulsed 

    from and through many many people 

    before you and I, 

    like all of their stories 

    ultimately enlighten ours in some quiet way. 

    Imagine words as not just mere and more content 

    strewn out upon the ether, 

    but as a universe of feathers, 

    enough to grace every path.” xoxoAe

and how I keep practicing accidents

Wow. I’m still alive. That’s cool.

About five years ago, whether or not I would survive became a very real question. I didn’t know that immediately. All I knew was that my life, on literally every level, suddenly began imploding. It’s just that the “suddenly” part… well, wasn’t actually so sudden. I promise to get to that soon enough.   Mine ...

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caesura, schmaesura

Oh, and I got married. Got deeper into what we really mean when we say to another, “I love you.” Got several big life things done and faced several big heart things that needed facing. And, therefore, got really behind in 2012. Behind on the stuff, I am now realizing, we all should get behind ...

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the baptismal cycle

Doing three loads of darks instead of paying my bills. Paying my bills instead of steaming those vegetables going limp in the fridge. Eating another energy bar instead of doing my back exercises because I don’t have the energy to exercise. Telling myself that doing laundry is exercise. Doing the dishes from yesterday after spending ...

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  • xoxoAe

    I detest bios. We are more than the sum of our accomplishments, and, more often than not, our failures speak more truly of our true strengths and capacities. And honestly, what do we even really mean by “accomplishments”? So, let’s do this straight up.

     

    I am a woman of 53 years, a mother of two daughters, a step-mother of three daughters and one son, a wife again, and deeply committed to them all. I am a writer primarily. I was an artist awhile back and just beginning to get back into that.

     

    I used to be one of those “very involved in her community” women. I did sincerely hope to help. Long ago, my first husband was the mayor of our hometown. But, long legacies of grief and trauma led to our need to divorce. I said at the time that no one, when they marry, can viscerally imagine the end of their own marriage. But, I guarantee you, no one imagines having to write a press release about it.

     

    Yet, asking myself what would I want our daughters to read in the newspaper became the universe’s way of asking me, really, what kind of dignity can I bring to the situation? And while we’re at it, Anne Elizabeth, what about to every situation?

     

    That question began leading to question after question after question. Questions of values and of ethics. Questions of fundamental purpose. Questions of not only what did I believe, but more importantly why.

     

    Thus began, about fifteen years ago, a personal spiritual reconfiguration that first found public expression in two years of writing magazine columns, then a year of newspaper columns about studying the world’s religions with my daughters, and then what you see here, “a blog about a spiritual unfolding” that I called the practiced accident.

     

    Shunryi Suzuki, a Buddhist Monk credited with popularizing Zen Buddhism in America, supposedly said, “Gaining enlightenment is an accident. Spiritual practice simply makes us accident-prone.”

     

    I am so not enlightened. Likely never will be, whatever it means anyway. But, as I’ve kept practicing things like going through instead of around so much and letting go of so much more, I’m at least having better accidents.

     

    That, and how I have learned how to love so far – which is simply, more and more each day, even if it’s just a wee little bit more – are my only true accomplishments so far.

     

    So, I offer my words and my accidents, in hopes of being of any encouragement to anyone else tripping over their spiritual shoelaces like I did for so long, and still do.

     

    xoxoAe