Caring for Others

gift from the seaThe inter-relatedness of the world links us constantly with more people than our hearts can hold.  Or rather—for I believe the heart is infinite—modern communications loads us with more problems than the human frame can carry. It is good, I think, for our hearts, our minds, our imaginations to be stretched; but body, nerve, endurance and life-span are not as elastic. My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds. I cannot marry all of them, or bear them all as children, or care for them all as I would my parents in illness or old age. Our grandmothers, and even—with some scrambling—our mothers, lived in a circle small enough to let them implement in action most of the impulses of their hearts and minds. We were brought up in a tradition that has now become impossible, for we have extended our circle throughout space and time. 


On being tested…

*When an apprentice gets hurt, or complains of being tired, the workmen and peasants have this fine expressions: ‘It is the trade entering his body.’ Each time we have some pain to go through, we can say to ourselves quite truly that it is the universe, the order and beauty of the world, and the obedience of creation to God that are entering our body.  –Simone Weil  

*Yet the fire can seem unbearable. Feelings burn hot and so very precisely. The place where we hurt the most is also where the greatest possibilities lie. Pain wakes us up.

When those we love are in the fire and we can only watch, it is terrible. We feel helpless and afraid. When we are in the fire and no escape is possible, we tremble and shrink back. The passage through and into the heat of life is what we want…what we dread. …

Yet our pains can and do begin to heal in the cauterizing flame, in the heat of becoming.

We wait with those we love when they are there.

We try to trust their pain and ours.

Can we bear it?

Can we somehow let it have its way? 

becoming breadBecoming Bread – Embracing the Spiritual in the Everyday

By Gunilla Norris


On Prayer and Housekeeping

*Prayer and housekeeping—they go together. They have always gone together. We simply know that our daily round is how we live. When we clean and order our homes, we are somehow also cleaning and ordering ourselves. How we hold the simplest of tasks speaks loudly about how we hold life itself. –Gunilla Norris

*The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. –Thomas Moore

*How we care for our homes is a subtle but significant expression of not only our self-esteem but the contentment of our soul. Soulfulness is not necessarily linked to religion. –Sarah Ban Breathnacht

*Your home is sacred space, a sacred space with your address. Most people think of these places as mundane. Pity. If we ever needed them to be sacred, we need it now. –Kathryn L. Robyn

romancing the ordinary

I am a terrible housekeeper.

I loathe all aspects of it.

May I be open to change and be willing to see the necessity of it and the spiritual nature that can be found in the work.