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May 20, 2021

from Old Stones Understand, by Stacey Murphy

   Leaves Let Go

It is not the way of leaves

to care about how they fall.

It doesn’t matter

whether there are heavy, thunder-filled

clouds overhead

or miles of bright blue and sunshine.

A leaf doesn’t

cry out in pain if a harsh wind

tugs it from its twig

nor does it giggle with mischief if it

manages to break free on its own.

A leaf doesn’t

fret over which is better

to swoop down in a wild, swirling canopy,

a rustling riot of yellow magic with hundreds of others,

or to flutter demurely to the ground

in a quiet, private moment.

No leaf even considers holding on,

resisting its destiny,

its part in the inevitable pattern.

For the leaf, simply letting go

is the thing.

—Stacey Murphy, Old Stones Understand

May 4, 2021

from About Franz: Remembering C. G. Jung—A Son's Story, by Mary Dian Molton

In retrospect, Franz carried in his presence a commitment to a very singular, very specific mode of hospitality that respects the history and tradition of the family and indeed something of the spiritual essence of his father and his place in the world order. But in no way was Franz Jung a mere tour guide of his father’s intimate surroundings. He was, instead, a man who managed to be cordially apart from the world of psychological inquiry while still maintaining a healthy respect for his father’s work and a lively interest in the people who associate themselves with the Jungian world. Something of his own poise in this effort seemed to have been a rather remarkable achievement of selfhood. He was both engrossed in his father’s story and somehow also quite free of it, a man involved, yet quite comfortably apart. 

April 13, 2021

from About Franz: Remembering C. G. Jung—A Son's Story, by Mary Dian Molton

As I turned toward the stairs, I was met with a great surprise. I was faced by an enormous, stunning, blue-and-white star. It was painted on an inside corner wall, close to the stairway. I stood stricken, almost dumbfounded, by the star’s majesty and incredible power. I had neither read nor heard of this wall painting! Franz later said he thought it had never been photographed as the light is poor, and the distance from wall to camera would not be enough to get a good picture and do it justice. This was the only moment when I was completely alone during this trip to Bollingen, and it was also the moment in which I felt closest to the singular spirit of Carl Jung. Such glory in such a small and private corner. I remained there for a time, imagined Carl Jung standing just there, painting an image of such incredible symmetry and mystery in this silent, narrow space and thought of how he must have needed, for himself, to paint this glorious star on this particular wall. It seemed to me an act of highly personal spiritual intensity. Even now, I think of it as my own special surprise, maybe a symbol for me of the hidden power of Bollingen. I have never forgotten it. A truly wondrous star, so close. In succeeding years, when I’d again hear Carl Jung’s response to the question of whether he believed in God—“I don’t need to believe; I know”—I think of this star.

—Mary Dian Molton, About Franz: Remembering C. G. Jung—A Son's Story

March 25, 2021

from “In the Waters,” by Jeri Ann Griffith, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2021: My Deep Love of Place

I was no longer a child when I began to dream I could play the violin without having had any study or training. In the dream, I pick up the instrument and bow my way through a classical passage or a waltz. In the dream world, this is as easy as opening my mouth to sing. I can’t play the violin, and I don’t know what the dream means. Maybe that’s the point. It’s not necessary to understand the dream in any literal way. It’s only important to feel the mystery of its potential.

—Jeri Ann Griffith, “In the Waters,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2021: My Deep Love of Place

March 16, 2021

from “Red Dust Suspended,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring 2021

The first time I saw New Mexico, before I owned a cell phone or computer, I wrote a story about a woman who walked through the desert as the wind peeled the flesh from her bones. Her bones turned to dust and blew away. I meant it as a story of transmutation, dust returning to dust. That story foretold my own, how once in my lifetime a place grabbed hold of my soul. But it was never my land to own. I could only borrow it for an infinitesimal speck of time.

—Suzanne Finney, “Red Dust Suspended,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Num. 41, Spring 2021

March 11, 2021

Now, in our own global pandemic, I consider how easily our familiar institutions can be disrupted and our sense of continuity shaken to the core. Yet everything on the Outer Cape is in a state of perpetual and reassuring impermanence; nothing ever stays quite the same. All you can do is be vividly awake to the living continuum.

—William Bless, “Outer Shores,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Num. 41, Spring 2021

image credit: m01229, Cape Cod National Seashore, 2014. Wikimedia Commons 

March 4, 2021

from “The Power of Belief,” Fires of Heaven, by James B. Nicola

You know beliefs are “myths more true than fact,”
but some believe that what they believe’s exactly
true, and even murder is no sin
but their responsibility when in 
the presence of the devil, which is you,
no matter that you know it isn't true.

In any time zone, any latitude
where people have endured, the attitude 
endures. The ecumenical is not
welcomed, nor an elucidating thought
allowed. In my experience the danger
is most acute wherever you're the stranger.

—James B. Nicola, from “The Power of Belief,” Fires of Heaven

February 2, 2021

from The Clue of the Red Thread, by Julie Tallard Johnson

The richness of our life comes from making meaning with what arises day to day, moving forward with increased clarity of who we are and what truly nurtures us. 

—Julie Tallard Johnson, The Clue of the Red Thread: Discovering Fearlessness and Compassion in Uncertain Times

January 14, 2021


One of the lessons I took from “Babette’s Feast,” a short story by Isak Dinesen, is the magical effect good food can have on the consumer. The twelve dinner guests that gather around the table to eat Babette’s sumptuous meal are elevated in thought and speech by the superb cuisine. Old wounds are healed, unrequited love is acknowledged, petty gossip is forgotten. Good food affects my psyche too—like a sunbreak after days of gray skies. A simple preparation of asparagus mimosa elevates my mood. A rich dish like osso buco satisfies my soul. A perfect risotto makes me incredibly happy. I don’t know why. I only know it is so.

—Susan Knox, “Sustenance A to Z,” Still Point Arts Quarterly, Winter 2020, “Food and Memory”