• evansph2

Once again, evidence that we are carried through points of tipping to points of balance relentlessly. As the earth’s axis passes the parallel point, for an instant we are balanced between light and dark, between summer and winter, between which-ever poles our lives balance on. I like to take at least one deep breath to notice that there is both constant change and balance. What in me needs to be rebalanced today? What in me resists moving forward? Letting go? Shifting weight from one foot to the other?

Autumn Equinox

The sun still shines

brightly, but casts

longer shadows.

Colors begin

to fade and



It is a time of balance

and tipping toward

the inevitable.

I sit on this bench



I can’t name

Something like

a guarantee…

Something like


All evidence

to the contrary.

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Updated: Sep 21, 2021

So, a friend sent me this link to a writing website (check it out here). which suggested a fun practice – both for writing and for living. Instead of creating a “to-do” list, you create a “to be” list. Rather than beating ourselves up for not accomplishing tasks, we allow ourselves to be – in this moment, for a short time, temporarily. It’s just a reminder about the way we want to be in the world rather than what we want to DO in the world. And it’s kind of fun!

You look around you (right now!) and list some concrete objects that you see around you… table, rug, vase, dust…. And, you think how that concrete object might suggest to you some ways you’d like to be in the world. Not forever, just in this moment as you think about your life. It’s not a new year’s resolution – it’s just a different perspective for how you think about the way you are living. Here are my examples;

I’ll be a phone --- I’ll be handy and compact, always ready to talk or listen. I’ll be a medium for communicating with others. You can hold me in your hand, use me to capture perfect moments, check your messages. But I won’t be a bother. I’ll allow myself to be put on hold or silenced once in a while. I’ll know that there are lots of messages inside and some music too.

I’ll be a pen. I’ll be ready with ink to capture my own thoughts and to communicate with others. I’ll prize flowing smoothly and being colorful. My words will be permanent and meaningful. I’ll also sometimes just doodle for fun and not need to stay within the lines. I’ll realize that I have a finite amount of ink and that I need to say the important words first.

I’ll be a book. My cover will intrigue you and be faithful to what is inside me. I’ll want you to know my thoughts and my story. I’ll want to engage with you. I’ll want to give you something. I’ll allow white spaces around the edges so you can insert your thoughts too. I will impart what I know to be true and will allow you to put in a bookmark and lay me down when you are tired.

I’ll be a lamp. I will always be ready to shed light on what is nearby. I will be a warm glow when things are dark. I will be energy efficient and not give off too much heat with my light. I will be available to plug into any source of energy. I will glow!

I’ll be a chair. My lap will always be ready to receive you. I will make you comfortable. I will put my arms around you. I will be a soft place to rest. I will be a sturdy piece of furniture you can rely on. And I will prize my ability to be hospitable.

So I wish you a generous way of being in the world today – and also I wish you the fun of playing with this idea. Feel free to post yours here too!

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The San Francisco UU church has a ritual of ringing the temple bells eight times each week for various people and places that need love and remembrance. Here is the litany that was read last week;

Ritual of Remembrance and Commitment (gongs)

Recognizing there is human suffering all over this world in the course of natural and human catastrophes, we ring our gong today in honor of three such places of suffering and struggle.

We ring our gong first, as we have since July of 2019, for those lives held and those lives lost in federal custody in our detention camps. For the mounting trauma to children separated from their families, for all people held without charges in less than transparent or humane circumstances; in this repeat of some of the most shameful chapters in our nation’s and our world’s history of xenophobia, racism and greed. We ring the gong 7 times for another week of days in which human dignity has been dismissed and for our responsibility for that as citizens of this country.

We ring our gong additionally, once, for the losses this week to COVID-19. This last week 66,981 people died of COVID-19 globally, 3,747 in the United States alone. We hold in our hearts all of these losses, each one of those people precious and worthy of health and safety. And we hold with gratitude all who are working around the world to produce and distribute vaccines and all other efforts to support greater health, survival and immunity from the virus.

Finally, we ring our gong once for the people of Afghanistan, suffering from decades of war fueled by factions from within and from foreign involvements. We pray for safety, peace, and freedom for the children, women, and men of Afghanistan, as we pray for our soldiers and their families whose lives were forever changed there. We are deeply remorseful for the way our country’s politics added to the suffering in that region. We pray that all who wield power will learn from our mistakes.

May we keep those we have named and their loved ones in our thoughts and in our prayers. And may we ease the tide of human suffering this coming week howsoever we can.

This ritual touches me. It’s global reach and call is powerful. And, on a personal note, I also

began to ponder who are the people and places in me that need the sound of that bell, the litany of love and remembrance;

The one who judges,

the one who worries,

the one who makes mistakes,

the one who withholds,

the one who forgets,

the one who fears,

the one who doesn’t pay attention,

the one who wants to be better.

Who or what in you needs to hear a bell of love and remembrance?

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