Couldn't do it without them!

Check out the updated Council page...
I love that one of my council member's bios includes a footnote!




dimitri turns 4

The cricket bat that finally brought it down...

the highlight of today's party was the Cars piñata, which raised adrenaline levels to a fevered pitch and proved equally satisfying for adults and children alike. really. after several rounds of kiddies, the parents started stepping in to inflict the necessary damage. i concluded that an adult piñata party is in order, as i watched the satisfaction of release on each their faces. and of course, i had a go myself, which brought about one of the finer moments i've experienced since taking my vows. there i was, whacking the heck out of that piñata when between the third & fourth swing i hear an adult holler from the staircase behind me, "and she's a monk, too!"

Ava and Amelie

Meet the newest arrival at the Cooper's in San Mateo. I spent much of the day with one of these little creatures on my chest - more direct human contact than this monk has had in ages.

Our vulnerability in this world is breathtaking.

At the dinner table with their brothers, Sam, the oldest, was making a chant of the directions, moving his pointer finger in cadence. North-south-east-west; north-south-east-west. I jumped in with my own 4-part jive: Martha-Kay-is the-best! This garnered a round of giggles, then Dimitiri (who turns four tomorrow!) countered, Martha-Kay-is not-so good! Of course this stirred up more laughter, into which this adorable little brown-eyed imp emphatically adds, But I like her 1000%! 

Tomorrow we are decorating pumpkins at the birthday party and I will have to slip away from 15 raucous kids to pray. Family life is everything monastic life is not. What would it be like to live amongst them?


Sunlight on Shovel

It's damn cold out there.
Subzero, they say.
I rise from my corner of kitchen
to fiddle with the heat, when
my eye catches sight of sunlight
beaming a single ray
onto the front porch, onto the snow shovel,
in fact. It is so clear
about what it is doing,
this shining,
that even the green plastic
I don't know what else to say,
except that it doesn't take much,
even in the wild of winter,
to melt me.

here i be.

i wonder if addiction to this screen staunches creative flow.
the tool itself is an amazing gift, but i seem to find so many things for which i think i need a tool.
not to mention the crap for which i really do, like writing to you.

i just opened this airbook and instead of immediately typing the two lines that'd popped into my head, i got distracted on 3-5 other things. (see, i can't even remember how many others!)
if i'd taken up pen and paper, those lines would be found,
that is to say, not lost.

ah, well. we lose things every day.

thinking out loud about tents

yes nate, i'm thinking of camping until july. i might as well write the story here because i've posted about it on facebook. my sister will see it within 48 hours, which means i'll be getting a call from my mom a few minutes after that. she's not gonna be happy i'm considering tent living for 10 months.

i may be crazy, but the vision came in prayer one morning and hasn't left me since. i saw myself in a tent in nancee's backyard. that's it. oh, but how the vision has grown in the days hence. i've picked out the REI tent that i no longer need to buy (see photo above, story below) and researched heating devices. nicole said she would build me a platform and i'm already mentally combing my books for which will make the cut.

"Monday is not a treat day."

These were the words we heard outside of Peet's last week, spoken by a mother to her son as they walked past. He was whining, "Why, mom? Why not?" To which she retorted, "Because today is Monday, and Monday is not a treat day." Ann and I looked at each other with a mix of humour, horror and knowing. We were thinking the same thing - poor kid, he's gonna hate Mondays for the rest of his life.

Let's try a different window...

May I begin by saying that Cheryl Strayed slays me?

I'm three miles outside of Sierra City with her and have been unable to put WILD down. Each chapter is definitely, definitely the last, and then well, maybe just one more....Cheryl and the Monster and her big ol' boot. I'm trying to reserve judgement on the 'boot as cover' thing until I finish the story tomorrow. That boot has a campy ring to me - a little bit like being a Montanan flipping through an LL Bean catalog. Just feels kinda funny. And clean.

But man, Cheryl knows how to write it. It's the third time I've read her and the third time I've wept.

So many people inspire me...

Click here to check out this amazing project by Candy Chang.

putting in a window

here's what i want to tell you: this is hard. only a crazy person would aspire to live as monk outside of a monastery. i'm pretty sure i'm that. crazy. or if i wasn't before, i am now. have you ever tried to sit five times a day in prayer, for at least half an hour each time? it's not sustainable, unless you live in a monastery, which i don't! but we knew that. and i asked for it. willingly. even eagerly. i'm crazy.

and there's almost nothing i'd rather be doing than this.



"The truly precious things are those forming ladders reaching toward the beauty of the world." - Simone Weil, Waiting for God

Earlier this week I set out on my evening walk with fuzzy-computer-brain. I began to climb the secret staircase just outside my house, declaring this hike one of my overdue prayer times. With some measure of grumpiness I said, "All right God, I'm finally outside. Show me your face." Three steps later my foot landed next the most precious purple blossom, just waiting on the railroad tie. It was unopened - a little lavender thing that looked like folded silk rice paper. Simple. Tiny. The face of God.

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