11/30/20 Workshop – A Poem by Alberto Rios

When Giving is All We Have – Alberto Rios

                                                    One river gives

                                                    Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.

We give because nobody gave to us.


We give because giving has changed us.

We give because giving could have changed us.


We have been better for it.

We have been wounded by it-


Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,

Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.


Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,

But we read this book, anyway, over and again:


Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,

Mine to yours, yours to mine.


You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.

Together we are simple green. You gave me


What you did not have, and I gave you

What I had to give-together, we made


Something greater from the difference.


Reflective Writing Prompt: We give because…

Reflection – Ecclesiastes 1 and “The Second Coming”

Uncertain times indeed! A time when institutions seem to be wearing out but with nothing new to replace them. We’ve been here before.


You’re invited to read and respond to these two offerings from 1919 and Ecclesiastes 1. You will find “there is nothing new under the sun.”

The Second Coming


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?



The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them.


11/13/20 Workshop – On Healing and Repair

On Healing and Repair

“Healing wasn’t always the best. Sometimes a hole was better left open. Sometimes it healed to thick and too well and left separate pieces fused and incompetent. And it was harder to reopen after that.”

– Ann Brahares


“If you desire healing,

let yourself fall ill

let yourself fall ill.”

― Rumi


“Un-winged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace.”

– Aberjani


“Time didn’t heal, but it anesthetized. The human body could feel only so much.

– P.D. James


Believing the lie that time will heal all wounds is just a nice way of saying that time deadens us.

– Jonathan Nolan


“Time heals all wounds. And if it doesn’t, you name them something other than wounds and agree to let them stay.”

― Emma Forrest


“In time, in time they tell me, I’ll not feel so bad. I don’t want time to heal me. There’s a reason I’m like this. I want time to set me ugly and knotted with loss of you, marking me. I won’t smooth you away. I can’t say goodbye.”

― China Miéville


“To recognize one’s own insanity is, of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.”
― Eckhart Tolle


“A daily dose of daydreaming heals the heart, soothes the soul, and strengthens the imagination.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich


“We heal up through being loved, and through loving others. We don’t heal by forming a secret society of one – by assessing about the only other ‘one’ we might admit, and being doomed to disappointment.”

― Jeanette Winterson


“The wounds that never heal can only be mourned alone.”

― James Frey

Reflective Writing Prompt: Write about being healed, or, write about a time you practiced Kintsugi in your life.

11/5/20 Workshop – On Reconciliation

On Reconciliation

“Moments of kindness and reconciliation are worth having, even if the parting has to come sooner or later.” – Alice Munro

“Zen doesn’t believe in the reconciliation of opposites because from the point of view of Zen, there is no point of view.” – Frederick Lenz

“The world is not dialectic – it is sworn to extremes, not to equilibrium, sworn to radical antagonism, not to reconciliation or synthesis. This is also the principle of evil.” – Jean Baudrillard

“You cannot disown what is yours. Flung out, there is always the return, the reckoning, the revenge, perhaps the reconciliation. There is always the return.” – Jeannette Winterson

“True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past.” – Nelson Mandella

”Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman

“If there is to be reconciliation, first there must be truth.”- Tim B. Tyson

“The astonishment of life is the absence of any appearances of reconciliation between the theory and the practice of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Art is both a vengeance against reality and a reconciliation with it.” – Francine du Plessix Gray

“Architecture is the art of reconciliation between ourselves and the world, and this mediation takes place through the senses.” – Juhani Pallasmaa

“It was like any other relationship, there was jealousy on both sides, there were split-ups and reconciliations. There were also fragmented moments of great peace and beauty. I often tried to get away from her and she tried to get away from me but it was difficult: Cupid, in his strange way, was really there.” – Charles Bukowski

Reflective writing prompt: Write or construct a graphic meme about reconciliation