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I'm all about Quest, Connect and Inspire through writing, music, advocacy and action.

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Lest We Forget

IronJawedAngels.jpgIron Jawed Angels is an HBO film that every human being should see. It's the story of the group of women who, in the early 1900s, picked up the decades-long battle for a constitutional amendment giving women in the U.S. the right to vote. It's a story of courage and conviction beyond anything most of us could ever imagine having today. Courage and conviction that I dare hope are on their way back in as we work to restore our nation.

The film was shot in my home state of Virginia and features a female director, female scriptwriter, plus some really fresh, creative editing and a fantastic music score. Share it with your mother and sister and daughter and niece. 

Bottom line, Iron Jawed Angels  is about the basic rights we deserve as human beings. That there really is just one human being and that one being just happens to take many different paths.

Hilary Swank, who portrays lead suffragette Alice Paul in the film, sums it up in one scene where she is asked by a psychologist to "explain her movement."

You ask me to explain myself?

I just wonder what needs to be explained.

It should be very clear.

Look into your own heart.

I swear to you, mine's no different.

You want a place in the trades and professions where you can earn your bread?

So do I.

You want the means of self-expression, some way of satisfying your own personal ambitions?

So do I.

You want a voice in the government under which you live?

So do I.

What is there to explain?

Synchronistically enough, Senator Hllary Clinton talked about these same suffragettes in her campaign-closing speech this past Saturday. She reminded all of us that we must not forget the sacrifices of those women before us and we must not take for granted the freedoms we enjoy because of those sacrifices.

Seeing a film like this gives me hope that this incredible strength and wish for something better is still inside all of us -- the best possible "sleeping giant" to be awakened.


The Power of "Er"

ERposter.jpgI made up this sign a couple of years ago at a "creative emergence" workshop run by the very gifted and talented and visionary Michelle James.

After I finished it, of course I noticed all the words that end with "-er." Dreamer. Writer. Singer. Sister. Persuade. Puzzler. Planner. Biker. Avenger.

What is the power that these two simple letters have that, when attached to the end of a word, make that word something we can strive to be? Or something we celebrate as what we already are? Yea!

That led me to Ur -- the ancient civilization in southern Mesopotamia and now Iraq (there's something to that, too, I'm sure).

In Ur, people farmed and studied and made things. They were actually the earliest "-er's." Or "-ur's." Did an artifact of the word "Ur" find its way into how we identify people who help shape and create and move a civilization along? Just food for thought.

What "-ur's" are in your make-up? 


Loop de Loops

Oshkosh%20Sumner%2007%20280.jpgDriving back from New York over the weekend, I hit a flat part of Maryland where the fields are broad and the skies big. And up in that big sky, out the driver's side window, is a small prop plane doing wonderful acrobaticy things. Loop-de-loops. Two big loops in the sky, one after the other. Like the picture here, but without the rocket.

Child-like glee spilled out of every pore as I drove and watched. (We all know we can do that multi-tasking thing, whether we admit to it or not.) Loops in the sky are a goofy thing to create that lift the spirits of people stuck on Earth as much as the people in the plane itself. Loops in the sky are a shared experience.

So are blogs. I was actually inspired by another Squarespace blogger, Krystyn Heide, to start mine. She recently wrote about life transitions and recognizing patterns and honoring both with soulsister tattoos. She doesn't know me and I don't know her, but we both enjoy making observations. I love what she writes. Share the experience.


Back In the Nest

The mother of one of my best friends died this week. So I'm up in NYS near home and staying with my parents after the memorial service. My parents are fine. This is cool. As I type this, my mother sits reading in the living room. My father sits at the kitchen table opening the day's mail with a knife.

Today, Mom went to buy the plants she puts out around the house every spring that are just glorious. Dad went to drive for Avis; moving cars from one airport to another from morning 'til evening.

There's a rhythm to all this that moves to the beat of a mash-up of "simple gifts" and "amazing grace." It's not lost on me. Honest. 


Passing of a Gene

Canon Eugene Sutton
Canon Eugene Sutton is leaving Washington National Cathedral and his Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage in a couple of weeks. Yesterday, friends gathered for a small farewell and all told how they had met Eugene and been saved by Eugene and been "brought spiritually home" by Eugene. It was humbling and illuminating. cathedral.jpg

Eugene has the singular gift of creating a space for people to explore their unique gifts. Thanks to Eugene and his Cathedral Crossroads program, five years ago I started my journey of using music for healing and meditation. And I'm only getting started.

Eugene is becoming the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. He won't be that far away. We all imagine he'll come back from time to time. Eugene, like Barack, is a leader for these times and for this world. He is a spiritual leader who, while Christian, holds all traditions to heart and blends them beautifully to create a practice with meaning.

Good luck, Eugene. Namaste.