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“Human nature is so faulty that it can resist any amount of grace and most of the time it does … It is easy for any child to pick out the faults in the sermon on his way home from church every Sunday. It is impossible for him to find out the hidden love that makes a man, in spite of his intellectual limitations, his neuroticism, his own lack of strength, give up his life to the service of God’s people, however bumblingly he may go about it … It is what is invisible that God sees and that the Christian must look for. Because he knows the consequences of sin, he knows how deep you have to go to find love … To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness. Charity is hard and endures.

Flannery O’Conner
Letter to Cecil Dawkins in Pilgrim Souls: A Collection of Spiritual Autobiographies, ed. Amy Mandelker and Elizabeth Powers (1999), 539-40.

kalilgibran

“Honey”

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Susan Sharman
The Daily Fabric Exhibit
Benicia Library
Sept 2016

Isaiah 32:1-2

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1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness,
and as for princes, they shall rule in justice.

2 And a man shall be as in a hiding-place from the wind,
and a covert from the tempest —
as by the watercourses in a dry place,
as in the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

Isaiah 32:1-2

“I began to mentally climb the imagined staircase. I climbed and I climbed to who knows where. I climbed with my shadow in front of me, broken by alternate vertical and horizontal planes, leading me somewhere.

Thus I climbed up through passages of heaven
or I climbed up through the tunnels of hell
or I climbed through here or there —
I am not sure for yet I cannot tell.
Shadows on the stairs followed my feet
I heard nothing else but footsteps and heartbeats.

Whenever or wherever I saw staircases, I thought they were meant for me to climb.” (p. 36)

Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay
How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move?: Inside my Austic Mind (2008)
HowCanITalk

Now available from Lulu Press,
JANE BEAL’s new poetry collection:

TRANSFIGURATION

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“Jane’s perspective, from being an international midwife and a talented writer, gives rise to the absolutely beautiful poems contained in this little book. She incorporates sweetly the people she has served in her birth practice and travels. She also teaches us some midwifery along the way! Jane’s great faith in our Lord adds so much to this labor-of-love volume. I highly recommend this book. It should be in the possession of all midwives and mothers.”

Jan Tritten
Editor of Midwifery Today
Author of Birth Wisdom, Vol. 1 & 2

“Birth is sacred experience: a time when the formless takes form.  In Jane Beal’s new book, Transfiguration: A Midwife’s Birth Poems, we are taken through beautiful poetic form, closer to the spirit of birth. We feel both joy and grief. But who are we to question the ways of the spirit? As much as we try to understand birth, its mystery remains a miracle – and that is what draws us into Transfiguration.”

Cathy Daub
President of BirthWorks International
Author of Birthing in the Spirit

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Madeleine de Frees
Blue Dusk (2001)

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Perhaps the best thing for the princess would have been to fall in love. But how a princess who had no gravity could fall into anything is a difficulty–perhaps THE difficulty. As for her own feelings on the subject, she did not even know that there was such a beehive of honey and stings to be fallen into. But now I come to mention another curious fact about her.

The palace was built on the shores of the loveliest lake in the world, and the princess loved this lake more than father or mother. The root of this preference no doubt, although the princess did not recognise it as such, was, that the moment she got into it, she recovered the natural right of which she had been so wickedly deprived–namely, gravity.

Whether this was owing to the fact that water had been employed as the means of conveying the injury, I do not know. But it is certain that she could swim and dive like the duck that her old nurse said she was.

~ George MacDonald
from Ch. 8 “Try a Drop of Water”
of The Light Princess

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The Prince’s Song

“As a world that has no well,
Darting bright in forest dell;
As a world without the gleam
Of the downward-going stream;
As a world without the glance
Of the ocean’s fair expanse;
As a world where never rain
Glittered on the sunny plain;
Such, my heart, thy world would be,
if no love did flow in thee.

As a world without the sound
Of the rivulets underground;
Or the bubbling of the spring
Out of darkness wandering;
Or the mighty rush and flowing
Of the river’s downward going;
Or the music-showers that drop
On the outspread beech’s top;
Or the ocean’s mighty voice,
When his lifted waves rejoice;
Such, my soul, thy world would be,
if no love did sing in thee.

Lady, keep thy world’s delight;
Keep the waters in thy sight.
Love hath made me strong to go,
For thy sake, to realms below,
Where the water’s shine and hum
Through the darkness never come;
Let, I pray, one thought of me Spring,
a little well, in thee;
Lest thy loveless soul be found
Like a dry and thirsty ground.”

George MacDonald
from Ch. 14 “This is Very Kind of You”
of The Light Princess

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Illustrations by Dorothy Lathrop

p.s. Read the whole story:
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