Mother of Hope in interesting times

Mother of Hope

(c) Cat Charissage, 2017, a.r.r.


Hello dear Friends,

Many blessings to you in this season of new beginnings:  the new moon, the beginning of fall (here in the northern hemisphere) on Friday’s Equinox, and the beginning of my Story Circles and fall activities.  My dreams are all pointing to my wanting something new, a new beginning of some sort.  Yours too?

With all that is going on around us on our dear earth, we seem to be living that old curse that intones “May you live in interesting times!”  In the midst of all, there is something small in me that holds an unreasonable hope.  Here in this painting I wanted to create an image of this hope in the midst of where you might least expect it to come from:  from the parts of the world, and of our own consciousnesses, that seem dispensable to those in arrogant power.  What are we taught to fear that might hold a new promise? In the painting is a small book —- remember the power of education, of reflection, of creating our own journals of thoughts, ideas, poetry.

Last week my Story Circle “A Poet’s Words” began.  Everyone was so enthusiastic and so open — it gives me hope that we can save what it is we love so deeply.  I facilitated the first meeting, sharing the poetry of Rumi and my love for the comfort, surprise, and challenge his words give me.

Here are a few lines I’m thinking of today:

“Move from within.

Don’t move the way that fear wants you to.

Begin a foolish project.

Noah did.”


“Run from what’s comfortable.

Forget safety,

Live where you fear to live.

Destroy your reputation.

Be notorious.

BE NOTORIOUS. [emphasis mine]

I have tried prudent planning

long enough.  From now on,

I’ll be mad.”

Over the next few blog posts, I’ll share more of my favorite lines from Rumi, and a little about his life and times.  Did you know that for him, poetry was just part of the way he communicated with his students?  He didn’t retreat to a private room to write his lines, revising them until “perfect”.  He formulated his lines as he taught, and in the last 12 years of his life, the translator/interpreter Coleman Barks estimates that Rumi created 12 to 14 poems A DAY that his followers would write down as he spoke.    Think of the abundance of creativity available to him!  Might we be capable of that — or at least more than what we currently access?

I closed the Story Circle with this question:  “Why am I, a post Catholic, interspiritual, nonviolent feminist of the 21st century teaching about an Afghan/Turkish Muslim male of 800 years ago?  Because we can learn from surprising sources, and because I always want to challenge the stereotypes handed on to me.  Have you ever had the experience of learning something very valuable from a surprising source?  Have you ever had your stereotypes, or your culture’s stereotypes, blown open?”

Maybe our “interesting times” hold new hope, if we can access our creativity.  “Reasonable” doesn’t always get us where we need to go.

With much love and many blessings I will close with another line from Rumi:

“You were born with wings.  Why prefer to crawl through life?”


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