Friday, December 14, 2007


("Three Low Chairs At Dawn," by Old Girl Of The North Country using Appleworks6 "Painting" program)

I emailed Brother Toby of Starcross Community who gave me permission to print this excerpt from his book, A WINTER WALK:

"Some days, when I get fed up with what I am missing, I preach to myself in the style of an exercise coach. "All right now. Today we are going to take a risk. any risk!" Well, it works. I can't relate many successfully completed missions, but I can list some risks I attempted in a recent year: suggesting to the school a "Family At-Home Friday" when the weekend was taken up with school holiday events; it violated state law. Calling up an old friend from whom I had been estranged; he was put off. Taking a stressed-out teenager up on a hill to watch the stars; it started to rain. Sneaking into the back pew of a large church for a shot of sacred nourishment; the priest was attacking people who cremated their relatives as being insensitive and godless cheapskates. You get the picture. But success doesn't matter. The point is that I dropped my emotional defenses and let myself be vulnerable. and sometimes there actually were special rewards. My teenage son thought the star trip was hilarious, and for months he asked what else I had planned for "quality time." One out of four attempts isn't bad, and someplace along the line I managed to lose Mr. Scrooge."

(c) Tolbert McCarroll 2006

"Practice and enlightenment are not two." (Dogen, from Zen Calender, December 14, 2007)

One more thing -- See "recycling art in South Africa" at Ikastikos

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The blue chair x three, love this image and especially with the light from windows behind, since the blue chair often has a totally different connotation for me. I also enjoyed the excerpt, with approval. A good visit all around. kjm