Sunday, May 10, 2020

How to ruin big sister’s date night

They were quite the little women, my mother, Nellie, and her four sisters: Lizzie, Beulah, Mabel, and Kathleen. She also had three brothers: Henry, Rex, and Johnny. But today I’m focusing on the little women.

 An Invitation by Andrea Kowch

Mischief makers. Innocent mischief, but mischief nonetheless. Her journal, a childhood memoir now in my possession, is filled with stories of their antics…The time her older sister, Beulah, decided it wasn’t fair her baby doll was bald and Nellie’s had long lustrous hair.

No, not fair at all. And so, Beulah took the liberty of stealing. Locks of love! Cut and paste and voila! Brand new hair for her own baby. Nellie’s shorn jagged. Her beautiful doll ruined for life.

One of her journal entries describes her childhood living room and a memory of one particular evening of innocent mischief:

“Directly in front of the fireplace there was a settee – a long padded bench with arms and back, a primitive sofa with matching brown leather chairs. It was a cozy atmosphere when we sat there in front of the open fireplace and listened to the logs hiss and spit every so often.

With this living room suite came a wooden table with compartments on each end which held our Holy Bible and several books and magazines. On the table sat our kerosene lamp by which we read at night.

I remember one occasion when Lizzie was sixteen, a young man came to visit her. Mama, thinking she was too young to ‘take company,’ made Beulah and me go in and ‘chaperone.’ Beulah walked in with me right behind her, then picked up the Bible, and the two of us took a seat near the young couple, Lizzie and her suitor, Marvin Gaye.

We sat before them the whole time, reading the Bible, but mostly giggling the night away. Lizzie’s beau never returned after that.”

Ha! I guess not. Poor Marvin. Subjected to a night of silly giggling, scripture reading, looks from two young women saying, don’t even think about it.

Happy Mother’s Day, Nellie. Your memory brought a much-needed smile to my face. It’s like you were here, telling the story all over.  

What memory of your mother has made you smile? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

My grandmother once gave me a tip:

In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.

Do what you have to do, but little by little.

Don't think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.

Wash the dishes.

Remove the dust.

Write a letter.

Make a soup.

You see?

You are advancing step by step.

Take a step and stop.

Rest a little.

Praise yourself.

Take another step.

Then another.

You won't notice, but your steps will grow more and more.

And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.

- Elena  Mikhalkova 

(Image of Tasha Tudor, American Illustrator 1915-2008) 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.

Suddenly Disney is out of magic,
Paris is no longer romantic,
New York doesn't stand up anymore,
the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.

Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons,
and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.
Suddenly you realize that power, beauty & money are worthless, 
and can't get you the oxygen you're fighting for. 

The world continues its life and it is beautiful. 
It only puts humans in cages. I think it's sending us a message:

"You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. 
When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters."

~ Francesca Melandri

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

O my Soul…

Where do you want to go now?
I have sprung you
From my old musty rooms
Of graven idols
Of mildewed missals
Of cold crying walls
My self-styled temples
Of robotic creeds and
Unfinished levitations.
The sparrow has sung
Itself hoarse
The smell of fraud gone
The dust of dogma
Swept by the broom of
Wild revelations
My dying rainbows
Now merry with color!
O my sweet Soul…
Let’s just stay here
There is nothing out there
For inside me sleeps
A hundred Universes
Suns and Stars and Saints
Attended only by the Breath
Of the Breath of GOD.
~ Maya Teague

Maya is a mystically inclined mom, besotted with the Beloved, divorced from the material world, on a quest to find her Highest Self.

Monday, December 30, 2019


As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.

Excerpts from 'At the End of the Year' in his books,
To Bless the Space Between Us (US) / Benedictus (Europe)

Photo: Ann Cahill 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A Soul Feast

Title: Spiritual Wanderlust
A Field Guide to Deep Desire
Author: Kelly Deutsch
Pages: 149
Year: 2019

When I first ordered my copy of Spiritual Wanderlust, I prophetically announced: “I will savor it in the days to come like Babette’s Feast (one of the most profoundly spiritual stories out there). I’ve no intention of swallowing it whole like a Happy Meal, as there is no fast-food lane for soul.”

And a feast it was. Although you can read it in a single day, I chose to sit with it during lexico divina. Nothing like a long languorous chew during a divine meal. It’s not the kind of book you want to race through like a detective novel, as every page flows with wisdom – wisdom the author has gained from her own life experience and from the words of her friends, Augustine and John of the Cross. 

Spiritual Wanderlust is filled with wonder and awe, purpose and meaning. It could be the one book seekers of divine union in modern times have been searching. It explores longing, where that longing comes from, and how to listen to what this desire is saying. Kelly Deutsch guides the reader to the deep place within – into the depths where the hidden treasures lie beneath:

“There are certain things we prefer to keep buried, well-hidden under feet of defenses, blindness, and plastered smiles. Yet the more we unearth, the more room the divine has to fill. It is this inner space of silence that we must foster.”

Spiritual Wanderlust is a must-read for all who hunger for what is authentic and real. As Blaise Pascal once said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” Which is the heart of this book.

Richard Rohr was right in saying, “Kelly has a gift for making deep truths edible. “Spiritual Wanderlust is a soul-nourishing and delectable read.

What scrumptious, rich-with-meaning books have you read lately?


Kelly Deutsch is a Personal Growth Coach based out of South Dakota. She accompanies people on their interior journeys, to find new places of freedom, spaciousness, and vivacity. With a bit of spark and a real reverence, Kelly makes space for her clients to encounter their deepest selves, and there, to encounter the divine. 

Order Spiritual Wanderlust on Amazon

You can find her over at KD Coaching 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Wrong Garden

There’s this TV channel that features movies with titles like, The Wrong Neighbor. The Wrong Stepmother. The Wrong Son. The Wrong Teacher. You name it, it’s wrong. Everything’s wrong. So I’m calling this post, The Wrong Garden. 

It’s a response to Kelly Deutsch’s question last week: “How do you demystify mysticism?”

Short answer. In some circles you can’t. Just as in certain sports you aren’t allowed to tackle your opponent to the ground while he’s running toward his goal… try that on a basketball court or a soccer field and see what happens.

But back to Kelly’s question, which sent me hopping down the bunny trail where I landed in Mr. McGregor’s garden. After contemplating the question for days, that’s where the trail led. I don’t know why I’d dare go back there, but I did. And I can promise you, he was not holding a garden party for me. Or you either.

Please Keep Out!

Not long ago I ran across a certain farmer serving up pesticide-laced lettuce – all the while warning the people gathered around him not to eat from other gardens because of the poison. You can’t be gnawing “doctrines of demons” he said. You can’t empty your mind and let devils in. He got out his flannel board and posted a picture of an eastern guru in lotus pose, chanting ‘om’.   

He called it contemplative prayer and warned that it was just wrong. I quietly hopped off but kept thinking about returning and telling him that he was just wrong. Did he not know that long ago and far away Eastern Christians gathered to empty their minds of stray thoughts which were, to them, like snakes entering their secret gardens? That they even took up their garden hoes to chop off the snake’s head the minute they saw it trying to creep through their gates?

As I pondered all this, imagining his reaction if I did tell him the true story, I heard a voice inside saying to me, “Are you seriously thinking about casting more pearls? You know what’ll happen if you do that? He’ll take up his garden hoe and run your little cotton-tail on out of there. Or worse.

Then I heard the voice of a tiny little child parroting his parent, saying, “Don’t do that anymore, ok? No!” And to this day I keep hearing that wee voice warning me to stay away from the wrong garden.

How about you?

When have you found yourself in the wrong garden?

Or the wrong anywhere.

Do Tell. 

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