What's Catching my Eye lately:
THINGS TO READ:
To Speak for the Trees, Diana Beresford-Kroeger
A brilliant book from a woman who has developed many ways of knowing. A brilliant medical microbiologist and botanist, with a unique education in traditional Celtic plant lore, Diana show us how trees and forests are fundamental to human survival and spirituality, In addition, she paints a picture of how our nature brains and our conditioned minds can work together for beauty and thriving life. I recommend the audiobook to hear Diana Beresford-Kroeger's voice.
Mystical Hope, Cynthia Bourgeault
A beautiful little book where we learn, among other things, that the word "mercy" comes from the same place as "merci" and "mercantile." It means, "you belong here and you have something valuable to exchange with the world." I re-read this book frequently.
A Left-Handed Commencement Address (Mills College, 1983), Ursula K. Le Guin
As relevant now as it was almost 30 years ago.
"Why did we look up for blessing — instead of around, and down? What hope we have lies there. Not in the sky full of orbiting spy-eyes and weaponry, but in the earth we have looked down upon. Not from above, but from below. Not in the light that blinds, but in the dark that nourishes, where human beings grow human souls."
Radical Wisdom: A Feminine Mystical Theology, Beverly Lanzetta
Dr. Lanzetta's via feminina — enter the body and heal the divisions and oppressions that live there. This inner journey to the divine in us always ends in freedom and power, not the false freedom and power of our culture of domination, but the freedom and power that creates and protects life. Powerful book.
"For if our journey as women is truly holy, loving, and freeing, we will make meaning with our own terms and in our own time. Our ancestors will allow us to shout and shake at our gods, to walk in the wilderness, to stare blankly upon our own being and wonder: Who am I to be? And when we learn the wisdom of our ancestors and we drink in their love, we can turn away. For they will be with us, cheering us on as we treat the evolutionary path of all pioneers, visionaries, and simple surveyors. We give away the known for that mysterious horizon, for the authenticity of Hagia Sophia's call to us today, to Her voice in the wilderness that beckons: Leave all and follow Me."
The Journey of Soul Initiation, Bill Plotkin
"Such humans (initiated Adults and Elders) are not people who are primarily looking out for themselves (their small selves), but rather people who are creatively crafting ways of inhabiting the life-enhancing individual niche they were born for. And that niche is what we discover and what we become able to occupy through the journey of soul initiation. Consequently, in order for humanity to take its true place inthe world, enough individual humans must take their true places."
The Third Angel, Alice Hoffman
A novel I love. "People say there's the Angel of Life and the Angel of Death, but there's another one, too. The one who walks among us.... He's there to show us who we are." And we are good!
Whole Brain Living, Jill Bolte Taylor
You may have seen Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk about her stroke. This book talks about the four characters she discovered and how she engages with to meet life in an emotionally responsive (not reactive) way.
Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer
Robin's duelling Garden of Eden stories will stay with me forever.
THINGS TO WATCH:
Pat McCabe, (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining), 2015 (YouTube video)
Pat says, "We are born in Beauty, as Beauty, for Joyful Life." I listen to her every chance I get.
Into the Woods, Original Broadway Cast
On regular rotation. Let's look at desire and craving, love and possession. One leads to a community of love and caring, the other leads to pain and separation. Deeply fun and profound. Stay away from the Disney version!
Young Pope, Apple TV (you can find it other places, too)
This is not for everyone. I have watched it at least five times. Central question: "What are we missing?" And the answer is in front of all our faces: The Great Mother. It's not about a quirky, oppositional young pope. It's about a guy with a strong, but unconscious, tie to the Mother, and his messy quest to find her in his body. He happened to do this while at the head of a toxically patriarchal church, so he creates a lot of havoc in between his miracles and insights.
My Octopus Teacher, Netflix
Documentary. A broken man learns other ways of knowing from an octopus. The power of persistent presence leads to the ability to see and communicate with the divinity in everything. Gorgeous film.