1319. We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else. ~Elie Wiesel

One wants to believe that there’s one relationship
in life that’s beyond betrayal. A relationship that’s beyond
that kind of hurt. And there isn’t.
~Edited quote by Caleb Carr

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There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.
~Rashani Réa

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An ex-student of mine posted a letter on Facebook today in which she asked us all to remember that for a variety of reasons not everyone will have or is having a wonderful Christmas time. And so today, I’ve given thought to things that break and shatter us at times. No one is exempt from sorrow and grief in this world. And though we must and should allow ourselves time to “hold” onto and weep over the “dark nights of our souls,” it seems to me that we also have to leave each and every heartbreak at some point in time in the past and then seek and use the “lessons” that the gouging of the soul has shed light upon.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18  ✝

**Images via the Internet; collage at top created by Natalie

1148. Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure. ~Bob Marley

To become whole
first let yourself be broken.
~Based on lines from
the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

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To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart
will be wrung and possibly broken.

If you want to make sure of keeping
it intact you must give it to no one,
not even an animal.

Wrap it carefully round with hobbies
and little luxuries;
avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin
of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark,
motionless, airless, it will change.

It will not be broken;
it will become unbreakable,
impenetrable, irredeemable.

To love is to be vulnerable.
~C.S. Lewis

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. ~James 1:12  ✝

**Watercolor image found on Pinterest

891. Divinity . . . is like a wheel, a circle, a whole, that can neither be understood, nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . . no one has the power to divide this circle, to surpass it, or to limit it. ~St. Hildegard von Bingen  

In the morning the blue heron is busy
stepping, slowly, around the edge of the
pond. He is tall and shining. His wings, folded
against his body, fit so neatly they
make of him, when he lifts his shoulders and begins to rise
into the air, a great surprise. Also
he carries so light the terrible sword-beak.
Then he is gone over the trees.

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I am so happy to be alive in this world
I would like to live forever, but I am
content not to. Seeing what I have seen
has filled me; believing what I believe
has filled me.

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The first words of this page are
hardly thought of when the bird
circles back over the trees; it floats down
like an armful of blue flowers, a bundle of light
coming to refresh itself again in the black water, and I think:
maybe it is or it isn’t the same bird-maybe it’s
the first one’s child, or the child of its child.
What I mean is, our deliverance from Time
and the continuance, if we only steward them well,
of earthly things. So maybe it’s myself still standing here, or
someone else, like myself hot with the joy of this world, and
filled with praise.
~Circles, a poem by Mary Oliver

Remember to extol His work, which people have praised in song. ~Job 36:24  ✝

**Images via Pinterest

743. Zero (0) is not nothing.  It’s a circle, without beginning or end. Holy. Healed. ~Wallace Black Elk, Lakota

A wheel was shown to me,
wonderful to behold.
Divinity . . . is like a wheel,
a circle, a whole,
that can neither be understood,
nor divided, nor begun nor ended . . .
no one has the power
 to divide
this circle, 
to surpass it, or to limit it.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen

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beginnings, middles, endings,
go the circles of life
and over and over again
the sacred circles repeat themselves
with more beginnings,
more middles,
more endings,
and yet little seems the same from
day to day, month to month, year to year,
in these patterns of inconstancy
within the undeniable constancy
that create our “wow” now moments
as well as the not so “wow” ones
so what’s to be made of all the same
and not so same circular sameness
or the ups and downs and all around times
in the beginnings, middles, and endings
only the Ancient of Days knows why
these everlasting 
holy rhythms
of the universe
 move in such a way
~Natalie Scarberry

It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. ~Deuteronomy 11:12   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

699. Thou art the iris, fair among the fairest… ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Iris was the Greek goddess for the Messenger of Love; the iris, her sacred flower, was considered the symbol of communication and messages. And as it was her duty to take the souls of women to the Elysian fields, Greek men would often plant an iris on the graves of their beloved women. ~Edited commentary by Hana Monogatari

Beauty: the adjustment of all parts proportionately


so that one cannot add or subtract or change without


impairing the harmony of the whole.
~Leon Battista Alberti


As beauteous parts
each add extravagance to
the sum of the charms
~Natalie Scarberry

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ~1 Peter 3:4   ✝

I love the luscious colors of all parts of this iris.  Strangely, it was one I planted years ago, but until last year it hadn’t bloomed in some time.  I’m so glad it’s back to blooming again.

686. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust

We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds;
my heart shall be the faithful compass
that still points to thee.
~John Gay

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Once one steps into cyberspace via the internet, he/she opens the door to being able to speak to “strangers” all over the world. And even if there is no photo attached to their blog post, over time a recognizable “identity” develops from the kinds of things posted, be they words or simply images of some sort. Then as time passes and interactions continue with these “strangers,” one is not only able to learn more and more about who he or she is but also more about himself/herself from ongoing conversations or the sharing of images. Another fascinating aspect about this process is that through nothing more than this kind of “distant” and “blind” communication, lasting relationships develop, genuine fondnesses grow, and abiding love and respect occur. For, distance, it seems, never separates the hearts of those who come to care for one another and shared experiences as well as the building of memories make it possible for love to span miles and miles of vast distances.  This is not surprising since It is from and in God’s love which knows no boundaries that we are made and sustained, and it’s in the redeeming love of Jesus that we find salvation.

Once the realization is accepted that
even between the closest of human beings
infinite distances continue,
a wonderful living side by side can grow,
if they succeed in loving the distance between them
which makes it possible for each to see
the other whole against the sky.
~Rainer Maria Rilke

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:11   ✝

**Image via Pinterest