Calendar

WideSpot: Beautiful

“Our fingers imbibe like roots,” begins a prayer by Francis of Assisi, “So I place them on what is beautiful in this world.”   Beauty may feel like a shaky reed these days, nothing much to hang our hat on. Most of us are more inclined to attend to what’s ugly: environmental degradation, wars, famines, loss …

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Wide Spot: So say the lichens

She was getting out of her van by the beach, clearly unnerved by the thick smoke in the air. “Did you hear that they’re evacuating all of Yellowknife?” I blinked; I didn’t know her from Adam, but she sure needed to talk. “Yes,” I said. I felt anxious too. But I know how to listen …

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Wide Spot: Stung

Last year, my revered teacher made some unconsidered remarks to a board on which I serve. Part of the problem was that she didn’t recognize the competence of the people in front of her; that stung us. Another board member pointed out her misconception, and the group went on to vote in favor of the …

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Wide Spot: Sacred

When I was a kid, sacred was about church. It was the Lord’s Prayer repeated each Sunday; it was the consecration, the communion cup, the baptismal fountain, the ashes on the forehead. In Braiding Sweetgrass, the indigenous biologist and author Robin Wall Kimmerer recounts an observance enacted daily during the summer months that her family camped …

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Wide Spot: Bull’s Eye!

I recently participated in a difficult conversation. The conversation was difficult primarily because I responded badly to a remark made by the other person. Since this person is the one with whom I cohabit, it is not the first time I reacted in this way. Regrettably, it is also probably not the last time that …

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Wide Spot: Thumper’s Advice

Forget the death of Bambi’s mother. The scene that riveted me in the movie Bambi was dark, tense, everyone staring at the rude little rabbit who was being reminded by his mother of how he was supposed to treat others. All my attention was on Thumper as he said carefully, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t …

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Wide Spot: Fair

Growing up number six in a family with eight kids, I put a great deal of stock in fairness. There was constant jockeying for my share of whatever was on offer—time, energy, dessert, privileges. I remember wailing at my parents more than once, “That’s not fair!” When I think about the engine that drives suffering—be …

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Wide Spot: Traveling Mercies

Last weekend, in company with a large percentage of western Canada, we stopped in Revelstoke. It was a hot mess: trucks, boats, trailers everywhere; long queues for bathrooms, burgers and gas.  We were in the fuel line when someone towing a huge boat decided to back-up from the pump, an activity that snarled traffic as …

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