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Kiva Time

I'm sitting here in my office on Solstice Day, feeling the urge to connect, to "check in" and share the energy that's moving in me.

I feel the shift inside me as the whole hemisphere is moving into "kiva time", the time of dreaming and imagining what is to come when the seeds we're planting now awake in the Spring.

It's morning, so even though it's cool here in northern California, the sun is starting to fill the room and animate the crystals I hang in the window to catch the light. My office is newly rearranged, cleaned, and cleared. With art on the walls (beautiful pieces by Christopher Castle and Fletcher Oakes – and I'm awaiting shipment of one from Lisa Lipsett) and all my books out, it feels much closer to the nurturing sanctuary I've wanted to create for myself for some time now. A perfect place to dream those seeds into being.

Seeds
Some exciting projects are germinating: I've started a new venture in partnership with FireHawk Hulin and other friends at Timeless Earth Wisdom. It's called Digital + Earth Wisdom and speaks to my deepest purpose and intent for my work right now. You'll hear much more on this. The multi-generational work I've been doing with Wiser Together is moving gracefully and forcefully into form, and I'm co-designing the curriculum for a Masters Course on World Cafe and Appreciative Inquiry with Fielding Graduate University, where I've been co-presenting courses on World Cafe for the last few years.

I was born in the middle of winter, and this coming birthday is a big one, so I'm planning to take myself on an inner journey with an outer form – a nature-immersed photographic road trip to Sedona (with side trips as and when they appear on the hroizon). Road trips are among my very favorite things (guilty secret) and I am really excited about this one. I've never been to Sedona, so please share anything you think I should know about it, or anything on the way or in the area.

And I'm curious… what's seeding itself in you this winter? What seeds do you want to dream into being in the darkness of your world womb? What would you like to awaken to as the days grow longer and lighter?

Moved by Mountains

Several months ago I received review copies of Tom Reed's two exquisite photography & text books, the hardback Granite Avatars of Patagonia (2009) and recently released paperback Moved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska (2013).

Pk22-copy
The idea was to review them for Gatherings, the online Ecopsychology journal I co-founded and have edited for most of the last decade.

Due to travel, work deadlines, and the ordinary extraordinary catastrophes and celebrations of everyday life, it's taken me all this time to finish the reviews. But I have to say that the books are both so stunning that I only hope the reviews do enough justice to their profound beauty that there will be a rush on orders when everyone wants their own copy for Christmas (and the author will forgive my tardy delivery). 
 
Pk-copy
Anyway, I thought I'd include some of the images and links to my reviews here in the Beauty Dialogues as well, since Reed's search for the deeper meaning and purpose of beauty resonates so deeply with me and is what this blog is all about.

Speaking of which, here's Tom Reed at TedX in Homer Alaska, speaking on "Natural Beauty and Aesthetic Arrest".

Read my full reviews (including some wonderful quotes) of these fabulous inspiring books here (or just cut to the chase and buy your copies now – I guarantee you won't be disappointed):

Moved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska
My Review
Buy Now

The Granite Avatars of Patagonia
My Review
Buy Now

Death Cafes

Death-cafe
I've been hearing about Death Cafés for a while. People gathering for conversations about death in each other's homes, or literally in cafes, starting out as strangers in many cases but quickly finding intimacy in the all-too-human stories that emerge from engaging this powerful subject.

Knowing of my interest, my love monkey Steve just sent me a link to a story about them in one of his favorite blogs, The Dish by Andrew Sullivan, but I cut through to the original story Sullivan was blogging about, a story about a Death Cafe at the top of Beachy Head, a famous suicide cliff in Sussex's South Downs where I used to live. It's a fabulous story, so I'll share the link here… it's by Claire Davies, published in Aeon Magazine.

I'd love to hear if anyone has experienced a Death Cafe…

 

Good Medicine

My dear friend Lightning Dove, aka Sue Blondell, is an amazing artist and gifted "seer" who creates beautiful artwork and "medicine" tools that have the power to connect us to our deepest selves. I am blessed to own many pieces of her art, including an extraordinary "essence" painting of my husband and I and a magnificent full-sized painted gourd which is one my most precious "things".

Lightning Dove is having a rare public showing of her spirit-full work, called "Hush … be still … Listen", from Saturday, September 7th through November 6th at Spirit House in Woodside. Dove will be there in person for the opening from 11am to 4pm on the 7th, but if you can't make it then, be sure to come by while the show is up. You won't be sorry.

If you don't live in the area or can't make it, check out the galleries of her work on LightningDove.com, where you can commission some of her special magic for yourself or a loved one.

Here are some medicine tools she made for me recently:

 

Medicine-tools

(back left to front: small tobacco gourd, gourd rattle, owl wing smudger)