Wander kit

What’s in your Wander kit?
What supplies do you need on your adventure?

This is my basic kit – a “map case” bought at a Army supply store.  An assortment of pens.  A small blank journal found at a used book shop.  A bottle of water. An energy bar. A napkin.  A compass. Some reading material.

kit

This goes with me to doctor’s offices, when I go to get the oil changed in my car, when I have to take a class for work, and on every day off.  Simply assembling it gets me in the mood for a wander, knowing I’ll have the tools I need at hand.

Redeemer

Stephen Gaskin was the founder of The Farm, an intentional community near Summertown, Tennessee. Before the commune was settled, he embarked on a speaking tour of America to talk about peace. His goal was to wake people up to a healthier way to be together as a society, a nation, and a global community.
He regularly allowed people to ask questions as part of the talks. Occasionally, some of the questioners had issue with him referring to Jesus. Most people who are considered countercultural don’t talk about Jesus at all, and Stephen did. He said that the Sermon on the Mount was the finest example of a guideline for how people can live together in harmony.
In his book “The Caravan”, he talks about Jesus as the Redeemer. In the usual Christian sense, this means that Jesus covers your sins for you. He pays that bill, so you don’t have to. But Stephen took it in a different direction. He said that in order to have a Redeemer, you have to have a Deemer. A Deemer is someone who deems – who makes a judgment as to whether something is good or not. Deemers separate and divide.
A Redeemer comes after that and makes things right. Redeemers make things whole again, by showing the value in all people. Redeemers point out that God made everyone, and God made everyone good. Redeemers reset us by seeing us as we were originally designed to be – whole, complete, and pure.
Additionally – not something said by Stephen but an extension of this thought – this is how Jesus was able to heal people instantly. He saw them as they were designed to be, before they were damaged by the world. Instead of seeing people as sinners, he saw them as Children of God. He didn’t heal them through any special power. He healed them by unlocking the power that God had put in them from the very beginning. He unlocked it by reminding them of it when he saw through their mask of sin to the person beneath.
The most radical part of this is that Jesus tells us that we have this same ability. We can heal the world by choosing to see people as Children of God. No longer dividing them into “good” and “bad” – but simply as people. We too can redeem the world, with Jesus’ help.

Stomach distress?

I’m noticing that many people right now are experiencing stomach distress.  They believe they have the flu or some virus.  I believe that their distress is unprocessed emotions related to the current political climate in the United States, which isn’t very “united” right now.

Many people were very surprised by the results of the election, and held out hopes that something unusual would happen to change it.  They waited until after the Electoral College voted to admit that their fears had been realized.  Now they are protesting everything that they are learning about.  People who were politically inactive before are now glued to whatever news they can get.

What you focus on expands.  What you think about, you are. If all you focus on is bad, that is all you will see.  Anger and fear leads to more of the same.

Life is all about choice.  You have a choice as to what you read or do or think, but first you must become aware.  You must become mindful of what is going on at the deepest level.

The stomach processes some of our most basic emotions – fear, anger, grief.  We feel things “at a gut level”.  We are “gutted” when something terrible happens.  Our stomach not just processes food, but feelings.  Our entire body is a sensory organ, and each unique organ receives and processes external stimuli in unique ways.  We accept that we see with our eyes and hear with our ears, but few people are yet able to understand that we have many other senses that are registered throughout the amazing gift of our corporeal forms.

When we are unable or unwilling to accept the reality of the messages that our bodies are sending us, we start to think that the messages ARE us.  We are able to understand that what we see through our eyes is simply a vision.  It is an observed phenomenon.  If we see a bird in flight, it does not mean that we are a bird.  Likewise, it is important to separate the sensations we experience through our other body parts from our selves, our being.  We do not have to be angry when we feel anger.  It is just a feeling, a sensation.

The purpose of being awakened isn’t to feel joyful all the time.  The purpose is to feel – everything – in a mindful and detached way.  You are not the feeling – you are feeling the feeling, just like you are seeing the birds fly above you.

It helps to be rooted in a faith that there is a guiding force that is over all things.  Having faith that the political leaders are not the true leaders is healthy and healing.

You must take care of your body in order to take care of your spirit.  There is nothing new here – diet and exercise count now more than ever.  Make healthy food choices.  Stress eating, eating “comfort food”, will bring your body and spirit down. Get regular exercise.  Just going for a short walk every day is excellent.  More is better.  Don’t overdo it, though, because that becomes a distraction.  It is important to be present.

Learn to be OK with sitting still in silence.  The need to constantly be busy is an addictive behavior the same as smoking cigarettes or drinking. Substance abuse isn’t just about drugs, but anything and everything. Doing anything mindlessly can be harmful to your body and spirit.

Having to check social media, read a book, or do chores can all be distractions.  Balance is what is necessary here. It is good to read a book – but if you feel anxiety if you are without one, then it is time to sit with that feeling and listen to it.  It is a sign that you feel a need to escape.  Use your feelings, regardless of what they are, to learn.  Do not run from “bad” feelings – they are trying to teach you that something is out of balance in your life.

Instead of protesting – of saying what you are against, spend your energy on building up.  What are you for?  What will bring healing to your community?  Who is hurting? Who is marginalized?  Go help them.  Go be a force for good.  Do what you can with what you have.  Your little efforts count.  Join with others to do more.  Don’t wait for the government to help – those times are over.  Be the change you wish to see.  Teach an immigrant child how to read and write.  Learn a foreign language.  Build a home for a homeless person. Teach a class on money management. Learn nonviolent conflict resolution.

Focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t.  Spend more time on figuring out how you can do something instead of coming up with excuses for why you can’t.  Don’t blame others for your own choices.

My favorite children’s book illustrators

Sometimes I read children’s books for the art more than for the story. This is my current list of all the artists I love. This list will be added to as I find more.

Jill Barklem
Aaron Becker
Peter Brown
Ross Collins
Tim Egan
John S. Goodall
Stephanie Graegin
Michael Hall
John Hendrix
Holly Hobbie
Leigh Hodgkinson
Ayano Imai
Oliver Jeffers
Maira Kalman
Jon Klassen
Hilary Knight
Barbara Lehman
Jon Muth
Adam Rex
David Roberts
Dan Santat
Dr. Seuss
David Shannon
David Soman
Melissa Sweet
Chris Van Allsburg

Wander poem

Lost your Wander mojo?

Did the cold weather make it go?

Too much holiday, not enough time?

Too many expectations on your few dimes?

Stop what you’re doing and go outside

Stand in your yard – don’t go for a ride.

Look right now – what do you see?

A robin? A cardinal, a chickadee?

Perhaps you notice the trees have buds,

Perhaps you notice more grass than mud.

Its coming – its here!

Our spring has arrived!

So go walk around in your yard

and feel so alive!

Camino de Santiago books

The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Maclaine, Shirley

Fumbling: A Journey of Love, Adventure, and Renewal on the Camino de Santiago by Egan, Kerry

Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James by Downie, David

A different view of the Camino de Santiago by Watson, Bill

Buen Camino by Murtagh, Natasha
Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain by Hitt, Jack

Camino de Santiago (Footprint Handbooks) by Symington, Andy

Camino Lingo by Nóvoa, Reinette
The Pilgrimage to Santiago by Mullins, Edwin
Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela by Rudolph, Conrad
Sacred Travels: Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage by George, Christian

 

 

I liked the ones by Hitt, Conrad, and Maclaine the most – but whatever you find will be the one you need to read.  The one by Hitt inspired the movie “The Way”.

Inspirational quotes

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying. – Nikki Giovanni

We must go ahead and see for ourselves. – Jacques Cousteau

Life forms no logical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties – which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return? – Margot Fonteyn

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King Jr.

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Andre Gide

All change is a miracle to contemplate, but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. Henry David Thoreau

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, not lie at anchor. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The more you move, the stronger you’ll grow, not like a tree that can be killed if you uproot it.- Ha Jin

Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Two changes to live… to live is to change…and not to change is to die. Tennessee Williams

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Rumi

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences. Hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. – Chris McCandless

In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost

As time passes we all get better at blazing a trail through the thicket of advice. – Margot Bennett

If the fish had stuck to its gills, there would have been no movement up to the land. Cynthia Ozick

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. Louis L’Amour

An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy. Madeline L’Engle

Every intersection in the road of life is an opportunity to make a decision, and at some I had only to listen. Duke Ellington

The moment of change is the only poem. Adrienne Rich

Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future. Kathleen Norris

Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun. Ruth Westheimer
Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with. – Mark Twain

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22

Laughter is the sun which drives winter from the human face. Victor Hugo

How truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. Washington Irving

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly speaking, loved in spite of yourself. Victor Hugo

Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity. Joseph Addison

… feel the stars and the infinite high and clear above you. Then life seems almost enchanted after all. Vincent Van Gogh

Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love, joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Mother Teresa

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do, the fun is in having lots to do –
and not doing it. Mary Little

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln

One cannot divine or forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world’s end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame. Willa Cather

You won’t win until you learn how to lose. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Growth and self- transformation cannot be delegated Lewis Mumford

What we lack is not so much leisure to do as time to reflect and time to feel. Margaret Mead

The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and saying. What a mistake that would be. Joan Oliver Goldsmith

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through. Wislawa Szymborska

We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors. George Washington

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for living a full life. Sophia Loren

The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. Anaïs Nin

To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves -there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. Joan Didion

We know too much and feel too little. Bertrand Russell

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. Nora Ephron

The man who has lived most is not he who has numbered the most years, but he who has had the keenest sense of life. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness. May Sarton

We need other human beings in order to be human. Desmond Tutu

People are like bicycles. They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving. Albert Einstein

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t. Pete Seeger

Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun. Julia Child

In the Book of Life, the answers aren’t in the back. Charles Schultz

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder

To find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest, or over a wild flower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. John Burroughs

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. – Lin Yutang

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Walt Whitman

Simplify the problem of life: distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. Henry David Thoreau

Silence is more musical than any song. Christina Rossetti

Most of the luxuries, and many of these so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Henry David Thoreau

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex. Oscar Wilde

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. William Morris

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. Charlie Mingus

To be a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. Helen Keller

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. Edwin Way Teale

Learn to wish that everything may happen as it does. Epictetus

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

Look at your feet. You were standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth…We breathe it deep within us. Diane Ackerman

Go not abroad for happiness. For see! It is a flower that blossoms by thy door. Minot J Savage

Being is sufficient. Being is All. The cheerful, sunny self you are missing will return, as it always does, but only being will bring it back. Alice Walker

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. Khalil Gibran

Happiness, not in another place but this place … not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

…those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy. Marcus Aurelius

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself, so that you can hear it in other people. Marian Wright Edelman

Strange as it may seem today to say, the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. Henry Miller

The breeze of grace is always blowing on you, but you have to unfurl your sails. Sri Ramakrishna

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness. James Thurber

You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after. J.R.R. Tolkien

Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall all be saved. Jane Goodall

The softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest. Lao Tzu

Sometimes people say unkind or thoughtless things. When they do, it is best to be a little hard of hearing. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectations of reward, save that one day someone might do the same for you. Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life. Arthur Ashe

Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation. Henry Ward Beecher

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. Benjamin Disraeli

We must understand ourselves before we can respect ourselves. We must respect ourselves before we can win the respect of others. Pearl S Buck

Art is a lie that makes us realize truth. Pablo Picasso

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of the new year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. Thomas Mann

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you can see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. Kurt Vonnegut

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. Franz Kafka

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view. George Eliot

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

Better keep yourself clean and bright: you are the window through which you must see the world. George Bernard Shaw

A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. Mohammed Ali

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

Drop by drop is the pitcher filled. Buddha

Patient serves as protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. Leonardo da Vinci

Nothing great is produced suddenly. Epictetus

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. Anna Quindlen

Little drops of water wear down big stones. Russian proverb

Little strokes fell great oaks. Benjamin Franklin

The best way out is always through. Robert Frost

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience . Georges-Louis LeClerc de Buffon

The one at peace sleeps pleasantly having abandoned victory and defeat. Buddha

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. Martha Washington

Never look at what you have lost; look at what you have left. Robert Schuller

You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. Paulo Coelho

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his own feet. James Oppenheim

One must view the world through the eye I n one’s heart rather than just trust the eyes in one’s head. Mary Crow Dog

It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. Sally Kempton

A thousand words leave not the same deep print as does a single deed. Henrik Ibson

It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the Navy. Steve Jobs

I don’t believe that life is supposed to make you feel good, or to make you feel miserable either. Life is just supposed to make you feel. Gloria Naylor

You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you. Mary Tyler Moore

Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth. Horace

When you drink the water, remember the well. Chinese proverb

The critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. GK Chesterton

It isn’t enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it. Eleanor Roosevelt

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. Stanley Kubrick

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means. Ronald Reagan

He has great tranquility of heart who cares for neither praise nor blame. Thomas A Kempis

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. William S Burroughs

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out. Katherine Dunham

There is no way to peace; peace is the way. Mahatma Gandhi

Do you work, then step back. The only path to serenity. Lao Tzu

None but ourselves can free our minds. Bob Marley