“WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED TODAY?”

“WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED TODAY?”

I love learning
no, scratch that
I’m passionate about learning!

I try to learn something new every day
Some days
the learning is huge
other days it’s subtle

Some days
the learning is about me
what I believe
who I am
things I need to work on.

Some days
the learning is about others
how hurtful, unloving, unkind, mean-spirited
how generous, gracious, thoughtful
people can be.

Some days
the learning involves
a new approach to technology or art or gardening
or 
writing or music or a new chess move
or history or literature or religion or politics
and some days
it’s a combination.

Each night before I go to bed
I ask myself “what have you learned today?”

Recently a difficult moment
and at the same time
grace-filled helped highlight
a lesson
again

The lesson  of forgiveness was learned
again

Just when I think I’ve learned this lesson
another situation/person/event reminds me
that forgiveness happens over and over
and over and over
again

Forgiveness of others
forgiveness of God/Higher Power/Holy One
forgiveness of self
is not an easy lesson
but it is an important lesson
integral to spiritual growth and self-awareness.

Yes, I love learning
not always
but most of the time.    🙂

Photo & Text © june maffin
Soulistry-Artistry of the Soul
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“IT’S TIME TO BREATHE”

“IT’S TIME TO BREATHE”

Political claustrophobia
is beginning to surge.

Fear is on the increase
as people sense no escape from the inevitable.

It’s time to breathe.

Time to welcome in possibilities
… possibilities that “this too shall pass”
no matter how bleak and impossible it may seem now.

Time to let Peter Pan remind us to “think lovely thoughts”
and Sound of Music’s Maria encourage us to think about our “favourite things”
… move our mind and soul into areas of gentleness, beauty, hope.

It’s time to breathe.
… find a pastoral photo to help focus eyes away from the tv and phone and tablet and computer
… listen to a piece of quiet music to encourage the rapid beating of the heart to slow down.
… soak in the tub.
… take a walk outdoors.
… spend a moment in prayer
… play with the children, grandkids, pets
… share a meal with a loved one
… meditate
… make time for self

It’s time to breathe
… gentle, slow, deep breaths;
close eyes
… remember
… imagine
a time of peace and joy and hope.

Political claustrophobia must not be given space in our soul to
… invade
… possess
… overwhelm

It’s time
… to breathe.

WatermarkedPastoral-Holland

Text & Photo © june maffin
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Photo taken in Friesland, the Netherlands

“WHATEVER THE FUTURE HOLDS”

“WHATEVER THE FUTURE HOLDS”

“Whatever the future holds
… we’ll be each other’s strength.”

Words written by a very special man on our wedding day
and often repeated to one another throughout the years.
And true.

True … then
for the two of us.

True … now
for us all.

In this world of uncertainty.
we can be
… we must be
“each other’s strength.”

Before closing the blinds last night
the wondrous silver beam of light
shone brightly in the sky
and brought a reminder of those words
and a hope
that in spite of troubling news and times
there will be a tomorrow.

When clouds began to form
and the moon became hidden;
when its light diminished and seemed lost
as sometimes happens to us when clouds
of fear, isolation, loneliness, sadness, grief, self-doubt
begin to form and cover us
and it feels as if our light has gone out;
like the moon
we are still here
simply covered up
waiting for the time
when the cloud passes
and the light shines through
… hope.

The words written and spoken
by one man to one woman and back to him
can be the words written and spoken
by us all
… to one another.

Whatever the future holds
we’ll be each other’s strength.”
(Hans van der Werff)

Watermarked-MoonEachOther'sStrength

 

Photo & Text © june maffin
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“BE VIGILANT – NOT AFRAID”

“BE VIGILANT – NOT AFRAID”

“There’s something about this photo that speaks to me.
It speaks to me of life and death
… darkness and shadow
… light and hope.
Hope?

The hope is in the clear sky.
The hope is in the bright yellow colour in the flowers in the foreground.
The hope is in the healthy green leaves beside the flowers.

At this time, the United States is in crisis.
A much-feared (by many) President-Elect
will soon deliver his First Address to the Nation.
A much-loved (by many) President
has delivered his Final Address.


The first personifies the fear many are feeling.
The second named the fear many are feeling
and reminded people to
“be vigilant, but not be afraid.”


He set forth a plan.
Clear, simple, direct.

Using the three words he used
at the beginning of his Presidency
he used the same three words
at the ending of his Presidency:
“Yes, we can!”


As a sign I read on a wall in Dachau
“I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in the stars, even when I see them not.
I believe in God, even when God is silent”
noted
… the Presence of Hope
is always present.

We just need to be open for it.
We just need to look for it.
We just need to see it.
We just need to believe in it.


At the time I took this photo
I didn’t know why I took it.


Tonight,
I know.
“Be vigilant, but not afraid.”
(President Barack Obama, January 10, 2017)

 WatermarkedOregonRock
Photo & Text © june maffin
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“NOURISH GENTLY” – IT ARRIVED!

“NOURISH GENTLY” – IT ARRIVED!

“The Project”
is ready to be launched.
Finally!

“The Project” (as it’s been known)
is a cookbook
that began many, many years ago
and was eventually published
under a different title.

Thanks to word of mouth
it made its way around the world
literally
and quickly sold out.

In recent years
requests
more requests
and more requests
for copies of the book
had me wondering
“Is it time to re-publish?”

A ‘test query’ over three years ago
went to FB Soulistry followers and friends
with resounding results.
“Yes!  And in some way connect it to the Soulistry Story.”

So three years ago
… the work began.

I thought that it needed a new title.
Thanks to Lilian Taylor
… it arrived.

A new title meant that it needed a new cover.
Thanks to Alice Young
… it arrived.

The cookbook needed more work but
it was put on the back burner because
… ‘life’ happened
… computer glitches interfered
… a new computer program needed to be learned.
and it all took time.
Longer than I had imagined.

But slowly
… gently
it came together
and today
… it arrived.

Nourish Gently – The Soulistry Cookbook
is now published as an ebook and available.
And I am grateful
and delighted
and humbled
by the way it has all unfolded.

Curious?
More information can be both at both of these links:
https://gumroad.com/l/nourish
www.soulistry.com/books

Thank you
… for your curiosity
Thank you
… for your encouragement and support
Thank you
… for your love.

May Nourish Gently – The Soulistry Cookbook
gently nourish bodies
and gently nourish souls.

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“THE STORY OF THE CLOCK”

“THE STORY OF THE CLOCK”

I love stories of “new beginnings” and this is one such story.

It is a true story about a clock (photo attached) that began its journey well over a hundred years ago in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands (birthplace of my husband Hans van der Werff) where tradition had it that when a couple married, an integral part of their home furnishings was a Friesland clock.

Hans’ grandparents (Pake and Beppe) bought such a clock at public auction and even though it “was terribly dirty and did not work,” Pake loved it. Determined to get it back to its original working order, he patiently and gently cleaned it, working countless hours on it and finally, the timepiece worked again and the clock became a focal point of pride in the family home for decades.

When Pake and Beppe died, the clock Pake had lovingly brought back to life, was given to Hans’ parents. Hans remembered it “always being in our home” when he was growing up and it was a lovely memory of his childhood.

But when WW11 interrupted their lives and the Nazis began to realize that there could be value in Fryslan clocks, homes were raided and clocks were stolen unless they had been hidden. Not surprisingly, when it was learned that the van der Werff family clock was on the Nazi’s acquisition desirable list, the clock was quickly dismantled and hidden.

Gratefully, it was never discovered during WW11. But after the war, it was still considered to be a valuable commodity, so the family decided that it would be best to get it out of the country for safekeeping. The clock was taken out of hiding and stored until Hans was next in Holland … he had moved to Canada as a young man but often travelled back to Holland as part of his work in those days.

Together, the brothers made a solid wooden box into which they gently placed the clock. Shipping to Canada was arranged, the clock safely arrived and over the decades, Hans lovingly cared for the clock and proudly displayed it in every home in which he lived, cherishing the memories of his childhood, his parents, siblings and grandparents.

When we married, the clock moved with him again and came to live with us. I was delighted, for its presence was a wonderful connection both to Hans’ Dutch roots and now ‘our’ Dutch family.

Hans and I often talked about the clock and he spoke of wanting it to stay with me in our home (should he die before I did), where it was loved and its history was respected. That was the plan.

Well, it was the plan until one morning during my Quiet Time when an image of the clock being packed up and heading across the ocean back to Holland filled my thoughts. I lived with that possibility for quite a while and each time I thought about it, peace filled my heart. So, I wrote Hans’ brother and wife, their daughter and son in law, sharing what I was thinking of doing with the clock and was gratified by the response of them all.

As a result, I contacted a shipping company and the clock began its journey to Holland – back home.

And here is where miracle/mystery enters the story. Soon after Hans died this past summer, the clock that his brother Peter and his wife had in their home, stopped working. No reason – it just stopped! Peter tried to fix it, but he wasn’t able to. One day, he found a clockmaker who was able to repair it, but the cost was too high to be considered, so Peter headed home knowing that the clock would not be repaired.

As it happened (nawww, not a coincidence <g>), the Friesland-Canada clock was being picked up that very day at the Rotterdam dock (!) and at the moment Peter got the phone call saying that the clock had arrived safely and had been picked up, his wife noticed that the clock in their home (that hadn’t been working) began to work! No one had touched it. It just started … miraculously/mysteriously.

Each one of us, independently, agreed: “Hans fixed it and is telling us that he is so very happy that the clock has returned back to Holland.”

So the ending of this story is that the clock has returned from whence it came. Or is it really ‘the ending’?

While all stories have an ending – this story has both an ending – and a new beginning!

Knowing the people of at least three generations who will welcome and love the family clock into their homes over the decades, I know that its future is secured … and that’s a happy ‘ending’ … er, happy ‘beginning’ to this story.

(P.S. I took the photo of the clock, but it’s a very large clock and I couldn’t step back far enough to get all of it in the photo. The length of the chain is really long!

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Photo & Text © june maffin

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