Antidote to latest news from the U.S.?
Make art!

As Andy Warhol said
“Don’t think about making art
… just get it done.
Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad
… whether they love it or hate it.
While they are deciding
… make more art!”

Ahhhh, Andy Warhol
… such wise advice.

When we create
we are
… being child-like
… moving further in our process of “becoming”
… growing spiritually.

Making … creating … playing … being
Imagine the spiritual possibilities
… when we make time for each of these.

And when they are woven together
into something tangible
it’s art!
Yes, even these “Four Funky Kids” cards
… made out of cardstock, paper clips and yarn snippets.

Let’s create.
Let’s make art.
Let’s play.
Let’s “Get It Done!”

“Four Funky Kids” cards, Photo & Text
© June Maffin

Time to make some more “Funky Kids” cards
as these have all found their way into
mailboxes of grandkids, nieces and nephews. 🙂



Need a break
… from the stress of life?
Need a break
.. from the news and threat of war?
Need a break from
… busyness
… anger
… fear
… confusion
… sense of helplessness
… something else?

When that happens for me
… opening my eyes and heart
… seeking beauty around, above, below, within
helps in some way
like these cascading blue pansies in our yard
… with their smiling faces
and open mouths
… singing their sweet
“Welcome Spring!” song.

May renewal come our way
through the gifts of Mother Nature
when it’s “time for a break.”

Photo & Text © June Maffin




how do i know
… when
… if
god speaks?

is god
… the voice deep within
… the thought that flits through my head
… the heartbeat that races
… the questions
… the answers

is god
… any of these
… none of these
… all of these

is god really
god – holy other – creator – spirit
… or is it simply me

when god speaks
… do i know for certain what i must do
… am i certain it is god who speaks

not really and yet
… yet i cannot remain inactive or unresponsive

higher power – god – spirit – holy other – creator
invites me to live
… to risk
… to move forward
… to respond to that quiet inner voice
… to trust the source
whose Name seems hidden
… in mists of confusion
… in voices of doubt
… in shadows of uncertainty
expectant that what lies ahead will
… nurture and challenge
… bless
and believe that the true voice of spirit
will not lead me to chaos or confusion



Photo & Text © June Maffin



It’s been quite a weekend!

Only way to describe it was to create a neologism:
… one word combining two words.
serendipity (serend <ipity>)
… “a pleasant surprise”
co-incidence (<co-in> incidence)
… “accidental events that might have been arranged but weren’t”)

It began yesterday when I went to the shed to get the compressor
to put air into the utility trailer so garden branches etc. could be taken to the recycling depot.

Opened the shed and heard a “twittering” sound
… a bird had somehow become trapped inside the shed.

But it wasn’t a bird.
It was Mama Raccoon.

I checked the shed again
and she was still there
… menacing, ready to strike.

“Babies – she’s protecting her babies” I thought.
Leaving the door open
I hoped she’d make her way out with her babies.
No such luck.

I want to get rid of them
… humanely
so I googled, posted on FB, made phone calls
and learned a lot (!) about raccoons
and how to get rid of them:
… leave door open
… put bright light inside
… play talk-radio (they don’t like human voices)
… “disturb” their “den”

Last night
… shed door was left open
… talk-radio was played
but shoulder injury meant I couldn’t hang the light
or move things out of the shed to disturb the “den.”

And then co-incidences:
… I left my scarf in church this morning
… a friend came by to drop it off
… I told her about the raccoons in the shed
… and that I couldn’t hang the light because of the shoulder injury.

Before heading home
she noticed a neighbour unloading his car
told him about the situation
and then serendipity
… he hung the light
… emptied the shed and cardboard that Mama Raccoon had used as a nest for her kits.

If the co-incidences hadn’t happened
I’d not have had the serendipitous pleasant happening of
Mama and the Kits leaving.

They’re gone!

And I’d never have had the fun of creating a neologism


Photo & Text © June Maffin




… a global annual event on April 22nd
celebrated in more than 190 countries
to show support for the environment.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s words
“The earth is not just our environment
We are the earth and the earth is us.”
are a reminder that
the earth and human beings are inter-related.

We cannot
… we must not
ignore the cry from the earth to care.



For this Planet Earth to survive
… we must care for her.

We must consciously work towards making
Planet Earth sustainable
… for generations to come.


How are you celebrating Earth Day?


Photo & Text © June Maffin
<The rhododendrons are blooming in our front yard.
Thank you, Mother Nature!>


The words of my parents
“You were given a brain.   Use it.”
often surfaced throughout my life.

At the age of fifteen
I decided to leave the church of my youth
which seemed to expect me
to leave my brain at the door.

When I would ask a question
I was told “Do not question”
but to “read the books of our faith.”
I did.

I had more questions
and continued to be told
“Don’t question.”

“Don’t question?”

Isn’t that why I was given a brain?
… to ask questions
… to doubt
… to consider possibilities
… to challenge situations of injustice
… to think for myself
… to come to my own opinion

When I became a parent
I intentionally taught my son to
… research subjects
… be open to learning from others
… discuss what he was learning
… listen to the opinions of others
… come to his own independent opinion

In other words
he was raised to be a thinker
… not simply go with the crowd
… not simply to agree with my views
but to come to his own opinions about
… what is truth
… relationships
… politics
… religion
… abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment
and more.

I like to think that
… reading and doing research
… becoming informed
… respectfully listening to the opinions of others
… discussing and debating
… and eventually coming to our own opinions
is a spiritual responsibility.

We were given and gifted with a brain.
Surely the Giver of the Gift
expects us to use the gift
at all times
and particularly
in these difficult days of
elusive truth.

We must seek truth.
We must pursue truth
even if it alienates us
… from loved ones
… from political party adherence
… from religious tenets





Photo & Text © June Maffin



Tulips are beginning to appear
in fields and yards and stores and homes
like the little pot of tulips placed in the kitchen window.

As their petals gently unfolded in the morning’s light
their reflection in the kitchen window called
“Take our picture!”
and a smile came to my face.

A wonderful way to begin a new day.
But I almost missed it!

I almost missed
that moment of awareness of
… something grace-filled
… something beautiful
… something holy.

I almost missed it
but didn’t
thanks to two little tulips
reflected in the kitchen window.

Thank-you Mother Nature
for this gentle reminder to
… make time for
… be open to
… become available for
Spirit to touch my soul
in grace-filled, beautiful, joy-filled, awe-inspiring, wonder-filled, holy ways.




Photo & Text © June Maffin



The world is a muddy mess.
But children
… children are being children
laughing, dancing, playing “dress-up”
and playing in the mud
as this video shows so well.


This morning
a child strutted past the front window
in her mother’s high heel shoes.

Well, maybe ‘strut’ isn’t the right word
… more like “wobbled.” 🙂
I don’t know about you
but she and the children in this video
brought a smile to my face
hope to my heart

and joy to my soul.

Today begins the Season of Easter
fifty days to
focus on and give thanks for
… not focus on
… but pray for
the world’s Muddy Mess.




Photo & Text © June Maffin



There she was
Easter Sunday
… in the lovely camellia flower bush.

Mama Robin
… quietly, calmly

As much as I wanted to capture
this grace-filled moment
and move the leaves/flowers
for a different perspective
I didn’t want to disrupt her.

So carefully and quietly
took her photo
from where I was.

She was so still.
So intent on her calling
to give birth.

It was a precious

And on Easter Sunday too!

Sometimes Moments-In-Time
are passed by
… unaware of the blessing that could be ours
… unable to experience the awe and wonder
… unappreciative of life
because of fear, worry, anxiety.

Fearing what may happen
… in the tomorrows of life

Worrying about what
… the next hour of the day may bring

Anxious without knowing why
so there is limited ability to see
the joy of Moments-In-Time.

This Easter day
in the midst of palpable fear for their lives
millions around the world
are proclaiming “He is Risen!”

May their joy and hope-filled voices
touch souls
and open eyes, ears, hearts
to Moments-In-Time.



Photo & Text © June Maffin



Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday
… that are being celebrated by millions around the world
… of death and life
poignant reminders
… of the fragility of life.

This pink rose from our garden
is a gentle reminder
of our fragile world
… that needs hope
of our hurting world
… that needs healing
of our fragmented world
… that needs peace.

May it be so.  Amen.
May it be so.  Amen.
May it be so.  Amen.


Photo & Text © june maffin




at times when we felt unloveable
… we have felt unconditional love

at times when our bodies hurt
… we have known gentle healing touch

at times when our minds are confused and stressed
… we have been blessed by peace that passes all understanding

at times when the storms of life have battered us
… we have experienced soft embrace

at times when all we seem to hear is a cacophony of gossip and negativity
… we have known that comforting, encouraging and affirming “still, small Voice”

and at times when life seems bleak
… we have discovered your everpresent Spirit of Hope.

We are humbled and grateful.

In this Holy Week of sorrow and sadness for many
as we reflect and are honest with ourselves
we recognize that there are times
alone or with others when we have experienced
wilderness moments
… when temptation calls us to sow seeds of negativity
in our conversations, emails, thoughts
wilderness moments
… when wild beasts of anger, fear, disillusionment, bitterness, resentment
are ravenous and eat at the core of our personal peace and corporate unity.

Those wild beasts and temptations
can be deadly.

We hope and pray
… to resist the temptations
… to remain steadfast in the face of the wild beasts
… to raise one another up instead of tear one another down
… to be encouraged when we falter
… to have willing hearts to forgive one another
… to be focused on what is good in this world
… and to repent of those moment when we allow temptations and wild beasts
to detract us from being people of joy and hope and peace and love
… of Good News in the world.

hear our prayer.



Photo and Text © June Maffin



An individual prayer may not seem like much.
Neither does one little drop of water
seem like much
… by itself.


But when droplets of water are put together
great things can happen!
Parched dry crops
… become nourished by life-giving rain.
Flowing rivers
… abound with salmon.
Glistening snowflakes
… are a reminder of individual uniquenesses.
Magnificent waterfalls
… bring forth powerful energy.
New life
… emerges from the waters of baptism.


If these can result
when tiny droplets of water come together,
it is awe-inspiring to realize
what can happen
when tiny droplets of prayer
are offered
by millions
around the globe
who are praying.


Praying that individual prayer
can be transformed
into cascading waterfalls
of healing for our world.


Praying that parched and dry discussions
can be watered
by the Living Word
of compassion, kindness and mercy.


Praying that rivers of conversation
can flow
freely, gently and lovingly.

Tiny droplets,
… transform this world!


Watermarked-TinyDropletsText & Photo © June Maffin



‎”On This Day” in 2014, I wrote about the importance of ‘breathing’ and about my friend Trish Taylor who at that time was waiting news that she would receive a double lung transfer. Trish received her surgery and is well thanks to the selfless gift of the donors, an incredible medical team, supportive and loving family and friends and prayer.

I share the original post (on Facebook’s “Soulistry” page below today
for it reminds me of
… the importance of believing in hope
… the gift of breath
… the blessing of life
… and in these difficult days with war possibly on the horizon,
it reminds me to “just breathe” — breathe in ruach; breathe in hope; breathe in life.

April 11, 2014
This afternoon was a time of focusing on breath, ruach, spirit as today was the day for my MRI appointment. Yech. Don’t want to go into that chamber. Claustrophobia – and being in a metal tube with loud noises, strapped in, unable to move – was not something I was looking forward to. At. All.

But, the test needed doing and so I took my own advice and found myself reciting Dame Julian of Norwich’s prayer “All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well” over and over and over. As I focused on my breathing, I focused on the word ‘breathe,’ and gentle images that brought peace to me. In time, my breathing slowed down and the shallow breathing began to lead to healthy from-the-gut breathing.

Soon I found myself focusing on a friend who is not able to breathe as I can breathe. A wonderful calligrapher and human being, Trish Taylor was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis many years ago. It’s hereditary – tragically, her sister died from it. Trish’s lungs are barely functioning and she is now in “wait mode” for a double lung transplant.

So today, as I lay in the MRI, trying to move beyond the panic that was setting in because of the claustrophobia, I thought of Trish – and breathed for, and with, her. Slowly, deep belly breaths. That indescribable connection of “being one with another” in the spiritual sense (we live thousands of miles from one another) can only be described with the words ‘spiritual connection’.

Before I knew it, the 45 minute test was over. I was grateful. Grateful for the connection I felt with Trish during that procedure; grateful that I live in a country where MRI equipment is available; grateful that having that procedure cost me no financial outlay; grateful for DH who drove me there and back; and grateful that the test was over.

Today was a good day for me: the MRI is behind me; I connected with a friend in a very special way; I now know what to expect for the next MRI so it won’t have the power of fear over me; and my DH Hans met me after the procedure with a chocolate bar because Tim Horton’s was out of hot chocolate.

After that procedure – I needed chocolate!    And loving, thoughtful fellow that he is, he had it ready for me. That act of loving kindness reminded me of the banana split that my parents had ready for me whenever I had a tooth extracted as a kid.
Yep, it’s been a good day.

just breathe 4
Text © June Maffin

“Just Breathe” calligraphy © Trish Taylor



I remember the time well.
My place of employment was vandalized – again.
This time, they pushed a hose through the bathroom window next to my office
… turned on the faucet and disappeared.
As the water poured into my office
I could feel the stress rising.

That experience became an apt image
for those “rising-waters-of-life” times
when exterior circumstances are such that I feel flooded with stress.

Are the ‘waters of your life’ rising?
Individual stressors of
… health, finances, relationships
pummel your emotional inner shores?
Global stressors of
… politics, the environment, terrorism
flood your thoughts and sleepless nights, anger issues, depression
further pound your emotions?

Distress robs us of living life to the fullest.
Distress denies us the opportunity to be whole in body, mind and spirit.

If we were honest, we would admit that some distress can be avoided
like caring for our bodies
… driving carefully
… eating sensibly
… getting adequate amounts of rest
… having regular dentist and doctor check-ups
like exercising our minds
… reading
… listening to various kinds of music
… developing a hobby
like nourishing our souls
… savouring the beauty of the world around us
… being humbled by the awareness of the gift of our life
… being appreciative and thankful for the blessings around us.

But, what about the corporate distress waters that are rising quickly these days?
Some would say that little can be done about those types of distress.

But perhaps there is something that can be done.
We can

… exercise our right to vote at each election (municipal, provincial and national)
… cast our ballot for the candidates we think will make a positive difference
in the environment, legal system, health care, educational system, security etc.

Get involved
… become involved in our communities and volunteer our time to community organizations
which work so faithfully at inculcating morals and values in our children and youth
… volunteer our time to those organizations which provide health care and financial resources
to better provide for those with physical and emotional disabilities
… help out with groups who work with and care for our youth, the elderly, the unemployed, the single parent families, the abused, the victimized, the homeless, the hungry etc.

… pray that the evil in our world doesn’t overwhelm us
… pray that the evil in the world doesn’t infiltrate the hearts and minds of our youth
… pray that the evil in the world doesn’t contaminate politicians, corporations and institutions any further.

… pray that goodness will reign
… pray that hope will be experienced
… pray that inner joy will permeate each woman, child, man, youth
… pray that wisdom will be respected
… and pray that peace, not conflict or war
will be the mandate of all governments and societies.

Yes, there is something we can do.

Photo & Text © June Maffin




that are hurtful
… can wound.

Words that are angry
… can bring division.

Words that are false
… can cause confusion and chaos.

Loving Words
… can heal.

Honest and Gentle and Forgiving Words
… can bring reconciliation.

Empathetic and Words of Wisdom
… can breathe hope into seemingly hopeless situations.

If conversations could be
… gracious, loving and life-giving

If conversations could be
… encouraging and affirming and respectful

the gift of listening
… could open hearts and minds
and potential goodness, healing and Love
… beneath the words
could surface.

Actor Robin Williams said
… “Words and actions can change the world.”
May it be so.

Activist Martin Luther King Jr. said
… “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies
but the silence of our friends.”
May friends not be silent.

And civil rights leader Mahatma Gandhi said
“… It is better to have a heart without words
than to have words without a heart.”
May there be
… hearts with words
… words with heart.



Photo and Text © June Maffin
(flowers from our garden)



Ever have a day when memories of someone
who is no longer living
surfaced in your heart and mind?

It’s not their birthday
or any particular occasion that would bring them to mind
yet you feel their presence
and find yourself grateful for the ways
lessons and moments they touched your life.

That’s me 
 remembering my dad, Albert Edward (Eddie) Mack.
Born in England in 1903, he died in Canada in 1981.
He had little formal education
because he had to go to work
when he was only eight
to help support his family.

Yet, in spite of only having a grade three education
he became a voracious reader
stock broker
owner of an antiquities store
art historian
and consultant to the National Art Gallery in Ottawa.

Dad was a gentle man (and gentleman!),
a loving man
a kind man
a romantic
… ohhhh, the love letters he wrote my mother!
and a wonderful ballroom dancer.
When he would turn on the radio
… and take my mom into his arms in our living room
magic happened and we all knew it.

Dad was a polymath.
His expertise spanned a significant number of different subject areas
thanks to his voracious reading, deep sense of curiosity
ability to reason
and eagerness to learn from others.

At the same time, he was a humble man
whose love of his wife, children and grandchildren
(as can be seen by this photo of Dad and my son Tod when he was a toddler),
were foremost in his life.

Dad wasn’t always home as he often traveled for work
but he was always “with us.”
His wisdom, lifestyle, mentoring
(even when we weren’t aware of it)
contributed to make each of us
the people we now are.

We often had serious discussions in our home at dinner
about all sorts of things
including ‘life after death’.”

Some religions state there is life-after-death.
Some cultures believe there is.
Many people hope there is.

No living person knows for certain.
But, if experiences of the presence of loved ones
long after they have died
in ways that are not understood
is any indication
then life after death does exist.

How?   I don’t know.
Yet I choose to believe that
when our mortal life on this planet earth ends,
our spirit continues to live.
And life-after-death
becomes our reality.

That is my belief, my hope, my prayer.

And in the meantime
in the remembering of loved ones who have died
in the silent conversations with loved ones who have died
in the memories that bring gratitude and smiles and joy
they live.





Photo and Text © june maffin





Weeping God,
how you must ache for your people
who face uncertain futures.

How you must ache for those
who enter into conversations and political debate
with open hearts and minds
only to find threats, harassment, fear
governing their decisions.

How you must ache for those
whose love of power
love of money
love of self
supersedes justice, compassion and mercy.

Some have cried
“How long O Lord, how long?
Some have whispered
“Let this cup be taken from us.”
Some continue to remember
though dimly,
that you are with your children even
“in the valley of the shadow of death.”

Many feel a kaleidoscopic tumbling of emotions
and know not
what to do
how to pray
… if to pray
what to say.

Into your hands, Creator-Of-All,
we commend
… our leaders
… our families
… our neighbours in the widest understanding
… ourselves
and our world.


Photo & Text © June Maffin



In these days of uncertainty and fear

May application of the lubricating Hand Lotion of Prayer
soften hearts and provide space for wisdom
… to seep through the soul-pores of politicians.
calm hearts and provide space for peace
… to seep through the pores of our own souls.

May the dryness of dissension and fear and the roughness of rancour
… be soothed by the healing balm application
of the moisture of the Hand Lotion of Prayer.


Photo & Text © June Maffin


It’s been quite a while since I saw this video. The “Soulistry” book had just been published and a young man was exploring the possibility of going into video production as a profession. He put out a query along the lines of “I’ll create a video for you for $5.00 U.S.” so I thought “Maybe I can help him and get word out about the Soulistry book at the same time.

While I’m not enthralled with the music and would rather the “title” of my name were not there, I do like what he came up with ... and for only $5.00 U.S!    Yes, he is now a professional video producer and his fees are … well, waaaayyyy, waaaayyy beyond $5.00.   Even so, I’m delighted that I have this … and that FB’s “On This Day” pulled it up for me out of their library so I could see it again, remember and share it here.





When Mr. Rogers entered his tv home
he would sing “Won’t You Be My Neighbour.

Who is my / our neighbour?
… “Are you my neighbour?”
… “Am I your neighbour?”
… “Are people who live far away my neighbour?”

What about people
… who have a different skin colour
… commit murder
… speak a different language
… who are addicted
… are differently-abled
… have a mental illness
… hold to a different political view
… have vision problems
… are in prison
… have a form of dementia
… live on the street
… interpret religious teachings from a different perspective
… have differently-shaped eyes
… lie
… aren’t in the same ‘class’
… betray confidences
… spell ‘neighbour’ as ‘neighbor’ <g
and the list goes on

As the questions boiled down to one:
“Who is my neighbour”
this acrostic emerged from my meditation:

… not so-close
(because of separation by physical, emotional, geographical distance)
are my neighbours.

E … elderly
(of all ages, religions, nationalities)
are my neighbours.

I … inconspicuous
(in the decision-making society because of disability, poverty, “ism,” addiction,
homelessness, mental illness, terminally-ill, etc.)
are my neighbours.

G … generally-encountered
(at the library, stores, post office, traffic, bank, garage, hairdresser, trades, schools)
are my neighbours.

H … hobby friends who share my interests
(in crafts, sports, recreation, volunteerism)
are my neighbours.

B … born recently; born in the future <aka future generations>
(of all races, religions, nationalities, countries)
are my neighbours.

O … occupational
(people I work with; people I study with)
are my neighbours.

U … unaware of
(the Creator, the Holy, Divine, God, By-Whatever-Name)
are my neighbours.

R … related to me
(by blood, marriage, law)
are my neighbours.

S … society’s alienated
(because of race, sexuality, religion, gender, ability, addiction, illness)
are my neighbours.

If all people are my neighbours,
issues of
… injustice
… discrimination
… care of the environment
… abuse
… “ism”
will surface.

If animals are my neighbours
issues that affect their
… health
… survival
will surface.

Native spirituality
may not refer to trees and plants, water, environment and land
… as ‘neighbours”
yet its call to care for these has inspired
… and continues to inspire
generations of people.

That one word
… neighbour
can be a wonderful starting-point for
… conversation
… prayer
… action
… “who is my neighbour”
… “how am I to treat my neighbour”
… “how do I want my neighbour to treat me”
… “why do I not treat all neighbours in a similar way”
… “am I my brother/sister’s/*neighbour* keeper”

“Won’t you be my neighbour?”



Photo (Qualicum Beach, B.C.)
& Text © June Maffin

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