I was listening to a Podcast interview with Mary Katherine Bateson, the daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson (you can find it here). Also an anthropologist like her parents, as well as a linguist, she spoke beautifully about how when we delineate between spirituality and religion we aren’t asking the right question. Either can be done by rote. And whether spiritual, religious, or neither…the best way to connect to life around us is with a sense of wonder.

I have declared 2021 the year of the wonder-full. 2020 was a reminder of how much I need to do that. I work continuously at gratitude and mindfulness and self-compassion. But I think wonder has wandered off from me and I need to collect it back.

I’ll continue to share what I find. Like the poem “To Have Without Holding” that I just read in Marge Pierce’s The Moon Is Always Female which starts with the stanza:

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

And! Did you know about Dial-A-Poem which has been around since 1968?

“Take down this number,” I’d say. “641-793-8122. Don’t ask questions. Just call it. You’ll love it.”

Other than poetry I am reading Gods Of The Upper Air about the protégés of Franz Boas, which includes Zora Neale Hurston and the aforementioned Margaret Mead, and how they changed the Western paradigms around race, sex, and gender. Charles King writes beautifully and there’s nothing dry about it.

This coming weekend, I’m driving to Comstock to do a day hike to visit some indigenous rock art I’ve been meaning to go see for years. It’s only 3 hours away, why did it take me years?????

And the worlds most perfect bath bomb dropped off for me by an intern who clearly knows me well was exactly the right treat at the right time today, as I have tried to write through an awful headache but still need to make my inner 12 year old laugh.

All are wonder-full.

— Faith

PS- And so I don’t get a text from my editor saying “you put out a newsletter without sharing your latest project????” here is a link for my latest project.