Our Collective Journal

August/September 2013


"I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints

in writing of my experience of the goodness of God." 

--John Woolman  


Chapter 14

When has minding the Light

taken you "off the map"?


Crossings, mixed media by Cody F. Miller



Casting Aside a Now-Useless Map

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His likeness, from one degree of glory to the next.”  2 Cor 3:18


“… make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in... [more]



Thrust into the wilderness,    unwilling     terrified      without choice

heels dug in, bloodied as I go       ahead         anyhow

landmarks lost      gone

life cracked     broken     stripped

alone    grieving     lost.


Newness comes

the present moment breaks through

the Now is greater than grieving the past or fearing the future

it demands I see    feel     hear

around me I find  beauty     life     love

and people,    old and dear      and new

Spirit waits, and fills me when I trust enough to breathe again.


I become    full     whole     grateful

capable again to do God’s... [more]


Soul Collage: Upside down in bluebell woods

- Margaret Kellermann


The Loss of a Self Among Other Things


In the spring of 2011, I found joy throughout a rough work situation via solace and outward glow of a new life growing within.  I survived my workdays by patting my stomach and thinking of the little one that would join our family.  Taylor had her own glow as she ran to me, smiled, and hugged me more often than usual.  She could not wait to be a big sister.   


I had... [more]


The Difference

When I was ten months old, we moved to Alaska and I began to live at the edge of wilderness.  First we lived in tiny Skagway, surrounded by towering mountains on three sides.  In Palmer, the mountains filled our living room window, and in turn pulled our gaze back out to their shimmering snowy peaks. Moose wandered in our yard on occasion and we skated clumsily on a nearby frozen pond up the street. Wilderness... [more]


A psalm for the way

Every night it is the same:

           no map, only a handful of trust in You.


I stand at the shore of my life each evening

           while the day’s light flows away from me,

                      all the color pulling down after it

                      until only a dim edge remains,

                                 and then it is gone too.


I fall over the edge of awareness

           as light pulls away

and I drift,... [more]


In Christ, There Was no East nor West, and as Far as I Knew no South or North

As a teen I had directional dyslexia. I always carried dimes for phone calls in case I lost my way. Moving ten times before I turned sixteen may have thrown off my compass. While others might have become more competent travelers due to frequent relocation, I was hardly a trailblazer.


In 1971, I stopped for an unexpected layover in Paris with a group of twenty exchange students heading to Barcelona. All public transportation... [more]


No Such Thing as Too Much Love

I didn’t intend to be a church-goer.  A solid decade since I took on the name “non-believer,” my re-acquaintance with church came via my daughter, who expressed an interest.  Not wanting to repeat my parents’ insistence on homogenous ideas, I played along, finding a church that would allow her to explore her theistic ideas, without instilling the bigotry and dreary doctrines of my youth.  West Hills Friends offered a community of love and acceptance, without... [more]


Navigating Without a Map

On June 3, 2005, my husband Matthew Lyon was killed on his motorcycle by a young woman who pulled suddenly into his lane from a side road.  He was on his way to Oregon Episcopal School, where he taught art and spiritual/philosophical courses.   Matthew and I had been married 21 years. 


I was in my office, waiting for a client, when the doorbell rang.   I went into the waiting room and was elementally shocked to see... [more]



When I was a child, our breakfast nook had two maps of the world:  one was from the 18th Century, the other from the mid-1950s.  I was intrigued by the idea that, through the process of exploration and discovery, we could so improve our understanding of our world.  I decided then that I wanted to be an explorer and discoverer.


Maps tell me about my place in the physical world.  The sense of knowing deeply where... [more]


A Walk to Remember

Sometime after my miscarriage in April 2011, I w as at Midas waiting for an oil change. I had spent at least two weeks sitting in our rocking chair staring blankly, crying, meditating, and communicating with our baby—conveying my deep love and apologizing for my inability to protect.  


At the mechanic, I could sit no longer. I was completely numb and vulnerable. Everything reminded me of my loss. I did not want anyone... [more]


Stepping Off the Map

I always wanted to believe that God listens to prayers and that miracles really happen, but I’m not sure I was convinced until I stepped off the map. I mean this literally in that I had to give up some comforts, travel to very poor countries, and try to make a difference in the medical care in these places.


Sixteen years ago, I traveled to the Peruvian Yearly Meeting with a group of... [more]


My Wilderness

I first felt nudged toward pursuing a career as a mortician about three years ago. I quickly dismissed the idea and went on with my life. Every so often I would feel this thought fluttering on the fringe of my mind, as I thought about what I would do next (when my children started school full time and I planned to go back to work).


The little nudges began to occur with more and more frequency,... [more]


Changing Form

At first

You were my happiness When I felt none

You gave me hope

For something good

And that hope

Brought a secret joy

You were a daughter Or son

A sibling

One we cherished And loved

You were the smile On my face

And the laughter

In your sister's voice.

You were all these things

From the time we knew you were there

Tucked away inside me

Until we understood

So abruptly

That your form had changed

Suddenly my brightly lit cloud Had turned to rain

And with it my joy

Turned to tears.

You... [more]


Soul Collage:  Upside-down in bluebell woods, by Margaret Kellermann

Casting Aside a Now-Useless Map




Soul Collage: Upside down in bluebell woods


The Loss of a Self Among Other Things


The Difference


A psalm for the way


In Christ, There Was no East nor West, and as Far as I Knew no South or North


No Such Thing as Too Much Love


Navigating Without a Map




A Walk to Remember


Stepping Off the Map


My Wilderness


Changing Form