Announcing “The Cure for Sorrow”!

September 21, 2016

The Cure for Sorrow
A blessing meets us in the place of our deepest loss.
In that place, it gives us a glimpse of wholeness
and claims that wholeness here and now.
—from the Introduction

O my friends. I never hoped to write this book. But here it is, about to make its way into the world this fall.

The Cure for Sorrow is a book of blessings for times of grief. It is infused with everything that has been present to me in the wake of Gary’s death nearly three years ago now. The aching sorrow, the stubborn hope, the anger and bewilderment, the beauty, the wild grace, the unrelenting love: all of it intertwines on every page.

This book acknowledges that mourning is hardly a tidy process. Rather than an orderly, predictable progression of stages, grief is a horribly messy undoing of us. If we can allow ourselves to pay attention to it, grief holds the power to remake us in ways we never imagined. With blessings that speak to the rending of grief, the presence of solace, and the tenacity of hope, The Cure for Sorrow is a companion on that journey.

Most of all, this book is a gift from my broken and hopeful heart to yours. I would love to share it with you.

The Cure for Sorrow will release on November 15. You can pre-order it on Amazon by clicking the cover above or this link: The Cure for Sorrow. It’s available for pre-order in hardcover and on Kindle. On November 15, it will be available also on my website at janrichardson.com, where you will be able to order inscribed copies.

I am so grateful for the ways you continue to be a blessing on my path. Deep peace to you.

Blessing for the Dailiness of Grief

September 16, 2016

Time's GraceImage: Time’s Grace © Jan Richardson

It’s the dailiness of grief that I find most daunting. Morning after morning I wake into a world that does not have Gary in it. I will never find him making breakfast in the kitchen, waiting to enfold me as we begin the day. I will never sit down across from him at the table. I will never call out to him from my studio as he works in his studio. I will never walk into the house and hear him say, Hello, Sweetheart! I will never walk out of the house with him and move together through this world, these moments, this life in the ways we so loved.

And still, it is in those same moments that grace finds me. It is in those same moments that solace steals in, working its way into the everydayness that can be so daunting but in which love still lives, waiting to enfold me as I begin the day. Sitting itself down across from me at the table. Visiting me in the studio. Welcoming me every time I walk into the house and blessing me every time I leave it. Breathing with me as I find new rhythms, new patterns, new doorways in every single day.

Blessing for the Dailiness of Grief

Sorry I am
to say it,
but it is here,
most likely,
you will know the rending
most deeply.

It will take your breath away,
how the grieving waits for you
in the most ordinary moments.

It will wake
with your waking.

It will
sit itself down
with you at the table,
inhabiting the precise shape
of the emptiness
across from you.

It will walk down the street
with you
in the form of
no hand reaching out
to take yours.

It will stand alongside you
in every conversation,
nearly unbearable
in its silence
that fairly screams.

It will
brush its teeth
with you at night
and climb into bed
with you
when finally
you let go
of this day.

Even as it goes
always with you,
it will still manage
to startle you with
its presence,
causing you to weep
when you enter
the empty kitchen
in the morning,
when you spread fresh sheets
on the bed you shared,
when you walk out
through the door
alone
and pass back through it
likewise.

It is here
you will know it best—
in the moments
that made up the rhythm
of your days,
that fashioned the litany
of your life,
the togethering
you will never know
in the same way again.

But I will tell you
it is here, too,
that your solace lies.
It will wait for you
in those same moments
that stun you
with their sorrow.

I cannot tell you how,
but it will not cease
to carry you
in the cadence that has
forever altered
but whose echo will persist
with a stubbornness
that will surprise you,
bearing you along,
breathing with you still
through the terrible
and exquisite
ordinary days.

—Jan Richardson
from a forthcoming book of blessings

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “Time’s Grace,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Blessing for Falling into a New Layer of Grief

August 10, 2016

The Secret RoomImage: The Secret Room © Jan Richardson

It always catches me by surprise when it happens. I’m going along, learning to find my way in this strange terrain that opened to me in the wake of Gary’s death. I’ve gained some acquaintance with the landscape of grief, have listened and looked hard for the new life that’s unfolding here, and have become adept at asking, What do I need now? What’s the invitation here, in this place?

And then, in the landscape that I think I’m coming to know, the ground suddenly falls away. I tumble into territory that doesn’t look familiar. I feel lost all over again, and nearly helpless to know what would help.

I find it difficult to describe this place—this space that can open up as we navigate the strange country of grief. The first time it happened to me, perhaps a year into my grieving, I said to a friend, It feels like some corner of my heart is just getting the news that Gary died. When it happened again, earlier this year, I told that friend it felt like I had fallen—hard—into a new layer of grief, as if I had crashed through a once-solid floor into the room below. For all the strangeness, the falling came with a familiar sensation—that some part of my heart, some hidden recess in one of its chambers, had just received the terrible, heartrending news that Gary was gone.

I sense that this kind of experience has something to do with settling deeper and deeper into the reality of loss—or letting the loss settle more and more deeply into us. When we lose someone with whom we have shared our life, it is impossible to fathom at the outset how utterly this will alter us. We cannot absorb it all at once. And so we learn it little by little, living into the loss a few steps, a few moments, a few breaths at a time.

Once in a while, our grief-laden hearts are ready for larger shifts. It’s rarely pretty when it happens. For me, those are the crashing-through-the-floor times. The helpless weeping times. The times when it feels like part of my heart is just hearing the news. The times when I look at all I’ve done to make a new life, and it feels like ashes because Gary is not here.

The good news—and there is good news here, though it can sometimes take long and long to see it through all the rubble and ash—is that when something in our heart and in our life collapses and crumbles, we fall into new spaces we could hardly have imagined on this side of the crumbling. For all the pain of landing there, those spaces tend also to hold wonders that are waiting for us to find them.

Those spaces make our hearts larger. They widen our hearts beyond anything we could have envisioned. In the crumbling and collapsing and crashing, more of our heart becomes exposed. This means we have more access to our own selves, that there is more of us available to be who we are. We are able to be more present to the life that is unfolding through us, to the grace that lives within the grief, to those around us, and even to our beloved who is gone but who somehow lives in new ways in our expanding heart.

I will tell you, nearly three years now since Gary’s death, that having a bigger heart is small consolation in the face of his absence. But if I have to live with his absence, then I will take the bigger heart. I will pray that I can keep allowing it to open, and open, and open still more, even when the opening feels like crumbling. Even when it feels like falling.

Blessing for Falling into a New Layer of Grief

You thought
you had hit
every layer possible,
that you had found
the far limit
of your sorrow,
of your grief.

Now the world falls
from beneath your feet
all over again,
as if the wound
were opening
for the first time,
only now with
an ache you recognize
as ancient.

Here is the time
for kindness—
your own, to yourself—
as you fall
and fall,
as you land hard
in this layer
that lies deeper than
you ever imagined
you could go.

Think of it as
a secret room—
this space
that has opened
before you,
that has opened
inside you,
though it may look
sharp in every corner
and sinister
no matter where
you turn.

Think of it as
a hidden chamber
in your heart
where you can stay
as long as you need,
where you will
find provision
you never wanted
but on which
your life will now
depend.

I want to tell you
there is treasure
even here—
that the sharp lines
that so match your scars
will lead
to solace;
that this space
that feels so foreign
will become for you
a shelter.

So let yourself fall.
It will not be
the last time,
but do not let this be
cause for fear.

These are the rooms
around which your
new home will grow—
the home of your heart,
the home of your life
that welcomes you
with such completeness,
opening and
opening and
opening itself to you,
no part of you
turned away.

—Jan Richardson
from a forthcoming book of blessings

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “The Secret Room,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Blessing for Getting the News

July 27, 2016

blog-GraceInTheDarkImage: Grace in the Dark © Jan Richardson

It was three years ago this week that we learned Gary had a brain aneurysm. Four months later, at the end of a surgery that should have handily dealt with the aneurysm, Gary’s neurosurgeon stepped into the waiting room and said, It did not go as we expected.

And the world cracked open.

I’m thinking a lot about news these days—news that comes suddenly, news that comes after long waiting, news that we never wanted, news that begins the ending of the life we have known.

I pray such news is far away for you. But when it comes, if it comes, I pray that in the rending, a blessing will be waiting to enfold you.

Blessing for Getting the News

I don’t know
how it will be
for you.

For me,
when the news came—
when it sat down
across from me in the
waiting room
at 4 a.m.,
wearing scrubs and
speaking words awful
and full of
strangeness—
it came with
a humming in
my head,
an endless, echoing buzzing
that would never
entirely leave.

I can hardly tell you
the words the news used—
others would piece that
together for me,
later—
but I can tell you that
in the humming,
a whole other conversation
was happening.

In that conversation,
I remember wanting
to appear calm
while the world
was beginning the rending
from which it
never would return.

In that conversation,
I remember wanting
to be the wife
who could withstand
what the news
was saying to me
even as I could
hardly hear it.

In that conversation,
I remember wanting to ask
if someone could please
get me a blanket already
because I was shaking so hard
I thought I would shatter.

I do not know
how it will be
for you.

But when
the news comes,
may it be attended
by every grace,
including the ones
you will not be able
to see now.

When the news comes,
may there be hands
to enfold and bless,
even when
you cannot receive
their blessing now.

When the news comes,
may the humming
in your head
give way to song,
even if it will be
long and long
before you can
hear it,

before you can
comprehend the love
that latched onto you
in the rending—
the love that bound itself to you
even as it began its leaving
and has never
let you go.

—Jan Richardson
from a forthcoming book of blessings

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “Grace in the Dark,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Blessing When the World Is Ending

July 18, 2016

EndAndBeginningImage: End and Beginning  © Jan Richardson

I was in Ireland when the news came that in Orlando, where I make my home, 49 people had been killed in an attack at Pulse nightclub. It has been such a strange sorrow, returning home to a city so different than the one I left. And yet, watching the care and tenderness with which people have been turning toward each other in the wake of staggering violence, the city seems in many ways even more itself, in that beautiful and terrible way that grief has of bringing to the surface what is deepest in us.

From Ireland, after hearing the news, I shared the “Blessing in a Time of Violence” that I wrote last fall, and I grieved how timely the blessing is, again and again. It has been wonderful and awful to see how that blessing continues to travel, and to hear from folks who, searching for words on the heels of yet another fresh horror in the world, are finding the blessing for the first time.

It is a new week. I enter it with trepidation, wondering what news the coming days might hold. I enter it with wild and stubborn hope, praying we will, in the best possible ways, become even more ourselves.

I am entering the week, too, with another blessing on my mind. This is one that I wrote for my blog The Advent Door a couple of years ago; I included it in my new book, Circle of Grace. I want to share the blessing with you here. In every place where a world is ending, may we turn toward one another with wild and stubborn hope.

Blessing When the World is Ending

Look, the world
is always ending
somewhere.

Somewhere
the sun has come
crashing down.

Somewhere
it has gone
completely dark.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the gun,
the knife,
the fist.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the slammed door,
the shattered hope.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone,
the television,
the hospital room.

Somewhere
it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.

But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.

It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.

This blessing
will not fix you,
will not mend you,
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.

It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins
again.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “End and Beginning,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Lost Blessing

July 13, 2016

Pattern and PathImage: Pattern and Path © Jan Richardson

In a favorite scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, as the crew sails beyond the known world on a quest to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner asks Captain Barbossa for a heading. With a keen eye born of long experience on the sea, Barbossa replies, “Aye, we’re good and lost now.”

“Lost?” Elizabeth Swann asks, clearly unsettled by the relish with which Barbossa has delivered his navigational assessment.

“For sure,” Barbossa assures her, “you have to be lost to find a place that can’t be found, elseways everyone would know where it was.”

It’s one of those frustrating truths of the journey: that sometimes the only sure way to find the place we belong is to let ourselves become good and lost—to allow ourselves to be unsure of the next step, to give up looking for markers and directions, and to wait until a path begins to show itself.

In the liner notes to her CD The Book of Secrets, Loreena McKennitt writes, “In the end, I wonder if one of the most important steps on our journey is the one in which we throw away the map.”

If we ever had a map in the first place.

It can be uncomfortable, at the least, to let ourselves become lost. Letting go of familiar landmarks that have helped us know where and who we are can come with no small amount of pain, even as it opens the possibility of worlds we never imagined.

Of all the experiences I’m navigating on my journey with grief, the sensation of being lost in my own life is one of the most bewildering and difficult. Yet I am finding it also to be a place of remarkable grace. For now, letting myself be lost means letting there be some things in my life that I don’t have to figure out just yet. It means allowing myself plenty of time to be in the studio, exploring new creative directions without an agenda or an impending deadline. It means giving myself time to rest, to wander, and to dream my way toward the next right step.

This is a new blessing born of being in that lost and graced place. Begun during my recent time in Ireland—a place of much solace that has helped me feel a little less lost—”Lost Blessing” will be in my new book of blessings that will be released this fall.

If you are feeling lost in your life, this is for you. Deep peace to you.

Lost Blessing

It doesn’t always
mean to go astray.
But somehow
this blessing knew
it would find you here—

here in this place
where even you
don’t know where
you are.

This blessing
regrets to say
it left its compass
at home.
It is without map,
chart, GPS.
It has hardly
any native sense
of direction.

This blessing
appears to be
nearly useless,
in fact.

But—
and I know
this might not be
encouraging—
it purely loves
getting lost.

This blessing
has learned to breathe
when it has left
every landmark behind,
when it has seen
its last signpost,
when dark has
begun to fall
while it is
still far from home.

This blessing
knows the prayers to say
when it has misplaced
its way,
the chants
that will help it
find the path
where it seems
no path could ever be.

This blessing
is good at finding
fellow travelers.

It loves the company
of the lost,
the wandering,
the confused,
the ones who have been
walking in circles
for days;

loves helping them
find water, shelter,
shade;

loves keeping vigil
so they can
safely rest.

The point of this blessing
is that it has
no real point.

It just wants you to know
you are not alone,
have never been,
will never be—

that it will go with you,
will wander with you
as long as you want,
as long as it takes,
gladly being lost with you
until your way
appears.

—Jan Richardson

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “Pattern and Path,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Blessing for Coming Home to an Empty House

July 6, 2016

ManyRoomsImage: Many Rooms © Jan Richardson

In the two and a half years since Gary’s death, I have had lots of practice at coming home. It’s one of the most difficult practices I’ve ever had to work at. Because our home was a space that Gary and I created together, there is much comfort still to be found here. But that comfort is shot through with the ache of his physical absence from what we created. Every time I cross back over the threshold into our home, whether from a quick errand or a long trip, both the comfort and the ache are waiting here to greet me.

One of my most recent homecomings was just a couple weeks ago, after a wondrous month in Ireland. I spent two weeks traveling with my sister, then stayed on for a stretch to do some work on a new book of blessings.

This is one of the blessings I worked on in Ireland, and I wanted to share it with you. In all your comings and goings, may grace meet you and welcome you home. Peace to you.

Blessing for Coming Home to an Empty House

I know
how every time you return,
you call out
in greeting
to the one
who is not there;
how you lift your voice
not in habit
but in honor
of the absence
so fierce
it has become
its own force.

I know
how the hollow
of the house
echoes in your chest,
how the emptiness
you enter
matches the ache
you carry with you
always.

I know
there are days
when the only thing
more brave than leaving
this house
is coming back to it.

So on those days,
may there be a door
in the emptiness
through which a welcome
waits for you.

On those days,
may you be surprised
by the grace
that gathers itself
within this space.

On those days,
may the delight
that made a home here
find its way to you again,
not merely in memory
but in hope,

so that every word
ever spoken in kindness
circles back to meet you;

so that you may hear
what still sings to you
within these walls;

so that you may know
the love
that dreams with you here
when finally
you give yourself
to rest—

the love
that rises with you,
stubborn like the dawn
that never fails
to come.

—Jan Richardson

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “Many Rooms,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

This Day We Say Grateful: A Sending Blessing

June 24, 2016

WhenFriendsRejoiceBothFarAndNearImage: When Friends Rejoice Both Far and Near © Jan Richardson

In this season, I often find myself thinking of friends in ministry who are on the move—who are leaving the communities they have known and are entering into new forms of ministry as they take new appointments, retire, or go on leave. I wrote a “sending blessing” for one of these friends, Dan Johnson, who recently retired after serving for 22 years as the senior pastor of my home church, Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Florida. The blessing was used to close Dan’s final service there. The church also gave the image above to Dan as a print, beautifully framed with another blessing of mine called “In the Leaving.”

As I continue to navigate my own thresholds in these days, I am so grateful for the chance to offer words and images for those who are finding and making new paths.

If you are in a threshold time, or know someone who is, this blessing is for you. Deep peace to you.

This Day We Say Grateful
A Sending Blessing

It is a strange thing
to be so bound
and so released
all in the same moment,
to feel the heart
open wide
and wider still
even as it turns
to take its leave.

On this day,
let us say
this is simply the way
love moves
in its ceaseless spiraling,
turning us toward
one another,
then sending us
into what waits for us
with arms open wide to us
in welcome
and in hope.

On this day,
in this place
where you have
poured yourself out,
where you have been
emptied
and filled
and emptied again,
may you be aware
more than ever
of what your heart
has opened to
here,
what it has tended
and welcomed
here,
where it has broken
in love and in grief,
where it has given
and received blessing
in the unfathomable mystery
that moves us,
undoes us,
and remakes us
finally
for joy.

This day
may you know
this joy
in full measure.

This day
may you know
this blessing
that gathers you in
and sends you forth
but will not
forget you.

O hear us
as this day
we say
grace;
this day
we say
grateful;
this day
we say
blessing;
this day
we release you
in God’s keeping
and hold you
in gladness
and love.

—Jan Richardson

Using Jan’s artwork…

To use the image “When Friends Rejoice Both Far and Near,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible.

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Easter Sunday: A Blessing for the Rising

March 26, 2016

RisenImage: Risen © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Easter Sunday:
John 20.1-18 or Luke 24.1-12

Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here, but has risen.

—Luke 24.5

Risen
For Easter Day

If you are looking
for a blessing,
do not linger
here.

Here
is only
emptiness,
a hollow,
a husk
where a blessing
used to be.

This blessing
was not content
in its confinement.

It could not abide
its isolation,
the unrelenting silence,
the pressing stench
of death.

So if it is
a blessing
you seek,
open your own
mouth.

Fill your lungs
with the air
this new
morning brings

and then
release it
with a cry.

Hear how the blessing
breaks forth
in your own voice,

how your own lips
form every word
you never dreamed
to say.

See how the blessing
circles back again,
wanting you to
repeat it,
but louder,

how it draws you,
pulls you,
sends you
to proclaim
its only word:

Risen.
Risen.
Risen.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

Using Jan’s artwork…

To use the image “Risen,” please visit this page at janrichardsonimages.com. Your use of janrichardsonimages.com helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible.

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson. janrichardson.com.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

Holy Saturday: In the Breath, Another Breathing

March 25, 2016

Breath Will Come to the Desolate BonesImage: Breath Will Come to the Desolate Bones © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Holy Saturday:
Matthew 27.57-66 or John 19.38-42

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there,
sitting opposite the tomb.
—Matthew 27.61

Holy Saturday.

This day between the dying and the rising.

This day that calls us to hold our anguish and our hope in the same hand.

This day that invites us to marvel that when our heart has been shattered, it somehow manages to keep beating. That we somehow manage to keep breathing.

Still.

In the Breath, Another Breathing
For Holy Saturday

Let it be
that on this day
we will expect
no more of ourselves
than to keep
breathing
with the bewildered
cadence
of lungs that will not
give up the ghost.

Let it be
we will expect
little but
the beating of
our heart,
stubborn in
its repeating rhythm
that will not
cease to sound.

Let it be
we will
still ourselves
enough to hear
what may yet
come to echo:
as if in the breath,
another breathing;
as if in the heartbeat,
another heart.

Let it be
we will not
try to fathom
what comes
to meet us
in the stillness
but simply open
to the approach
of a mystery
we hardly dared
to dream.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace

Using Jan’s artwork…

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Using Jan’s words…
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