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Stephanie Sugars
Welcome, dear friends and guests!


Expanded election collection - blessings within brokenness

Friend's altar. Being seen and held in love and doing same for others is healing.


You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen

September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016



The election is over, and life goes on.

We will keep bearing witness to the One Being.

We will keep honoring the legacies of the prophets and prophetesses of all lands.

We will keep revering the sacredness of the Earth.

We will keep following the way of remembrance which all religions share.

We will keep pursuing justice for all people.

We will keep recognizing people of all races and persuasions as our sisters and brothers.

We will keep extending our hearts’ goodwill toward everyone, excluding no one.

We will keep witnessing the beauty that is all around us and within us.

We will keep learning the truth of our being.

We will keep working to draw back the curtains of egoism from our eyes.

Life goes on, and we will keep going.

Pir Zia Inayat Khan, Sufi master


Garrison Keillor Reflects on the Presidential Election–And His Teachers

“So he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting “Lock her up” — we elitists just stood and clapped. Nobody chanted “Stronger Together.” It just doesn’t chant.

“The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now. They only wanted to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay — by “us,” I mean librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, birdwatchers, people who make their own pasta, opera goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves, that bunch. The Trumpers exulted in knowing we were tearing our hair out. They had our number, like a bratty kid who knows exactly how to make you grit your teeth and froth at the mouth.

“Alas for the Trump voters, the disasters he will bring on this country will fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who elected him are the vulnerable ones and they will not like what happens next.

“We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids and we Democrats can go for a long brisk walk and smell the roses.

“Back to real life. I went up to my hometown the other day and ran into my gym teacher, Stan Nelson, looking good at 96. He commanded a landing craft at Normandy on June 6, 1944, and never said a word about it back then, just made us do chin-ups whether we wanted to or not. I saw my biology teacher Lyle Bradley, a Marine pilot in the Korean War, still going birdwatching in his 90s. I was not a good student then, but I am studying both of them now. They have seen it all and are still optimistic. The past year of politics has taught us absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. The future is scary. Let the uneducated have their day. I am now going to pay more attention to teachers.”

By Garrison Keillor


International online petition:

The unimaginable has happened. President Trump. Add your voice to the open letter below to make it a manifesto for the next 4 years — then spread it far and wide:

Dear Mr. Trump,

This is not what greatness looks like.

The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you.

Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding.

As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.

[Add your name!]


Our November Surprise: I Predicted the Winner

…I and others like me must find the compassion and courage to join the dispossessed in a struggle for economic justice that’s aimed at the true sources of the problem.

If you’re still with me, you may be asking the vexing question, “What can I do?” For me, the answer begins within, then moves out into the world. I must own up to my fears, confess my ignorance and arrogance, seek forgiveness from those I’ve wronged, practice humility, and learn to listen beneath my own and other people’s political rhetoric for what Howard Thurman called “the sound of the genuine” in each of us. Beneath the shouting, there’s suffering. Beneath the anger, fear. Beneath the threats, broken hearts. Start there and we might get somewhere.

Does that sound like too much to ask of ourselves and each other? Perhaps. But if we can take at least a few steps in that direction, here’s something I know to be true as surely as I knew the Cubs would win: When I draw my last breath, I’ll be glad I tried to summon the better angels of my nature. Maybe you will, too.

As we move from inner work to work in the world, there are myriad answers to “What can I do?” — depending on who we are, where we are, how we are, and what’s within our reach. Perhaps it’s raising a child to be a caring citizen. Or speaking up when the most vulnerable among us are maligned. Or sharing our resources. Or getting more involved politically.

Here’s where many of us get stuck, thinking of how little power we possess compared to the enormity of our nation’s problems. So let’s listen to the wisdom of writer and activist Wendell Berry who reminds us that, when it comes to big problems, there’s never been one big answer, only a million-million little ones.

If you believe that the little thing you’re doing can’t possibly make a big-picture difference, remember Berry’s words:

“We don’t have a right to ask whether we’re going to succeed or not. The only question we have a right to ask is what’s the right thing to do?”

excerpted from


As democracy is perfected, the office of the
president represents, more and more closely,
the inner soul of the people.

On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of
the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and
the White House will be occupied by a downright
fool and complete narcissistic moron.

--H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920


Poems I Love
I want to write of the light
but I do not know
whether words can illuminate
the way it hangs
upon branches and bird wings
and broken things
returning beings to beauty.
Can words spin substance
from sunshine and decay?
Can words cajole
celebration from night-weary
Can words warm surfaces
of stones and sorrows?
Can words reveal richness
in mundane
and battered
I do not know.
But if we would write
a tomorrow
which is wider than wounds
we have worn,
we might wield words
like benedictions
and remember
within brokenness,
within endings,
and beauty
within all things.
-Bernadette Miller


At the end of 2015, I, Stephanie, began a very long conversation at titled “classic blog posts on being with people in crisis/grief/loss/change/whatever” and have continued to post dozens of articles, essays, blog posts, resources, music and poetry and more on the topic. Additionally many others have joined in and co-created a rich topic, that's particularly relevant during this time of crisis, grief, loss and change. is a free online platform for members facing a variety of medical/health problems, who wish to meet others. The “crossing disease boundaries” community is especially rich and dynamic – an opportunity to be with others facing the same, but different, situations. The caregiver community is also a rich source of support.

classic blog posts on being with people in crisis/grief/loss/change/whatever

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