Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from Sonnets to Orpheus II
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on August 4, 2023
Let this darkness be a bell tower
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on April 11, 2023
On a casual spring walk “I am waylaid by Beauty” in the spirit of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. The bursting redbud trees, fluting birdsong, and waving daffodils toss my rambling thoughts to the wind and invite me into their world for a moment of feeling. This feeling has the flavor of something larger and more enduring and hopeful than me, myself, and I. In an instant, I lose my sense of individual self-enclosure and I go wide, feeling the world as part of myself and more than myself. Such simple spring beauty connects me with the very tenderness of God, and it feeds me for hours, days, a lifetime.
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on November 19, 2022
“There is the music of Heaven in all things.”
— Hildegard of Bingen
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on September 20, 2022
As millions of people world-wide mourn the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, I remember her beautiful Christmas message from 2015. As the head of the Church of England, she was a devoted Christian, but her words of unity, hope, and love surely resonated with many people, including those who do not share her faith:
“It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. . . .’ Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ's unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another.”
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on July 14, 2022
I rock. Everyday. Sometimes twice a day — every time I get a chance. I particularly like to rock in the dark, before bedtime, as it works better than sleeping pills. My rocking chair has become my favorite place to read, to dream, to chat with a friend, to listen to music, to drink tea — carefully — and yes, to meditate. I rock away stress, bad news, obsessive thoughts, back pain, and the despair of this world.
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on March 19, 2022
"The sunflower is mine."
—Vincent van Gogh
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on February 25, 2022
Over two centuries ago, a 19-year-old man left France to follow his dream of joining the fight for freedom in the American Revolution. Against the will of the French King, the Marquis de Lafayette procured his own sailing ship to take him to America. Some called him foolish, but soon he was called a hero, and eventually he brought France into the war. Without him, it is unlikely we would have won our independence.
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on October 12, 2021
"All things in the universe want to be heard."
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spiritual Literacy
Listening may be the key to unlocking the doors that separate us, to gaining wisdom, to communing with birdsong, and finding intense joy in music — but make no mistake: listening is hard work. I preach sermons every Sunday, and I am well aware that if I go over twelve minutes, no matter how scintillatingly or profound I imagine my words to be, my flock will (if still awake) become restless and dreamy, some playing with lunch possibilities or recipes in their heads. How do I know this? Because when I am in the pew, that's exactly what I do — food taking up an excessive amount of space in my head.
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on September 27, 2021
In Alan Gorden's new book, The Way Out: A Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven Approach to Healing Chronic Pain, he speaks of "catching your fears" as part of his therapy. Gordon demonstrates through neuroscience, case studies, and storytelling that fear plays a huge role in most chronic pain. Fear can create pain, he says. Learning how to be aware of our fears, observing them, and "catching" them before they get too cozy inside us may be the very image many of us need, chronic pain or not.
Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on July 28, 2021
The first step on a spiritual path today is a return to a sense of one's own body.
— Martha Heyneman
About This Blog
Welcome to Process Musings for the spiritually curious, the creative, and the open-hearted. We, Jay McDaniel and Patricia Adams Farmer, are two bloggers from the world of process thought, inspired by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. This multi-faith blog features articles, essays, stories, videos, and poetry which invite you to discover fresh possibilities for wholeness, creativity, and joy. Read more.