Living Arts Weekly: Meeting

May 20, 2018

All real living is meeting.  -Martin Buber

Quantum entanglement describes how particles in the universe are connected in indescribable ways. Pairs or groups of particles interact in ways in which the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently, even when they are separated by large distances. Albert Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance.”  One particle of an entangled pair is affected by what has happened to the other particle, often with no known means of communication, even when they are light years apart from one another in space.

How do tiny particles at opposite ends of the universe become cosmically entwined? While science searches for answers, it seems to me that Spirit is involved somehow,  as if generated by fire and pollinated by wind, linking different life forms across the vast universe. Today, people who follow a Christian path observe Pentecost (Whitsun), celebrating the Holy Spirit that connects us. Whatever spiritual path you follow, you might agree that sacred mysteries link particles, organisms, and people together in unlikely and complex ways. We resolutely plod along, going our own way, marching to the beat of our own drum, when unexpectedly the cadence changes and we are drawn into the rhythm of another. Parents of newborns commonly share the experience of waking up just before their baby wakes, even when the baby is sleeping in a separate room. A friend or partner who is dear to us experiences heartbreak or good fortune and we feel it just as strongly as if it were happening to us. In our entanglement with the other we are forever changed.

Blessings on all of your “meetings” this week, with colleagues, friends, family members and even perfect strangers.

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly Blog Editor

A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living. – Rudolf Steiner

Nurturing Care

from Kerry Ingram, a mom, foster mom, LifeWays grad, board member and Waldorf trained teacher. She is the founder of Mothering Arts which supports women with all the tools and inspiration they need to create a local postpartum nurturing group. You can find her enjoying the magic of nature with her family and community in northern California.

“No Disclaimer & Full Disclosure”

These sage words were shared at a writing group a few years ago, and little did I know what a big impact they would have. When I work with new moms, loneliness is the shared feeling that I encounter most. Ironic indeed, now that new mothers spend 99.9% of their time with another human being. But moms want to connect with others, they want to share the big feelings, the little moments, the questions and not by someone on a phone or computer screen…someone in real life.

When I first became a mom, I found myself longing for heart to heart connection, too. Funny enough, I started making excuses that actually kept me feeling lonely by keeping people away…maybe some of these disclaimers sound familiar to you, too.

“The house is a mess.”
“My baby is really cranky
“I’m a wreck.”
“I haven’t showered in days.”
“My baby is having an off day.”
“I don’t have any food to offer you.”

All of these disclaimers are really barriers to connection.

If I committed to Full Disclosure, it may have sounded more like this:

“I feel ashamed that I can’t manage to keep my house tidy and care for myself and my baby. I don’t want you to see my imperfection.”

“I have no idea why my baby is crying so much, shouldn’t I know why? I don’t want you to see my imperfection.”

“All of my clothes are covered in spit up, poop, blood or sweat and I don’t know how to get my laundry done and care for my baby. I don’t want you to see my imperfection.”

“How the hell do women find time to take a shower when my baby needs me to hold him, feed him and comfort him 24 hours a day? I don’t want you to see my imperfection.”

“I have changed the baby’s diaper, fed him, rocked and cuddled him but still he cries. What am I doing wrong? I don’t want you to see my imperfection.”

“If you come over, I will not offer you a cup of hot tea or fresh baked gluten free muffins today. I actually thought I would be ‘that mom’ who could. I don’t want you to see my imperfection. P.S. Maybe you could make me a cup of tea.”

If a friend said any of the above vulnerable statements, we would be over with an open heart in a flash. But it is so tender and hard to be seen for what we feel is “imperfect”. Go gently, pick up the phone and open your heart and your front door.

I also want to be clear that I don’t think that inviting in friends and supportive community is the responsibility of a new mama; it is the task of her community to offer care, acknowledgement and resources. I do, however, encourage new moms to practice the art of No Disclaimer & Full Disclosure. The ripple of heart connection and truly being seen serves the well-being of the parents, the families and the community as a whole. Nothing replaces an in-person heart to heart visit.

Practical Activity

Thank you to LifeWays student, Erica Moriarty, for passing along the recipe for Violet Simple Syrup, or what her children call “Spring Potion.”

Here are photos of Erica’s children gathering the violets and making the syrup.

Find the recipe here for this magical liquid, and enjoy it in lemonade or adult beverages! The perfect spring potion to share with friends.

 Creative Exploration

Ladybug on a Violet Leaf

On a heart of leafy green

A tiny fairy can be seen.

She waves to me, and nods, “Good day!”

Then spreads her wings and flies away!

Willow Kits

One misty May morning

By the edges of a stream

Sitting on willow branches

Tiny figures could be seen.


The soft and silvery kittens

Had appeared that very day

And in the warm Spring sunshine

They longed to romp and play.


They had teeny tiny noses,

And teeny tiny paws,

And beady eyes wide open

In wonder at what they saw.


The Lady of the Willow

Beckoned the kittens one and all;

They tumbled to the mossy earth

In answer to her call.


In and out the bushes

That bordered the singing brook

They raced and chased each other

Around every root and nook


At last the Sun began to yawn

And nod his sleepy head;

The Lady called her kittens

To tuck them back in bed.


Up the stems they clambered,

Into leafy nests they leapt

A friendly night-time Wind

Rocked them gently ‘til they slept.

(These simple and sweet rhyming nature stories come to us from Pamela Perkins, who has worked with and for children in various capacities since 1970. A former Waldorf teacher, LifeWays graduate and home provider, she now delights in being with her five granddaughters, plus creating magical needle-felted puppet stories and writing gentle tales to nurture young and old. She lives in the Upper Valley of Vermont, and is working on her new writing project Silver Seedlings – Nurturing Tales for the Young and Young at Heart.)

We love to see the creative ways you share story and rhyme. If you tell these simple rhyme stories to children in your life, send us a video! 

Social Awareness

As we begin our week focused on “meeting the other,” we want call your attention to LifeWays’ fabulous Spring newsletter that came out on Wednesday. It is a wonderful way to feel connected to parents, caregivers, and early childhood professionals who share your values and ideals!  In this edition, we hear from our colleagues all across America, and as far away as South Korea and Iran. We are truly blessed to be part of this growing, dynamic movement! Thank you for being part of our LifeWays community. We are so happy to be “cosmically entangled” with each of you.

Read the Spring Newsletter here!