YES moments

This is the subject line of the most recently received email in my Gmail account. It’s an invitation to share the stories and photos of participation in the ‘yes campaign’ for the now-closed Australian Marriage Law Survey.

But this phrase, YES moments, presents a bigger invitation to me – it invites me to listen to the many moments in any given day to which I can assent. Today is a perfect spring day in Melbourne, sunny and still. As I write, the sound of chirping birds and trickling water waft into the house through an open door.

While my mind is focused on preparation for upcoming meetings, problems to resolve, things to do, Spring invites me to pause, to acknowledge the YES that I can hear within.

There’s power in these YES moments, power to lift our spirits, remind us of what’s important, encourage us to go on.


Quantum Entanglement Meets Mindfulness

Did you see the news report last week that announced that “Chinese scientists have used satellite technology for the first time to generate and transmit entangled photons — particles of light — across a record distance of 1,200 kilometres on Earth”? This is more than 10 times the distance previously achieved using land-based fibre optic technologies.


“A cornerstone of quantum physics is a process called entanglement, where the properties of two particles — such as spin, position and momentum — intimately affect each other, even when those particles are separated by large distances.”

Last year, I attended a silent retreat which introduced me to the idea of quantum entanglement as a way to understand how prayer ‘works’, especially contemplative prayer. As we observe the way things are and prayerfully contemplate how they should be, praying for healing and wholeness in our world, this affects the object of our prayer. When we pray in this way together and agree on what we know is God’s way, we unleash a power that affects the other.

I recently attended another silent retreat with the enigmatic title of ‘One’. Here, I was introduced to these words from Teilhard de Chardin, French philosopher and Jesuit priest (1881-1955):

We are ONE,
after all,
You and I,
together we suffer,
together exist
and forever will
recreate each other.

They come together in my mind with the idea of quantum entanglement. The more I observe the other as one with me, the more I understand that my actions forever impact the other and vice versa. The expressions of hatred and violence in the world, while removed from me, none-the-less affect me. They chip away at our common humanity.

Conversely, every action of mine that works towards the healing and wholeness of the other has the power to do good, even if I can’t see any change.

The very action of publishing this spins, positions and sets off a momentum that affects the other, further calling me to the discipline of mindfulness.

I invite you to ponder this with me; we have the power to bring change to our world.

Lost and Getting Lost

I was three quarters of the way through the book Out of the Ice, when I lost it.

It happened at the Melbourne Airport. I carried it into the airport, took it through the scanners, read it while I sipped on coffee, left it in the bathroom, retrieved it again, and stuffed it in my handbag (against both of their wills) when my pick-up arrived.

That’s the last I saw of it; when I got home, it was no longer in my bag, or my car.

I was enjoying that book, it’s described as ‘a tense, eerie thriller set in the icy reaches of Antarctica‘ and it was living up to its billing. Did Laura really see a boy trapped behind a wall of ice in a cave? Can she really trust that young man (whose name I already forget, but who appears so friendly)?

I googled the local library. They didn’t have it on their shelves, but one of their sister libraries did; I placed a hold. It took over a week to arrive, but finally I got the email to say I could pick it up.

I checked it out on Thursday last week and took it with me to a medical appointment at Melbourne Private Hospital. In the tram on the way in, I found the chapter where I had left off and read the next. The mystery deepened.

I arrived in time to go the bathroom, locate where I was going, announce myself and debate with the receptionist about whether I needed a new referral.

That’s when it hit me: The book! The bathroom!

This time, there was no retrieval.

I’ve cut my losses, marked that book as ‘read’ on Goodreads and laughed over the story with my friends.

‘I can’t believe I’ve lost it twice,’ I say, ‘I guess I’m just not meant to know how it ends.’ (Don’t tell me!)

‘If I had a copy, I wouldn’t lend it to you,’ someone replies.

More laughter.

But deeper down, I know it’s symptomatic.

And I hear the call – again – to be more aware, to practice mindfulness, to pay attention, to slow down.



A Time to De-Clutter


Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!

Advent is a time of preparation and way-clearing. It is a time to de-clutter. This is a tough call when everything around us calls us to come, to buy, to add more.

I suffer from piles: I let things and stuff pile up around me. The desk where I write is frequently covered with books and papers, lists and notes. My sewing cabinet is always open and littered with patterns and fabrics, pins and threads. The coffee table beside my chair in the living room is piled high with books and journals and things to which I need/should/must pay attention.

I know that this external clutter has a flow-on effect internally. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the higher the piles, the more likely I am to miss the exit off the freeway (which I did twice last week).

So, in preparation for Advent, I’ve cleared out my study. As I type this, the window in front of me is clean, I can see the desktop, only my sewing machine sits on the sewing cabinet, and a candle is burning. I still have a busy week ahead, but this external order calms me.

It helps to prepare the way.

Advent Dawns


Advent: noun, a coming into place, view, or being; arrival
Macquarie Dictionary

When God comes
comes again:
maybe an Indian this time
or a Bantu (what do I know?)

When God comes
comes again:
maybe a woman this time
or even a woman-and-man
a couple.

When God comes
comes again:
maybe in the many
the new society
where justice dwells.

When God comes
comes again:
maybe the city of God
the land of the goddess of
reconciliation between
people and nature.

When God comes
comes again:
from one end of the earth
to the other.

This Kurt Marti poem in Flowing Streams: an Anthology of Anthologies seems a good place to start as another Advent season dawns.

It invites us to notice God in the unexpected and the unlikely, in the spaces between what we long for and what is.

Advent calls us to wake up, to be present and to clear a pathway for the coming of God.

Twice this week, I drove past the freeway exit that takes me home. Yes, I hear the call to pay attention!

Advent calls us to mindfulness.

When God comes
comes again:
maybe …