Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Friday, November 2, 2012

The Content of Contentment

what is the content
of contentment in your life
what does your heart hold?

I am aware of the round ripe fullness of contentment.

It is spacious; there is a room for sorrow, despair, love, generosity, joy, wisdom, the blood and tears of illness, death, birth and no room at all. This is the content of contentment, all of this and so much more.

I am sitting near our cat Nefesh, soul. Her fur pattern is called smoke. White with black tips, soft as silk, falling out in handfuls, sacrificial cinders on our laps, smoke rising, as we stroke her gently and wisps of hair drift aloft. She is resting now, medicated for an infection we cannot control, resting as comfortably and comforted as possible, we suspect near the opening, where tomorrows come no more.

There is another cat in our basement, rescued by my daughter, the “mother” of our very sick kitty, rescued as Heaven cried, the winds wailed at the cusp of a hurricane. The calico’s belly is ripe with kittens, a red collar, a bendel, a red string of protection, around her neck, no tags.

These two felines seemingly separated by a single story in our house, first floor hospice, basement maternity, are of a single story, the story of life-death-life; a red ring, a collar, a red string, bloody red tears spilling from our Nefi’s bulging, swollen eye, a trickle, a river rushing into the salty sea, evaporating, becoming the essence of life again, full circle.

The moon was full. Tides high, push, pull.

This, this is the content of contentment. Being present to the circumference, the edge, and all that can and cannot be contained, comprehended, bound, free-flowing, naked awareness. The content of contentment is spacious enough, rooms aplenty for what comes and stays, goes and returns again, and at the very same time overfull, ready to burst, gush forth.

This week we will read parshat Vayera. Avraham, sits at the opening of the tent. Hineyni, here I am, sitting at an opening too, perhaps the same one through which eternity extends every generation touching the one before it and the one that will come next, as Heaven cries copious tears, rain soaking the earth for a third day.

And Avraham was visited by three guests (men/angels?). He did what he could to offer them comfort, bowing low to welcome them, providing water, shelter, food…cleansing them. He felt Sacred Presence.

Time inside of time; three days for us, three guests for Avraham. Offering comfort, bowing low to the Mystery of life-death-life, providing water, shelter, food…cleansing all who enter all who leave. Feeling. Feeling Sacred Presence, a halo surrounding, an echo sounding, an emptiness filling all of this… all of this.

And I’m certain, quite certain that God, God’s SELF, cries too through each drop of rain, each tear tinged red, each brimming over red rimmed eye of compassion, of sorrow, of love, the ever flowing, overflowing contents of contentment, full-hearted, round-ripe and pregnant with Presence, hallowed, holy, hollow, sitting at the opening of what simply is.

Thank you to Rabbi Nancy Flam, my spiritual director, teacher, friend who sat and listened to me, with me, the day we took Nefesh to the vet where they lanced her face to release some of the fullness, the pressure of infection beneath her eye.  As Nancy and I sat it came to me that contentment is not necessarily “happiness”… it is much more, it is being present to whatever arises and passes, learning to open compassionately to what simply is. And Nancy in her great wisdom offered the question/thought…”what is the content of contentment?” Above is what poured forth from our session and my lived experience.

We have found a no-kill shelter to take our guest Mamma Cali-Cat. Nefi is miraculously stable, though not out of the woods by any stretch. The swelling is down, the oozing is letting up, and she is eating and purring. So we’ll see, one day, one moment, one breath at a time.

I do hope you will participate in this year's Fourth Annual Mega Mobius Gratitude quilt. Information about how to share your offering, and what this project is can be found in the white box at the top of this blog. There is much for all of us to be grateful for if we listen to the content of our hearts.

linking to:

studio waterstone


  1. there is nothing like the feeling of contentment when is absolutely permeates the soul... love and hugs to you Laura, these words are just right for this day today.

  2. even the word contentment sounds to be wise... to achieve a place in life where one is content with themselves and with what they ahve achieved is the biggest accomplishment.

  3. Excellent! Beautiful header too!

  4. Pergunta e texto que nos fazem pensar...gosto de cliques envolvam a beleza da água. Um abraço!

    O mirante da imagem

  5. Such soul-full words. You leave me with much to think about.

  6. Beautiful photos, delicious drops, excellent B & W.

  7. Oh my gosh Laura, my heart is with you as keep company--and contentment--with Nefesh. Sitting with a beloved being who is suffering is a mitzvah beyond mitzvahs. May her pain be eased and may it be a time of ease for all of you as you wait for what may or may not be. I am so grateful for the companionship of these furry beings. With love, Hannah.

  8. Best wishes for you and Nefi. It's hard when a loved pet is sick. I'm writing this with my dog on my lap.

  9. I like what you say about contentment. It is a learned condition that is available to us if we work for it. And it's so worth it. I am glad you have a good companion in Rabbi Nancy. That is great.

  10. you are a soul friend for sure! entertaining angels. . . sometimes with awareness. . .as here, you wise gal.

    Aloha from Waikiki,
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

    > < } } (°>

    <°)333><( ~


  11. Another beautiful post!

  12. So sad hear about your cat. Three weeks ago Daisy, my yellow Lab passed away. It is heartbreaking. Thinking of you and yours.

  13. I had never thought about it like that.... "contentment is not necessarily “happiness”… it is much more, it is being present to whatever arises and passes" ... even if it brings sadness. Food for thought. Thank you Laura.

  14. I pray your cats will recover rapidly. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  15. Great image ... looks very nice in monochrome!

  16. When my loved cats died one by one of severe virus, I cried like a river. Until now, I still can't have another cat again. Losing three cats in a month was too hard for me.
    Very meaningful post, Laura. Great B&W shots too.

    Thanks for your visit :)

  17. Shaul wrote: But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Tim 6:6)

    Contentment has ceased striving, it accepts what is, and is satisfied. You are blessed.

  18. I like the image of the circle, all that is contained within and all that spills over the circumference, all that enters from the outside. It reminds me of stones dropped in a lake from many different points, and how the concentric circles spread out from each center.

    Your voice is lovely as always, Laura.

  19. Such a wise and tender post. I'm glad to read that Nefesh seems to be improving. It aches deeply to see our beautiful four-legged friends suffer. May she heal fully. And your heart will join in that healing.

  20. Beautiful image. How nice you are rescuing the kitty cat. To be content is to be present. Thanks for sharing! :)

  21. I understand the difference between content and happiness and that is a good thing. xo

  22. Beautiful moody image and words that cause me to ponder... Thank you for sharing on Weekly Top Shot #55!

  23. Very lovely photos, although i can't read all the words in those paragraphs, the title is enough for me to be awed!

  24. Thought-provoking haiku.
    I am glad things are moving on the up-swing for you and the kitties. And I really enjoyed your poem about the hurricane...♥ I will check out the gratitude link.

  25. Tonight,I am content to visit many heartfelt haiku bloggers, content to look at photos that moved other, content to share my own words. Tonight I am grateful to be content with small things.

  26. Such a strong and heartfelt post... and yes, a reminder to be grateful for what we have in life. Thank you.

  27. and i will explore that powerful question today!

  28. What does my heart hold? At the moment, it holds weariness...

    Seven Haiku with Simon


Bright Sparks: