tied hands
My thoughts have focussed quite intently on this word ESSENTIAL over the last while. When lockdown closed in on all of us we were constantly reminded of what is essential and what is non-essential. As countries recover from the alleged waves of the pandemic, the lockdown severity is decreased in accordance with the essential nature of services.
(Some would consider that very debatable but that is another matter.)

Prior to the lockdown in South Africa, I was in hospital for surgery and had first hand experience to remind me of the vital role of medical staff. Whenever I heard about frontline staff I thought about the many traumatic sights and sounds I experienced during those eventful five days in hospital. A week after I was discharged the lockdown began. My admiration for medical service providers during my personal experience was reinforced in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.

There was however a shadow side to all this admiration. I began to feel less and less “essential”. I could not save lives. I could not even cook a pot of food for myself let alone contribute to relief efforts struggling to cope with a hunger crisis resulting “from no, work no pay”. My non-essential existence was reinforced with every message that only essential services are required. Childhood experiences have tuned my psychic antenna to search for messages of worthlessness. These had become vital cues to my survival. Many people share those experiences and for those who don’t, there are sufficient messages from modern society fear-mongering us to question our worth. We spend a lifetime trying to prove that our existence matters. Most of that effort is to prove our worth to ourselves. We hope that our skills, money, status will save us from the doom of being worthless.

As I sunk further into feelings of worthlessness, my efforts to validate my existence included thoughts of learning some essential skill at least. These thoughts were involuntary and intrusive. They arose from the unconscious processes over which I have no control. They found their way into my dreams demanding attention. I had a series of such dreams one night in which there were various scenes from the pandemic. In all these scenes there was a common thread – I could not make a contribution no matter how hard I tried. In one scene I was unable to wash the dishes. If I shared these thoughts with friends they will shower me with ideas and reminders that I matter and that I have some contribution to make. I could write an essay on all the wonderful things I have done in the world to argue my worth. I could also write an essay deliberating on what essential really means in a given context. I am not going to do any of that. Instead of dressing up an old wound to make myself feel better, I am going to walk toward this dreaded mirror and face the fear-feeding boggarts like Potter did.

I am going spend time embracing a part of myself I have rejected my entire life. I am going to welcome the part of me that I have fought so hard to banish. I am going to spend this lockdown period with my non-essential self who can’t save lives or cook a pot of food right now. I am going to ask her to forgive me for a lifetime of exile. I am going to forgive her for the silent ways in which she tormented me. I suspect fibromyalgia was one such way given its ruthless way of triggering thoughts of worthlessness. She and I will share stories and find a way to bring the fragments together and form a whole.

I will eventually cook a pot of food for a relief effort and I will sew face masks again. I will use all the skills I have gained over the last 50 years. When I do these things, my non-essential self and I will work together. We will have times when we are of great and admirable service and we will have times when we have nothing to offer anyone. In the productive times she will not be a rejected part of myself. In the idol times she will guide me. Instead of the harsh judgement and questions of self-worth, there will be gifts of wisdom from a part of myself I will have access to. This is what is meant by the Jungian term of integration and wholeness.

I am non-essential as much as I am essential. As the outer-world continues to remind me of my non-essential part, I accept the invitation and pull up a chair at the great mirror. I know this part of myself and now it is time to bring her home from the exile. Though she is not me, she is part of me and without her I cannot be whole.

Michelene Dianne Benson

Pains of initiation and pains of dis-ease


Being a chronic Pisces (lunar Cancer & Cancer Rising) does not make for an easy life but when I get ready for Alchemy and Magick then I love my stars with all my dust. The descent into the dreamworld is as easy as taking a breath and when preparing to facilitate a process, I have a valid excuse to be there so it is free fall. Our personal genius, our truest calling, our dharma is a precious precious gift!!!
It is fascinating to me that in my most authentic state, my (fibromyalgia) pain is in fact at its worst. It challenges the myth that when we do what we love we have spontaneous remission. Sometimes or for some of us the archetypal warrior imagery is more apt. The more the warrior is closer to victory, the greater the pain of the gaping wounds inflicted along the journey. The ego will do many “stranger things” to prevent you from manifesting your deepest calling – your dharma.
Know thyself is a critical armour to understand the difference of the pains that emanate from dis-ease of inauthentic living and the pains of initiation into your highest calling,
Beloved Know Thyself!

Cape Town Drought Diary Post 13

ct drought dairy post 13




I am incredibly emotional as I write this diary entry. My heart overflows with a gratitude that no words could ever explain. Social media is flooded this morning with the most incredible pictures of the water that was saved last night.

As the first drizzles fell in my garden, I blew the shofar as in the days of old. As grateful as I was for the rain, there was an even greater and inexplicable joy welling up in my soul. All over Cape Town, ordinary men, women and children were running with buckets or standing expectantly at the end of a down pipe they had connected to all manner of drums and catchment containers. Some with extravagant harvesting operations and others with ingenious DIY ideas all immersed in hope. I pressed my ear against my rain tank and as expected, when the first drop echoed in the tank and the hollowed place of desire in my soul, my tears flowed. I wept there for a while as gentle rain fell upon my back.

The 9th of February 2018, was the night that water turned to gold in Cape Town. Every little bucket and every massive rain tank and every swimming pool now re-purposed as a reservoir was a treasure to behold. My tears are flowing even as I write this.
Last year, during the Cape storm in June, I was obsessed with harvesting rainwater. I reached points of depression when my activism fell on deaf ears. But I remembered and held onto a pearl of wisdom which says that if you desire a thing enough, it will eventually manifest. Only 8 months later, the picture that seemed impossible then, is now a way of life for the people of Cape Town.

Eight months ago a bucket of water was just that. Last night …. a bucket of water became a bucket of gold! In the ancient practice of alchemy, magicians spend a lifetime trying to perfect the art of turning base metals into gold. Last night the water we have taken for granted and once considered a base resource turned to gold before our eyes. Magic never happens without adversity. All the tales in all the books of all the heroes consistently speak of adversity. The adversity is eventually understood by the hero and becomes a Philosopher’s Stone. The drought has become for many of us a Philosopher’s Stone and enabled us to turn water into gold.

Water is the elixir of life and we have learned that through this drought in Cape Town. I often post about magick and people often don’t understand. The conscious will understand the depth of the great magick taking place in Cape Town. In time we will tell our children and our children’s children of the night the water turned to gold in the city of Cape Town.

Once upon a time in a city where the dams were dry …
#watercrisis #CapeTown #Alchemy #ctdroughtonlinediary

Mantras vs Activism

Mixed race businesswoman practicing yoga in busy urban crosswalkRecently, I shared a video of Brene Brown challenging us to deal with the issues of race, class, gender etc. A contact responded and in her message she explained that she was very poor and now very wealthy helping others because it makes her feel good and that she believed there was “no lack” in the world. She concluded by saying that there was too much division and that we should all just focus on unity and love. My response is way down below lost in a thread on my profile so I decided to give it its own space as the message is important. Also, marginalised people get that kind of response from privileged white folk a lot and we are tired of it. The fact that none of my activist friends responded to it was evidence that it is a stale argument we don’t have time and energy for really. I did respond and I am documenting the response in a separate post because as stale as the argument is, it is real in the minds of the people who have elevated themselves from one challenge and believe that circumstances are purely a matter of personal choice and can be solved with a great mantra. Systemic oppression, invisible violence (see Dr Sarah Malotane Henkeman) and intersectionality are safely tucked away in their blind spots while they laze around lapping up the fortunes of privilege believing it is all earned and deserved.

I was not entirely sure why she decided to share the first two paragraphs of being very poor and now being wealthy so I could only assume. What I assumed was that she was arguing the fact that she attracted all this abundance to herself miraculously because of her belief that there is no lack. It follows that having such a belief was the reason she made it from rags to riches and that her white privilege had nothing to do with it.

As we all know there are many such stories. Many people all over the world have the rags to riches narratives and the Annie story is real for many people. It is most inspirational indeed. There are also many, many victims of child abuse who make it out against the odds and live powerful lives assisting others. There are amazing women who were left for dead by their husbands after a round of blows to the head and they make it out there somehow. The rags to riches story comes in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps many of the Muslim men and women being tormented, kicked down a staircase and burned alive will also have a rags to riches story of sorts in America and other place in the world.

However inspirational these individual circumstances are, I do not for a single moment think that it releases us from the reality of systemic oppression and violence. I surely don’t need to explain that. Systemic oppression and marginalization of black people, gay people, Muslim people, women people etc is a reality that does not disappear because a few people beat the odds. Even in the thick of apartheid, my father after being dispossessed of his land, the vote, education and and and … made it out and became a millionaire and I grew up a wealthy kiddo. I was though still coloured, denied the education the white kids were getting, not allowed to live where I wanted or set foot on the beaches of the privileged and not allowed to vote. There were others with even less privilege than my father with that story too. When a white person makes it out of poverty it is a very different matter – your backpack of privilege tops up and is maxed or close to maxed again!

Instead of saying “oh WE made it out so all you poor ones have to do is practice abundance and then do things that make you feel good,” we took to the streets and took action until Apartheid was abolished. Now that it is, we still have many wealthy black folk and marginalised people who don’t have the backpack of white privilege but we realise apartheid is entrenched in the system. These numbers of wealthy people who were favoured by the abundance mantras as was suggested are but minuscule compared to the majority who live in inhumane conditions through the deliberate systemic maintenance of apartheid. You are free to chant abundance mantras and if you feel that is enough so be it. Others of us are taking action and dealing with the invisible violence that no amount of mantra will change because the structure is set up in a way to privilege white people, male people, straight people, Judeo-Christian people.

This very respondent was very active on social media a while ago protesting against the Christian ethic when she pursued the dark goddess Lilith and I assume she found a way to own self-expression through her abundance mantras. Many women protesting more serious concerns in the world like the right to live are also black and also gay and also Muslim have less in their backpack of privilege. The recognition of that is what motivates me and activists of social change to do more than sit in a corner chanting a mantra. When I look at my backpack I see how easily certain things came to me and that leads me to understand the need for action. It makes me realise that as much as I want to believe that my mantras are powerful, the reality is that life is that much easier for me than a child in Syria, a black girl in Nigeria, a Muslim woman alone on a train station in America, a Sioux man on the reservation harassed by the right white. The list goes on – my backpack of privilege is pretty decked relatively speaking and I have the space and luxury to chant mantras and believe I have a superpower.

While I am chanting mantras I will also break the silence and speak and speak and speak my truth and challenge a system that hands out these backpacks of privilege based on race, class, gender etc. I do this not because it makes me feel good but because it pains me to see the agony and suffering of visible and systemic violence. I do it because my own mantras of calling for peace and harmony have brought me to the light of knowing that (in the words of Ida B Wells) “The way to right the wrongs is to shine the light of truth on them”

Michelene Dianne Benson
#privilege #systemicviolence #whiteprivilege

On this thanksgiving …

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for knowing the truth of the thanksgiving practice

Thankful for those who have spoken up and spoken out and refused to participate in the lies and myths that aimed to cover up genocide

Thankful to know that beneath the lavish festivities lies the shame of our brutality and perpetual cruelty fueled by greed

Thankful to the warriors who took up arms or a word of peace to find solutions and protect their families

Thankful to the mothers who sang the lullabies of hope and truth to the children while the plagues “sent by god” consumed a people and another people gave thanks

Thankful to the medicine women who searched tirelessly to find the herbs and potions to ward off the foreign killers

Thankful for my own anger to the religious masquerade of giving thanks to the god who wiped out those we called savages so that we could take their land and live our dreams

Thankful for my sadness and despair for those in self destructive lifestyles as a result of their rituals and practices destroyed in the name of Christianity

Thankful for the original practice of thanksgiving to the Great Spirit by the first peoples of America

Thankful for the extension of Love and Grace by the first peoples of America to the pilgrims

Thankful for the deep wisdom of the ancestors – the children, the great chiefs and wise women.  A wisdom that survived the genocide and has been preserved throughout the years

Thankful for the women who visit me in my dreams and tell the stories of that time

Thankful for the eagles who remind me of my connection and oneness with the first peoples of America

Thankful to the men and women currently working hard to re-member the traditions and rituals that were plundered and continue to be  plundered through systematic violence

Thankful for the awareness that a voice unheard, silenced or banished will always find expression

Thankful that thanksgiving posts are not limited to turkeys and table decor – some tell the stories that demand to be heard

Thankful for the awareness that we are both our light and our darkness, our shadow and our light, our festivities and our fatalities, our celebrations and our failures, our thanksgiving bounty and thanksgiving brutality, our pride and our shame, our American dream and our American nightmare

Thankful to the Great Spirit who guides us toward healing and truth …


Escaping the laundry for a little soul space – step into your peace

writing deskI flew in this morning after taking my youngest to school.  The mental note I made last night was “You have to start with the laundry early in the morning!”  It was accompanied by reinforcement admonishments to stay off the blog, avoid watching You tube lectures and be sure to apply all the time management rules to avoid distractions.  Well, I have only one response which I pinch from the youth … LOL – Laugh out Loud!  Here I am on the blog and much like a rebellious teenager on social media networking when they are suppose to be studying, I am feeling mischievous and somewhat rebellious. A most wonderful way to access the creative side!

The craziest part of this post is that I have no idea what I am going to write about. I have no great insight and no deep struggle I am working through.  It is just a very average time between the week that has gone and the weekend ahead.  Without my obvious promptings I myself am wondering – why am I being summoned here in what feels like a free writing exercise with no clear goal at all?  The question is even more intriguing because there are days when I have a collection of apparently meaningful prompts and I just never get to blog it.

I do not have to think too much about it though.  I know what calls me here and as the awareness comes to light I realise what the intention for this post is.  What called me to the writing desk is not a prompting of a subject or question but a prompting of my soul for a little space and a time to be.  In the time between the week that has gone by and the weekend that is to come (and the laundry that awaits) there was a deep yearning to be.  The many obligations of the week had me running from pillar to post.  I am sure you can identify with that.  The weekend will be filled with family time and the pressures of pre-exam preparation for the children.  I celebrate with deep gratitude the change of pace of the weekend and the blessings of joy and fellowship it brings as family and friends gather in our home.  For the empath, creative, spiritualist, highly sensitive person this can also be quite a hair raising time.  A time of so much merriment that makes us forget about the need for solitude to maintain our sense of equilibrium.

The beckoning to the writing desk which overlooks my garden-bird sanctuary is an intuitive call of the soul to come away for just a little while.  A time to sit in silence and observe the turtle doves at the birdbath.  A time to create and allow the voice inside a moment of expression.  A time to step into my picture of bliss and my imaginings of what peacefulness looks and feels like.  This is it! This is what it feels like for me .. ahhh! Taking this moment in the time between to be still and create is a moment of deep rest for me.  Perhaps for you it does not involve writing but painting.  For another there may not be a bird sanctuary but a meditation with Tibetan singing bowls. What matters most is that we hear the beckoning of the creative, intuitive, inner self to come away and to step into the picture of what peacefulness looks like and feels like.

We may not have all the resources or the finances to create that picture.  My writing desk looks nothing like the beautiful cover picture of this post.  That is my dream.  The desk I actually use is aaphrodite and sparrows makeshift structure of loose boards on two stacker draw units.  The garden and the birds are real but it was created from odd bits I collected at the garden refuse dump.  The birds, well I think they come for the seeds and to manifest my deep desire for their presence.  With Aphrodite being one of my archetypes it follows that I have sparrows to entertain me.  (Sparrows were considered to be the favourite pet of the Goddess)

I share this with you because I am aware that most of us do not always fill our peaceful spaces and creative areas with things that are meaningful to us.  Most often we’ve seen the interior decorating trend which is nothing but someone’s imagining of what beautiful could be or worse – what we are told to accept as beautiful.  Deeply connected to the teachings of Carl Jung I realise how much my archetypes play a role in my life and so my spaces are filled with things that speak to those aspects of my grandest self.  Question: Who represents the grandest version of yourself? Tip: Try to imagine mythological, fantasy and timeless heroes and heroines.  These will help you discover your archetypes.  They are not idols and we do not worship them.  I don’t believe Aphrodite ever existed but her character and her stories embody some of the grand imaginings of men and women.  My other archetypes include the Wise Woman like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas and so the theme song Colours of the Wind conjures up a very grand version of me.  For good measure, I have a male archetype of the Alchemist too.  These characters inspire me and bring out the best of the best of me.  Who does that for you?  My places of inspiration are filled with things that inspire my soul rather than suit the fashion trend.

A memory of the waiting laundry just flitted through  … LOL!

It helps to have your your picture to be at least somewhat attainable so that you can step into elements of it if not all of it.  If peaceful soul time is to be sailing into the sunset on a magnificent cruise ship it may be a little hard to step into it.  I have a theory that when the picture is truly a desire of the soul and not the ego (with all its demands) we will find it quite easy to create the picture. Distinguish between the picture that will support the soul’s desires and the picture that feeds the cravings of the ego.  Creating an attainable picture enables you to have easy access to physical spaces that are aligned to the emotional and spiritual spaces you desire to experience.  They act as portals that can instantaneously transport you to realms in which your soul can find the relief, restoration,and expression it is calling for.  I just ended up on a magical trip remembering my grandest self as a Goddess of Love and Beauty, a Wise Woman who can paint with all the colours of the wind and an Alchemist with the Midas touch.  All this because a makeshift desk and a bird sanctuary, created from discarded treasures, provide me with a portal to a realm where I can step into peace. Just like the Wardrobe in Narnia allows the children to step into a timeless world where they experience themselves as kings and queens with unlimited potential, so our peaceful spaces act as portals to realms that enable us to do the same.

At some point we find the wardrobe again. We look back at the world of the soul with a smile and come back to the here and now with joy in our hearts.  With this joy in my heart, I close this post, giving thanks for the portal and the moments in the timeless world of the soul.  I am smiling as I leave to go do the laundry …


The language of the world – An alchemist moment

In loving memory of Brother Dan, who first taught me of the Urim and the Thummim and spent many Sabbaths teaching me about Avram’s encounter with Melchizedek at Mamre – Ahava

Caught between my fear that the motorists behind me would, in their rush hour impatience, not appreciate my holding up the traffic and my compelling realisation that this Egyptian Goose needed to get his family across the road, I had no idea of the blessing awaiting me.  With  a long stretched neck it had a funny way of beckoning from the pavement curb.  The six little goslings were pecking at the ground around their mother as little goslings are meant to do early in the morning.  I have seen them every morning and every afternoon that I cross the Princess Vlei (lake) at Roscommon Road.  Every morning and every afternoon they do what geese do.  But this particular morning the father goose had a definite sort of mission as he stood looking at the oncoming traffic.  His family seemed unperturbed continuing to peck in the gritty path as if trusting that he had it sorted.  I thought perhaps he wanted to cross the road and get his family to the other side.  With no cars behind me I stopped – it was after all a pedestrian crossing!  I hoped and prayed quite unrealistically, with all fingers crossed that there would not be another car behind me for a while at least.   I did not at that moment have any idea of how to stop the oncoming traffic in the other lane. But if a person desires a thing enough the universe conspires right?

It was then … in the moments to follow that I had an Alchemist moment.  Motorists unable to hear one another in the rush hour traffic, a father goose needing to take his family across a bridge, six busy little goslings and a mother goose, all … in the midst of a strange silence …  heard the Language of the World. I saw the need of the goose, the woman in the oncoming lane saw my need, the motorist behind me saw my daughter’s need through the windscreen, the Goose trusted all of us to know his need, the goslings knew instinctively where to go and the Gander waddled some steps behind her family nodding elegantly to the left and to the right as she acknowledged us, It seemed as though she understood the needs of human egos and obliged most gracefully.

Being present to the present I received the omen as I crossed the water … in the midst of great danger one can trust when one knows the Language of the World. Normally that road bend seems busy but this morning it all seemed a little calmer and I somehow I think I  was not the only one present to the omen.

I also think that before reading the Alchemist I might have missed this completely attributing it all to my love for animals.  After reading the Alchemist, I have a language for things I always believed in and I feel incredibly blessed.   I realise now that all that happened in all that time was that I knew my omens and I trust I still do. This morning they came as a family of geese – Egyptian Geese and a stream of motorists who used the Language of the World.  I don’t know what they will be tomorrow.  I have though the shalom that the Urim and the Thummim are with me.

Perhaps you will not have Egyptian Geese when your omen arrives.  Perhaps it may not involve elements of danger and many motorists but “All is written by the same hand” or as they say in Egypt, “Muktab” …

May you be present to your omen …

First published in 2012

Unto each their own unique journey

The journey of life is a very unique one indeed.  Our life stories are filled with intricate details, adventures, personalities, circumstances and histories.  The purpose and the meaning of our lives is viewed through all of these to create even more unique flavour to the journey.  There are so many people we can relate to as they share experiences, thoughts and feelings very similar to our own.  Then there are those who we listen to with absolute puzzlement and we wonder how this person operates and where they come from.

In the self development and transformation journey, we each have our own unique course to chart.  Perhaps the most important starting point is willingness to take any journey at all.  Whether we are willing or not life continues to happen all around us and we get swept along by the force of life.  The willing traveller chooses to be part of plotting the course and greets each adventure with intrigue. They see the events of the past, the present and the future as being uniquely designed to bring about every experience, opportunity, failure, loss, joy and sorrow that was required for the growth, healing and transformation of their soul.

The unique course has its own pace, content, duration and intensity.  No journey is more than or less than another.  A journey is only more than or less than itself – meaning, the choices we make will determine how much we enable and participate in a  journey or how much we disable, retard and disembark from a journey.  In honest reflection, most of us can say whether we are participating in our journey or whether we have disembarked and look on with yearning to the horizons of where we might have been, could have loved, should have known.

There is no template course to follow.  No tried and tested sorrow-proof map.  There is no straight line to the treasure because even the treasure is unique.  The answers that provide one with salvation offer another no great help at all.  The insight of one counts for naught to another.  Unto each is their own unique journey…

You took the post right out of my blog … or is it our blog?

It is incredible how many times I have seen a post on a blog or a website which seems to capture my exact thoughts and feelings on a subject or an experience. Normally, I am elated because it means someone has gone through the trouble of capturing my thoughts and expressing my emotions. When they add a great graphic it is a bonus and it adds to my “gems along the way” collections. Although not often, there are times when I feel like they stole my words and cheated me out of expressing it myself. Lately, I am seeing it very differently.

Extremely trying times over the last year have led me to do some intense inner work. Financial challenges and a second divorce have wreaked havoc with fibromyalgia flare ups. These are but a few of the challenges which conspired to direct me to a very dark night of the soul. Thomas Moore in his book Dark Nights of the Soul so aptly describes my experience that I would struggle to choose a quote since every line resonates. However, the post “a different kind of wise” suggests where I am headed here. In this dark night of my soul I was forced to change my intelligence.

I was led through a series of “coincidences” to many great teachers. Among them were the likes of Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Neil Donald Walsche, Gary Zukav and of course Thomas Moore. Sure enough my intelligence changed.

I came to realise how incredibly connected we all are. The extent to which we perceive ourselves as different and separate – black and white, rich and poor, young and old, good and bad seemed more and more bizarre as my understanding opened up. This journey is not an easy one and reading through the chapters on quantum physics required some discipline. The journey is however also very magical. More and more evidence for our deep connectedness manifested. My thoughts and feelings were expressed by others with uncanny accuracy. I found it so much easier to relate to others with complete authenticity but little effort. There were also some intense connections that might have been astral travel or premonition (see the post on Beyond Difference – touching souls).

There is a developmental stage in the life of a toddler where we learn about same and different, me and you. Of course this is necessary and helpful. It is the way we learn not to take Jonny’s lollipop and understand that it’s Suzy’s turn now. Unfortunately, it seems we never move beyond that stage once the purpose of that stage is achieved. We go on focussing on yours and mine and never get to experience “ours”. The authors I have mentioned above all teach about our connection as human beings. Such terms as non-local intelligence, absolute reality, source, high consciousness and non duality all point to our interconnectedness. At the lowest level of thought I see all that is different between us. With more evolved intelligence, the boundaries appear more as mere illusions of the world of relativity. These authors all refer (in some or other way) to the profound work of CG Jung known as the Collective Unconscious.

I now understand why I am seeing my posts on your blogs and why you see yours on mine. The stranger who captures my thoughts with eerie accuracy is no stranger at all. She is intimately known to me and to my experience in our connectedness. The post I have been meaning to write and which will appear in a few days’ time is already being brought into the world of the here and now by an individual I am deeply connected to. I may never meet him but I know him.

Perhaps, with this awareness, it is less a case of my posts on your blogs or your posts on my blog and more a case of the posts of all the world on our global blog. It is given to the writers to record the thoughts. It is given to the musician to sing our songs. It is given to the painter to colour our story. It is given to the dancer to portray our lives. It is given to poets to record our praise and our lamentations.

And so it is that we find ourselves expressed everywhere ….