Ecco Panis

“Where is God? Wherever you let him in.” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, Poland 1787

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti …

Clad in blue-gray woolly plaid, senisble shoes

and pressed, pristine white uniform-blouse

on the morning walk from the dorms to the convent

past the apple orchard, now ripe and dropping its ruby fruit,

past big-eyed, benign cows gently lowing,

walking briskly across that green pasture land and then

into the brown wood rich in conifers,

the piney detritus crunching amiably under foot,

in the single-minded pursuit of

Sister Mary Francis, the kitchen, bread.

… we therefore beseech thee, O Lord, to be appeased, and to receive this offering of our bounden duty, as also of thy whole household …

The romance was not with bread to eat,

but with yeasts to proof, batters to mix,

and dough to knead, and rest, and grow -

that beautiful, mystical living thing you have

before the baking and dying into bread, and with

the clanking music of ovens firing up, pans crashing,

the rhythmic swish and sway of our quiet community

punctuated by the clicking of Sister’s rosary as she

monitors the students and novices at bakers’ tables.

This, the sacred work of those early hours before Mass and school

and the busy business of music lessons and art classes and

the methodical ticking of Liturgical Hours until finally Compline, sleep and

the contemplation of that final sleep and dust-to-dust.

And this being Tuesday, the day to commemorate St. John the Baptist,

and the day to bake our bread for the week to come.

…order our days in thy peace; grant that we be rescued from eternal damnation and counted within the fold of thine elect. Through Christ our Lord …

The next bake day, Thursday, dedicated to the Holy Apostles.

Oh, palpable Presence, we work in the silence of Adoration.

In a quiet alcove

mixing flour, salt, and holy water,

then the fragile process of baking wafers on baking tongs,

silver antiques.

… which offering do thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things …

The wafers from my hand sanctified, bread into body.

Enigma into doubt.

…to bless, consecrate, approve, make reasonable and acceptable

that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ…

Friday, The Cross and Theotokos, Mary

mother of both God and man, Divine and human,

a girl like me, a baker of breads.

…who the day before he suffered took bread into his holy and venerable hands, and with his eyes lifted up to heaven, unto thee, God, his almighty Father, giving thanks to thee …



A lifetime ahead to figure it out …

Ecco Panis.

Take this Bread.

… he blessed, brake, and gave to his disciples saying: Take and eat ye all of this…

from the pastures and the woods, from the sky and stream

from nature’s great cathedrals, everywhere present

… hoc est enim Corpus meum…

for this is my body


© poem ~ 2011, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved



Sacred Space in What You Are Already Doing!

Featured Image -- 40822

Jamie Dedes:

“Unmasking the God who described himself as the world …” Poets, writers, anyone with a soul, don’t miss Terri Stewart’s post on The Bardo Group blog today …

Originally posted on THE BARDO GROUP:

flickr photo by On Being  cc licensed ( BY NC SA )

flickr photo by On Being
cc licensed ( BY NC SA )

Tonight I went to see Dr. Cornel West along with two young men that I work with. We were all inspired by the passionate energy that Dr. West brings to his presentation! Tonight, he was particularly focused on the work of Abraham Joshua Heschel. He describes the arch of Heschel’s work in a way that I totally relate to the Bardo community!


Meaning, personal piety not bound by religious rules but bound by reverence or seeing the sacred worth in all be-ings. For West’s interpretation of Heschel, the pietic leads to the poetic. A poetry that is not grounded in nihilism or optimism, but grounded in hope. He said, Heschel was “not a person of optimism, but a person of hope.” And that Heschel’s hope as expressed in poetry was hope for the world–not just the Hasidic…

View original 481 more words

Among other things, the gift of music …

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.

Native American prayer

Best wishes to those who celebrate holidays at this time of year and a happy new year to everyone. I’m taking three weeks to rest, recoup and regroup and spend time with family, as I know many of you are as well. Meanwhile, there is a rich bank of posts here on poetry and poets and I have left five or so recent poems up. The Bardo Group will continue to post through the holiday season. Thank you all for reading here and for your “likes” and kind comments. I hope you enjoy this beautiful and inspiring holiday video.

See you on January 6, 2014. 

Warmest regards,



The Art of Living Hugely

Carl Jung in USA 1910

Carl Jung in USA 1910

“We must not forget that only a very few people are artists in life, that the art of life is the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts. Who ever succeeded in draining the whole cup with grace? So for many people all too much unlived life remains over— sometimes potentialities which they could never have lived with the best of wills, so that they approach the threshold of old age with unsatisfied demands which inevitably turn their glances backwards.” Carl G. Jung

Through the past several weeks, I have turned my glances backward over the practical space-saving necessity of shedding and shredding many of the notebooks and files of one small lifetime. I found that quote of Jung’s written on note from my younger self to my older self. After some forty or so years, I no longer remember from which of his works it was clipped and I left myself no hint. It might have been from his “Stages of Life.”

The art of life is surely the superior art, but without art – whatever ours is by interest, vocation or avocation – poetry and literature, music, theater, painting or photography – much more of our lives might be “too much unlived” and the glass drained without the hope of any grace. It is art that helps us to savor beauty and to understand – or at the very least sooth – pain.

Jung said further that “The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” We come to a specific art as a lover attracted to what appeals most: words, sound, story, vision. Through these gifts of the spirit our lives are enriched and we practice the art of living hugely.

* * * *

Originally published as SOUL SPEAK with Jamie Dedes, on Niamh Clune’s (On the Plum Tree) wonderful Plum Tree Books Facebook Page. Be sure to visit and pick some plums from her delightful team of writers and artists. It’s an ambitious effort and worth your time. Visit my Poetry/Humanities Facebook Page HERE, a much more modest effort but one that offers its own small ripe gems as well. 

©2013, essay, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Photograph ~ in the U.S. public domain

Do good and poem on …

The world in its diversity is probably celebrating more than these … in any event, hope you had a happy Sunday.


“The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking.” Deepak Chopra




“Respect for the rights of others means peace.” Benito Juarez



 Eat, drink and be merry with moderation for tomorrow is Monday :-)

and thus we begin a new week…

Illustrations ~ the Easter Eggs are the work of Jan Kamenícek and generously released into the public domain; the Cinco de Mayo poster is of the Biblioteca del nino mexicano via the Southern Methodist Univerity, Central Univeristy Library, DeGolyer Library, details HERE.

Toward Healing and Understanding


INTO THE BARDO, A Blogazine is an informal collection of works from diverse and visionary creatives. Our goal is to make – however modestly – a contribution toward healing and understanding. We are a collaboration of writers, poets, story-tellers, artists, musicians, and teachers from around the world.

Our focus is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our posts cover a range of topics: religions and spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, politics and current events, history, art and photography. We cover these topics in the form of essay, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction, music, art, and photography. Generally we offer a new post each day.

We consider that all art is meditation and comes from sacred space. Through their artistic inclinations, the contributors featured express the sacred. Our contributors hail from many places including: England and U.S., the Netherlands and Greece, China and India, Malaysia, Canada and South Africa.

Many different religions are represented on the site as are atheists and agnostics. What we learn in the end is that we hold pretty much the same ideals – though we may express them in different terms – and that we all have the same desire to travel our chosen paths peacefully, to live quietly, and to know that our children will grow up and grow old in a world that is not in conflict.

We’ve learned in our years of blogging that these efforts do evolve. When I started Bardo  more than two years ago, the audience was nil and the focus was narrow: one path, three people, and a wee corner of planet earth. Today  Into the Bardo has a loyal readership, steadily growing and world-wide. The works featured are the gifts of nearly forty poets and writers, photographers and artists . We hope you’ll share our adventures in sacred space and stay with us as we continue to evolve …

We’ve just redesigned the site and expanded our core team of creatives, which is complementary to a group of fine contributors, some known and loved by many of you. Announcements of more additions to the core team will be forthcoming over the next weeks.

HOW DID WE GET OUR NAME AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN? “Bardo” is a Tibetan Buddhist term referring to that place after physical death when our soul is between material manifestations. It might be likened by some (Brother David Steindle-Rast, for one) to the Christian purgatory. Chögyam Trungpa Rinchoche has written of it as the “in between, like a flowing river which belongs neither to this shore nor the other. In other words: it is the present experience, the immediate experience of now.” The expression “into the bardo,” was the name originally selected because the three people initially involved were living with life-threatening illness. Our dear friend, the poet Ann Emerson, died earlier this year. Her work is on “private” until we know the status of her copyright.

Link to Into the Bardo HERE.

Photo credit ~ Our Gravitar – a “golden” Buddha against lovely red damask is the work of our own Wendy Alger. a fine arts photographer.