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June/July 2010 Volume 63

Welcome to this bi-monthly edition of our newsletter! You will find these columns contained in our June/July issue:

Metaphors for Life
Special Events

I hope you enjoy this issue of Kenosis In-spirations...

Carla Woody, Founder

Metaphors for Life
Many traditions understand the power of teaching through stories. Our minds find a special repository for them. We unconsciously draw from this metaphorical resource bank when we need it most — to guide and nourish us. Here you will find such tales, quotes and prose. As they have come to me, I pass them on to you just as our ancestors have done since the world was young.

Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.

              — Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Life is nothing if not levels of learning, whether we freely enter the Perpetual School or are dragged kicking and screaming into our lessons. We actually have no choice in the matter. In this column, I offer you philosophy, musings and information that you may take with you as they fit into your own lyceum.

By Guest Columnist: Alan Staiger

He called it having the lights out. He meant that there wasn't enough electricity to power the refrigerator and the lights at the same time. The voltages are all different and the wires don't know what to do. A lot of blinking and dimming happens then. They take it all in stride. What else can they do?

Power lines in the sunset

Sunset Towers
Photo credit: Alan Staiger

He’s been here for over five years now. But still thinks it strange when people get upset about a storm, and losing power for a few days. He said, “Why do they get so crazy? It’s not really an emergency. You’re not getting shot at with machine guns, or bombs destroying your whole house. You can always light a candle or go for a walk.”

He came here from Africa, from Sierra Leone. His name is Magnus. And that fits him very well. When I look up at him, he looms on the horizon like a magnificent dark continent. Massive and black as midnight, but when he speaks and shakes my hand, he seems as timid and lost as a puppy that's been dropped out on a country road.

He’s searching for a little understanding, or maybe at least a look in the eye. He arrives wet from the downpour that has saturated his too thin of a jacket. No umbrella and the papers he's carrying are half soaked. But still he pulls them out and asks me if I can help him find some articles on a topic he’s to write about. He traveled half way around the world to kneel on the floor and ask this. I said, “Please pull up a chair, no need to hurt your knees.” And besides that, I think he needs to sit down for a while and gather some strength. Just to breathe and shake off some of that dampness.

Even though he's quite a bit younger than you'd imagine, being from where he's from, adds twenty years to his appearance. But I don't think about his age as much as I feel the handshake that speaks volumes of his journey from that place and the family that he's left so far behind.

It’s not a handshake that most men in this country would offer, or should I say, what they would force on you; one that lets you know unequivocally that they literally have the "upper hand" on you.

His hand is immense, but reaches out to be cradled, and not squeezed into submission; like he's putting his life, his destiny in my hands, to be cared for, at least for these few minutes that he's asking for help.

Between finding articles for him about environmental-justice and Christian faith, we talk about his plans of being a minister and helping his people find the love of God, and how that will make their lives better, even if there isn't enough electricity to brighten a starless night or enough food for babies not to go hungry.

I listen, and give him the articles that I found for him, suggesting he put them in a plastic bag so they won't be ruined by the pouring rain. He smiles and says, “God bless you,” and I return the blessing back to him, as he reaches out and gently puts his hand in mine.

Watching him dissolve back into the bleak night from which he emerged, he feels like a lost ship and the lighthouse all at the same time.

© 2010 Alan Staiger. Essay and photo used with permission.


Alan Staiger is a prolific artist, writer, poet and keen observer of the world around him who meets many intriguing people with interesting stories in his position as a Reference Librarian with the Greene County Public Library. He currently lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


Carla Woody is on a leave of absence but will return with the next issue of Kenosis Inspirations.

Special Events
For more information call Kenosis at (928) 778-1058 or e-mail to request a flyer. If you are interested in sponsoring a book signing or a workshop with Carla Woody, please contact us.

September 18-19   Spirit Keepers Series event featuring Sobonfu Somé, renowned author, activist, Wisdom Keeper of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, West Africa. Sponsored by Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit arm of Kenosis, for Saturday evening talk and Sunday circle. Held in Prescott, Arizona. For complete information, go to the Spirit Keepers Series page.

October 29-31   NLP World Health Conference sponsored by the Institute for the Advanced Studies of Health (IASH). Theme: Modeling Healthy Systems - The Spirit of NLP. Screening of documentary film One World Wisdom written by Carla Woody and co-produced with Bradley Burak.Conference workshop Stoking the Fire: Indigenous Wisdom and NLP with Carla Woody. Many other presenters. Held San Francisco, CA. For more information, email

November 6-7   Spirit Keepers Series event featuring Charlene and Harold Joseph, traditional Hopi Wisdom Keepers of Hopiland in Northern Arizona. Sponsored by Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit arm of Kenosis, for Saturday evening talk and Sunday circle. Held in Prescott, Arizona. For complete information, go to the Spirit Keepers Series page.

January 12-24, 2011   Entering the Maya Mysterieswith Carla Woody, Alonso Mendez and Carol Karasik. Spiritual travel to Mexico visiting hidden sacred places and engaging in nearly extinct ancient ceremonies with Don Antonio Martinez, the last Spirit Keeper of the Lacandón Maya. Group size limited. A Spirit Keepers Journey co-sponsored by Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers. Limited number partial young adult sponsorships available. Early registration until October 22: $2595. After October 22: $2695. Registration costs include automatic donation (tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers) of $295 toward Kenosis Spirit Keepers programs. For more information, contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or

Note: Private groups may be arranged. If you have a group of 8-15, contact us for more information.

This is an adventure of the spirit!

February 26-27, 2011   Spirit Keepers Series event featuring Mona Polacca, Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa elder and member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Sponsored by Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the nonprofit arm of Kenosis, for Saturday evening talk and Sunday circle. Held in Prescott, Arizona. For complete information, go to the Spirit Keepers Series page.

Ongoing   Private Consultation is available with Carla Woody in-person in Prescott, AZ or via telephone. Addressing life direction, relationship, spiritual emergence and whole health. Integrating NLP, subtle energy work and sacred world traditions to make a lasting positive difference.

Contact Kenosis at 928-778-1058 or

More often than not, the publications or music you will find reviewed here will not be new or "bestsellers." Websites or organizations may not be well known. But all are spotlighted by virtue of their impact and value.

From The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse by Hermann Hesse, Compiled by Jack Zipes

Iris is a tribute to a boy’s fascination with a flower he knew as the sword lily, an older man’s deep love and the poignancy of things well known when very young but lost along the way. Hesse’s beautiful use of language in this short story invites us into the depth of the main character’s journey, one we may all take to some degree.

... this was the flower’s mouth, that behind the luxuriant yellow finery in the blue abyss lived her heart and thoughts, and that along this lovely shining path with its glassy veins her breath and dreams flowed to and fro...

This is a tale, an odyssey taken through life of innocent wisdom, distraction, loss — a meandering path that returns to the place it began. Iris will remind us that Hesse is a master storyteller imparting levels of knowledge if we’re ready to receive it. And for those Richard Bach fans it will recall Illusions and others like it.

Iris is a summons to read the complete collection of The Fairy Tales by Herman Hesse. All of the short stories are written between 1904 and 1918. But with titles like The Difficult Path, If the War Continues and A Dream About the Gods, this is also a book for seekers of today. Some things just don’t change.

— Carla Woody

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