Jun 032014


There was a freaking bunny here a second ago.

Crawled out of bed at 5 am –  sleepy but hopeful. I just KNEW that today was the day book two was CERTAIN TO COME TOGETHER. It did not come together. In fact, it may have fallen further apart. This is difficult to believe since I only had six words written and three of those words were my name. Writing is hard for me but I have to keep trying because everything else is even harder for me. That is truly my situation.




Also- why doesn’t wisdom ever stick around and take up residence and allow us to keep it and have it forever and build upon it?  Why does wisdom have to come in sudden flashes and then disappear? Why do we learn something true and then forget and then have to relearn the same few truths over and over again every day and month and year and decade forever till we die? It’s like we really only need to know ten true things but we have to keep learning those ten true things fresh and new forever. We are like Dori from Finding Nemo. Being Dori makes spiritual progress difficult.

Wisdom is like the bunny that lives in my front yard. I catch a glimpse of her through my window and I get SO excited and I’m like: “OH MY GOSH! LOOK!!! A BUNNY!  SHE’S RIGHT THERE AND SHE’S LOOKING RIGHT AT ME AND SHE’S SO BEEEEAAAAUUUUAUTIFUL!!!!!! So my kids run over to see and I point- but the bunny is gone already. Nothing but grass in the front yard. And they look at me all sad and annoyed and I’m like, “Huh. That’s weird. I’m pretty sure I saw a bunny. Maybe not, though. Huh.”

That’s wisdom for me. I see and know beauty and truth for just a few moments at a time. Can’t hold onto it.

Maybe the key is just to notice the bunny and be thrilled about the bunny and then describe the bunny as quickly and carefully and precisely as possible and then even after it’s gone – to BELIEVE that you SAW A BUNNY. Even if you have no PROOF. Believe that you saw it. You saw it. For a moment- it was yours. Then you just wait and watch. You keep your eyes open and your heart soft and you prepare yourself to notice and be thrilled by bunnies again.

Weavers’ fingers flying on the loom,
Patterns shift too fast to be discerned.
All these years of thinking
Ended up like this:
In front of all this beauty
Understanding nothing.

– Bruce Cockburn, Understanding Nothing*

 (*Found on the facebook page of one of my heroes…Brian McLaren.)

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  49 Responses to “On Bunnies and Books and Wisdom”

  1. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i
    read this post i thought i could also create comment
    due to this sensible paragraph.

  2. About this new book….I believe in you.


  3. In time. In time. It will all come to you when you are ready and still again. The past year of your life has been …. a whirlwind. Relax. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. And what a beautiful tree that is in your yard! Wow. What a great place to sit and ponder. Look at how it is all intwined. Hugs.
    Your faithful Monkee from the old hood in NOVA.

  4. Re: spritual growth

    I love the Dori analogy. I wish I had her eternal optimism to go with my memory loss!

    I just read Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber (loved it!) and this stood out to me:
    “No one is climbing the spiritual ladder. We don’t continually improve until we are so spiritual we no long need God. We die and are made new, but that’s different from spiritual self-improvement.”
    And she emphasized that we die and are made new through grace over and over again.

  5. Glennon I think that if we had unlimited access to the elusive, we would not recognize the greatness of it for long. So we must continually be alert and aware to the wonders that are always there for us to rediscover each moment.

  6. This is EXACTLY what happened to me. I posted in the previous section about losing 3 years of my life to nothingness. This is why!!!!!!!
    I swore I saw the bunny! But I convinced myself I hadn’t at all, ever or worst yet…I did see it but Would. Never. See. It. Again. So I quit looking and believing.
    I felt like such a FRAUD because I blew so much smoke up people’s asses, especially my children…about how beautiful everything is and how glorious the bunny is and then it just wasn’t anymore. My husband married the girl who can see the bunny!!! Now she can’t. And the days pile up. Pile up.

    I thought it was JUST me! My weird horrible character defect. How could something be so true and transformative and real and then, Fade away.

    I used to believe that maybe after it fades, and then revisits…it’s like each time it comes back to you, and you recognize it, as that same bunny, it’s a little more solid this time, more stabilized and permanent. Like teaching a child her math facts. The first time, 7 x 3 doesn’t go IN. But by the 20th exposure, she’s got it.

    This was wildly right on time.
    Thank you all so very much.

  7. Hmm it sounds to me like the wisdom for the book is there and when the right bunny comes along Dori will notice her. For now, put on your Queen Elsa crown, take a deep breath, and let it go….

  8. Oh I love this. And can relate. Saw a huge, beautiful bunnie not so long ago, but it DID NOT OCCUR TO ME to write what it was like, and now, the words I have to describe it do not seem to be able to live up and my mind is telling me that it’s because there was no bunny. But there was! There was! So now I just keep showing up, longing for another sighting, but not so much that I don’t appreciate the lovely, green, empty lawn… Love xoxo

  9. Yes…I find bunnies in your words so often, Glennon, but then they’re gone (which is more than I can say for the dust bunnies around here). I was seeing quite a lot of them for a while — the wisdom bunnies — but I’m having a difficult time getting them back. Here, bunny bunny bunny!

  10. Glennon, Seems to me you see the bunny for that fleeting moment and then you describe it (“quickly and carefully and precisely”) and BEAUTIFULLY to Monkees everywhere. Those are word photos you’re taking. Momastery is like a freaking bunny photo book! Eyes open and heart soft… yes. You are a bunny magnet.

  11. G – I saw the bunnies today, and they were GORGEOUS. I keep wanting them to sit still so that I can write a beautiful story about them, and then I remember somebody did that already and called it “Watership Down,” and so I start thinking to myself that it is silly for me to write down something that people already know anyway, and if they don’t know yet, they will likely have to figure it out themselves, because it has been my experience that reading about it doesn’t really teach me things so much as remind me of things I already knew somewhere deep down…That said, being a reminder for people does feel like a very exciting prospect, so it is definitely all worth it, but it can be very difficult or very exciting depending on the day.

    I am always rooting for you with enthusiastic run-on sentences. I hope the bunnies sit still for you tomorrow. Much love.

  12. I hear this! :) I always feel this way about my ability to align myself with what i call the “soft-sweet”! Sometimes people can call say some really upsetting things and all I can actually find my way past my defensiveness to see their concern and love…for me, that’s the soft-sweet! Last night, my mom said some things about my daughter and for some reason i couldn’t find the soft sweet for hours!!! When I did, I found some forgiveness for myself for that delay, which I’ve learned from your words, “forever tries”! :) Thank you for everything you do, Glennon!!!

  13. For me, moments of insight/wisdom are like snapshots. I have to put them into actions for them to become embodied. Then I find the shutter staying open longer and longer. But it still has times where it closes. Over time I find I have easier access to opening and closing the shutter. Because, I think, we exist in two dimensions at once….the everyday human, with so much conditioning, and the infinite, eternal one in which the deeper truths reside.

  14. Glennon,

    Elizabeth Gilbert had some great advice on harnessing your “genius.” That it comes and goes and we cannot be held to the standard of greatness at all times. You can find the TED talk by searching “Your Elusive Creative Genius”

  15. There is an awful lot of wisdom to be found in Bruce Cockburn lyrics – I SO love that you quoted one of my very favourite fellow Canucks. Plus, he also wrote and sang the theme song to one of my kids’ favourite cartoons about a talking turtle – “Heeeyy it’s Franklin, Comin’ over to your house….”. So, he’s probably a Monkee :)

  16. We just get stuck inside our mind, it wants to grasp a hold of things so tightly because we do not want to lose them, but we can only truly grasp things when we let them soar. The heart never forgets and does not use the senses our heads do, so rise above the mind and it will all come back to you.

    Maybe start writing to your younger self, perhaps you will see again all the wisdom you have.

  17. Faith is believing in the unprove-able bunny.

  18. I so, so feel this. I’ve been repeating to myself “life is just remembering the things you already know.” But darn it, I keep forgetting. Never remembering, always forgetting. “You are loved” (keep forgetting) “You are good” (REALLY? This can’t be true. Wait it is. Shit.) And I have to wake up each day and forget and remember all over again.

  19. G, I love this post, not only because members of my family have a long-running tradition of saying “I swear, that bunny was RIGHT THERE!” while everyone else shakes their heads in disbelief, but also because of this, which I wrote a few weeks ago.

    “What I write – and live – can be summed up like this: “Caroline forgets that she – & EVERYone else – is irreversibly, unconditionally loved. Then – jubliation! – she remembers.”

    Also, I cannot wait for your next book! Even if it’s only 6 words long, I am STILL psyched. :)

  20. Glennon, I know that you have read some of Pema Chodron’s writings. Her writing has been so helpful to me in recent years in learning to live and accept things as they are as well as to try to come to terms with the fact that this life is not “secure”; it’s constantly changing. This quote about non-striving from Chögyam Trungpa (Pema Chodron’s teacher) was in my inbox this morning & hit home for me. I’m a new mom & experiencing the challenges & worries that motherhood brings with it. I ALWAYS forget to quit striving to be, say, write or do something different or better. But sometimes, like today, something reminds me to just let things be as they are. Sometimes just sitting with thoughts, feelings, situations & doing nothing is so hard!


    We begin to realize that there is a sane, awake quality within us. In fact, this quality manifests itself only in the absence of struggle. So we discover the Third Noble Truth taught by the Buddha, the truth of the goal: that is, non-striving. We need only drop the effort to secure and solidify ourselves, and the awakened state is possible.

  21. I am 65 and thought I was the only one who feels that way. I assumed there was some deep fault in me when I could retain good, valuable, life changing truths when I came across them…somehow I was not sincere enough, deep enough, good enough. I am so relieved, this made my day…but now i’ll have to read it again, because I’ve already forgotten what it said.

  22. Yes to this: “BELIEVE that you SAW A BUNNY”

    And when you do manage to describe the bunny, others can believe and keep watch. This basically sums up part of my reading list (Mary Oliver, Henri Nouwen, Glennon Melton)… I think you’ve seen the bunnies in your front yards, and can help me be mindful of what to look for so I can spot the bunny in my own.

    (I think “the bunny in my yard” may balance out “the log in my eye” metaphor when it comes to reflective epiphanies. Thank goodness for balance.)

  23. Awesome Glennon; me too with seeing a glimpse of a tiny jeweled humming bird, that appeared and disappeared in an instant , then seeing it another day, or was it another one, or did I really see that fleeting thing, or that squirrel we never get round here, or the giant butterfly teasing with its beauty. Look at that butterfly, I tell my lil man and poof, it’s already vanished.
    Yesterday was tough, a ceremony for a strong smart girl graduating 2nd grade w her brave warrior mom, E, who needs all our prayers for her meeting Friday. She showed up at her own school, where she normally teaches, for the ceremony, heart racing, so brave. My heart breaks for her and the politics, how women can hurt, lie, and betray one another.. It’s just plain wrong. Please pray for strength, courage and God’s just love to surround this brave mom.
    I wish I could do a flash mob to show this amazing 12 yr special education teacher how truly awesome she is; she makes such a difference daily in her student’s lives; one who was non verbal, now speaking etc.

  24. did you ever read “so long and thanks for all the fish” by douglas adams? i always remember this one part where the one character is trying to teach the other one how to fly and she says, you just have to forget that you’re trying to fly. the minute you think about it you will fall, but when you think of other things then you start flying. it seems similar to the struggle of writing to me.

    • THIS THIS THIS. Thank you for this. I haven’t read that book, but this is exactly me as a writer. The hard part is being present enough to intentionally stop thinking about it and just let it flow, without obsessing about not thinking about it. Tricky.

  25. This is great. You have such a way of putting things, you find the clever and true and it’s just awesome.

  26. Glennon,
    I wrote you a note the other day that I don’t necessarily want to post publicly at this moment. Will you send me a message with your email address to send this to you? Thanks!

  27. I’m starting to think that is how wisdom is supposed to feel. It’s like a game of golf where we have all these clubs to use, but we only get to use one at a time because that’s all we NEED. Sometimes we need those wisdom-drivers to knock the ball so far down the fairway we can’t see it from our starting spot. Yet, when we get to the putting green we need a different wisdom tool to keep from over-shooting. One day, one moment, one play at a time we will get all the wisdom we need. Take heart, G. It will come exactly when it needs to show up.

  28. Your second book has to be something like a Sunday School guide. Something that has chapters filled with your spiritual insight that we can teach our kids. Church has so much baggage sometimes. I want to expose our kids to the great lessons that are in the bible, but honestly, it’s TOO MUCH. I struggle opening it to find any comfort. But there’s good stuff in there, and I need help giving it to my kids. Chapters: Heaven, Why Jesus, Love Your Neighbor, I Hate My Neighbor, My Neighbor Hates Me, Where is God…..you get the idea.

  29. Im crying because this is so true. I didnt realize others felt this way. I thought I was the only one that second guessed I ever even saw the bunny at all. Its frightening to lose the bunny. But relief washes over me that its not just me.

  30. It sometimes bothers me that my brain can’t come up with things when I want or always hold onto information. But I’ve decided that there is only so much space and what needs to stay, stays, and what needs to go, goes. It is out of my control. Your brain holds and shares so much with us that it’s no wonder it is taking a time out!

    P.S.-I was in your Cincinnati audience, had my picture taken with such anxiety that I’m amazed I didn’t pee on the spot. Your book gave me the courage to seek treatment for an eating disorder 8 weeks ago, and I wanted to thank you. This is hard life work I am undertaking, but I am realizing, I am worth it.

  31. Oh, G, the Dori analogy has more wisdom in it than everything I learned in college.

    I so feel all of this. Every day. When I read and re-read the stack of books by my bedside (including COW), where I’m so clearly looking for answers. Only to be reminded that I’ve already found the answers, but just forgot them. Dori!

    But just know that what you just wrote, and what you write every day, is your book. Every connected word of it!

  32. I will be praying for you. Perhaps you could start by writing about the quotes you have on your desk. I became curious about which 13 Maya quotes you chose and the other ones you keep close. I am a quote collector as well. Thanks for your brave, honest, love wins perseverance. It helps me do the same.

  33. YES! I’ve never thought about it that way before but you’re absolutely right, it’s just flashes. My wisdom tends to come most easily when I’m talking to others about their struggles. I listen intently and Wisdom in all it’s glory comes rushing in and I sense that I’m about to speak truth, but I hush up long enough to hear my friend all the way through, but that’s hard since Wisdom sees things do clearly and simply that I always want to rush in when I feel it and start talking and help my friend. But Wisdom whispers gently to me to hold on-listen first- truth can’t be lost….and then I think YES IT CAN. But somehow, that wise counsel in my head reveals itself at just the right times, in just the right measures, and then like you said POOF it’s gone until the next time. wisdom is like magic like that. You just defined that for me. Thanks, G!

  34. Love it.

  35. This is one of my biggest struggles. I am constantly thinking ‘wait. I know this one’ and can’t come up with what I know. I was kinda hoping when my kids (3 boys, age 3 years, 2 years, 10 days) got older I’d be able to hold more in my brain. But maybe not.
    The book will come, G. =)

    • That happens to me, too. In the moment of chaos and even in a rare quiet reflective moment, I know this one but can’t always pull it out. Maybe it will come back to us, or maybe we’ll just get to know new ones? I hope so.

      Toddlers plus a newborn? I feel like as long as they are mostly fed and safe, then you’re doing a good job, momma.

  36. G, I am totally feeling you on this one. All I can add is what my beloved friend Carrie-Anne used to tell me: “The Buddhists believe that once we’ve learned all of our lessons in this life, we die.”* So, you know, I figure forgetting & re-learning isn’t a bad tradeoff for still being her.

    *p.s. This may be an entirely inaccurate representation of Buddhism, but I’d really like to believe that it’s true.

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