On the Whirlwind

I’ve been doing my best to meditate for twenty minutes each morning  These twenty minutes are always essential, but now more than ever as my life kicks into high gear due to the publication of Hourglass.  My mind — hungry, searching, grasping, anxious, hopeful, eager, comparing, nervous, scanning the future — needs all the help it can get.  It’s easy to get caught up in stuff I can’t control.  To attempt to micromanage the universe.  And, as we know, the universe doesn’t respond so well to micromanaging.

This morning, as I sat in my little room, the house quiet, my husband downstairs in his office, the fluffy white dog sleeping by the closed door, I had the vision of myself sitting on the edge of a cliff.  It wasn’t a scary cliff. The jagged edge, the precipitous drop didn’t feel ominous in my vision.  Instead, I felt lashed by the weather.  I sat still as a statue as the wind howled, the rain pelted me.  I welcomed it.  This too, this too, this too.  When faced with a whirlwind, there are only two options, it seems to me.  Fight it, or ride it. 

I have spent too much of my life afraid.  Thinking small.  Keeping my dreams manageable, making sure not to ask or hope for too much.  This stance was self-protective, adaptive.  If we don’t dream big, we won’t get hurt, or so this way of thinking goes.  A week ago, my husband and I were still in Italy, walking the steep winding paths of Capri with friends.  The next day was my birthday, and it was a day full of joy.  We basked in the afternoon sun in Ravello, and talked about real things, big things, some painful things, surrounded by staggering beauty, as we ate the most delicious food and drank the palest rosé.  This too, this too, this too.  The thing about birthdays, and about publications, is they are markers — a way of reminding us that time is passing.  Are we seizing the moment by living inside of it — by being fully present for whatever is? 


Sometimes when I sit silently in the mornings, I feel tears pricking my eyelids. The deep welling of a lived life rising within me.  All the beauty, all the terror.  This is where I want to stay — right here in the dead center of my inner life as the whirlwind does what it will, what it must. 


  • Pip Brennan

    I love this…we need to push out the edges of our dreams so we can inhabit a bigger space of this too, this too…
    Can’t wait to get hold of the book – have got it on order. I’m a bit too far from New York (Perth, Australia is a bit of a hike…) but hope all the book launch gigs are marvellous

  • lemead

    Oh yes. Right in the dead center of your inner life. Thank you so much for sharing it so bravely and so beautifully with all of us. xox

  • Milagros Wilson

    Dani, I read your book “Hourglass,” although, I almost did not want to read it. I wanted to read it because I read “Devotion” and I liked it a lot. With “Hourglass” I was worried it was a book about Camelot, about how we can all live happily ever after. I needn’t have worried. “Hourglass” was perfect. I love that it was intimate, but not uncomfortably so. It was also personal (it is a book about your life!) but you describe general feelings, natural feelings that I was able to relate to. Thank you. “Hourglass” is going to stay with me for a long while.
    PS. My daughter’s name is Milagros. Mine is Ines Anchondo

  • ayala

    Living in the dead center of your inner life, beautifully said. Thank you for sharing a part of yourself so gracefully. I hope that this book illuminates, inspires and becomes all that you wish it to be. I love it ! xoxx

  • Regina Hugo

    Currently living in one of the most peaceful inhabited spots on earth, Hana in East Maui (also at times on Whidbey Island and at Hedgebrook), yet where human heart resides, the whirlwind wraps close.
    External alarms: Broken wrist! Bloody nose! Stalled car! Missing dog! Tax bill! Rat lungworm disease! Political treachery! Not to mention war, famine, hunger and all the vampires of the apocalypse. When I settle down in my writing hut to look inside, it all
    spews out. Those silent moments of centering are not easy, but precious and
    necessary. Thank you, Dani, for sharing your intimate experience of the knife’s
    edge of daily living, both in your blog and in your courageous meditation on
    time, loss and renewal, Hourglass.

  • Amy Lloyd

    Hi, Dani. I read an excerpt from Hourglass. Like many others it sounds as if your life has not been easy. What gives me hope is the promise in the Bible that God will end suffering and return us to the way we are designed to live and experience life. Revelation 21:4 says, “He (God) will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” This promise is about what humans on earth will experience. When you see all the beauty in nature, human relationships etc., it makes sense that we are designed to live rich full lives void of stress, suffering, regret and pain. I would like you to imagine yourself young again and surrounded by family and friends on a paradise earth that is safe and filled with loving, trusting people. To learn more about what will happen in the near future please go to http://www.jw.org.

    Amy Lloyd

    “What Will God’s Kingdom Accomplish”

    “How To Strengthen Commitment in Marriage”

  • Ellen Holtzman Robin

    Hi Dani – been following your work for a very long time. You are a constant source of inspiration. Your words in the blog ring so true for me. I just love the way you express it. Thanks for sharing- Ellen

  • Cristol Bailey

    Beautifully written post. It’s like sitting beside a braver version of myself, and hearing my own thoughts as spoken words for the first time- thoughts that reflect a reality most of us are trying to ignore ❤️.