Thursday, April 21, 2022

question








.




what time is it? it is by every star

a different time, and each most falsely true;
or so subhuman superminds declare

— not all their times encompass me and you:

when we are never, but forever now
(hosts of eternity; not guests of seem)
believe me, dear, clocks have enough to do

without confusing timelessness and time.

Time cannot children, poets, lovers tell —
Measure imagine, mystery, a kiss
— not though mankind would rather know than feel:

mistrusting utterly that timelessness

whose absence would make your whole life and my
(and infinite our) merely to undie


—E. E. Cummings
poem


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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Thing Is

 








.



to love life, to love it even 
when you have no stomach for it 
and everything you’ve held dear 
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, 
your throat filled with the silt of it. 
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat 
thickening the air, heavy as water 
more fit for gills than lungs; 
when grief weights you like your own flesh 
only more of it, an obesity of grief, 
you think, How can a body withstand this? 
Then you hold life like a face 
between your palms, a plain face, 
no charming smile, no violet eyes, 
and you say, yes, I will take you 
I will love you, again.



—Ellen Bass



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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved

 


 





.




Not deepest grief,
Of course,
Nothing can help you
With that.
                 Later,
Maybe, but not now.
Now you are unreachable,
Alone with all that was
Awry between you.

Alone with what was said
and not said.
                      Saying it all
Now freely confessing
What you withheld then,
Admitting what you denied
Only a short while ago.

How obvious that you
Were often wrong and unkind.

Aware of all the good
Deeds you intended
That remained undone.
Aware of all the good
Between you 
That Death has undone.


—Gregory Orr 


.     .     .




In the end, everyone is aware of this:
nobody keeps any of what he has,
and life is only a borrowing of bones.


—Pablo Neruda



.
.








Sunday, April 17, 2022

Keeping Quiet, excerpt








.





What I want shouldn’t be confused
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters,
I want nothing to do with death.

If we weren’t unanimous
about keeping our lives so much in motion,
if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.


—Pablo Neruda

 

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Saturday, April 16, 2022

oh





.
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Friday, April 15, 2022

Bright Morning Stars







.




Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Day is a’breaking in my soul

Oh where are our dear fathers
Oh where are our dear fathers
They’re down in the valley a praying
Day is a’breaking in my soul

Oh where are our dear mothers
Oh where are our dear mothers
They’ve gone to heaven a shoutin
Day is a’breaking in my soul

Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Day is a’breaking in my soul


—Emmylou Harris



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Thursday, April 14, 2022

the hardest work







.



Letting go of our suffering is the hardest work we will ever do.
It is also the most fruitful.
 
To heal means to meet ourselves in a new way – in the newness of each moment where all is possible and nothing is limited to the old. 


—Stephen Levine


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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Gestalt at Sixty









.



I am not ready to die,

But I am learning to trust death
As 1 have trusted life.
I am moving
Toward a new freedom
Born of detachment,
And a sweeter grace—
Learning to let go.

I am not ready to die,
But as I approach sixty
I turn my face toward the sea.
I shall go where tides replace time,
Where my world will open to a far horizon.

Over the floating, never-still flux and change.
I shall go with the changes,
I shall look far out over golden grasses
And blue waters….

There are no farewells.

Praise God for His mercies,
For His austere demands,
For His light
And for His darkness.


May Sarton

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

 My Viking, excerpt







.



Say this is your final chapter.

Two, say it’s a quiet chapter, ripe with meaning.

Prime your reader for an ending made soft, 
plush, and instant.


—Angie DeCola


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Monday, April 11, 2022

understanding infinity (kinship)








.




[...] At that moment, there were 3,​147,​740,​103,​497,​276,​498,​750,​208,​327 atoms in her body. Of her total mass, 63.7 percent was oxygen, 21.0 percent carbon, 10.1 percent hydrogen, 2.6 percent nitrogen, 1.4 percent calcium, 1.1 percent phosphorous, plus a smattering of the ninety-odd other chemical elements created in stars.

In the cremation, her water evaporated. Her carbon and nitrogen combined with oxygen to make gaseous carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, which floated skyward and mingled with the air. Most of her calcium and phosphorous baked into a reddish brown residue and scattered in soil and in wind.

Released from their temporary confinement, her atoms slowly spread out and diffused through the atmosphere. In sixty days’ time, they could be found in every handful of air on the planet. In one hundred days, some of her atoms, the vaporous water, had condensed into liquid and returned to the surface as rain, to be drunk and ingested by animals and plants. Some of her atoms were absorbed by light-utilizing organisms and transformed into tissues and tubules and leaves. Some were breathed in by oxygen creatures, incorporated into organs and bone.

Pregnant women ate animals and plants made of her atoms. A year later, babies contained some of her atoms… Several years after her death, millions of children contained some of her atoms. And their children would contain some of her atoms as well. Their minds contained part of her mind.

Will these millions of children, for generations upon future generations, know that some of their atoms cycled through this woman? It is not likely. Will they feel what she felt in her life, will their memories have flickering strokes of her memories, will they recall that moment long ago when she stood by the window, guilt ridden and confused, and watched as the tadr bird circled the cistern? No, it is not possible. Will they have some faint sense of her glimpse of the Void? No, it is not possible. It is not possible. But I will let them have their own brief glimpse of the Void, just at the moment they pass from living to dead, from animate to inanimate, from consciousness to that which has no consciousness. For a moment, they will understand infinity.

And the individual atoms, cycled through her body and then cycled through wind and water and soil, cycled through generations and generations of living creatures and minds, will repeat and connect and make a whole out of parts. Although without memory, they make a memory. Although impermanent, they make a permanence. Although scattered, they make a totality.


—Alan Lightman
Mr. g: A Novel About the Creation, excerpt




.    .    .




Very slowly burning, the big forest tree
stands in the slight hollow of the snow
melted around it by the mild, long
heat of its being and its will to be
root, trunk, branch, leaf, and know
earth dark, sun light, wind touch, bird song.

Rootless and restless and warmblooded, we
blaze in the flare that blinds us to that slow,
tall, fraternal fire of life as strong
now as in the seedling two centuries ago.


—Ursula K. Le Guin
Kinship


.

two of the many gifts from Maria Popova at
The Marginalian (formerly Brainpickings)
do read this one

Pillars of Creation, Eagle Nebula, Messier 16. 
Infrared photograph. NASA / Hubble Space Telescope

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Sunday, April 10, 2022

nursling of the Sky






.

 


I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;

I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.


—Percy Bysshe Shelley
cloud, excerpt


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Friday, April 8, 2022

non-being can never be; being can never not be









.




Never was there a time when i did not exist, or you, or these kings;
nor will there come a time when we cease to be.
Just as, in this body, the Self passes through childhood, youth, and
old age, so after death it passes to another body.
Physical sensations — cold and heat, pleasure and pain — are transient: they come and go; so bear them patiently, Arjuna.
Only the man who is unmoved by any sensations, the wise man
indifferent to pleasure, to pain, is fit for becoming deathless.
Non-being can never be; being can never not be.
Both these statements are obvious to those who have seen the truth. 


—Bhagavad Gita


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Thursday, April 7, 2022

the like is not intelligible save to the like

 










Unless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is not intelligible save to the like. Make yourself grow to a greatness beyond measure, by a bound free yourself from the body; raise yourself above all time, become Eternity; then you will understand God. 

Believe that nothing is impossible for you, think yourself immortal and capable of understanding all, all arts, all sciences, the nature of every living being. Mount higher than the highest height; descend lower than the lowest depth. 

Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created, fire and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in the sea, in the sky, that you are not yet born, in the maternal womb, adolescent, old, dead, beyond death. 

If you embrace in your thought all things at once, times, places, substances, qualities, quantities, you may understand God.


—Giordano Bruno (1548 - 1600)
Italian philosopher and martyr to science 

  
.
Arctic Wolf 
incheye1971
.

 





Wednesday, April 6, 2022

mystery








.




My communion would be incomplete—would, quite simply, not be Christian—if, together with the gains which the new day brings me, I did not also accept, in my own name and in the name of the world as the most immediate sharing in your own being, those processes, hidden or manifest, of enfeeblement, of aging, of death, which unceasingly consume the universe, to its salvation or its condemnation. 

My God, I deliver myself up with utter abandon to those fearful forces of dissolution which, I blindly believe, will this day cause my narrow ego to be replaced by your divine presence.

Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words: This is my Body.  And over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words which express the supreme mystery of faith: This is my Blood.   


—Teilhard de Chardin



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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

look








.




Amidst the worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings.


—Tao Te Ching




.
.







Monday, April 4, 2022

santi, shanti, shanti











The source is within you, 
And this whole world is pouring from it. 


The source is full,
And it’s waters are overflowing. 


Do not grieve, drink your fill,
Don’t think it will ever run dry, this endless ocean.



—Rumi 


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Sunday, April 3, 2022

you are that

 









.



You are Life,
passing through your body,
passing through your mind,
passing through your soul. 

Once you find that out, not with logic, not with the intellect, but because you can feel that Life, you find out that you are the force that makes the flowers open and close, that makes the hummingbird fly from flower to flower. 
You find out that you are in every tree, and you are in every animal, vegetable, and rock. You are that force that moves the wind and the wind breathes through your body.

The whole universe is a living being that is moved by that force, and that is what you are. 
You are Life.


—Don Miguel Ruiz



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Saturday, April 2, 2022

not to worry




 





You are immortal; you have existed for billions of years in different manifestations, because you are Life, and Life cannot die.

You are in the trees, the butterflies, the fish, the air, the moon, the sun.

Wherever you go, you are there, waiting for yourself.


—Don Miguel Ruiz



.
Dariusz Klimczak
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Friday, April 1, 2022

into the strenuous briefness

 






.




into the strenuous briefness
Life:
hand organs and April
darkness, friends

i charge laughing.
Into the hair-thin tints
of yellow dawn,
into the women-colored twilight

i smilingly glide. I
into the big vermilion departure
swim, sayingly;

(Do you think?) the
i do, world
is probably made
of roses &; hello:

(of solongs and, ashes)
 


—E. E. Cummings




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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

she

 





 
.




I think the dead are tender. Shall we kiss?–
My lady laughs, delighting in what is
If she but sighs, a bird puts out its tongue
She makes space lonely with a lovely song
She lilts a low soft language, and I hear
Down long sea-chambers of the inner ear.
 

We sing together; we sing mouth to mouth.
The garden is a river flowing south.
She cries out loud the soul's own secret joy;
She dances, and the ground bears her away.
She knows the speech of light, and makes it plain
A lively thing can come to life again.

I feel her presence in the common day, 
In that slow dark that widens every eye.
She moves as water moves, and comes to me,
Stayed by what was, and pulled by what would be.
 


—Theodore Roethke
 



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Monday, March 28, 2022

sweet impossible








.




From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the joy 
at the bend in the road where we turned toward 
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands, 
from sweet fellowship in the bins, 
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all, 
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside, 
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into 
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live 
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy 
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to 
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.


—Li-Young Lee



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Sunday, March 27, 2022

On Death, without Exaggeration








.




It can’t take a joke, 
find a star, make a bridge. 
It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, 
building ships, or baking cakes.
In our planning for tomorrow, 
it has the final word, 
which is always beside the point.

It can’t even get the things done 
that are part of its trade: 
dig a grave, 
make a coffin, 
clean up after itself.

Preoccupied with killing, 
it does the job awkwardly, 
without system or skill. 
As though each of us were its first kill.

Oh, it has its triumphs, 
but look at its countless defeats, 
missed blows, 
and repeat attempts!

Sometimes it isn’t strong enough 
to swat a fly from the air. 
Many are the caterpillars 
that have outcrawled it.

All those bulbs, pods, 
tentacles, fins, tracheae, 
nuptial plumage, and winter fur 
show that it has fallen behind 
with its halfhearted work.

Ill will won’t help 
and even our lending a hand with wars and coups d’etat 
is so far not enough.

Hearts beat inside eggs. 
Babies’ skeletons grow. 
Seeds, hard at work, sprout their first tiny pair of leaves 
and sometimes even tall trees fall away.

Whoever claims that it’s omnipotent 
is himself living proof 
that it’s not.

There’s no life 
that couldn’t be immortal 
if only for a moment.

Death
always arrives by that very moment too late.

In vain it tugs at the knob 
of the invisible door. 
As far as you’ve come 
can’t be undone.


—Wislawa Szymborska





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Saturday, March 26, 2022

you are that








.



"Let yourself dissolve.
You are one and the same
In joy and sorrow,
Hope and despair,
Life and death.
You are already fulfilled."


—Ashtavakra Gita



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Friday, March 25, 2022

real(ly





.



That which you want to sustain, nourish and maintain by five-elemental stuff, is not you. Since you identify with something unreal, there is the fear of death.

"You," the Absolute, are not the personal I. One who is afraid of time becomes a prey of time. But time itself becomes a prey of that one who is not afraid of it. 

One who transcends time, the beingness and its attributes, abides in the Absolute.


—Nisargadatta



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Thursday, March 24, 2022

worthy of rest








.


  

Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life.
There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye? … I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something.
A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives the span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant… A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.
It is hard work to fill one’s life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.


—Chaim Potok
from The Chosen




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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

be foolishly in love








.




A spirit that lives in this world
and does not wear the shirt of love,
such an existence is a deep disgrace.
Be foolishly in love,
because love is all there is.

There is no way into presence
except through a love exchange.
If someone asks, But what is love?
answer, Dissolving the will.

True freedom comes to those
who have escaped the questions
of freewill and fate.
Love is an emperor.
The two worlds play across him.
He barely notices their tumbling game.

Love and lover live in eternity.
Other desires are substitutes
for that way of being.
How long do you lay embracing a corpse?
Love rather the soul, which cannot be held.

Anything born in spring dies in the fall,
but love is not seasonal.
With wine pressed from grapes,
expect a hangover.
But this love path has no expectations.

You are uneasy riding the body?
Dismount. Travel lighter.
Wings will be given.
Be clear like a mirror
reflecting nothing.

Be clean of pictures and the worry
that comes with images.
Gaze into what is not ashamed
or afraid of any truth.
Contain all human faces in your own
without any judgment of them.

Be pure emptiness.
What is inside that? you ask.
Silence is all I can say.
Lovers have some secrets
That they keep.



.    .    .

   


Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, 

absentminded. Someone sober

will worry about events going badly. 

Let the lover be.


—Rumi
Unseen Rain: Quatrains of Rumi 




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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

from The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making







.



All stories must end so, with the next tale winking out of the corners of the last pages, promising more, promising moonlight and dancing and revels, if only you will come back when spring comes again.


—Catherynne M. Valente



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