Sunday Morning: The Sabbath, the day of rest

Oliver-Sacks

In February, I felt I had to be equally open about my cancer — and facing death. I was, in fact, in the hospital when my essay on this, “My Own Life,” was published in this newspaper. In July I wrote another piece for the paper, “My Periodic Table,” in which the physical cosmos, and the elements I loved, took on lives of their own.

And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.

~ Oliver Sacks: Sabbath. The Seventh Day of the Week. The Seventh Day of Life

Postscript:

Oliver Sacks died this morning. He was 82 years old. His work here is done and may he now rest in peace.

The story in NY Times: Oliver Sacks Dies at 82; Neurologist and Author Explored the Brain’s Quirks


Notes:

Saturday Morning

woman-rest-white-eye-lash

What in your life is calling you,
When all the noise is silenced,
The meetings adjourned…
The lists laid aside,
And the Wild Iris blooms
By itself
In the dark forest…
What still pulls on your soul?

~ Rumi ((1207 – 1273)


Credits: Image Source: Mennyfox55. Poem: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Sunday Morning

chapel-church-silence-alone-solitude

Perhaps we wouldn’t need chapels if our lives were already clear and calm (a saint or a Jesus may never need to go into a church; he’s always carrying one inside himself). Chapels are emergency rooms for the soul. They are the one place we can reliably go to find who we are and what we should be doing with our own lives—usually by finding all we aren’t, and what is much greater than us, to which we can only give ourselves up.

“I like the silent church,” Emerson wrote, “before the service begins.”

~ Pico Iyer, Where Silence is Sacred


Image: Groteleur

 

Saturday Morning: Zen Dogs

dog-zen-vizsla-pet-adorable

“In a series called Zen Dogs, Alex Cearns, a professional pet and wildlife photographer from Australia, photographed pups looking peaceful and calm, their eyes closed.  To capture the animals looking so placid, Cearns counts the number of seconds between blinks. She can take upward of 300 photos of an animal in one hour-long session; she says she usually gets one terrific Zen Dog-worthy shot in the bunch.

Dogs have the power to make people happier and feel less stressed, so it’s not a stretch to imagine you’ve started to look a little more blissed-out yourself just looking at the photos. Cearns believes her project can serve as a gentle and positive reminder to take a break, unwind and contemplate inner peace and presence. Take a moment out of your day to enjoy a collection of these charming shots, and maybe you’ll feel a little bit of what the dogs do.”

Kate Bratskeir, These Photos Of Zen Dogs Will Make You Feel Zen, Too

Don’t miss more of Cearns’ photos here: Zen Dogs


Notes:

Saturday Morning

shoes-foot-of-bed

Maybe we will wake up to the silence
of shoes at the foot of the bed
not going anywhere.

— Richard Siken, excerpt of Dots Everywhere from War of the Foxes


Notes:

Rollin’ with Tumbleweeds

tumbleweed

He called looking for a sounding board.

I’ve been offered a job.  We’d have to move North…

I push my chair away from the desk, lean back, and lean in.

More money….Bigger job…Great company…

He’s a kid again, bubbly about his shiny, new red Schwinn.

I’ve been here for 14 years. I’m stale. I need a change.

Like the Blue Moon, he beams down triennially with the same bright light.

The kids are in college. They’re not holding us down here any longer. Jane tells me to do what I think is right.

He’s seeking counsel from a Corporate Gypsy, who’s been unwavering in the triennial counsel: “Go.” But he doesn’t interrupt.

But…

Here it comes. The Gates are coming down… [Read more…]

Saturday Morning

dreaming-clouds

I feel so intensely the delights
of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own,
with pictures and music
and everything beautiful.

~ Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out


Source: Poem – To Escape from the Commonplaces of Existence. Photo: Anka Zhuravleva

Saturday Morning.

edward-norton-wind-breeze-sea

One thing we’ve learned this summer is that a house is not an end in itself, any more than “home” is just one geographic location where things feel safe and familiar. Home can be anyplace in which we create our own sense of rest and peace as we tend to the spaces in which we eat and sleep and play. It is a place that we create and re-create in every moment, at every stage of our lives, a place where the plain and common becomes cherished and the ordinary becomes sacred.

― Katrina Kenison, The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother’s Memoir


Painting: Edward Gordon, Wind from the Sea, via The Sensual Starfish

 

Lightly child, lightly

red-balloon-over-manhattan

Knot by knot I untie myself from the past
And let it rise away from me like a balloon.
What a small thing it becomes.
What a bright tweak at the vanishing point, blue on blue.

– Charles Wright, from “Arkansas Traveller” in The Other Side of the River


Credits:

  • Image Source: Michael Surtees (Looking forward from Empire State Building)
  • Poem Source: Lit Verve
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Saturday

man-beach-alone-summer


Photographer: Arno De Pooter with “Bleach” via Ignant.de