I feel like a minuscule upstart in their presence.

yellow-cedar-tree

Studies of coastal forests like this one reveal that exposure to wind is what most determines the age of trees. Whereas spruce trees in vulnerable stands live an average of two hundred years, those in sheltered, fertile areas like the Deer Meadow valley can live eight or nine hundred years. Yellow cedars, which are better able to resist wind, commonly survive for a thousand years. […]

Only a few raindrops and oversized snowflakes sift through the crown of trees as a squall passes over.  I’m grateful for the shelter, and I sense a deeper kind of comfort here.  These are living things I move among, immeasurably older and larger and more deeply affixed to their place on earth than I am, and imbued with vast experience of a kind entirely beyond my comprehension. I feel like a minuscule upstart in their presence, a supplicant awaiting the quiet counsel of venerable trees.

~ Richard Nelson, The Island Within


Notes:

  • Photograph of 800 year Yellow Cedar Tree in Cypress Provincial Park in British Columbia: Mick
  • Related Posts on Live & Learn: Richard Nelson

Today.

vacation,holiday

I want some time to breathe.
I want long walks in empty parks.
I want silence.
I want a cold drink on a hot day.
I want the sound of a train
so far in the distance I can barely hear it.
I want a good book and several quiet hours.

~ Michelle Tudor, sarcoline dream


Image: fearless

 

Walking Cross-Town. Waxing and Waning.

Simon Birch

It’s Tuesday. 6 am.
The Metro-North train arrives at Grand Central.
I’m walking across town.
It’s there.
I’m, Unstoppable.

Today. It’s back.
The energy geyser bursting from the Center.
The Possibilities? Endless.
Hope?  Springs eternal.
Mystery source?  Soul. Powered. Soulerpowered.*

Other days.
The cauldron bubbles.
The witches’ brew stews.
Lethargy. Worry. Anxiety. Fatigue. Doubt.
Fully Present, in a Civil War of One.
It? It’s just not there.

William James had a bead on it.  The Human energizing. The sum-total of activities. Some outer. Some inner. Some muscular. Some emotional. Some moral. Some spiritual.  The waxing and waning in himself he is at times so well aware.  How to keep it an appreciable maximum? How not to let the level lapse? That is the great problem.

I feel this lapsing.
Mr. Miyagi’s Wax On, Wax off. [Read more…]

There’s the eagle’s world, and there is mine. Let’s Fly.

eagle-close-up-eyes-beak

As I watch the eagle rise above the bay, I let myself drift out beyond an edge, as though I were moving across the edge of sleep…I am filled with the same disdainful surge that releases him from his perch, feel the strain of air trapped in the hollows of his wings…The eagle sweeps away in great, lazy arcs, drifts against the corniced peaks, and soars up toward the smooth layer of cloud…At three thousand feet, the feathered sails flex and shake against a torrent of wind…I can feel the lash of gusts as the eagle planes above the mountain, gaze through his eyes at the fissured, snow-laden peak, and share the craving that draws him more deeply into the island’s loneliness…I have flown, however artificially, and have looked down over the island and the strait. But I can never know what the eagle sees with those blazing eyes, what are the shapes of mountains and shores amid the maze of detail that leaps into his brain.

There is the eagle’s world, and there is mine, sealed beyond reach within our selves. But despite these insuperable differences, we are also one, caught in the same fixed gaze that contains us. We see the earth differently, but we see the same earth. We breathe the same air and feel the same wind, drink the same water and eat the same meat. We share common membership in the same community and are subject to the same absolutes. In this sense, the way we receive what surrounds us is irrelevant: I have the eagle’s eyes and the eagle has mine.

~ Richard Nelson, The Island Within

Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

gif-float-water-swimming

I let it go.
It’s like swimming against the current.
It exhausts you.
After a while, whoever you are,
you just have to let go,
and the river brings you home.

Joanne Harris, Five Quarters of the Orange 


Notes:

  • Credit: Quote – Sweet Senderipity. Image Source: mennyfox55
  • 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.”

Every stub. Every whisker. Every mole. Every freckle. Every eyelash.

bald eagle

The bird cranes his head down to watch me, so the plumage on his neck fluffs out. HIs head is narrow, pinched, tightly feathered; his eyes are silver-gold, astringent, and stare forward along the curved scythe of his beak. Burned into each eye is a constricted black pupil, like the tightly strung arrow of a crossbow aimed straight toward me. What does the eagle see when he looks at me, this bird who can spot a herring’s flash in the water a quarter-mile away? I suppose every stub of whisker on my face, every mole and freckle, every eyelash, the pink flesh on my eyelid, the red network of vessels on the white of my eye, the radiating colors of my iris, his own reflection on my pupil, or beneath this reflection, his inverted image on my retina. I see only the eagle’s eye, but wonder if he sees down inside mine. Or inside me perhaps.

~ Richard Nelson, The Island Within

Photograph: Fairy-Wren

Go, and Be


In a word,
she is empty,
untouched with inescapable beauty.
She is pure,
free from advertisement
and the need of distraction.
Within the slips of her land
there are fallen rocks still asleep
where they originally made their bed.
Her livestock craw without concern of time or where to go.
They call the ground home without need for a door.
No lock, or key.
Waterfalls find their way where ever needed,
Down the sides of the mountains green and
across the dirt paths
carved by wandering admirers.
The ground, this home, smells so rich.
The soil doesn’t stick or crumble,
it molds to the hand as the hand becomes one with the land.
For she is kind.
She is genuine.
We pilgrims come here to pay our respects,
And she repays us with peace.
And once here, you are home,
you find silence,
a glimpse of heaven,
A place where you can go and be.

~ Josh Brine


Lightly child, lightly

simon-birch-painting-motion

“Was it hard?” I ask.
Letting go?”
Not as hard as
holding on to something
that wasn’t real.

― Lisa Schroeder


Notes:

  • Image Source: Simon Birch artist via ufunk.net and mennyfox55
  • 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.”

It’s been a long day

breeze-wind-black-and-white-dress

Each evening
comes from a new place.
Maybe this is the other life
we were meant to live.
It leans against you as the wind.

~ Richard Jackson, from “Fear,” in Resonance: Poems


Sources: photo – life is beautiful. Poem: to escape from the commonplace of existences

Saturday Morning

sleep-saturday-photography-legs-weekend

slow living.

right now.

~ d smith kaich jones


Photo: By Cyrille Druart (Paris 2003) via Precious Things