New Year Resolve / To Shove Away The Clutter / To Come Back to Still Water

Austria,lake

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

~ May Sarton, “New Year Resolve” from Collected Poems, 1930-1993


Notes:

 

Saturday Morning: Close your eyes and ears.

faces-Aga-Ciszewska-siguni

Have a seat. Stretch out your legs. Close your eyes and ears. I shall say nothing for five minutes so you can think about Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. See, and this will be more perfect still, if you manage not to think in words, but rather create a state of feeling. See if you can halt the whole whirlwind and clear a space for the Fifth Symphony. It is so beautiful. Only thus will you have it, through silence. Understand! If I perform it for you, it will fade away, note by note. As soon as the first one is sounded, it will no longer exist. And after the second, the harmony will no longer echo. And the beginning will be the prelude to the end, as in all things. If I perform it you will hear music and that alone. Whereas there is a way to keep it paused and eternal, each note like a statue inside you.

~ Clarice Lispector, “Letters to Hermengardo” from The Complete Stories.


Notes:

San Bernardino

bird-in-hand

They know, I thought,
like the birds of Iraq before shock and awe
on the first day of spring.
It was said that the sparrows and songbirds stopped singing,
their silence heralding the dropping of bombs.

~ Patti Smith, Her Name Was Sandy. M Train


Image: imandrah-land. Story: Shooting in San Bernardino Kills at least 14

I do not know which to prefer

black-bird-raven

[…]
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendos,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
[…]

~ Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird


Image Source: livetalskare

Lightly child, lightly

Benoit Courti

It’s just time:
the book I read,
the letter I write,
the window I look out of.
Just a sleeve I keep trying to mend,
the spool diminishing.
Just my one hand writing words,
my other hand weighing the silences between them.

Li-Young Lee, The Winged Seed: A Remembrance


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Memory’s Landscape. Photo:Benoit Courti  (via 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.”

 

Saturday Morning: How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.

light-woman-blonde-neck-back

When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.
How potent a mere image of her sway;
Most potent when impressed upon the mind
With an appropriate human centre – hermit,
Deep in the bosom of the wilderness; […]
Kneeling at prayers; or watchman on top
Of lighthouse, beaten by Atlantic waves; […]
When, for the night deserted, it assumes
A character of quiet more profound
Than pathless wastes.

— William Wordsworth, The Prelude


Credits: Photo: Nini Poppins. Quote: Google Books via whyallcaps.us

Lightly child, lightly

minimalist-legs-knees-hands

Awareness is your refuge:
[…]
It’s very practical and very simple,
but easily overlooked or not noticed.
When you’re mindful, you’re beginning to notice:
It’s like this

~ Ajahn Sumedho, The Sound of Silence


Notes:

  • Quote Source: Mindfulbalance. Photo:mm by zezn (via Journal of a Nobody)
  • 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 Morning

cross-black-and-white-dress-portrait

I come into this small room and take a seat on the floor.
I don’t expect miracles.
But I have given myself a sacred space,
and now I simply offer myself the even greater gift of time to use it.
Someday, perhaps, something will happen here.
For now, I love this room,
this emptiness, the fading light, my own quiet company.
I am learning, by sitting, to become,
in the words of Terry Tempest Williams,
“a caretaker of silence, a connoisseur of stillness, a listener of wind.”

~ Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment 


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

jo-cardin

I think 99 times and find nothing.
I stop thinking,
swim in the silence,
and the truth comes to me.

~ Albert Einstein


Notes:

  • Photography by jo cardin (comfort in chaos); Quote: a dream within a dream
  • 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.”

Lightly child, lightly

yoga-cross-legged-light

It is such a small thing on the face of it, and yet in this world of speed and distraction, choosing to be less busy feels almost countercultural; slowing down, eccentric. Perhaps it is, for there’s no denying the expansive, time-bending effects of awareness. Sometimes, I do call it meditation: I sit cross-legged on a cushion in my yoga room; I set a timer and focus on my breath, bringing my attention to bear on the elusive, invisible third eye in the center of my brow point. These sittings are humbling: My mind sneaks away, I chase it down, lead it back, tie it again and again to my breath. Eventually, if I’m not in a rush to get on to the next thing, a small, silent space clears. I savor the taste of quiet, roll it around on my tongue, feel the day’s contours softening and opening around me.

~ Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment


Notes:

  • Photography by paul drzal with Mantra
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Related posts: Katrina Kenison
  • 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.”
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