Lightly Child, Lightly

And only the enlightened can recall their former lives;
for the rest of us, the memories of past existences
are but glints of light, twinges of longing, passing shadows,
disturbingly familiar, that are gone before they can be grasped,
like the passage of that silver bird on Dhaulagiri.

~ Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard


  • Photo: Marta Navarro (via Newthom). Quote via Alive on All Channels (Thank you Beth)
  • 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.”


  1. Hi David, I was just wrestling with the shock of new girlfriend of Ming moving in on 11th and this quote struck me in the sense that what I do/say now will have repercussions into the future, ie. I can either embrace this change or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fabulous photo. What strength there is in the elemental black and white!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. those moments of enlightenment…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    So much truth in these very words … ‘And only the enlightened can recall their former lives … READ ON!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. His name sounded familiar…perhaps one of my Uncle’s had a copy of one of his older books…his bio that I found on Amazon (the link you provided) proved interesting:
    Peter Matthiessen (May 22, 1927 – April 5, 2014) was an American novelist, naturalist, wilderness writer and CIA agent. A co-founder of the literary magazine The Paris Review, he was a 2008 National Book Award winner. He was also a prominent environmental activist. His nonfiction featured nature and travel, notably The Snow Leopard (1978) and American Indian issues and history, such as a detailed and controversial study of the Leonard Peltier case, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (1983). His fiction was adapted for film: the early story “Travelin’ Man” was made into The Young One (1960) by Luis Buñuel and the novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965) into the 1991 film of the same name.

    In 2008, at age 81, Matthiessen received the National Book Award for Fiction for Shadow Country, a one-volume, 890-page revision of his three novels set in frontier Florida that had been published in the 1990s. According to critic Michael Dirda, “No one writes more lyrically [than Matthiessen] about animals or describes more movingly the spiritual experience of mountaintops, savannas, and the sea.”

    Matthiessen was treated for acute leukemia for more than a year. His death came as he awaited publication of his final novel, In Paradise on April 8.
    Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Melissa Eagan, WNYC New York Public Radio ( [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I have past lives I’d love to meet them. I have a hard time remembering this one, those days of being a child, even a young 20-something. Maybe in a past life I had a better memory…

    Liked by 1 person


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