Lightly Child, Lightly.


After we die, we weigh twenty-one grams less. This is the weight of wakefulness, light as seven hummingbirds. Who then are these quivering angels? Certainly, care is one, and wonder is another, and our irrepressible want to be in the light, and our will to live. Then there’s our need to hold and be held…If you put what matters on a scale, it would weigh less than seven feathers and yet it would somehow balance the heaviness that we carry in our heart.

~ Mark Nepo, from “Quivering Angels” in Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living


  • Photo: Ramona Pioneer Girl with Hummingbird
  • 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. John Childress says:

    Beautiful, David. Thanks

    John R Childress CHAIRMAN CulturSys, Inc. E P +44 7833 493 999 W

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. the lightness of being

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The heft of one’s soul – too light to notice, too heavy to ignore.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. THAT’S a keeper!! I always thought that might be the weight of our soul 🙂
    (I also like the ‘likening’ to seven hummingbirds! And those delicious words: Quivering angels)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A beautiful reflection. Thanks Dave 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. True words of Reality, David and such a beautiful bird, too good.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A knife’s edge of difference, and yet…. this took my breath away.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Simply amazing … ‘After we die, we weigh twenty-one grams less. This is the weight of wakefulness, light as seven hummingbirds.’ … and more!! Mark Nepo, from “Quivering Angels” in Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Relax... says:

    A whole eternity weighs 21g? After seeing a dark crawly bug turn into a Monarch butterfly, I can believe in such a mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s all a beautiful mystery… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely. Perfect photo to go with the text.

    And as soon as I read “twenty-one grams” I thought of the movie with Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sawsan says:

    So beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I heard this years ago, and it never fails to intrigue.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Anonymous says:

    ‘the weight of wakefulness…’ — I smile that you are drawn to these quotes. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am. And can’t exactly explain why.


    • Reminds me of:

      “Last year I was exploring the simple art of decision making. One afternoon I came to a crossroads in the woods. I had two basic choices. One was to go on the same level, walking to the meadows, the other was to go uphill directly and come to the mountain top sanctuary. Before I knew it, I had decided fort he meadows, which is a bit unusual for me. So I stopped and went back into my mind. How did my deep mind represent the two choices to me? Each choice had been represented by an inner vision, with some inner speech, and the feeling this produced was the signal that made the decision. As the process had been so fast, I had hardly seen that vision clearly, and so I went back to examine the representations with more leisure. The ‘journey up the mountain’ was a picture of the mountain, all veiled in mist and gloom, seen from very far above so that the trees looked all alike. I was a tiny spot moving in the murk, seen from far away. The road o this microscopic figure was undefined, a steep path through uniform trees, a hopeless journey lacking beginning or end. The ‘walk to the meadows’ was represented in great detail. I imagined what I would sense there. The rich green of the leaves, wisps of mist floating between the trees, the feelings of damp grass, dewdrops sparkling on tree-fungi, fingers touching moist bark, spider webs between the yarrow flowers. Being fully inside the vision I enjoyed a wealth of detail and wonder. I had made my decision by evaluating two visual representations of the choices I had. As the process was so fast, I was quite unaware of the differences in the representation, believing I had merely ‘thought of the mountain and the meadow’ and ‘had a feeling I would enjoy the meadows much more.’ It’s hardly surprising that a vivid and detailed association of joy and beauty raises better feelings than a diffuse and gloomy view showing a tiny fool struggling uphill without goal. My conscious mind believed it had chosen, but the choices had been prepared, to make one much more attractive than the other. My deep mind had made the decision, and as I felt rather weak and lazy that day, the choice was a good one. When you make your next decision ,no matter how minor it may seem, examine you you represent your choices. Are you sure you haven’t made the decision long ago?”
      — Jan Fries, Visual Magick


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