Lightly child, lightly.

blue

Not often,
but now and again there’s a moment
when the heart cries aloud:
yes, I am willing to be
that wild darkness,
that long, blue body of light.

— Mary Oliver, from “Whelks,” New and Selected Poems: Vol. 1.


Notes:

  • Poem: The Vale of Soulmaking.
  • Photograph: Ahsan Uzzaman with Blue (Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand)
  • 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.”

 

 

We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra

morel-mushroom

After a run of darkness (Orlando, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minnesota, Nice), Rebecca Solnit writes an essay for The Guardian titled “Hope is an Embrace of the Unknown” on living in dark times. I’ve shared a few excerpts below.


After a rain mushrooms appear on the surface of the earth as if from nowhere. Many come from a sometimes vast underground fungus that remains invisible and largely unknown. What we call mushrooms, mycologists call the fruiting body of the larger, less visible fungus. Uprisings and revolutions are often considered to be spontaneous, but it is the less visible long-term organising and groundwork – or underground work – that often laid the foundation…

…our hope is in the dark around the edges, not the limelight of centre stage. Our hope and often our power…

What startled me about the response to disaster was not the virtue, since virtue is often the result of diligence and dutifulness, but the passionate joy that shone out from accounts by people who had barely survived. These people who had lost everything, who were living in rubble or ruins, had found agency, meaning, community, immediacy in their work together with other survivors…But people return to those selves, those ways of self-organising, as if by instinct when the situation demands it. Thus a disaster is a lot like a revolution when it comes to disruption and improvisation, to new roles and an unnerving or exhilarating sense that now anything is possible…

Together we are very powerful, and we have a seldom-told, seldom-remembered history of victories and transformations that can give us confidence that, yes, we can change the world because we have many times before. You row forward looking back, and telling this history is part of helping people navigate toward the future. We need a litany, a rosary, a sutra, a mantra, a war chant of our victories. The past is set in daylight, and it can become a torch we can carry into the night that is the future.

~ Rebecca SolnitHope is an embrace of the unknown’: Rebecca Solnit on living in dark times


Photo: Morel Mushroom by Kim Fleming

 

What’s under it – hell, a snake pit, the repository of nightmares?

blue-art

I was way back in terra incognita with a friend.
At the edge of a black-spruce bog in a thicket
we found a moss-covered cement slab with iron rings.
We are fearful.
We questioned,
what’s under it – hell, a snake pit, the repository of nightmares?
My friend indicates it’s up to me,
I mean the contents.
We lift the slab aside.
The pit is full of brilliant blue sky.

~ Jim Harrison, from “Dream as a Metaphor of Survival,” Just Before Dark: Collected Nonfiction


Credits: Quote – Memory’s Landscape. Art: Trang Bui – Kind of Blue I via Exercice de Style

 

Lightly child, lightly

light-sun

[…]
I walk
into what light
there is
[…]

~ Mark Strand, from “Another Place,” Collected Poems

Notes:

  • Quote Source: Schonwieder. Photo: A Clean-Well Lighted Place
  • 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.”

 

Just do it.

sun-light-positive-negative-clouds-gif-illustration


Source: mennyfox55

 

Lightning. Hit me.

lightning-storm-weather

At times the truth shines so brilliantly that we perceive it as clear as day. Our nature and habit then draw a veil over our perception, and we return to a darkness almost as dense as before. We are like those who, though beholding frequent flashes of lightning, still find themselves in the thickest darkness of the night. On some the lightning flashes in rapid succession, and they seem to be in continuous light, and their night is as clear as the day… By others only once during the whole night is a flash of lightning perceived… There are some to whom the flashes of lightning appear with varying intervals; others are in the condition of men, whose darkness is illumined not by lightning, but by some kind of crystal or similar stone, or other substances that possess the property of shining during the night; and to them even this small amount of light is not continuous, but now it shines and now it vanishes, as if it were “the flame of the rotating sword.” The degrees in the perfection of men vary according to these distinctions.

~ Moses Maimonides, a twelfth-century Jewish philosopher and astronomer in the The Guide for the Perplexed


Credits: Quote – Brainpickings. Photo: Andrew S. Gray (via Madame Scherzo)

I do not dare breathe / Or move

harvest-moon-wheat

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
There they are, the moon’s young, trying
Their wings. […]
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

I fought the wolves of patience

wolf-running-gif

[…]

I fought the wolves of patience
just to let it lie down.

See these waters they’ll pull you up,
Oh if you’re bolder than the darkness.
My my, let these songs be an instrument to cut,
Oh spaces ‘tween the happiness and the hardness […]

What we found
Down these roads that wander as lost as the heart,
Is a chance to breathe again, a chance for a fresh start…

~ Ben Howard, These Waters


Sources:

Friend

cerulean-cirlces-960x600

I have no idea how he knows when I need him.
We can go weeks without speaking,
and then, when my blue moods threaten to turn black,
he will show up and tell me my moods are:
azure,
indigo,
cerulean,
cobalt,
periwinkle–
and suddenly the blue will not seem so dark,
more like the color of a noon-bright sky.
He brings the sun.

— David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility


Notes:

The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity, of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most average existence. […] But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.

~ David Whyte, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

 

It’s Been A Long Day (Keep Me Silent)

photography,josephine cardin KeepMeSilent_JCardin_08-josephine-cardin

New York-based photographer Josephine Cardin created the work ‘Keep Me Silent‘ as a series of self-portraits exploring the weight of the dark secrets, emotions, and experiences we harbor throughout our lives.  Josephine Cardin explains: “Weighing us down until we free ourselves from the burden of keeping them hidden, these hardships inevitably dictate every aspect of how we live and the decisions we make. Like most of my work, at first glance there is a sense of a beautiful, almost dreamlike state, but when one looks closer there is an evident darkness and sadness to be discovered. I wanted to give the illusion that the subject wanted nothing more than to float and be free, all the while not being able to let go of this burdensome weight holding her back. Until she finally lets go, forcing the suitcase open, her heavy cloud is lifted and vanishes away. As stated in one of my favorite quotes by Jim Morrison, ‘Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.'”

Don’t miss other photos in this series at Ignant.de: “Keep Me Silent

Find the photographer’s website and gallery here: CardinPhotography.com

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