Saturday Morning

wind-breeze-meadow

We have forgotten the virtue of sitting, watching observing. Nothing much happens. This is the way of nature. We breathe together, simply this. For long periods of time, the meadow is still. We watch. We wait. We wonder. Our eyes find a resting place. And then, the slightest of breezes moves the grass. It can be heard as a whisper of prayer.

— Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World

 


Notes: Quote: Thank you Beth @ Alive on all channels. Photo: Clemens Fantur

Morning Meditation: Be ignited, or be gone

meditation-mist

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

~ Mary Oliver, “What I Have Learned So Far” from New and Selected Poems Vol. 2


Sources:

to let silence spiral deeper into silence

hands-rest-black-and-white-sit

All of us, child or adult, need time to find our way to that heavenly gate, time to sit back and listen to the sounds outside, and to our own, half-formed thoughts, to attend to the call of the birds and the roar of the air conditioner, and to our own interior voices as well: to let silence spiral deeper into silence. Mary Oliver writes about this beautifully in her book, Winter Hours.

In the act of writing the poem, I am obedient, and submissive. Insofar as one can, I put aside ego and vanity, and even intention. I listen. What I hear is almost a voice, almost a language. It is a second ocean, rising, singing into one’s ear, or deep inside the ears, whispering in the recesses where one is less oneself than a part of some single indivisible community. Blake spoke of taking dictation. I am no Blake, yet I know the nature of what he meant.

The speedy modern reader may not realize it, but poetry comes to us like the holy infant, wrapped in swaddling bands of silence. There is silence, often, in the place where it is made, or at most, a slow heart beat. There is silence in the thought that greets particular words and phrases, and in the care with which they’re weighed and pondered, and again in their particular layout on the page. And finally there’s the silence that surrounds the reading of the poem, and in the quiet intake of breath with which, so often, the poem is received. For all the emphasis that is placed on words and imagery, poems need that silence, as a painting needs the naked canvas, or music needs the pause between the notes. Most poets know this, in however inchoate a way. They slow down, they listen, they learn to pay attention. They root themselves in what the Celtic bard Taliesen called “the cave of silence” from which all words are born.

~ Christian McEwen, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down


Notes:

 

Deep

sperm-whale-photography

The way is not really a way.
It is a depth.
It is not a distance.

~ Mooji, “Inspirational – Into the Deep” from White Fire


Notes:

  • Thank you Val Boyko for her inspirational post: Inspiration – Into the Deep and for Mooji quote.
  • Photo: National Geographic – Whale of a Tail by Shane Gross: “A sperm whale “waves goodbye” to Shane Gross, who had traveled to Sri Lanka’s east coast hoping to photograph blue whales. “While we did have some success with the blues, it was the sperm whales that stole the show,” he writes. He captured this picture toward the end of the six-day expedition. “It was late in the day and the sun was low as this small pod swam toward me, and I did my best to keep quiet so as to not frighten them. This one started to dive and I free dove right after her, trying to get as close to that massive tail as possible. I knew she might be the last whale I’d encounter on the trip, and indeed, she was.”

Running. Without Tiger.

gif-water-ocean

Preparations started the night before.  Running jacket, shoes, pants, shirt, socks, hat, watch, ear buds – all placed near the front door to minimize obstructions and maximize propulsion, Out-The-Door.

4:30 am. I trudge down the stairs. I step out the door, barefooted, in shorts and a short sleeved white tee-shirt. A soft wind carries the smell of a black and white, a skunk, pre-dawn smelling salts. I inhale to clear the lungs, 39° F bites.

The Tiger clutches the cymbals with both hands, opening his arms wide and slams.  The noise, ear-splitting. He repeats and repeats.  Crashing. Slamming. Piling on.

Stay at it. Slow it down. Breathe. Quiet the Mind. Chant.
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.” 
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”
“Tame-the-Ti-ger.”

Tiger separates from the body and ebbs higher, higher, and higher until reaching a crest. Salt kicks up in the mist where I stand, separate, still. The ebb makes its last gasp, the fight now gone, sighs and then releases. [Read more…]

Walking Cross-Town. With Rubik’s Cube.

new-york-city

The First train arrives at Grand Central. 5:55 am.  I slide on my gloves and exit onto 48th.

I walk.

The Streets are free of the morning rush.  No horns. Light traffic. A handful of us are on the streets. One sneaks into a diner for a cup of coffee.  Another stands huddled along the wall, ember glowing from his cigarette, stomping his feet to stay warm. Millions sleep in the hulking towers looming above.

NYC, my kind of town, pre 6 am.

There boils the paradox. The craving for quiet, for stillness.  The Need for the warming salve of Solitude. And, yet, the wiring is to stay in Motion. A spinning top turning and turning and turning, only to teeter at dusk and collapse into bed. [Read more…]

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

back-hair-portrait

Practice is not about being perfect.
It’s about being yourself.
It’s about getting past your lines of defense
to find the soft, chewy, sweet center.

~ Jay Fields, Teaching People, Not Poses: 12 Principles for Teaching Yoga With Integrity


Credits: Quote Source: Thank you Make Believe Boutique. Photo: Starwill

 

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:

 

Journaling yesterday. Blogging (in the “receptacle”) today. We are all in the same boat.

journals-diary-writing

Growing old is certainly far easier for people like me who have no job from which to retire at a given age. I can’t stop doing what I have always done, trying to sort out and shape experience. The journal is a good way to do this at a less intense level than by creating a work of art as highly organized as a poem, for instance, or the sustained effort a novel requires. I find it wonderful to have a receptacle into which to pour vivid momentary insights, and a way of ordering day-to-day experience (as opposed to Maslow’s “peak experiences,” which would require poetry). If there is an art to the keeping of a journal intended for publication yet at the same time a very personal record, it may be in what E. Bowen said: “One must regard oneself impersonally as an instrument.”

~ May Sarton, The House by the Sea (1977)

(Robert) Coles himself says elsewhere in the piece, “Not everyone can or will do that— give his specific fears and desires a chance to be of universal significance.” To do this takes a curious combination of humility, excruciating honesty, and (there’s the rub) a sense of destiny or of identity. One must believe that private dilemmas are, if deeply examined, universal, and so, if expressed, have a human value beyond the private, and one must also believe in the vehicle for expressing them, in the talent.

[…]

But I believe we learn through the experiences of others as well as through our own, constantly meditating upon them, drawing the sustenance of human truth from them, and it seems natural to me to wish to share these aperçus, these questions, these oddities, these dilemmas and pangs. Why? Partly, I suppose, because the more one is a receptacle of human destinies, as I have become through my readers, the more one realizes how very few people could be called happy, how complex and demanding every deep human relationship is, how much real pain, anger, and despair are concealed by most people. And this is because many feel their own suffering is unique. It is comforting to know that we are all in the same boat.

~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)


Notes:

Pause. For 145 sec. Be transported.

A bird’s eye view of 2,000 beluga whales in the Northwest passage.

Magic.

 

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