Saturday Morning


Bernard Toustrate wrote in the Forum Catholique, summarizing one degree of Sister Marie-Aimée’s “twelve degrees of silence” [Les Douze degrés du silence]: “If the tongue is mute, if the senses are calm, if the imagination, memory and creatures keep quiet and form a solitude, if not throughout the soul, then at least in the innermost part of it, then the heart will make only a few noises. Silence of one’s likes and dislikes, silence of desires insofar as they are too intense, silence of zeal insofar as it is indiscreet; silence of fervor insofar as it is exaggerated; silence to the point of sighing.

~ Cardinal Robert Sarah, excerpts from “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” (April, 2017).


Photo: Verwunschlicht

I imagine what it must be like to…stay still in the night

There are no birds or anything, or none that I can see. I imagine what it must be like to stay hidden, disappear in the dusky nothing and stay still in the night. It’s not sadness, though it may sound like it. I’m thinking about people and trees and how I wish I could be silent more, be more tree than anything else, less clumsy and loud, less crow, more cool white pine, and how it’s hard not to always want something else, not just to let the savage grass grow.

~ Ada Limón, “Mowing,” from Bright Dead Things: Poems


Photo: (via Hidden Sanctuary)

Karmar Repair Kit 1-4

sleep-dog-rest-cute

1. Get enough food to eat,
and eat it.

2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.

3. Reduce intellectual and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
and listen to it.

4.

~ Richard Brautigan, “Karma Repair Kit 1-4″ from The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster


Source: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels. Photo: via Your Eyes Blaze Out

Sunday Morning

Q: Several poems in this collection speak to a desire for silence—an even bigger appetite for it than the speaker originally had thought was needed. How much silence do you usually need to write, and how do you get it?

JH: I need more and more silence, it feels. Poems don’t leap into my mind when I’m distracted, turned outward, with other people, listening to music. It’s more for me as with going into a forest: if you sit quietly for a long time, the life around you emerges. As the world grows ever more clamorous, my hunger for silence steepens. I unplug the landline.

~ Jane Hirshfield, from Of Amplitude There Is No Scraping Bottom: An Interview with Jane Hirshfield (Tin House, March 15, 2016)


Notes:

 

Saturday Morning

‘When I was a girl,’ she had once told a friend, ‘I was terribly sure trees and flowers were the same as birds or people. That they thought things, and talked among themselves. And we could hear them if we really tried. It was just a matter of emptying your head of all other sounds. Being very quiet and listening very hard. Sometimes I still believe that. But one can never get quiet enough…

~ Truman Capote, In Cold Blood


Photo: skringers.com

Saturday Morning

nest-sleep-silence

Silence
will carry your voice
like the nest that holds the sleeping birds.

~Rabindranath Tagore, from Stray Birds


Notes:

Quotes: Your Eyes Blaze Out. Photo: Sarah Treanor with “still life” (via Your Eyes Blaze Out).  Find all of Stray Birds @ eldrichpress.org.

Bigging it up

bird-in-hand-jpg

The Pantheon of Smallness was a way of thinking about smallness differently. Sometimes we make small things, sometimes there are small bird songs, but it can have an enormous impact. Sometimes you have to whisper to be heard. Our culture is very much one of “bigging it up,” always upping the noise level in order to produce a louder signal. What you see in the bird world is sometimes that the smallest tweet can actually pierce through the cacophony in a different way. That became a metaphor for thinking about art. Emily Dickinson did quite miniature work that had a very profound, almost epic, impact, culturally speaking.

~ Kyo Maclear, from How a stressed woman found solace through looking at birds (Macleans, January 22, 2017)

Find Kyo Maclear’s new book on Amazon: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation


Photo: Thank you Sawsan @ Last Tambourine

Saturday Morning

lights-holiday-christmas

It’s a season when one gets spread out almost too thin in too many human directions, but come January first I am determined to batten myself down, tighten up, go inward. I feel the day must be marked by a change of rhythm, by some quiet act of self-determination and self-assertion. Everyone earns such a day after the outpourings of Christmas. We are overextended. Time to pull in the boundaries and lift the drawbridge.

~ May Sarton, The House by the Sea: A Journal

 


Photo: Kevin Farris (via Your Eyes Blaze Out)

Running. And Free Fallin’.

in-the-snow-ix

Let’s take inventory.

Four Falls.
The heals of both hands scraped raw, instruments used to break each fall.
A right knee bruise. Severity? Somewhere on a continuum between Deep and below the surface. We’ll know for sure in the morning.

We are a self-correcting, self-learning being, right? Otherwise we wouldn’t be standing, breathing, and reading this, Right?

Adam, in his hunt for food for Eve and the kids, after falling face-first the first time, said, hmmmm, that didn’t feel good. That didn’t work out. Let’s not do that again.

24° F. It’s the first snow of the season and I’m prepping.

Underwear. Thermal Underwear. Thermal Socks. Thermal undershirt. Wicking overshirt. Heavy Down coat. Tuke. Gloves. Fanny Pack with bottle of water, smartphone and headphones.

I catch a glimpse of this package in the mirror before stepping into the garage. Holy Sh*t. Sasquatch.

I pull on Ugg Boots, two pound leg weights strapped on each foot. Who runs in snow in Ugg Boots? 

First fall.
A flat surface, I’m caught by surprise. An ice patch. The legs fly out. I fall heavily on left side, air gushes out of the belly, which is still jiggling. I roll on my back.  Where’s my smartphone? Right pocket please. Right.

Second fall.
A steep incline. Uggs are crampon-less. Right leg slides out. Left leg follows, and a tumble down a short embankment.  I’m covered in a mixture of snow, leaves and dirt. Camouflage. Military drills. No, more like Carl Spackler the greenskeeper on Caddyshack: “They’re like the Viet-Cong…Varmint-Cong. So you have to fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence. And that’s all she wrote.” [Read more…]

Saturday Morning

in-the-snow-donata-wenders-photography

…it is winter here.
Look how white everything is,
how quiet, how snowed-in.
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly
As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands…

To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free——
The peacefulness is so big it dazes you,
And it asks nothing, a name tag, a few trinkets…

~ Sylvia Plath, from Tulips in Collected Poems


Notes: Poem Source – Poetry Foundation,  Photo: Donata Wenders (in the snow)

 

 

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