Saturday, December 31, 2016

an Irish blessing for your new year





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May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.

with love
a


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Reykjavik peace tower

to john lennon
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To the New Year






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With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible



–W. S. Merwin



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Large Red Man Reading





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There were ghosts that returned to earth to hear his phrases,
As he sat there reading, aloud, the great blue tabulae.
They were those from the wilderness of stars that had expected more.

There were those that returned to hear him read from the poem of life,
Of the pans above the stove, the pots on the table, the tulips among them.
They were those that would have wept to step barefoot into reality,

That would have wept and been happy, have shivered in the frost
And cried out to feel it again, have run fingers over leaves
And against the most coiled thorn, have seized on what was ugly

And laughed, as he sat there reading, from out of the purple tabulae,
The outlines of being and its expressings, the syllables of its law:
Poesis, poesis, the literal characters, the vatic lines,

Which in those ears and in those thin, those spended hearts,
Took on color, took on shape and the size of things as they are
And spoke the feeling for them, which was what they had lacked.


–Wallace Stevens



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commemoration





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They made love among the hazel shrubs
beneath the suns of dew,
entangling in their hair
a leafy residue.

Heart of the swallow
have mercy on them.

They knelt down by the lake,
combed out the earth and leaves,
and fish swam to the water's edge
shimmering like stars.

Heart of the swallow
have mercy on them.

The reflections of trees were steaming
off the rippling waves.
O swallow let this memory
forever be engraved.

O swallow, thorn of clouds,
anchor of the air,
Icarus improved,
Assumption in formal wear,

O swallow, the calligrapher,
timeless second hand,
early ornithogothic,
a crossed eye in the sky,

O swallow, pointed silence,
mourning full of joy,
halo over lovers,
have mercy on them.


–Wislawa Szymborska




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winter trees






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All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.


–William Carlos Williams


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love is every only god





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love is every only god

who spoke this earth so glad and big
even a thing all small and sad
man,may his mighty briefness dig

for love beginning means return
seas who could sing so deep and strong

one queerying wave will whitely yearn
from each last shore and home come young

so truly perfectly the skies
by merciful love whispered were,
completes its brightness with your eyes

any illimitable star


–E. E. Cummings



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Friday, December 30, 2016

Memories, Dreams, Reflections, excerpt





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As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.

–Carl Gustav Jung







the hard part





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Although from the beginning
I knew

the world is impermanent,

not a moment passes

when my sleeves are dry.


–Ryokan
Sky Above, Great Wind


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listen

 



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Your body is away from me, but there is a window open
from my Heart to yours.
From this window, like the moon,
I keep sending news secretly.

–Rumi

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other nations





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Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice,
man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his
knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the
whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness,
for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. 

And therein we err, and greatly err.
For the animal shall not be measured by man. 

In a world older and more complete than ours they move
finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have 
lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. 

They are not brethren, they are not underlings; 
they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

–Henry Beston
The Outermost House 



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its self





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The universe must be experienced as the Great Self.

Each is fulfilled in the other: the Great Self is fulfilled in the individual self, the individual self is fulfilled in the Great Self. Alienation is overcome as soon as we experience this surge of energy from the source that has brought the universe through the centuries.

New fields of energy become available to support the human venture. These new energies find expression and support in celebration. For in the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration.

It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself.


—Thomas Berry


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who am I if I was not I while I slept?





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Mondays are meshed with Tuesdays
and the week with the whole year.
Time cannot be cut
with your weary scissors,
and all the names of the day
are washed out by the waters of night.
No one can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or Maria,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.

They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
of Chiles and of Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of the earth
and I know it is without a name.
When I lived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell.
It is so long, the spring
which goes on all winter.
Time lost its shoes.
A year is four centuries.
When I sleep every night,
what am I called or not called?
And when I wake, who am I
if I was not I while I slept?
This means to say that scarcely
have we landed into life
than we come as if new-born;
let us not fill our mouths
with so many faltering names,
with so many sad formalities,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much of yours and mine,
with so much of signing of papers.
I have a mind to confuse things,
unite them, bring them to birth,
mix them up, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the oneness of the ocean,
a generous, vast wholeness,
a crepitant fragrance.


–Pablo Neruda
Too Many Names




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Thursday, December 29, 2016

maybe





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Surrender.
Be crumbled, so wild flowers will come up where you are.

You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different -
Surrender.



Rumi 


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love is a deeper season






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yes is a pleasant country:
if's wintery
(my lovely)
let's open the year

both is the very weather
(not either)
my treasure,
when violets appear

love is a deeper season
than reason;
my sweet one
(and april's where we're)


–E. E. Cummings
yes is a pleasant country



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listen





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I rarely let the word "No" escape
From my mouth
Because it is so plain to my soul
That God has shouted, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
To every luminous movement in
Existence

–Hafiz

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honey in the heart





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After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.
If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!

Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house...
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.


–Wallace Stevens
The Well Dressed Man With A Beard



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Of Bright & Blue Birds & The Gala Sun





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Some things, niño, some things are like this,
That instantly and in themselves are gay
And you and I are such things, O most miserable...

For a moment they are gay and are a part
Of an element, the exactest element for us,
In which we pronounce joy like a word of our own.

It is there, being imperfect, and with these things
And erudite in happiness, with nothing learned,
That we are joyously ourselves and we think

Without the labor of thought, in that element,
And we feel, in a way apart, for a moment, as if
There was a bright scienza outside of ourselves,

A gaiety that is being, not merely knowing,
The will to be and to be total in belief,
Provoking a laughter, an agreement, by surprise.



Wallace Stevens



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yes







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For all that has been, Thanks.
To all that shall be, Yes.

–Dag Hammarskjöld


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allchannels
thingsthatsing

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

no thing





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If only you knew what bliss I find in being nothing.
 
–Rumi



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When I Was The Forest





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When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
itself,

no one ever asked me did I have a purpose, no one ever
wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not
love.


It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known
before.
So I returned to the river, I returned to
the mountains. I asked for their hand in marriage again,
I begged—I begged to wed every object and creature,

and when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you been?”

For then I knew my soul—every soul—
has always held Him.



–Meister Eckhart
Daniel Ladinsky version



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tighten to nothing






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All things
are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast
In the Infinite
I reach
for the Uncreated
I have
touched it,
it undoes me
wider than wide

Everything else
is too narrow
You know this well,
you who are also there


Tighten
to nothing
the circle
that is
the world's things

Then the Naked
circle
can grow wide,
enlarging,
embracing all



–Hadewijch, l or ll (13th Century)
Jane Hirshfield version
Women in Praise of the Sacred:
43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women





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no one





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Be with no one but me.
When you are with everyone but me, you’re with no one.
When you are with no one but me, you’re with everyone.
Instead of being so bound up with everyone, be everyone.
When you become that many, you’re nothing.
Empty.


–Rumi
 
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unending love





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I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age-old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours
And the songs of every poet past and forever. 



–Rabindranath Tagore



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say i am






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Love says, 'I am everything.'

Wisdom says, 'I am nothing.'

Between these two my life flows.


–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

the heat of midnight tears





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Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night. 


If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts
then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came
from the womb!
If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves
then goats would surely get to the Holy One before us!

If the worship of stone stature could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.

Mirabai says, "The heat of midnight tears will bring you to God."


–Mirabai
Robert Bly version



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secret




 
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A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.


–Hermann Hesse


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like this





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Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen.


—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



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the Great Mother





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The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.

–Lao Tzu

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January

 



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So after weeks of rain
at night the winter stars
that much farther in heaven
without our having seen them
in far light are still forming
the heavy elements
that when the stars are gone
fly up as dust finer
by many times than a hair
and recognize each other
in the dark traveling
at great speed and becoming
our bodies in our time
looking up after rain
in the cold night together

—W.S. Merwin
The Pupil (2001)



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merwinconservancy
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