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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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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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



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Thursday, December 29, 2016

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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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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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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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

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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may my heart always be open





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may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile


–E. E. Cummings


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Sunday, December 25, 2016

prayer for you




 
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Written on Christmas Eve, 1513


I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.


No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace! 

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.



–Fra Giovanni



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Saturday, December 24, 2016

lute music





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Let us celebrate.
The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.

Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—
Here at the year's end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—

Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.


–Kenneth Rexroth




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Thursday, December 22, 2016

the dark night





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In the delicious night,
In privacy, where no one saw me,
Nor did I see one thing,
I had no light or guide
But the fire that burned inside my chest.

That fire showed me
The way more clearly than the blaze of noon
To where, waiting for me,
Was the One I knew so well,
In that place where no one ever is.

Oh night, sweet guider,
Oh night more marvelous than dawn!
Oh night which joins
The lover and the beloved
So that the lover and beloved change bodies!

In my chest full of flowers,
Flowering wholly and only for Him,
There He remained sleeping;
I cared for Him there,
And the fan of the high cedars cooled Him.

The wind played with
His hair, and that wind from the high
Towers struck me on the neck
With its sober hand;
Sight, taste, touch, hearing stopped.

I stood still, I forgot who I was,
My face leaning against Him,
Everything stopped, abandoned me,
My worldliness was gone, forgotten
Among the white lilies.


–St. John of the Cross
Robert Bly version




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white northern lights, finland

rudimick

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shapechangers in Winter





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This is the Solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future,
the place of caught breath

–Margaret Atwood 

Eating Fire


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listen






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Listen.

Sit, be still, and listen,
because you’re drunk and we’re at the edge of the roof.

–Rumi

 
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Sunday, December 18, 2016

not its self





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Consciousness is consciousness of something.
This means that transcendence is the constitutive structure of consciousness; that is that consciousness emerges supported by a being which is not itself.
 
–Jean-Paul Sartre


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listen





 
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Friday, December 16, 2016

wilderness





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There is a wolf in me . . . fangs pointed for tearing gashes . . . a red tongue for raw meat . . . and the hot lapping of blood—I keep this wolf because the wilderness gave it to me and the wilderness will not let it go.    


There is a fox in me . . . a silver-gray fox . . . I sniff and guess . . . I pick things out of the wind and air . . . I nose in the dark night and take sleepers and eat them and hide the feathers . . . I circle and loop and double-cross.


There is a hog in me . . . a snout and a belly . . . a machinery for eating and grunting . . . a machinery for sleeping satisfied in the sun—I got this too from the wilderness and the wilderness will not let it go.


There is a fish in me . . . I know I came from salt-blue water-gates . . . I scurried with shoals of herring . . . I blew waterspouts with porpoises . . . before land was . . . before the water went down . . . before Noah . . . before the first chapter of Genesis.


There is a baboon in me . . . clambering-clawed . . . dog-faced . . . yawping a galoot’s hunger . . . hairy under the armpits . . . here are the hawk-eyed hankering men . . . here are the blonde and blue-eyed women . . . here they hide curled asleep waiting . . . ready to snarl and kill . . . ready to sing and give milk . . . waiting—I keep the baboon because the wilderness says so.


There is an eagle in me and a mockingbird . . . and the eagle flies among the Rocky Mountains of my dreams and fights among the Sierra crags of what I want . . . and the mockingbird warbles in the early forenoon before the dew is gone, warbles in the underbrush of my Chattanoogas of hope, gushes over the blue Ozark foothills of my wishes—And I got the eagle and the mockingbird from the wilderness.

O, I got a zoo, I got a menagerie, inside my ribs, under my bony head, under my red-valve heart—and I got something else: it is a man-child heart, a woman-child heart: it is a father and mother and lover: it came from God-Knows-Where: it is going to God-Knows-Where—For I am the keeper of the zoo: I say yes and no: I sing and kill and work: I am a pal of the world: I came from the wilderness.


–Carl Sandburg



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Thursday, December 15, 2016

listen





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Wind blows the wheat down.

He calls it prayer.


—Dan Beachy-Quick


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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

i am that





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The mountains, I become part of it…

The herbs, the fir tree, I become part of it.

The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters,

I become part of it.

The wilderness the dew drops , the pollen…

I become part of it.


—Navajo Chant




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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

not to worry





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Let what comes come

Let what goes go

Find out what remains.


–Ramana Maharshi


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live everything





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I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. 

Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. 

Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

–Rainer Maria Rilke,
Letters To A Young Poet

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Monday, December 12, 2016

note to self

 



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You are not the mind. 
If you know you are not the mind, then what difference does it make if it’s busy or quiet? 
You are not the mind.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Sunday, December 11, 2016

relish!





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Betrothed to Righteousness might be
An Ecstasy discreet
But Nature relishes the Pinks
Which she was taught to eat


–Emily Dickinson


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note to self





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As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.

Otherwise you will miss most of your life.


–Siddhartha Guatama


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Saturday, December 10, 2016

your self

 



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Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.


–Rumi


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the snow man






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One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.



–Wallace Stevens



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its self




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I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.

A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.


–D. H. Lawrence

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

the highest teaching





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From joy all beings have come.
In joy all beings are sustained.
To joy all beings return. 

This is the highest teaching.
This is the highest teaching.


—The Upanishads


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doctrine





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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it.
Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. 
But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, and conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take as your guide.


–Buddhist teaching


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Monday, December 5, 2016

a happy birthday






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This evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness. I could easily have switched on a lamp, but I wanted to ride this day down into night, to sit alone and smooth the unreadable page with the pale gray ghost of my hand.

–Ted Kooser

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dear ones



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Live to the point of tears.

—Albert Camus


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