Thursday, February 28, 2019

Looking, Walking, Being





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The World is not something to
look at, it is something to be in.

—Mark Rudman


...


I look and look.
Looking's a way of being: one becomes,
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes
dig and burrow into the world.
They touch
fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.
World and the past of it,
not only
visible present, solid and shadow
that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms
of echo and interruption?
That's
a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain
looking,
walking and looking,
through the world,
in it.


—Denise Levertov


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life is






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life is a garden,
not a road

we enter and exit
through the same gate

wandering,
where we go matters less
than what we notice


—Bokonon

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just now





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In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks


—W.S. Merwin

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

truly written






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For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

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.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. . . . Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.


–Hermann Hesse
Trees: Reflections and Poems



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this truth





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As I have searched the entire scientific records in more than a half dozen languages for a long time without finding the least anticipation, I consider myself the original discoverer of this truth, which can be expressed by the statement: There is no energy in matter other than that received from the environment.

–Nikola Tesla

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We should face up to something that’s rarely if ever voiced in modern cosmology: the possibility that the true nature of the universe as a whole has nothing to do with the way its parts work, that it indeed lies outside the very characteristics of its components.

–Robert Lanza
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness and the Illusion of Death


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be the mystery

 



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Be the mystery.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.



–Rainer Maria Rilke



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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

truly





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There is no alternative for you but to accept the world as unreal, if you are seeking the Truth and the Truth alone.


–Ramana Maharshi


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take nothing for the journey






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The strength of a person’s spirit would then be measured by how much ‘truth’ he could tolerate, or more precisely, to what extent he needs to have it diluted, disguised, sweetened, muted, falsified.

—Friedrich Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil


It is easy to know the beauty of inhuman things, sea, / storm and mountain; it is their soul and their meaning. / Humanity has its lesser beauty, impure and painful; we / have to harden our hearts to bear it.

—Robinson Jeffers
The World’s Wonders








song of my(self





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Now I will do nothing but listen,
To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it.

I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames,
clack of sticks cooking my meals,
I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice,
I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following,
Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night,
Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of
work-people at their meals,
The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick,
The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing
a death-sentence,
The heave’e’yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the
refrain of the anchor-lifters,
The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking
engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color’d lights,
The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars,
The slow march play’d at the head of the association marching two and two,
(They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.)
I hear the violoncello, (’tis the young man’s heart’s complaint,)
I hear the key’d cornet, it glides quickly in through my ears,
It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast.

I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera,
Ah this indeed is music — this suits me.

A tenor large and fresh as the creation fills me,
The orbic flex of his mouth is pouring and filling me full.

I hear the train’d soprano (what work with hers is this?)
The orchestra whirls me wider than Uranus flies,
It wrenches such ardors from me I did not know I possess’d them,
It sails me, I dab with bare feet, they are lick’d by the indolent waves,
I am cut by bitter and angry hail, I lose my breath,
Steep’d amid honey’d morphine, my windpipe throttled in fakes of death,
At length let up again to feel the puzzle of puzzles,
And that we call Being.


—Walt Whitman
song of myself
Section 26








Monday, February 25, 2019

author(ship





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In Persian poetry the poet often refers to himself or herself by name at the end of a poem as a sort of signature. Rumi’s variation on this is to refer instead to Shams (over a thousand poems end this way) or to silence. He gives the poetry to its true authorship, including the emptiness after as part of the poem. Five hundred odes conclude with khamush, silence. Rumi is less interested in language, more attuned to the sources of it. He keeps asking Husam, ‘Who’s making this music?’ He sometimes gives the wording over to the invisible flute player: ‘Let that musician finish this poem.’ Words are not important in themselves, but as resonators for a center. Rumi has a whole theory of language based on the reed flute (ney). Beneath everything we say, and within each note of the reed flute, lies a nostalgia for the reed bed. Language and music are possible only because we’re empty, hollow, and separated from the source. All language is a longing for home. Why is there not a second tonality, he muses, a note in praise of the craftsman’s skill, which fashioned the bare cylinder into a ney, the intricate human form with its nine holes?


—Coleman Barks,
On Silence
The Essential Rumi


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whoever brought me here will have to take me home




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look






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We are bees of the invisible.

Passionately we plunder the honey of the visible
in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the invisible.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
from a letter to Witold Hulewicz
November 13, 1925


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Sunday, February 24, 2019

mystery





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I am the thought that lives in the light.
I live in everyone, and I delve into them all...
I move in every creature...
I am the invisible one in all beings...
I am the voice speaking softly...
I am the real voice... the voice from the invisible thought...
It is a mystery... I cry out in everyone...
I hid myself in everyone, and revealed myself
within them, and every mind seeking me longs
for me...
I am she who gradually brought forth
everything...
I am the image of the invisible spirit...
The mother, the light... the virgin... the
womb, and the voice...
I put breath in all beings..

Author Unknown - Nag Hammadi Scrolls
From "Why Religion?" by Elaine Pagels



.
roy
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birdspell


actegratuit:

Hello, tumblrians & tumblrettes!



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I’ve figured it out, something that was never clear to me before—how all creation transposes itself out of the world deeper and deeper into our inner world, and why birds cast such a spell on this path into us. 

The bird’s nest is, in effect, an outer womb given by nature; the bird only furnishes it and covers it rather than containing the whole thing inside itself. 

As a result, birds are the animals whose feelings have a very special, intimate familiarity with the outer world; they know that they share with nature their innermost mystery. 

That is why the bird sings its songs into the world as though it were singing into its inner self; that’s why we take a birdsong into our own innerselves so easily. It seems to us that we translate it fully, with no remainder, into our feelings.

A birdsong can even, for a moment, make the whole world into a sky within us, because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between its heart and the world’s.

Rainer Maria Rilke



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love is a mystery




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 All things feel.

–Pythagoras


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Respect the mind that stirs in every creature: love is a mystery known by metals too; every flower opens its soul to Nature; everything is sentient, and works on you.

Beware! From the blind wall one watches you: even matter has a logos all its own . . . do not put it to some impious use. Often in humble life a god works, hidden; and like a new-born eye veiled by its lids, pure spirit grows beneath the surface of stones.

–Gerard de Nerval
1808 –1855


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tgww
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Saturday, February 23, 2019

You are a little soul carrying around a corpse. —Epictetus





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At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea, to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready. Now I will stop and be wholly attentive. You empty yourself and wait, listening. After a time you hear it: there is nothing there. There is nothing but those things only, those created objects, discrete, growing or holding, or swaying, being rained on or raining, held, flooding or ebbing, standing, or spread. You feel the world’s word as a tension, a hum, a single chorused note everywhere the same. This is it: this hum is the silence. Nature does not utter a peep - just this one. The birds and insects, the meadows and swamps and rivers and stones and mountains and clouds: they all do it; they all don’t do it. There is a vibrancy to the silence, a suppression, as if someone were gagging the world. But you wait, you give your life’s length to listening, and nothing happens. The ice rolls up, the ice rolls back, and still that single note obtains. The tension, or lack of it, is intolerable. The silence is not actually suppression; instead, it is all there is.

—Annie Dillard
Teaching a Stone to Talk, excerpt







 

this is what I believe





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This is what I believe: That I am I.

That my soul is a dark forest.

That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.

That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.

That I must have the courage to let them come and go.



—D. H. Lawrence


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Photo Beth Moon,
Ancient Trees: Portraits Of Time 

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the dream keeper






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Bring me all of your dreams,

You dreamer,

Bring me all your

Heart melodies

That I may wrap them

In a blue cloud-cloth

Away from the too-rough fingers

Of the world.


—Langston Hughes


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Friday, February 22, 2019

we are our dreams





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Whether we write or speak or do but look
We are ever unapparent. What we are
Cannot be transfused into word or book.
Our soul from us is infinitely far.
However much we give our thoughts the will
To be our soul and gesture it abroad,
Our hearts are incommunicable still.

In what we show ourselves we are ignored.
The abyss from soul to soul cannot be bridged
By any skill of thought or trick of seeming.
Unto our very selves we are abridged
When we would utter to our thought our being.
We are our dreams of ourselves, souls by gleams,
And each to each other dreams of others’ dreams.


–Fernando Pessoa


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the way it is





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There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.


—William Stafford


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inside







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How something is made flesh
no one can say. The buffalo soup
becomes a woman
who sings every day to her horses
or summons another to her private body
saying, come, touch, this is how
it begins, the path of a newly born
who, salvaged from other lives and worlds,
will grow to become a woman, a man,
with a heart that never rests,
and the gathered berries,
the wild grapes
enter the body,
human wine
which can love,
where nothing created is wasted;
the swallowed grain takes you through the dreams
of another night,
the deer meat becomes hands
strong enough to work.

But I love most
the white-haired creature
eating green leaves;
the sun shines there
swallowed, showing in her face
taking in all the light,
and in the end
when the shadow from the ground
enters the body and remains,
in the end, you might say,
This is myself,
still unknown, still a mystery.


–Linda Hogan


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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Flavia






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Thinking and prayer are much the same thing anyway, when you stop to think about it ... Prayer goes up and thought comes down—or so it seems. As far as I can tell, that's the only difference.


—Alan Bradley
A Red Herring Without Mustard
(binge reading, me)


...



Certain thoughts are prayers.

There are moments when,
whatever be the attitude of the body,

the soul is on its knees.


—Victor Hugo



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