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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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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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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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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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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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

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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like this





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Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen.


—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



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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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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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would the heart





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Ah! would the heart but be a manger for the birth,
God would become once more a little child of earth.

Immeasurable is the Highest! Who but knows it?

And yet a human heart can perfectly enclose it.


–Angelus Silesius


 





Thursday, December 22, 2016

question





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What in your life is calling you?
When all the noise is silenced,
the meetings adjourned,
the lists laid aside,
and the wild iris blooms by itself
in the dark forest,
what still pulls on your soul?



–Rumi

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i am a forest





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I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.


—Friedrich Nietzsche
Thus Spoke Zarathustra


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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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Monday, December 19, 2016

No Man is an Island, excerpt






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When I am not present to myself, then I am only aware of that half of me, that mode of my being which turns outward to created things. 
And then it is possible for me to lose myself among them. Then I no longer feel the deep secret pull of the gravitation of love which draws my inward self toward God. 

My will and my intelligence lose their command of the other faculties. My senses, my imagination, my emotions, scatter to pursue their various quarries all over the face of the earth. 

Recollection brings them home. It brings the outward self into line with the inward spirit, and makes my whole being answer the deep pull of love that reaches down into the mystery of God.


–Thomas Merton



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say i am





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Learn to distinguish the immovable in the movable, the unchanging in the changing, till you realize that all differences are in appearance only and oneness is a fact. 

This basic identity—you may call God, or Brahman, or the matrix (Prakriti), the words matter little—is only the realization that all is one. 

Once you can say with confidence born from direct experience: ‘I am the world, the world is myself’, you are free from desire and fear on one hand and become totally responsible for the world on the other.


Nisargadatta


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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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when






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When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner, and the above as the below,
and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female not be female,
then shall you enter the Kingdom.


–Jesus Christ








Re-statement of Romance





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The night knows nothing of the chants of night.
It is what it is as I am what I am:
And in perceiving this I best perceive myself
And you. Only we two may interchange
Each in the other what each has to give.
Only we two are one, not you and night,

Nor night and I, but you and I, alone,
So much alone, so deeply by ourselves,
So far beyond the casual solitudes,

That night is only the background of our selves,
Supremely true each to its separate self,
In the pale light that each upon the other throws.


–Wallace Stevens



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listen





 
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Saturday, December 17, 2016

question






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Are we not at peace in the interval when one thought ceases and another does not yet arise?


–Ramana Maharshi


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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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