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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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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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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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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