Friday morning music

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Most of the warriors

“Most of the warriors I knew
Have settled down to gardening, and the morning Times,
Tired of stalking ghosts
and the melody of secret rhythms
above the sound of traffic
and other monotonous voices,
Finally content to stare and wonder.

Most of the warriors I knew
Have unsaddled stallions and built a fence in the backyard,
Weary of studying the clouds
And the shadows creeping across mountains
beyond the flash of neon
and other pretentious symbols,
Finally content to stare and wonder.

Most of the warriors I knew
Have died before their time and are forgotten
Save in the memory of their sons
And the dreams they seldom share
beyond the taint of time
and other unimportant measures

Finally content to stare and wonder.’

~  James Kavanaugh

summer_garden

 

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Out in the field

“Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make sense any more.”

~ Rumi

Hawthorn tree standing in field with dark sky

Hawthorn tree standing in field with dark sky

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Gift of work

“I mean, we spend over one-third of our lives actually in the workplace, and one of the loneliest things you can find is somebody who is in the wrong kind of work, who shouldn’t be doing what they are doing but should be doing something else and haven’t the courage to get up and leave it and make a new possibility for themselves. But it’s lovely when you find someone at work who’s doing exactly what they dreamed they should be doing and whose work is an expression of their inner gift. And in witnessing to that gift and in bringing it out they actually provide an incredible service to us all.”

~ John O’Donohue, the late Irish poet and philosopher

Gift of work

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The fourth sign of the zodiac

Mary Oliver, the poet discusses what she calls “the cancer visit.” In 2012 she was diagnosed with lung cancer and said that death had “left his calling card.” She was treated and was given “a clean bill of health.”

In her collection Blue Horses, “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac” is a four-part poem that recalls the shadowy underworld of loss and survival. And yet, grief is coupled with a hopefulness. The poem is petitionary, asking of us to make what we can of the time we have left.

“1.
Why should I have been surprised?
Hunters walk the forest
without a sound.
The hunter, strapped to his rifle,
the fox on his feet of silk,
the serpent on his empire of muscles—
all move in a stillness,
hungry, careful, intent.
Just as the cancer
entered the forest of my body,
without a sound.

2.
The question is,
what will it be like
after the last day?
Will I float
into the sky
or will I fray
within the earth or a river—
remembering nothing?
How desperate I would be
if I couldn’t remember
the sun rising, if I couldn’t
remember trees, rivers; if I couldn’t
even remember, beloved,
your beloved name.

3.
I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you’re in it all the same.

so why not get started immediately.

I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.

And to write music or poems about.

Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.

You could live a hundred years, it’s happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime.

4.
Late yesterday afternoon, in the heat,
all the fragile blue flowers in bloom
in the shrubs in the yard next door had
tumbled from the shrubs and lay
wrinkled and fading in the grass. But
this morning the shrubs were full of
the blue flowers again. There wasn’t
a single one on the grass. How, I
wondered, did they roll back up to
the branches, that fiercely wanting,
as we all do, just a little more of
life?”

~ Mary Oliver

bluehydrangea

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Sunday morning music

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Saturday morning music

 

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