To begin

“Beginning well or beginning poorly, what is important is simply to begin, but the ability to make a good beginning is also an art form, beginning well involves a courageous clearing away of the confusing, the cluttered and the complicated to find the beautiful, often hidden lineaments of the essential and the necessary.

Beginning is difficult, and our procrastination is a fine, ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking that first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness. Perhaps, because taking a new step always begins from the central foundational core of the body and leads to an equally physical, radical and internal simplification; where, suddenly, very large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, parts of us still rehearsing the old complicated story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us too afraid to participate or having nothing new to offer, are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma. In effect we must sit by the death bed of our own old, now departing wishes and come to the new step, learning that this new, less complicated self, and this very simple step, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead.

It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer to live in an almost world, why we prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities to be safely clouded by fear, why we want the horizon to remain always in the distance, the promise never fully and simply made, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.”

~ David Whyte From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

-stepping-stones

The everyday enchantment of music

“A rough sound was polished until it became a smoother sound,
which was polished until it became music. Then the music was
polished until it became the memory of a night in Venice when
tears of the sea fell from the Bridge of Sighs, which in turn was
polished until it ceased to be and in its place stood the empty
home of a heart in trouble. Then suddenly there was sun and the
music came back and traffic was moving and off in the distance, at
the edge of the city, a long line of clouds appeared, and there was
thunder, which, however menacing, would become music, and the
memory of what happened after Venice would begin, and what
happened after the home of the troubled heart broke in two would
also begin.”

~ Mark Strand ~ “The Everyday Enchantment of Music” by Mark Strand from Collected Poems.

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Lost

“Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you. ”

~ David Wagoner

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