The Summer day

“Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean–

the one who has flung herself out of the grass

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

Into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?”

~ Mary Oliver

laydown

A better option . . .

“There is nothing sane, merciful, heroic, devout, redemptive, wise, holy, loving, peaceful, joyous, righteous, gracious, remotely spiritual, or worthy of praise where mass murder is concerned. We have been in this world long enough to know that by now and to understand that nonviolent conflict resolution informed by mutual compassion is the far better option.”
―   Aberjhani, Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays

orlando_shooting_ap_img

Touch

“Touch is what we desire in one form or another, even if we find it through being alone, through the agency of silence or through the felt need to walk at a distance: the meeting with something or someone other than ourselves, the light brush of grass on the skin, the ruffling breeze, the actual touch of another’s hand; even the gentle first touch of an understanding which until now, we were formally afraid to hold.

Whether we touch only what we see or the mystery of what lies beneath the veil of what we see, we are made for unending meeting and exchange, while having to hold a coherent mind and body, physically or imaginatively, which in turn can be found and touched itself. We are something for the world to run up against and rub up against: through the trials of love, through pain, through happiness, through our simple everyday movement through the world.

And the world touches us in many ways, some of which are violations of the body or our hopes for safety: through natural disaster, through heartbreak, through illness, through death itself. In the ancient world the touch of a God was seen as both a blessing and a violation – at one and the same time. Being alive in the world means being found by the world and sometimes touched to the core in ways we would rather not experience.

Growing with our bodies, all of us find ourselves at one time violated or wounded by this world in difficult ways, and still we live and breathe in this touchable, sensual world, and through trauma, through grief, through recovery, we heal in order to be touched again in the right way, as the physical consecration of a mutual, trusted invitation.

Nothing stops the body’s arrival in each new present, except death itself, which is intuited in all cultures as another, ultimate, intimate form of meeting. Nothing stops our ageing nor our witness to time, asking us again and again to be present to each different present, to be touchable and findable, to be one who is living up to the very fierce consequences of being bodily present in the world.

To forge an untouchable, invulnerable identity is actually a sign of retreat from this world; of weakness, a sign of fear rather than strength, and betrays a strange misunderstanding of an abiding, foundational and necessary reality: that untouched, we disappear”.

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

Always remember who we are, any time, anywhere

“You may think your life is too long. But when you come to the end you may think it too short. You may wonder how you lived without being truly able to savor the memories. Now at the end you hardly have time to go back. To do that would take another lifetime. And you have only this one. Given the way you remember your life, would you say it was worth it? Would you have gained a pretty good idea of why you happened to wind up here? Could you identify the memories in the stories that tell the saga of you? Could it be that one of the main reasons we are on this earth is to remember who we are? The song that sings in our blood, the song of our sacred ancestors, transcends the boundaries of a lifetime. Memories make a mockery of such ephemeral borders as future, present, and past. We Who Have Gone Before always remember who we are, any time, anywhere.” ~ Stephen Foster

Remember

Friendship

“The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.”

~ David Whyte

friends-walking