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Category Archives: Poetry

There is only one Earth…

There is only one Earth….

I am re-reading Rethinking Nature an anthology of philosophical writings about seeing humans living inside nature and nature residing inside us. There is a co-inhabiting involved. Despite familiarity and intimacy, we cannot fully encounter and understand nature anymore than we fully encounter and understand our self. It is in mystery, that beauty lies.

The linked poem speaks to the objectifying nature has undergone at the hands of human belief that we are dominant in nature. In objectifying nature, we objectify ourselves. We cannot live in nature and see it as outside our living.

Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and many other poets write about nature as a place. Place does not equate to ownership. It is about something special that holds our spirit in place and grounds our living. There is an essence and spirit in place that cannot be quantified. It is seen in the early morning dew, the thundering storms, and a moose calmly eating a few feet away.

Ask a Tree

Ask a Tree.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about a large tree on the grounds at Plum Village a Zen monastery in France.  When people are feeling lonely, sad, angry, etc. he suggests they hug the tree for a few moments. It provides people with an opportunity to connect as they pause.

The druids lived in nature often living in trees. Nature was a cathedral and should still be today. As I drove home yesterday, I saw the changing colour in leaves and branches hanging over our street. Nature and trees have stories to tell. We only need to ask, pause of a moment, and listen attentively.

Slow Down, You’re Going Too Fast

Slow Down, You’re Going Too Fast.

Paul Simon is supposed to have written the song 59th Street Bridge Song which includes the line “slow down you move to fast” while sitting in a traffic jam on the 59th St. Bridge in New York City. It is not so much that we have to or, for that matter, can make the morning last longer. It is more likely when we pause and take time to enjoy the world as we move through it and it moves through us we feel that morning lasts longer.

Chronos time is a human-made construct. Here, we master and manage time. Kairos time is a fluid, natural flow of time without measure. One is calculating and the other meditating. When we live in the world in a hermeneutic way, we take time and read the contours of the world as it appears, as we encounter and experience it fully with all our senses. There is no rush in those moments.

Today

Sabbath is here. Hafiz, the Sufi poet, wrote  this wonderful poem which helps me understand Sabbath more fully. The third stanza speaks to the need to be present in the world. It is each Now that we can testify to the truth. Yet, this truth is always transient, because I recall it later incompletely.

I do not want to step so quickly
over the beautiful line on God’s palm
As I move through earth’s
Marketplace
Today

I do not want to touch any object in this world
Without my eyes testifying to the truth
That everything is
My Beloved

Something has happened
to my understanding of existence
That now always makes my heart full of wonder
and Kindness.

I do not
Want
To step so quickly
Over the sacred place on God’s body
That is right beneath
your own foot

As I dance with
Precious life
Today.

482. Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace. ~Louise Seymour Jones

482. Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace. ~Louise Seymour Jones.

Summer in Alberta took a beating this week. It snowed and in some places along the Eastern Slopes it snowed a lot.

I love the seasons and their change. The cycle of life is visible during the various times of the year in Alberta. We move from summer to fall to winter and Nature reveals herself in Her changes. It is in the cycle that Nature’s creativity is fully revealed.

This is the time of the year that farmers and gardeners harvest. It is a time of celebration, community, and gathering together in thankfulness for the gifts we receive. In a world where global interests prevail over the local, we sometimes forget our closeness to Nature and a need to be thankful through prayers, poetry, and Psalms.

What the Soul Needs Now

What the Soul Needs Now.

Rumi‘s poetry shines down through the centuries and provides insight in troubled times. When we are unsure and do not seem to hear the small voice inside of us, find an even deeper stillness and listen more closely. The voice is still there, being drowned out by distractions.

It is in the quiet and stillness we find the courage deep in our hearts and souls. When we do, we speak and act in right ways.

Tree of poems (1)

Tree of poems (1).

This post includes the poem written in three languages, English, Roma, and Italian, along with a graphic. The graphic is fuzzy as it should be. Living is like writing a poem. The space between the words mean something and create a fuzziness that perhaps speaks more clearly than the words spoken.

Similar to writing, living is always a process of editing. The stories we tell and the person we are (our whoness and isness) is not fully describable. Memories are incomplete and fuzzy even the moment we step out of this moment. Moreover, can we even know what we missed and did not understand? Living and reading poetry are always happening in the Now. They always take on new meaning as we listen and act again.

Living is an ongoing conversation in the world and with its phenomena. We live in community where our humanness is what provides the common feature between us and Others we are in relationship with. The world presses in on us and is included in the conversation as it helps us make sense of the journey we are on.

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