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Dialogue

Dialogue.

The linked poem uses the word nature in an ambiguous and lovely way. Perhaps, we want to know our nature? Or, is it that we wait for nature to reveal itself more fully to us?

When we wait quietly and listen deeply, we hear the questions which are essential to dialogue. It is in the quiet we hear.

Eliminating the Horizon

We need boundaries. They create structure in our lives. Having said this, I think Linda Nemec Foster asks a great question, “Who needs boundaries?” Can we close our eyes and imagine where the earth ends and the sky begins? Or, where the stream wanders it disappears from our sight?

Many years ago, Kathy and I camped with friends at Quesnel Lake, a beautiful and isolated glacially-fed lake, in central British Columbia.

There is a waterfall, named Niagara Falls, that flows into the east end of the lake.They are 30-40 metres high and narrow. As we approached the falls, we cut the boat motor and heard them thundering from about 1 km away.

We chatted and wondered about the waterfalls’ source. We arrived at a consensus is small lake at the base of a distant mountain fed Niagara Creek. I imagined what that looked like as we climbed to where the falls cascaded over the edge. There was a mountain in the distance which seemed to confirm our guess, but our view – our horizon – was obscured.

That evening, as we sat around the fire, we pulled maps out and found the river did not seem to be lake-fed, but just began at the base of a mountain. Today, I see different possibilities in my mind’s eye. It might be glacial fed, spring fed, or emerge from an unmarked, small lake.

When we close our eyes, we imagine what is beyond the boundaries and their limits. We move past horizons as our imaginations lead the way. There are no lines there.

Who needs boundaries?

If your eyes fail to imagine

where the earth ends and the sky

begins, think of a place bereft

of lines: the blue depths of a stream

flowing like hair that will never

be combed. Deep indigo of nothing

but fluid memory ebbing around

blossoms of white asters. “I remember

how flowers feel when you barely

touch them,” says the water. Like leaving

one world and embracing another:

seeds bursting into wildflowers,

clouds changing into rain,

the image of our borders

a mere outline the soul ignores.

ordinary gateway

ordinary gateway.

This is another post that I tucked away some time ago. The image is intriguing. Bert took a picture of a mushroom from underneath which is not where we look at things from quite often. Here, we find an ordinary gateway where the Sun lets us see things differently shining through the mushroom’s folds.

Martin Heidegger, a brilliant philosopher and not so great person, wrote that we can only see the face of an object unless we change our place in relationship to the object gaining a new perspective and insight.

When we change our point-of-view, it is like a new gateway into something we have not experienced. As well, when we go to the backside and underneath, perhaps there is an un-experienced silence. It is like driving past a mountain on a busy highway with its busyness that does not exist on the other sides. When we find those quiet spaces, the silence speaks to us from the object’s essence and something new reveals itself.

 

* Life is Made Up of Moments

* Life is Made Up of Moments.

When we live in each moment, life becomes fuller and richer. It is not like we know we are leaving each moment. Each moment flows like a river into the next. Living in each moment allows us to recognize the temporary nature of life.

When we slow down and remove some of the busyness and clutter, life flows more seamlessly. Here, we pause and take stock of the world.

Photo Friday: Facing Our Fears

Photo Friday: Facing Our Fears.

What do I fear? I think frequently what I fear is not the matter in front of me, but the idea that something I face and faces me is different and there is potential for change I cannot control.

We separate from the world in ways that allow us to think as spectators. As Renate suggested, once we remove the medium through which we view the world, in this case a spider, it moves closer to us.

Yet, we cannot escape danger. We face it each day, perhaps each moment in some ways unknown to us and that presents a danger itself. We lose sight of the world we live in.

Gospel

The world gospel comes from the Greek and Latin meaning “a reward for bringing good news.” When we walk through life and notice what we experience we are rewarded. It requires a mindful and thoughtful approach noticing the old and the new sharing space with each other; dependent upon each other.

We are dependent on what is there. Thich Nhat Hanh suggested a garden’s weeds enable the growth of new plants. Farmers plow the previous year’s growth under avoiding erosion, adding nutrition to the soil, and helping keep moisture. We do not know whether the news is good until we pause and remember the context behind the news. What did that “bad” news really mean? When we listen more closely, we hear the music of the world singing a different refrain for us.

Philip Levine wrote this wonderful poem. I thought about what it means to receive news. Perhaps that letter in his pocket was not bad news, but, once he was over the pain, he found something new that he had not sensed before.

The new grass rising in the hills,

the cows loitering in the morning chill,

a dozen or more old browns hidden

in the shadows of the cottonwoods

beside the stream bed. I go higher

to where the road gives up and there’s

only a faint path strewn with lupine

between the mountain oaks. I don’t

ask myself what I’m looking for.

I didn’t come for answers

to a place like this, I came to walk

on the earth, still cold, still silent.

Still ungiving, I’ve said to myself,

although it greets me with last year’s

dead thistles and this year’s

hard spines, early blooming

wild onions, the curling remains

of spider’s cloth. What did I bring

to the dance? In my back pocket

a crushed letter from a woman

I’ve never met bearing bad news

I can do nothing about. So I wander

these woods half sightless while

a west wind picks up in the trees

clustered above. The pines make

a music like no other, rising and

falling like a distant surf at night

that calms the darkness before

first light. “Soughing” we call it, from

Old English, no less. How weightless

words are when nothing will do.

Lighthouses

Lighthouses.

Bill provides a quote from Anne Lamott. I began to read her work recently and found it humorous and inspiring.

When we have principles and are grounded, there is no need to run around trying to impress. We stand as beacons casting a light all around us inviting the world into us and joining the world as full participants.

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