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Think of Others

Mahmoud Darwish wrote this poem in a way that stands out for me. He bracketed every second line as a gentle reminder to remember those who have less than us.

Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving at different times, but part of the celebrating is thinking about the good fortune we have and how others may be missing what we call good fortune.

Perhaps, the measure is not material. Perhaps, the measure is in those people and things that are immeasurable.

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark).

Just Dance

Just Dance.

Author and educator William W. Purkey is credited with the following quote:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

I have seen it credited to the great Satchel Paige who pitched in the Negro Leagues and was pioneer in breaking the colour barrier in major league baseball.

The link is to a short article with a quote from Anne Lamott that ends with the line: “Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance!”

What links the three together is the story-telling quality they share. Sometimes we have to trust the person–the character–we are. This is revealed in the stories we tell and the living we undertake. Living life is a gift and when we live fully, trusting who we are in living this life this one wild and precious life paraphrasing Mary Oliver.

Your Sunrise

Your Sunrise.

Rumi speaks about paradox in the quote introducing the poem. We often think of entrances as being an external portal but, when we seek sanctuary, we turn in looking for the entrance to that sanctuary. The entrance is inside us leading further inside.

As the poem suggests, to be human is to be sacred. It is the coming together of two worlds, one outside and one inside. The inner one is much harder to reach as we try opening the door the wrong way quite often. We push out rather than turning in and pulling gently revealing light from the inner sanctuary that shines on us as we sit quietly waiting for silence to speak.

The Other Kingdoms

It is Sabbath and winter arrived over night. It snowed and is colder. Mary Oliver`s poem speaks about the way the Inuit use many expressions describing snow. In doing so, they are mindful and aware of the world they live in. It speaks to them and shares its experiences in ways words used are meaningful. But, it happens only when we are present and attentive of extraordinary events co-mingling with the ordinary world we think we experience. We rush past the world and lose the words it speaks quickly. We lose the kingdom we live in unless we slow down and drink from its cup fully.

When we slow down, we grow wild and are in the wild world around us and in us. The wildness animates us and we live more fully. Snow today means slippery roads, drivers who have forgotten what it means to drive in the snow, and a blanket beginning to cover the ground as it slumbers. Snow means more than just one word to me. It is how I experience the snow that speaks of snow. There is nobility in the titles the world carries that we have not given names for and can not find the words for those titles.

Consider the other kingdoms.  The
trees, for example, with their mellow-sounding
titles: oak, aspen, willow.
Or the snow, for which the peoples of the north
have dozens of words to describe its
different arrivals.  Or the creatures, with their
thick fur, their shy and wordless gaze.  Their
infallible sense of what their lives
are meant to be.  Thus the world
grows rich, grows wild, and you too,
grow rich, grow sweetly wild, as you too
were born to be.

I think ; therefore I am & Je pense, donc je suis & Penso dunque sono & Ich denke, also bin ich & Pienso, luego existo & Düşünüyorum, öyleyse varım !!

I think ; therefore I am & Je pense, donc je suis & Penso dunque sono & Ich denke, also bin ich & Pienso, luego existo & Düşünüyorum, öyleyse varım !!.

The link included quotes from Rumi and Tolstoy. We begin changing the world as an internal project, one that changes who we are first. The ripple effect is only possible, not certain. I say possible, because there is no certainty in life’s project. They take time, patience, and compassion to encounter who we are in an honest way. Living is hard work and it is not easily completed.

The change in self is possibly easier when we are older and take time living. It is also harder. Are we able to move the same way we did as a younger person? We can be more mindful and attentive perhaps. We can only hope the ripple reaches those close and they are able to use those ripples in meaningful ways.

Whatever we do, we should only expect the change to be our change. We can only till the soil closest and most meaningful to us.

 

Home

Bruce Weigl wrote this lovely poem. When we practice, the Sabbath we find our way home. We re-discover roots we often leave behind in the busyness of our day-to-day lives.

There is a paradox in this leaving of roots. They remain attached as we can detach from them. We can ignore the roots, but the are always there. We cannot shake loose from them. They follow us and eventually we stop the shaking. We let the roots feed and nurture us the way they can.

In Sabbath practice, we listen to the music that translates the world into dirt fields that always call us. We rejoice in the dirt fields of our youth and find our spirit in those dirt fields. The roots helped make us who we are. We can never escape from those roots or plow them under.

I didn’t know I was grateful

           for such late-autumn

                       bent-up cornfields

yellow in the after-harvest

             sun before the

                       cold plow turns it all over

into never.

           I didn’t know

                        I would enter this music

that translates the world

             back into dirt fields

                         that have always called to me

as if I were a thing

             come from the dirt,

                         like a tuber,

or like a needful boy. End

             Lonely days, I believe. End the exiled

                           and unraveling strangeness.

Wisdom

Wisdom.

Rumi‘s poetry is profound. It resonates down through the centuries carrying deep messages that still offer insight and wisdom.

When we need wisdom, we only have to stop, wait for silence, and allow silence to speak its words. Turning inwards, being mindful of what the silence speaks provides the wisdom when needed.

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