I am not sure where this is located, but it is spectacular. I was reminded of La Chute Montmorency which is just outside Quebec City. Despite the power, during the winter they partially freeze up which contrasts the power of the falls during the summer months.
Monthly Archives: February 2014
Wendell Berry is one of my favourite poets. I have many favourites. It is much easier to find a poem when you have many.
We spend time each summer wandering through nature. I think for Kathy and I it is a return to our roots. We grew up in rural settings and were outdoors a lot as a result. I think as we mature, getting older is so passe, we look for the roots that connect us to the universe. Nature is one those things.
Alfred North Whitehead suggested we only need to look at nature to find the patterns we need in life.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
We are always in the process of change, but do not see it clearly as such. It is often incorporated into the world that is our lives and stays below the surface. The challenge is to surface the change and work with it seeing that it is always happening and the dark side will move along just as the bright side does.
I chose this poem by Louis MacNeice for various reasons which is one of the poem’s underlying themes. The poem is about the fragmented ways we see the world. Humans are limited in that sense, but being mindful, present, and attending to our immediate world begins to offset this and present a more complete picture.
There is always a (w)hole in the hole, a sense of mystery, but it seems less challenging and we see the extraordinary we might otherwise miss. We are in the world not separated from it by windows and walls we construct.
Spokane received snow yesterday and it is easy to wish spring were here or summer. But, the snow added a backdrop and left provided a crisp world that has lasted into today.
This morning, I watched a squirrel tentatively climb snowy tree limbs. It moved slowly, but eventually reached its food. It was a blessing to be in the world and not outside.
The room was suddenly rich, and the great bay window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural, I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than an one supposes–
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands–
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.
The Allen Ginsberg quote and the beautiful poem are simple messages about being whole. Who we are is not something to be hidden, but something to be brought out and shared in the light of the moon perhaps at first and gradually in the light of day.
Roses in winter sounds beautiful. The imagery in the picture and poetry change the snowy world.
There are always otherwises in life we can never know, because they have not happened and perhaps never will. In many ways, I am grateful for not having experienced the otherwises that might replace getting out of bed on two strong legs or eating my cereal, breakfast bar, and banana each morning. Or, drinking tea as part who I am.
Jane Kenyon wrote about things we take for granted because they are ingrained in who we are and we pay little attention to them. They are the ordinary things that in many ways are extraordinary.
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
Thomas Merton had a way of seeing and saying things that make sense even 50 after he passed away. Osho says the same thing essentially. We cannot take it with us so it is important to do well with it on Earth and share in ways that make the world a better place.