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Category Archives: Blogging

New Beginnings

via New Beginnings

Wildflower Women posted a lovely quote from Mary Oliver ushering in 2019.

We celebrate moments as if they are unique to a particular time. To be present and live in the world fully, perhaps each moment is a New Year flowing endlessly in the form of a river.

As I embrace the present moment, I kiss possibilities of what will be in the following moment without knowing this in advance.

Whitehead contended the present moment is holy ground where the past and future are always meeting and becoming whole. Holy, whole, and healing are linked etymologically.

Kathy took this photo as we travelled to BC just over a year ago.

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The Wisdom of the Universe in a Blade of Grass

via The Wisdom of the Universe in a Blade of Grass

Strawberry Indigo posted a wonderful piece that included some of my favourite writers: Walt Whitman, Mary Oliver, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Rabindranath Tagore each writing about a blade of grass and its wisdom.

It reminded me of the passage from Matthew 6:26 about lilies of the field, which exist for the sole purpose of their existence: “consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.They don’t toil, neither do they spin.” Other writers have made reference to lilies of the field. For example, Edith Wharton critiqued the rich and famous for their idle ways.

To be is to live fully and experience in living. It is to be present, living in the moment and mindful of the world as we experience it.

Daffodils, Lake, and Mountain in Glacier

Kathy took this picture of flowers, grass, trees, a lake, and mountains in Glacier National Park. Each of them just exists to be in the world, filling a particular role. One role is to make the world a better and beautiful place.

Feel a River

via Feel a River

Eddie shares a quote from Rumi. It reminded joy flows like a river through life. It takes on meaning in ways I cannot anticipate.

Fraser River Near Headwaters

I took this picture of Kathy and the Fraser River in East Central British Columbia. Around the bend is a waterfall one can hear, but not see from this vantage. The river flows.

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

via Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

David shared a wonderful poem by Mark Nepo. It reminds us life is not something to plan. Life is something we live. We exist in a state of flux and float in the breeze like a bird trusting the currents of the stream.

We took these pictures in Glacier National Park. It reminds me how nature just exists. There are no plan as such and no purpose than to be in a paricular moment. The waterfall does not care that we build roads and drive on them. It just flows.

Doors

The other night, we watched a re-run of the Montana episode of Parts Unknown hosted by the late Anthony Bourdain. I enjoy watching the series and this episdoe about Montana drew to it as we have visited Montana several times.

Bourdain ate with a poet I had not heard of before: Jim Harrison. He spoke about being part of nature and how he feels small under the big sky of Montana. I looked him up and felt I should have heard of him before. He was a celebrated and well-published poet.

I chose this poem as it speaks to how we create binary choices in a complex world and universe filled with a myriad of choices that we follow depending on the spirit. For example, we often think we have to separate the economy and the environment.

The etymology of economy is from the Greek, oikos, meaning household and suggests keeping a good house. We only have to think about animals and how they do not soil their living quarters to understand how economy and ecology are related.

Harrison created wonderful imagery about the sky being a door never closed, but the sun and moon are not doorknobs. He lived in Montana for years where the sky is big and stretches on, as does the land.

I had to look up Dersu Uzala. It was a movie made about a man who lived his life integrated with nature and the universe, who dies when he moves inside.

I’m trying to create an option for all
these doors in life. You’re inside
or out, outside or in. Of late, doors
have failed us more than the two-party system
or marriages comprising only one person.
We’ve been fooled into thousands of dualisms
which the Buddha says is a bad idea.
Nature has portals rather than doors.
There are two vast cottonwoods near a creek
and when I walk between them I shiver.
Winding through my field of seventy-seven
large white pine stumps from about 1903
I take various paths depending on spirit.
The sky is a door never closed to us.
The sun and moon aren’t doorknobs.
Dersu Uzala slept outside for forty-five years.
When he finally moved inside he died.

I took this picture several years ago as I looked from Alberta towards Montana across the field, with fresh bales of hay in the forefront and the mountains and sky forming the backdrop.

Leap of Faith

via Quote: Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets. Even when she writes lines in declaratory ways, there is a profound question being asked.

In this wonderful quote shared on Rethinking Life the question is what happens next. Even under the best and most controlled of circumstances, we do not know what will happen in the next moment.

Living is a leap of faith filled with mystery we can embrace. When we believe we control the next moment, the next instance, we fall short. Mindfulness can help us embrace the mystery. Being grounded in each ensuing moment is the only place we can be.

Where Words Fails

via Where Words Fail

Thank you to Misifusa for this wonderful post.

I have not posted for some time. This seemed like a good way to begin again, afresh. When I was growing up, we listened to a wide variety of music, including Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. I thought it was the norm and grew into a die-hard blues fan, attending concerts by Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, and King Biscuit when they traveled to Canada.

As an adult, I saw BB King, John Mayall, Etta James, Ruthie Foster, Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama, and others. An American friend told me this was not the norm in the US. He did not have the same opportunities to see these performers as I did or, if he did, it was long after they were in their primes.

The Hans Christian Anderson quote fits well “where words fail, music speaks”. Music breaks down barriers without realizing they are coming down. As a Canadian, I had freedoms I took-for-granted, like the music I listened to and the concerts I attended. When I taught, I played a wide variety of music each morning. It ranged from the blues to jazz to country to folk to old rock and to more contemporary music. Students enjoyed it and it surprised them when they heard me play old Johnny Cash, the blues, and rock-a-billy.

Music is colour-blind or, better yet, music is blind to colour.

I like this particular John Lee Hooker song, which I first heard in the early 1970’s. George Thorogood plays it in most of his concerts in tribute to John Lee. Enjoy.

 

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