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Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. /Kahlil Gibran/ Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Source: Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

This is a short and powerful quote by Khalil Gibran accompanied by a glowing flame. It is in those moments of true solitude we find ourselves and who we are lights the path ahead.

Solitude embraces us in its questions without pre-known answers. We we engage the deepest parts of our self in conversation. Engage means to pledge and in solitude we can pledge to make a difference in the world.

Be Kind Whenever Possible

In the midst of living life, be KIND. If life is one of success, be kind and show others the way. If there is joy, lift others up and be kind. If there is a setback, be kind. This moment sha…

Source: Be Kind Whenever Possible

The post linked provides a short list of what benefits we accrue when we are kind and two quotes that support the personal need to be kind. As challenging as it is sometimes, being kind is essential to our personal well-being. We feel better when we are kind to others. When we smile, we share what is good in our life with them and acknowledge them as a person.

The Dalai Lama said to be kind when it is possible and it is always possible. Kahlil Gibran counselled kindness is a manifestation of strength and resolve. When we are kind to others, we are mindful and present to them and their needs in that moment and act towards them in an uplifting manner.

 

Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, and it is commonly more than that, sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolu…

Source: Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

The photographs are wonderful and a quote accompanies each speaking to the essential nature of spending time with our self. It is in reflective moments that we spend in solitude that we rediscover who we are in trying to make our self whole.

The Hasidic scholar, educator, political activist, and philosopher Martin Buber said “solitude is the place of purification.” Through dialogue with our self, others, and the world, we grow to understand who we are and our place in the world in relationship to others.

Absence

I’ve come to understand that absence lies at the heart of our seeing more clearly. It’s often in something’s absence that we suddenly begin to see, whatever it is, in a new light.…

Source: Absence

Jacques Derrida said one cannot speak of something without acknowledging its opposite. When we hear black, it is natural for us to think of white. He went so far as to say that to claim one is atheist acknowledges the very possibility God exists.

Absence make the heart grow fonder, particularly when we love something or someone deeply. The Khalil Gibran quote at the end is essential to how we come to appreciate what and who we have in life. It is in the moments absence we grow to understand how much we love. It is in those moments we grow to be mindful and attentive when absence turns to presence.

All That We Share (Watch!)

Video post by @davidkanigan. This is a great post from David and worth the few minutes it takes to watch it.

Source: All That We Share (Watch!)

As I watched this video, it reminded me of an undergraduate class I took. It was the only class non-special needs undergraduate students could take.

I recall how our text and professor focused on the idea that we have far more in common than what makes us difference. At the core, we are each humans and, when we see each other in that light, it makes all the difference.

When we take time and are mindful to each person present to us, we can grow and understand their presence is a gift to each of us. The differences make us each a unique star in the universe, but there is more to each of us that makes us the same.

The Shadow

Last night, as I posted, the words of a paragraph began to take shape as a poem and Mary Oliver’s words echoed for me.

Today, I took those words and echoes and finished the poem. It has been some time since I wrote a poem. Perhaps, without the urgency of writing a dissertation, this just happened. As well, the break without a need to read and write may have helped and freshened my desire to write differently.

There is no sense of urgency.

Here, I am in the shadow of nature

It uplifts, holding me close.

Nature reminds of less mechanical ways and times;

Of just being and living in the moment.

Pelicans dive bomb the surf in an instinctive search,

Oblivious to me, they bob on the waves.

At night, stars fill darkness and stillness,

They wait to be touched.

Oxen pull a plow across the hardpan soil,

They follow a deep-rooted instinct lost on me

The horse trotts a path, familiar to it

I sway, recalling greater comfort the last time I rode.

I recall days past.

I unsmother moments, days and experiences

My dreams call out to me;

They breathe life into my being.

Here, I sense what it might mean to live and just be.

Without urgency, there is a lightness in my gait.

The Poet Dreams of the Mountain

Kathy and I were in Cuba for a week. I think I am back on track with the blog. As well, I submitted a draft of my dissertation to the committee and am waiting to hear back from them.

It was nice to go and just be for a few days. Sometimes, we need to just look back and contemplate, without anything other than being present and in the moment. I think that is what Mary Oliver is getting at in this poem. I found that reading, writing, re-reading, and re-writing consumed my days.

For few days, I found there was no urgency. It was peaceful to walk on the beach, watching pelicans dive bomb into the surf. It was inspiring to look up at night and see the heavens filled with stars, only occasionally disrupted by a distant light house beacon. It was enjoyable to be behind an ox and plow for a few minutes. When I rode a horse, I remembered days past. We need to unsmother those moments, those days and experiences so our dreams come back to us and breathe life into our souls.

Sometimes I grow weary of the days, with all their fits and starts.
I want to climb some old gray mountains, slowly, taking
The rest of my lifetime to do it, resting often, sleeping
Under the pines or, above them, on the unclothed rocks.
I want to see how many stars are still in the sky
That we have smothered for years now, a century at least.
I want to look back at everything, forgiving it all,
And peaceful, knowing the last thing there is to know.
All that urgency! Not what the earth is about!
How silent the trees, their poetry being of themselves only.
I want to take slow steps, and think appropriate thoughts.
In ten thousand years, maybe, a piece of the mountain will fall.

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