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Tag Archives: relationships

SOLITUDE

via SOLITUDE

Lara provides wonderful images of her neighbourhood, gardens, and pets. This post is one with a single picture and a Khalil Gibran quote about solitude.

Solitude is not loneliness. Teaching can be a lonely profession often done in solitude, largely away from other adults. I was fortunate. For most of my career, I taught in proximity to other adults and this provided rich conversations and insights for reflection to improve my teaching.

Gibran wrote a poem about children, reminding me students I taught were not my children. My favourite line is “their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.” As a teacher, I only promised I would do my best to prepare students for tomorrow.

In French, the word retirer means to draw back, like an archer. It is in healthy solitude I gather myself, draw back, and find stability in teaching the next generation.

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

     And he said:

     Your children are not your children.

     They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

     They come through you but not from you,

     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

     You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

     For they have their own thoughts.

     You may house their bodies but not their souls,

     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

     You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

     You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

     Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

     For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Where do we find solitude? I find it in Nature, in writing, in reading, in teaching, and in living. It is not a place. It is a relationship to life, others, and things.

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Kathy took this picture in Jasper National Park. The roots of the trees form steps and a path up from the water falls we were visiting.

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A Pearl from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

via A Pearl from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

David Herbert posted this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in April. Bonhoeffer was executed hours before the end of World War II by the Nazis who held him as a prisoner for about 1.5 years. He is a modern day martyr and opposed the Nazis fromt the time they came to power.

David’s quote is a wonderful insight into how God is not driven by human views, opinions, and ideologies. We each have free choice and will to live in proper ways and to treat the world we live in (we are not separate) with reverence.

Nature, including humans, are gifts given to preserve and conserve in their purest forms.

Daffodils, Lake, and Mountain in Glacier

Of all the pictures I post, this is my favourite. Kathy took the picture as she drove through Glacier National Park in Montana. With the flowers, grass, trees, lake, mountain, snow, clouds, and sky, there is so much of Nature’s in the picture.

Thistle And Bee

via Thistle And Bee

Kenne is a wonderful photography and poet. In this post, he provides beautiful art along with a quote from Alan Watts.

Watts was an early interpreter of Eastern philosophies. In his book, The Wisdom of Insecurity, he distinguishes between faith and beliefs. To have faith, one accepts what comes. According to Watts, we reduce our anxiety. To believe, one fits the world to fit those beliefs.  In this case, we create doctrine and dogma, religious and otherwise, to suit what our beliefs are. We become anxious in our defense of our beliefs.

When we have faith, we accept what comes and we are part of the larger whole. When we have a belief system, we defend it and treat people and things as if they are resources and disposable. Nature is something exploitable and not something to enjoy and protect.

When I look at the picture Kenne shared, I am reminded how each person, being, and thing is somehow intertwined with everything else. The bee depends on the flower and we depend on each of them in particular ways. We treat the thistle as a weed, rather than as a source of food for the bee and the bee’s honey a source of food for us. Without either of them the universe is diminished. As Watts suggested, we have to see and listen with the eyes and ears of the universe to appreciate the universe’s magnifence.

Yellowstone Elk

I took this picture several years ago in Yellowstone National Park. I was about 20 feet away from this elk with my camera and a few trees between him and me. He knew I was there. A moment before he looked at me, seemed to sense I was not a threat and went back to eating. I did not move suddenly and kept my eye on him each moment I was down there.

….and Mary Oliver spoke

via ….and Mary Oliver spoke

Udo posted this quote from Mary Oliver‘s poem, The Summer Day. It is my favourite line from all of her wonderful poetry and challenges me to reflect on and act on the purpose and calling of my life’s vocation.

Mary Oliver reminds me life and its many callings are not filled with certainty and fixed paths. Instead, I wander and wonder as I take detours and hope I find my way.

I share this line teaching and presenting, as a reminder life is about unexpected and, sometimes, we have to permit ourselves to stop and experience what we often drive by and take-for-granted.

Robson

On trips to visit in British Columbia, Mt. Robson is a favourite stopping place. The mountain is a sentinal over the valley, with wilderness gems to experience and revel in as I live my one and wild life.

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The waterfalls are located in the Crowsnest Pass. Like Mt. Robson, I gave myself permission to pause and experience being in nature and not just a visitor.

Gratitude is a Consistent Conversation

via Gratitude is a Consistent Conversation

Tina shares a wonderful post about gratitude.

I am in Phoenix for a few days and enjoy hiking whenever I go to somewhere new. The other day, I went with Kathy and others. It was a beautiful walk in the midst of an urban, which is not always visible, setting revealing its desert ecosystem.

As we walked, we talked about the beauty of the desert and the subtle colours and the richness revealed. To take note of the world we live in and who we share it with, animate and inanimate, is a part of the conversation we have to express our gratitude. For me, an essential aspect of the conversation is being attentive and mindful of the world I share.

Skyline Regional Park February 13

In this picture, you can see the skyline of the city in the background.

Skyline Regional Park February 13 #3

Skyline Regional Park February 13 #2

In the other pictures, there was a focus on the desert and its richness.

I apologize for the lack of editing on the pictures. I am using new apps and learning how to share and edit with them on the fly.

 

Dance of the reef heron…

via Dance of the reef heron…

Sriram shares beautiful photos from nature along with poetry and quotes to complement.

Wendell Berry reminds me nature is a place of refuge among the wild things we share the universe with. It is in those spaces we dance with the heron and others.

Nadia Janice provokes me to pause and experience what I imagine as flight. Here, I imagine in ways the universe becomes even more than I experience it in my senses.

Several years ago, I wrote a class paper sharing how the Psalmists and Psalms resonated God’s voice and vision of the universe humans live in with all other creatures and natural phenonmenon. Our anscestors understood the universe as a place of wonder and imagined how it spoke to them and revealed itself in divine ways.

All One

via All One

Bela posted a lovely poem with a series of beautiful photos related to memories and re-membering. When we re-member, we make things whole with all members in place without surrendering mystery we cannot fully understand. Like a community, each member is related to one another.

The picture of the gnarled trees drew me. The trees remind me moving through time is not a fixed and linear path. Instead, beauty reveals itself in the detours and crags, re-membered as I reflect on where I have soujourned, joyous and painful. I am marked by joy and pain I experience.

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I took this picture in Jasper National Park several years ago. The roots in random ways have emerged from the stones, offering a path up the hill amongst the trees they are connected to.

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