MEANDER, n. To proceed sinuously and aimlessly. The word is the ancient name of a river about one hundred and fifty miles south of Troy, which turned and twisted in the effort to get out of hearing when the Greeks and Trojans boasted of their prowess.
~ Ambrose Bierce
I have been meandering around the internet lately, being led here and there to places with loving words, beautiful poetry, wonderful meditations, and thought-provoking essays. I thought I’d share a few today and, if you have the time, perhaps you, too, would like to meander a bit and leave something in the comments, perhaps some links to places where you have wandered and found something positive or healing or loving or beautiful.
The images we’ll be meandering through are from last week’s early birthday walk around Assateague Island National Seashore. In a way, Mother Nature is responsible for the protection of Assateague Island. There was a time when people thought it would be a good idea to build houses and roads on the island. Then a nor’easter came along in 1962 (the Ash Wednesday Storm) and put an end to that thinking. The park that over 2 million people now visit and enjoy every year was created in 1965.
I always appreciate and enjoy Tara Brach’s talks and meditations. In Spiritual Reparenting she asks, “Where does it hurt?” (something she borrowed from a civil rights activist, but I’ll get to that in a few moments). She ends the talk with a lovely meditation and a poem by Hafiz:
With That Moon Language
Everyone you see, you
say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not
do this out loud:
Someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think
This great pull in us to
Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,
With that sweet moon
What every other eye
In this world
Is dying to
Years ago, I completed a questionnaire that was designed to help you figure out what you want to be when you grow up. It pointed me, not unexpectedly, towards photography, and sharing the beauty of nature, the ordinary magic, that I find on my daily walks, but I may have been biased in my interpretations. Over the weekend, I came across an interesting, thought-provoking essay about Photography For Social Change written by David Ulrich, a photographer, and I thought about that long-ago questionnaire. He points out that most of us are carrying around a convenient camera these days. Along with our selfies and pics of what we had for dinner, we could use them to “sing an ode to earth,” take portraits of those most likely to be further disadvantaged by predicted changes ahead in social programs, or to teach what is happening to people, to the planet, to ourselves by showing rather than telling in an age when images may count more than words.
Speaking (writing) of words, one of the problems I have when discussing any emotionally charged subject is, well, taking the charge part out of my emotions. It’s one thing to feel passionate about a subject. It’s quite another to infuse that passion with anger, disgust, and/or frustration. I’ve been looking into ways to be a better conversationalist because, frankly, I’m not very good at it. I get lost in the emotions and lose my words, and in the loss of words, I lose the facts or the things that are important to me about those facts. There are two things I came across that I hope will help me. One is a book, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. I heard a brief talk given by the author, Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., and thought this might help lead me towards a more compassionate form of communication.
The other is a website called The Civil Conversations Project. Part of Tara Brach’s talk that I mentioned above includes references to a a talk by Ruby Sales, a civil rights activist and one of 50 African-Americans to be spotlighted in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. which opened in September of this year. You can find her talk at The Civil Conversations Project website, if interested. There are also a couple of guides on how to have good conversations to be found there.
I’ve mentioned both poetry and conversations so I think Merril’s beautiful Monday Morning Musings — The Week That Was, the Week We Dream — should be included.
A few more links, just because:
- When eggs wore ruffles. This brought back memories of my own childhood. I like the way PhilosopherMouse plays with words.
- In A Vase On Monday — Wreath & Window Box. Eliza puts together some of the most beautiful arrangements I’ve ever seen. Her seasonal wreath and window box are gorgeous, and I love that woodshed.
- A video: The One Moment. It’s an ad. But pretty cool. And they show you how they did it.
- Love After Love.
There is so much more goodness to be found out there, but it’s time for me to go. We’re having water problems here at the ranch, and the well guys have been here this afternoon fixing things up. Rumor has it they will finish soon. We turned off our well pump late yesterday afternoon, and you’d be surprised at the number of dirty dishes that can pile up in such a short amount of time. Mondays are typically my laundry day, as well, and I’d like to get at least one load done today if possible. The water problem is really a water opportunity as it helps to remind and teach us the value of clean, running water, and also gives us a chance to talk with the well guys about the possibility of a hand pump, something that would come in handy (no pun intended) when there are power outages. (No electricity, no water, because the well pump runs on electricity.)
Thank you for visiting, and for meandering around with me. I didn’t think it likely we’d see the sunset tonight because it has been cloudy and raining today, but the sun has peeked out here and there so I think I’ll meander down to the Point and see what there is to see. If you want to join me, sunset is at 4:43 PM again.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 66) The knowledgeable and talented men who are fixing the water tank and making sure all works with our well/water system. 67) A steady rainfall. It’s nice to have a gentle, steady rain rather than the usual deluge, but I’ll take it either way since we always seem to be in need of rain. 68) Decaf coffee and a slice of cheesecake for an afternoon treat. 69) The beautiful browns of the dried grasses in the meadows. 70) The Festivus Flamingo, all lit up and ready to celebrate the holidays.