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A Monday meander: Striving for perfection

Through the lattice

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.

~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird:  Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Perfectionism doesn’t believe in practice shots. It doesn’t believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly–and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner’s work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn’t know how to say, “Good try,” or “Job well done.” The critic does not believe in creative glee–or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.

~ Julia Cameron, Finding Water:  The Art of Perseverance

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A Monday meander: So you want to write

Near the edge.  (Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia.  October 2021.)

In life, there are brief and momentary opportunities that ask us to assert our existence. Although a creative impulse, they can be destructive, because they make us veer away from our normal patterns and habits. Life is compelling us to take these small acts of rebellion so we can go beyond the edges of ourselves, and by doing so, we end up rediscovering ourselves. These moments are a great reminder that, like all other animals, we are, and will always be, wild.

~ Kamand Kojouri

What good is a dream that doesn’t test the mettle of the dreamer? What good is a path that doesn’t carry us to the edge of our capacity and then beyond that place? A true calling involves a great exposure before it can become a genuine refuge.

~ Michael Meade, Fate and Destiny, The Two Agreements of the Soul

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Posted in A bit of history, Air, Art, Art journal, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Other than human, Photography, Poetry, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Winter, Wonder, Words, Writing, Yoga

The kitchen table

The moon this morning.

We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us…but we can practice being gentle with each other by being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold.

~ Audre Lorde

To me, poetry is somebody standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what it is for him or her to be on earth at this moment.

~ Galway Kinnell

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Posted in Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Other than human, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Spiritual practices, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder, Woods, Yoga

A bit more from last week’s snow day

Izzy, contemplating what might be out there.

In [fairy tales], power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness – from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sown among the meek is harvested in crisis.

~ Rebecca Solnit

We belong to the earth, we belong to the sky.  We inter-are.  Wisdom, compassion, body, mind are not separate.

~ Roshi Joan Halifax

The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make, and could just as easily make differently.

~ David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything

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Posted in Art journal, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, In these strange times, Life, Mindfulness, Nature, Other than human, Photography, Play, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder, Woods

A Monday meander: The woolly bear and winter

Outside of the county health department, after my last Covid test (it came back negative, by the way).  What do you think the woolly bear is predicting?  A mild or severe winter?

Life is no different than the weather. Not only is it unpredictable, but it shows us a new perspective of the world every day.

~ Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

We listen too much to the telephone and we listen too little to nature. The wind is one of my sounds. A lonely sound, perhaps, but soothing. Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for — sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive, or quiet and calm. . . . As a matter of fact, one of the greatest sounds of them all — and to me it is a sound — is utter, complete silence.

~ Andre Kostelanetz, Sunbeams, January 2022

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