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Beautiful acts

Hints of a season to come.

Look closely. The beautiful may be small.

~ Immanuel Kant

A flock of Cedar Waxwings showed up at the birdbath the other day.

I listened to one of Tara Brach’s talks this morning (Love in Action: Realizing Inter-Being).  I’m still pondering and processing, and I thought I might try to write down what it is I am thinking and feeling.  Or maybe I’ll just ramble around for a while and see where it leads.  I never know where I’ll go when I sit down to write, even if/when I have a subject in mind.

Mirror, mirror, on the water.

So much of what Ms. Brach talked about hit home with me on a variety of levels and ways.  Of the many things that stood out, one was something she said about Immanuel Kant and the difference between moral acts and beautiful acts.  Moral acts come from a sense of duty or obligation.  Beautiful acts come from a place that is deeper and more aligned with our hearts.  I am paraphrasing from Tara Brach’s talk.  I think that is the general idea.  A search for what Kant actually said about it is turning up everything except something short and sweet to sum it all up, and most of what I found deals with moral acts rather than beautiful acts.

I found this among a bunch of quotes from Kant:  “An action, to have moral worth, must be done from duty.”  But what is a beautiful act?  Is it, as Tara Brach says, a form of love in action?  It seems to me it must be.  Acting from a place of love, from the depths of the heart, surely must involve beauty in some form.

Ephemeral art.

For peace to reign on Earth, humans must evolve into new beings who have learned to see the whole first.

~ Immanuel Kant

A spit of land jutting out into the sunset.

I’ve lost my train of thought.  It was for a good cause/reason.  My father called and we chatted for an hour or so.  He’s in good spirits and fine form, recovered from his bout with Covid (if that’s what it was — seems likely since it was in the house, literally).  They have lifted mask mandates up his way (they are lifting them here, too) and he’s enjoying getting back into things that were cancelled during the pandemic.

I’m not sure it’s wise to be lifting mask mandates, but I’m not in charge of the world.  I will continue to be careful, to wear a mask when I’m in public places, and maybe, with time, I’ll be proven wrong.  But it seems to me the powers that be are trying to appease the noisy minority who are making such pests of themselves.  The squeaky wheel, as they say.  It’s also, I think, a form of denial.  People want to be over it so let’s pretend it’s over and get on with our lives.  Time will tell if that’s the right thing to do or not.

Frost and snow. The snow is gone now but we’re still experiencing cold and frosty mornings.

I’ve been busy with all sorts of things lately.  Writing, art journaling, learning about Chromium Oxide Green in the Monopalette workshop, walking/hiking, and building up my strength.  I’ve been growing somewhat weak lately, struggling with pain and having trouble doing simple things.  It occurred to me that I have not had any kind of consistent strength training throughout the course of the pandemic.  I would drag out weights or a resistance band, along with a workout on a DVD, and attempt to get back to a regular practice.  After a week or two, I’d drop the whole business until I happened to think of it again.  As wonderful as yoga and walking are, they do not build the kind of muscle and strength I need even for the simplest of everyday tasks.  I’ve certainly read enough articles about how we lose muscle when we age, but you know how the mind works.  That advice is for everyone else.  Not for me.  Right?  (Wrong.)

Playing with chromium oxide green and the idea of (fruiticose) lichens. The lesson was more about patterns than about painting realistic lichens.

I signed up for Bodyweight Stars at Mindful Strength.  Kathryn Bruni-Young was one of the guest speakers during the Anti-200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training I took.  I’ve been following her videos on Instagram since that time, and have often thought I should join her membership or sign up for one of her classes.  So, I did.  And then… I was afraid I might have impulsively and rashly jumped into something that was WAY over my capabilities with Bodyweight Stars.  That has turned out not to be true.  Kathryn is excellent at teaching modifications and progression.  I am not doing push-ups on the floor right now, but I might be by the end of this 8-week course.  And if I’m not there yet?  That’s okay, too.  Maybe I’ll be there after another 8 weeks of consistent practice and progression.

Playing with the colors and textures of lichens.

Although there have only been two sessions so far, I already feel a difference in my walking and in my everyday activities.  M and I went on a 4.5 mile hike on the Virginia (Chincoteague) side of Assateague Island on Saturday.  It was mostly soft sand and we were exhausted when we finished, but we finished.  Better yet, I wasn’t knackered for days afterwards.  A little tired and a little sore, but mostly I have been feeling pretty good.

At the start of our hike on Saturday.

I reckon that’s about it from me for today.  It’s a bit of a Tuesday meander, isn’t it?  Thank you so much for visiting and meandering along with me.  Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening.  We’ve had some gorgeous sunsets lately, especially on the calm days when the water reflects the sky.  Sunset is scheduled for 5:41 PM.  It’s chilly today so you’ll want to bundle up.  Tomorrow we’ll start warming up again.

Please be safe, be well, and find a little time for beauty, maybe even acts of beauty.  ♥

Soft sand trails. I think the trail basically meanders over, around, and in between dunes that have formed on this end of the island.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,971)  Chromium oxide green.  I didn’t care much for the color at first, seeing it more as an institutional kind of green or the green of Army camouflage.  Now that I’m seeing it through nature, I’m coming to appreciate it much more.  1,972)  Growing stronger through good, progressive exercise and the Bodyweight Stars program.  1,973)  Long hikes with my favorite hiking partner.  We took a picnic lunch with us so that we could take our time and enjoy the views as well as the exercise.  1,974)  Planning longer hikes with my favorite hiking partner.  1,975)  Last evening’s Zoom chat with the Little Wookie and the Little Peanut.  They showed us the Valentine’s Day cards and treats they received.  It was fun.  Kind of like our own little Valentine’s Day party.

A reprise of January’s color (Prussian Blue) at sunset.

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

15 thoughts on “Beautiful acts

  1. Hi Robin. You are right to pay attention to your strength and muscles. It’s so easy with a little interruption to lose habits of exercise and then strength. A couple years ago, I started doing Essentrics off and on and found them helpful. In the past couple months, I’ve joined some of their 21 day challenges for various things and it’s made a big difference. I really liked your grasses and lichens. It may be that I need to find a painting course. On a recent hike, I saw some lovely lichen and moss. I think I may listen to the Tara Brach piece as your thoughts have intrigued me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 I remember you were doing Essentrics. I always forget that Miranda’s Classical Stretch show is on PBS early in the morning. I will check the schedule. The Monopalette workshop is free. You can sign up and access it any time. Here’s the link, in case you’re interested:

      https://conniesolera.com/monopalette

      It’s a little over my head in some ways (they don’t teach you how to draw or paint), but the internet is handy for looking up things I don’t know how to do. I’m just using the workshop as an excuse to play with color and acrylic paints. Whatever happens, happens. It’s a lot of fun that way.

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  2. I love listening to Tara Brach’s talks… I find her calmness soothing. Love your sunset shots … you get good ones there! Kudos for signing on to the exercise course, I’ve never been fond of rigorous exercise, but probably could use it, alas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 We do get very nice sunsets here (and have a good spot for watching them). Tara Brach is very soothing. I think this is the first time I’ve seen her cry during one of her talks. I wouldn’t say I’m fond of rigorous exercise but it seems to be necessary for my body. I was losing strength pretty quickly even though I do have a daily yoga practice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those low light shots are really beautiful, Robin. Beautiful acts maybe a bit more scarce but I have some beautiful friends who are kind. Now both my son-in-law and daughter have had Covid, and nobody was more careful! I’m being quite fatalistic about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo. 🙂 We’ve been kind of circling the drain of Covid here, too. Family and friends have all had it. Maybe I’m too optimistic but I think there are plenty of beautiful acts (done by beautiful friends). They are just done quietly and not in front of the media (social or otherwise).

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  4. Meandering is good – I think that it’s a kind of meditation. As to exercising – I start, like you, but then I stop. I have never been able to get into it and stick with it. And yes, my body knows it. And reminds me. Too often.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad to hear your dad is better — that COVID is nothing to play with. We’re relaxing mask mandates here, too. I think you’re right to be more cautious. Just because “they” say it’s over doesn’t make it over, right? Beautiful photos, Robin!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a lovely post Can’t believe you have daffodils sprouting up already. We had about a foot of snow on the ground from the last ‘storm of the century’ but today we got to 44 and it rained and almost all the snow is gone But tomorrow night we’re supposed to get 4 more inches. Sigh. And of course all this melted water has nowhere to go so it’s in ponds over everything. I think I will not travel at all tomorrow or Friday. I love that you’re working on yoga and it sounds like some strength training too? You will feel so much better, I know I did back years ago when I used to do this. I should start again. Maybe tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s funny that you say you didn’t much care for this shade of green, the chromium oxide green, when it is pretty much the colour of your background on your blog!
    Those mirrored images are stunning! And good for you on working those muscles. I have to do the same… Ever since I finished my 10K per day, it’s like I’ve stopped everything. That must change.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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