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A Monday meander: Horsing around

Gossiping on the beach.

The animacy of the world is something we already know, but the language of animacy teeters on extinction — not just for Native peoples, but for everyone.  Our toddlers speak of plants and animals as if they were people, extending to them self and intention and compassion — until we teach them not to.  We quickly retrain them and make them forget.  When we tell them that the tree is not a who, but an it, we make that maple an object; we put a barrier between us, absolving ourselves of moral responsibility and opening the door to exploitation.  Saying it makes a living land into “natural resources.”  If a maple is an it, we can take up the chain saw.  If a maple is a her, we think twice.

[…]

… Learning the grammar of animacy could well be a restraint on our mindless exploitation of land.  But there is more to it.  I have heard our elders give advice like “You should go among the standing people” or “Go spend some time with those Beaver people.”  They remind us of the capacity of others as our teachers, as holders of knowledge, as guides.  Imagine walking through a richly inhabited world of Birch people, Bear people, Rock people, beings we think of and therefore speak of as persons worthy of our respect, of inclusion in a peopled world.  We Americans are reluctant to learn a foreign language of our own species, let alone another species.  But imagine the possibilities.  Imagine the access we would have to different perspectives, the things we might see through other eyes, the wisdom that surrounds us.  We don’t have to figure out everything by ourselves; there are intelligences other than our own, teachers all around us.  Imagine how much less lonely the world would be.

~ Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

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Posted in A bit of history, Air, Assateague Island, Autumn, Beach, Books, Change, Covid-19, Critters, Cycling, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Health & Well-Being, Hiking, Home, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder, Woods

Cleaning house

When autumn begins decluttering.

We dream of having a clean  house — but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?  We don’t have to dream about doing the work, because doing the work is always within our grasp; the dream, in this sense, is to attain the goal without the work.

~ Marcus Buckingham

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  Lower the bar.  Actually spending ten minutes clearing off one shelf is better than fantasizing about spending the weekend cleaning out the basement.

~ Gretchen Rubin

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A Monday meander: What’s happening

On the dock on Jane’s Island.

Once I had imagined that my journey would be like the Pilgrim’s Progress, where each adventure brings the hero closer to the heavenly city, but the Christian God with whom I had been intoxicated in my teenage years did not survive the theological studies I undertook to serve him (and it was a him).  When I turned outward, angry and heartsick, to political affairs, I found that I was a failure as an atheist, too, for I could not cure myself of praying to a God I no longer believed in.

~ Joanna Macy, from the preface to Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

I am the one whose praise echoes on high.
I adorn all the earth.
I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am led by the spirit to feed the purest streams.
I am the rain coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
I am the yearning for good.

~ Hildegard Von Bingen

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Posted in A bit of history, Air, Art, Autumn, Beach, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Gifts, Heartfulness, Listening, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Water, Wonder

Something beautiful on a Sunday morning

A sunset from the past week.

Is giorra cabhair Dé ná an doras.
Divine help is closer than the door.
(Celtic proverb)

If you have a few moments, please watch Blessings, a short film, at Emergence Magazine.  There are no ads, no spamming of any sort.  It’s a beautiful reading of part of David Whyte’s Blessings poems.

Posted in Air, Assateague Island, Autumn, Beach, Change, Covid-19, Critters, Cycling, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Listening, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Walktober, Water, Weather

A Monday meander: All over the place

Rising.

We do not know how this pandemic will change our lives, change the scenery of our world. For how long will “social distancing” remain? Will we ever return to cheap crowded flights? How long and desperate will the food lines get? It is as if someone has pulled the thread that held it all together, even as we struggle to “return to normal.” But the question is, what story are we trying to tell ourselves? Or are we between stories, in a state of unknowing and insecurity? What are our dreams telling us, what is the message of our hearts? As Leonard Cohen sings, “There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in.” Is this a moment when the light can come in through the cracks, through the structures in our civilization that have been shown to fail?

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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NOT the Official Walktober Post

Golden light.  (An old shot from October of 2011.)

This is not a season
but a pause
between one future & another,
a day after a day,
a breathing space before death,
a breathing, the rain

throwing itself down out of the
bluegrey sky, clear joy.

~ Margaret Atwood, from Rain

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Smoke on the water

Sign of the times.

History has the cruel reality of a nightmare, and the grandeur of man consists in his making beautiful and lasting works out of the real substance of that nightmare. Or, to put it another way, it consists in transforming the nightmare into vision; in freeing ourselves from the shapeless horror of reality – if only for an instant – by means of creation.

~ Octavio Paz

I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep…. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.

~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

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