Cause-and-effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later, sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal, and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope.
~ Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark
Joy doesn’t betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine act of insurrection.
~ Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark
If the Internet were everything it is cracked up to be, we would all stay at home and be brilliantly witty and insightful. Yet with so much contradictory information available, there is more reason to travel than ever before: to look closer, to dig deeper, to sort the authentic from the fake; to verify, to smell, to touch, to taste, to hear and sometimes – importantly – to suffer the effects of this curiosity.
~ Paul Theroux
Remember this guy from yesterday’s post? It’s one of a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers building a nest in the wren house near the garage. In light of today’s events regarding the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement (yes, I know, I’m not supposed to be paying attention to the news but the news butted in while I was watching something else), I want to feature this bird today because the Great Crested Flycatcher is listed as one of nine songbirds unable to keep up with the shift in spring due to climate change.
There is an interesting article about climate change and songbirds here.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. And stand up for the songbirds and other critters if you can.
If you can’t change everything all at once, then at least work on changing something each day. Become aggressive in your battle with the ego. You probably don’t need all the things that it wants. You need hope, discipline, creative expression, love, and serenity—these are the important things. Remember, when you are balanced, one stepping stone will lead you to the next. But you will rarely see the whole journey or all the answers at once.
Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter. Cold or warm. Tired or well-rested. Despised or honored. Dying… or busy with other assignments. Because dying, too, is one of our assignments in life. There as well: “To do what needs doing.” Look inward. Don’t let the true nature of anything elude you.
Only there, delight and stillness… when jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of harmony if you keep going back to it.
~ Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations
It’s hard to walk briskly at this time of year; the accelerating pace of unfolding spring slows my own. I repeatedly stop- to watch what’s moving. Soon the torrent of migrants will completely overwhelm my ability to keep up with all the changes. But it’s easy to revel in the exuberance and the sense of rebirth, renewal.
~ Carl Safina, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World
Flowers open every night
across the sky, a breathing peace,
and sudden flame catching.