As I envisage it, landscape projects into us not like a jetty or peninsula, finite and bounded in its volume and reach, but instead as a kind of sunlight, flickeringly unmappable in its plays yet often quickening and illuminating. We are adept, if occasionally embarrassed, at saying what we make of places — but we are far less good at saying what place makes of us. For some time now it has seemed to me that the two questions we should ask of any strong landscape are these: firstly, what do I know when I am in this place that I can know nowhere else? And then, vainly, what does this place know of me that I cannot know of myself?
~ Robert Macfarlane
Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.
~ Tom Robbins
If we learn to read the birds-and their behaviors and vocalizations-through them, we can read the world at large… if we replace collision with connection, learn to read these details, feel at home, relax, and are respectful–ultimately the birds will yield to us the first rite of passage: a close encounter with an animal otherwise wary of our presence.
~ Jon Young, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
I believe that if one fathoms deeply one’s own neighborhood and the everyday world in which he lives, the greatest of worlds will be revealed.
~ Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
You can’t know who you are until you know where you are.
~ Wendell Berry
The ‘what should be’ never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no ‘what should be,’ there is only what is.
~ Lenny Bruce
In every age “the good old days” were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.
~ Brooks Atkinson
That’s the trouble with people. their root problem. Life runs alongside them, unseen. Right here, right next. Creating the soil. Cycling water. Trading in nutrients. Making weather. Building atmosphere Feeding and curing and sheltering more kinds of creatures than people know how to count.
… If your mind were only a slightly greener thing, we’d drown you in meaning.
~ when the trees speak in The Overstory by Richard Powers
The desire of monks and mystics is not unlike that of artists: to perceive the extraordinary within the ordinary by changing not the world but the eyes that look… To form the intention of new awareness is already to transform and be transformed.
~ Jane Hirshfield, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World
Have an uncomfortable mind; be strange. Be disturbed: by what is happening on the planet, and to it; by the cruelty, and stupidity humanity is capable of; by the unbearable beauty of certain music, and the mysteries and failures of love, and the brief, confusing, exhilarating hour of your own life.
– Kim Addoniziok, Bukowski in a Sundress