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On my soapbox: The myth of positive thinking

A family tree.

I do not write this in a spirit of sourness or personal disappointment of any kind, nor do I have any romantic attachment to suffering as a source of insight or virtue. On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness and, better yet, joy. In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone — better jobs, health care, and so forth — there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. Once our basic material needs are met — in my utopia, anyway — life becomes a perpetual celebration in which everyone has a talent to contribute. But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it. We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world. And the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking.

~ Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-Sided:  How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America

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Where to start?

A sunrise.

The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of today) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also.

~ G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday wander: In a world

Sunrise this morning.

Within sorrow is grace.  When we come close to those things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open.  And in that breaking open, we uncover our true nature.

~ Wayne Muller

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Posted in Beginnings, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Winter

Moving right along with time

When the moon sang to the clouds.

What year is it in your imagination?

~ Lynda Barry

I looked over at my neighbor, the song sparrow, and thought about how just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have known its name, might not have even known it was a sparrow, might not have even seen it at all. How lonely that world seemed in comparison to this one! But the sparrow and I were no longer strangers. It was no stretch of the imagination, nor even of science, to think that we were related. We were both from the same place (Earth), made of the same stuff. And most important, we were both alive.

~ Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing

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A Monday meander: More than words

Sunrise this morning, as the sun painted the clouds.

Most of the time the universe speaks to us very quietly
in pockets of silence
in nature
in the shape of clouds
in coincidences
in forgotten memories
in moments of solitude
in small tugs at our hearts.

~ Yumi Sakugawa, Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe

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A Monday Meander: The equinox

Last Thursday’s sunset.

To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, whether we write it down or not.

~ Mark Nepo

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Posted in Beginnings, Change, Climate Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Perception, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Winter, Wonder

Lesson of the crocus

By the garden on a February day.

On Tuesday, two flowers popped up out of the grass near the garden.  On Wednesday, there was snow and freezing rain and no sign of the flowers (any flowers) anywhere.

If everything changes, if everything ends, then everything matters.  Everything.

Everything is passing… Enjoy its momentariness.

~ Mooji

Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope — a slight change, and all patterns alter.

~ Sharon Salzberg