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Indwelling

Winter bonfire.

What has happened to our ability to dwell in unknowing, to live inside a question and coexist with the tensions of uncertainty? Where is our willingness to incubate pain and let it birth something new? What has happened to patient unfolding, to endurance? These things are what form the ground of waiting. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that they’re also the seedbed of creativity and growth—what allows us to do the daring and to break through to newness. . . .

Creativity flourishes not in certainty but in questions. Growth germinates not in tent dwelling but in upheaval. Yet the seduction is always security rather than venturing, instant knowing rather than deliberate waiting. 

~ Sue Monk Kidd

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Posted in Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Dreams, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Faith, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, Hope, In these strange times, Life, Listening, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Winter, Wonder, Yoga

A Monday meander: Wonder

Emerging moon.

When I walk — which I do every day, as basic sanity-maintenance, whether in the forest or the cemetery or the city street — I walk the same routes, walk along loops, loops I often retrace multiple times in a single walk. This puzzles people. Some simply don’t get the appeal of such recursiveness. Others judge it as dull. But I walk to think more clearly, which means to traverse the world with ever-broadening scope of attention to reality, ever-widening circles of curiosity, ever-deepening interest in the ceaselessly flickering constellation of details within and without.

~ Maria Popova, Brain Pickings (Loops, Language, the Paradoxical Loneliness of “I Love You,” and What Keeps Love Alive)

To wonder is to begin to understand.

~Aristotle

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Moving forward

Sunrise on a foggy morning.

Somehow we weathered and witnessed
A nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
There is always light
if only we’re brave enough to see it
if only we’re brave enough to be it.

— Amanda Gorman
(In case you missed it, you can watch the full reading of this wonderful poem here.)

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Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Faith, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Hiking, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder, Woods, Yoga

Autumn dressed up for the occasion

When the fog reflected the colors of sunrise.

Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded.  It’s a relationship between equals.  Only when we know our own darkness well, can we be present with the darkness of others.  Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.

~ Pema Chodron

The early Greeks defined presence as the fundamental characteristic of being alive.

I believe it is not easy for any of us to be fully present, and that we settle for shadows and glimpses, for fleeting moments that sift through our hands and are gone. We may become clouded from impinging distractions as we are carried into countless pressures, anxieties, and demands; or else we try to escape through the many abundant and tempting means at our disposal; or we seek to overpower obstacles through adrenalin-driven pursuits, or with our intellects, determination, and skillful maneuvers, or by other strengths and capabilities, continually striving for something out of reach, or once attained, soon abandoned, while we silently lack what we most want.

As flawed human beings, it can be difficult to see beyond ourselves and understand each other intimately and compassionately. Being hampered by our limitations and the context of our past experience (or inexperience), we can be blind to each other even when we don’t want to be. Our failings can also blind us to ourselves, preventing us from reaching a deeper understanding below the surface of self-awareness.

~ John Justin David, from Parabola, October 26, 2020

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Slow walks and long goals

A garden spider.

…But I wonder if the virus is a symptom, that we’ve actually been ill for decades and are only now struggling to name the cause of this plague. Of course, politicians argue over what’s most profitable: prevention or the cure. We were contemplating the ripple effects of the virus: who might slip into poverty, what it would mean to lose our loved ones and not be able to publicly mourn them. The run on toilet paper and bottled water, on meat and guns, tells you everything you need to know about our national character.

~ Amaud Jamaul Johnson, And God Laughs

Recent studies and discoveries increasingly point out that we heal primarily in and through the body, not just through the rational brain. We can all create more room, and more opportunities for growth, in our nervous systems. But we do this primarily through what our bodies experience and do—not through what we think or realize or cognitively figure out.

~ Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

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A Monday meander: Vulnerability

Light at the end of the season.

Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.

To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but it is a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath.

The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.

~ David Whyte, Consolations

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Irises in bloom

Iris and twirls.

This flower is sacred to all who worship and reverence the virgin goddess in any of her forms.  As a flower, it is associated with creativity and self-expression.  It is a flower which draws to us higher inspiration and psychic purity.  Iris was the Greek goddess of the rainbow who led souls to the Elysian Fields.  Alignment with the flower named for her awakens within the auric field a strong sense of peace and the hope for new birth, and thus as a messenger, it reminds us to maintain hope for a new birth and new peace will soon be at hand.

~ Ted Andrews, Nature Speak

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