The refusal to feel takes a heavy toll. Not only is there an impoverishment of our emotional and sensory life, flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic, but this psychic numbing also impedes our capacity to process and respond to information. The energy expended in pushing down despair is diverted from more creative uses, depleting the resilience and imagination needed for fresh visions and strategies.
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The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present, and when you’re worrying about whether you’re hopeful or hopeless or pessimistic or optimistic, who cares? The main thing is that you’re showing up, that you’re here and that you’re finding ever more capacity to love this world because it will not be healed without that. That is what is going to unleash our intelligence and our ingenuity and our solidarity for the healing of our world.
~ Joanna Macy
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
It is a serious thing
Just to be alive
On this fresh morning
In this broken world.
~ Mary Oliver, excerpted from “Invitation”
To know a physical place you must become intimate with it. You must open yourself to its textures, its colours in varying day and night lights, its sonic dimensions. You must in some way become vulnerable to it. In the end, there’s little difference between growing into the love of a place and growing into the love of a person.
~ Barry Lopez
I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gifts of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life.
The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.
He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.
First of all, although men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out his own personal salvation for himself in fear and trembling. We can help one another to find the meaning of life no doubt. But in the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for “finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence. You cannot tell me who I am and I cannot tell you who you are. If you do not know your own identity, who is going to identify you?
~ Thomas Merton
I really am a pessimist. I’ve always felt that fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It’s something essentially splendid because it’s not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.
~ Normal Mailer