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
Birthdays! What music in the world! In these unresting times, when nothing intellectual, economic, social, political, seems stable; when customs and traditions hoary with age are mixed with explosive elements, this oldest of institutions is not in danger of yielding to destructive forces.
~J.R. Macduff, Birthdays, 1893
I don’t like the idea of “understanding” a film. I don’t believe that rational understanding is an essential element in the reception of any work of art. Either a film has something to say to you or it hasn’t. If you are moved by it, you don’t need it explained to you. If not, no explanation can make you moved by it.
~ Federico Fellini
When I am in my mind,
My mind gives me what it has:
When I am in my heart
My heart gives me what it is:
The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage.
Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird?
And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted?
The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together.
~ Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All
an earth’d cloud
gentle blossom from
wanders through a dawn landscape
a sacred peace
murmuring softly, softly
a tendril of ancient breath
time comes alive