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.
. . .
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
It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.
~ George Harrison
There is the past, and there is the future. The present is never more than the single second dividing one from the other. We live poised on that second as it’s hurtling forward—toward what?
~ Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monsters
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
This moment is not life waiting to happen, goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken, connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt, enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. Nothing is waiting. This is it. This moment is life.
~ Jeff Foster, Falling in Love with Where You Are
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
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”