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A Monday meander: Around the ranch

Make some fried green tomatoes? Or wait until they ripen and have a tomato sandwich?

Maybe love, too, is beautiful because it has a wildness that cannot be tamed. I don’t know. All I know is that passion can take you up like a house of cards in a tornado, leaving destruction in its wake. Or it can let you alone because you’ve built a stone wall against it, set out the armed guards to keep it from touching you. The real trick is to let it in, but to hold on. To understand that the heart is as wide and vast as the universe, but that we come to know it best from here, this place of gravity and stability, where our feet can still touch ground.

~ Deb Caletti

Radical hope anticipates a good for which those who have the hope as yet lack the appropriate concepts with which to understand it.  This is a daunting form of commitment: to a goodness in the world that transcends one’s current ability to grasp what it is.

~ Jonathan Lear, Radical Hope

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Eat the rules

A recent sunset.

Awareness of the divine begins with wonder.
— Abraham Heschel

I think that every discovery of the world plunges us into jubilation, a radical amazement that tears apart the veil of triviality.
— Dorothee Soelle

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Oh, the joy

New blooms.

Healing does not require that you master the unreasonable side of your reason. Nor does healing require inner perfection of any order. A common trait shared by people who have healed is that they cease being unreasonable in ways that no longer matter in the greater scheme of life. Against the scale of life or death, how important is winning an argument? How important is holding a grudge? How important is anything other than how well we love others, how deeply we regard the value of the gift of life, and what we do with our life that makes this world a better place?

~ Caroline Myss

I believe our survival demands revolution, both cultural and political. If we are to survive the disasters that threaten, and survive our own struggle to make it new – a struggle I believe we have no choice but to commit ourselves to – we need tremendous transfusions of imaginative energy. If it is indeed revolution we are moving toward, we need life, and abundantly – we need poems of the spirit, to inform us of the essential, to help us live the revolution. And if instead it be the Last Days – then we need to taste the dearest, freshest drops before we die – why bother with anything less than that, the essential?

~ Denise Levertov, The Poet in the World

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Morning walk

A bouquet in a field of wheat.

The ancient words of the Orthodox liturgy, or the Om mani padme hum, or the Upanishads, have an incantatory power — a power of invoking that which they seek to invoke — because they have been repeatedly uttered.  But they have been repeatedly uttered because millions have trusted them.  To take etymology really seriously is to trust words.

And perhaps that’s what it’s all about.  In my less depressive moments, I think that there’s a deep and universal principle at work — which is that if you really, really trust the world (a world that includes words) and make yourself wholly vulnerable in the event of your trust being misplaced, the world always honors and rewards the trust and vulnerability.  You can call it faith or grace if you want.

~ Charles Foster, Emergence Magazine

For me, language is a freedom. As soon as you have found the words with which to express something, you are no longer incoherent, you are no longer trapped by your own emotions, by your own experiences; you can describe them, you can tell them, you can bring them out of yourself and give them to somebody else. That is an enormously liberating experience, and it worries me that more and more people are learning not to use language; they’re giving in to the banalities of the television media and shrinking their vocabulary, shrinking their own way of using this fabulous tool that human beings have refined over so many centuries into this extremely sensitive instrument. I don’t want to make it crude, I don’t want to make it into shopping-list language, I don’t want to make it into simply an exchange of information: I want to make it into the subtle, emotional, intellectual, freeing thing that it is and that it can be.

~ Jeanette Winterson

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The moon’s breath

Sunrise this morning.

The morning sings.
The egg-shaped moon
is exhaling clouds.
I breathe in and
exhale a song of my own.
I listen
as the symphony of birds
respond with hymns
of spring.

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Stories

In the wheat field.

To argue that the current extinction event could be averted if people just cared more and were willing to make more sacrifices is not wrong, exactly; still, it misses the point. It doesn’t much matter whether people care or don’t care. What matters is that people change the world. This capacity predates modernity.

~ Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Caretaking is the utmost spiritual and physical responsibility of our time, and perhaps that stewardship is finally our place in the web of life, our work, the solution to the mystery that we are. There are already so many holes in the universe that will never again be filled, and each of them forces us to question why we permitted such loss, such tearing away at the fabric of life, and how we will live with our planet in the future.

~ Linda Hogan, Dwellings:  A Spiritual History of the Living World

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Writing

Ali (the deer who spent time in our garden last summer when her mother would leave her for the day). It’s easy to tell it’s her because she is smaller than usual.

The planet will never come alive for you unless your songs and stories give life to all the beings, seen and unseen, that inhabit a living Earth.

– Amitav Ghosh

As our world appears to spin more and more out of balance, what are the stories that speak to this darkening time? What stories are destroying us, and what stories are sustaining us, helping us to find a path that can return us to a point of balance, a place of belonging?

~ Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, Emergence Magazine

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