Our culture teaches us from early infancy to split and polarize dark and light, which I call here “mother” and “father.” So some people admire the right-thinking, well-lit side of the personality, and that group one can associate with the father, if one wants to; and some admire the left-thinking, poorly-lit side, and that group one can associate with the mother, if one wants to, and mythologically with the Great Mother. Most artists, poets, and musicians belong to the second group and love intuition, music, the feminine, owls, and the ocean. The right-thinking group loves action, commerce, and Empire.
~ Robert Bly, A Little Book on the Human Shadow Continue reading “A Saturday saunter: Light and shadow”
There is an art to wandering. If I have a destination, a plan – an objective – I’ve lost the ability to find serendipity. I’ve become too focused, too single-minded. I am on a quest, not a ramble. I search for the Holy Grail of particularity, and miss the chalice freely offered, filled full to overflowing.
~ Cathy Johnson, On Becoming Lost
I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going à la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.
~ Henry David Thoreau, Walking
When a group of people sing together, we make up a chorus. When birds do, it’s more like a whole symphony orchestra.
~ Laura Erickson, The Bird Watching Answer Book
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.
~ Robert Lynd, The Blue Lion
Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.
~ Parker J. Palmer
This is the only advice I offer you. Pick the small thing, and carry it on. Let it change your life.
~ Anna White, Mended
Most of the time the universe speaks to us very quietly
in pockets of silence
in the shape of clouds
in forgotten memories
in moments of solitude
in small tugs at our hearts.
~ Yumi Sakugawa, Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe
It isn’t the oceans which cut us off from the world — it’s the American way of looking at things.
~ Henry Miller
Life is life’s greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life’s scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest.
~Lloyd Biggle Jr.
The sense of respiration is an example of our natural sense relationship with the atmospheric matrix. Remember, respiration means to re-spire, to re-spirit ourselves by breathing. It, too, is a consensus of many senses. We may always bring the natural relationships of our senses and the matrix into consciousness by becoming aware of our tensions and relaxations while breathing. The respiration process is guided by our natural attraction to connect with fresh air and by our attraction to nurture nature by feeding it carbon dioxide and water, the foods for Earth that we grow within us during respiration. When we hold our breath, our story to do so makes our senses feel the suffocation discomfort of being separated from Earth’s atmosphere. It draws our attention to follow our attraction to air, so we inspire and gain comfort. Then the attraction to feed Earth comes into play so we exhale food for it to eat and we again gain comfort. This process feels good, it is inspiring. Together, we and Earth conspire (breathe together) so that neither of us will expire. The vital nature of this process is brought to consciousness when we recognize that the word for air, spire, also means spirit and that psyche is another name for air/spirit/soul.
~ Michael J. Cohen, Reconnecting with Nature: Finding Wellness Through Rebuilding Your Bond with the Earth