History has the cruel reality of a nightmare, and the grandeur of man consists in his making beautiful and lasting works out of the real substance of that nightmare. Or, to put it another way, it consists in transforming the nightmare into vision; in freeing ourselves from the shapeless horror of reality – if only for an instant – by means of creation.
~ Octavio Paz
I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep…. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world is not something separate from you and me; the world, society, is the relationship that we establish or seek to establish between each other. So you and I are the problem, and not the world, because the world is the projection of ourselves, and to understand the world, we must understand ourselves. That world is not separate from us; we are the world, and our problems are the world’s problems.
~ J. Krishnamurti
How we love individual trees, but how we forget that our tree is embedded within a community of beings—a forest—without which that individual could not exist. It is only through relationships that a solitary tree is able to survive. So, too, ourselves.
~ Fred Bahnson, from The Church Forests of Ethiopia
by Wendell Berry
At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
What already exists immediately around us is more important than all of our anxieties about what’s not there yet. The imperfection of reality is perfect.
~ Kyle Chayka
Rivers, oceans, forests, mountains, earth, and rocks are all our body. To protect the living environment is also to protect ourselves.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
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”