If we learn to read the birds-and their behaviors and vocalizations-through them, we can read the world at large… if we replace collision with connection, learn to read these details, feel at home, relax, and are respectful–ultimately the birds will yield to us the first rite of passage: a close encounter with an animal otherwise wary of our presence.
~ Jon Young, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World
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
I give thanks for arriving
Safely in a new dawn,
For the gifts of eyes
To see the world,
The gift of mind
To feel at home
In my life.
The waves of possibility
Breaking on the shore of dawn,
The harvest of the past
That awaits my hunger,
And all the furtherings
This new day will bring.
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
Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their differences, but by those who with open minds and hearts seek out connections.
~ Katherine Paterson
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.
~ Herman Melville
We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
~ William James
I really am a pessimist. I’ve always felt that fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It’s something essentially splendid because it’s not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.
~ Normal Mailer