Ask yourself: How much time do you spend just observing your surroundings? Driving or navigating while walking on busy streets doesn’t count. And how much time do you spend with your eyes glued to some type of screen? Most of your impressions of the world are mediated. They have been altered by someone else, who wants you to see things in a certain way — and they are usually trying to influence us for their own reasons. As a society, we seem to passively accept and even embrace this troubling condition of the electronic age.
Poet Theodore Roethke writes: “I wish I could find an event that meant as much as simple seeing.” I agree, and believe that the world itself is fascinating, deserving of our attention, and far more interesting than anything we might say about it — in any medium.
~ David Ulrich, Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography
In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.
~ Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride
“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
―Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
These are pregnant times throughout the world. Just as in geology we have breaking lines between huge blocks of earth, so today we are at the juncture between great blocks of time. This is the place of storm and volcano – and of becoming. In today’s reality, a small act can have far-reaching consequences, beyond imagination, whereas things that will be done five or ten years from today will be so much less effective. This is precisely the meaning of pregnant times: Anything can be born. And this is exactly the time when one must not sleep.
~ Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Parabola
The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are. To follow a path with heart, we must understand the whole process of making war within ourselves and without, how it begins and how it ends. War’s roots are in ignorance. Without understanding we can easily become frightened by life’s fleeting changes, the inevitable losses, disappointments, the insecurity of our aging and death. Misunderstanding leads us to fight against life, running from pain or grasping at security and pleasures that by their nature can never be satisfying.
~ Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
The world is quiet here.
~ Lemony Snicket
Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue.
~ Henry James
I took a walk in the woods the other day and in the middle of the pathway, hanging in mid-air, was a small cluster of pine needles. This morning I came across the quote by Henry James and the two fit together so well that I couldn’t resist sharing the coincidence.