Mahmoud Darwish says:
As you prepare your breakfast — think of others
(don’t forget to feed the pigeons).
As you conduct your wars — think of others
(don’t forget those who want peace).
As you pay your water bill — think of others
(think of those who have only the clouds to drink from).
As you go home, your own home — think of others
(don’t forget those who live in tents).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(there are people who have no place to sleep).
As you liberate yourself with metaphors think of others
(those who have lost their right to speak).
And as you think of distant others — think of yourself
(and say, I wish I were a candle in the darkness).
Continue reading “Drought”
The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.
~ Pema Chödron
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
~ Henri Nouwen
It’s not enough to love something–or someone. Of course you love a person or art or music or the theatre. But you have to imagine that this person or this thing is trapped in a house afire, and the fire is apathy, and the fire is ignorance, and you have to go into the house all the time, day after day, year after year, and put out the flames and save the thing you love and rebuild the house in which it lives, and show it to others who will come to the rescue when you no longer can. Love is cheap and silly–a moron can love ice cream–but devotion is something worth talking about.
–Eva Le Gallienne
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
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
In the psychological climate of our own times, our emotions are almost always considered to be virtually identical with our personal authenticity, and the more freely they flow, the more we are seen to be honest and “in touch.” A person who gravitates to a mental mode of operation is criticized for being “in his head”; when feeling dominates, we proclaim with approval that such a person is “in his heart.”
In the Wisdom tradition, this would be a serious misuse of the term heart. Far from revealing the heart, Wisdom teaches that the emotions are in fact the primary culprits that obscure and confuse it. The real mark of personal authenticity is not how intensely we can express our feelings but how honestly we can look at where they’re coming from and spot the elements of clinging, manipulation, and personal agendas that make up so much of what we experience as our emotional life today. . . .
~ Cynthia Bourgeault, from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations
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