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After Ida

Departing clouds.  (This morning.)

In reality there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other than human. In this community every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice. Every being declares itself to the entire universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings. This capacity for relatedness, for presence to other beings, for spontaneity in action, is a capacity possessed by every mode of being throughout the entire universe.

~ Thomas Berry

Attention is the doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to reciprocity.

~ Robin Wall Kimmerer

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A Monday meander: Considering wholeness

A morning at the museum.

Given that the shared understanding of truth has been central to language, religion and society, when we ignore small lies, we inflict damage on the larger truth.

This is not holiness we’re talking about, but wholeness and integrity.

~ Gina Barreca

Because every exchange is always a relationship, to get the most while giving the least is unjust, unethical, antisocial, abusive, perhaps ‘evil.’ Yet predatory commerce (“the free market” as it is euphemistically called) operates regularly on the principle of ‘get the most and pay the least.’

~ James Hillman

As the connections have been broken by the fragmentation and isolation of work, they can be restored by restoring the wholeness of work. There is work that is isolating, harsh, destructive, specialized or trivialized into meaninglessness. And there is work that is restorative, convivial, dignified and dignifying, and pleasing. Good work is not just the maintenance of connections – as one is now said to work “for a living” or “to support a family” – but the enactment of connections. It is living, and a way of living; it is not support for a family in the sense of an exterior brace or prop, but is one of the forms and acts of love.

~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace

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The expected and the unexpected

Exploring the inner world of a zinnia.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

~ Confucious

When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.

~ John Lennon

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Contrasts

One dewy morning.

When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,

like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.

Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.

Let grief be your sister, she will whether or not.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.

A lifetime isn’t long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.

Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.

In the glare of your mind, be modest
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.

Live with the beetle, and the wind.

~ Mary Oliver

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A Monday meander: The light and shadows of early July

Morning spin.

To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.

~ Terry Tempest Williams

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Summer and love

Reflecting.

To Begin With, the Sweet Grass

Will the hungry ox stand in the field and not eat
of the sweet grass?
Will the owl bite off its own wings?
Will the lark forget to lift its body in the air or
forget to sing?
Will the rivers run upstream?

Behold, I say—behold
the reliability and the finery and the teachings
of this gritty earth gift.

2.
Eat bread and understand comfort.
Drink water, and understand delight.
Visit the garden where the scarlet trumpets
are opening their bodies for the hummingbirds
who are drinking the sweetness, who are
thrillingly gluttonous.

For one thing leads to another.
Soon you will notice how stones shine underfoot.
Eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in.

And someone’s face, whom you love, will be as a star
both intimate and ultimate,
and you will be both heart-shaken and respectful.

And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper:
oh, let me, for a while longer, enter the two
beautiful bodies of your lungs.

3.
The witchery of living
is my whole conversation
with you, my darlings.
All I can tell you is what I know.

Look, and look again.
This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.

It’s more than bones.
It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the beating of the single heart.
It’s praising.
It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving.
You have a life—just imagine that!
You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe
still another.

~ Mary Oliver (you can read the rest of this poem here).

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