Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Keeping the Truth Up-front

"If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you.

On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clich├ęs, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness.

Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need even more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on."

David Foster Wallace


​One of those things no one warns you about

On my bookshelf I spot a book
That I was supposed to give you,
Many months ago.

Then we broke up before
I could give you the book.

Now the book is a spirit in limbo.
Keeping it on my shelf
Would be sentimental.
But giving it away would be
Another goodbye.

This is one of those things
No one warns you about
The end of love.
One says goodbye not once
But several times.

Philip John,

Saturday, January 23, 2016


The older I get, the more I understand the importance of having multiple sources of energy -  especially sources outside human relationships. Like solitude, paying attention to the universe. Like sunlight through leaves, trees changing with the seasons, the delight of birdsong, the abundant joy of squirrels, the dreaminess of cows - :) :) - not to mention music, poetry, art, gardening - anything that helps you create or experience beauty, peace. Anything that lifts you out of your ponderous self.

"When love first happens, the individuals are giving each other energy unconsciously and both people feel buoyant and elated. That's the incredible high we call being ‘in love.’

Unfortunately, once they expect this feeling to come from another person, they cut themselves off from the energy in the universe and begin to rely even more on the energy from each other -- only now there doesn’t seem to be enough and so they stop giving each other energy and fall back into their dramas in an attempt to control each other and force the other’s energy their way."

James Redfield

Milosz says it best:

A day so happy:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The capacity to love

Andrei Tarkovsky:

“I see it as my duty to stimulate reflection on what is essentially human and eternal in each individual soul, and which all too often a person will pass by, even though his fate lies in his hands. He is too busy chasing after phantoms and bowing down to idols.

In the end, everything can be reduced to the one simple element which is all a person can count upon in his existence: the capacity to love. That element can grow within the soul to become the supreme factor which determines the meaning of a person's life.

My function is to make whoever sees my films aware of his need to love and to give his love, and aware that beauty is summoning him.”

Walking into yourself

I have been thinking a lot about how people choose between denial and looking at things square in the face -  how and why they decide to choose the tougher, or easier option. The stories they tell themselves to justify the choice, the stories they are afraid to let go. And how when patterns form in your head, you are no longer conscious of the choice being made.

"You can try to cover up depression in many ways. You can listen to Bach's compositions for the organ in Our Saviour's Church. You can arrange a line of good cheer in powder form on a pocket mirror with a razor blade and ingest it with a straw. You can call for help. For instance, by telephone, so that you know who's listening.

That's the European method. Hoping to work your way out of your problems through action.

I take the Greenlandic way. It consists of walking into yourself in the dark mood. Putting your defeat under a microscope and dwelling on the sight."

from 'Smilla's Sense of Snow' by Peter Hoeg (1988), translated from Danish by Tina Nunnally

Let's find a Way today

Piglet's Song

Let's find a Way today,
that can take us to tomorrow.
We'll follow that Way,
A Way like flowing water.

Let's leave behind,
the things that do not matter.
And we'll turn our lives,
to a more important chapter.

Let's take the time and try to find,
what real life has to offer.
And maybe then we'll find again,
what we had long forgotten.
Like a friend, true 'til the end,
it will help us onward.

The sun is high, the road is wide,
and it starts where we are standing.
No one knows how far it goes,
for the road is never-ending.

It goes away,
beyond what we have thought of.
It flows away,
Away like flowing water.

Benjamin Hoff, 'The Te of Piglet'

You are enough

Everything I Know of What I Want to Say

Talking with you I dream into being all I hold precious of words I discover
through your finding them in my saying.

When I am with you there is nowhere on earth I flow better or am more myself
breathing now with every cell I own.

I see steel in you but also the fragility of the snowflake transforming
the world around it with others similarly tenacious.

Take it into your heart that I believe in you fully and taste amazing possibility
in the riot of your laughter.

You are enough and are enough and will be enough.
I place you in the light and find you coming into being, the world fresh on your shoulders.

You stun me with your hope. It glows in the ache of your greeting, your morning eyes
thick with sleep and shining.

Anthony Wilson,


The sky hangs up its starry pictures: a swan,
a crab, a horse. And even though you’re
three hundred miles away, I know you see
them, too. Right now, my side
of the bed is empty, a clear blue lake
of flannel. The distance yawns and stretches.

It’s hard to remember we swim in an ocean
of great love, so easy to fall into bickering
like little birds at the feeder fighting over proso
and millet, unaware of how large the bag of grain is,
a river of golden seeds, that the harvest was plentiful,
the corn is in the barn, and whenever we’re hungry,
a dipperful of just what we need will be spilled . . .

Barbara Crooker

The Functions of Mythology

​"The first function of a mythology is to reconcile waking consciousness to the mysterium tremendum et fascinans of this universe as it is: the second being to render an interpretive total image of the same, as known to contemporary consciousness. Shakespeare's definition of the function of his art, "to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature," is thus equally a definition of mythology. It is the revelation to waking consciousness of the powers of its own sustaining source.

A third function, however, is the enforcement of a moral order: the shaping of the individual to the requirements of his geographically and historically conditioned social group, and here an actual break from nature may ensue, as for instance (extremely) in the case of a castrato. Circumcisions, subincisions, scarifications, tattoos, and so forth are socially ordered brands and croppings, to join the merely human body in membership to a larger, more enduring, cultural body, of which it is required to become an organ - the mind and feelings being imprinted simultaneously with a correlative mythology. And not nature, but society, is the alpha and omega of this lesson."

Page 4, 'Experience and Authority', from 'The Masks of God: Creative Mythology', by Joseph Campbell

Treasure curiosity more than certainty

Turning to One Another

There is no greater power than a community discovering
what it cares about.

Ask “What is possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.
Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness. Stay together.

from the book, 'Turning to One Another' by Margaret Wheatley

Infinite Jest

"That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee.

That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt.

That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.

That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agenda-less kindness.

That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack."

David Foster Wallace, 'Infinite Jest'


"...unless that underground level of the self is preserved as a verified and verifying element in your make-up, you are going to be in danger of settling into whatever profile the world prepares for you and accepting whatever profile the world provides for you. You’ll be in danger of molding yourselves in accordance with laws of growth other than those of your own intuitive being.

The true and durable path into and through experience involves being true to the actual givens of your lives. True to your own solitude, true to your own secret knowledge. Because oddly enough, it is that intimate, deeply personal knowledge that links us most vitally and keeps us most reliably connected to one another.

Calling a spade a spade may be a bit reductive but calling a wooden spoon a wooden spoon is the beginning of wisdom. And you will be sure to keep going in life on a far steadier keel and with far more radiant individuality if you navigate by that principle."

Seamus Heaney



Cleaning Piece IV

Send a note of appreciation to silent courageous people
you happen to have noticed: parents, teachers, shopkeepers,
street cleaners, artists, etc.

Keep doing it.
See what happens to the world.

Yoko Ono

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