‘Daring to enter, we are humbled to discover, again and again, that the act of living itself unravels both the answer and the question. When we watch, we remain riddles to be solved. When we enter, we become songs to be sung. When life feels far off, remember that a flute is just something hard with holes until it’s played. So, too, the heart. In this way, the life of every soul waits like sheet music to be played. What good are we if never played?’ -Mark Nepo
Blessed are you God of the universe.
You have created us, and given us life.
Blessed are you, God of the planet earth.
You have set our world like a radiant jewel in the heavens,
and filled it with action, beauty, suffering, struggle and hope.
Blessed are you, God of Aotearoa New Zealand
in all the people who live here,
in all the lessons we have learned,
in all that remains for us to do.
Blessed are you because you need us;
because you make us worthwhile,
because you give us people to love and work to do
for your universe, for your world and for ourselves.
- A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karaikia Mihinare Aotearoa. (1989). p.142
The blade of grass may wither and petals fall from the flower, but the idea, “the word of the Lord…Gaia…endureth forever.
I know that all things are good when rightly used. I enter the game of living, then, with joyful anticipation, with spontaneous enthusiasm, and with the determination to play the game well and to enjoy it.”
If you try to comprehend air
before breathing it,
you will die.
We can only consider things so long. After a while, all the information – – all the options and opinions – – will begin to weight us down. After our deeper eyes have seen the situation, all the well-meaning voices telling us what we should or should not do will start to feel like strings we can’t cut through.
It is natural enough to be cautious and thoughtful, especially when faced with important decisions, but often the only way to know what awaits us is to live it.
This brings to mind the revelation that came upon a Hindu sage centuries ago, One day in the middle of their morning prayers, the sage suddenly rose and ushered his students away from the monastery. He rushed about them and shooed them back into life like little ducks, proclaiming, “the day is to be experienced, not understood.”
° Center ourself while holding a glass of water and an empty cup.
° Consider the choices that away you while during the water from one glass to the other.
° When you tire of the pouring, breathe deeply and drink the water.
° Now enter your life.
Mark Nepo/Book of Awakening
The truth is that what we want or dream of doesn’t always last. It tends to serve its purpose in our development and then fades away, losing its relevance. And we can do enormous damage to ourselves by insisting on carrying that which has died. Living up to a dream is rarely as important as entering it for all it has to teach.
‘The more we are worn by experience, the more of an inlet we become and the more the waters of life wash out of us. This is why tears come more easily the longer we are here.
Perhaps wisdom is nothing more than the unsayable waters rising within us to swell around the eye, the way that oceans soften land, evidence of that inevitable tide that takes a lifetime to rise.’
‘Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.’ -Rachel Carson
(Photo: Salish Sea, October 2016)
Breath deeply and try to see each, not as a failure, but as a shimmering bead on a necklace your life is making.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
‘When things don’t work out – – -when loves unexpectedly end or careers stop unfolding – – it can be painful and sad, but refusing this larger picture keeps us form finding our resilience. Then, sadness can turn into discouragement, pain can spoil into despair.
Each person we love and each dream we try to give life to brings us closer to the mystery of being alive.
So, we must try as many times as necessary until our many loves become the one love, and many dreams become the one dream, until heart and path feel the same.’
‘For as the Earth was begun like a dish breaking, eternity is that scene slowly reversing, and you and the things we’re drawn to are merely the pieces of God unbreaking back together.’
Not a human love…
‘Not anyone who says, “I’m going to be
careful and smart in matters of love,”
who says, “I’m going to choose slowly,”
but only those lovers who didn’t choose at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible and powerful and uncontrollable
and beautiful and possibly even
only those know what I’m talking about
in this talking about love.’ <Mary Oliver>
…a love of life that that although pain – suffering – it is at its foundation an undeniable love of being.
‘The chance of a lifetime.
That would be today.
And every day, if you’re up for it.
The things that change our lives (and the lives of others) are rarely the long-scheduled events, the much-practiced speeches or the annual gala. No, it’s almost certain that the next chance you have to leap will come out of nowhere in particular, and you’ll discover it because you’re ready for it.
Someone to inspire, to connect with, to lead. A system to transform. An idea to share. Responsibility is often just lying around, waiting for someone to take it.’
‘Today I hold a communion with this invisible Presence that peoples the world with the manifestations of Its life, Its light, and Its love.’
-Science of Mind
‘I so love life and trust it.’
A manifesting mantra.
‘…remind ourselves how good and how important is to be, well, a weirdo, to let your freak flag fly, to live life out loud and proud, to shock the bourgeoisie, to cultivate a social conscience, to make ethical art that is connected to a spiritual purpose, to own your work and to own your name in a culture of commodification, to stay rooted to your beginnings and to practice and master your craft. We’re here to get through this thing called Life…’
Beautiful and complex expose on the life of Prince and his contribution by writer Jason King for NPR.
‘Only when we can accept that we are fragile gusts on this Earth, only then will we be at home where ever we are.’
‘I have finally isolated the problem: that we were born at all. That we have bodies, and minds. Also, parents. Who made us go to school. Where a third of the children were absolute beasts, especially on the blacktop, when teachers weren’t looking. At about the time a grandparent or cat died, and we began to realize everything and everyone was going to die. Even Mom! Who was insane, who either had to be highly medicated, or who cleaned between the piano keys with Q-tips, or hated Dad, or adored Dad, who hated her.
This is all by five years old, before most children can even read, i.e. begin to learn about the full nightmare of life in one’s own bizarre family, let alone slums, Stalin, alcoholism, manic-depression, JFK, cancer, acne, and what eventually happens to most animals at the pound.
This advance is not available to most children until they are at least six years old.
Right? I mean, let’s put aside the fact that our hearts get broken–everyone’s hearts get badly broken here, trust me; shattered–and maybe we have children and they have awful problems, and their hearts get shattered, and you want to die, but eventually maybe they find a great husband, say, whom you adore, who, when the twins are ten, they divorce. Then your best women friends gets breast cancer. Plus your cat, who is the main reason you can even stand being here at all some days, is on his last legs.
So yeah, maybe we’re a bit more tense than the average bear.
Yeah, maybe we’ve shut down a little. Maybe at six years old (see above) we’ve developed armor, like very articulate, high-achieving armadillos. We’re obsessed with what other people think of us. Some of us drink or eat a little more than would be ideal. We know we are a little off balance, a little out of whack, because we binge on this or that, or starve, or have developed tiny, tiny control issues, and maybe struggle EVERY so often with judgment, hardly worth mentioning; or cannot turn the TV; and the cell phone is destroying our lives, our chance to be spiritually awake and present, and makes us hate the worst offenders. Plus, you know, the little death thing.
I promise, if I were in charge of more, if I were God’s West Coast representative, I would have a much better system. Ix-nay on eth-day, for instance. But I’m not.
So what is the plan? I’m so glad you asked, because while I have some heartbreaking and highly stressful things going on even as we speak, as everyone does, and it is Halloween, which I hate on every level, not just because I have eaten all the fugging Mounds, which I thought I could keep around because I don’t love them, I am in a dangerously good mood.
Why? Because I have community. I have several friends who are so On Beyond Zebra in terms of greatness and loyalty, that we will never be alone in our struggles and suffering guns craziness. Because I got a second chance at life. Because God has to love me-that’s His or Her job.
Because the day is young, and only I can wreck it. I’ve done my prayers, meditation and been to the Church of the New York Times. I am in my own home, where there are pets, autumn apples, unread books, clean sheets on the bed (!!!!!), not all that many more Mounds bars to shovel in. I get to go for an hour’s hike. And then, OMG, a hot shower. I get to put lotion of my beautifully, ripply, sturdy, work-horse thigh; the laying on of hands.
And then all of these sober people who love me more than life itself–and I them–are going to meet and roar with laughter, or cry, and listen intently to one another, and remember that most of our problems are mental–our minds are for entertainment purposes only. So we will change channels. We will turn off K-Fucked Radio, and be where our feet and hearts are, with each other, sticking together, sharing our water and gum. We remind each other to eat, that we get even worse when we don’t. Like Jesus telling his disciples, “You are all driving me a bit crazy here today, but there is a fish roast going on at the beach. So everyone go eat, share, savor; breathe. And we’ll meet back here later. Deal?”
Then I am going to flirt with every old lonely person I see. And I am going to walk with my dogs through the ‘Hood, even though Bodhi is old and aches, and I will pick up litter, even though there will be more tomorrow, because that is not my business. Love and service are my business. Walking the dogs is my business. Radical self-care is my business: hence the autumn apple as and clean sheets, and remembering to look up. Asking myself if I want to be right or kind is my business. Law of the American Jungle: Remain Calm, and Share Your Bananas. Period.
I have to get up tomorrow at 4:00 a.m. and fly to Alabama, but that is tomorrow. Not my problem. Just today. I have you, you have me. The friends, the changing leaves,the unread books. The dogs. The cat, who is perhaps the tiniest bit bitter, about the dogs. The Mounds, which are actually damn good. Our hearts. Cool water. Wow.’
‘All the enthusiasm for life and the glad expectation of the more yet to be.’
“I am not saying that we should love death, but rather that we should love life so generously, without picking and choosing, that we automatically include it (life’s other half) in our love.”