For last year's words belong to last year's language
Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares
which will not withdraw from us.
We need hours of aimless wandering or
spates of time sitting on park benches,
observing the mysterious world of ants
and the canopy of treetops.
One day you finally knew
When death comes
to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
And therefore I look upon everything
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
and each body a lion of courage, and something
When it's over, I want to say: all my life
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
“The polls have sung their opera of assent: the land wants war. But here is another America, candle-throated, sure as tide. Whoever you are, you are also this granite anger. In history you will be the vigilant dead who stood in front of every war with old hearts in your pockets, stood on the carcass of hope listening for the thunder of its feathers.
The desert is diamond ice and only stars above us here and elsewhere, a thousand issues of a clear waxed star, a holocaust of heaven and somewhere, a way out. ”
"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.
~ Dawna Markova
I hadn't been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called "bee yard etiquette. She reminded me that the world was really one big bee yard, and the same rules worked fine in both places: Don't be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don't be an idiot; wear long sleeves and long pants. Don't swat. Don't even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates, while whistling melts a bee's temper. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved.
~Sue Monk Kidd, from "The Secret Life of Bees"
August said, Listen to me now, Lily. Im going to tell you something I want you always to remember, all right? Her face had grown serious. Intent. Her eyes did not blink. All right, I said, and I felt something electric slide down my spine. Our Lady is not some magical being out there somewhere, like a fairy godmother. Shes not the statue in the parlor. Shes something inside of you. Do you understand what Im telling you? Our Lady is inside me, I repeated, not sure I did. You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside.
~Sue Monk Kidd, from "The Secret Life of Bees"
are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
"I know in my heart the dream will be realized. I choose to believe. And choosing is a powerful thing. It's available to you at every moment. You can choose understanding over anger, believing over nonbelieving, action over inaction. It gives meaning to every choice we make."
"What we need to do is learn to respect and embrace our differences until our differences dont make a difference in how we are treated."
King, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation
An ending and a beginning. Renewed opportunity to stoke the oh so necessary fires even as the waters, salty and fresh, wash away the sludge and lay bare the forms upon which to sculpt anew.
To 2004 may it bring strength and courage, joy and laughter.
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.
Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) American reformer
An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life.
He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One wolf is evilhe is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
The other is goodhe is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.
They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry, Openings: The Peace of Wild Things
"Will the future ever arrive? Should we continue to look upwards? Is the light we see in the sky one of those which will presently be extinguished? The ideal is terrifying to behold, lost as it is in the depths, small, isolated, a pin-point, brilliant but threatened on all sides by the dark forces that surround it; nevertheless, no more in danger than a star in the jaws of the clouds."
"I love a good nap.
Sometimes the promise of a nap is
order for something to become clean, something else must become
man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same
do you have when the last bear is gone? And the last wolf?"
too, are unobtrusive; they don't storm the natural world or
ride over it, but drift in upon it as part of its own silence.
As you either care about what the land is or not, so do you
like or dislike quiet things -- sailboats, or rainy green mornings
in foreign places, or a grazing herd, or the ruins of monasteries
in mountains...Chances for being quiet nowadays are limited.
Everyone must become their own person, however frightful that may be. Einstein
Kenneth Grahme "So-this-is-a-River"
"THE River," corrected the Rat.
"And you really live by the river? What a jolly life!"
"By it and with it and on it and in it," said the Rat. "It's brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing. It's my world, and I don't want any other. What it hasn't got is not worth having, and what it doesn't know is not worth knowing. Lord! the times we've had together..."
- From The Wind in the Willow
Harry Middleton "Many a time have I merely closed my eyes at the end of yet another troublesome day and soaked my bruised psyche in wild water, rivers remembered and rivers imagined.
"A state of grace is that kind of balance with which you ride the chaos that you find around you. It's not a matter of resolving the chaos because there's something arrogant and war-like about putting the world in order. It's a matter of riding the contours of the world as you encounter them."
Read by Nelson Mandela in a 1995 speech. ~ From A RETURN TO LOVE by Marianne Williamson
The sound of lightning bugs is the same as that of fireworksnot the bang of going off but the glimmer of being onthe same as that of stars. It's the sound of amazement, people made breathless as the involuntary, unnoticed air of reverence explodes our bodies in embracing the twinkled sky, all eyes in wonder of where to focus, what to reach for, what to want to hold.
I know the sound of lightning bugs, for I've made it in their sea of wonder when sparkling spray milked the skyway and mirrored the mirror below, when starfish glowworms of early summer's field quit reflecting their silent winged partners and became them, when the near florescence of my own exaltation met the breathful skies and inhaled them.
"Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact." - George Eliot (1819-1880)
In the moment before playing there's always that silence. It is exulting but it is frightening. For you are only who you are and you have only yourself to bring to it.
from Sarah Smith's novel about the first woman concert pianist in 20th century France. Quoted by the keynote speaker at the 2002 SJSU Honor's Convocation.
"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." - Honore' de Balzac (1799-1850)
"I can't believe that!" said Alice. "You can't?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes." Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. —from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll
"That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent."
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises. And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open and with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for your plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you will learn that you really can endure—that you really are strong. And you really do have worth. —anonymous
i'm gonna clear my head i'm gonna drink that sun the saddest sight my eyes can see is that big ball of orange sinking slyly down the trees sittin in a broken circle while you rest upon my knee this perfect moment will soon be leaving me suzanne calls from boston the coffee's hot the corn is high and that same sun that warms your heart will suck the good earth dry with everything its opposite enough to keep you crying or keep this old world spinning with a twinkle in its eye get out the map get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down we'll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town don't drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone i'm gonna clear my head i'm gonna drink that sun i'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young joni left for south africa a few years ago and then beth took a job all the way over on the west coast and me i'm still trying to live half a life on the road seems i'm heavier by the year (heavier by the year) and heavier by the load (heavier by the load) why do we hurdle ourselves through every inch of time and space i must say around some corner i can sense a resting place with every lesson learned a line upon your beautiful face we'll amuse ourselves one day with these memories we'll trace get out the map get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down we'll leave the figuring to those we pass on our way out of town don't drink the water there seems to be something ailing everyone i'm gonna clear my head (i'm gonna clear my head) i'm gonna drink that sun (i'm gonna drink that sun) i'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young i'm gonna clear my head i'm gonna drink that sun i'm gonna love you good and strong while our love is good and young words and music emily saliers copyright 1997 emi songs inc and godhap music (bmi)
"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. "Herm Albright
"There are two types of people — those who come into a room and say, 'Well, here I am!' and those who come in and say, 'Ah, there you are."Frederick L. Collins
Every river finds time to drift, to ramble and babble and glup at the sky shining in. It also may dash and boil, seething spray and lashing at the earth like the raking of a dragon's claw. Both are natural for the river, as it reaches to find the truest paths. And sometimes, we who flow through life as a river, find ourselves caught in the eddies and backwaters of the flow. Hidden from all but a glimpse of filtered canopy light. Buoyed by the memory and residue of what was once the shore, spreading without course. A chance to reflect on the directions we've chosen, draw from the still depths of our wisdom, and prepare for the inevitable journeys that lie before us. Life is movement. Full of the obstacles and opportunities that make us great. A joining of the many lessons that make us whole. As we journey towards our dreams. Rodger Chemnick
Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times,