Tuesday, June 22, 2010

...all the ingredients are here...

Over the years, my mother has acquired some wonderful books of poetry which are now strewn about her house-- on the coffee table, on the side table, on the desk-- easy access for someone like me trying to keep up with a roaming toddler. Certainly some of my richest moments during our recent visit to her house involved recognizing the poetry at play in the motions and conversations of our visit, an awareness which was heightened by a quick but lingering glance at words like these:

By Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the imagination, which dwells apart...

"But is it not rather that art rescues nature from the weary and sated regards of our senses, and the degrading injustice of our anxious everyday life, and, appealing to the imagination, which dwells apart, reveals Nature in some degree as she really is, and as she represents herself to the eye of the child, whose every-day life, fearless and unambitious, meets the true import of the wonder-teeming world around him, and rejoices therein without questioning?"

- George MacDonald, Phantastes

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Public Service Announcement

"Listening is a leaning towards others, the opening of ourselves in a receptive attitude toward the reality around us; it is only the capacity to listen that prevents us from revolving around ourselves."