Friday, August 26, 2011

Quiet Giants

I was just thinking of Alan Jacobs yesterday. Today, Image Journal brought this to my facebook feed. Allow me to suggest finding a quiet half hour, preparing your beverage of choice, and slowly flipping through the Gospel of the Trees. I think you'll come away refreshed.

Here's a peak at what you'll find:

Photo (yes, photo) by Franz Lanting


To be a giant and keep quiet about it,

To stay in one’s own place;

To stand for the constant presence of process

And always to seem the same;

To be steady as a rock and always trembling,

Having the hard appearance of death

With the soft, fluent nature of growth,

One’s Being deceptively armored,

One’s Becoming deceptively vulnerable,

To be so tough, and take the light so well,

Freely providing forbidden knowledge

Of so many things about heaven and earth

For which we should otherwise have no word—

Poems or people are rarely so lovely,

And even when they have great qualities

They tend to tell you rather then exemplify

What they believe themselves to be about,

While from the moving silence of trees,

Whether in storm or calm, in leaf and naked,

Night or day, we draw conclusions of our own,

Sustaining and unnoticed as our breath,

And perilous also—though there has never been

A critical tree—about the nature of things.
— Howard Nemerov

Thursday, August 25, 2011

There's A Place

I've been drawn to this song these past few days as I consider the tremendous energy my daughter Olivia musters to work through all that is encompassed in what we call "1st grade." But beyond that, it seems it might offer a timely word for so many-- right now. Ladies and gentlemen, Peter Gabriel.

(I debated whether to post this live version with Paula Cole or the video with Kate Bush. As you see, the live version won, as I just can't seem to receive the message while watching an awkward 6 minute hug).