Listen to Jack Johnson sing Banana Pancakes
photos found on facebook
does everything happen twice?
does anything come once and never show up again?
what happens if we pay attention to what comes to us in a day,
what about this morning?
will the sun ever shine quite this way again?
will I ever have another summer
where I actually love the heat of the dog days,
The Mets just keep winning,
I spend days waiting, and wanting, to be kissed by you,
and I am surrounded by fresh flowers every day?
photo sources at www.pinterest.com
What if THIS very day is the best life will be?
What if this is your last chance to sing?
What if this moment is what you are called to?
What if this moment is your purpose?
What can you do to find the joy in this moment?
How can you be happy and satisfied right now?
What are the miracles that are happening for you as you read this?
What joy-filled cloud is hanging in the air above your head,
ready to splash all over you?
What gifts are being offered,
if you just receive them,
allow them to tumble all around you?
Maybe, just maybe, these questions hold the true secrets of life.
Maybe, living life in joy-fullness right now –
not waiting for some distant glory dream to come true –
Not holding back till your illusion of happiness materializes.
But, right now, sitting in whatever circumstance you are in,
this very given moment,
you look around and begin
to let go –
to find the avalanche of joy jewels
you’re walking on NOW.
Maybe this is the best, and only, secret…
DON’T WAIT FOR HAPPY!!!
It is available now,
and every minute
It doesn’t make sense to those who can love deeply when others turn away. But not everyone is ready to keep the heart gate open to other humans. Not everyone can handle the vulnerabilities and risk. Some prefer substitute forms of love to the real thing. Perhaps they find it safer to channel their love toward a theoretical God that can never really hurt them, to a pet that will never trigger their memory of human disappointments, to a job that will gratify them economically without touching their hearts. There are so many substitute gratifications on this planet, most of them a covering over of our deep longing to connect with each other. If you are one who is truly ready to love, better to attach to those who can truly meet you there. There is the love-lit world of genuine vulnerability, and there is the love-avoidant world of seeming security. Different worlds altogether…
– Jeff Brown (~an excerpt from the soon to be published ‘Spiritual Graffiti’)
photo sources found at www.pinterest.com/al513
I wonder, walking in these woods,
along stone walls so purposefully laid,
what it was like to clear the land,
by hand and oxen, long ago,
and pry the stones out, lift
the smaller ones, and heft them up,
the bigger ones with tools and
chains and wheels, with all
their solid weight pushing down against
you, against your hands, your will,
stone after stone,
to clear it out.
How right and good it must have seemed
to see the walls set out,
the fields enclosed.
How hard and fine, and no less work
to lift away my bitterness, my fear,
and clear an open, gentle space.
One old man keeps humming the same few notes
of some song he thought he had forgotten
back in the days when as he knows there was
no word for life in the language
and if they wanted to say eyes or heart
they would hold up a leaf and he remembers
the big tree where it rose from the dry ground
and the way the birds carried water in their voices
they were all the color of their fear of the dark
and as he sits there humming he remembers
some of the words they come back to him now
he smiles hearing them come and go
Parts of a Tune by W. S. Merwin
People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t
Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
Later in the day you can act like the others.
Listen to James Taylor sing You’ve Got A Friend http://youtu.be/xEkIou3WFnM
Quote/photo sources found at www.pinterest.com/al513
on the edge of flying
the verge of breaking through
standing in the pouring rain
hoping to find you
somewhere in the darkness
of this dark and stormy night
questions with no answers
crash upon my soul
the fires of hell rage on
bloody battles all around
as I stand within this pain
hoping to find faith in something
in this dark and stormy night
at the end of living
not knowing what to do
lightning strikes, the fire burns,
tears, that match the weather,
flooding from my soul
releasing from this moment –
there’s work for me to do –
now I fly
…everyone is involved, whether they like it or not, in the construction of their world. So, it’s never as given as it actually looks; you are always shaping it and building it. And I feel that from that perspective, that each of us is an artist. Secondly, I believe that everyone has imagination. That no matter how mature and adult and sophisticated a person might seem, that person is still essentially an ex-baby. And as children, we all lived in an imaginal world. You know, when you’ve been told don’t cross that wall, because there’s monsters over there, my god, the world you would create on the other side of the wall.
– John O’Donohue
THERE WOULD BE a strong argument for saying that much of the most powerful preaching of our time is the preaching of the poets, playwrights, novelists because it is often they better than the rest of us who speak with awful honesty about the absence of God in the world and about the storm of his absence, both without and within, which, because it is unendurable, unlivable, drives us to look to the eye of the storm. I think of King Lear especially with its tragic vision of a world in which the good and the bad alike go down to dusty and, it would seem, equally meaningless death with no God to intervene on their behalf, and yet with its vision of a world in which the naked and helpless ones, the victims and fools, become at least truly alive before they die and thus touch however briefly on something that lies beyond the power of death. It is the worldly ones, the ones wise as the world understands wisdom and strong in the way the world understands strength, who are utterly doomed. This is so much the central paradox of Lear that the whole play can be read as a gloss if not a homily on that passage in First Corinthians where Paul expresses the same paradox in almost the same terms by writing, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise. God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28), thus pointing as Shakespeare points to the apparent emptiness of the world where God belongs and to how the emptiness starts to echo like an empty shell after a while until you can hear in it the still, small voice of the sea, hear strength in weakness, victory in defeat, presence in absence.
I think of Dostoevski in The Brothers Karamazov when the body of Alyosha’s beloved Father Zossima begins to stink in death instead of giving off fragrance as the dead body of a saint is supposed to, and at the very moment where Alyosha sees the world most abandoned by God, he suddenly finds the world so aflame with God that he rushes out of the chapel where the body lies and kisses the earth as the shaggy face of the world where God, in spite of and in the midst of everything, is.
-Originally published in Telling The Truth
Jane Hirshfield has a line of poetry which has been tweeted all over the world which reminds us –
How fragile we are between the few good moments.
I think somehow we have been sold the idea that life should be all thrill. That, if every moment isn’t exciting, we are somehow failing at life. I have learned, over the past 18 years, that the real wonder of life is not in the passing thrilling moments, but in the recognition of the simple and divine in the every day ordinary.
Andy Rooney says it like this –
For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his/her happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.
The world is full of wonder! Happiness and joy are available to all who open their senses to the beauty of the unexpected sources carried in every breath we take.
Asking, seeking and knocking are all that’s required to begin!
Today I woke up at 5:15 am, same as yesterday, but today I can lay as still as possible with my sore body snuggled in my blue furry blanket (which I have named Cookie Monster) and listen to the wind and rain howling against the windows and be grateful I was able to execute the events of the past two weeks! I made it here safely to begin my new chapter!
God is very good!
Although I watched and waited for it every day,
somehow I missed it, the moment when everything reached
the peak of ripeness. It wasn’t at the solstice; that was only
the time of the longest light. It was sometime after that, when
the plants had absorbed all that sun, had taken it into themselves
for food and swelled to the height of fullness. It was in July,
in a dizzy blaze of heat and fog, when on some nights
it was too hot to sleep, and the restaurants set half their tables
on the sidewalks; outside the city, down the coast,
the Milky Way floated overhead, and shooting stars
fell from the sky over the ocean. One day the garden
was almost overwhelmed with fruition:
My sweet peas struggled out of the raised bed onto the mulch
of laurel leaves and bark and pods, their brilliantly colored
sunbonnets of rose and stippled pink, magenta and deep purple
pouring out a perfume that was almost oriental. Black-eyed Susans
stared from the flower borders, the orange cherry tomatoes
were sweet as candy, the corn fattened in its swaths of silk,
hummingbirds spiraled by in pairs, the bees gave up
and decided to live in the lavender. At the market,
surrounded by black plums and rosy plums and sugar prunes
and white-fleshed peaches and nectarines, perfumey melons
and mangos, purple figs in green plastic baskets,
clusters of tiny Champagne grapes and piles of red-black cherries
and apricots freckled and streaked with rose, I felt tears
come into my eyes, absurdly, because I knew
that summer had peaked and was already passing
away. I felt very close then to understanding
the mystery; it seemed to me that I almost knew
what it meant to be alive, as if my life had swelled
to some high moment of response, as if I could
reach out and touch the season, as if I were inside
its body, surrounded by sweet pulp and juice,
shimmering veins and ripened skin.
“A Warm Summer in San Francisco” by Carolyn Miller