January 29th, 2007

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Good Morning!!

I am amazed how refreshing it feels to change things around.   The book case is perfect in this room and I feel like a snail in a shell.   It is hard to believe that such a bookcase ever fit in the bedroom.   That space has snuggled into itself.

Portland has an aerial tram, a wonderful sounding tram, and yet, people who live in the homes it flows over are not so thrilled.  I see now what they were talking of doing in Tam Valley.   I'm glad we stopped it, or at least I hope we have stopped it, though it looks like fun to visit Portland and ride the tram.  Amazing how Not In My Backyard I can be.

A beautiful Monday to All!!
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Quotes I come across -

As I browse back through journals and such, I come across quotes that have meaning for me.  Here are a few.


    At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.

Anais Nin

    And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
       was more painful that the risk it took to blossom. 

Van Gogh

    There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.

Christopher Morley in The Haunted Bookshop

    It's a good idea to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour glass,
       to let the particles run the other way.

Walt Whitman

    The world will be complete for him who himself is complete.

Simone Weil

    Absolute attention is Prayer!


    Once you commit to something, life moves in ways you never could have imagined.

Emily Dickinson

    To live is so startling it leaves but little time for other occupations.

George Sand

    Our life is composed of love and not to love is to cease to live.

Henry Miller

    Everybody becomes a healer the moment he forgets about himself. 


    This time when you and I sit here,
       two figures with one soul,
          we're a garden,
             with plants and birdsong moving through us
                      like rain.

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Rilke -

The only journey is the one within.

Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart
    and try to love the questions themselves.


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More -

Frank Lloyd Wright - A creative life is a young one.

Pearl Buck - On Death

    The dragonfly begins as a grub in water.  Then at the proper moment, it surfaces, finds it has wings and flies away.  I suppose that the ones left in the water wonder where he went and why he doesn't come back.  But he can't because he has wings.  Nor can they go to him, because they don't have their wings yet. 

Frederick Franck -

    In this 20th Century to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to the earth, to allow the eye to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf is an unforgettable experience. 

            (and now it is the 21st Century - what do we create for ourselves now.)

    Seeing-drawing is not the pursuit of happiness, but stopping the pursuit, and experiencing the awareness, the happiness of being all there.

                  (what wonderful intention to set for the day.)

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What a day!!

There are so many birds singing that the leaves are certainly receiving the invitation to spring. 

Today, I saw a little boy out walking with his mother.  He was entranced with pansies and she had the patience to wait as he gave each one a gentle one-finger touch.    He studied first a purple one, and then, a burgundy one.  I thought if we all can continue to see and live like that little boy, all will be well in the world.

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

- Anne Frank

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Thomas Merton -

In the heat of noon I return through the cornfield, past the barn under the oaks, up the hill, under the pines, to the hot cabin. Larks rise out of the long grass singing. A bumblebee hums under the wide shady eaves.

I sit in the cool back room, where words cease to resound, where all meanings are absorbed in the consonantia of heat, fragrant pine, quiet wind, bird song and one central tonic note that is unheard and unuttered. Not the meditation of books, or of pieties, or of systematic trifles. In the silence of the afternoon all is present and all is inscrutable. One central tonic note to which every other sound ascends or descends, to which every other meaning aspires, in order to find its true fulfillment. To ask when the note will sound is to lose the afternoon: it has sounded and all things now hum with resonance of its sounding.

I sweep. I spread a blanket out in the sun. I cut grass behind the cabin. Soon I will bring the blanket in again and make the bed. The sun is over-clouded. Perhaps there will be rain. A bell rings in the monastery. A tractor growls in the valley. Soon I will cut bread, eat supper, say psalms, sit in the back room as the sun sets, as the birds sing outside the window, as silence descends on the valley, as night descends. As night descends on a nation intent upon ruin, upon destruction, blind, deaf to protest, crafty, powerful, unintelligent. It is necessary to be alone, to be not part of this, to be in the exile of silence, to be in a manner of speaking a political prisoner. No matter where in the world he may be, no matter what may be his power of protest, or his means of expression, the poet finds himself ultimately where I am. Alone, silent, with the obligation of being very careful not to say what he does not mean, not to let himself be persuaded to say merely what another wants him to say, not to say what his own past work has led others to expect him to say.

The poet has to be free from everyone else, and first of all from himself, because it is through this “self” that he is captured by others. Freedom is found under the dark tree that springs up in the center of the night and of silence, the paradise tree, the axis mundi, which is also the Cross.

Thomas Merton, from Dancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage The Journals of Thomas Merton: Volume Five 1963-1965