December 27th, 2011

alan - winter bird


It is the evening of another beautiful day, this one an inner, reflective one, after the loving communion of the weekend, the spirit of celebration and honoring of nature in all its forms.  It is a time of transition as each of us folds up one year, and unfolds the next.   

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

                     T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

May it be so!

great blue heron flying

Love -

The true source of joy is love — love of God, love of beauty, love of wisdom, love of another human being, it does not matter which. It is all one love: a joyful awareness of dissolving boundaries of our ordinary narrow self, of being one with the reality beyond, of being made whole.

- Irma Zaleski, from the essay The Door To Joy

alan - winter bird

Zen Quiet

On Christmas Day, we rose early and went to Pinnacles National Monument and climbed up into a cave.  Jan got binoculars for Christmas so we were able to bring birds in close as we explored the different landscapes and walks.

I am reminded again of the exquisite pleasure of seeing movement in a tree, and then, bringing the bird in close, when I read Thomas Merton:

Meadowlark sitting quietly on a fence post in the dawn sun, his gold vest - bright in the light of the east, his black bib tidy, turning his head this way, that way. This is a Zen quietness without comment.

         From: The Intimate Merton, ed. Patrick Hart and Jonathan Montaldo, (New York: HarperCollins, 1999: 222

We took quite a journey and ended up after exploring, what appeared unexplored, in New Idria, a former mining town, now a ghost town.  We saw very few people on our trip, and could have been the only people in the world, Jeff, Jan, Senna, Steve, and me.   Chris and Frieda are in Scotland for Christmas, and I feel I'm there, too, so I'm here and there.  They were in Korea before their return to London, and then they flew out to Edinburgh.   Through their photos, I'm around the globe.  Today they drive to Inverness.   

I'm reading a wonderful book by Neil Oliver, A History of Ancient Britain.  It allows me to feel the changes humans and pre-humans have undergone, to understand the adaptations to climate change.  One day England was connected to Europe and then it was an island, and now, we can see the whole beautiful spinning planet from space.

Tread gently this day, and notice what's under your feet.   This moment, so precious, this moment, so one.

alan - joshua tree bloom


I read this quote, hit in the gut.   Can I live this?   With each moment, the possibility, is Yes!

If within there is no self, then each and every thing is intimate.
- Yikui