We come out of nowhere, don’t we, in the sense that we’re a total accident. Our parents met. There’s the accident. And, you know, we’re born. Obviously, we come from someplace physiologically. And then comes the emergence of our being, which is the psychological and spiritual emergence of our being that takes time, experience, education of a certain kind with parents and neighbors and teachers and relatives and from one another humanly. And this slow emergence of our psychological being and our spiritual being is itself a great mystery. And mystery, you bet — mystery is a great challenge. It’s an invitation, and it’s a wonderful companion, actually. — Robert Coles, in The Inner Lives of Children.
Grief has a tremendous power. When we submerge it in avoidance, we can’t use it for spiritual growth. Allow grief’s power to propel you. —
Miriam Greenspan, from Healing through the Dark Emotions
Read where this came from.
Stumbled upon this spectacular image of snowy egrets roosting on the east shore of the Salton Sea today and was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver:
Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that’s how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
into three egrets – - -
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them – - -
tilting through the water,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.
"I haven’t attended Mass in years, but I blessed it with the sign of the cross, a comforting remnant from my Catholic childhood. Making the strokes with my thumb is my way of saying: your life mattered. Your contributions were generous. You will be missed. And during absolute heartbreak, I celebrated a moment of exquisite pain: I am still alive. I can make a difference in the name of this tree. I must."
~Marianne Griebler, from "A Requiem for Trees"
Photo by Norma Desmond
President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to two Vietnam War soldiers today. “Sometimes even the most extraordinary stories can get lost in the fog of war or the passage of time,” the president said, noting that the medal is typically awarded within a few years of the acts of bravery. Above you can see which recent wars the recipients of the medal fought in.
Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims pray by candlelight during a ceremony during the Timkat festival in Gondar.
The next thing you do today will be the most important thing on your agenda, because, after all, you’re doing it next. Well, perhaps it will be the most urgent thing. Or the easiest. In fact, the most important thing probably isn’t even on your agenda. —
So true, so true.
No matter what path you’re on, when you go deep into it, we all find ourselves in the same place. — Brother Bernard Seif
I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness, is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us be men. — Cesar Chavez, quoted in our upcoming show with Richard Rodriguez
So many NFL players, so many men, carry the festering wound of having been abused themselves. As has so often been said, hurt people hurt people. It’s not until we reveal those wounds, examine them, heal them, that we will actually see a shift in male-perpetrated violence of so many kinds.
No amount of humiliation can accomplish that, and in fact, any amount of humiliation will prevent it. People may make themselves feel better as they tweet away about what a monster Ray Rice is, but they are actually increasing injury in the process. — Courtney Martin, from her On Being column examining the violence of humiliation that’s ensued from the recent news about Ray and Janay Rice.
For most of his life, my grandfather woke up clean and came home dirty. In between, he accomplished things that were nothing short of miraculous. Some days he might re-shingle a roof. Or rebuild a motor. Or maybe run electricity out to our barn. He helped build the church I went to as a kid, and the farmhouse my brothers and I grew up in. He could fix or build anything, but to my knowledge he never once read the directions. He just knew how stuff worked. — Mike Rowe, in "The Work We Value, The Intelligence We Ignore."
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. — Kahlil Gibran, from “On Joy and Sorrow” as quoted in response to this magnificent post by Parker Palmer about creating a supple heart.
Photo by Joe Valtierra