One Day I Woke Up

April 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

One day I woke up
and looked out my window
And there were roses all around,
Pink ones and red ones,
I went out and feeled them and feeled them,
And they were nice and soft
Like my  sister’s velvet dress,
And they smelled like a birthday cake
And like I would be in the woods
When I am walking

-A child’s Poem (anonymous), from Peter Elbow’s “Writing with Power”  wouldn’t it be great to be able to write this well!

April 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

vandana shiva

The Leaf and the Cloud (Excerpt) – Mary Oliver

April 4, 2013 § 3 Comments

Every morning I wake, dress in the dark, go downstairs.

I look out of every window.
I go out and stand on the lawn.
In the west, the slightest light begins
flinging itself upward
and my heart beats (never an exception) with excitement.
(My gratitude to you, dear heart!)
Though it will all vanish utterly, and surely in
a little while,
I know what is wonderful–
I know what to hoard in my heart more than the value
of pearls and seeds.
There was the day you first spoke my name.
There was a white house at the edge of the harbour.
There was the swan, and the hummingbird.
There was music, and paper, and the tirelessly pursued work.
There were a thousand and again a thousand unforgettable days.
And still I’m looking at everything —
in the wide morning and the strike of noon
I’m humming, and clapping my hands
and I can’t stop
not for any reason
not even for the easiest thought.
And, anyway, what is thought
but elaborating, and organizing?
What is thought
but doubting, and crying out?
(In the dark, in the distance,
I can just see the heron
dimpling then calming her long wings.)
As reliable as anything you will ever know,
time moves its dim, heavy thumb over the shoreline
making its changes, its whimsical variations.
Yes, yes, the body never gets away from the world,
its endless granular shuffle and exchange–
everything is one, sooner or later —
the red fox and the bullrush,
the industrious ant and the sleepy bear,
the green crab and the minnow,
the pink boat and the dog in the pink boat
Shelley’s body and the gleaming sand.
When the praying mantis opens its wings
it becomes a green flower.
When the egg breaks
it becomes a bird.
When the river is finished, its avenues of light
fold and drop and fall into
and become the sea.
-Mary Oliver

From “Loneliness” by Emily White

April 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Researchers stress that whole areas of our lives have become open to commercial intervention…

In a recent issues of “Psychology and Marketing”, two authors remind store owners that many people at malls are there because they’re lonely. Because of this and in order to maximize sales, merchants are to highlight the personal (cue the homey sofas and friendly baristas at Starbucks) and downplay the real goal, which is the sale of goods for cash. With the market having delved into the more private reaches or our personal lives, we’re left with a situation in which our ties might look the same as they did fifty years ago, but feel quite different. Connections might remain in place, but there might be less heart and content to them. The culture overall, stress academics such as Hohschild, might become “cooler”, offering us more chances to buy things, but fewer chances to connect.
And it’s important to not that the market, which is gradually closing in on what used to be considered “personal” is quite rapidly eating away at the natural world. Over the course of just the last thirty-five years, populations of marine and terrestrial species have declined by a rate of about 30 percent. A conservative estimate of the extinction rate pegs it at about 800 species a day, or 27,000 species a year, with many estimates suggesting that half of the plants and animals in the world will be gone by the year 2100.
It may seem odd to drop an endangered pine marten into a discussion of loneliness, and this is because we usually conceptualize the state as a gap or shortcoming in interpersonal relations — we see it as a state of lacking intimacy with the people around us. While this definition is no doubt accurate, it can’t be said to be exhaustive.
Without species diversity, environmental psychologists warn, we’ll necessarily feel more alone. It’s for this reason that E O Wilson, a Harvard professor who is one of the world’s leading conservation, has described ours at the “Age of Loneliness.”  He is not speaking metaphorically. He means that, as we continue to let species perish, we’re inevitably going to feel more isolated and bereft in the world they’ve left behind. With loneliness conceptualized in this reasonable way — as a state that reflects, at least in part, our ties to the world around us — it’s impossible to think that the extinction rate can climb upward while the loneliness rate remains unchanged. Environmental losses will translate into personally felt absences. What’s different about environmental loss is it’s quiet nature. There’s no one storming out, no one slamming a door or leaving a hastily written note. Rather, extinction is a gradual, perpetual, and silent good-bye — a disappearance we might not even notice until we start to feel empty, and then notice that the world we’re living in has become quieter, less vivid, and a lot more lonely.
IMG_1880
species are perhaps the most obvious indicator of loss. It’s relatively easy to estimate species diversity over time and then calculate what’s gone missing. It’s slightly harder to do this with personal relationships, but the same overall pattern of a slow vanishing appears if you compare sociability levels from the 1970s to those of today. Compared to  thirty or forty years ago, we’re spending more time alone, seeing less of our friends and family, spending more time at work, losing confidants at a grater rate, glorifying aloneness, and allowing the commercial to slowly undermine the personal.”
pp 226 &228
-Thank you Emily White for tackling this uniquely sad topic of our times, may you always find connection, love, and comfort

March 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Dogmatism of all kinds–scientific, economic, moral, as well as political–are threatened by the creative freedom of the artist. This is necessarily and inevitably so. We cannot escape our anxiety over the fact that the artists together with creative persons of all sorts, are the possible destroyers of our nicely ordered systems.” – Rollo May

Creative Block

February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Blockage can occur if you decide, at a conscious or unconscious level, that the world is too sick, difficult, unresponsive, alienating, stupid, or bourgeois a place in which to do art. In a manner of speaking, you judge the world a fraud or a failure. This judgement is often tied to your feeling unrecognized, unrewarded, rejected, and embattled. But the judgement may arise independent of your personal frustrations, independent of the cattle-call auditions you endure or the embarrassing smallness of the roles you win. It may come upon you simply because you chanced to watch the news.

It is easy to grow cynical or misanthropic, but it is harder to realisze that such cynicism can become a source of blockage. The artist, angered or saddened by the world, may not understand that his blockage is more accurately his refusal to bring art products into a world that he does not love.”

– Eric Maisel

The Beauty Myth

February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

“We do not have to spend money and go hungry and struggle and study to become sensual; we always were. We need not believe we must somehow earn good erotic care; we always deserved it.

Femaleness and its sexuality are beautiful. Women have long secretly suspected as much. In that sexuality, women are physically beautiful already; superb; breathtaking.

Many, many men see this way too. A man who wants to define himself as a real lover of women admires what shows of her past on a woman’s face, before she ever saw him, and the adventures and stresses that her body has undergone, the scars of trauma, the changes of childbirth, her distinguishing characteristics, the light is her expression. The number of men who already see in this way is far greater than the arbiters of mass culture would lead us to believe, since the story they need to tell ends with the opposite moral.”
― Naomi WolfThe Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women

One of the perks of being a writer

February 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

The facts speak for themselves.

Lion

 

Accept the Fact that You are Accepted

November 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted!” If that happens to us, we experience grace.

-Paul Tillich

October 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

“When the anima or animus projections [onto others] are withdrawn, the complex of energy that was bound up in the projection is also withdrawn. What this means practically is that a woman stops blaming her ‘lack of opportunity’ on the construction of her genitalia, or on the prejudices of society. No longer identifying herself as a victim, she begins to consider her own self-image as a possible basis for the inadequacy she feels. Instead of trying to be what she thinks will ‘succeed’ in the world, or ‘what the world wants’, she resolves to turn her attention to becoming more fully what her authentic nature longs to express.”

– Boundaries of the Soul, by June Singer

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