Gratitude (RIP Oliver Sacks)

August 30, 2015

“Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

~Oliver Sacks

Travel Writer

August 25, 2015
     "Take some more coffee," I said.
     "Good.  Coffee is good for you.  It's the caffeine in it.  Caffeine, 
we are here.  Caffeine puts a man on her horse and a woman in 
his grave.  You know what's the trouble with you?  You're an 
expatriate.  One of the worst type.  Haven't you heard that?  Nobody 
that ever left their own country ever wrote anything worth 
printing.  Not even in the newspapers."
     He drank the coffee.
     "You're an expatriate.  You've lost touch with the soil.  You get 
precious.  Fake European standards have ruined you.  You drink 
yourself to death.  You become obsessed by sex.  You spend all your 
time talking, not working.  You are an expatriate, see?  You hang 
around cafes."
     "It sounds like a swell life," I said.

~Ernest Hemingway, from The Sun Also Rises

Resistance is Futile

July 13, 2015

Remember what it feels like when you’re snowboarding, and you start to pick up just a little too much speed, on a slope that’s just a little too steep?  First the nervousness, then the fear?  And how your muscles start to tighten up, until you realize you’re in more trouble now, because the stiffer your limbs get the less control you have over them, making it much more likely that you’re going to crash?  And how the only solution is to release, utterly, and to let your muscles relax, and to embrace the speed?

Do you remember that?

Good.  Now, release into your life.

canyons stand

How to Believe in Yesterday

May 10, 2015

The distinction between past, present and
future is only an illusion, however persistent.

~Albert Einstein

Modern physics tells us that time does not “move” forward.  Instead, time, like space, simply is.  To us humans who cannot help but perceive our lives as proceeding from yesterday to today to tomorrow, this is a mind-boggling concept.  So let’s try to wrap some more words around it….

The laws of physics do not, indeed cannot, distinguish between an event in the “past” or an event in the “future.”  In fact, these laws do not even distinguish between change which occurs “forward” in time or “backward” in time.  The arrow of time exists only in our heads.

We humans insist that the past is gone, that only those things that can be perceived right now actually exist.  Physics tells us, quite clearly, that though this is our perception, it is not reality.  The reality is that everything, whether in the past, present or future, simply exists.  Always.  This is not wishful thinking.  This is what hard science tells us is true, even if this truth, like other hard truths from science, seems patently absurd to our perceptions (like the fact that every atom making up all physical objects is mostly empty space, even though we perceive things as solid.)

Why am I harping on this this morning?  Because this seemingly absurd description of reality comforts me.  Because it means that nothing is ever lost, nothing ever dies. It means that we are still sitting at the dinner table in the old house on Wedgemere, even though you are long gone and the house has been sold away.  It means that your infectious laugh is still ringing, even if my ears can no longer hear it.

Life as Koan

March 8, 2015

It’s only confusing
if you try to figure it out.

Earth: A New Wild (PBS)

March 6, 2015

Another wonderful mini-series about this miraculous planet:  this time focusing on how humanity has upset the balance, and how humanity might save it.  I so admire the inspiring leaders in this effort; such great minds, big hearts and brave souls.

EARTH_Hero_Home2

Sensitive High

February 14, 2015

You tend to be philosophical or spiritual in your orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic.  You dislike small talk.  You often describe yourself as creative or intuitive.  You dream vividly, and can often recall your dreams the next day.  You love music, nature, art, physical beauty.  You feel exceptionally strong emotions – sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear.  You process information about your environments – both physical and emotional – unusually deeply.  You tend to notice subtleties that others might miss – another person’s shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly…

~Susan Cain, from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Sourced

February 10, 2015

IMG_1460

“The circumference is nowhere”

January 31, 2015

I know that I have regained my center when I forgive myself both for having lost it and for the fact that I will inevitably lose it again.

Pluck It

January 30, 2015

“A man walking across a field encountered a tiger.  He fled, the tiger chasing after him.  Coming to a cliff, he caught hold of a wild vine and swung himself over the edge.  The tiger sniffed at him from above.  Terrified, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger had come, waiting to eat him.  Two mice, one white and one black, little by little began to gnaw away at the vine.  The man saw a luscious strawberry near him.  Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other.  How sweet it tasted!”

~Zen parable


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