Month: January 2018

Wonders and Realities

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“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

― Rachel Carson

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Being Aware

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“When we lose awareness of and do not meditate on the existence of suffering in all things, we can easily be pushed around by passions and desires for worldly things, increasingly destroying our lives in the pursuit of these desires. Only by being aware of suffering can we find its cause, confront it directly, and eliminate it.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Dangerous Cries

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“Who are those who are different? They are the people who suffer poverty, brokenness, disabilities, or loneliness. They cry out to us for help, these millions named Lazarus. Often, they are in discomfort while others live in comfort. Their cries become dangerous for those of us who live in comfort. If we listen to their cries and open up our hearts, it will cost us something. So we pretend not to hear the cry and so exclude them.”

~ Jean Vanier, Becoming Human

Noticing Things

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My gaze is clear like a sunflower.
It is my custom to walk the roads
Looking right and left
And sometimes looking behind me,
And what I see at each moment
Is what I never saw before,

And I’m very good at noticing things.
I’m capable of feeling the same wonder
A newborn child would feel If he noticed that he’d really and truly been born.
I feel at each moment that I’ve just been born
Into a completely new world . . . I believe in the world as in a daisy,

Because I see it.
But I don’t think about it,
Because to think is to not understand.
The world wasn’t made for us to think about it
(To think is to have eyes that aren’t well)

But to look at it and to be in agreement.
I have no philosophy, I have senses . . .
If I speak of Nature it’s not because I know what it is
But because I love it, and for that very reason,
Because those who love never know what they love
Or why they love, or what love is.
To love is eternal innocence,
And the only innocence is not to think . . .

~ Fernando Pessoa


Side note…after I put this together to share last night I read a post today from Steve Harper that I couldn’t help but “notice.” I think it might help define some of this poem for those who might be turned off by the words “not to think.” (it did for me!) I have posted it below.

Good Word: Beholding

Spiritual life moves in relation to beholding. And that means more than noticing. Noticing is good. It is how we enter a moment. Beholding is letting the moment enter into us. Beholding is where responsiveness is born.

– Steve Harper

Power Is Borrowed

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“If history teaches us nothing else, it is that power is borrowed. At best, power is something granted not something taken. That means, in Western democracies at any rate, that those who have power need the gifts of discernment and judgement, because if we recognize the temporary nature of power, then equally, we need to recognize what in the activity of dissent is valuable.

The principle at issue is the temporary nature of power, and the necessity of service and humility, the necessity of seeing what truth is being cried out in an act of protest.”

~ Jean Vanier, Becoming Human