Feeling created

So I read….Armenians, I read, salt their newborn babies. I check somewhere else: so did the Jews at the time of the prophets. They washed a baby in water, salted him, and wrapped him in cloths. When God promised to Aaron and all the Levites all the offerings Israel made to God, the firstfruits and the firstling livestock, “all the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine,” he said of this promise, “It is a covenant of salt forever.” In the Roman church baptism, the priest places salt in the infant’s mouth.

I salt my breakfast eggs. All day long I feel created.

Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


It is my feeling that the only thing you have to fear is fear, in that sense that to the extent that you have enough faith or trust to let it happen, you always go through the next one and the next one and the next one. In Tibetan literature they say, ‘Embrace your ten thousand horrible demons and your ten thousand beautiful demons’. You’ve just got to take it all and keep going. All your fears have to be embraced, entertained, honored, and you go on with them.

Ram Dass

Our holy places

One positive aspect of the lockdown, and what is allowed, is the extra time spent walking in nature. (I am not sure that his interpretation is, strictly speaking,  etymologically correct, but it predates him by some centuries and is a nice idea)

Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.

John Muir, 1838 – 1914

Let go and Rest

There is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go. When I see this way I sway transfixed and emptied… But I can’t go out and try to see this way. I’ll fail, I’ll go mad. All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble…The effort is really a discipline requiring a lifetime of dedicated struggle; it marks the literature of saints and monks of every order East and West… The world’s spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally  that the mind’s muddy river, this ceaseless flow  of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed,  and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. 
Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded  in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights;  you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence  without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real  where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek