Of and from

Our modern Western culture only recognizes the first of these, freedom of desires. It then worships such a freedom by enshrining it at the forefront of national constitutions and bills of human rights. One can say that the underlying creed of most Western democracies is to protect their people’s freedom to realize their desires, as far as this is possible. It is remarkable that in such countries people do not feel very free. The second kind of freedom, freedom from desires, is celebrated only in some religious communities. It celebrates contentment, peace that is free from desires.

Ajahn Brahm, Opening the Door of Your Heart

Getting lost

The word “lost” comes from the Old Norse los meaning the disbanding of an army, and this origin suggests soldiers falling out of formation to go home, a truce with the wide world. I worry now that many people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know.  Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so.  A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. As far as the animals are concerned, the suburbs are an abandoned landscape, and so they roam with confidence. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places.

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to getting Lost

 

Juggling your life

This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over,
as someone who is juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

Rose Cook, A Poem for Someone Who is Juggling Her Life

Living with gaps

We think we need to hold everything close….to know where everything is going.

But probably, in life, the most important skill to learn is….

There are poets who learn from you
to say, what you, in your aloneness, are;
and they learn through you to live distantness,
as the evenings through the great stars
become accustomed to eternity.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Girls