Hold what is asked

Windowsills evenly welcome both heat and cold.

Radiators speak or fall silent as they must.

Doors are not equivocal,  floorboards do not hesitate or startle.

Impatience does not stir the curtains,

a bed is neither irritable nor rapacious.

Whatever disquiet we sense in a room

we have brought there.

And so I instruct my ribs each morning,

pointing to hinge and plaster and wood —

          You are matter, as they are.

          See how perfectly it can be done.

          Hold, one day more, what is asked.      

Jane Hirshfield,  A Room

All human experience as a privilege

The ancients are right: the dear old human experience is a singular, difficult, shadowed, brilliant experience that does not resolve into being comfortable in the world. The valley of the shadow is part of that, and you are depriving yourself if you do not experience what humankind has experienced, including doubt and sorrow. We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of this, literature has come out of it. We should think of our humanity as a privilege.

Marilynne Robinson, The Art of Fiction, No. 198

No end in nature

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth,

that around every circle another can be drawn;

that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning;

that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon,

and under every deep a lower deep opens. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Circles

Autumn: new beginnings

A short note on the passing of time: I started this blog ten years ago this week, and, once I got going, have posted every day since then. Some of you have been with me since those early days, and I thank you for your support and encouragement. I am very grateful to everyone who stops by, even if just once.

I post to remind myself to begin anew every day and hope that the thoughts selected help you see the world in new  and fresh ways too.

That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air… Another Fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.

Wallace Stegner, American Novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner, Angle of Repose

Abba Poemen said about Abba Pior that every single day he made a fresh beginning.

Abba Poemen, Egyptian monk, (c. 340–450)

Being as is

The wise person man, perceiving wealth and craving,
Knows them to be empty illusion;

Food and clothes sustain our body and life;

But I advise you to learn

Being as is.

When it’s time,  I leave my hermitage and go,

And there’s nothing to be left behind

Layman Pang, 740 – 808, Chinese Chan layman