Sunday Quote: Not a dress rehearsal

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

William Stafford, You Reading This, Be Ready

for E and B, wandering through Italy at this moment

Saturday: Getting a break from the thinking mind

Don’t you wish they would stop,
all the thoughts swirling around in your head,
bees in a hive, dancers tapping their way across the stage.
I should rake the leaves in the carport, buy Christmas lights.
Was there really life on Mars? What will I cook for dinner?
I walk up the driveway, put out the garbage bins.
I should stop using plastic bags, visit my friend
whose husband just left her for the Swedish nanny.
I wish I hadn’t said Patrick’s painting looked “ominous.”
Maybe that’s why he hasn’t called.
Does the car need oil, again? There’s a hole in the ozone
the size of Texas, and everything seems to be speeding up.

Come, let’s stand by the window and look out
at the light on the field. Let’s watch how
the clouds cover the sun, and almost nothing
stirs in the grass.

Danusha Lameris,  1971 – American Poet, from The Moons of August

Letting go of self development

When we seek happiness through accumulation, either outside of ourselves – from other people, relationships, or material goods – or from our own self-development, we are missing the essential point. In either case we are trying to find completion. But according to Buddhism, such a strategy is doomed. 

Completion comes not from adding another piece to ourselves but from surrendering our ideas of perfection.

Mark Epstein, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart: A Buddhist Perspective on Wholeness

The wild energies

One of the sad things today is that so many people are frightened by the wonder of their own presence. They are dying to tie themselves into a system, a role, or to an image, or to a predetermined identity that other people have actually settled on for them. This identity may be totally at variance with the wild energies that are rising inside in their souls. Many of us get very afraid and we eventually compromise. We settle for something that is safe, rather than engaging the danger and the wildness that is in our own hearts.  A man in Connemara said one time to a friend of mine, ‘Beidh muid sínte siar cúig mhilliúin blain déag faoin chré’ – “We’ll be lying down in the earth for about fifteen million years” –  and we have a short exposure. I feel that when you recognize that death is on its way, it is a great liberation, because it means that you can in some way feel the call to live everything that is within you. One of the greatest sins is the unlived life, not to allow yourself to become chief executive of the project you call your life, to have a reverence always for the immensity that is inside of you.

John O Donohue, Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World