Living life to the full

I will be like
someone who cannot
hide their love
but my joy will become 
ordinary 
and everyday
and like a lover
I will find out
exactly what it is like
to be the happiest,
 
the only one in creation
to really 
understand 
how much,
I’m just a hair’s breadth
from dying.

David Whyte, Mortality My Mistress [extract]

Impermanence

Somewhat easy to learn impermanence in Ireland this Summer… one day sun, the next grey, then rain…. Do not need the great Ryoken to remind me.

See and realize
that this world
is not permanent.

Neither late nor early flowers
will remain.

Ryokan, Zen Monk and Poet, 1758 – 1831

The year goes round

If I could gear my mind to the year’s round,

take season into season without a break,

instead of feeling my heart bound and rebound

because of the full moon or the first snowflake,

I should have gained something.

John Hewitt, 1907 – 1967 Northern Irish Poet, O Country People

The longest day of the year

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

Seneca, On the Shortness of life

Seasons

We are in the habit of imagining our lives to be linear, a long march from birth to death in which we mass our powers, only to surrender them again, all the while slowly losing our youthful beauty. This is a brutal untruth. Life meanders like a path through the woods. We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.

Katherine May, Wintering