Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mysteries, Yes




Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous 
to be understood. 
How grass can be nourishing in the 
mouths of lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity.
while we ourselves dream of rising. 
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the 
scars of damage, 
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment, 
and bow their heads.





Mary Oliver
Photo:  Peter Bowers












Thursday, June 27, 2013

Long Life




For example, what the trees do
not only in lightening storms
or the watery dark of a summer's night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now - whenever
we're not looking.  Surely you can't imagine
they don't dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade - surely you can't imagine they just 
stand there, loving every 
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind, 
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can't imagine
patience, and happiness like that. 





Mary Oliver
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Giving



You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much which they have - 
and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. 
And there are those who have little and give it all. 
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; 
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; 
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving.
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving my be yours and not your inheritors'.

You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."
The trees in the orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream. 
And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?  
And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?  
See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.  
For in truth it is life that gives unto life -
while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers - and you are all receivers - 
assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. 
Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; 
For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.  





Kahlil Gibran
Photo:  Peter Bowers






  

hiding in this cage




hiding in this cage
of visible matter

is the invisible
 lifebird

pay attention
to her

she is singing 
your song





Kabir
image via:  sweetlysurreal






we are...



We are
People who need to love, 
because
Love is the soul's life. 

Love is simply creation's 
greatest joy.  





Hafiz
Photo:  Peter Bowers











Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Out beyond ideas





Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, 
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, and even the phrase each other
doesn't make sense.





Rumi
Photo:  Peter Bowers