……."heading down to Hobcarton End from Grizedale Pike in August – yes a fully decorated Xmas tree! Its probably still there. That’s Skiddaw in the background." That’s the Lake District.
Photo by one of my walking companions in England. Too good not to share.
And here in Portland Oregon the sun is shining out of a clear blue sky. Mount St. Helens is sitting on the horizon glowing with snow. Back in the late 1970’s it became active, it’s top blew off and the region was covered in ash. And could that be what happens when we blow our top?
Happy New Year to come dear Jade Mountains readers and Face Book Friends.
At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is.
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered, either movement from nor towards.
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
there would be no dance. And there is only the dance.
Burnt Norton, T.S.Eliot
Tomorrow I leave Mt. Shasta on a Greyhound bus heading towards Eugene Oregon. It has been a good stay at the monastery and now I’m heading back to England arriving mid February. Hopefully there will be space enough to make some posts here on Jade Mountains.
Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?
With a hat tip to Frank whose emails end with the Attention quote.
My email this evening brought news of three people close to or having just died. This post is for them, and for all who are grieving, caring and letting go. Which includes me too.
There are few things in life more inconstant and more elusive, both in the fist of language and in the open palm of experience, than happiness. Philosophers have tried to locate and loosen the greatest barriers to it. Artists have come into this world “born to serve happiness.” Scientists have set out to discover its elemental components. And yet for all our directions of concerted pursuit, happiness remains mostly a visitation — a strange miracle that seems to come and go with a will of its own. “Those who prefer their principles over their happiness,” Albert Camus wrote in contemplating our self-imposed prisons, “they refuse to be happy outside the conditions they seem to have attached to their happiness.”
The following poem titled happiness is copied from Brain Pickings where you can read the full post that came with this poem.
There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.
And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.
No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep mid afternoon
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.
It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket-maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.
It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.