Living to Shine – Merit Post

Today I heard  news of a relative in America who has just died, Dorothy Lillian. I’d never met her or her husband, Tom my cousin although several of the young relatives would visit my parents.  And I spent time with my second cousin, lovely Jessica while she visited the UK.

Tom and Dorothy devoted their lives to raising a family and developing land, their farm, in such a way to be sensitive to systems and methods that support the land. There is more to say however I don’t have the details. From a distance I have always admired them and how they lived their lives. I particularly liked that they used heavy horses rather than machinery to do the ‘heavy lifting’ and hauling. Here below is a poem dedicated to Dorothy, her husband and her extended family.

WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

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Contemplation on Inner Quiet

“In much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.”

Khalil Gibran

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Quiet Jelly

Not been idle. This is Crabapple Jelly, fruit picked in Newcastle.

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Good to Stop and Reflect

aylmouth
It hardly seems possible that yesterday I was sitting on a large rock on the beach at Alnmouth watching the tide go out. Listening to the sea moving back and forth on the sand. Now I sit at my desk in my room at Throssel contemplating next week when I have the opportunity for some ‘quiet time’. Not exactly ‘retreat time’, but close. A time of stopping, taking stock, allowing questions to arise and not require an answer. A time to live the unasked question. Perhaps.

SOMETIMES
by David Whyte

Sometimes
if you move carefully
through the forest,
breathing
like the ones
in the old stories,
who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,
you come to a place
whose only task
is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests,
conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.
Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,
and
to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,
questions
that can make
or unmake
a life,
questions
that have patiently
waited for you,
questions
that have no right
to go away.

There might be posts during the week but for the most part I’ll be away from an internet connection, and electricity.

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William James – Attend to the Present Moment in Time

monty-up-close
There is no connection between this image and the quote. Unless you make one!

Let any one try, I will not say to arrest, but to notice or attend to, the present moment of time. One of the most baffling experiences occurs. Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp, fled ere we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming.

William James in The Principles of Psychology Chapter 15 Perception of Time.

This past week I’ve had space, and time to read, William James has been my companion. Apart from anything else I enjoy his turn of phrase. I find it poetic.

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Practice Within The Order of Buddhist Contemplatives