There was that one hour sometime in the middle of the last century. It was autumn, and I was in my father's woods building a house out of branches and the leaves that were falling like thousands of letters from the sky.
And there was that hour in Central Park in the middle of the seventies. We were sitting on a blanket, listening to Pete Seeger singing "This land is your land, this land is my land," and the Vietnam War was finally over.
I would definitely include an hour spent in one of the galleries of the Tate Britain, looking up at the painting of King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid, and, afterwards the walk along the Thames, and
I would also include one of those hours when I woke in the night and couldn't get back to sleep thinking about how nothing I thought was going to happen happened the way I expected, and things I never expected to happen did—
just like that hour today, when we saw the dog running along the busy road, and we stopped and held on to her until her owner came along and brought her home—that was an hour well spent. Yes, that was a keeper.
Since Now is all we really have, just curious, what is Now for you, when you came to this blog?
Now for me is dusk in a small city apartment in Bangalore, with the wind blowing in from the balcony that offers a view of a small patch of sky between buildings. Nothing beautiful, but it is the season of winds, this monsoon time, and the huge new wind chimes I recently bought, sway gently from the balcony ceiling, reverberating like a Buddhist temple gong. Music all day.
The world outside, crumbling, coming apart at the seams, renewing, rising again. Inside, as always, I live and work in this small pool of light, day and night, trying to bring order into disorder, fix things - opportunities we all get, in whatever job we do. The flower, a recent addition to bring a patch of beauty into an increasingly functional life, frantic in its pace.
The last birds call, before settling down for the night. The evenings will start getting cooler now, the seasons of flowering trees and blue skies will be here soon. (None of which, of course, is promised to me). But for now, I have temple bells and the descending night and yet another day everyone I know made it through.
"Rilke recommended that when life became turbulent and troublesome, it was wise to stay close to one simple thing in nature. A friend of mine who had great trouble with her mind told me once that she had brought a stone into her apartment, and when she felt her mind going, she would concentrate on the stone.
She said, 'There is a fierce sanity in stone.'"
John O'Donohue from "To bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings"
"A Supreme Court of Canada decision has granted the Tsilhqot'in First Nation of British Columbia Aboriginal title over a wide area of traditional territory. The unanimous 8-0 decision, gives the Tsilhqot'in First Nation rights to more than 1,700 square kilometers of land. The group now has rights to the land, the right to use land and the right to profit from the land.
Reports indicate that this is the Supreme Court's first on Aboriginal title, and can be used as a precedent wherever there are unresolved land claims."
"We are waiting for the seasons to change. We are waiting for our time to come around, or that opening to appear in the Tao where we can walk through and touch somebody. Whereas if we had moved before, everything would have been wrong - no point, no effect.
Sometimes the right thing to do is to wait. In the hexagram in the I-Ching about waiting, it says you should enjoy yourself with this kind of waiting, you should eat and drink and be of good cheer.
We do not need to be dour about waiting because we are in tune with the seasons. It is the right time to wait."
How you can never reach it, no matter how hard you try,
walking as fast as you can, but getting nowhere,
arms and legs pumping, sweat drizzling in rivulets;
each year, a little slower, more creaks and aches, less breath.
Ah, but these soft nights, air like a warm bath, the dusky wings
of bats careening crazily overhead, and you'd think the road
goes on forever. Apollinaire wrote, "What isn't given to love
is so much wasted," and I wonder what I haven't given yet.
A thin comma moon rises orange, a skinny slice of melon,
so delicious I could drown in its sweetness. Or eat the whole
thing, down to the rind. Always, this hunger for more.
are so perfect
I can hardly believe
their lapped light crowding
Nobody could count all of them—
the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch
only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided—
and that one wears an orange blight—
and this one is a glossy cheek
half nibbled away—
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.
Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.
Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.