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Archive for January, 2012

experiencing vast

My body props up against a maple
and my head falls back to rest
upward viewing the vast sky.

Is it possible for life to be
this sweet and open even within
the boundaries of physical living?

Somewhere inside I think it is,
yet my experience has shown me
this vastness only in the natural.

What if I made an effort to find
ways in which our human-created
culture aligns with eternity?

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On a daily basis I feel, experience and enjoy what Terry Tempest Williams refers to as solitary beauty. Often while wrapped in the blanket of nature—with my back against a tree, drinking the warmth of the sun, watching birds flitting about and listening to the utterances of silence. I’ve paused for that stillness to give me suggestions, perhaps even demands, of how to bring its gifts back to the sociable world. In return, I’ve heard only my own questions. I’ll continue to wait in confidence.

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Love Beyond Reason

Early this morning, I found my mind replaying what seemed like an insignificant memory. I was at a dinner table with some friends, one of whom was discussing her dog. It was obvious that her love for this animal was enormous, perhaps even over the top. It seemed like others at the table found this overwhelming emotion to be naive or silly. These people are also animal lovers, but their love is more subdued, more reasonable. And I recognized that I have a fondness for anyone who loves their animals beyond reason. That was when the phrase hit me: Love beyond reason. It doesn’t have to be an animal, I enjoy the presence of all who love anything beyond reason.

“Reason: rea·son n 1.an explantion or justification for something 2.a motive or cause for acting or thinking in a particular way 3.the power of being able to think in a logical and rational manner 4.a cause that explains a particular phenomenon 5.the ability to think clearly and coherently 6.the ability to think logically regarded as a basis for knowledge, as distinct from experience or emotions.”

Hence, to love beyond reason is to experience love without justification, explanation, motive, cause or logic. All of which I believe our current society has an over-dependence on. Because animals seem to love this way always, it is easy to love them back in the same way. What about, however, those family members that push our buttons? Can we see through the emotions of distress that are brought up, and find the love that doesn’t care what they do or how they act? Or in our chosen activities, can we do those things that bring us joy, not for any motive other than enjoyment? And what about those activities we do because we feel obligated to? Can we do them with love, not because of what we get out of it, but simply because we are alive and these activities bring the experience of living?

I write these questions, not because I have answers, but because I love examining life. It is one way that brings me joy without explanation. I could ascribe a purpose, but the truth is I do not believe my human mind has the ability to fully understand through its limited perspective. That’s alright, I love beyond reason the exploration of the ways of the world anyway.

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A Hawk Way

The other day, I saw a Red Tail resting in a tree branch overlooking my favorite field. I stopped my run to touch base with this hawk, placing my hands together in front of my heart and said “IAYEIW Namaste.” The first word is of my own making. It’s the acronym for ‘I Appreciate Your Existence In the World.’ And Namaste translates to ‘from my heart to your heart.’ This gesture tends to open my heart, as well as express my gratitude. I could feel the presence of this hawk, as it opened to my being. I began a dialog with the bird by saying something akin to “How are you doing?” and neither heard nor felt a response. This made me sort of sad, but I persisted and asked again. Still no response. So, I stood quietly in mind and body, continuing to sense and explore the hawk’s nature. Why would it not respond to my question, I wondered? And then it came over me like a flash. The Hawk did not desire to participate in my back and forth style of conversation. It was communicating simply by allowing me to feel it’s presence. To want more than that was so human. For the Hawk, it was enough that we be open with and to each other’s beings. Upon recognition, it was enough for me as well.

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Sunshine’s warmth

Sitting down against my wise maple sister with silence in my mind.
The air is cold, the wind is frigid, the rustling leaves speak of chill.
Yet the sun’s warmth causes my eyes to fill with tears of delight.
Why, when there is so much pleasure in the world,
do I ever question the purpose of human life?
Amongst the peace and welcome of the natural world,
there is no need to manufacture any connection or false sense of belonging.
All is as it is, and that is not just enough but beautiful.

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