11 Aug 2004 @ 06:45, by Scotty
“Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature. Have you ever gazed up into the infinity of space on a clear night, awestruck by the awesome stillness and inconceivable vastness of it? Have you listened, truly listened, to the sound of a mountain stream in the forest? Or to the song of a blackbird at dusk on a quiet evening? To become aware of such things, the mind needs to be still. You have to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems, of past and future, as well as all your knowledge; otherwise, you will see but not see, hear but not hear. Your total presence is required.”
“The Man Watching the Storm Approaching,”
I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend
I can’t love without a sister.
The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age;
the landscape, like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.
What we choose to fight with is so tiny!
what fights with us is so great!
if only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.
When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers in the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers’ sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.
Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who so often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.
( taken from this [link]
(about the picture above ... Ice plant, a native to South Africa, came to the U.S. in the 1800’s and has since taken over saltmarsh wetland areas in southern California. It is normally green, but will turn red with lack of water. The image above portrays a paradox: Ice plant as flames. Imagine one man who makes his living working in an ammunition factory. The bullet he handles today could possibly rest in the hand of a surgeon tomorrow after having been removed from the brain of a Palestinian—or Israeli, Irish, Chechin—child. Economies that put food in children's mouths in one country finance death in another. We live in a world of paradoxes. We were born to die. Less can be more. What is happiness without grief, the Left without the Right, sweet without the sour, and the beautiful without what is not? )