Friday, July 23, 2010

Vanishing into Something Better

Sleeping in the Forest

I thought the earth 
remembered me, she
took me back so tenderly, arranging
her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds. I slept
as never before, a stone
on the riverbed, nothing
between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths among the branches
of the perfect trees. All night
I heard the small kingdoms breathing
around me, the insects, and the birds
who do their work in the darkness. All night
I rose and fell, as if in water, grappling
with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

~ Mary Oliver, from Twelve Moons (1979)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Rose is a Rose

A rose is a rose is a rose. Gertrude Stein, 1922.

Behold: the rose:

Pay close attention, be fully in the moment. This is mindfulness.

The inexpressible beauty of nature reminds us we, too, are organic.

We are not mechanical, not race cars, we do not need to "go from zero to sixty in sixty seconds" to prove our worth.

... glory does not stay / And early though the laurel grows / It withers quicker than the rose... A.E. Housman, To an Athlete Dying Young,

So, as you go through your day:
  • Engage in each task with full attention, without anticipating the next task.
  • When you read something interesting, take time to let it sink in.
  • Notice your body's responses; at the first sign of tension take a deep breath, relax. 
  • If you're hungry, fully taste every bite; stop when you're full, appreciate that feeling as well.
  • When you realize you've been rushing around, stop and smell the roses.