Saturday, December 31, 2016

an Irish blessing for your new year





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May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.

with love
a


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Reykjavik peace tower

to john lennon
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To the New Year






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With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible



–W. S. Merwin



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Thursday, December 29, 2016

love is a deeper season






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yes is a pleasant country:
if's wintery
(my lovely)
let's open the year

both is the very weather
(not either)
my treasure,
when violets appear

love is a deeper season
than reason;
my sweet one
(and april's where we're)


–E. E. Cummings
yes is a pleasant country



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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

January

 



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So after weeks of rain
at night the winter stars
that much farther in heaven
without our having seen them
in far light are still forming
the heavy elements
that when the stars are gone
fly up as dust finer
by many times than a hair
and recognize each other
in the dark traveling
at great speed and becoming
our bodies in our time
looking up after rain
in the cold night together

—W.S. Merwin
The Pupil (2001)



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merwinconservancy
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may my heart always be open





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may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile


–E. E. Cummings


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Sunday, December 25, 2016

prayer for you




 
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Written on Christmas Eve, 1513


I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.


No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace! 

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.



–Fra Giovanni



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Saturday, December 24, 2016

lute music





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Let us celebrate.
The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.

Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—
Here at the year's end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—

Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.


–Kenneth Rexroth




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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shapechangers in Winter





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This is the Solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future,
the place of caught breath

–Margaret Atwood 

Eating Fire


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

live everything





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I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. 

Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. 

Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

–Rainer Maria Rilke,
Letters To A Young Poet

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

doctrine





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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it.
Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. 
But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, and conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take as your guide.


–Buddhist teaching


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