Monday, March 26, 2012

"There is tremendous power in unearthing, in recognizing distracted, scattered mind, the mind which would rather be anywhere but here, and spending some time there, with that mind. Rather than being an anonymous voice from the dark bossing you around, scattered mind is someone you can sit down and hang out with."

Jusan Ed Brown
via Crashingly Beautiful

Friday, March 16, 2012

"Tending Two Shops" - Rumi

Don't run around this world
looking for a hole to hide in.

There are wild beasts in every cave!
If you live with mice,
the cat claws will find you.

The only real rest comes
when you're alone with God.

Live in the nowhere that you came from,
even though you have an address here.

That's why you see things in two ways.
Sometimes you look at a person
and see a cynical snake.

Someone else sees a joyful lover,
and you're both right!

Everyone is half and half,
like the black and white ox.

Joseph looked ugly to his brothers,
and most handsome to his fother.

You have eyes that see from that nowhere,
and eyes that judge distances,
how high and how low.

You own two shops,
and you run back and forth.

Try to close the one that's a fearful trap,
getting always smaller. Checkmate,
this way. Checkmate that.

Keep open the shop
where you're not selling fishhooks anymore.
You are the free-swimming fish.

~ from The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Check Yes Juliet", We The Kings

"Witness To Your Life", Lori McKenna

Because. Just...because.

Witness To Your Life (Album Version)

Run For Your Lives

So, thanks to author @SteveNiles, I've just heard about this event, "Run For Your Lives", a "zombie infested 5K obstacle course race." This is...utter brilliance. It's taking place in several states (including mine!!) From their website:

Escape from the running dead.

Protect your brain and run for your life. This is one race where your legs giving out are the least of your problems. Run For Your Lives is a first-of-its-kind event, one part 5K, one part obstacle course, one part escaping the clutches of zombies — and all parts awesome.

Runners will navigate a series of 12 obstacles throughout a 5K course in an attempt to reach the finish line — all while avoiding zombies. At the end of this adventure race, you get to celebrate survival (or zombie transformation) with live entertainment and music, local celebrities, vendors, food, and of course, beer!

Pretty cool, right? Of course, all of this assumes that you can just run...resisting the urge to fight back! I mean, there *is* that whole adrenaline thing. :) Now, here's one of their videos for you to enjoy:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gardenia Bonsai?!

Maybe this isn't news to the rest of you out there, but did you know that among the flowering varieties of Bonsai are Gardenia? I'm totally in love with Gardenia, one of the best, happiest, most vibrant scents in the world. (At least, to me.) Here, have a look:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chapter 24

     "It was now eight days since I had broken down in the desert and I listened to the story of the merchant while drinking the last drop of my water supply.
     'Ah!' I said to the little prince, 'these memories of yours are quite delightful, but I haven't yet succeeded in repairing my plane. I have no water left to drink and I too would be happy if I could walk slowly towards a spring of fresh water!'
     'My friend the fox said to me. . .'
     'My dear little chap, this has nothing to do with a fox!'
     'Because we are going to die of thirst. . .'
     He didin't follow my reasoning and replied: 'It is good to have had a friend, even if one is going to die. I am very happy to have had a fox as a friend. . .'
     'He does not realize the danger,' I said to myself. 'He is never hungry or thirsty. All he needs is a little sunshine. . .'
     But he looked at me and responded to my thoughts.
     'I too am thirsty. . . Let's go and look for a well. . .'
     I made a gesture of weariness; it is absurd to look for a well, at random, in the immensity of the desert. None the less we started walking.
     We walked for hours in silence; darkness fell and the stars began to come out. Due to my thirst I was slightly feverish and saw them as in a dream. The little prince's last words came dancing back into my mind.
     'So you are thirsty, too?' I asked him.
     But he did not reply to my question and said simply: 'Water may also be good for the heart. . .'
     I didn't understand his answer but remained silent. I knew only too well that there was no point in questioning him.
     He was tired and sat down. I sat down beside him. After a short silence he spoke again: 'The stars are beautiful because of a flower one cannot see. . .'
     I replied 'of course' and I looked at the sand dunes under the moonlight in silence.
     'The desert is beautiful,' he added. . .
     And it was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet one can feel a silent radiation. . .
     'What makes the desert so beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that it hides a well, somewhere. . .'
     I was surprised by a sudden awareness the sand's mysterious radiation. When I was a little boy, I lived in a very old house and a legend told us that a treasure was buried there. To be sure, nobody had ever discovered it nor even searched for it, perhaps. But it cast an enchantment over that house. My home was hiding a secret in the depths of its heart. . .
     'Yes,' I said to the little prince, 'be it a house, the stars or the desert, the source of their beauty cannot be seen!'
     'I am glad that you agree with me,' he said.
     As the little prince fell asleep, I took him in my arms and started walking again. i was deeply moved. It seemed to me I was carrying a very fragile treasure. It even seemed to me that there was nothing more fragile on all the Earth. In the moonlight I gazed at the pale forehead, the closed eyes, the locks of hair trembling in the breeze, and said to myself: 'What I see here is nothing but a shell. What is important is invisible. . .'
     As his lips opened slightly with the suspicion of a half-smile, I said to myself once again: 'What moves me so deeply about this little prince sleeping here is his loyalty to a flower, the image of a rose shining through his whole being like the flame of a lamp, even when he is asleep. . .' And I felt him to be more fragile still. Lamps should be protected with great care: a gust of wind can extinguish them. . .
     And I walked on and at daybreak I discovered the well."

from, The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery


Friday, February 24, 2012

Neutral Tones - Thomas Hardy hands-down my favorite poem. I don't know why, but it has been for about 15 years. When I need to get through something especially unpleasant, I recite this over and over in my head. :-)

We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod;
– They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles of years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro
On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing….

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God curst sun, and a tree,
And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

The Mending Wall, Robert Frost

(The highlighted portion is my favorite part)

SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:     5
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,     10
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.     15
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.     20
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.     25
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows     30
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!" I could say "Elves" to him,     35
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there,
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,      40
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

"Fireflies", Lori McKenna

Thursday, February 23, 2012

from, "A Walk in the Woods"

"Still, quite a lot of the original impulse behind MacKaye's version survives. All 2,100 miles of the trail, as well as side trails, footbridges, signs, blazes, and shelters, are maintained by volunteers - indeed, the AT is said to be the largest volunteer-run undertaking on the planet. It remains gloriously free of commercialism. The Appalachian Trail Conference didn't hire it's first employee until 1968, and it retains the air of a friendly, accessible, dedicated outfit. The AT is no longer the longest hiking trail - the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails, both out West, are slightly longer - but it will always be the first and greatest. It has a lot of friends. It deserves them."
~Bill Bryson

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Today, lots of thinking and constant reading. Here's what I have to share:

In the night when union comes,
a lover is lost inside what leaves no trace.

In that night the lover sees the stars from the inside out,
as the lightpoints in his eyes, her eyes.
~Rumi: The Big Red Book (Trans. Coleman Barks) pg 404

Lovers in their brief delight
gamble both worlds away,
a century's worth of work
for one chance to surrender.

Many slow-growth stages
build to quick bursts of blossom.

A thousand half-loves must be forsaken
to take one whole heart home.
~Rumi: The Big Red Book (Trans. Coleman Barks) pgs 453-454

I could not have known what love is
if I had never felt this longing.

Anything done to excess becomes boring,
except this overflow that moves toward you.
~Rumi: The Big Red Book (Trans. Coleman Barks) Pg 461

Above photo: "It was cold, winter morning" by mala-lesbia at deviantArt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

from, Quatrains (Rubai)

If you want what visible reality can give,
you are an employee.
If you want the unseen world,
you are not living your truth.

Both wishes are foolish,
but you will be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is love's confusing joy.
Gamble everything for love,
if you are a true human being.
If not, leave this gathering.
Half-heartedness does not reach into majesty.
You set out to find God,
then you keep stopping for long periods
at mean-spirited roadhouses.
Rumi: The Big Red Book 
Translated by Coleman Barks
Pg 457

from, "I Keep Using Two Pronouns"

The universe swings again into your orbit.
Am I looking for you, or you for me?

The question is all wrong.
As long as I keep using two pronouns,
I am this in-between two-headed thing with no name.

Never think that you are worthless.
God has already bought you for an enormous amount.
Gifts keep arriving.

My face now makes the world's bathhouse hot.
Do not look at the wet paintings on the wall.
Look here.

There is a light in us that has nothing to do with night and day.
There are grapes that never saw a vineyard.
These gifts are yours now, if you can see.

We are all returning.

says the text. Enjoy Shams.
Or if not that, at least listen
to what honest people tell you.

Rumi: The Big Red Book
Translated by Coleman Barks
pgs 219-220

Monday, February 6, 2012

from, "Inside the Rose"

"But there are those in bodies who are pure soul.
It can happen. These messengers
invite us to walk with them. They say,
You may feel happy enough where you are,
but we can't do without you any longer. Please.

So we walk along inside the rose,
being pulled like the creeks and rivers are,
out from the town into the plain.

My guide, my soul, your only sadness
is when I am not walking with you.

In deep silence, with *some* exertion to stay in your company.
I could save you a lot of trouble."

Inside The Rose - Pg215
From Rumi: The Big Red Book
Translated by Coleman Barks

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Howie Day, "Be There"

Photo: Jump and Touch the Sky, Shaahdow, via
Hello World. I hope you all are having a great weekend. I have nothing special to say, and I am tired. So tonight, I'm just going to leave you with this photo that I love very much, and a blurb from one of my favorite books, David Connolly’s “The Book of Lost Things”:

"Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination, and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life."

Hoping everyone is having a great evening. Hold the people close to you, and never let go.