“The truth is that we’re always in some kind of in-between state, always in process. We never fully arrive. When we’re present with the dynamic quality of our lives, we’re also present with impermanence, uncertainty, and change. If we can stay present, then we might finally get that there’s no security or certainty in the objects of our pleasure or the objects of our pain, no security or certainty in winning or losing, in compliments or criticism, in good reputation or bad–no security or certainty ever in anything that’s fleeting, that’s subject to change.”
“At first, the idea of ‘being in the moment’ scared me. I imagined that I would spend my life thinking, Right now, the wind is blowing and I see a butterfly. Now the butterfly is gone, but the wind is still blowing. A mosquito bit me despite the blowing wind. Oh my God–make it stop! I can’t do a play-by-play of every moment. I’ve got things to think about–work to get done. I basically was afraid mindfulness would disrupt my flow–what the scholar Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes as that sacred intersection of deep enjoyment and disciplined concentration.”
–Brene Brown, Rising Strong
“But if I can bear the nights, the days are a pleasure. I walk out; I see something, some event that would otherwise have been utterly missed and lost; or something sees me, some enormous power brushes me with its clean wing, and I resound like a beaten bell.”
–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
“Watch the sunrise at least once a year, put a lot of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, lie on your back and look at the stars, never buy a coffee table you can’t put your feet on, never pass up a chance to jump on a trampoline, don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.”
–H. Jackson Brown Jr.
“Nothing can fill the gap when we are away from those we love, and it would be wrong to try and find anything. We must simply hold out and win through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, since leaving the gap unfilled preserves the bonds between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; he does not fill it, but keeps it empty so that our communion with one another may be kept alive, even at the cost of pain.”
“Awareness, or the practice of being in communion with this moment and my present environment, is the key.”
–Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
“When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,
like the tambourine sound of the snow cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.
Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water sparks from its wings.
Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.
A lifetime isn’t long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.
Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good natured and untidy in your exuberance.
In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.”
Tossing and turning and thinking and viewing
First roiling and next fidgeting feet
to feel the quality of the light
and the clock pronouncing
resistant to my noticing
a spark of joy
in earlier days
and later nights
out of the tomb
to feel earth