Light, earth, water, air
We are all of these and through them
are connected to everything that is
I am going to be out of town for a week or so, so this is the last post for awhile. See you when I get back!
"What the Silence Says
I know that you think you already know but--
Longer than that.
even longer than that."
And I would say a version of this—look again and again and again.
Belden Lane: "What I seek most in going into wilderness is not exercise or escape, but a physical and spiritual depth of intimacy. I'm moved by nature's power and beauty, but what sets me afire is the longing I sense there of everything else wanting to connect, the desire for an intimacy that is as alluring as it is frightening . . . The highly sensory way of 'knowing' that wilderness requires is the most natural and meaningful way I have of experiencing anything holy,"
Owen Barfield: "The relation between the mind and heart of man is a delicate mystery, and hardness is catching. It will . . . be found that there is a valid connection, at some level however deep, between what I called 'literalness' and a certain hardness of heart. Listen attentively to the response of a dull literal mind to what insistently presents itself as allegory or symbol, and you may detect a certain irritation, a faint, incipient aggressiveness in its refusal. Here I think is a deep-down moral gesture. You may, for instance, hear the literal man object suspiciously that he is being 'got at'. And this is quite correct. He is . . . An attempt is being made, of which he is dimly aware, to undermine his idols, and his feet are being invited on to the beginning of a long road, which in the end must lead him to self-knowledge . . . Instinctively he does not like it. He prefers to remain 'literal'. But of course he hardly knows that he prefers it, since self-knowledge is the very thing he is avoiding."
Barfield is writing about the use of language, but I think similar remarks can be made about a merely 'literal' reading of images.
Robert Adams wrote: " (The ocean's) appearance, closely observed, is hypnotic; who can be uninterested in so delicate a light, or power of waves on rock, or the immensity of the whole view? . . . The ocean, by virtue of its size and apparent emptiness, invites attention outward from our petty landscapes, away from ourselves . . . The sea is too vast to understand and too awesome to avoid. It attracts us as it offers a final liberation from human scale."
Low 30s here the next few nights—high in the 50s, although the high winds (and rain) make it feel much colder. We are actually having a winter here, something we didn't have last year. Thinking about all of you up north who suffer much worse conditions . . . take care and be warm! Below is a New Mexico sunset in July—hope it helps.
A poem by Carl Dennis:
This painting of a barn and barnyard near sundown
May be enough to suggest we don't have to turn
From the visible to the invisible
In order to grasp the truth of things.
We don't always have to distrust appearances.
Not if we're patient. Not if we're willing
To wait for the sun to reach the angle
When whatever it touches, however retiring,
Feels invited to step forward
Into a moment that might seem to us
Familiar if we gave ourselves more often
To the task of witnessing. Now to witness
A barn and barnyard on a day of rest
When the usual veil of dust and smoke
Is lifted a moment and things appear
To resemble closely what in fact they are.
Happy New Year, everyone
To start 2018, here's a poem by David Budbill that suggests an attitude we all, but especially politicians and other so-called leaders need desperately to take seriously:
"Always in these ancient Chinese paintings, the rocks, the sky, the fog,
the endless mountains loom
over the tiny humans
down there fishing in those boats upon that peaceful river down there
in the lower right-hand corner, or
there they barely are
climbing up that narrow mountain path, up and up, fading into
those remote and towering mountains
way over on the left,
and always, always you have to look and look before you find
the little people lost as they are
in mist and distance,
in that expanse of rock, sky, trees, of mountains and rivers without end,
and always you can barely see them, which,
of course, is as it should be."
Or as an ancient prophet advises: do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly . . .