Barbara Brown Taylor:
"loss is how we come to surrender our lives—if not to God, then at least to the Great Beyond—and even those who profess no faith in anything but the sap that makes the green blade rise may still confess that losing really has helped them find their ways again . . .
My losses have been chiefly in the area of faith, and specifically in the area of being certain who God is, what God wants of me, and what it means to be Christian in a world where religion often seems to do more harm than good . . .
Committing myself to the task of becoming fully human is saving my life now. This is not the same as the job of being human . . . To become fully human is something extra, a conscious choice that not everyone makes . . . there is more than one way to do this. If I were a Buddhist, I might do it by taking the bodhisattva vow, and if I were a Jew, I might do it by following Torah. Because I am a Christian, I do it by imitating Christ . . ."
Susan Sontag wrote about what she called "the chronic self-destruct quality of American experience, in which even the recent past is constantly being used up, swept away, torn down, thrown out, traded in. Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents' pots and pans—the used things, warm with generations of human touch, that Rilke celebrated . . . as being essential to a human landscape."
I find this true as St Petersburg produces a constant turnover of architecture that was older and with some charm into buildings that are all the same: glass rectangular (horizontally and vertically) boxes with no character and certainly no charm. And as a photographer I have fallen into the same pattern: replacing tech that is hardly out of its infancy for some newer (and seldom better) version.
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or direct my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods . . .
These with all the rest, one and all are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
"I must down to the seas again for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and clear call that may not be denied,
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying."
Gerard Manley Hopkins:
"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring . . .
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same . . .
myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came."
"Contemplating the lace-like fabric of streams outspread over the mountains, we are reminded that everything is flowing—going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty—making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks both in solution and in the form of mud particles, sand, pebbles, and boulders. Rocks flow from volcanoes like water from springs, and animals flock together and flow in currents modified by stepping, leaping, gliding, flying, swimming, etc. While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood globules in Nature's warm heart."
Hillsborough River State Park, Florida
Anonymous poem on a plaque near the park:
Moving metaphor below,
without one thought you flow
and I see
life's not hard like land at all
but a living river of possibility
wherever you might be.