Commonplace Book VI

Each of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm. When we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.
– Maya Angelou

Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
– Lawrence Kasdan


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

– Max Erhman

Make me sweet again,
fragrant and fresh and wild,
and thankful for any small gesture.
– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

You know, happiness is not the point… it’s much more interesting than that.
– Chogyam Trungpa

Cris Williamson:
It’s all about the water. I’ve been re-reading Masaru Emoto’s amazing book, The Hidden Messages in Water. He has studied water for many years, and realized that water has the ability to copy information. This discovery changed his life, and that of the many who have seen his photographs of crystals from different water sources around the world. He asserts – and I do agree – that “to understand water is to understand the cosmos, the marvels of nature, and life itself.” So, it follows that if we pray and sing over water, it will carry that information and reaffirm the power of speaking words…words of love and gratitude that can change the world. We are 70% water. We are water. We all respond more fluidly if the words we speak, and those that are spoken to us are words of love and gratitude. When Mr.Emoto spoke these words to water, it produced what he said was “the most beautiful crystal of all…” The crystals in our picture were taken from inside our car, making beautiful an icy condition. Let us speak words of love and gratitude today…and every day, for the water is listening, and it will remember.

She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.
– Roman Payne

So through the eyes love attains the heart:
For the eyes are the scouts of the heart,
And the eyes go reconnoitering
For what it would please the heart to possess.
And when they are in full accord

And firm, all three, in the one resolve,

At that time, perfect love is born

From what the eyes have made welcome to the heart.

Not otherwise can love either be born or have commencement

Than by this birth and commencement move by inclination.

By the grace and by command

Of these three, and from their pleasure,

Love is born, who its fair hope

Goes comforting her friends.

For as all true lovers

Know, love is perfect kindness,

Which is born—there is no doubt—from the heart and eyes.

The eyes make it blossom; the heart matures it:

Love, which is the fruit of their very seed.
– Guiraut de Borneilh
(ca 1138-1200?)

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
– Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

There are ways in, journeys to the center of life, through time; through air, matter, dream and thought. The ways are not always mapped or charted, but sometimes being lost, if there is such a thing, is the sweetest place to be. And always, in this search, a person might find that she is already there, at the center of the world. It may be a broken world, but it is glorious nonetheless.
– Linda Hogan

in homage to the prophet martin luther king:

“spirit become word, spirit become form. in some degree or other, everyone who has been touched by the spirit and did not shut himself to it, knows about the basic fact of the situation: that this does not germinate and grow in man’s world without being sown, but arises from this world’s meeting with the other.”

from “i and thou” by martin buber.

Everything you thought you had,
everything you believed it was,
everything they appeared to be
seemed to transform unexpectedly
into a silent vapor memory.
And all that loss
found its way
into your chest
and throbbed against
the pulse of living.
You learned Mourning does not
rely upon an efficient and selective process…
It took a season,
and another season,
and another,
to walk through each
tract of land set before you.
You learned grief itself
is an unmapped journey
you would inevitably experience,
and might become lost
among its non-sequential
complex layers.
You learned we all carry
the death of someone,
something, or someplace
around inside,
and for that,
we need not ever feel ashamed.
A marriage, a sibling,
a child, a friendship,
a calling, a mission,
a beloved companion,
a way of being…
Try to stifle the Soul’s crying.
Try to bundle up and hide
the monumental Whys.
Only to learn
that to surrender
and fully plumb
the depths of sorrow
can Grief be free
to move and breathe
through the runnels
of your heart.
Even while you own
the newest moments—
even as you go through
the motions of an active
and unfolding life.
– written by the author of ‘Open Passages’, Susan Frybort

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