Sunday, August 30, 2015

Mary Oliver: When Death Comes

Mac in all his glory, a great teacher of living one's life married to amazement

When Death Comes 
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
- Mary Oliver

August 29th: Mac (on left) on the morning of his death surrounded by Matt and Kodi and those who love him so.

Mary Oliver: Wild Greese

Photo by Molly, at the Columbia River on August 8th

 Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees, 
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination, 
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
In the family of things.

- Mary Oliver

Photo taken by Matt on 8/08/15 at the river with our beloved Mac, who died 8/29/15.



Mary Oliver: Morning Poem

Photo by Molly

Every morning 
the world 
is created. 
Under the orange
sticks of the sun 
the heaped 
ashes of the night 
turn into leaves again
and fasten themselves to the high branches— 
and the ponds appear 
like black cloth 
on which are painted islands
of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature 
to be happy 
you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination 
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit 
carries within it
the thorn 
that is heavier than lead— 
if it's all you can do 
to keep on trudging—
there is still 
somewhere deep within you 
a beast shouting that the earth 
is exactly what it wanted—
each pond with its blazing lilies 
is a prayer heard and answered 
every morning,
whether or not 
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not 
you have ever dared to pray.

- Mary Oliver
from Dream Work 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Joanna Macy: The Heart That Breaks Open

The heart that breaks open  
can contain 
the whole universe.
 Joanna Macy

Albert Einstein: Imagination

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. 
Imagination is more important than knowledge. 
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Eleanor Roosevelt: It Takes Courage To Love

It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eleanor Roosevelt: Looking Fear In the Face

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Carl Jung: Knowing Your Own Darkness

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing 
with the darknesses of other people.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

There can be no transforming of darkness into light and 
of apathy into movement without emotions.

As far as we can discern, 
the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle 
a light in the darkness of mere being.

- Carl Jung 

John Steinbeck: The Free Mind

And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost. 

- John Steinbeck, East of Eden, 1952

Monday, August 24, 2015

Stephen Jenkinson: Three Essential Parts of Health

In the dominant North American culture we talk about health as a possession, something you have and are responsible for maintaining. But I see our health as like a tripod, a dynamic thing: One leg is your relationship with all other human beings. It’s not possible for you to be healthy when there are people living under a freeway overpass in cardboard boxes. Your health is dependent on theirs. The second leg is your relationship with all in the world that’s not human. If you have only these two legs, you can try to live a good life, but it’s like walking on stilts. The third leg is what gives you a place to rest, and that leg is your relationship with the unseen world, everything not described by the other two. Having all three constitutes health. That’s where it lives. This tripod sustains you. You don’t exist as an individual without these relationships.

- Stephen Jenkinson
Excerpted from an interview in The Sun Magazine:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Reflection on an Essential Ingredient to a Healthy Life

As some have pointed out, boogers are gluten free, sugar free, and organic.
In the midst of it all, may we remember laughter! 
Which is also an essential ingredient to a healthy life! Ha! 
~ Molly

In Remembrance of Julian Bond

This is in honor of Julian Bond, who died on August 15th. I honor and affirm Julian Bond as a courageous human being whose activism and passion was an unending struggle to work toward a more kind, sane, just, and peaceful world. Bless this great man and the fiercely compassionate and caring, truthful and illuminating, wise and loving legacy he leaves for us all. May Julian Bond's courage, integrity, and actions on behalf of life inform and inspire each of us. With deep respect and gratitude ~ Molly

Quotes by Julian Bond

The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied 
rights granted to others.

 There's this big debate that goes on in America about what rights are: 
Civil rights, human rights, what they are? it's an artificial debate. 
Because everybody has rights. Everybody has rights - I don't care 
who you are, what you do, where you come from, how you 
were born, what your race or creed or color is. 
You have rights. Everybody's got rights.

You could not be in the civil rights movement without having 
an appreciation for everybody's rights. That these rights are not 
divisible - not something men have and women don't and so on.
Violence is black children going to school for 12 years 
and receiving 6 years' worth of education.

Discrimination is discrimination no matter who the victim is, and it is 
always wrong. There are no special rights in America, despite the 
attempts by many to divide blacks and the gay community 
with the argument that the latter are seeking some 
imaginary special rights at the expense of blacks.
 As legal slavery passed, we entered into a 
permanent period of unemployment and underemployment 
from which we have yet to emerge.
 The civil rights movement didn't begin in Montgomery and it 
didn't end in the 1960s. It continues on to this very minute.

Good things don't come from those who wait.
They come from those who agitate.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

State of Emergency Declared as Wildfires Create 'Unprecedented Cataclysm' in Washington

As I post this, I weep. Ron and I awoke this morning to an orange sunrise. Now there is a deep haze that fills our skies that has spread from the catastrophic fires that fill the Northwest and beyond. My heart aches. And I am aware of the foresting practices, of droughts, of our changing climate, of our collective denial and turning away from allowing the reality of global warming to infiltrate our conscious awareness. These fires, the droughts, the storms and poisoned oceans and on and on have all been long predicted. But we turned away and did not listen, myself included. May we turn away no longer. Another world is possible. And it is up to each and every one of us to find our part in birthing this new and life honoring and sustaining way of being.
Bless us all ~ Molly


 U.S. Forest Service emergency workers in Washington state cut brush as wildfires rage near residential areas. (Photo: AP)

Four other states also fighting massive blazes, including drought-stricken California

Published on

Three firefighters were killed this week and President Barack Obama on Friday issued an emergency order over wildfires raging through central Washington state.

Emergency workers from Australia and New Zealand have been flown in to help the crews currently fighting blazes in five states, including Washington, California, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon.

The damage has hit hundreds of thousands of acres of land, including Indigenous territory. In Washington alone, 11 counties have been affected, as well as the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Nation.

According to a White House news release, the state of emergency authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Okanogan County information officer Dan Omdal told the Seattle Times that "people should take care of themselves and their neighbors, but it's 'no time for heroics.'"
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, according to a White House news release.

The wildfires continue raging as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that this July was the hottest month the planet has ever experienced since record-keeping began. And a study published Thursday revealed that steadily rising temperatures have increased California's historic four-year drought by up to 27 percent—which, in turn, has exacerbated this year's devastating fire season.

Reuters continues:
For the first time in state history, Washington’s department of natural resources (DNR) is accepting volunteers to assist with fighting fires and to donate equipment.
[...] A cold front is moving into the region and while it will create more tolerable temperatures for firefighters, the National Weather Service said the accompanying low relative humidity “will create extreme fire growth potential”.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday called the fires "an unprecedented cataclysm."

"These fires have burned a big hole in the state's heart," Inslee said.