Tag Archives: contemplation

A safety place

“It is strange how a man believes he can think better in a special place. I have such a place, have always had it, but I know it isn’t thinking I do there, but feeling and experiencing and remembering.  It’s a safety place. Everyone must have one, although I never heard a man tell of …

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Whatever we lose

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it’s always ourselves that we find in the sea” —E. E. Cummings I can scarcely remember a time when I went to the beach without these words from Cummings’ lovely poem running through my head.  How simply and perfectly he captures the endless allure of the ocean! I feel …

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The incubator of the spirit

“The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit.” — Marya Mannes I relish solitude, but loneliness is one of the most …

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The sense of the beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe In the centuries since Goethe penned this sound …

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Twilight and dawn

“…day and night meet fleetingly at twilight and dawn…their merging sometimes affords the beholder the most enchanted moments of all the twenty-four hours.” — Mary Balogh I have always thought there’s something enchanting about dusk, when the light is waning and paints everything in muted but clearly visible colors.  Dawn is just as magical, although I …

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Welcomed and recorded

“Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid” — Henry David Thoreau For me, writing is an effective way to train my thinking.  I find that most people give more thought to what they write than to what they say, and this may …

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Patience and faith

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient… Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.” — Anne Morrow Lindbergh Few women of any generation could claim a life as full of adventure, triumph and tragedy as Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Yet her concerns were similar to …

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Strength that will endure

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson The deep connection most of us feel to the earth’s grandeur is awe-inspiring yet reassuring, an interesting combination of emotions that cannot adequately be described.  However, poets and writers have attempted for …

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Life of ceaseless variety

“A forest is like the ocean, monotonous only to the ignorant.  It is a life of ceaseless variety.” — Benjamin Disraeli The giant redwoods first come to mind when someone mentions Muir Woods, but the park is actually teeming with diverse life forms, flora and fauna.  Much of it is hidden from sight, or seen …

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Even more beautiful

“The point is that things can be repaired. That they are even more beautiful for having been repaired.” — Sonali Dev I’ve read a few articles in recent years about “wabi sabi,” a term applied to a variety of philosophical contexts. The aspect of wabi sabi that first captured attention is the idea that flaws …

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Excitement and peace

“It was the sort of storm that rarely happened…and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the …

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Never far

“Tea is quiet and our thirst for tea is never far from our craving for beauty.” —James Norwood Pratt It seems contradictory that a chatterbox such as I would love silence as much as I do, but there it is. Perhaps it comes of having lived with Jeff for so many years. Or perhaps, in …

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Overheard by the soul

And we dance to a whispered voice overheard by the soul undertook by the heart. You may know it… —Neil Diamond There’s an intriguing story in the first book of Kings, in the Old Testament. The prophet Elijah was fleeing for his life, because the queen, Jezebel, had sworn to kill him. It was no …

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Such beautiful lessons

Another morning and I wake with thirst  for the goodness I do not have. I walk  out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,  I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your …

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Snow helps

“I believe that snow helps strip away the things that don’t matter. It leaves us thinking of little else but the greatness of nature, the place of our souls within it, and the dazzling whiteness that lies ahead.” ― Charlie English If English is right about snow, it may help to explain why the final years of …

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Of reflection

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” — Winston Churchill  Merry Christmas! Chances are, this will be a busy day for you, coming on the heels of a busy season. For most of my adult life, it was that way for me, anyway. I love the Christmas season, with all the festive activities and joyful sharing. But it can …

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Leisured coziness

“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness.” ― P.G. Wodehouse Autumn is a wonderful season for tea lovers, and “leisured coziness” is a …

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Heart melodies

Bring me all of your dreams You dreamers, Bring me all of your Heart melodies That I may wrap them In a blue cloud-cloth Away from the too-rough fingers Of the world.  — Langston Hughes One great thing about dreaming, whether asleep or awake, is how portable it is. No place is more conducive to …

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Where there is joy

“Find a place where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” — Joseph Campbell What brings you joy? For most of us, there are many answers to that question, and some of us are fortunate enough to discover new joys daily. Perhaps the surest way to survive despair is to grasp …

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Slowing down

“…in a day when doing something as soon as possible is the standard response to perceived problems, slowing down may be the best way to move ahead.” — Mark A. Noll Sometimes, action is urgently needed and haste is imperative.  However, I suspect that most of the urgency we feel about everyday stresses and conflicts …

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The house shelters

“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming…the house allows one to dream in peace.” — Gaston Bachelard I saw this quote from Bachelard on a Celestial Seasonings box of Sleepytime tea. I found it charming, and at first I agreed with it.  Then …

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A story

“You have a story.  It doesn’t have you.” — Mark Brunetz At year’s end, we often take stock of the past twelve months, and this can lead us into contemplation about past years.  For many of us 2015 has been more remarkable for its difficulties than for its successes or gifts.  Come to think of it, …

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Many worlds

“Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists…” — Marcel Proust How are you feeling today?  I hope it’s a happy day for you, with agreeable weather and time to enjoy a few …

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Ashore

The land may vary more; But wherever the truth may be— The water comes ashore, And the people look at the sea.  — Robert Frost I haven’t been to the seashore in awhile, and I’m missing it.  Carla, Matt and I enjoyed a late breakfast at the Belvedere recently, but we didn’t have enough time …

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Time to relax

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” — Sydney J. Harris I’m guessing today is a busy day for you.  All the more reason to give yourself a quick break, or maybe even a long one.  See that bench in the garden, pictured above?  That’s your virtual space to sit …

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