blessings

“Bless the World with Your Eyes
There is a beautiful practice in Jewish tradition of blessing the day.  In this worldview, each act becomes worthy of blessing. Gratitude is offered for the gift of every moment: upon awakening, when crossing a threshold, eating a meal, lighting candles. The Talmud calls for 100 blessings each day.

This act of blessing is really a special way of paying attention. It is a moment of remembering wonder as our primary response to the world. It is an act of consecrating the day.”
-Christine Valters Paintner
Abbey of the Arts

note: Quotation taken from Abbey of the Arts,

read more: blessings

 

Wonderful to know

“Shedding leaves and growing new ones depends not only on temperature but also on how long the days are…And how do trees register that the warmer days are because of spring and not late summer?”

“Trees need sense of time for more than just their foliage. This sense is equally important for procreation.”
-Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees

note: the quotations are from the book The Hidden Life of Trees which I just finished reading. Enjoyable to read with humor and plenty of science.

A different morning

“Up through the chimney and out, the smoke mingled with the mist that was gathering speed, sweeping in thicker and thicker, obscuring things in parts-half a hill, then the other half. The trees turned into silhouettes, loomed forth, were submerged again. Gradually the vapor replaced everything with itself, solid objects with shadow, and nothing remained that did not seem molded from or inspired by it.”- Kiran Desai

note: excerpts from the book, Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai

Seekers

“Life is life. It does not freeze at any time, under any conditions. Life goes on, whatever our consciousness of God. And we with it. We go on grappling with life. We go on growing into awareness. We go on struggling to be worthy of awareness in which we now walk. And we fail often.” -Joan Chittister, Illuminated Life, Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light

silence

“I set aside one day for silence and for twenty-four hours (first and third Monday of the month) I did not speak. At that time I had no idea this would be the beginning of personal odyssey of exploration and discovery, a long journey not without difficulties but one that, in the ensuing years, would transform my life.”-Anne D. LeClaire, Listening Below The Noise

note: I started reading a book, Listening Below The Noise, by Anne D. LeClaire. I am almost fuIly recovered from my heart surgery except for tiredness. I still have a hard writing, putting words and phrases together.IMG_2416

Why must I write

“There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple ‘I must,’ then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet

surrender

“Someday, emerging at last from the violent insight,

let me sing out jubilation and praise to assenting angels.

Let not even one of the clearly-struck hammers of my heart

fail to sound because of a slack, a doubtful,

or a broken string. Let my joyfully streaming face

make me more radiant; let my hidden weeping arise

and blossom. How dear you will be to me then, you nights

of anguish. Why didn’t I kneel more deeply to accept you,

inconsolable sisters, and, surrendering, lose myself

in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.

How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration

to see if they have an end. Though they are really

our winter-enduring foliage, our dark evergreen,

one season in our inner year–, not only a season

in time–, but are place and settlement, foundation and soil and home.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Tenth Elegy, Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell.

 

note: Duino Elegies translated by Stephen Mitchell is my favorite translation.