Quotes Used for the Morning Trip

“The Midnight Club

The gifted have told us for years
that they want to be loved
For what they are, that they,
in whatever fullness is theirs,
Are perishable in twilight,
just like us. So they work all night
in rooms that are cold and
webbed with the moon’s light;
Sometimes, during the day,
they lean on their cars,
And stare into the blistering
valley, glassy and golden,
But mainly they sit, hunched
in the dark, feet on the floor,
Hands on the table, shirts with a
bloodstain over the heart.”
– Mark Strand, The Continuous Life
Morning Trip (1)

“The important thing about despair is never to give up, never wrap up and put away a sterile life, but somehow keep it open. Because you never can know what’s coming; never. That’s the great thing about life, the crucial thing to remember. You may beat your fists on a stone wall for years and years, and every consideration of common sense will say it’s hopeless, forget it, spare yourself; and then one day your bleeding hand will go through as if the wall were theatrical gauze; you’ll be in another realm where birds are singing and love is possible, and you’d have missed it if you’d given up, because it might be only that one day the wall was not stone.”
– Allen Wheelis
Morning Trip (2)

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth. ~Henry David Thoreau

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. ~Elwyn Brooks White, Essays of E.B. White, 1977
Morning Trip (3)

“Here, where nothing is worth anything,
I’ve set up a grass-thatched hut.
After eating,
I just stretch out for a nap.

As soon as it was built,
weeds were already growing back.
Now I’ve been here awhile
its covered in vines.

So the one in this hut just lives on,
unstuck,
not inside, out, in between.

The places where usual folk live,
I don’t.
What they want,
I don’t.

This tiny hut holds the total world,
an old man and
the radiance of forms and their nature,
all in ten feet square.

Bodhisattvas of the Vast Path
know about this but
the mediocre and marginal wonder,
“Isn’t such a place too fragile to live in?”

Fragile or not,
the true master dwells here
where there is no
south or north, east or west.

Just sitting here,
it can’t be surpassed:
below the green pines
a lit window.

Palaces and towers
of jade and vermilion
can’t compare.

Just sitting,
my head covered,
all things rest.

So this mountain monk
has no understanding at all,
just lives on
without struggling to get loose.

Not going to
set out seats
and wait for guests.

Turning the light
to shine within,
turn it around again.

Vast,
unthinkable,
you can’t face it
or turn away from it.

The root of it.

Meet the Awakened Ancestors,
become intimate with the teachings,
lash grass into thatch for a hut
and don’t tire so easily.

Let it go,
release,
and your life of a hundred years
vanishes.

Open your hands.

Walk around.

Innocence.

The swarm of words,
and little stories
are just to loosen you
from where you are stuck.

If you want to know
the one in the hermitage
who never dies,
you can’t avoid this skin-bag
right here.”
– Shitou Xiqian
Morning Trip (4)

Sometimes I try to justify the falling rain
Then I try to rectify; change what can never be changed.
That’s not to say that change won’t surely rearrange
it all
and I know that there’s no way to say just how
it’s all about to change
but somehow I feel the pain when things don’t go
my way
That’s when I try to justify, justify the
falling rain”
–Geoffrey Haun
Morning Trip (5)

“Nothing is an awe-inspiring yet essentially undigested concept, highly esteemed by writers of a mystical or existential tendency, but by most others regarded with anxiety, nausea, or panic. Nobody seems to know how to deal with it (he would of course), and plain persons generally are reported to have little difficulty in saying, seeing, hearing, and doing nothing.
The friends of nothing may be divided into two distinct though not exclusive classes: the know-nothings, who claim a phenomenological acquaintance with nothing in particular, and the fear-nothings, who, believing, with Macbeth, that “nothing is but what is not,” are thereby launched into dialectical encounter with nullity in general. If nothing whatsoever existed, there would be no problem and no answer, and the anxieties even of existential philosophers would be permanently laid to rest. Since they are not, there is evidently nothing to worry about. But that itself should be enough to keep an existentialist happy. Unless the solution be, as some have suspected, that it is not nothing that has been worrying them, but they who have been worrying it.”
– P.L. Heath

“You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his
were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them
a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground,
look at it, and put it away in his pocket.

The friend said to the devil, “What did that man pick up?”

“He picked up a piece of Truth,” said the devil.

“That is a very bad business for you, then,” said his friend.

“Oh, not at all,” the devil replied, “I am going to let him organize it.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
Morning Trip (6)

“I ask for a moment’s indulgence to sit by Thy side.
The works that I have in hand
I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of Thy face
My heart knows no rest or respite,
And my work becomes an endless toil
In a shoreless sea of toil.

Today the summer has come at my window
With its sighs and murmurs,
And the bees are plying their minstrelsy
At the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quiet
Face to face with Thee,
And to sing dedication of life
In this silent and overflowing leisure.”
–RABINDRANATH TAGORE
Morning Trip (7)

“I want to lie down in dappled leaf-shade,
In quivering shadows of quivering leaves —

be they oak, be they maple,
be they elm or birch,
I want to rest in the play of shadows
over my reclining form,
The massage of shadows
which consoles me in its way,
Restores for me
with whatever restoration
Flickering shadows of leaves afford–
be they willow or aspen,
be they poplar or beech,
I want to be caressed by shadows
of wavering leaves,
Soothed off to sleep
feeling the gentle breeze,
Looking up at the rustling
sun-drenched crown–
Be it basswood, be it chestnut,
Be it walnut or hickory,
after all is said,
after all is done,
This is the way
I would die.”
–ANTLER
Morning Trip (8)

Young Sycamore

“I must tell you
this young tree
whose round and firm trunk
between the wet

pavement and the gutter
(where water
is trickling) rises
bodily

into the air with
one undulant
thrust half its height-
and then

dividing and waning
sending out
young branches on
all sides-

hung with cocoons
it thins
till nothing is left of it
but two

eccentric knotted
twigs
bending forward
hornlike at the top”
–William Carlos Williams
Morning Trip (9)

“Backwater Pond: The Canoeists
Not for the fishermen’s sake
Do they drop their voices as they glide in from the lake,
And take to moving stealthily on that still water,
Not to disturb its stillness, hour on hour.
So that when at last a turtle, scuttling
Surprised from a stump, dives with a sudden splashing,
It startles them like a door slamming;
And then there is a faint breeze and echo of laughter
Dying as quickly, and they float still as before
Like shadows sliding over a mirror
Or clouds across some forgotten sky,
All afternoon, they cannot say why.”
–W.S. Merwin
Morning Trip (10)

“For all my skepticism, some trace of irrational superstition did survive in me, the strange conviction, for example, that everything in life that happens to me also has a sense, that it means something, that life speaks to us about itself through its story, that it gradually reveals a secret, that it takes the form of a rebus whose message must be deciphered, that the stories we live compromise the mythology of our lives and in that mythology lies the key to truth and mystery. Is it an illusion? Possibly, even probably, but I can’t rid myself of the need continually to decipher my own life.”
– Milan Kundera
Morning Trip (11)

“We read of spiritual efforts, and our imagination makes us believe that, because we enjoy the idea of doing them, we have done them.
I am appalled to see how much of the change I thought I had undergone lately was only imaginary.
The real work seems still to be done.
It is so fatally easy to confuse an aesthetic appreciation of the spiritual life with the life itself – to dream that you have waked, washed, and dressed & then to find yourself still in bed.”
– C.S. Lewis
Morning Trip (12)

“We do not inspire and expire fully and entirely enough, so that the wave, the comber, of each inspiration shall break upon our extremist shores, rolling till it meets the sand which bounds us, and the sound of the surf comes back to us.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Morning Trip (13)

Morning Trip (14) was combined with Inside Outside Blog and utilized a full article rather than a quote.

“One of the most difficult things to learn is that mindfulness is not dependent on any emotional or mental state. We have certain images of meditation. Meditation is something done in quiet caves by tranquil people who move slowly. Those are training conditions. They are set up to foster concentration and to learn the skill of mindfulness. Once you have learned that skill, however, you can dispense with the training restrictions, and you should. You don’t need to move at a snail’s pace to be mindful. You don’t even need to be calm. You can be mindful while solving problems in intensive calculus. You can be mindful in the middle of a football scrimmage. You can even be mindful in the midst of a raging fury.”
Mindfulness Versus Concentration
– Henepola Gunaratana
Mindfulness in Plain English
and/or
Mindfulness in Plain English
Morning Trip (15)

“I’ve said before that every craftsman
searches for what’s not there
to practice his craft.

A builder looks for the rotten hole
where the roof caved in. A water-carrier
picks the empty pot. A carpenter
stops at the house with no door.

Workers rush toward some hint
of emptiness, which they then
start to fill. Their hope, though,
is for emptiness, so don’t think
you must avoid it. It contains
what you need!
Dear soul, if you were not friends
with the vast nothing inside,
why would you always be casting you net
into it, and waiting so patiently?

This invisible ocean has given you such abundance,
but still you call it “death”,
that which provides you sustenance and work.

God has allowed some magical reversal to occur,
so that you see the scorpion pit
as an object of desire,
and all the beautiful expanse around it,
as dangerous and swarming with snakes.

This is how strange your fear of death
and emptiness is, and how perverse
the attachment to what you want.

Now that you’ve heard me
on your misapprehensions, dear friend,
listen to Attar’s story on the same subject.

He strung the pearls of this
about King Mahmud, how among the spoils
of his Indian campaign there was a Hindu boy,
whom he adopted as a son. He educated
and provided royally for the boy
and later made him vice-regent, seated
on a gold throne beside himself.

One day he found the young man weeping..
“Why are you crying? You’re the companion
of an emperor! The entire nation is ranged out
before you like stars that you can command!”

The young man replied, “I am remembering
my mother and father, and how they
scared me as a child with threats of you!
‘Uh-oh, he’s headed for King Mahmud’s court!
Nothing could be more hellish!’ Where are they now
when they should see me sitting here?”

This incident is about your fear of changing.
You are the Hindu boy. Mahmud, which means
Praise to the End, is the spirit’s
poverty or emptiness.

The mother and father are your attachment
to beliefs and blood ties
and desires and comforting habits.
Don’t listen to them!
They seem to protect
but they imprison.

They are your worst enemies.
They make you afraid
of living in emptiness.

Some day you’ll weep tears of delight in that court,
remembering your mistaken parents!

Know that your body nurtures the spirit,
helps it grow, and gives it wrong advise.

The body becomes, eventually, like a vest
of chain mail in peaceful years,
too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

But the body’s desires, in another way, are like
an unpredictable associate, whom you must be
patient with. And that companion is helpful,
because patience expands your capacity
to love and feel peace.
The patience of a rose close to a thorn
keeps it fragrant. It’s patience that gives milk
to the male camel still nursing in its third year,
and patience is what the prophets show to us.

The beauty of careful sewing on a shirt
is the patience it contains.

Friendship and loyalty have patience
as the strength of their connection.

Feeling lonely and ignoble indicates
that you haven’t been patient.

Be with those who mix with God
as honey blends with milk, and say,

“Anything that comes and goes,
rises and sets, is not
what I love.” else you’ll be like a caravan fire left
to flare itself out alone beside the road.”

Rumi VI (1369-1420) from ‘Rumi : One-Handed Basket Weaving
Morning Trip (16)

“a piece of the River
there’s a river
that invents us together

a river you write
out of the matter
you become when you read it

a river translating
on paper
what my senses perceive

a river
where our eyes commune
with the bread of each letter

there’s a river
a river passing through my head”
– Manuel Ulacia
Morning Trip (17)

“Self Portrait
It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.”
– David Whyte
Fire in the Earth
Morning Trip (18)

“As with events, so is it with thoughts. When I watch that flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause, but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up, and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.

Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus. From the mountain you see the mountain. We animate what we can, and we see only what we animate. Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them. It depends on the mood of the man, whether he shall see the sunset or the fine poem. There are always sunsets, and there is always genius; but only a few hours so serene that we can relish nature or criticism.

It is very unhappy, but too late to be helped, the discovery we have made, that we exist. That discovery is called the Fall of Man. Ever afterwards, we suspect our instruments. We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these subject-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects. Once we lived in what we saw; now, the rapaciousness of this new power, which threatens to absorb all things, engages us. Nature, art, persons, letters, religions, — objects, successively tumble in, and God is but one of its ideas. Nature and literature are subjective phenomena; every evil and every good thing is a shadow which we cast.

Thus inevitably does the universe wear our color, and every object fall successively into the subject itself. The subject exists, the subject enlarges; all things sooner or later fall into place. As I am, so I see; use what language we will, we can never say anything but what we are.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Morning Trip(19)

Part II(Original Version: Loreena McKennitt-To the Fairies they Draw Near “Tinkerbell”)

Come away with me now to the sky
Up o’er the hills and the sea
Far beyond where memories lie
To a place where I’m free to be me

Oh, gather ye now one and all
No what matter what all ye may do
Where the stars fill your soul
When the moon cradles all
So to yourself be true

The blanket of snow is o’ercome
Each flower waits for the sun
And the whispering tears of the rain
Holds promise for everyone

Then come away with me, friends
No matter where you call your home
With a light in our hearts, we will never part
No matter how far we roam

Deep in the forest we go
Creatures are all fast asleep
With a kiss and a wink we will waken our souls
Love is the safety we’ll keep

And then we’ll dance through the night
Till the sun beams sparkle at dawn
And up way we will go like last winter’s snow
Soon our work will be done

Oh, gather ye now one and all
No what matter what all ye may do
Where the stars fill your soul
When the moon cradles all
So to yourself be true

Oh, gather ye now one and all
No what matter what all ye may do
Where the stars fill your soul
When the moon cradles all
So to yourself be true

So to yourself be true…
Morning Trip (20)

A man’s interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town.
–Henry David Thoreau
Morning Trip (21)

I see my beauty in you. I become
a mirror that cannot close its eyes

to your longing. My eyes wet with
yours in the early light. My mind

every moment giving birth, always
conceiving, always in the ninth

month, always the come-point. How
do I stand this? We become these

words we say, a wailing sound moving
out into the air. These thousands of

worlds that rise from nowhere, how
does your face contain them? I’m

a fly in your honey, then closer, a
moth caught in flame’s allure, then

empty sky stretched out in homage.
– Jelaluddin Rumi
The Glance Songs of Soul-Meeting
Morning Trip (24)

“Vulnerability is built into our hearts, which can be sliced open at any moment by some sudden shift in the arrangements, some pain, some horror, some hurt. We know and instinctively fear this, so we protect our hearts by covering them against exposure. But this doesn’t work. Covering the heart binds and suffocates it until, like a wound that has been kept dressed for too long, the heart starts to fester and becomes fetid. Eventually, without air, the heart is all but killed off, and there’s no feeling, no experiencing at all.”
– Norman Fischer
Morning Trip (25)

Meditation on Affliction
Assailed by afflictions, we discover dharma and find the way to liberation. Thank you, evil forces!

When sorrows invade the mind, we discover dharma and find lasting happiness. Thank you, sorrows!

Through harm caused by spirits we discover dharma and find fearlessness. Thank you, ghosts and demons!

Through people’s hate we discover dharma and find benefits and happiness. Thank you, those who hate us!

Through cruel adversity, we discover dharma and find the unchanging way. Thank you, adversity!

Through being impelled to by others, we discover dharma and find the essential meaning. Thank you, all who drive us on!

We dedicate our merit to you all, to repay your kindness.

— Gyalwa Longchenpa
Morning Trip (26)

“The major and almost the only theme of all my work is the struggle of man with ‘God’: the unyielding, inextinguishable struggle of the naked worm called ‘man’ against the terrifying power and darkness of the forces within him and around him. The stubbornness of the struggle, the tenacity of the little spark in its fight to penetrate the age-old, boundless night and conquer it.”

“Some crackpots search for God, thinking perhaps he lurks somewhere amid the branches of the flesh and mind; some squander precious life, chasing the empty air; some, still more pigeon-brained, think they’ve already found him and work on his compassion with their begging whines till their minds break from too much joy or too much pain. But others, great brain-archers, know the secret well: by God is meant to hunt God through the empty air!”
– Nikos Kazantzakis
Morning Trip (28)

“I see my beauty in you. I become
a mirror that cannot close its eyes

to your longing. My eyes wet with
yours in the early light. My mind

every moment giving birth, always
conceiving, always in the ninth

month, always the come-point. How
do I stand this? We become these

words we say, a wailing sound moving
out into the air. These thousands of

worlds that rise from nowhere, how
does your face contain them? I’m

a fly in your honey, then closer, a
moth caught in flame’s allure, then

empty sky stretched out in homage.”
– Jelaluddin Rumi
The Glance Songs of Soul-Meeting
Morning Trip (29)

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
Morning Trip (30)

“TO A BUTTERFLY
I’VE watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!–not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!

This plot of orchard-ground is ours; 10
My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers;
Here rest your wings when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We’ll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now. 1801.”
–William Wordsworth
Morning Trip (31)

“Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth, a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.”
– Natalie Goldberg
Morning Trip (32)

“A Year With Rumi by Coleman Barks

A Basket of Fresh Bread (2)

There is a basket of fresh bread on your head,

yet you go door to door asking for crusts.

Knock on the inner door. No other.

Sloshing knee-deep in clear streamwater,

you keep wanting a drink from other poeple’s waterbags.

Water is everywhere around you,

but you see only barriers that keep you from water.

A horse is moving beneath the rider’s thighs,

yet still he asks, Where is my horse?

Right there, under you. Yes, this is a horse,

but where’s the horse? Can’t you see? Yes,

I can see, but whoever saw such a horse?

Mad with thirst, he cannot drink from the stream

running so close by his face.

He is like a pearl on the deep bottom

wondering, inside the shell, Where is the ocean?

His mental questionings form the barrier.

HIs physical eyesight bandages his knowing.

Self-consciousness plugs his ears.

Stay bewildered in God and only that.”
Morning Trip (33)

“I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!”
— John Muir
Morning Trip (34)

“The workshop . . .
The paper I write on or you
write on, every word we write,
every cross and twirl of the
pen, and the curious way we
write what we think, yet very
faintly . . .
In them realities for you and
me — in them poems for you
and me . . .
In them themes, hints, provokers.”
– Walt Whitman

Morning Trip (35)

“You are not required to act in any way that sacrifices your wish to grow in spiritual strength. For example, you are not required to support the weakness of another person. Also, you are not required to relieve the anxiety of anyone whose anxiety is caused by his preference for delusion over reality.”
– Vernon Howard

“NOTE: An evening at the theatre. It occurred to me that there is something weird about someone wanting to be someone else. And even more so about someone sitting down for a couple of hours to look at someone they don’t know, pretending to be someone else, talking to someone who is also pretending to be someone else. A dialogue, furthermore, invented by somebody who imagined they were pretending to be each of these in turn.”
– Alan Fletcher
Morning Trip (90)

Morning Trip (91) Photography and Sound based–no commonplace book quotes.

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.”
– David Foster Wallace

**Lyrics can be found here: http://www.tunesbag.com/playlist-wellington-feeling-sorry-for-ones-self-t8412566
Morning Trip (92)

“If you don’t climb a thousand crags,
how can you learn
all things are empty?

The mountain’s head is white and mine is too.
December dies, the year
runs out its string as all things do.

At the summit: one rude hut, the snow,
this lonely body, and the wind.
I lean on the rail, heart sudden struck
the moon rises from within Great River: there.”
– Yuan Mei
Morning Trip (93)

“…I lounge on the grass, that’s all. So
simple. Then I lie back until I am
inside the cloud that is just above me
but very high, and shaped like a fish.
Or, perhaps not. Then I enter the place
of not-thinking, not-remembering, not-
wanting. When the blue jay cries out his
riddle, in his carping voice, I return.
But I go back, the threshold is always
near. Over and back, over and back. Then
I rise. Maybe I rub my face as though I
have been asleep. But I have not been
asleep. I have been, as I say, inside
the cloud, or, perhaps, the lily floating
on the water. Then I go back to town,
to my own house, my own life, which has
now become brighter and simpler, some-
where I have never been before….”
– Mary Oliver
Six Recognitions of the Lord
Thirst: Poems
Morning Trip (94)

“We gaze with perplexity at the highest part of the spiral of force that governs the Universe. And we call it God. We could give it any other name: Abyss, Mystery, Absolute Darkness, Total Light, Matter, Spirit, Supreme Hope, Supreme Despair, Silence. But we call it God, because only this name – for some mysterious reason – is capable of making our heart tremble with vigor. And let there be no doubt that this trembling is absolutely indispensable for us to be in contact with the basic emotions of the human being, emotions that are always beyond any explanation or logic.”
–the Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis
Morning Trip(95)

in·can·des·cent
/ˌinkənˈdesənt/
Adjective–Emitting light as a result of being heated.(of an electric light) Containing a filament that glows white-hot when heated by a current passed through it.
Synonyms–glowing – white-hot – red-hot – flaming

IV

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre—
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.

–Little Gidding T S Eliot from Four Quartets
Morning Trip (96)

“A man is walking in a field
and everywhere at his feet
in the short grass of April
the small purple violets
are in bloom. As the man walks
the ground drops away,
the sunlight of day becomes
a sort of darkness in which
the lights of the flowers rise
up around him like
fireflies or stars in a sort
of sky through which he walks.”
– Wendell Berry, IV Leavings
Morning Trip (97)

Whispers in the Wind

Your whispers are gentle echoes
that sway ardent winds of harmony
and in the symphony of life
each word is wrapped in rhapsody.

We travel separate roads of life
gather flowers along the way and
share the music of their fragrance.

We exist between two winds,
I here under a pale moon
you, the other end of somewhere.

Sometimes when wind blows through trees
I pause to listen and in its passing
I hear the tenderness of your voice
that fills the spectrum of my soul.

You are the chime of warm rain,
the moon that glows through the trees
and within the luster of evening
your aura fills the scene.

I hear the whispers of the wind
see the stars shine in the sky,
but I hold the sunrise in my pocket.

Dance with me within the wind,
then just let me love you.”
–Trent Moore
Morning Trip(98)

“We gaze with perplexity at the highest part of the spiral of force that governs the Universe. And we call it God. We could give it any other name: Abyss, Mystery, Absolute Darkness, Total Light, Matter, Spirit, Supreme Hope, Supreme Despair, Silence. But we call it God, because only this name – for some mysterious reason – is capable of making our heart tremble with vigor. And let there be no doubt that this trembling is absolutely indispensable for us to be in contact with the basic emotions of the human being, emotions that are always beyond any explanation or logic”.
–the Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis
Morning Trip(99)

“Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole….”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays and Lectures

**Click this line to View the essay in its entirety.
Morning Trip (100)

Solar
On a gray day, when the sun
has been abducted, and it’s chill
end-of-the-world weather,
I must be the sun.
I must be the one
to encourage the young
sidetracked physicist
working his father’s cash register
to come up with a law of nature
that says brain waves can change
the dismal sky. I must be the one
to remind the ginger plant
not to rest on the reputation
of its pungent roots, but to unveil
those buttery tendrils from the other world.
When the sky is an iron lid
I must be the one to simmer
in the piquant juices of possibility,
though the ingredients are unknown
and the day begins with a yawn.
I must issue forth a warmth
without discrimination, and any guarantee
it will come back to me.
On a dark day I must be willing
to keep my disposition light,
I have to be at the very least
one stray intact ray
of local energy, one small
but critical fraction
of illumination. Even on a day
that doesn’t look gray
but still lacks comfort or sense,
I have to be the sun,
I have to shine as if
sorry life itself depended on it.
I have to make all the difference.”
– Thomas Centolella
Views from along the Middle Way
Morning Trip (101)

“There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else. You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you’ve been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw – but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realize that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you were transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of – something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it – tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest – if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself – you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say ‘Here at last is the thing I was made for.’ We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.”
– C. S. Lewis
Morning Trip (102)

The Poet with His Face in His Hands
You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.”
–Mary Oliver
Morning Trip (103)

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
–Friedrich Nietzsche

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
–e. e. cummings
Morning Trip (104)

“…Going down stone by stone,

the song of the water changes,

changing the way I walk

which changes my thought

as I go. Stone to stone

the stream flows. Stone to stone

the walker goes. The words

stand stone still until

the flow moves them, changing

the sound – a new word –

a new place to step or stand….”

–Wendell Berry, Excerpt from The Book of Camp Branch, out of Leavings
Morning Trip(105)

“Think on This…
And remember, every experience is a conditional one. For, choice must be made daily.
Reading 2034-1”
Edgar Cayce’s Thought for the Day
Morning Trip (106)

A Warning To My Readers

Do not think me gentle
because I speak in praise
of gentleness, or elegant
because I honor the grace
that keeps this world. I am
a man crude as any,
gross of speech, intolerant,
stubborn, angry, full
of fits and furies. That I
may have spoken well
at times, is not natural.
A wonder is what it is.”
–Wendell Berry
Morning Trip (107)

“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but “steal” some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”
– Albert Camus
Notebooks, 1951-1959
Soaked In Soul
Morning Trip (108)

“And so our Civil War raised questions that have been raised a number of times since: Can you force people to change their hearts and minds? Can you make them good by violence? Again and again human nature has replied no. Again and again, ignoring human nature and history, politicians have answered yes. And yet it seems true that Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers, by refusing to answer violence with violence, did more to alter racial attitudes in the South than was done by all the death and damage of the Civil War.”
–Wendell Berry, imagination in place
Morning Trip (109)

“XII.

If we have become a people incapable
of thought, then the brute-thought
of mere power and mere greed
will think for us.

IF we have become incapable
of denying ourselves anything,
then all that we have
will be taken from us.

If we have no compassion,
we will suffer alone, we will suffer
alone the destruction of ourselves.

These are merely the laws of this world
as known to Shakespeare, as known to Milton:

When we cease from human thought,
a low and effective cunning
stirs in the most inhuman minds.”

–Wendell Berry, Leavings: Part Two–Sabbaths 2005
Morning Trip (110)

“They may deny it vociferously, but artists burn with a need to convey by implication their personal conception of life and potential beauty, transcending all the laws, dogmas, practical aspirations, and the instincts of self-preservation. They, along with the scientists, poets, and philosophers, illuminate the world rather than exploit it….”
–Ansel Adams
Morning Trip (111)

“I am not I.

I am this one
Walking beside me whom I do not see,
Whom at times I manage to visit,
And whom at other times I forget;
The one who remains silent when I talk,
The one who forgives, sweet, when I hate,
The one who takes a walk where I am not,
The one who will remain standing when I die.”
– Juan Ramon Jimenez
Morning Trip (112)

“The Zen disciple sits for long hours silent and motionless. Presently he enters a state of impassivity, free from all ideas and all thoughts. He departs from the self and enters the realm of nothingness. This is not the nothingness or the emptiness of the West. It is rather the reverse, a universe of the spirit in which everything communicates freely with everything, transcending bounds, limitless. There are of course masters of Zen, and the disciple is brought toward enlightenment by exchanging questions and answers with his master, and he studies the scriptures. The disciple must, however, always be lord of his own thoughts, and must attain enlightenment through his own efforts. And the emphasis is less upon reason and argument than upon intuition, immediate feeling. Enlightenment comes not from teaching but through the eye awakened inwardly. Truth is in the discarding of words, it lies outside words.”
– Yasunari Kawabata
Morning Trip (113)

“Sun-bleached bones were most wonderful against the blue – that blue that will always be there as it is now after all man’s destruction is finished.”
–Georgia O’Keeffe

“We are more than just flesh and bones. There’s a certain spiritual nature and something of the mind that we can’t measure. We can’t find it. With all our sophisticated equipment, we cannot monitor or define it, and yet it’s there.”
–Benjamin Carson
Morning Trip (114)

“Perception of the beautiful is accompanied by that curious feeling of intellectual fullness through which we seem to be swollen with a superior knowledge of the object contemplated, and which nevertheless leaves us powerless to express it and to possess it by our ideas and make it the object of scientific analysis.”
–Jacques Maritain, Art and Scholasticism
Translated by J.W. Evans
Morning Trip (115)

“Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts.”
–Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust A History of Walking
Morning Trip (116)

“In the hollows of quiet places we may meet,
the quiet places where is neither moon nor sun,
but only the light as of amber and pale gold
that comes from the Hills of the Heart.
There, listen at times: there
you will call, and I hear: there
will I whisper, and that whisper will come to you
as dew is gathered into the grass, at the rising of the moon.”
–Fiona MacLeod The Silence of Amor
Morning Trip (117)

“No one must see the ghost
Of me that wanders
Over the field and wood
Above this thin rain,
Filled with an ache
And a crazy refrain.”
–Margaret Newlin, Rain
Morning Trip (118)

“As far back as I can remember, things seen or heard or smelled, things tasted or touched, have provoked in me an answering vibration. The stimulus might be the sheen of moonlight on the needles of a white pine, or the iridescent glimmer on a dragonfly’s tail, or the lean silhouette of a ladder-back chair, or the glaze on a hand-thrown pot. It might be bird song or a Bach cantata or the purl of water over stone. It might be a line of poetry, the outline of a cheek, the arch of a ceiling, the savor of bread, the sway of a bough or a bow. The provocation might be as grand as a mountain sunrise or as humble as an icicle’s jeweled tip, yet in each case a familiar surge of gratitude and wonder wells up in me.

Now and again some voice raised on the stairs leading to my study, some passage of music, some noise from the street, will stir a sympathetic thrum from the strings of the guitar that tilts against the wall behind my door. Just so, over and over again, impulses from the world stir a responsive chord in me — not just any chord, but a particular one, combining notes of elegance, exhilaration, simplicity, and awe.”
-–Scott Russell Sanders, Hunting for Hope
Morning Trip (119)

“Inspiration is a moment of contact with another reality, the moment when everything at once falls into its proper place, when as it were, the entire structure appears, and every part is seen to be related to the whole. So we cannot deny it exists, nor can we remain indifferent to the experience of this momentary, magical change in our insight. Having had the taste of this other reality (for surely it is not our everyday fare), we yet wait passively for its unpredictable reappearance. We also know that without it we are cut off from the source of our true nourishment, and everything we make is empty, without life, belongs to no organic whole.”

— Ilonka Karasz, Design Forecast Vol. I
Morning Trip (120)

“Anna pulls her face back from an orange lily, aware of its pollen and of the hovering bee. Its ancestors must have done the same, shimmering down a stem of chicory some day in 1561, here or beside the church in the distance. She has noticed the gardien cycle past to unlock its doors. There must have always been a bee here to hear Catholic music and witness a verger’s arrival. The past is always carried into the present by small things. So a lily is bent with the weight of its permanence. Richard the Lion-heart may have stepped up to this same flower on his journey to a Crusade and inhaled the same presence Anna does before he rode south into the Luberon.”
–Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero p.77
Morning Trip (121)

“…It’s like a villanelle, this inclination of going back to events in our past, the way the villanelle’s form refuses to move forward in linear development, circling instead at those familiar moments of emotion. Only the rereading counts Nabokov said. So the strange form of that belfry, turning onto itself again and again, felt familiar to me. For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell….”
–Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero p. 136
Morning Trip (122)

“….the right words for a difficult lesson. To be precise
does not necessitate complication, except that it is so
difficult to pluck the right thoughts from the always moving
branch, and find the words to flesh out what it is they mean.”
–Luisa A. Igloria, The Buddha remembers Miss Sifora Fang,
Here too, is a link to the Official Website of the Poetess.
Morning Trip (123)

“Inner silence works from the moment you begin to accrue it. The desired result is what the old sorcerers called stopping the world, the moment when everything around us ceases to be what it’s been.
It is this moment when man the slave becomes man the free being, capable of feats of perception that defy our linear imagination.”
– Carlos Castaneda
Morning Trip (189)

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