Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Fording a Stream"

"For All"

a poem by Gary Snyder

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell

one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Discovering the World"

"After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color and bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?"
--Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

Friday, October 14, 2011


"We can create small pockets of flourishing, and we can make ourselves into overhanging rock ledges to protect their life, so that the full measure of possibility can spread and reseed the world. Doesn't matter what it is; if it's generous to life, imagine it into existence. Create a bicycle cooperative, a seed-sharing community, a wildlife sanctuary. Write poems for children. Sing duets to the dying. Tear out the irrigation system and plant native grass. Imagine water pumps. Dig a community garden in the Kmart parking lot. Learn to cook with the full power of the sun at noon.

"We don't have to start from scratch. We can restore pockets of flourishing lifeways that have been damaged over time. Breach a dam. Plant a riverbank. Vote for schools. Introduce the neighbors to each others' children. Celebrate the solstice. Write a story in an old language. Slow a rivercourse with a fallen log.

"Maybe most effective of all, we can protect refugia that already exist: they are all around us. Protect the marshy ditch behind the mall. Ban poisons from the edges of the road. Save the hedges in your neighborhood. Boycott what you don't believe in. Refuse to participate in what is wrong. There is power in this--an attention that notices and celebrates thriving where it occurs, a conscience that refuses to destroy it. These acts will be the wellspring of the new world. From sheltered pockets of moral imagining, and from protected pockets of flourishing, new ways of living will spread across the land.

"Here is how we will start anew: not from the edges over centuries of invasion, but from small pockets of good work, shaped by an understanding that all life is interdependent and driven by the uniquely human gift--practical imagination, the ability to imagine that things can be different from what they are now. 'Your calling,' philosopher Frederick Buechner said, 'is at the intersection of your great joy and the world's great need.' Go to that place. Do that work."

--Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

Thursday, October 13, 2011


"...those lifeways that are most destructive of the world often turn out to be exactly those lifeways that are most destructive of the spirit."

--Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

The full expression of Absolute Spirit

"Our goal is unreachable because we have always been where we long to be. As the philosopher Hegel once told his classes, in essence, the only thing that keeps us from seeing the world as the full expression of Absolute Spirit is our belief that this has yet to be accomplished."

--Michael Steinberg, A New Biology of Religion

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A poem by Hafiz

I am

a hole in a flute

that the Christ's breath moves


listen to this



Sunday, October 2, 2011

"One with the One"


--a poem by St. John's College tutor Charles G. Bell (1916-2010)

The night each plows

A furrow of death

In the field of stars

Who calls?

I am nothing

But one with the one

That makes the nothing