On a soft, snowy morning I read a poem by Mary Oliver. And in the afternoon, it came to me, a notice of her death. Too soon! I thought. Too soon to lose a talent of this magnitude. My heart rocked in grief for several minutes. But then I re-read the poem from the morning called “Bazougey” (Dog Songs, 2013), about the death of a beloved dog. It begins,
Where goes he now, that dark little dog
who used to come down the road barking and shining?
He’s gone now, from the world of particulars,
the singular, the visible.
So, that deepest sting: sorrow. Still,
is he gone from us entirely, or is he
a part of that other world, everywhere?
I now think of Mary Oliver as in this poem, no longer part of the singular, the visible, the world of particulars, but rather “a part of that other world, everywhere.” . . . . read more
The Adventurer of the Universe starts with the dream and reaps tragic Beauty.— Alfred North Whitehead
I have a friend named David who can see things others can’t. He has visions. I don’t mean David has “second sight” or any psychic ability; rather, it’s more of an artist’s vision of seeing things that are not there, but that might be. With a gestalt sensibility, he can see something whole that is now in parts, broken, and crying out to be either put out of its misery or loved back into life. David is a woodworker, restorer, and artist. He mainly works with discarded and unwanted pieces of furniture, like the lonely chair left out on the curbside by someone in a rush to move, or the abandoned table at the side of the dumpster, or a battered antique trunk hoping to be discovered on the last day of an estate sale when everything is 75% off. David grabs what others pass up, or gathers odd pieces and makes something completely novel like the “Frankenstein” table as he jokingly called it: a stunning dining set created from disparate parts he found “here and there.”
What a gift! To see possibility among the discarded, to save the landfills by remaking something that lasts, and to add beauty to the world.
I think this is the way God dreams in the world. . . . Click here to read the entire post 🙂
“And that’s why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation — a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background — bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one. For we know that our diversity — our patchwork heritage — is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths.”
— President Barack Obama, September 11, 2016
Shortly after I moved back to the United States after living abroad for five years, I began seeing bumper stickers with the motto, “In God We Trust.” It seemed to hold a special significance for some of my neighbors. But why? After a little research and reorientation into my home culture, I realized that for many, this motto serves as a counterpoint — and even a rebuff — to our founding fathers’ 1782 motto, e pluribus unum, “out of many, one.”
If you study any coin from your pocket closely, you can see “In God We Trust” on one side and e pluribus unum on the other. The social context of each motto is telling. . . . (to continue reading, click here to read my post “U is for Unity“).
Often, the most intense forms of beauty rise from the ashes of tragedy. Such is the story of how a bombed-out church from the London Blitz ended up in my town in Missouri—restored, renewed, rehallowed. Her name is St. Mary, Aldermanbury, and she’s got quite a story to tell. . . Read More
“Silence is like a flame, you see?”
As a lover of words, I wonder why I am so drawn to the wordless worlds of music and dance and art. And then, there is mime, that peculiar silent art form, perhaps brought to its highest expression in the work of Marcel Marceau. After viewing some of his mime masterpieces, such as The Cage and Youth, Maturity, and Old Age, I asked myself: Why does this master of silent storytelling move me so much?
(Read More at Spirituality & Practice)
(Read More–with added videos–at Open Horizons)