Work, Bread, Water, and Salt

Quotes for the day:
“Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.”
~ Nelson Mandela
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“The central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people.
The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.”
— Eric Hoffer
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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
— John Muir
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“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”
— Walter Lippmann
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“There is a geometry of art as there is a geometry of life, and, as the Greeks had guessed, they happen to be the same.” — Matila Ghyka
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“We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of this world — as far as we can grasp it…”
— Albert Einstein
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“One of [the brain’s] functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary, and turn the unusual into the usual.
Otherwise, human beings, forced with the daily wondrousness of everything would go around wearing a stupid grin, saying “WOW” a lot.
Part of the brain exists to stop this happening. It is very efficient and can make people experience boredom in the middle of marvels.”
—  Sir Terry Pratchett


Gratitude List:
1. One boy loves to browse antique stores. While shopping isn’t my most favorite thing to do, I love walking through antique stores watching him discover old things. Yesterday the fun treasure was a coffee table someone had made from a ship’s hatch found on the Ocean City beach in the 1970s.
2. The Westitute. It’s really the Wetlands Institute, but once a small boy transformed it into the Westitute and the rest of us refuse to say it any other way now. Purple Martins with the sun on their backs, lots of osprey (three hatchlings on the ospreycam eating their fish dinner), white egrets, big sandpiper-shape, little sandpiper-shape, redwing blackbird displaying his epaulets.
3. More Westitute: diamondback terrapins, horseshoe crabs, and my new friend Nelson the Octopus. I love octopuses, and Nelson really wanted to connect with the people on the other side of his glass.
4. Ice cream for lunch at Springer’s. Half a waffle (the real thing, just made, not a cone) with a two scoops of ice cream on top. Prohibition Tradition is a kahlua-based ice cream with a fudge swirl, and Cease and Desist is a coffee ice cream with Heath bar chunks.
5. The things people are doing to save the world. The folks at the Westitute, distressed by the high numbers of female terrapins hit on roads, rescue and rehabilitate the ones that can be saved, or perform eggectomies on the ones that are dead or dying and incubate the eggs to release new terrapins to the wild. People who plant trees. People who fight pipelines. People who study the natural world.

May we walk in Beauty!

Finding Your Fire

Today’s poem is for several of my friends, women of strength and courage, who inspire me with their continued dogged pursuit of the truth of their own voices: When no one seems to be listening; when others actively deny and twist their truth; when they doubt their own courage. They keep walking, keep speaking, keep wrestling. May they find their fire.

My lovely wanderer, my lonely pilgrim,
I have watched how you place your feet
so gingerly on the burning coals,
walking this pathway you never intended.

I have heard how you wrapped yourself
with the voice of the wind, and raged, like Lear,
in the cruel embrace of the storm.
I would have been your Fool in that lightning.

I have witnessed you wrestle the truth
from the burning jaws of the dragon,
standing your ground when no ground
seemed there to support you.

Oh Friend, may your voice be born of the flames,
may your spirit enkindle and blaze up,
born from the pain and the truth
you have bought with your grace and your courage.

TOMORROW’S PROMPT:
Ah, well isn’t this just about perfect? Today the Fool found her fire. Tomorrow, she learns about Strength. Not the strength which is synonymous with force and violence, not strength which shows itself in the vilest threats, with the biggest bomb, with the fiercest snarl. This is the strength that knows itself, the power that calms the raging lion and gently closes its mouth, the protester who places a flower in the barrel of a gun, the lone figure in front of the tank on Tiananmen Square, the tulips that emerge after the late March snowstorm.

Gratitude List:
1. Berkeley Breathed
2. Another osprey. Yup. Four in a week.
3. Bleeding Hearts. All sorts.
4. Finding Fire
5. You. You have such strength and courage. You inspire me.

May we walk in Beauty!

Breath

It is time for another poem about breathing:
How you draw the air into your lungs,
so deeply, you feel it ready to escape
the bruised soles of your feet.

In-spire–draw the spirit inside you,
the breathing living breath, invite
breath, that wanderer, into your being,
feel it lapping at the southerly shores
of your lungs, filling the balloon of your belly.

The secret of breathing is the letting go.
You must never hoard inspiration. It dies
the moment it is chained or kept.
Let go. Breathe out. Breathe in again.

TOMORROW’S PROMPT:
Find your fire tomorrow, Fool. What burns within you? What passion ignites your spirit?

Gratitude List:
1. Wednesdays must be Osprey and Eagle days. This afternoon’s spectacle was on the way home from Liza’s house: An adult and a juvenile eagle, two ospreys, and a red-tailed hawk. Feels like portents and omens.
2. Deadnettle is still purpling the fields and the willows are getting jiggy.
3. Redbuds bursting into bloom
4. Watching Mama goose watching Papa Cardinal in the green bush
5. Ferns are unfurling. I think I might also be unfurling. Maybe you are unfurling, too?

May we walk in Beauty!

Peaceful Journeys

Sun Road

Perhaps we were meant to stand on water
to walk the winds along the waves
to paddle down the sun road
to hail those fellow travelers the gulls:
“Peaceful journeys, friends!”

Gratitude List:
1. Listening and watching as my father tells family stories to his grandchildren.  One says, “He’ll never need to say, ‘I wish I had done more with my life.'”
2. Watching my mother play games with the grandchildren
3. Osprey and oyster catcher
4. Rest
5. Knowing you are out there, too: doing the work, watching the light, listening for the change in the wind, holding the spaces, spinning and weaving the web.

May we walk in Beauty!