"What is real to me is the power of our awareness when we are focused on something beyond ourselves. It is a shaft of light shining in a dark corner. Our ability to shift our perceptions and seek creative alternatives to the conundrums of modernity is in direct proportion to our empathy."
- Terry Tempest Williams
And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you too decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.
- Mary Oliver
Wait for an autumn day, for a slightly
weary sun, for dusty air,
a pale day's weather.
Wait for the maple's rough, brown leaves,
etched like an old man's hands,
for chestnuts and acorns,
for an evening when you sit in the garden
with a notebook and the bonfire's smoke contains
the heady taste of ungettable wisdom.
Wait for afternoons shorter than an athlete's breath,
for a truce among the clouds,
for the silence of trees,
for the moment when you reach absolute peace
and accept the thought that what you've lost
is gone for good.
- Adam Zagajewski
from Wait for an Autumn Day
translated by Clare Cavanagh
the distance between two doors
"The French called this time of day 'l'heure bleue.' To the English it was 'the gloaming.' The very word 'gloaming' reverberates, echoes - the gloaming, the glimmer, the glitter, the glisten, the glamour - carrying in its consonants the images of houses shuttering, gardens darkening, grass-lined rivers slipping through the shadows. During the blue nights you think the end of day will never come. As the blue nights draw to a close (and they will, and they do) you experience an actual chill, at the moment you first notice: the blue light is going, the days are already shortening, the summer is gone."
- Joan Didion
"Throughout my whole life, during every minute of it, the world has been gradually lighting up and blazing before my eyes until it has come to surround me, entirely lit from within."
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
From the shore: Toronto
All afternoon I've watched the gulls
off the breakwater at Lake Ontario.
No one here seems to like them,
how they scavenge,
hover like icons,
against a metal sky.
But I am here from another country
not so foreign as the gulls'
and I like their garrulousness,
their joyful noise
and the way they hang in the air
flying and not flying.
- Henrietta Epstein
"Once, years ago, I emerged from the woods in the early morning at the end of a walk and - it was the most casual of moments - as I stepped from under the trees into the mild, pouring-down sunlight I experienced a sudden impact, a seizure of happiness. It was not the drowning sort of happiness, rather the floating sort. I made no struggle toward it; it was given. Time seemed to vanish. Urgency vanished. Any important difference between myself and all other things vanished. I knew that I belonged to the world, and felt comfortably my own containment in the totality. I did not feel that I understood any mystery, not at all; rather that I could be happy and feel blessed within the perplexity."
- Mary Oliver
To feel yourself wake into change, as if your change
Were immense and figured into the heavens' longing.
And yet all you want is to rise out of the shade
Of yourself into the cooling blaze of a summer night
When the moon shines and the earth itself
Is covered and silent in the stoniness of its sleep.
- Mark Strand
the writer's almanac