- Source photonatureblog.com
I don’t know what’s the matter with me—
why I’m so adept at distance,
why I feel so remote from things,
why life feels like a rumor.
— David Shields, How Literature Saved My Life (via sashawantsmore)
We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe.
Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day – the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening?
It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we’re miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn’t seasoned just the way we like.
When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we’re up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first.
In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.”
~ Mark Nepo
Golden light by photones
Shake off this sadness,
and recover your spirit;
sluggish you will not see the wheel of fate
that brushes your heel as it turns going by,
the man who wants to live
is the man in whom life is abundant.
Now you are only giving food
to that final pain
which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,
but to live is to work,
and the only thing which lasts is the work;
start then, turn to the work.
Throw yourself like seed
as you walk and into your own field,
don’t turn your face
for that would be to turn it to death,
and do not let the past weigh down your motion.
Leave what’s alive in the furrow, what’s dead in yourself,
for life does not move in the same way
as a group of clouds;
from your work you will be able one day
to gather yourself.
~ Miguel de Unamuno, Throw Yourself Like Seed
Claude Monet - Mer agitée
If therefore it be a thing external that causes thy grief, know that it is not that properly that doth cause it, but thine own conceit and opinion concerning the thing: which thou mayest rid thyself of, when thou wilt.
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book VIII, Article XLV