It is a shame to be unaware of the shifts and changes that happen every day, every moment, right before your eyes. The little crinkles around her eyes that get ever-so-slightly deeper and wiser. The silver linings of her hair. The wonders of time and how they show their presence in such ways. You may think that a flower is simply a flower. A flower that looks and smells just as simply as it always has. Or that the ocean is simply salt water and blue. The flower is always moving, changing, blossoming, and giving life to the birds and the bees. The ocean’s tides rise and fall with the phases of the moon. The currents change direction. And depending on how the sun hits the water, the colors and shades of blue are in fact, infinite. Everything around you and everyone is always changing. Take time to smell the roses. Take time to watch the tide. Take time to see your love with new eyes. It would be a shame to miss it.
When I am gripped with despair, when I think I might stop, I speak to my dead. Tell them a story. What am I doing with this life? They hold me accountable. I let them make me bolder or more modest or louder or more moving, but I ask them to listen, and then write.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
We spend our lives, all of us, waiting for the great day, the great battle, or the deed of power. But that external consummation is not given to many: nor is it necessary. So long as our being is tensed, directed with passion, towards that which is the spirit of all things, then that spirit will emerge from our own hidden, nameless effort.
I wouldn’t coax the plant if I were you.
Such watchful nursing may do it harm.
Let the soil rest from so much digging
And wait until it’s dry before you water it.
The leaf’s inclined to find its own direction;
Give it a chance to seek the sunlight for itself.
Much growth is stunted by too careful prodding,
Too eager tenderness.
The things we love we have to learn to leave alone.
―Naomi Long Madgett, “Woman with Flower”
When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.
I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map, with strangers’ anecdotal contrary directions.
…Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail or vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home.