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Posts tagged ‘Beauty’

Into the Wild

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

Open and receive the grace woven in stillness, quiet and rest.
Without effort or forethought of grief.
A holy sacred place, inviting all in.
Enter the peace of the wild things to awaken to the breath, depth and presence of life.

Star Burst

“Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?” – James Montgomery

“Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!” – Lord Byron

Stop and look closely at the last few flowers of summer holding out a bit longer.
A brilliant pink star bursting from a purple morning glory demanding attention and awe.
Deep color, hue, richness, texture, works of art all around.
Layers, patterns, complexity.

Ingredients surround us daily to shake us awake.
Break complacency, see the brilliance.
Take nothing for granted.
Life is residing in the ordinary, beautiful details of each day.

“To understand is to perceive patterns.” – Isaiah Berlin

Awe in the Ordinary

“A picture is a poem without words.” – Horace

“What is art but a way of seeing?” – Saul Bellow

Deep breath.
Grateful heart.
Light spirit.
Wake up.
Stay in awe.
Feed your soul with beauty.
Look, listen, go beneath the surface of activity and checkboxes.
See depth, dimension, color.
Respond rather than react.
Take a different route to see new things.
Turn off autopilot and take the wheel.
Joy, optimism, gratitude are daily decisions that require intention, rigor and practice.
It’s our job, our vocation, our calling to find awe, be kind and cast light right in the middle of ordinary days.

“What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.” – John Updike

Nature’s Art Gallery

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle

Poetry in motion
Color defined
Beauty exploding in view
Nature bursts with life, joy, celebration
Enter the gallery and come alive
Dance, delight, praise!

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To love beauty is to see light.” – Victor Hugo

“Simplicity is natures first step, and the last of art.” – Philip James Bailey

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword.” – John Ray

 

Unleashed

“Replace judgment with curiosity.” – Lynn Nottage

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

The windows were open at Como Conservatory, so we dipped our heads in to steal a glance. Tempted to climb through but remaining on the outside gazing in for but a moment to allow curiosity to be unleashed.

Go off the beaten path, open windows, gaze at the same with new eyes.
We are called to both witness and participate in life each day.
Do not get tangled in the mundane and petty, in rules and regulations.
Make each day feel like a Friday filled with anticipation of play and rest.
Invite delight and joy in to take a place at your table.
Allow awe and reverence to dance on your stage.
Be on the lookout for joy, on the watch for adventure in reach.
Off leash, outside the fence, finding new paths to explore.

“I can just let my curiosity wander unleashed.” – James C. Collins

Cathedral

“May your heart be an altar, from which the bright flame of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven.” – Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What’s in front of you right now?
Where will you put your energy and effort today?
What altars are you kneeling at?
What fruit will you bear?
Do you see a pile of rocks or the makings of a cathedral?

Each day we make choices, actively or passively. Decisions that direct our path. What we take in, what we cast out, what we make of the material present and available within.

Make a hard stop. Take a deep breath. Look around. Then proceed. Choose your direction on the path that serves your becoming, expanding and unfolding. Finish the cathedral, rock by rock.

Grace. Gratitude. Great works.

“Keep alive within you and bring under wise control that courage which makes you long to undertake great works, which others might consider it folly to attempt.” – Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

Beauty in the Details

“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” – Henry David Thoreau

“They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?” – Jeanette Winterson

In our need to have certainty, to be right, to feed our ego, we snuggle up in our assumptions, judgments and narratives. We bucket people, circumstances and experience, creating a sense of security and stability. Building foundations on sand, we are perplexed when they crumble.

Be willing to unlearn, to go deep to the root, to see the complexity in the details. Expand your capacity for joy through sincere inquiry, rapt attention and childlike curiosity. Open to the wonder hidden in each day, go past mere knowing to understanding, nuance and transformation.

From a distance, the snow is a white blanket. Up close, a brilliant tapestry of light, art and delicate form reminding us of the beauty in the details. Invite and accept the gift of deep awareness of what already is present. Awaken your senses and embrace delight in the ordinary.

In the details, in still points, within each soul, the spark of divinity longs to be revealed and released. To your knees, remaining long enough to hear the voice of divinity.

“Your inner voice is the voice of divinity. To hear it, we need to be in solitude, even in crowded places.” – A. R. Rahman

Living Art

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – Rene Magritte

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

As I ran by the Como Conservatory on my 10-mile run on Sunday, the flowers growing from the pond stopped me in my tracks. Every day, nature is a brilliant art gallery, a gift to open again and again as if we’ve seen it for the first time. May butterflies, flowers and bees always command my attention, delight and awe.

Life is either a series of hassles and hurdles or blessings and beauty. While I’m not batting a thousand, I pray that I always choose the blessings and beauty option.

We are only asked to be alive in this moment, fully aware and deeply grateful for simple beauty.

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

Concrete Flower in Bloom

“The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.” – Edvard Munch

“The artist discards all theories, both his own and those of others. He forgets everything when he is in front of his canvas.” –Georges Rouault

Rather than merely seeing an old wall on an industrial building, someone saw a blank canvas and painted a beautiful flower. When we look at the same old things in new ways, the same becomes new, our vision expands and understanding deepens.

Look at each day, each moment with new eyes, with your imagination. Where can you paint a beautiful flower, plant a seed in a heart?

Imagination and creativity are in all of us, no exceptions. Blank canvas, colors in your imagination, flowers in bloom all around. Start painting!

What God Says…

“After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” – 1 Kings 19:12

In the past few weeks, we’ve had unseasonably warm temperatures so all of the November snow has melted. This week, the weather people have been showing off all of their computer weather models and predicting with confidence and certainty that we will have a “brown” Christmas which apparently happens 70 percent of the time. Lots of pining and consternation amidst the hurry and hustle of what is meant to be a season of reflection, anticipation and joy.

When letting the dogs out this morning, I was surprised by a beautiful fresh coat of snow, laying quietly on the ground. And, yet again, God enters softly and says something much different than our chatter. Reminding us for the 499th time (only an estimate, probably higher, should check a computer model to be sure) of who’s really driving. And if we would let go of the wheel that we are gripping oh so tightly, we might enjoy the ride.

“All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature.” – Rudolf Steiner

“All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature.” – Rudolf Steiner

On this eve of Christmas eve and in every ordinary day, God is present waiting patiently to be found by us. And when we are spinning like a top going nowhere, He whispers with a fresh coat of snow making the world and all in it new again.

He has already claimed us unconditionally. And when we stop putting conditions, rules and judgment on our life, we come alive. So with moments to spare, what God says has the final say. As it should. Merry White Christmas.

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