summer

Restoring your own soul

Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.
~ Alice Walker

Unless we are creators

Unless we are creators, we are not fully alive... Remember, the root word of humble and human is the same: humus: earth. We are dust. We are created; it is God who made us and not we ourselves. But we were made to be co-creators with our maker.
~ Madeleine L'Engle in WALKING ON WATER

Richly pollinated boughs of an ordinary life

I rarely think of poetry as something I make happen; it is more accurate to say that it happens to me. Like a summer storm, a house afire, or the coincidence of both on the same day. Like a car wreck, only with more illuminating results. I've overheard poems, virtually complete, in elevators or restaurants where I was minding my own business... When a poem does arrive, I gasp as if an apple had fallen into my hand, and give thanks for the luck involved. Poems are everywhere, but easy to miss. I know I might very well stand under that tree all day, whistling, looking off to the side, waiting for a red delicious poem to fall so I could own it forever. But like as not, it wouldn't.
~ Barbara Kingsolver from "Stealing Apples" in SMALL WONDER

Eagle Poem

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear;
Can't know except in moments...
...we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
Inside us.
We pray that it will be done
In beauty.
In beauty.

~ Joy Harjo in "Eagle Poem" from IN MAD LOVE AND WAR

The loom of life

We sleep, but the loom of life never stops, and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up in the morning.
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Might be joy

Because in trying to articulate what, perhaps, joy is, it has occurred to me that among other things—the trees and the mushrooms have shown me this—joy is the mostly invisible, the underground union between us, you and me, which is, among other things, the great fact of our life and the lives of everyone and thing we love going away. If we sink a spoon into that fact, into the duff between us, we will find it teeming. It will look like all the books ever written. It will look like all the nerves in a body. We might call it sorrow, but we might call it a union, one that, once we notice it, once we bring it into the light, might become flower and food. Might be joy.

~ Ross Gay in THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS

To create

In order to create, I must be still.
~ Jan Kendy-Fragas

Open your eyes to unnoticed beauty

For most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?'
~ Rachel Carson from THE SENSE OF WONDER

Something one could do

Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do.
~ Toni Morrison in THE BLUEST EYE

Who can master beauty

I was taught that I had to 'master' subjects. But who can 'master' beauty, or peace, or joy?
~ Kathleen Norris in THE PSALMS WITH COMMENTARY
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