Mary Oliver

I don’t know why this moved me to tears … perhaps it was the realness, the truth spoken. It touched me.

The River Clarion

1.

I don’t know who God is exactly.
But I’ll tell you this.
I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a water splashed stone
and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking.
Whenever the water struck a stone it had something to say,
and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing under the water.
And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying.
Said the river I am part of holiness.
And I too, said the stone. And I too, whispered the moss beneath the water.

I’d been to the river before, a few times.
Don’t blame the river that nothing happened quickly.
You don’t hear such voices in an hour or a day.
You don’t hear them at all if selfhood has stuffed your ears.
And it’s difficult to hear anything anyway, through all the traffic, the ambition.

2.

If God exists he isn’t just butter and good luck.
He’s also the tick that killed my wonderful dog Luke.
Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.

Imagine how the lily (who may also be a part of God) would sing to you if it could sing,
if you would pause to hear it.
And how are you so certain anyway that it doesn’t sing?

If God exists he isn’t just churches and mathematics.
He’s the forest, He’s the desert.
He’s the ice caps, that are dying.
He’s the ghetto and the Museum of Fine Arts.

He’s van Gogh and Allen Ginsberg and Robert Motherwell.
He’s the many desperate hands, cleaning and preparing their weapons.
He’s every one of us, potentially.
The leaf of grass, the genius, the politician, the poet.
And if this is true, isn’t it something very important?

Yes, it could be that I am a tiny piece of God, and each of you too, or at least
of his intention and his hope.
Which is a delight beyond measure.
I don’t know how you get to suspect such an idea.
I only know that the river kept singing.
It wasn’t a persuasion, it was all the river’s own constant joy
which was better by far than a lecture, which was comfortable, exciting, unforgettable.

3.

Of course for each of us, there is the daily life.
Let us live it, gesture by gesture.
When we cut the ripe melon, should we not give it thanks?
And should we not thank the knife also?
We do not live in a simple world.

4.

There was someone I loved who grew old and ill
One by one I watched the fires go out.
There was nothing I could do

except to remember
that we receive
then we give back.

5.

My dog Luke lies in a grave in the forest, she is given back.
But the river Clarion still flows from wherever it comes from
to where it has been told to go.
I pray for the desperate earth.
I pray for the desperate world.
I do the little each person can do, it isn’t much.
Sometimes the river murmurs, sometimes it raves.

6.

Along its shores were, may I say, very intense cardinal flowers.
And trees, and birds that have wings to uphold them, for heaven’s sakes–
the lucky ones: they have such deep natures,
they are so happily obedient.
While I sit here in a house filled with books,
ideas, doubts, hesitations.

7.

And still, pressed deep into my mind, the river
keeps coming, touching me, passing by on its
long journey, its pale, infallible voice
singing.

Paganism

Fun Facts About Paganism

When we hear the word Pagan, we oft times associate it with Satanism along with people in robes chanting in a circle by candle light (or maybe I’ve watched too many horror films) but any way today it is my pleasure to bring you a few fun facts about Paganism, which you can use to amaze your friends or maybe even help win a pub quiz one evening. I joke of course, I present these facts here because I believe that only through knowledge can we come to further respect and understand each other. In that spirit, let us proceed.

1. Paganism includes all earth-based religions and involves a huge diversity of beliefs. Pagan literally translates to one who dwells upon the Earth, which really if you think about it, is all of us.

2. Witches are pagan, but not all pagans are witches. That’s because Paganism is the umbrella term of all the earth-based religions of the world.

3. Pagans don’t believe in the Christian version of god, but Christian mythologies borrow heavy from the Pagan experience, which predated Christianity.

4. Pagans do not believe in the Devil or Satan. That concept originated with Christianity.

5. Pagans are not Satanists. Satanism was born out of a response to Christianity. It has nothing to do with the Pagan mythologies that predate Christianity.

6. Pagans don’t sacrifice animals or humans. In ancient times, all religions, including Christianity, practiced rites of sacrifice. Today’s Pagans left that part of their ancient belief system in the past because we now understand that honoring life is where it’s at.

7. Holidays come from the Pagan’s holy days, and many of our favorite holidays, like Christmas, Easter and Halloween, are borrowed from Pagan mythologies.

8. Pagans don’t hate Jesus, but they don’t worship him either. Most think he was a good man who tried to make the world he lived in a better place, but Pagans do not see him as a god.

9. For Pagans, magic and spell casting are the acts of focused prayer with intention.

10. Pagans are a peaceful people who prefer to practice their religious ideologies outdoors in Nature closer to the Earth they love.

…. Be Love <3

Tanya Markul ~ The She Book

Oh girl.

How you ache. How you break.

The way you go. The way you stay.

How you bleed. How you breathe.

The way you love. The way you hate.

How you rage. How you sage.

The way you give a damn.

The way you say “I am.”

How you give. How you take.

The way you lure. The way you cure.

How you ache. How you break.

Oh girl, I love you madly.

Tanya Markul – The She Book
(ThugUnicorn)

“Alternative” Medicine

It is very disturbing to see and hear so much negative and derogatory comments about Alternative Medicine, particularly Plant Medicine.

Yet the Truth is: Plant Medicine is the FIRST medicine. All drugs were first manufactured from .. plants.  Plants are not an alternative.  Plants are it. Here are two articles about drugs that come from plants:

Natural Products Derived from Plants

Drugs and Medicine From Plants

It is very much like the insanity of organic food. Organic food IS the original, and it has been smothered by big money and health-crippling chemicals. Organic Farmers have to pay to earn the right to grow things naturally.  While the big companies push the harsh poisons that keep the drug companies in business.

Society has been brainwashed to believe it is normal to pour poison into your soil and into your body. The minority that tries to raise awareness are called ‘extreme environmentalists’.  Money and marketing.

It is easier. Easier to use chemicals. Easier to just go along with what everyone else does. Easier to ignore and put off responsibility.

Yet we are all responsible. The ‘weed and feed’ on lawns, which dogs will consume, which poison their bodies, which results in their illnesses. That is our responsibility.  And those weeds are actually medicine. Dandelions are amazingly beneficial to the body. Plantain is another. Yet the perfect swath of poisoned green is preferred.

Plants and naturally grown food is not alternative.
And the willful indifference to what is in our food and the damage to our Earth …. that is conscious or unconscious suicide.

Be the change.
Be Love <3

Quotes from Tuesdays With Morrie

Have you found someone to share your heart with?

Are you at peace with yourself?

Are you trying to be as human as you can be?

Over the years, I had taken labor as my companion, and had moved everything else to the side.

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half asleep, even with they are busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning in your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too … even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops – Henry Adams

Everyone knows they’re going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.

To know you are going to die, and be prepared for it at any time … that way you can actually become more involved in your life while living.

How can you ever be prepared to die? ‘Do what the Buddhist do. Every day, have a little bird on your shoulder that asks, ‘Is this the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?’

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

I don’t want to leave the world in a state of fright. I want to know what’s happening, accept it, get to a peaceful place, and let go.

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn – Mahatma Gandhi.

As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on .. in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.

“What I am doing now is detaching myself from the experience.”

Detaching yourself?

“Yes. Detaching myself. And this is important .. not just for someone like me, who is dying, but for someone like you, who is perfectly healthy. Learn to detach.”

“You know what Buddhists say? Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent.”

But wait, I said, aren’t you always talking about experiencing life? All the good emotions, all the bad ones?

“Yes.”

Well, how can you do that if you are detached?

“Ah. You’re thinking. But detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it.”

I’m lost.

“Take any emotion .. love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions .. if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them .. you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails.”

“But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head, even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.’”

“I know you think this is just about dying, but it’s like I keep telling you. When you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

As my visits with Morrie go on, I begin to read about death, how different cultures view the final passage. There is a tribe in the North American Arctic, for example, who believe that all things on earth have a soul that exists in a miniature form of the body that holds it … so that a deer has a tiny deer inside it, and a man has a tiny man inside him. When the large being dies, that tiny form lives on. It can slide into something being born nearby, or it is can go to a temporary resting place in the sky, in the belly of the great feminine spirit, where it waits until the Moon can send it back to earth.

Sometimes, they say, the moon is so busy with the new souls of the worlds, that it disappears from the sky. That is why we have moonless nights. But in the end, the moon always returns, as do we all.

That is what they believe.

Giving to other people is what makes me feel alive. Not my car or my house. Not what I look like in the mirror. When I give my time, when I can make someone smile after they were feeling sad, it’s as close to healthy as I ever feel.

Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.

Death ends life, not a relationship.

I heard a nice little story the other day (Morrie says). The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He’s enjoying the wind and the fresh air .. until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. “My God, this is terrible,” the wave says, “Look what’s going to happen to me!” Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave looking grim and it says to him, “Why do you look so sad?” The first wave says, “You don’t understand! We’re all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn’t it terrible?” The second wave says, “No, you don’t understand. You’re not a wave. You’re part of the ocean.”

Part of the ocean …. part of the ocean.

———-

<3