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In memory of Sally Ride

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

**********In memory of Sally Ride*********
****Who got to see that the world is one****


Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of

~ Hafiz ~

Before Sally Ride, NASA wasn’t sure women had the right stuff

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWYOGA 9/15/2012 10:29PM

    This memory was really sweet

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    I love it too. She was one of my role models as a young woman.

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/8/2012 4:26PM



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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/5/2012 11:25PM

    That is a perfect tribute. You always know what to say.

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CINDYC53 8/2/2012 2:09AM

    Beautiful and moving!

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EARTHSEAME 7/29/2012 2:05PM

    emoticon Thank you for the lovely tribute. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/29/2012 12:11PM

    One of my SHEROES, too. When I heard the news it was a but... but... she's YOUNG!

RIP, Sally!

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PEACEFULONE 7/27/2012 12:59PM

    Perfect tribute.
The world is one.
We are all one.
May we learn to live as one.

Thank you for sharing.

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JESPAH 7/27/2012 10:10AM

    Ride, Sally Ride. :)

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JUST_BREATHE08 7/26/2012 8:51PM

    That's right KALIGIRL.....Here's to the Right Stuff!!

RIP Sally!

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DAISY443 7/26/2012 1:39PM

    It's time the world is realizing that women CAN!

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GOANNA2 7/26/2012 7:36AM

    I love it. Thank you for introducing me to great poetry.
You are a gem Maha. emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 7/25/2012 10:15PM

    I love Hafiz! Thank you for sharing.

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CRYSTALJEM 7/25/2012 9:42PM

    I agree with Watermellen. CJ

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DOR2BFIT 7/25/2012 8:31PM

    Ride Sally Ride! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/25/2012 7:07PM

    Perfect poem . . . you are skilled at finding the "right" words!

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SUNNY332 7/25/2012 3:35PM

    Wonderful tribute to a great SHERO of mine.

Thanks so much!


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DDOORN 7/25/2012 12:17PM

    Wonderful tribute to Sally! Women offer far MORE than the Right Stuff! :-)


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    with love

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BEARGODDESS 7/25/2012 9:52AM

    We've seen so many wonderful new things happen in our lives, and she was certainly someone to be proud of in this one. I LOVE the lines; "Greet yourself in your thousand other forms, as you mount the hidden tide and travel back home"

Have a great trip home Sally Ride! Thank you for opening doors for future generations of women everywhere!

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DEBRA0818 7/25/2012 9:04AM

    It was quite a journey that she and others have taken us on through space.

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KALIGIRL 7/25/2012 9:01AM

    Here's to the Right Stuff!

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Praying and praying and praying....

Friday, July 20, 2012


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
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren't always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That 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 ~
(How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001)

Oh that it will be done in beauty. Oh that it will be done in beauty. Oh that it will be done in beauty. Praying the in-breath, praying the out-breath. May my prayers be thus...Joy's poetry IS a prayer, as is her life.

I have been fed now. I can go on with the day.

I heard Native American poet Joy Harjo interviewed on NPR last week about her just-published memoir. I was mesmerized by her words, as I always am by her poetry. Here's a link to listen to the interview:

For another glimpse at Harjo's depth and beauty:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 7/27/2012 12:55PM

    Thank you Maha for adding so much beauty to my life. You have a gift for finding meaningful and truly beautiful poetry and images. Wishing you joy, blessings and answered prayers. Elaine

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WATERMELLEN 7/25/2012 7:10PM

    "We were never perfect." And: great to remember that, take that burden off our consciences!!

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DOKEYOKEY 7/21/2012 12:20PM

    My heart is opened by this poem!
Thank you for sharing!
I'm going to go wash the dishes and listen to the interview.
Namaste ~

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JESPAH 7/21/2012 11:31AM


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KALIGIRL 7/21/2012 9:20AM

    "Oh that it will be done in beauty. Oh that it will be done in beauty. Oh that it will be done in beauty."

A wonderful thought on such a sad day...

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GOANNA2 7/21/2012 7:09AM

    Absolutely beautiful Maha. Thank you so much. emoticon

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JUST_BREATHE08 7/20/2012 10:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/20/2012 9:41PM

    Wow! That was beautiful!

I love: "Like eagle rounding out the morning Inside us."


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_RAMONA 7/20/2012 5:27PM

    Praying and praying and praying... always, and in all ways... otherwise I'm just left with crazy... crazy brave is a more acurate reflection of my reality.

THANK YOU for sharing!

{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

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CORNERKICK 7/20/2012 5:07PM

  Beautiful...Thanks for sharing!

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FARRAH511 7/20/2012 1:56PM


´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´ - -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´* Farrah -:¦:-

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DDOORN 7/20/2012 11:44AM

    Another gem...thx 'Maha for sharing more treasures from your trove of heart wisdom!


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2WHEELEDSHARON 7/20/2012 10:27AM

    Thanks for adding more magic to my morning:-)

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    I listened to that on NPR also! Loved it! Love THIS!

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GENKI_WARRIOR 7/20/2012 9:58AM

    What a prayer! Oh how I wish to truly live like that!

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BEARGODDESS 7/20/2012 9:41AM

    How beautiful! What a way to start the day with a beautiful Native American inspired poem/prayer/meditation. I was immediately taken back to a time a few years ago when I used to get up as the sun was rising, walk to the pond with my dog while it was still a little dark, and sit by the water to meditate as the sun rose. Twice when I went there, an amazing thing happened. A Bald Eagle was nesting there and as the sun rose, he (or she) flew over the pond and the rising sun hit the white feathers on him/her and set them ablaze with golden light! It was like a gift! And to have it happen TWO times made me feel so special!
I love this poet, Joy Harjo, and will get this book now. You bring me so many gifts Maha. Thank you!

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NATNOEL 7/20/2012 9:28AM

    Oh how beautiful....thank you for the links

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DAISY443 7/20/2012 9:06AM

    Lovely! Thank you for sharing!

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What Is There Beyond Knowing?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thomas Merton at Gethsemani Abbey
with Buddhist monk
Merton write-up from Gethsemani Abbey:

I say in my SparkPage profile statement, "I adore adventure and authentic friendships and seek both out," and I've choreographed another dance which includes both!

A friend and I are driving to Kentucky mid-August where we will rendezvous with 2BMYOWN, cyber SparkFriend-soon-to-become-3D, who is driving from Ohio. The three of us are attending a program at The Merton Institute Retreat Center.

Thomas Merton has been a spiritual guide and one of my teachers for many years....and some of you remember that I attended a reading by Mary Oliver during a prior adventure in my Toyota Dolphin, sitting at the feet of the master. Here's the scoop on the retreat....
Thomas Merton & Mary Oliver: Poets of the Sacred, August 17-19

Thomas Merton and Mary Oliver are unique writers who resonate when they converge on aligning their lives with Wisdom in their poetry's approach to nature and the feminine.

In addition to praying with the monks of Gethsemani, this retreat will celebrate with reflections on Hagia Sophia [Holy Wisdom] as the feminine energies of God (Merton) and Wisdom as living a life of praise within Nature's embrace (Oliver). Participants will discern their need to recover the "unheard feminine voice" within themselves, whether they be man or woman (Karl Stern's The Flight from Woman).

Living in consonance with Wisdom's ways is foundational to experiencing the depths of our core relationships with ourselves, our neighbors, nature and the Source of all relationships, God. Each participant will receive Mary Oliver's latest volume of poetry.

This morning my gift of poetry from Joe at Panhala was a new-to-me Mary Oliver. And of course it is the inspiration of this sharing.

The Abbey of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton's last home


What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me? I can't

turn in any direction
but it's there. I don't mean

the leaves' grip and shine or even the thrush's
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven's slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that's always rushing forward,
or standing still

in the same -- what shall I say --

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out. Life so far doesn't have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and the weeds.

~ Mary Oliver ~
(New and Selected Poems Volume Two)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZIMAT 7/30/2012 4:00PM

    Good for you! sound like a wonderful time. Do you still have your wonderful truck?

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SUNNY332 7/11/2012 8:26AM

    Enjoy the retreat, my friend and thanks - as always - for another poem from Mary Oliver.

Hugs, Sunny

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GOANNA2 6/30/2012 9:26AM

    Have fun on your trip. So enjoyed your blog.
Thanks for making my day.
Hugs emoticon

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REBCCA 6/29/2012 10:58AM

    I happy for you doing the things you resonate with and enjoy. emoticon

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FARRAH511 6/29/2012 9:38AM


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2BMYOWN 6/29/2012 9:05AM

    Can't wait, Maha. I didn't even know there was such a place, and I had never heard of Thomas Merton until you showed me both. You are broadening my horizons in a big way! LOL Then again, I've always been such a 'country bumpkin', which isn't really a BAD thing, but it can be a very limiting thing if you allow it to be, which I have most of my life. So this will be a whole new experience, and one I'm looking forward to in a big way. Thank you!

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KALIGIRL 6/29/2012 7:47AM

    Retreat sounds fabulous - TM is one of my all time favorites too - enjoy!

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DDOORN 6/29/2012 6:10AM

    Clueless as I am about such matters, I'm becoming more than intrigued and envious over the idea of a spiritual retreat...and to share with such special SparkFriends...? Go YOU!

Sounds like such a marvelous time!! Cannot wait to hear all about it!! Oh, and pics please...? :-)


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JUST_BREATHE08 6/28/2012 10:51PM

    emoticon so much for the beautiful poem. Enjoy your trip. Can't wait to hear about it. I live in won't be to far from me. emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 6/28/2012 9:13PM

    Here's to becoming more and more invested in the satisfaction and simplicity of the grass and the weeds. Have a magnificent time!

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DOKEYOKEY 6/28/2012 8:33PM

    Wow, Maha....There amidst the usual Spark stuff about weights and running and eating and your wonderful blog pointing to the numinous. I'm so glad you're going to get to go to Thomas Merton's monastery...and with some Spark pals, no less. I hope it is wonderfully centering and inspiring.

Be well.

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ELEMENOPEO 6/28/2012 7:24PM

    Lovely poem. You always pick such good ones.

Have a wonderful trip!

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EARTHSEAME 6/28/2012 1:35PM

    Have fun on your trip! And thanks to Thom, Mary, and Joe for the inspiration for your blog....

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JESPAH 6/28/2012 12:37PM


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BEARGODDESS 6/28/2012 11:51AM

    What a wonderful experience you're going to have! Praying with the monks of Gethsemani! I haven't read Thomas Merton, but I think that I will. I'm very much interested in the feminine aspect of the divine. It's been sort of an on-going area of study in my life. More off than on lately, but you're inspiring me Maha!

Thank you for the beautiful Mary Oliver poem this morning too! What a lovely way to start the day!

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RAINBOWFALLS 6/28/2012 11:39AM

    Very nice - You adventure sounds like fun!

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    I needed this today. Thank you!

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The Summer Solstice

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Click and read; you'll be glad you did:

Where I live in the central time zone of the USA, summer solstice begins today at 6:09pm. I decided to share information about the solstice and some favorite pieces that speak of summer, beginning with the extraordinary "comic" above from the gifted Grant Snider of Incidental Comics.

As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.


Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer (see Shakespeare), St. John's Day, or the Wiccan Litha.

The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun's energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.

Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June.

Today, the day is still celebrated around the world - most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.

Pagan spirit gatherings or festivals are also common in June, when groups assemble to light a sacred fire, and stay up all night to welcome the dawn.


* Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

* Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.

* Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.
Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.
--Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
Green was the silence, wet was the light,
the month of June trembled like a butterfly.
--Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets


Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

--Mary Oliver, from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays
And what would the Solstice be without music (and Paul Winter!)? Thank you, Don:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 7/9/2012 9:59AM

    A most outstanding blog and great links. Thank you. The summer solstice is one of my most favourite times of year.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/25/2012 11:00PM

    Thank you for this great post. I love Oliver's work.

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NVDONNA 6/23/2012 11:47PM

    Thanks for sharing! Happy summer!!!

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GIRANIMAL 6/21/2012 11:50AM

    Hope the solstice held magical celebration for you, dear Maha!

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WILDHONEYPIE1 6/21/2012 10:37AM

    Happy Belated Solstice Maha! emoticon

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EARTHSEAME 6/21/2012 9:32AM

    Oh, yes, it's a magical day! emoticon

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JESPAH 6/21/2012 7:09AM

    Happy Solstice!

I celebrated by going to a large gathering place and watching a bunch of dudes in carmine hose shmack the bejeezus out of spherical horsehide with large ash sticks.

We won, 15 - 5.

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CATS_MEOW_0911 6/21/2012 12:48AM

    Happy Solstice, Maha!

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JUST_BREATHE08 6/20/2012 11:52PM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing. Happy Solstice!! Today is also my 20th Wedding Anniversary.

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BEARGODDESS 6/20/2012 9:46PM

    Lovely! Happy Solstice!

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2WHEELEDSHARON 6/20/2012 9:20PM

    I'm glad you're back. I missed you!

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ME_HERE_NOW 6/20/2012 8:11PM

    yay solstice! all of my buddies are at a big bonfire/gathering celebrating, i am working and getting my stuff together for moving - glad to miss the heat, but not the celebration - loving this long day of sunshine tho :)

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DDOORN 6/20/2012 3:40PM

    And yet another favorite summer ritual from Paul Winter:


Already passed (6/16), but love his idea of celebrating both the summer and winter solstices with a musical tribute!


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DAISY443 6/20/2012 2:48PM

    Celebrate the season!

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SLASALLE 6/20/2012 2:48PM

    Big breath of fresh summer air .... aaaaaaahh ... I'm hoping for some yoga on the deck tonight under the moon at my place!!!

You've done it again, just like last time, and the time before that!!!


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NONIE_C 6/20/2012 2:37PM


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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/20/2012 2:31PM

    Thank you so much! I love Mary Oliver and your entire post was a great pleasure to read.

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Wendell Berry: A National Hero

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

This body+This country+This planet=Healthy Parts ♥ Healthy Whole

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Mount Evans Wilderness, Rocky Mountains, Colorado


Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion -- put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

-- Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is the author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Born in 1934, Wendell Berry is the first of four children of John Marshall Berry, a lawyer and tobacco farmer, and Virginia Erdman Berry. The families of both parents have farmed in Kentucky’s Henry County for at least five generations. Berry earned a B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Kentucky.

In 1958, pursuing his love of writing, he attended Stanford University’s creative writing program as a Wallace Stegner Fellow, studying under Stegner in a seminar that included Edward Abbey, Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, Ernest Gaines, Tillie Olsen, and Ken Kesey.

In 1965, Berry purchased a farm in Lane's Landing, Kentucky, near his parents’ birthplaces and began growing corn and small grains on what eventually became a 125-acre homestead. Berry has farmed, resided, and written at Lane's Landing up to the present day.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the National Humanities Medal, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Vachel Lindsay Prize from Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly Review, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award, a Lannan Foundation Award for Non-Fiction, Membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Ingersoll Foundation's T. S. Eliot Award, the John Hay Award, the Lyndhurst Prize, and the Aitken-Taylor Award for Poetry from The Sewanee Review.

This year the National Endowment for the Humanities selected him as its 2012 Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

The following is a message from Wendell Berry:

"The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 6/19/2012 8:41AM

    emoticonThank you! emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 6/19/2012 8:06AM

    I have one question...would a TRUE intellectual with a SOUL such as Wendell Berry ever run for public office? say...even when they are so sorely needed.. emoticonI didn't think so...intellectual and soul don't quite match up for the resume emoticonnot in this crazy upside down world! emoticontoday's politicians all rate intellectual and money as hitting the sweet spot. When will this EVER change..probably when we do. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/19/2012 8:07:22 AM

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 6/9/2012 11:24PM

    Thank you for posting this. I have loved and admired Berry for a long time.

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CRYSTALJEM 6/8/2012 12:01PM

    Loved the quote!

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    Awesome quote!

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SLASALLE 6/7/2012 5:31PM

    My favorite part is "practice resurrection," but the entire poem is pretty awesome!!

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KALIGIRL 6/7/2012 8:26AM

    Here's to women!

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JUST_BREATHE08 6/7/2012 12:05AM

    Thank you MAHA for a Great blog once again. I live in Kentucky, too. Berry is an Awesome man! I loved his message.

Comment edited on: 6/7/2012 12:09:12 AM

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MARYHOLMAN 6/6/2012 2:56PM

    wish I had the time to read all that.


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DDOORN 6/6/2012 12:31PM

    So many wonderful passages here all swept together...!

Thank you so much for sharing the inspiration the Berry is!


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DAISY443 6/6/2012 11:48AM

    Very like "the road less travelled", one of my favorites! You brighten my days while you make my mind search!

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JESPAH 6/6/2012 9:54AM

    Be like the fox! :)

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WILDHONEYPIE1 6/6/2012 9:46AM

    Thank you for the goosebumps Maha! I love the way you broaden my world with every post. emoticon

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DOR2BFIT 6/6/2012 9:32AM


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FARRAH511 6/6/2012 9:12AM


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2WHEELEDSHARON 6/6/2012 9:10AM

    Oh how I have missed you! The women love these contributions of yours to our group:)

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