Strange Jewels — Elizabeth Gilbert

Surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
Elizabeth Gilbert, b. 1969
“Blue Purple Red: Amethyst Crystals” by cobalt123 is licensed under Creative Commons.

 

A Poem by Eugenio Montale

This verse from Eugenio  Montale’s poem Low Tide was carved into a wall in Monterossa, one of the five villages that comprise Cinque Terra. Kate, our contact at Firebird Tours, kindly found for me the entire poem in translation.  The verse in bold is the one in the photograph.

 

LOW TIDE

 

Evenings of cries, when the swing
rocks in the summerhouse of other days
and a dark vapor barely veils
the sea’s stillness.

Those days, no more. Now swift slanting

flights pass across the wall, the downward plunge
of everything goes on and on, the sheer coast
swallows even the reef that first lifted
you above the waves.
                                                   
With the breath of spring comes
a mournful undertow of lives
engulfed and in the evening,
black bindweed, your memory only
writhes and resists.
It lifts over the embankments, the faraway tunnel
where the train, entering, slowly crawls.
Then, unseen, a lunar flock shows up
and browses on the hills.

 

Translated from Italian by William Arrowsmith
photo credit from about-cinqueterre.com

 

 

 

 

 

Decisions, Decisions

I invented this rule for myself to be applied to every decision I might have to make in the future.  I would sort out all the arguments and see which belonged to fear and which to creativeness. And other things being equal, I would make the decision which had the larger number of creative reasons on its side. I think it must be a rule something like this that makes jonquils and crocuses come pushing through the cold mud.     Katherine Butler Hathaway, 1890 — 1942

 

Source: First Light Meditation

Michaelangelo — Paul Coelho

The sculptor Michelangelo was once asked how it was that he could create such beautiful works. “It’s very simple,” he answered. “When I look at a block of marble, I see the sculpture inside it. All I have to do is remove what doesn’t belong.” The master says: “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and — no matter how we try to deceive ourselves — we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.”

Paulo Coelho, b. 1947

source: First Light Meditation

 

 

The Worst Thing We Ever Did — Chelan Harkin

The worst thing we ever did

The worst thing we ever did
was put God in the sky
out of reach
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
pulling the divinity
from the leaf,
sifting out the holy from our bones,
insisting God isn’t bursting dazzlement
through everything we’ve made
a hard commitment to see as ordinary,
stripping the sacred from everywhere
to put in a cloud man elsewhere,
prying closeness from your heart.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
The worst thing we ever did
was take the dance and the song
out of prayer
made it sit up straight
and cross its legs
removed it of rejoicing
wiped clean its hip sway,
its questions,
its ecstatic yowl,
its tears.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
The worst thing we ever did is pretend
God isn’t the easiest thing
in this Universe
available to every soul
in every breath.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
~ Chelan Harkin, in poetry book ‘Susceptible to Light

Big thanks to my friend Rhona for sharing this with me.