Saturday, May 25, 2013

common, constant

Compassion. Not pity, not condescension, but a deep, resonant, sympathetic feeling-with.  The sharing of another's experience at gut level, vibrating-with like one vibrates with the bass notes of music played loudly through Bose woofers.  Like the song that brought the Universe into existence, the Music of the Spheres.  That's what I'm aiming to be, full of that kind of compassion.  Why not?
Wisdom writings teach that there will always be greater and lesser persons than I, and, simultaneously, that all we humans are equal in our essence.  We all start from a sperm fertilizing an egg; we are all born naked; we all die.  And all the Universe, even the parts we label inanimate, have a cycle of life. Coming into being, existing, and fading out of being are the basics, the common, constant elements. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the past few days I've perused the Sibley Bird Book borrowed from the library. All the identifiable varieties of sparrows, oh my, and how much better Sibley does with sparrows than the Audubon books I own.

Yet, this morning the redwing blackbirds sang to me of summer. The indigo bunting flashed by in it's iridescent-- well, indigo-- feathers. The pileated woodpecker tapped such rapid, headache-reminder staccato, it's crown so red, it's tidy body suit so black and white. 

The book is wonderful, highly informative, communicating information, sharing names and identifiers I otherwise wouldn't know. And the direct experience is irreplaceable. I am reminded again how improbable the sharing between you inside your skin and me inside mine. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

both / and

"Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since one who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences, or the things of this world. And what is worst, those who are thus ignorant are unable to perceive their own ignorance, and so do not seek a remedy." Roger Bacon. Quoted in The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse by Jennifer Oullette. Who can read that title and not at least look at the book?

"There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true." SΓΈren Kierkegaard. Quoted in Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D.

I have thought about these two quotes a good bit, and days and days ago I imagined I would write a couple paragraphs of exposition on the theme created by the juxtaposition of the two. Now it feels like there's nothing more to add.

Both books are soon due back at the library. I've finished one, am more than half way in the other and will finish. Each fascinating. Let me always remember that either / or is likely a shallow or false choice. All the rest is both / and.

Grounded. Centered. Balanced. Whole.       Both / And.

Until I logged on today, I'd lost track of how long its been since I last posted. Both retired and home is as dramatic a change as moving from Pennsylvania to Iowa was. No value judgment, just this change big as an earthquake. I may be back more often again. Later.