Thursday, January 31, 2013

MASTERPIECES OF DESIGN

A friend linked me to the snowflake quote below. It then reminded me of the excerpt from Eternal Echoes by John O'Donohue.

 A snowflake is as much a part of nature as you and I are, or a bird, or Grizzly Bear, or even a 5000 year old Bristlecone Pines is. But as is described below, most people never properly see a snowflake. And once it is gone in a matter of usually seconds, no one will ever see it ever again. So to see something that only lasts for seconds just seems to be a very special occurrence. And it is. But I don't think it rises above seeing anything else that makes up marvelous Creation. Whether it is the human, or any other animal, or insect, or botanical wonder, or body of water, or cosmic/planetary body, it's all just so strange and astounding if you pause long enough to allow it all to settle in over you. Sadly, too often in modern times, that never happens. It leaves this question as being a very important question to ask ourselves.....How much of the mediocre stuff of life have you led yourself to believe is important? This life we have been offered is an amazing thing indeed. It's a worthy endeavor to spend that life learning our place in the midst of the whole.....the dream that set it all in motion.

 "Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated. When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind." ~ Snowflake Bentley

 "Outside there is great distance. When you walk out into the landscape the fields stretch away towards the horizon. At dawn, the light unveils the vast spread of nature. Gnarled stones hold nests of fossils from a time so distant we cannot even imagine it. At night, the stars reflect light from the infinite distance of the cosmos. When you experience this distance stretching away from the shore of your body, it can make you feel minuscule. Pascal said, "The eternal silence of those infinite spaces frightens me." There is a magnificent freedom in Nature; no frontier could ever frame her infinity. There is a natural wildness in the earth. You sense this particularly in wild places that have never been tamed by human domestication. There are places where the ocean praises the steady shore in a continual hymn of wave. There are fresh, cold streams pouring through mountain corners in a rhythm that never anticipates the gaze of human eye. Animals never interfere with the wildness of the earth. They attune themselves to the longing of the earth and move within it as if it were a home rhythm. Animals have no distance from the earth. They have no plan or program in relation to it. They live naturally in its landscapes, always present completely to where they are. There is an apt way in which the animal who always lives in the "now" of time can fit so perfectly into the "where" of landscape. The time and mind of the animal rest wherever it is. The poet Wendell Berry says, "I come into the peace of wild things... / ...For a time / I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." ~~~ Eternal Echoes


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WAKING UP

Waking up is not easy. Most people given the choice between illusion or reality will choose to stay with the illusion. It just feels safer...even though it is more risky than is taking the risk of waking up. 

Awakening is a beautiful thing. It's the dismantling of all the old habits that had us stuck. Stuck in a world someone else had defined for us. Most never even set out on the journey. They just do as they are told.

 When you get unstuck you will find yourself receiving everything/hearing everything in a different way. Everything begins to look different.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ARE YOU FLYING TOO LOW?

This story Seth shares just resonates with me.

"So if you and I had been sitting around just after the Dark Ages and heard the story of Icarus — what we would have heard is this: that Daedalus said to his son two things — one, put these wings on but don't fly too close to the sun because it's too hot up there and the wax will melt. But more important, Son, do not fly too low, do not fly too close to the sea, because the mist and the water will weigh down the wings and you will surely perish. And for me the most important message that I've come to after thinking about this for so many years is, we are flying too low. We built this universe, this technology, these connections, this society, and all we can do with it is make junk. All we can do with it is put on stupid entertainments. I'm not buying it." ~ Seth Godin

I know I came to feel the very way Seth describes here that he feels. I came to find out that one of the reasons why was that my imagination had been shut down. Mostly by culture. And a lot of that was built out of fear, worry and control. I had become so conditioned to just accept the ground rules the culture had laid down. And I was doing pretty well, considering culture's standard of measure, while living within those ground rules. But it wasn't fulfilling. The longing just kept being dragged around from one thing to the next....."If only______". Fill in the blank. My blank was always being filled with things personal and collective. And it was always external stuff. And even if I experienced some of that coming to pass...it never ended up being what I thought it was going to be. I was flying too low.

One big way that played out and continued to be fed was, I was trapped and attempting to live within the myth of scarcity. I was caught in the sick lie that said that storing up stuff, things and hopefully lots of money, in order to have more than enough somehow represented wisdom. It left the reality of, Enough for this day is enough, sounding rather foolish. It's a popular story. It's just not the story I went around trying to say I believed. There was a huge disconnected between what I said and my social self.

Freedom and success turns out to look a lot different from here. Flying too low keeps us believing and trusting in things that make all kinds of claims and promises but never delivers.

Flying high really is made out of the things that look and sound foolish to the mind shaped by cultural frames and the cultures ground rules. And it's not just about a project of self improvement. It's about collaborating in something much larger, that often sounds foolish, in ways that elevate the self to new places to where it can see in a real new creative way that extends way out beyond the 'false self' that is the creation of environments/cultures caught up in the myth of scarcity...and flying too low while trying to convince you that it knows the art of soaring.

Monday, January 28, 2013

SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN THE FAMILIAR/OBVIOUS, BUT VERY NATURAL

I began noticing that most everyone was stressed and exhausted. I clearly knew that I was. And it was then that I began to connect that there was something terribly wrong...something terribly out of sync and unhealthy with how I was going about it. I also began to notice that it was taking a toll on people like I had never seen before in all my years of working closely/intimately with the public. It was then I began to feel a desire to get out of it. I just couldn't deny it anymore, which made going on in the same way as I had been just sound really stupid. So I jumped out of that familiar populated stream. I found something much slower and healthier. And found myself there. And then decided it might be a good idea to try to learn to talk with all those stressed and frustrated people in a different way and learn to live my life in a way that might just help some of them find something healthier too. It really is possible for everyone to find.

CLARITY...not certainty...BUT CLARITY

There are details worthy of our attention. And details that aren't. And we all are left to make the choice for ourselves as to what we will allow to occupy our head.

Monday, January 21, 2013

THE PICTURE IS BIGGER THAN WE EVER KNEW



I spent a little bit of time last evening wading through some religious content that is just troubling. I woke this morning with these words on my mind.

 "May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills."

I think I will just leave it there.


Friday, January 18, 2013

WE NEED A FRESH THINK OF THINGS

We go about our domesticated lives acting as if this is just the way it is suppose to be. Yet people are stressed, frustrated, competitive and aggressive, exhausted and mean, and leaving a big nasty footprint as they go. I had a moment a couple years ago, as myself and Wayne were flying in a small aircraft over the wilderness landscape of Kenya Africa, on our way back to the congested city center of Nairobi. I was so startled by the contrast of the beautiful natural landscape and then the visible pockets of human population within that landscape. I was left thinking.....this can't be the dream of the Creator and how the pinnacle creature of creation would manage and care for it. That visual and those thoughts have never left me.

 Most planning these days seems to flow from the kind of thinking that happens within the urban areas of the world. Urban forces seem to have lost touch and fallen out of a natural rhythm. And with that being said...I'm convinced that is not the place where the best thinking happens.

 I love this observation by John O'Donohue:

"Indeed, the beauty of nature is often the wisest balm, for it gently relieves and releases the cage mind."




Landscapes: Volume 3 from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A WILD UNTAMED ELEGANCE

It is neither environment nor heredity that is the presence that birthed the soul, one of those most intimate and interesting parts of us that makes us who we are. But environment and heredity certainly go to work on the soul the moment we land in this world as new born babies. And the soul and its primal longing gets falsified. Yet we soon come to believe, expressed by how we go about living, that these tangible presences are mostly what it is all about. Much of it goes on without us even being aware of it. The scrips we are handed by parents, friends, enemies, bosses, educators, preachers, politicians and so forth become powerful shaping forces in our lives. And I think we who are born into religious traditions (any of them) might even have it worse than people who are not. When an 'all knowing, all seeing, bean-counting God Presence' and the religious training that follows that around is added in on top of the mix of environment and heredity, it becomes really difficult to challenge and question the script. If you haven't yet noticed, most of the gods, at least the ones I see being paraded around, are domesticated gods.
Peeling back the layers of social and religious domestication that have become a crust around the soul, is a most worthwhile endeavor. Under it all, there is a wild untamed elegance that you need and that the world needs.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

AMNESIA

In our mediocrity and distraction, we forget that we are privileged to live in a wondrous universe.
~ Anam Cara

It seems like a lovely way to spend the one short unrepeatable life we have.....tilling the soil of both hearts and minds so that beauty might awaken, grow, and flourish.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

ALWAYS EMBRACED

I have found this that Annie Lamott describes to be so true. Eternal echoes...an ever present embrace...visible signs of invisible grace.

 "Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds.....Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be.... Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business."

 "In art we feel the breath of the invisible, of the eternal....In paintings, music, poetry, architecture, we feel the elusive energy that moves through us and the air and the ground all the time; that usually disperses and turns chaotic in our busy-ness and distractedness and moodiness. Artists channel it, corral it, make it visible to the rest of us. The best works of art are like semaphores of our experience, signaling what we didn't know was true but do now."
~ Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow - The Three Essential Prayers

HIDDEN BEAUTY


There is a beauty that does not reveal itself until the mind finds that place of attention....radically undistracted...and the imagination set free.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

FECUND

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself, though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. ~~~ John O'Donohue