I have no problem moving over,
And letting the
Younginahurry people race past me.
Let them dash off to their
Despite their velocity,
They will never catch up to me.
I’m not in the slow lane or the fast lane,
But the now lane.
Traveling at the speed of zen.
Let them speed past me in the
And I’m not talking about the highway.
On The Ridge
I raced after my life for a long time, trying to reach it, without realizing I was in it.
Barn At Sunrise
I have vague recollections of the transitory whats and wheres I thought I was trying to get to.
Thistle Down Shower
Alas, I’m glad I didn’t make it.
This destiny, this destination, this here and now is more spectacular than ever I could have dreamed,
and has come to me in ways I never would have imagined.
Unsure just why
But here am I
Awake and alive.
Breathe and step
And step again.
To where? Ahead.
Beyond where I have been.
Look and see.
What is there and
What is not.
Past, future, time forgot.
A back to break,
An iron will,
Dreams to forsake.
Sun and rain
Clouds to love.
Feed the machine
Because we must,
Over and again
Until I am dust.
A sparrow lights
To share my bread.
What’s mine is yours
Until I am dead.
A fleeting glimpse,
A parting glance?
For who knows how long
We shall dance?
Sun is setting,
Yet light persists
In hallowed halls.
Rest and sleep.
To dreams awake.
A dream of dreaming
For its own sake.
The day dawns,
Wipe sleep from eyes.
And who knows why,
It was not the governments of the world that tore down the Berlin Wall.
It was not soldiers in uniforms, nor officials or dignitaries.
The Wall was brought down by ordinary people. Millhands and plumbers and taxi drivers and waitresses.
People who would no longer tolerate the isolation and separatism practiced by their native countries.
The Earth is our homeland.
We are one people.
Ellie and the Pinata
My Syrian Children
The faces of “Refugees”
My Sisters, circa 1970
What will you dream?
Ryan & me
Little Bit on the Cape
My Dad, Mom, sister & me. Circa 1966.
Training wheels off.
Pop Pop, Nana, my sister, and me. Circa 1970.
Fate has woven within it
an intrinsic twist.
Mortals may never know
what lies around the curve.
|Legacy and Learning in 50 years of Earth Day
|A note from Natalie Dawson, Executive Director at Audubon Alaska
Earth Day 1970, Fairbanks, Alaska: Secretary of Interior Wally Hickel canoes on the Chena River to talk about water pollution. He gives a speech about “shifting man’s thinking from military defense toward the environment” at the University of Alaska Fairbanks alongside the mayor of Fairbanks who quotes Tennyson, and Dr. Donald Aitken, who started the now-famous conservation group Friends of the Earth. It was an apolitical showing of art-politics-activism for a celebration of our home, our “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” Sometimes it is difficult to remember what we are able to accomplish when we come together.
Bipartisanship reigned on the first Earth Day. We put aside our sharply divided society in the midst of the Vietnam War to address our impacts to water, air, farm fields, bald eagles, songbirds, marine mammals, and civil rights. We passed legislation to protect clear air, clean water, endangered species, labor unions, and healthy foods. We made steps forward. We slid backward. We learned from mistakes. Progress.
Earth Day 2020, Anchorage, Alaska: A global pandemic reminds us we are part of, not apart from, the world around us. It tells us that we can take collective action and make immediate impacts. Whales return to Southeast Alaska and cruise ships are not there to photograph them. The water is cleaner. Earth is quieter. We breathe cleaner air right now and so does the planet. A friend writes, “I wonder if the bears notice the lack of visitors at the Mendenhall Glacier.” We realize we have so much to learn because it turns out there is so much we do not understand.
And in this way, we find ourselves sitting in this united classroom that is Planet Earth. Like the first Earth Day, which was originally organized as a teach-in across college campuses in the U.S., we are once again students. We are learning about suffering, destruction, and the chance for renewal. We hear birdsongs for the first time. We learn about what we can and cannot afford to lose, and what we need to build. We have an incredible moment to create a new world built on shared experience because none of us have been here before, and we must move forward together.
Thistle Down Shower
Everyone can do something.
Seek peace and stay well,
“I learned to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side, and to consider what I enjoyed, rather than what I wanted: and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot comfortably enjoy what God has given them, because they see and covet something he has not given them. All our discontents about what we want appeared to me to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.”
– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
“There is something sacred about stillness. The world has not changed outside our bounds, we just realize peace and tranquility are possible, if we make space for it.”
– Ed Lehming, From Where I Stand
“If your environment is poor, blame yourself. Tell yourself you are not poet enough to call forth its richness.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Horas non numero nisi serenas.
“I count only the happy hours.”
I’m not a Buddhist, but read about it quite a bit.
There are terms used in Buddhism such as darma and samsara. I invented my own term, “Hurrah”.
There are the tiniest things in this world that warm my heart and to which I cleave. Every cloud and every leaf, every bird and dog and drop of rain has inherent beauty in it. I see these things glowing, leaping out from the background, and I am thrilled by them. This is my “hurrah”.
Any time I am down, distracted, off my mark, feeling directionless, I tell myself “Your hurrah will find you.”
And it does. No matter where, no matter what, if I am patient for the tiniest slice of time, something beautiful in this world will find me, speak to me, get me back on track.
Hurrah can exist anywhere, even inside one’s mind.
I am practicing and preparing for the days ahead, as my physical being wears out.
I’ll paint until arthritis locks up my hands. I’ll play the guitar until my muscles can no longer press the strings to the fretboard. I’ll read until my eyes can no longer see, then I will listen to audiobooks until my ears can no longer hear.
I will walk through this beautiful world until my legs can no longer carry me.
And I will carefully place these experiences in the gallery of my mind’s eye.
Someday, when I lie in a bed with no visible signs of life, in my mind I will be walking and painting and writing and singing, and enjoying all the other things my Hurrah will bring me.