“Look. This is your world! You can’t not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don’t hesitate– look! Open your eyes. Don’t blink, and look, look– look further.” ~Chögyam Trungpa
“Meditation is so much easier than most people think: Whatever you experience, as long as you are aware of what’s going on, is meditation!” ~Mingyur Rinpoche
“Some people are uncomfortable with silences. Not me. I’ve never cared much for call and response. Sometimes I will think of something to say and then I ask myself: is it worth it? And it just isn’t.” ~Miranda July
I like it when an artist doesn’t just cover a song, but reworks it to make it their own.
Full lyrics HERE.
Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But (just) leather on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it.
Likewise it is not possible for me
To restrain the external course of things
But should I restrain this mind of mine
What would be the need to restrain all else?
Conscience and Remorse
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
“Good-bye,” I said to my conscience–
“Good-bye for aye and aye,”
And I put her hands off harshly,
And turned my face away;
And conscience smitten sorely
Returned not from that day.
But a time came when my spirit
Grew weary of its pace;
And I cried: “Come back, my conscience;
I long to see thy face.”
But conscience cried: “I cannot;
Remorse sits in my place.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poems are in the public domain, and may be downloaded freely from Project Gutenberg.
The Old Apple Tree
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
There’s a memory keeps a-runnin’
Through my weary head to-night,
An’ I see a picture dancin’
In the fire-flames’ ruddy light;
‘Tis the picture of an orchard
Wrapped in autumn’s purple haze,
With the tender light about it
That I loved in other days.
An’ a-standin’ in a corner
Once again I seem to see
The verdant leaves an’ branches
Of an old apple-tree.
You perhaps would call it ugly,
An’ I don’t know but it’s so,
When you look the tree all over
Unadorned by memory’s glow;
For its boughs are gnarled an’ crooked,
An’ its leaves are gettin’ thin,
An’ the apples of its bearin’
Would n’t fill so large a bin
As they used to. But I tell you,
When it comes to pleasin’ me,
It’s the dearest in the orchard,–
Is that old apple-tree.
I would hide within its shelter,
Settlin’ in some cosy nook,
Where no calls nor threats could stir me
From the pages o’ my book.
Oh, that quiet, sweet seclusion
In its fulness passeth words!
It was deeper than the deepest
That my sanctum now affords.
Why, the jaybirds an’ the robins,
They was hand in glove with me,
As they winked at me an’ warbled
In that old apple-tree.
It was on its sturdy branches
That in summers long ago
I would tie my swing an’ dangle
In contentment to an’ fro,
Idly dreamin’ childish fancies,
Buildin’ castles in the air,
Makin’ o’ myself a hero
Of romances rich an’ rare.
I kin shet my eyes an’ see it
Jest as plain as plain kin be,
That same old swing a-danglin’
To the old apple-tree.
There’s a rustic seat beneath it
That I never kin forget.
It’s the place where me an’ Hallie–
Little sweetheart–used to set,
When we ‘d wander to the orchard
So ‘s no listenin’ ones could hear
As I whispered sugared nonsense
Into her little willin’ ear.
Now my gray old wife is Hallie,
An’ I ‘m grayer still than she,
But I ‘ll not forget our courtin’
‘Neath the old apple-tree.
Life for us ain’t all been summer,
But I guess we ‘we had our share
Of its flittin’ joys an’ pleasures,
An’ a sprinklin’ of its care.
Oft the skies have smiled upon us;
Then again we ‘ve seen ’em frown,
Though our load was ne’er so heavy
That we longed to lay it down.
But when death does come a-callin’,
This my last request shall be,–
That they ‘ll bury me an’ Hallie
‘Neath the old apple tree.
The cadence of this poem reminds me of Rudyard Kipling.
Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poems are in the public domain, and are available at Project Gutenberg.
“I am like a tree in a forest. Birds come to the tree, they sit on its branches and eat its fruits. To the birds, the fruit may be sweet or sour or whatever. The birds say sweet or they say sour, but from the tree’s point of view, this is just the chattering of birds.” ~Ajahn Chah