Tripping the light fantastic*

All properties and events in the physical universe are governed by laws, and those laws hold true at every time and place in the universe.**
(Alan Lightman)

I have just googled “the speed of light” and was returned over 2.6 billion results in 0.79 seconds. I am guessing, because I won’t be checking through all the results, that each will state the speed of light to be 299,792,458 metres per second.

At the same time when the laws of the universe come into contact with consciousness, interesting things happen, new energies being generated that we find difficult to articulate and measure, though not impossible. Jesus of Nazerath described himself as the light of the world on at least one occasion and perhaps we can see our lives as being small lights for the world, each bringing something different and, if we were to deny it, but break the fundamental truth about ourselves.

In the end, only we can articulate just what this “light” might be; only we can measure whether it’s offering some light into another person’s darkness. It’s why we’re here.

(*To dance lightly or nimbly, but also a song from Mary Poppins Returns.)
(**From Alan Lightman’s Searching For Stars on an Island in Maine.)


The gardens we are

The portionless, who struggle with no such inherited encumbrances, find it about enough to subdue and cultivate a few cubic feet of flesh.*
(Henry David Thoreau)

Each morning, I step outside the house to stand or sit for a few moments in my garden, to greet the new day before I do anything else.

The garden isn’t large and it’s taken a couple of years to sort out but I enjoy being with these growing things for a little while.

I feel the garden of my life has taken even longer to grow. My slow journey is about who I am becoming over a lifetime – this slowness is me, but I now see I can become, I can choose.

“Terroir” is about the influence of the total environment – soil, topography, climate – on the growing of grapes. No less, the places, the influences, the focus of the gardens of our lives develops a unique terroir that others can benefit from. I know this only too well from what others have made available to me. Though, as the elements of terroir suggest, there is nothing fast about this, it’s something that happens over a lifetime.

(*From Henry David Thoreau’s Where I Lived, And What I Lived For.)

The ins and outs of meaning

We want to build systems and patterns and memories that connect moment to moment to eternity. We long to be part of the Infinite.*
(Alan Lightman)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.**
(Jesus of Nazerath)

Something appears to happen when we look beyond ourselves – into others, into the world and into space – and when we look into ourselves – into our curiosities and into our peculiar energies.

We find meaning. Or meaning finds us, or both, what Martin Buber is exploring when he writes:

Free is the man that wills without caprice. He believes in the actual which is to say, he believes in the real association of the dual reality, I and You. He believes in destiny and also it needs him. It does not lead him, it waits for him. He must proceed towards it without knowing where it waits for him. He must go forth with his whole being: that he knows. It will not turn out the way his resolve determines, but what wants to come will only if he resolves to do that which he can will, which is unfree and ruled by things and drives, to his great will that moves away from being determined to find destiny. Now he longer interferes nor does he merely allow things to happen.^

Today is a remarkable day. It allows just such venturing outwards and inwards on our part. And the best way? Stay small, young, stay curious, stay open, in these ways moving from our unfree will to our great will:

Crucially starting small is the hall mark of youthful days. When you are young, you cannot start things in a big way. Whatever you do, it does not matter much to the world. You need to start small. And what you have in abundance is open-mindedness and curiosity, the great kickstarters to one’s cause.^^

(*From Alan Lightman’s Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine.)
(**Matthew 13:45-46)
(^From Martin Buber’s I and Thou.)
(^^From Ken Mogi’s The Little Book of Ikigai.)

A perfect day*

Creativity is the product of wasted time.**
(Albert Einstein)

to stay hungry and unsettled is not the conventional wisdom. It clearly psychological demands on the individual. The attraction of the opposite state – satisfaction, expertise and security is almost irresistible^
(Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester.)

Perfect days tend not to be free from worry and concern – these are the kind of days that tend to get a little mergy, one looking just like another. A perfect day tends to set us up for something that matters, one that stretches and grows who we are as well as what we are doing. We don’t have to always e dong things either, often this can get in the way. It’s more about a direction.

Have a perfect one.

(*The song in my head when identifying a theme today: Lou Reed’s A Perfect Day.)
(**Albert Einstein, quoted in Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber’s The Slow Professor.)
(^From Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester’s Dancing at the Edge.)

Shazam – it’s not magic

Don’t settle … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.*
(Steve Jobs)

there is an element of scarcity in what you do and how and why you do it, a combination your story and your superpower**
(Bernadette Jiwa)

Some people seem to be capable of amazing things. It’s almost magical to us mere mortals looking on. We probably walk away thinking we could never do something like that, or, if we did, we’d have to figure out a way to fake it.

It isn’t magic, though.

It’s simply someone taking what they love and are good at as far as they possibly can. And this is a truth for everyone. There could be someone looking at you, right now, wondering how on earth you do this thing.

From your perspective, everyone can do this. But they can’t.

(*Steve Jobs, quoted in Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester’s Dancing at the Edge.)
(**From Bernadette Jiwa’s Make Your Idea Matter.)

The art of humility

In art the self becomes self forgetful.*
(Flannery O’Connor)

Desire leads to conception and conception leads to birth. This is the efficacy of desire.**
(Philip Newell)

It’s important to know what it is you most want to do, to begin to give form to this, to help it develop and to finally bring it into being. This is our art. Art isn’t what some do, it’s what everyone does.

When our heart and should and mind and strength are invested in this, the last thing we’re thinking about is ourselves. We are living within the art of our humility and, contrary to popular belief, it is a very big place indeed:

the flow is exactly where the life is’.^

(*Flannery O’Connor, quoted in Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)
(**From Philip Newell’s The Rebirthing of God.)
(^From Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance.)