If I should have a daughter…Instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B. Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.And Baby, I’ll tell her don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, There’ll be days like this my momma said when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say thank you, ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.You will put the wind in win some lose some, you will put the star in starting over and over and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.Baby, I’ll tell her remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
Sarah Kay
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, Kill them all and let God sort them out. A bumper sticker read, God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him. I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup. Others were less dramatic- red, white and blue billboards saying, God bless our troops. God Bless America became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, God bless America--$1 burgers. Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes and sprinkled with golden eagles. This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage and fear. But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God. ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne
Lao Tzu's first paragraph in the book Tao Te Ching is that the Tao that can be told is not the absolute Tao.Lao Tzu has his own logic, the logic of paradoxes, the logic of life.To understand Tao, you will have to create eyes.Lao Tzu believes in the unity of opposites, because that is how life is.The Tao can be communicated, but it can only be communicated from heart to heart, from being to being, from love to love, from silence to silence.Truth is always realized in silence. In silence, the truth is realized.You reach to truth through silence.All spiritual books tries to say something that can not be said in the hope that a thirst, a longing, is created in your heart to know the truth.Tao is totality. Life exists through the tension of the opposites, the meeting of the opposites.Lao Tzu says that the opposite poles of life are not really opposites, but complementaries.Thinking is always of opposites. Lao Tzu says: drop the split attitude. Be simple.And when you are simple, you do not choose. Lao Tzu says: be choiceless, let life flow.Enjoy both poles in life and then your life becomes a symphony of opposites.How to drop the mind: do not choose. If you do not choose, the mind drops.Live life as it comes - float. Float with life. Enjoy the moment in its totality,It is to live as part of the whole, to live as part of existence.If you become silent and empty, everything will come on it's own accord.When you live without any desire for power, position, fame or success, the whole existence pours down into your emptiness.
Swami Dhyan Giten
All at once, something wonderful happened, although at first, it seemed perfectly ordinary. A female goldfinch suddenly hove into view. She lighted weightlessly on the head of a bankside purple thistle and began emptying the seedcase, sowing the air with down. The lighted frame of my window filled. The down rose and spread in all directions, wafting over the dam’s waterfall and wavering between the tulip trunks and into the meadow. It vaulted towards the orchard in a puff; it hovered over the ripening pawpaw fruit and staggered up the steep faced terrace. It jerked, floated, rolled, veered, swayed. The thistle down faltered down toward the cottage and gusted clear to the woods; it rose and entered the shaggy arms of pecans. At last it strayed like snow, blind and sweet, into the pool of the creek upstream and into the race of the creek over rocks down. It shuddered onto the tips of growing grasses, where it poised, light, still wracked by errant quivers. I was holding my breath. Is this where we live, I thought, in this place in this moment, with the air so light and wild? The same fixity that collapses stars and drives the mantis to devour her mate eased these creatures together before my eyes: the thick adept bill of the goldfinch and the feathery coded down. How could anything be amiss? If I myself were lighter and frayed, I could ride these small winds, too, taking my chances, for the pleasure of being so purely played. The thistle is part of Adam’s curse. Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee. A terrible curse: But does the goldfinch eat thorny sorrow with the thistle or do I? If this furling air is fallen, then the fall was happy indeed. If this creekside garden is sorrow, then I seek martyrdom. I was weightless; my bones were taut skins blown with buoyant gas; it seemed that if I inhaled too deeply, my shoulders and head would waft off. Alleluia.
Annie Dillard
But what is the use of the humanities as such? Admittedly they are not practical and admittedly they concern themselves with the past. Why, it may be asked, should we engage in impractical investigations and why should we be interested in the past? The answer to the first question is: because we are interested in reality. Both the humanities and the natural sciences, as well as mathematics and philosophy, have the impractical outlook of what the ancients called vita contemplativa as opposed to vita activa. But is the contemplative life less real or, to be more precise, is its contribution to what we call reality less important, than that of the active life? The man who takes a paper dollar in exchange for twenty-five apples commits an act of faith and subjects himself to a theoretical doctrine, as did the mediaeval man who paid for indulgence. The man who is run over by an automobile is run over by mathematics, physics and chemistry. For he who leads the contemplative life cannot help influencing the active, just as he cannot prevent the active life from influencing his thought. Philosophical and psychological theories, historical doctrines and all sorts of speculations and discoveries, have changed and keep changing, the lives of countless millions. Even he who merely transmits knowledge or learning participates, in his modest way, in the process of shaping reality - of which fact the enemies of humanism are perhaps more keenly aware than its friends. It is impossible to conceive of our world in terms of action alone. Only in God is there a Coincidence of Act and Thought as the scholastics put it. Our reality can only be understood as an interpenetration of these two.
Erwin Panofsky