Spring — Mary Oliver
And here is the serpent again.
Dragging himself out from his nest of darkness,
His cave under the black rocks,
He loops around the bunches of rising grass,
Looking for the sun.
Well, who doesn’t want the sun after the long winter?
I step aside,
He feels the air with his soft tongue,
Around the bones of his body he moves like oil,
Downhill he goes
Towars the black mirrors of the spond.
Lastr night it was still so cold
I woke and went out to stand in the yard.
And there was no moon.
So I just stood there, inside the jaw of nothing.
An owl cried in the distance,
I thought of Jesus, how he
Crouched in the dark for two nights,
And floated back above the horizon.
SONGS about DARKNESS
- Hello Darkness My Old Friend by Simon & Garfunkel (folk): https://youtu.be/4fWyzwo1xg0
- Dark Come Soon by Tegan and Sara (folk): https://youtu.be/tD3Vro2gs1Q
- Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan (pop): https://youtu.be/QS7qLDizDYo
- Conversations in the Dark by John Legend (pop): https://youtu.be/4cSLVAZ_830
- Darkness by the Youngbloods (country/folk):https://youtu.be/ORSD_u2upP4
- A Shout in the Dark by Golden Earrings (rock): https://youtu.be/PVtqXUdiPKM
- Darkness by Eminem (rap): https://youtu.be/RHQC4fAhcbU
- Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen (rock): https://youtu.be/129kuDCQtHs
- In the Dark by Camila Cabello (pop): https://youtu.be/NGPgr8tnWfw
- Dark Paradise by Lana Del Ray (pop): https://youtu.be/vmWUUPl8DD4
- Slippin into Darkness by War (blues/rock): https://youtu.be/RFSWW4O6QNM
- Dark Side by Kelly Clarkson (country): https://youtu.be/H5ArpRWcGe0
- Fade Into Darkness by Aviccii (pop): https://youtu.be/-yg3dLEDWqs
- Footsteps in the Dark by the Isley brothers (R&B/blues): https://youtu.be/WRWtvbyprgo
- I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie (pop): https://youtu.be/3iV_1ESMHaI
- Shot in the Dark by AC/DC (rock): https://youtu.be/54LEywabkl4
While it was still dark.
While it was still night.
While she could not see.
While she thought death held sway.
While she griev
While it was still dark, resurrection began.
— Jan Richardson
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
— Mary Oliver
Saturday— Maren Tirabassi
Today Malchus, the high priest’s slave,
is rubbing his ear,
the woman who reached out
to touch his clothing
is enjoying (of all things)
regular menstrual cramps,
a family opens the door to a child,
because of the prodigal story
was so frequently retold
at travelers’ inns and village wells,
a tribune resigns his commission,
and Jesus is preaching to the dead,
and telling them to be ready
for his well-planned prison break,
even the guy with bigger barns,
the woman whose oil burned out
at the gate of joy,
and … he just catches Judas’ eye.
It’s never a detour
when Jesus goes to hell,
and, if Easter is really every Sunday,
Saturdays always find Jesus
visiting you, me and those dear to us
who are lost in hell,
and, if we can’t find our keys,
gives us a lift.
COMMENTARY on DARKNESS
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings. —Wendell Berry
I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light. ― Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
There are two ways of passing from this world – one in light and one in darkness. When one passes in light, he does not come back; but when one passes in darkness, he returns. — The Bhagavad Gita
There is a part of the soul that stirs at night, in the dark and soundless times of day, when our defenses are down and our daylight distractions no longer serve to protect us from ourselves… It’s then, in the still of life, when we least expect it, that questions emerge from … our inner underworld…These questions do not call for the discovery of data; they call for the contemplation of possibility. — Joan Chittister
PRAYER — Daniel Tobin
There is something to be praised in repetition,
There is something to be praised in repetition,
For surely all life moves in seasons,
For surely all life moves in seasons;
Praised surely, for all there is–seasons, life–
Moves in repetition to be something.
Still desire for rest whispers in the body,
Still desire for rest whispers in the body,
Like the hint of a lost name or a nagging song,
Like the hint of a lost name or a nagging song.
Rest desires a name for the song, a hint,
Nagging, lost, like a still body in whispers.
Let me wait, a novice on nothing’s threshold,
Let me wait, a novice on nothing’s threshold,
Until the blown seed lifts on its diamond fulcrum,
Until the blown seed lifts on its diamond fulcrum.
Novice, blown fulcrum, let me lift on nothing
Until its threshold awaits the diamond seed.
Something waits for the body in whispers,
Diamond hint in seasons of repetition.
Or surely it lifts on a still fulcrum.
Let me rest, its novice, like all nagging life
Until desire moves, blown seed, nothing’s name.
There it is, Thresh-Hold, lost song to be praised.
The Peace of Wild Things — Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
|POEM — Rumi|
If you come to visit my grave,
My tomb will appear to dance.Brother!
Don’t come without a tambourine,f
or the sad can’t join in God’s celebration.
From every direction comes the sound of the harp,
and hue and cry from the drunk.
Every action will perforce give rise to another one.
God has created me from love’s wine;
even if death takes me, I am the same love.
I am intoxication; my origin is the wine of love.
Tell me: what comes from wine except intoxication?
Toward the lofty soul of Beloved
my soul is flying, lingering not even a single moment.
A Blessing for Traveling in the Dark — Jan Richardson
Go slow if you can. Slower. More slowly still.
Friendly dark or fearsome, this is no place to break your neck
by rushing, by running, by crashing into what you cannot see.
Then again, it is true: different darks have different tasks,
and if you have arrived here unawares,
if you have come in peril or in pain,
this might be no place you should dawdle.
I do not know what these shadows ask of you,
what they might hold that means you good or ill.
It is not for me to reckon
whether you should linger or you should leave.
But this is what I can ask for you:
That in the darkness there be a blessing.
That in the shadows there be a welcome.
That in the night you be encompassed
by the Love that knows your name.
COMMENTARY on SILENCE
We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox. ― Nicholas Sparks
When a question has no correct answer, there is only one honest response. The gray area between yes and no. Silence. ― Dan Brown
Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others. ― Brennan Manning
It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Your silence will not protect you. ― Audre Lorde
I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity. ― Nadezhda Mandelstam
But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question. ― Thomas Merton
Silence is pure and holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. ― Nicholas Sparks
I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. ― Chaim Potok
Silence is so freaking loud. ― Sarah Dessen
When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. ― Ansel Adams
He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words. ― Elbert Hubbard
How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself. ― Virginia Woolf
Silence is a source of Great Strength. ― Lao Tzu
My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you … What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language. I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” … our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever. Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. … And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking. ― Audre Lorde
As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment. ― John Steinbeck
Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. ― Khaled Hosseini
In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence. ― Mother Teresa
… you’d think that silence would be peaceful. but really, it’s painful. ― David Levithan
If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something. ― Federico Fellini
There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard. ― Arundhati Roy
Sabbath II, 1988 — Wendell Berry
It is the destruction of the world
in our own lives
that drives us half insane, and more than half.
To destroy that which we were given
in trust: how will we bear it?
It is our own bodies that we give
to be broken,
our bodies existing before and after us
in clod and cloud, worm and tree,
that we, driving or driven, despise
in our greed to live, our haste
to die. To have lost, wantonly,
the ancient forests, the vast grasslands
in our madness, the presence
in our very bodies of our grief.
VISUAL POEM: Stripped from BibleProject: https://youtu.be/VHUBFfEzpEU
The adjective so often coupled with mercy is the word tender, but God’s mercy is not tender; this mercy is a blunt instrument. Mercy doesn’t wrap a warm, limp blanket around offenders. God’s mercy is the kind that kills the thing that wronged it and resurrects something new in its place.— Nadia Bolz-Weber
SONGS about CRUCIFIXION & the CROSS:
- Were You There When They Crucified My Lord? performed by Mahalia Jackson (Christian): https://youtu.be/3ji7eP7k8cA
- Via Dolorosa by Sandi Patti (Christian/classical): https://youtu.be/7asEdmZsSPo
- Crucifixion by Marian Anderson (1930s Gospel): https://youtu.be/C-EsGNikJU4
- The Old Rugged Cross by Redeemed Quartet (country/Christian): https://youtu.be/YGAHQr_DirY
- We Believe in Newsboys (Christian): https://youtu.be/WjZ01FcK0ykhttps://youtu.be/WjZ01FcK0yk
- Go To Dark Gethsemane by Concordia Publishing (Christian): https://youtu.be/y4_2WI4guKI
- The Crucifixion performed by Sarah Champion from Hermit Songs by Samuel Barbe (classical/opera): https://youtu.be/AlxuB3HfAnI
- Above All by Michael Smith (Christian pop): https://youtu.be/ChtSMj7QVno
- Never Forsaken by Hillsong (Christian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djCpJPnBy6E
- Rescue by Lauren Daigle (Christian): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgkNB4939YM
- Mighty Cross by Elevation Worship (Christian): https://youtu.be/yI_SQrRUOt0
- Thank You for Choosing the Cross by Garreth Trent (Christian): https://youtu.be/zAGan-VA6JIhttps://youtu.be/zAGan-VA6JI
- Mighty Cross by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir (Christian): https://youtu.be/Qd7U7pTUNc4
- The Cross of Christ by Vinesong (Christian/Celtic): https://youtu.be/hwvkwivDuNo
- Crucified with Christ by Phillips Craig and Dean (Christian): https://youtu.be/_0_1jazh454
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Choir of Kings Cross (Christian hymn): https://youtu.be/mDkuxEIcpdI
- On the Cross by HosannaCFEugene: https://youtu.be/61yRkchJk4A
In Blackwater Woods (excerpt)— Mary Oliver
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones
knowing your own life
depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
VIDEO POEM: From Tree to Cross: https://youtu.be/aQPVqcNVfM0
COMMENTARY on the GRIEF, the CROSS and HOLY FRIDAY
so it came time and
no day like that is ever
good in the coming
― Deborah Landau
To each one of us Christ is saying: If you want your life and mission to be fruitful, like mine, do as I do. Be converted into a seed that lets itself be buried. Let yourself be killed. Do not be afraid. Those who shun suffering will remain alone. No one is more alone than the selfish. But if you give your life out of love for others, as I give mine for all, you will reap a great harvest. — Oscar Romero
It was where, of course, the ultimate cry of human longing ran headlong into the silence of God, and was left, the cry was left out there like a huge, red hook trying to reach up into the heavens, but nothing received it. It’s a day of being touched by the void; it’s the day of the abyss. — John O’Donohue about Holy Friday
Good Friday is not about us trying to “get right with God.” It is about us entering the difference between God and humanity and just touching it for a moment. Touching the shimmering sadness of humanity’s insistence that we can be our own gods, that we can be pure and all-powerful. ― Nadia Bolz-Weber
And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore. ― Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions:
What happens at the cross is a “blessed exchange.” God gathers up all our sin, all our broken-ass junk, into God’s own self and transforms all that death into life. Jesus takes our crap and exchanges it for his blessedness. — Nadia Bolz-Weber
[Jesus dying on the cross] brings us face to face with the finality of defeat. Sometimes things don’t have a happy ending in life. Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we’re beaten. Sometimes we’re lost. Sometimes we’re humiliated. Sometimes we’re misunderstood. Sometimes we are abandoned by the very people we love most in life and whom we thought also loved us. At that point, without doubt, something in us dies. There’s not going back to things as they were before. Then doors close in our hearts and the old breath goes out of us and all we can do is to surrender to the dark. It is not a pretty moment. It can take all the energy we have.
Am I able to accept the daily deaths of life, both the great ones and the small, knowing that death is not the end of life, only its passing over to something new in me? Hopefully, I learn from the Jesus who gave up himself, his mission, his life in ways that all seemed totally wrong, that the deaths I die may bring new life to the world around me as well.— Sr Joan Chittister
On the Day I Die — Rumi
On the day I die,
when I’m being carried
toward the grave,
don’t weep. Don’t say,
He’s gone! He’s gone.
Death has nothing
to do with going away.
The sun sets
and the moon sets,
but they’re not gone.
Death is a coming together.
looks like a prison,
but it’s really
release into union.
The human seed goes
down in the ground
like a bucket into
the well where Joseph is.
It grows and
comes up full of some
Your mouth closes here,
opens with a
shout of joy there.
It Can’t Be Carried Alone” — Fr Richard Rohr (response to the collective suffering of the people of Ukraine).
How can we not feel shock or rage at what is happening
to the people of Ukraine—
As we watch their suffering unfold in real time
from an unfair distance?
Who of us does not feel inept or powerless
before such manifest evil? In this, at least, we are united.
Our partisan divisions now appear small and trivial.
Remember what we teach: both evil and goodness are,
first of all, social phenomena.
The Body of Christ is crucified and resurrected
at the same time. May we stand faithfully
Inside both these mysteries (contemplation).
In loving solidarity, we each bear what is ours to carry,
the unjust weight of crucifixion,
in expectant hope for God’s transformation.
May we be led to do what we can on any level (action)
to create resurrection
When Death Comes — Mary Oliver
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Your Excellency […]
Tonight, with the world in doubt, with this Commonwealth drawing into its lungs with every breath the difficult air of doubt, with the eyes of Europe turned westward upon Massachusetts and upon the whole United States in distress and harrowing doubt — are you still so sure? Does no faintest shadow of question gnaw at your mind? For, indeed, your spirit, however strong, is but the frail spirit of a man. Have you no need, in this hour, of a spirit greater than your own?
Think back. Think back a long time. Which way would He have turned, this Jesus of your faith? — Oh, not the way in which your feet are set!
You promise me, and I believe you truly, that you would think of what I said. I exact of you this promise now. Be for a moment alone with yourself. Look inward upon yourself. Let fall from your harassed mind all, all save this: which way would He have turned, this Jesus of your faith?
I cry to you with a million voices: answer our doubt. Exert the clemency which your high office affords.
There is need in Massachusetts of a great man tonight. It is not yet too late for you to be that man.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay, letter to governor of Massachusetts
… And you are right; it is well to forget that men die. So far we have devised no way to defeat death, or to outwit him, or to buy him over. At any moment the cloud may split above us and the golden spear of death leap at the heart; at any moment the earth crack and the hand of death reach up from the abyss to grasp our ankles; at any moment the wind rise and sweep the roofs from our houses, making one dust of our ceilings and ourselves. And if not, we shall die soon, anyhow. It is well to forget that this is so.
But that man before his time, wantonly and without sorrow, is thrust from the light of the sun into the darkness of the grave by his brother’s blindness or fear it is well to remember, at least until it has been shown to the satisfaction of all that this too is beyond our power to change…
These men were castaways upon our shore, and we, an ignorant and savage tribe, have put them to death because their speech and their manners were different from our own, and because to the untutored mind that which is strange is in its infancy ludicrous, but in its prime evil, dangerous, and to be done away with.
These men were put to death because they made you nervous; and your children know it. The minds of your children are like clear pools, reflecting faithfully whatever passes on the bank; whereas in the pool of your own mind, whenever an alien image bends above, a fish of terror leaps to meet it, shattering its reflection.
— Edna St Vincent Millay, November 9, 1927, The Outlook: “Fear”
Photograph from September 11th
translated by Clare Cavanagh and
They jumped from the burning floors—
one, two, a few more,
The photograph halted them in life,
and now keeps them
above the earth toward the earth.
Each is still complete,
with a particular face
and blood well hidden.
There’s enough time
for hair to come loose,
for keys and coins
to fall from pockets.
They’re still within the air’s reach,
within the compass of places
that have just now opened.
I can do only two things for them—
describe this flight
and not add a last line.
When people try to bury you, remind yourself you are a seed.
― Matshona Dhliwayo
Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. — Morihei Ueshiba
The seed is in the ground. Now may we rest in hope, while darkness does its work.
~ Wendell Berry
Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.— Norman Vincent Peale
From seeds of his body blossomed the flower that liberated a people and touched the soul of a nation. — Jesse Jackson
We are a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half-waking. We are here in the land of dreams. But cock-crow is coming. — CS Lewis
I the grain and the furrow,
The plough-cloven clod
And the ploughshare drawn thorough,
The germ and the sod,
The deed and the doer, the seed and the sower,
the dust which is God.
— Algernon Charles Swinburne, Hertha (excerpt)
|SONGS about SEEDS & GARDENS |
• Planting Seeds by Nimo ft. Daniel Nahmod (folk/rap): https://youtu.be/5AmqYcWjBmc
• The Seed by Aurora (pop/indie): https://youtu.be/_Mc_OM5oNA8
• Garden Song performed by John Denver & Muppet (folk): https://youtu.be/D3FkaN0HQgs
• Garden Song by Dave Mallett (folk): https://youtu.be/2m0LewjkO4s
• My Little Seed by Woodie Guthrie (folk): https://youtu.be/aO1HSp2soiA
• A Seed’s a Star by Stevie Wonder (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/KEK7tMxXRpo
• Plant the Seeds by Digging Roots (folk/indie): https://youtu.be/9EmLqdmvUDQ
• Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears (rock): https://youtu.be/VAtGOESO7W8
• Will It Grow by Jake Dylan (pop/folk): https://youtu.be/b0nFyEM0aHU
• Secret Garden by Rolf Lovland (piano/instrumental): https://youtu.be/-sWnEWpS_fA
• Seeds by Kathy Mattea (folk): https://youtu.be/61D5AU3SG7A
• Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles (rock): https://youtu.be/De1LCQvbqV4
• Poppy Seed Heart by Tom Billington (folk/rock): https://youtu.be/KdHpYiBoxKs
• The Olive Tree by Judith Durham (folk): https://youtu.be/agvbSC2rmDg
• Seed Song by Giants in the Trees (pop): https://youtu.be/RDpftwzTdjk
• The Seed by The Roots (rap/soul): https://youtu.be/ojC0mg2hJCc
• Seed Song by the Mountain Goats (country): https://youtu.be/bZi2FhOOXKc
• Mustard Seed by David Ashley Trent (Christan): https://youtu.be/uS6Er6I2nbM
• Rain Only Matters / Expecting a Harvest by William McDowell Music (gospel): https://youtu.be/JgBSwIGnS-s
• Planting Seeds of Love by Pam Donkin (folk): https://youtu.be/B5uUyM128M0
SEED SONGS (Kid Music):
• Seed Song by the Ark Collective (kids music): https://youtu.be/OBatjl0BRQg
• Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flower by Firefly Family Theater (kid music): https://youtu.be/9bFU_wJgvBI • I’m a Little Seed by Leslie Bixler (kids music): https://youtu.be/9oRarzP4oyU
• One Seed by Laurie Berkner (kids song): https://youtu.be/jDtehB-BpIA
• Seed Dispersal by Mr R’s Teaching Songs (kids music): https://youtu.be/3CCOWHa-qfc
• Una Semilla/The Seed by 123 Andres (kid music): https://youtu.be/02L8Y9z7McM
• The Farmer Plants the Seeds by Kiboomer (kids music): https://youtu.be/VxlGDAMqFkU
• The Seed Song by Let’s Roll Snowball (kids music): https://youtu.be/Cd2O4utPw6c
• Take a Little Seed by Tom Pease & Stuart Stotts (kid music/storytelling song session): https://youtu.be/O7St5L8fzX4
|A Short Story of Falling|
— Alice Oswald
It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again
it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower
and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows
green and momentary
is one of water’s wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller
than my thumbnail
if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through
a plume of grass
to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind
of lifting rain drip
then I might know like water
how to balance
the weight of hope against
the light of patience
water which is so raw
and lurks in cast-iron tanks
and leaks along
drawn under gravity t
owards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work
of this song
which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light
and falls again
Earth, Teach Me — Native American Prayer, unattributed
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
Prayer for a Garden — Maren Tirabassi
God, we need peace – so we come to the garden for quiet.
We need joy – so we come to the garden for our senses —
the green of leaf,
the rich crumbling smell of soil,
and the scent of pine needle,
the sounds of small life, of chipmunk and bird,
that come and go in all places natural,
the rough texture of gravel, the delicacy of a flower petal.
We need to let things go – so we come to the garden for rest,
and we need to let people go,
so we come to the garden to remember them.
We need hope – so we come to the garden to watch things grow
reminding ourselves to be planters
and to enjoy what others have planted.
We need benches where we can begin to let Sabbath in our lives.
We need paths to help us recognize our own journeys.
We need a justice commitment to environment,
a global commitment that calls us to action,
but we also need a small square of real earth
to root our speeches and to get our hands dirty.
We need community – so we come to this garden
to give and receive a shared blessing
(not the result of our personal winter catalogues,
spring compost, summer weeding)
to give and receive a shared blessing
from the hand of the Sower of seeds. Amen
By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity. — Robert A. Heinlein
We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow, we must open our hands. — Adolfo Perez Esquivel
By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity. Share this Quote Robert A. Heinlein
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/seeds-quotes A seed neither fears light nor darkness, but uses both to grow.― Matshona Dhliwayo
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. — Robert Louis Stevenson
Inside the seed are many trees… Inside You are many kingdoms. ― Bert McCoy
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed. — Robert H. Schulle
You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness. — Zig Ziglar
Deep in the secret world of winter’s darkness, deep in the heart of the Earth, the scattered seed dreams of what it will accomplish, some warm day when its wild beauty has grown strong and wise. ― Solstice
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go. — Martha Washington
Failure holds the seeds for greatness – so long as you water those seeds with introspection, they can be the root of your success. —Daniel Lubetzky
The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.— Paramahansa Yogananda
I think that any time of great pain is a time of transformation, a fertile time to plant new seeds. — Debbie Ford
Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.— Jack Ma
Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream. — Debby Boone
Words are also seeds, and when dropped into the invisible spiritual substance, they grow and bring forth after their kind.— Charles Fillmore
Man is a competitive creature, and the seeds of conflict are built deep into our genes. We fought each other on the savannah and only survived against great odds by organising ourselves into groups which would have had a common purpose, giving morale and fortitude. — Robert Winston
I hope that upon this scorched earth we have planted the seeds of ideas that will bear the fruit of more diverse and inclusive stories …. Wilson Cruz
The vegetable life does not content itself with casting from the flower or the tree a single seed, but it fills the air and earth with a prodigality of seeds, that, if thousands perish, thousands may plant themselves, that hundreds may come up, that tens may live to maturity; that, at least one may replace the parent.— Ralph Waldo Emerson
The dispersal of juniper seeds is effected by the plum and cherry plan of hiring birds at the cost of their board, and thus obtaining the use of a pair of extra good wings. — John Muir
Women of this planet need some essential resources: wells, seeds and roads. That is primarily all we have ever needed. Added to that, women need righteous and strong men who will help us to use our most cherished gifts: the ability to multitask and problem solve. — Roseanne Barr
Harvest Gathering — Phoebe Cary
The last days of the summer: bright and clear
Shines the warm sun down on the quiet land,
Where corn-fields, thick and heavy in the ear,
Are slowly ripening for the laborer’s hand;
Seed-time and harvest — since the bow was set,
Not vainly has man hoped your coming yet!
To the quick rush of sickles, joyously
The reapers in the yellow wheat-fields sung,
And bound the pale sheaves of the ripened rye,
When the first tassels of the maize were hung;
That precious seed into the furrow cast
Earliest in spring-time, crowns the harvest last.
Ever, when summer’s sun burns faint and dim,
And rare and few the pleasant days are given,
When the sweet praise of our thankgiving hymn
Makes beautiful music in the ear of Heaven,
I think of other harvests whence the sound
Of singing comes not as the sheaves are bound.
Not where the rice-fields whiten in the sun,
And the warm South casts down her yellow fruit,
Shout they the labors of the autumn done —
For there Oppression casts her deadly root,
And they, who sow and gather in that clime
Share not the treasures of the harvest-time.
God of the seasons! thou who didst ordain
Bread for the eater who shall plant the soil,
How have they heard thee, who have forged the chain
And built the dungeon for the sons of toil?
Burdening their hearts, not with the voice of prayer,
But the dull cries of almost dumb despair.
They who would see that growth of wickedness
Planted where now the peaceful prairie waves,
And make the green paths of our wilderness
Red with the torn and bleeding feet of slaves —
Forbid it, Heaven! and let the sharp axe be
Laid at the root of that most poison tree!
Let us behold its deadly leaves begin
A fainter shadow o’er the world to cast,
And the long day that nursed its growth of sin
Wane to a sunset that shall be its last;
So that the day-star, rising from the sea,
Shall light a land whose children will be free!
LETS PLANT SOME SEEDS TOGETHER — Rachel Held Evans, full article: https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/plant-seeds-women
… the most effective thing we can do is participate in the life-giving and subversive act of planting new trees:
- trees that have the roots of equality from the very beginning.
- trees that gain nourishment from a free-er gospel and soil that is enriched with freedom and hope instead of fear and absolute certainty.
- trees that have men and women and rich and poor and educated and uneducated and black and white and gay and straight all tangled up together from the beginning.
- trees that are tended to gently and naturally instead of pumped with unnatural growth agents & pesticides that try to advance the progression of development to “catch up faster” to other churches that will always have the advantage of time and power on their side.
- trees that get their strength from the beatitudes not the latest and greatest how-to-grow books and conferences.trees that are well-watered by people who are tired of talk and are ready for action.
- trees that over time will flourish and bring shade and fruit and all kinds of other goodness for generations to come in the communities & cultures where they are planted.
- a diverse ecosystem of trees that more accurately reflect the fullness of God’s image.
[Read the rest of the post here.] …
1. What sort of seeds will you start planting in your life … ?
KINGDOM of GOD & MUSTARD SEEDS
The kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed, he said, that grows into an enormous tree with branches wide and strong enough to make a home for all the birds. It is like a buried treasure, a delicious feast, or a net that catches an abundance of fish. The kingdom is right here, Jesus said. It is present and yet hidden, immanent yet transcendent. The kingdom isn’t some far-off place you go when you die; the kingdom is at hand—among us and beyond us, now and not-yet. It is the wheat growing in the midst of weeds, the yeast working its magic in the dough, the pearl germinating in a sepulchral shell. It can come and go in the twinkling of an eye, Jesus said. So pay attention; don’t miss it. ― Rachel Held Evans
The Reign of God is Jesus’ message, but he never describes it literally. He walks around it and keeps giving different images of the Real. For example, the mustard seed is very small and insignificant, and the kingdom is “like” that. Pliny the Elder, a contemporary of Jesus, wrote an encyclopedic book called Natural History, in which he describes all the plants that were known in the Mediterranean world. He says two main things about the mustard plant: it’s medicinal, and it’s a weed that cannot be stopped:
Mustard . . . with its pungent taste and fiery effect is extremely beneficial for the health. It grows entirely wild, though it is improved by being transplanted: but on the other hand when it has once been sown it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once. 
The two images on which Jesus is building in this parable of the mustard seed are a therapeutic image of life and healing, and a fast-growing weed. What a strange thing for Jesus to say: “I’m planting a weed in the world!” Jesus’ teachings of nonviolence and simplicity are planted and they’re going to flourish, even wildly so. The old world is over.
— Richard Rohr, entire article: https://cac.org/daily-meditations/the-kingdom-is-like-a-mustard-seed-2020-11-16/
To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:
learn the flowers
— Gary Snyder
Everyone, from almost every tradition, agrees on five things:
Rule 1: We are all family.
Rule 2: You reap exactly what you sow, that is, you cannot grow tulips from zucchini seeds.
Rule 3: Try to breathe every few minutes or so.
Rule 4: It helps beyond words to plant bulbs in the dark of winter.
Rule 5: It is immoral to hit first.
— Anne Lamott
Although nature has proven season in and season out that if the thing that is planted bears at all, it will yield more of itself, there are those who seem certain that if they plant tomato seeds, at harvesttime they can reap onions.
Too many times for comfort I have expected to reap good when I know I have sown evil. My lame excuse is that I have not always known that actions can only reproduce themselves, or rather, I have not always allowed myself to be aware of that knowledge. Now, after years of observation and enough courage to admit what I have observed, I try to plant peace if I do not want discord; to plant loyalty and honesty if I want to avoid betrayal and lies.
Of course, there is no absolute assurance that those things I plant will always fall upon arable land and will take root and grow, nor can I know if another cultivator did not leave contrary seeds before I arrived. I do know, however, that if I leave little to chance, if I am careful about the kinds of seeds I plant, about their potency and nature, I can, within reason, trust my expectations. — Maya Angelou
It is memory that provides the heart with impetus, fuels the brain, and propels the corn plant from seed to fruit. — Joy Harjo
There are two kinds of compassion. The first comes from a natural concern for friends and family who are close to us. This has limited range but can be the seed for something bigger. We can also learn to extend a genuine concern for others’ well-being, whoever they are. That is real compassion, and only human beings are capable of developing it. — Dalai Lama
Everything we do seeds the future. No action is an empty one. — Joan D. Chittister
Whether we have happiness or not depends on the seeds in our consciousness. If our seeds of compassion, understanding, and love are strong, those qualities will be able to manifest in us. If the seeds of anger, hostility and sadness in us are strong, then we will experience much suffering. To understand someone, we have to be aware of the quality of the seeds in his consciousness. And we need to remember that his is not solely responsible for those seeds. His ancestors, parents, and society are co-responsible for the quality of the seeds in his consciousness. When we understand this, we are able to feel compassion for that person. With understanding and love, we will know how to water our own beautiful seeds and those of others, and we will recognize seeds of suffering and find ways to transform them. — Thich Nhat Hanh
… our capacity to listen, to be plowed up by what we hear so that we can nurture the seeds of divinity when we encounter them. If we resist being unsettled and loosened and turned into good soil, then the religiosity that has gotten us this far will begin to slip away. We will abandon the spiritual life and say that it was doing nothing for us. But if we accept our discomfort and truly listen with open ears, even knowing that what we hear might change and disrupt us, we will begin to grow, and find our capacity to see and hear expanding day by day. — Karl Stevens, article: https://dsobeloved.org/luke-81-25-being-the-good-soil/
Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it gems of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love. — Thomas Merton
We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way—centred on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown. — CS Lewis
Carbonized grains of wheat unearthed
From the seventh millennium B.C. town of Jarmo
In the Tigris-Euphrates basin
Match the grains of three kinds of wheat still extant,
Two wild, one found only in cultivation.
The separate grains
Were parched and eaten,
Or soaked into gruel, yeasted, fermented.
Took to the idea of bread,
Ceres, while you were gone.
Wind whistles in the smokey thatch,
Oven browns its lifted loaf,
And in the spring the nourished seeds,
Hybrid with wild grass,
Easily open in a hundred days,
And seeded fruits, compact and dry,
Store well together.
They make the straw for beds,
They ask the caring hand to sow, the resting foot
To stay, to court the seasons.
— Josephine Miles, Fields of Learning (excerpt)
The Pomegranate — Kahlil Gibran
Once when I was living in the heart of a pomegranate, I heard a seed
saying, “Someday I shall become a tree, and the wind will sing in
my branches, and the sun will dance on my leaves, and I shall be
strong and beautiful through all the seasons.”
Then another seed spoke and said, “When I was as young as you, I
too held such views; but now that I can weigh and measure things,
I see that my hopes were vain.”
And a third seed spoke also, “I see in us nothing that promises so
great a future.”
And a fourth said, “But what a mockery our life would be, without
a greater future!”
Said a fifth, “Why dispute what we shall be, when we know not even
what we are.”
But a sixth replied, “Whatever we are, that we shall continue to
And a seventh said, “I have such a clear idea how everything will
be, but I cannot put it into words.”
Then an eight spoke—and a ninth—and a tenth—and then many—until
all were speaking, and I could distinguish nothing for the many
And so I moved that very day into the heart of a quince, where the
seeds are few and almost silent.
By the Waters of Babylon:
III. The Sower.
— Emma Lazarus
1. Over a boundless plain went a man, carrying seed.
2. His face was blackened by sun and rugged from tempest, scarred and distorted by pain. Naked to the loins, his back was ridged with furrows, his breast was plowed with stripes.
3. From his hand dropped the fecund seed.
4. And behold, instantly started from the prepared soil blade, a sheaf, a springing trunk, a myriad-branching, cloud-aspiring tree. Its arms touched the ends of the horizon, the heavens were darkened with its shadow.
5. It bare blossoms of gold and blossoms of blood, fruitage of health and fruitage of poison; birds sang amid its foliage, and a serpent was coiled about its stem.
6. Under its branches a divinely beautiful man, crowned with thorns, was nailed to a cross.
7. And the tree put forth treacherous boughs to strangle the Sower; his flesh was bruised and torn, but cunningly he disentangled the murderous knot and passed to the eastward.
8. Again there dropped from his hand the fecund seed.
9. And behold, instantly started from the prepared soil a blade, a sheaf, a springing trunk, a myriad-branching, cloud-aspiring tree. Crescent shaped like little emerald moons were the leaves; it bare blossoms of silver and blossoms of blood, fruitage of health and fruitage of poison; birds sang amid its foilage and a serpent was coiled about its stem.
10. Under its branches a turbaned mighty-limbed Prophet brandished a drawn sword.
11. And behold, this tree likewise puts forth perfidious arms to strangle the Sower; but cunningly he disentangles the murderous knot and passes on.
12. Lo, his hands are not empty of grain, the strength of his arm is not spent.
13. What germ hast thou saved for the future, O miraculous Husbandman? Tell me, thou Planter of Christhood and Islam; tell me, thou seed-bearing Israel!
Seeding an Alphabet
— Emily Warn
To invent the alef-beit,
decipher the grammar of crows,
read a tangle of bare branches
with vowels of the last leaves
scrawling their jittery speech
on the sky’s pale page.
Choose a beginning.
See what God yields and dirt cedes
when tines disturb fescue, vetch, and sage,
when your hand dips grain from a sack,
scattering it among engraved furrows.
Beyond the hill, a plume of dust
where oxen track the hours.
Does God lead or follow or scout?
To answer, count to one again and again:
a red maple leaf and a yellow maple leaf
that wind rifles and rain shines until they let go,
blazing their scripted nothingness on air.
- Visitation Hours for family and friends
Wed, August 11 • 1-3pm and 6-8pm
@ Bryant Funeral Home, 1 Promenade St., Gorham, NH.
- Memorial Service open to family and friends
Thurs, August 12 • 10am
@ Jackson Community Church, 127 Main St., Jackson, NH
Note: The family would appreciate all attendees of the calling hours and services to wear a mask.Memorial Donations
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to GRSEF, FBO Corrigan Family Scholarship, Gorham High School, 120 Main St., Gorham, NH, 03581. Online guestbook at www.bryantfuneralhome.net.
Robert E. Corrigan, 76, of North Conway, NH, passed away on Friday July 30, 2021 at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, ME. The son of Harry E. and Nathalie (Conant) Corrigan, he was born in Westbrook, ME on February 15, 1945 and later moved to Shelburne, NH when he was six. He attended school in Gorham and graduated Valedictorian of the Class of 1963. He then attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1967 with a degree in English. From there, he immediately began teaching at Gorham High School from where he retired in 1999. After that, he went to work at the White Mountain Community College in Berlin.
Being a teacher of great expectations, he created the Senior Project, a capstone graduation requirement that persists to this day at GHS. Bob (AKA “Crash” from his college days) loved coaching basketball and baseball, as well as playing competitively into his fifties against his high school students. He was named by George H. W. Bush as the 88th Point of Light. In 1989, he was one of ten in the country to be named by Reader’s Digest as a Hero in Education. He was also a Shelburne Citizen of the Year.
An avid golfer for 40 years, on many weekends you’d find him puttering around on the golf course, his drive pushing him to play on par to that of his basketball skills, often stopping afterwards at the 19th hole to enjoy a ham sandwedge.
A lifelong puzzler, he enjoyed solving and creating logic problems and magic squares. He had a hobbit of making terrible puns, by golem — a veritable war of the words. He was oft sought out for friendly chats as well as advice. Never one to miss an opportunity to connect with others, his kids learned at an early age that a quick trip to the store would be a brave new world of multiple conversations with his current and former students encountered along the way.
In retirement he found a second home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, enjoying an idyllic pace of life among the flamingos that had previously haunted his home in the hamlet of Shelburne.
Family includes his wife of 54 years, Jacquelyn (Bowler) Corrigan of North Conway, NH; children Gregory Corrigan of Shelburne, NH, daughter-in-law Jen Corrigan of Shelburne, NH, Kristen Corrigan of Brownfield, ME and Shelley Corrigan of Intervale, NH; 4 grandchildren: Molly Reynolds and husband Tucker of Lancaster, NH, Airman First Class Riley Corrigan of Dover AFB, Delaware, Aiden Corrigan of Shelburne, NH and Gavin Corrigan of Shelburne, NH; brother Michael Corrigan of Norway, ME; sisters Kathy Longnecker and husband Malcolm of Gorham, NH and Martha MacIntosh and husband Alan of Las Vegas, NV, and 2 nieces and a nephew.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 10 AM at the Jackson Community Church, 127 Main St., Jackson, NH. Relatives and friends may call at the Bryant Funeral Home, 1 Promenade St., Gorham, NH, on Wednesday August 11 from 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 PM. Private interment will be held at the Conant Burial Ground, Westbrook, ME.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to GRSEF, FBO Corrigan Family Scholarship, Gorham High School, 120 Main St., Gorham, NH, 03581. Online guestbook at www.bryantfuneralhome.net.
“It is tragic that nothing gold can stay.
You will be missed … All those terrible puns above –
those were for you, Dad.”
MARTHA WEBB CHANDLER
Celebration of Life
The family will hold a celebration of life service on Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. in Wonalancet (under a tent).
Martha Webb Chandler passed away on July 25, 2021, following a brief period of illness.
Born in 1930 to parents Harry J. and Francis (Newell) Webb, Martha grew up in Franklin, Mass., which, at that time, was a relatively rural town. She attended elementary and high school there and following graduation from Boston University in 1952 she became a teacher.
She taught school at the Summit School in Saint Paul, Minn., for several years before returning to Massachusetts where she earned a M.Ed. from Harvard in 1957.
In 1958, she met John Chandler, the brother of college friends; they were married in 1959 and lived in Laconia, N.H., where he practiced law. They were members of the Unitarian Universalist Church, belonging to both the Laconia and Tamworth congregations.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, Martha pursued an active outdoor life while raising two children in Laconia (school year) and Wonalancet (summer). She returned to teaching in the mid-1970s at Laconia High School and retired in the early 1990s.
Long after her children were “out of the house,” Martha still made it a point to attend Laconia High School sporting events and cheer for all the kids. Martha was an ardent feminist having experienced the prevalent discriminatory practices women faced in the mid-century; and she advocated for education and other life-expanding opportunities for all.
A passionate conservationist, Martha became active with the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests, which named her Conservationist of the Year in 2016 for her work on Mount Major, and with the Maine-based Mahoosuc Land Trust. Martha loved outdoor life.
She was the head of the waterfront at Camp Weetamoe on Lake Ossipee in her 20s and continued to teach swimming into her 80s at White Lake State Park for the Town of Tamworth.She made a point to be active including taking part in White Mountain Miler events. She also enjoyed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, even this past winter at age 90, and walked up to a mile almost every day through May 2021.
She volunteered with the Wonalancet Out Door Club — doing trail work in earlier years and, through this spring, shipping the T-shirts the club sells online.
Martha was predeceased by her husband John in 2016, and by her sisters Marian Webb Murray (1982) and Mary Webb Ambler (2015).
She is survived by her children Ellen Chandler, and David Chandler and his wife Nina; extended family includes Caleb Ayers and his wife Ashley. The family will hold a celebration of life service on Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. in Wonalancet (under a tent).
Memorial donations and/or acts of volunteering may be made to Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests (forestsociety.org; 54 Portsmouth St., Concord NH 03301), the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust (usvlt.org; 111 Main St., Conway, NH 03818), the Mahoosuc Land Trust (Mahoosuc.org; P.O. Box 981, Bethel, Maine 04217) or the outdoor organization of your choosing.