Sunday Muse

“Among the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard anyone say came from my student Bethany, talking about her pedagogical aspirations or ethos, how she wanted to be as a teacher, and what she wanted her classrooms to be. She said, ‘What if we joined our wildernesses together?’ Sit with that for a minute. That the body, the life, might carry a wilderness, an unexplored territory, and that yours and mine might somewhere, somehow, meet. Might, even, join.

And what if the wilderness — perhaps the densest wild in there — thickets, bogs, swamps, uncrossable ravines and rivers (have I made the metaphor clear?) — is our sorrow? Or, to use Smith’s term, the ‘intolerable.’ It astonishes me sometimes — no, often — how every person I get to know — everyone, regardless of everything, by which I mean everything — lives with some profound personal sorrow. Brother addicted. Mother murdered. Dad died in surgery. Rejected by their family. Cancer came back. Evicted. Fetus not okay. Everyone, regardless, always, of everything. Not to mention the existential sorrow we all might be afflicted with, which is that we, and what we love, will soon be annihilated. Which sounds more dramatic than it might. Let me just say dead. Is this, sorrow, of which our impending being no more might be the foundation, the great wilderness?

Is sorrow the true wild?

And if it is — and if we join them — your wild to mine — what’s that?

For joining, too, is a kind of annihilation.

What if we joined our sorrows, I’m saying.

I’m saying: What if that is joy?”

~ Ross Gay from “The Book of Delights” in conversation with Krista Tippett – On Being

Sunday Muse

“…what if everything we’ve been told about human nature is wrong, and we’re actually very generous, communitarian, altruistic beings who are distorted by the system we’re in but not made happy by it? What if we can actually be better people in a better world?”

~ Rebecca Solnit in conversation with Krista Tippett, On Being

Sunday Muse

“All colors are one thing, seen in different states of motion.  And that is science’s brilliantly poetic answer to Keats’ complaint that science unweaves a rainbow.”

“…So all these colors can be derived from one of them by moving at an appropriate velocity.  So really, the existence of one implies the existence of all the others.”

“…And the properties of one imply the properties of all the others.  So in a really deep sense, they are the same thing.  But in a complementary sense if you don’t move, they’re all different.”

~ Frank Wilczek, “Why is the Earth So Beautiful?” – On Being conversation with Krista Tippett

Sunday Muse

“There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure.  About light and shadow and the drift of continents.  This is what has been called the ‘dialect of moss on stone’ – an interface of immensity and minuteness, of past and present, softness and hardness, stillness and vibrancy, yin and yan.”

~ Robin Wall Kimmerer, from “Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses”