Treading Water…

When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there.

– (Takuan Soto)

I have not gotten all the pictures worked on from Rowan’s adventures south…

Lots of projects going, pressed for time. Some nice selections for today, I hope you enjoy!
On The Menu:

The Quotes

Make a Difference

Poetry: William Butler Yeats…
Bright Blessings!

The Quotes:
However young,

The seeker who sets out upon the way

Shines bright over the world.

Without the tao,

Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice;

Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony.

-(Lao Tzu)
In the history of Chinese civilisation, no significant scientific advances came as a result of Confucian studies. They were scholastics, and a scholastic in those times was one who went by the book, who believed what the ancient text or the ancient scriptures said, and who studied them and became proficient in them like a rabbi or a Christian theologian.
But mystics have never been very interested in theology. Mystics are interested in direct experience, and therefore – although you may laugh at them and say they are not scientific – they are empirical in their approach. And the taoists, being mystics, were the only great group of ancient Chinese people who seriously studied nature. They were interested in its principles from the beginning, and their books are full of analogies between the taoist way of life and the behaviour of natural forces seen in water, wind, or plants and rocks.

-(Alan Watts)
As a bee gathering nectar does not harm or disturb the colour and fragrance of the flower; so do the wise move through the world.

– (Buddha)

Make a Difference
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out,”Good morning! What are you doing?” The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.” “I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?” “The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.” “But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!” The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

Poetry: William Butler Yeats…

Crazy Jane On God
That lover of a night

Came when he would,

Went in the dawning light

Whether I would or no;

Men come, men go;

All things remain in God.
Banners choke the sky;

Men-at-arms tread;

Armoured horses neigh

In the narrow pass:

All things remain in God.
Before their eyes a house

That from childhood stood

Uninhabited, ruinous,

Suddenly lit up

From door to top:

All things remain in God.
I had wild Jack for a lover;

Though like a road

That men pass over

My body makes no moan

But sings on:

All things remain in God.

The Gyres
The gyres! the gyres! Old Rocky Face, look forth;

Things thought too long can be no longer thought,

For beauty dies of beauty, worth of worth,

And ancient lineaments are blotted out.

Irrational streams of blood are staining earth;

Empedocles has thrown all things about;

Hector is dead and there’s a light in Troy;

We that look on but laugh in tragic joy.

What matter though numb nightmare ride on top,

And blood and mire the sensitive body stain?

What matter? Heave no sigh, let no tear drop,

A-greater, a more gracious time has gone;

For painted forms or boxes of make-up

In ancient tombs I sighed, but not again;

What matter? Out of cavern comes a voice,

And all it knows is that one word “Rejoice!’

Conduct and work grow coarse, and coarse the soul,

What matter? Those that Rocky Face holds dear,

Lovers of horses and of women, shall,

From marble of a broken sepulchre,

Or dark betwixt the polecat and the owl,

Or any rich, dark nothing disinter

The workman, noble and saint, and all things run

On that unfashionable gyre again.

The Two Trees
Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,

The holy tree is growing there;

From joy the holy branches start,

And all the trembling flowers they bear.

The changing colours of its fruit

Have dowered the stars with metry light;

The surety of its hidden root

Has planted quiet in the night;

The shaking of its leafy head

Has given the waves their melody,

And made my lips and music wed,

Murmuring a wizard song for thee.

There the Joves a circle go,

The flaming circle of our days,

Gyring, spiring to and fro

In those great ignorant leafy ways;

Remembering all that shaken hair

And how the winged sandals dart,

Thine eyes grow full of tender care:

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.

Gaze no more in the bitter glass

The demons, with their subtle guile.

Lift up before us when they pass,

Or only gaze a little while;

For there a fatal image grows

That the stormy night receives,

Roots half hidden under snows,

Broken boughs and blackened leaves.

For ill things turn to barrenness

In the dim glass the demons hold,

The glass of outer weariness,

Made when God slept in times of old.

There, through the broken branches, go

The ravens of unresting thought;

Flying, crying, to and fro,

Cruel claw and hungry throat,

Or else they stand and sniff the wind,

And shake their ragged wings; alas!

Thy tender eyes grow all unkind:

Gaze no more in the bitter glass.

The sage works anonymously,

But does not wait around for praise.

-(Lao Tzu)

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