Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Moab, Utah/Colorado River/November 12, 2006/10:14:11 AM

Somewhere between the heaven
And Earth,
The murky borders of eternity
Dissolve into perfection---
Places so ephemeral
They cannot be possessed,
Yet real enough to confound us,
Into loving.
                                                                Christopher Di Lascia

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Solstice

                      Potala Palace/May 23, 2006

Days begin and end in the dead of night.
They are not shaped long, in the manner of things which lead to end---
arrow, road, man's life on earth. They are shaped round, in the manner
of things eternal and stable---sun, world, God.
Civilization tries to persuade us we are going towards something,
a distant goal. We have forgotten that our only goal is to live,
to live each and every day, and that if we live each and every day,
our true goal is achieved. 
All civilized people see the day beginning at dawn or a little after or a long time after
or whatever time their work begins; this they lengthed according to their work,
during what they call 'all day long'; and end it when they close their eyes. 
It is they who say the days are long.
On the contrary, the days are round.
Jean Giono, 'Rondeur des Jours' (1943)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Merced River/Vernal Falls/John Muir Trail/Yosemite Valley

Do you think you can take the world and improve it?
I do not think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will ruin it.
If you try to help it, you will lose it.
Lao Tzu

Native cultures evoke a sense of spirituality within me when I encounter them. Indigenous people have something more than a shared language, I think it is a connection to each other, the earth, and, by extention--me. When we currently discuss the environment, ways in which we have harmed it, and ways in which we believe we can fix it, I feel a sense of frustration and hopelessness at the enormity of the task. I think this stems from the premise that the environment is something out there as opposed to something in here, in me. Thinking about the inclusive nature of things and the idea that Shakespeare expressed when he said, "We are nature too." I am left with a sense of well being that seems so natural to my indigenous friends. When I consider my physical being and appreciate the impermanence of it, the cycle of life, the long and short of it, the up and down of it, the happy and sad of it, I am free to take all the rhetoric of the debate into a completely different and, to me, wholly understandable place. I've only to look within to find the answers. John Muir's poignant statement about 'going out' captures this for me.

I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded
to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found,
was really going in.

In Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland I found the John Muir Museum. Here was the birthplace of our naturalist. Wandering through his house I came across his 'going out' quote. I felt an immediate sense of connection and reconnection to this man. It was a deja vu experience having walked the John Muir Trail up out of Yosemite Valley as an awestruck young man and many times later. Both East Lothian and Yosemite connect me to something spiritual and to myself. I was deeply moved to find Muir in both. Standing in the little museum on Dunbar's High Street I found myself on the top of Vernal Falls, feeling the rush of air as it was moved by the swift falling waters of the Merced River. Were we not separated by a mere century, Muir and I could have been going out together. Despite this the feeling of connection was complete for me. I copied the quote and continued to explore the surrounding countryside where nature was (I am) so accessible.
There is an old Sioux Indian saying that best summarizes how I feel about all of this.

          Take courage, the earth is all that lasts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


While traveling in Tibet in May of 2006 I took this photo on a hike up to the Potala Palace. It is one of my favorite images from this trip and reminds me of this writing I did earlier that year in January.

Everything we say or do connects us to every other being.

Words and actions ripple out across the pond touching everything and everyone.

Everything and everyone becomes one. Is one.

This oneness clarifies, signifies and relieves.

It ushers forth thoughts that are new and exciting.

Revealing in us the connection that allows true love and understanding.