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Culture Night!

Posts: 367
Location: The Wilds
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Here at Basecamp we started a thing called Culture Night, which will happen on Thursdays, probably, unless no one is feeling it in which case it won't. 😂

Tonight it was Poetry Night! Next week is Your Favorite Movie Monologue.
Jen Tuuli
Posts: 367
Location: The Wilds
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Tonight I read two poems by Mary Oliver. I love feet imagery and the mood she sets.

At Great Pond

At Great Pond
the sun, rising,
scrapes his orange breast
on the thick pines,
and down tumble
a few orange feathers into
the dark water.
On the far shore
a white bird is standing
like a white candle ---
or a man, in the distance,
in the clasp of some meditation ---
while all around me the lilies
are breaking open again
from the black cave
of the night.
Later, I will consider
what I have seen ---
what it could signify ---
what words of adoration I might
make of it, and to do this
I will go indoors to my desk ---
I will sit in my chair ---
I will look back
into the lost morning
in which I am moving, now,
like a swimmer,
so smoothly,
so peacefully,
I am almost the lily ---
almost the bird vanishing over the water
on its sleeves of night.


What I Have Learned So Far

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of -- indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.
Posts: 101
Location: Montana
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Woohoo thanks for starting this thread Jen!
Maybe if any permies want to share their poems, we can read them aloud on culture night for the community.

"Be ignited, or be gone."
Amazing line. Our new Wheaton Labs motto. Or even better, the edited version

Here were my shares from last night: (1) an excerpt from Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth (Thich Nhat Hanh), (2) my poem about the Pacific Crest Trail, and (3) a little piece I wrote after the trail as well.

“The world is not a problem to be solved; it is a living being to which we belong. The world is part of our own self and we are a part of its suffering wholeness. Until we go to the root of our image of separateness, there can be no healing. And the deepest part of our separateness from creation lies in our forgetfulness of its sacred nature, which is also our own sacred nature.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth

If you go to the desert in the spring of a year
you’ll meet wand'rers garbed in colorful gear
setting their sights on a goal far north
Following footsteps of those from before.
Everything they need rests on their backs,
stuffed into vibrant new-age packs,
and they’ve come from all corners of the Earth to see
if they can make it to Canada on the strength of their feet.
They meet like-minded gypsies or lovers of trees,
take new names and form small companies,
put their faith in the mountains to lead them home,
Whispers of wild things in their bones.
With blessings from angels and hope in their hearts,
they begin a journey which will set them apart.
The prize is sore feet and a collection of tales,
for following the legend,
that cultish classic,
Pacific Crest Trail.

Let us be grateful for our challenges, the mountains at whose feet we gaze up into the clouds, the small home in which we are woken by water dropping on our faces, the tugging of heartstrings as we say goodbye to our friends, all of those things which are the sandpapers handed to us by the universe, by the gods, by those who watch over us, as they whisper into the wind, 'Smooth out your edges, that you may flow more easily with the way of things. Soften your frown, that you may smile more readily and remember to play. Clear your mind, that you may be free to listen and live outside of time. Change your perspective, that you may see the world and its people for what they are: a part of you. Be grateful for these chances to grow and know yourself, for the opportunity to overcome, for the strength to go on. To become what you already are, by shedding that which you are not.'
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