“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”

–Toni Morrison

“Spring Giddiness”
By Rumi

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.
Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
What a bargain, let’s buy it.

Daylight, full of small dancing particles
and the one great turning, our souls
are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?

All day and night, music,
a quiet, bright
reedsong. If it
fades, we fade.

“Own Your Own Pain”
by Patricia Roth Schwartz

Own your own pain.
Why not? It’s yours.

You’ve hawked it, pushed it, pimped it –
now,

Your body, breathing, life, guts, luster,
sweetness, softness,
pays the price.

So own your own pain. Why not?

You’ve eaten it for breakfast,
Sung it to sleep at night,
Rinsed it out in the basin,
Watched it rise with the bread.

So- take it, turn it,
Let it slither,
Into blood-beat, breast-bone, cell-song,
skin.

Give it a name.
What you possess
Cannot possess you.

I practice turning people into trees

“[W]hen you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m toothis.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees.” —Ram Dass

[Hat tip to Pete for the quote.]

“The problem isn’t to learn to love humanity, but to learn to love those members of it who happen to be at hand.”

–Samuel R. Delany

“What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.”

Read the full, lovely piece What it means to “hold space” for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well by Heather Plett.

Originally posted on I'm Such an AFROholic:

Audre Lorde said something to me that has continued even now to inform me. She made it very clear that none of us comes with our consciousness fully developed; it is a constant work that we have to be ever vigilant about. I’m counseling myself these days around patience. I’m counseling myself around understanding that we come to issues not only from different sites of experience but with different levels of consciousness, so as not to be so quick, not to be so judgmental, not to be so rapid around closing a door, around writing someone off.

Essex Hemphill, Living the Word/Looking for Home

(via Learning Everyday…)

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“I don’t think pain goes away. I think we make room for it. With time, love, forgiveness, and healing, it eventually takes up less room. Not until then, are we able to fill up that space with a sense of peace and joy in our heart and soul.”

–Brigitte Nicole

“The Journey”
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.

It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

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