Sunday, September 10, 2017

This is *your* time -- how will you use it?

Do you ever think about all the people that lived before you were even born?

Have you ever looked at old family photograph or antique portrait, taken back when photography meant 8x10 cameras on tripods with long bellows and and a blackout cloth?

Did you looked closely at their faces?  Perhaps you noticed a sparkle in their eyes -- the spark of their consciousness recorded in those photos?

As a teacher of mine once said he used to love to view such old photographs, even of total strangers, because it would remind him:  "that was *their* time ... now this is *my* time."

And this is also *your* time.

For the people in those old photographs, that spark is now extinguished.

But yours is burning as long as you are alive.  How brightly it burns is largely up to you.

                   The Summer Day —Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?