Monday, January 20, 2014

an invincible calm

It's This Way

by Nazim Hikmet

I stand in the advancing light,
my hands hungry, the world beautiful.

My eyes can’t get enough of the trees—
they’re so hopeful, so green.

A sunny road runs through the mulberries,
I’m at the window of the prison infirmary.

I can’t smell the medicines—
carnations must be blooming nearby.

It’s this way:
being captured is beside the point,
the point is not to surrender.

You've perhaps heard part of this quotation before, or read The Stranger by Albert Camus:

“My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”

And it's true that when the world pushes against us, we then learn who we truly are, what we can withstand.

We are in spite of everything, rather invincible. A powerful thought.

For Christmas I gave Rob a book of Cy Twombly photographs. Twombly is an artist we both admire, so admittedly a gift we both enjoy.

We've had a few days of light - which seem miraculous after all the grey we've had. Grey days upon grey days.

Rob had left the book open, and the light reached all the way into the middle of the room, all the way to this photograph in this book.

And of course watching, gently observing, my excited clicking - Ace:


  1. It's such a pleasure to read your posts Shawna. I always find invincible calmness in you. Wish I had at least 5 % of it. Such exuberant energy I carry all the time. And your photographs are so beautiful. I live in India and I too find inspiration in photography. Whenever I see your pics and mine, I experience two completely different worlds, serene and delighting. I wish I could read your books. I'll pick one when they are available here. Love you :)

    you can see glimpses of my photography at

  2. A beautiful read, but Oh! the photos! I was mesmerized by the beautiful cloth on the coffee table, the sprightly small flowers, the patterns and colors.....and then that big old black lovable head, and then the paw. Pow! straight to the heart.

  3. Thank you both so much! I'll be sure and take a look at your photos Meghana. And Sherry - He is such a loveable guy. So lucky to have him.

  4. i cannot say it more to the point nor more beautifully than sherry blue sky.
    another post
    from shawna
    "straight to the heart!"

  5. I love the quote from Albert Camus .. perfect timing for me to read it this morning. Thank you Shawna. I, like Sherry Blue Sky, was mesmerized by the beautiful embroidered cloth on your table and Ace's beautiful paw.


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