Friday, February 7, 2014

days pass when I forget the mystery


by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

{translation by Coleman Barks}

"As soon as you notice the slightest sign of indifference, the moment you become aware of the loss of a certain seriousness, of longing, of enthusiasm and zest, take it as a warning. You should realize your soul suffers if you live superficially."

- Albert Schweitzer


by Denise Levertov

Days pass when I forget the mystery.
Problems insoluble and problems offering
their own ignored solutions
jostle for my attention, they crowd its antechamber
along with a host of diversions, my courtiers, wearing
their colored clothes; caps and bells.
And then
once more the quiet mystery
is present to me, the throng's clamor
recedes: the mystery
that there is anything, anything at all,
let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything,
rather than void: and that, 0 Lord,
Creator, Hallowed one, You still,
hour by hour sustain it.

Your soul suffers if you live superficially says Schweitzer, but because we are human, because every morning, indeed, there are new arrivals.....there are also days that pass where we forget about the mystery. 

Yesterday, I spent most of the morning on my chaise longue, with books, notebooks. I read poetry. And there, very often, is where I regain my enthusiasm, my longing. And here in these photographs, wanting to capture something of the mystery of windows, the light that enters our homes, quietly, without fanfare. 

I'm not religious in any way, but have been enjoying this: Angel of the Hour. Always amazing what you can find on the internet. 

Also, this piece, by ensemble, et al. called, "in a crowded room with nothing to think about." I heard it on CKUA radio in the car on the way to get groceries yesterday and found it both meditative and uplifting. 

Enjoy your weekend - wishing you a glimpse into the mystery this weekend, and calm, always, calm. 


  1. oh!
    both links a delight.
    and the words of schweitzer... well... oh my.

  2. Beautiful. I love the Rumi poem especially - one of my faves......such a wonderful calm home, you have created.

  3. Primary Wonder is beautiful too. Your posts are always insightful :)

  4. I enjoyed both these links today, Shawna, but I think I enjoyed your photos more :). Have a wonderful weekend! oh, and also, I talked about zest today, too, though in a slightly different tone. Funny co-incidence.

  5. As usual you have a perfect melding of words of poetry with your lovely hushed subdued window images....\
    both creating that air of mystery and calm


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