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“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this.”

– Thoreau


Ten thousand flowers in spring

The moon in autumn

The cool breeze in summer

Snow in winter

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things

This is the best season of your life.

– Wu Men

What is there beyond knowing that keeps

calling to me?  I can’t

turn in any direction

but it’s there.  I don’t mean

the leaves’ grip and shine or even the thrush’s

silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,

of the stars, heaven’s slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind

playful with its breath;

or time that’s always rushing forward,

or standing still

in the same — what shall I say —


What I know

I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it

on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!

While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable.  How wonderful it is

to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.

I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,

in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out.  Life so far doesn’t have any other name

but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there’s a temple, I haven’t found it yet.

I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass

and the weeds.

~ Mary Oliver