20 April 2013

the force of gravity is irresistible

"What meaning does it find in my awareness," asks Rilke of a rose in a porcelain vase on his desk. "It too should not be here, / it should have bloomed or faded in the garden / outside, never involved with me. But now it lives on in its small porcelain vase." (from Requiem to a Friend)

In his meditation on mortality and the transient nature of being, Rilke examines the subject of a thing's meaning with him present. The entire life cycle of this rose is altered when it was cut from its branches, its thorns shed, and brought indoors in a isolated, unmoving space. For inside, we can prevent the world from tightening its grasp around us. Sure, dust settles. Books shift. The mystery and magic of the universe breathes into the stillness of our unattended clothes on hangers, our nicknacks on shelves.

What I'm curious about is not what meaning Things find in my awareness, but in my absence. Reality, as we perceive it, can only exist as what's directly in front of us: what we can know with our senses -- these things are real. But what of the shadows and husks of our days, when we move out of our routine and into variance? This previously unknown-to-us world has always existed, but its tangibility has meant little to us until we are in it. Does a rose know that it is a rose when we are gone? Or does it simply stand, as it always does, only to find meaning when people ascribe it?

With this, and the tension of yesterday's events in mind, I find myself questioning. I know the police chase was real - I know someone who lives nearby. I know that people died - their mortality blooming in blood like the pollen on these springtime trees. And in the end, after a long, taut day a man was apprehended. These things are real, and yet in the images displayed on screens, the text in tweets online, I find myself disconnected. Shouldn't I feel something other than confusion over the presentation of events, meditating meta-awareness?

Despite my confounded state, this is a new day. "The force of gravity is irresistible" as we are all pulled into the weighty epicenter of a tragedy. I think now of what's to come, and of the inevitability of life -- not of the supposed felt realness of events. Memories and silhouettes in our minds are as real as anything when life is taken senselessly and abruptly. Smoke lingers after a flame is extinguished.

As we move through the world, it continues moving - as it always has.

04 March 2013

simple sunday # 5

What's simpler than making delicious food - fast - with left overs? Not much. Hello, tri-color quinoa, black bean, broccoli and tomato bowl.

24 February 2013

simple sunday #4

This triple weekend snow ritual continues my mindfulness of being, ever cognizant of the constant movement of time, ambling forward with the promise of change and new beginnings. I aim to listen to the subtle ticking of the clock, moving me - encouraging me. We have so much to gain from the lessons of life, which is why this Rilke passage struck me. Let life happen to you - because if not, what is there?

This is from today's entry in A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings that I found during an afternoon bookstore perusal seeking respite from the cold. Something about this season makes me crave contemplation and snuggling. Whatever the reason, I'm glad for it.

17 February 2013

simple sunday #3

Six inches and falling: puff of ice punctuating weekends - detaining us to warmer climes. A french press to myself, runny yolks and toast is better self-made when the wind is seen through a veil of dusty snow.

Be quiet, now, to hear the fullness of silence. 

Though bells will ring 
church steeples were catchin' fire
If you promise spring 
Then I'll know you are a liar

Cause in the spring
Tender grasses won't burn easily
Tough thrushes sing
Still my lover won't return to me
"Souverian," Andrew Bird

03 February 2013

simple sunday #2

Solo Sunday breakfast as snow falls outside. A book and coffee on the side. Quiet. Pensive.

It seems like this blog was the last of my web presence to catch up with my new life. Time to bring it up to speed with posts every Sunday about how I'm aiming to live my life more simply and meaningfully.

27 January 2013

simple sunday #1

a productive Sunday fueled by an early afternoon snack: ciabatta, oliveoil, tomatoes, havarti, baby spinach & raspberry hibiscus tea.

I'm aiming to cut out excess in my life to make room for richer experiences in the areas that it matters most. That means enriching my body, mind and spirit by being mindful of the beautiful simple moments each day has.