Eagle Poem by Joy Harjo, US Poet Laureate and member of the Muscogee Nation, “To pray you open your whole self To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon To one whole voice that is you. And know there is more That you can’t see, can’t hear; Can’t know except in moments Steadily growing, and in languages That aren’t always sound but other Circles of motion. Like eagle that Sunday morning Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky In wind, swept our hearts clean With sacred wings. We see you, see ourselves and know That we must take the utmost care And kindness in all things. Breathe in, knowing we are made of All this, and breathe, knowing We are truly blessed because we Were born, and die soon within a True circle of motion, Like eagle rounding out the morning Inside us. We pray that it will be done In beauty. In beauty.”
Colour and Fragrance by Norbert Fabián Čapek, founder of the Unitarian Church in Prague, who was executed on this day in 1942 in Dachau concentration camp, “Colour and fragrance, magical rhythm, sweet changing music will change us with them: life within life, inner light gently glowing, surely you seem to be God’s vision growing. O starry heavens, worlds of all splendour, suns without number, new life engender: wheel in a wheel with the light brightly glowing, moving in harmony, God’s vision growing. Hand full of pebbles, high mountain passes, depths of the ocean, dew on the grasses: great things and small, with the light gently glowing, word of the wordless song, God’s vision growing. Delicate beings, lacewing and sparrow in field and forest, clover and yarrow: life greeting life with the light brightly glowing, none are too small to be God’s vision growing. In human eyes burns the soul of living, illumines altars of loving giving: greeting, we meet, seeing light brightly glowing, share in a greater life, God’s vision growing. Shaper of all things, to us you’ve given our chance to keep here on earth, a heaven. Moving in harmony, light gently glowing, may we be, gratefully, God’s vision growing.”
“Let us pay attention to our breathing. Let us be relaxed in our bodies and minds. Let us be at peace with our bodies and minds. Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves. Let us be aware of the source of being that is common to us all, and to all living things. Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.” Thich Nhat Hanh, who is 95 today!
“Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary.” Che Guevara, revolutionary and physician, who died on this day in 1967
“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.”
“Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” Black Elk (1863 – 1950), spiritual leader of the Oglala Lakota nation
St. Francis and the Wolf by Christine Valters Paintner “The city trembled at the wolf outside its gates, fangs fierce, howling with hunger, fur thick with blood. Francis approaches softly, palms open. When the wolf lunges his breath stays slow and steady, looks with eyes of love, smiles and bows and the beast whimpers, licks the monk’s salty face, tail a brown banner waving, and follows Francis through the streets like an old friend, to the wonder of all. Except perhaps it’s not such a wonder that when we open the gate to all that is fierce and fearful inside us, when we hold our hands like begging bowls, our hearts like candles, the wolf within will want to lay its soft head upon our laps and we see there is no more wolf and me just one wild love, one wild hunger.”