Circles, stones, stories

Messengers and mysteries


"I want to extoll not the sweetness or placidity of the dog, but the wilderness out of which he cannot entirely step, and from which we benefit. For wilderness is our first home too, and in our wild ride into modernity with all its concerns and problems we need also all the good attachments to that origin that we can keep or restore. Dog is one of the messengers of that rich and still magical first world. The dog would remind us of the pleasures of the body with its graceful physicality, and the acuity and rapture of the senses, and the beauty of forest and ocean and rain and our own breath. There is not a dog that romps or runs but we learn from him....

"Because of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would life be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?"

- Mary Oliver (Long Life)


You could grow into it,
that sense of living like a dog,
loyal to being on your own in the fur of your skin
able to exist only for the sake of existing....

You swell into survival,
     you take up the whole day,
you’re all there is,
     everything else is
not you, is every passing glint, is
    shadows brought to you by wind...

- Ioanna Carlsen (from her poem "Over and Over Tune")

O the wind and rain

“In a society so estranged from animals as ours, we often fail to credit them with any form of language. If we do, it comes under the heading of communication rather than speech. And yet, the great silence we have imposed on the rest of life contains innumerable forms of expression. Where does our own language come from but this unfathomed store that characterizes innumerable species?

"We are now more than halfway removed from what the unwritten word meant to our ancestors, who believed in the original, primal word behind all manifestations of the spirit. You sang because you were answered. The answers come from life around you. Prayers, chants, and songs were also responses to the elements, to the wind, the sun and stars, the Great Mystery behind them. Life on earth springs from a collateral magic that we rarely consult. We avoid the unknown as if we were afraid that contact would lower our sense of self-esteem.”

- John Hay (A Beginner's Faith in Things Unseen)

The fairy spring

"I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.”

 - Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)

Over the hill

"Love is a powerful tool, and maybe, just maybe, before the last little town is corrupted and the last of the unroaded and undeveloped wildness is given over to dreams of profit, maybe it will be love, finally, love for the land for its own sake and for what it holds of beauty and joy and spiritual redemption that will make wilderness not a battlefield but a revelation." 

- T.H. Watkins (Red Rock Chronicles)

The Messenger