Quotes and Reflections for the New Year
Just as the 2021 odometer clicked over into 2022, Claire sent the following call: "I thought it would be fun to start a New Year's thread. Share a quote, a wish, a blessing, whatever you like."
After the chat thread collected an assortment of quotes, Claire followed up with this thought: "I think what everyone shared is a lovely reflection on who we are as we look forward to moving in and living into our vision for our community."
I don't know where I am going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.
At the Solstice I always remind myself that the great thing about the darkest time of year is that we've turned the corner, the days will gradually get longer and the light is returning.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness. We are made for all of the beautiful things that you and I know. We are made to tell the world that there are no outsiders. All are welcome; black, white, red, yellow, rich, poor, educated, not educated, male, female, gay, straight, all, all, all. We all belong to this family ... Do your little bit of good wherever you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Kind,” said the boy.
from The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
Whatever the mind...can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
Douglas Abrams co-wrote The Book of Joy with Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. Abrams wrote of spending a week with these two laughing, joyful men: “Having worked with many spiritual leaders, I’m tempted to see laughter and a sense of humor as a universal index of spiritual development.”
If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.
To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.
Saadi, poet (c. 1200 AD)
We do not remember days, we remember moments.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get at it while you can and good luck at it.
Joan Didion, 1975 commencement address at the University of California, Riverside
Everything is waiting for you.
You are the one you've been waiting for.
Peace can be started by truth.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
This reminds me of a saying that the people who cross your path are a part of your bundle, and if we all just take care of our bundle, everyone will be taken care of. That may be a terrible mis-quote, and I cannot remember or find where it is from -- maybe Parker Palmer, quoting Shaker wisdom? Interesting, that cohousing works to live this.