"On Ecological Literacy" by Fritjof Capra

We need to teach our children, our students, and our corporate and political leaders, the fundamental facts of life – that one species' waste is another species' food; that matter cycles continually through the web of life; that the energy driving the ecological cycles flows from the sun; that diversity assures resilience; and, (as suggested by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan) that life, from its beginning more than three billion years ago, did not take over the planet by combat but by networking.

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"For my Mother" by Jonathan Billig

Another year around the sun
For a spirit whose echo is endless. 

You are loved
As you are,
As you live in me and in your 
Smiling, suffering, singing children.
Programmers and apprentices,
Every shining hand you touch
A poultice for the thought,
“I can’t go on.” 
Because you do.
Because you ever always do.
Because you ride on mountain trails
Dragging friends and G!d along behind you
As if to say,
“There will be time for sorrow.
Come, let us carve a path with joy.” 

Like the star who by our life
Becomes the sun,
You anchor orbits
And radiate light. 
You merged with male
To become rock,
Coalesced from cold and violent space
When stars imploded. 
A leader among children,
A shepherd among wanderers, 
A help when none was given.
A breath both long and breathless,
Fulfillment and excitement, 
Supple strength transcending time. 

Bending our minds toward you,
Our spirits form a latticework of love.
Until we weave together 

Each moment,
Each person your quilt, 
A shelter giving tribute to the sky,
As vast as the blue of your eye. 

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"i thank You God for most this amazing" by E.E. Cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

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"Mary Oliver for Corona Times (Thoughts after the poem ‘Wild Geese’)" by Adrie Suzanne Kusserow

You do not have to become totally zen,
You do not have to use this isolation to make your marriage better,
your body slimmer, your children more creative.
You do not have to “maximize its benefits”
By using this time to work even more,
write the bestselling Corona Diaries,
Or preach the gospel of ZOOM.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body unlearn
everything capitalism has taught you,
(That you are nothing if not productive,
That consumption equals happiness,
That the most important unit is the single self.
That you are at your best when you resemble an efficient machine).

Tell me about your fictions, the ones you’ve been sold,
the ones you sheepishly sell others,
and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world as we know it is crumbling.
Meanwhile the virus is moving over the hills,
suburbs, cities, farms and trailer parks.
Meanwhile The News barks at you, harsh and addicting,
Until the push of the remote leaves a dead quiet behind,
a loneliness that hums as the heart anchors.
Meanwhile a new paradigm is composing itself in our minds,
Could birth at any moment if we clear some space
From the same tired hegemonies.
Remember, you are allowed to be still as the white birch,
Stunned by what you see,
Uselessly shedding your coils of paper skins
Because it gives you something to do.
Meanwhile, on top of everything else you are facing,
Do not let capitalism coopt this moment,
laying its whistles and train tracks across your weary heart.
Even if your life looks nothing like the Sabbath,
Your stress boa-constricting your chest.
Know that your antsy kids, your terror, your shifting moods,
Your need for a drink have every right to be here,
And are no less sacred than a yoga class.
Whoever you are, no matter how broken,
the world still has a place for you, calls to you over and over
announcing your place as legit, as forgiven,
even if you fail and fail and fail again.
remind yourself over and over,
all the swells and storms that run through your long tired body
all have their place here, now in this world.
It is your birthright to be held
deeply, warmly in the family of things,
not one cell left in the cold.

by Adrie Suzanne Kusserow ©2020

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"Love" by Czeslaw Milosz

Love means to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills –
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

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"Dreams Before Waking" by Adrienne Rich

Despair falls:
the Shadow of a building
they are raising in the direct path
of your slender ray of sunlight
slowly the steel girders grow
the skeletal framework rises
yet the western light still filters
through it all
still glances off the plastic sheeting
they wrap around it
for dead of winter.
 
At the end of winter something changes
a faint subtraction
from consolations you expected
an innocent brilliance that does not come
through the flower shops set out
once again on the pavement
their pots of tight-budded sprays
the bunches of jonquils still with cold
and at such a price
though someone must buy them
you study those hues as if with hunger
 
Despair falls
like the day you come home
from work, a summer evening
transparent with rose-blue light
and see they are filling
the framework
the girders are rising
beyond your window
that seriously you live
in a different place
though you have never moved
 
and will not move, not yet
but will give away your potted plants to a friend
on the other side of town
along with the cut crystal
flashing in the window-frame
will forget the evenings
of watching the street, the sky
the planes in the feathered afterglow:
will learn to feel grateful simply for this foothold
 
where still you can manage
to go on paying rent
where still you can believe
it’s the old neighborhood:
even the woman who sleeps at night
in the barred doorway—wasn’t she always there?
and the man glancing, darting for food in the supermarket trash—
when did this hunger come to this?
what made the difference?
what will make it for you?
 
What will make it for you?
you don’t want to know the stages
and those who go through them don’t want to tell
You have your four locks on the door
your savings, your respectable past
your strangely querulous body, suffering
sicknesses of the city no one can name
Your have your pride, your bitterness
your memories of sunset
you think you can make it straight through
you don’t speak of despair.
 
What would it mean to live
in a city whose people were changing
each other’s despair into hope?—
You yourself must change it.—
what would it feel like to know your country was changing?—
You yourself must change it.—
Though your life felt arduous
new and unmapped and strange
what would it mean to stand on the first
page to the end of despair?
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"Pandemic" by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
 
Source: http://www.lynnungar.com/poems/pandemic/

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"The Way It Is" by William Stafford

This is the poem Phyllis Freeman shared last Friday:

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

by William Stafford, from The Way It Is, 1998

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"Close" by David Whyte

This is the exquisite prose poem Emily Abramson shared last Friday:

CLOSE

is what we almost always are: close to happiness, close to another, close to leaving, close to tears, close to God, close to losing faith, close to being done, close to saying something, or close to success, and even, with the greatest sense of satisfaction, close to giving the whole thing up....

Our human essence lies not in arrival, but in being almost there, we are creatures who are on the way, our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals. We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity: an intimacy calibrated by the vulnerability we feel in giving up our sense of separation.

To go beyond our normal identities and become closer than close is to lose our sense of self in temporary joy, a form of arrival that only opens us to deeper forms of intimacy that blur our fixed, controlling, surface identity.

To consciously become close is a courageous form of unilateral disarmament, a chancing of our arm and our love, a willingness to hazard our affections and an unconscious declaration that we might be equal to the inevitable loss that the vulnerability of being close will bring.

Human beings do not find their essence through fulfillment or eventual arrival but by staying close to the way they like to travel, to the way they hold the conversation between the ground on which they stand and the horizon to which they go. We are in effect, always, close; always close to the ultimate secret: that we are more real in our simple wish to find a way than any destination we could reach: the step between not understanding that and understanding that, is as close as we get to happiness.

‘CLOSE’
From CONSOLATIONS:
The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
2019 © David Whyte:
CANONGATE BOOKS UK

Hear Krista Tippett read it here: https://soundcloud.com/onbeing/close-by-david-whyte-read-by-krista-tippett

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"In The Time of The Pandemic" by Kitty O'Meara

This is the poem Aaron read on Friday night:

And the people stayed home.

And they read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.

And they listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.

And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without Catherine O’Meara’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors.

Source: https://the-daily-round.com/2020/03/16/in-the-time-of-pandemic/

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