Fresh Quotes: Mary Oliver

I have never re-blogged a post of my own but since the recent passing of my favorite writer, Mary Oliver , I felt compelled. Rarely do I cry when someone I do not know dies…
Her words spoke to me, told me was wasn’t so alone in my crazy love for the trees and the chickadees and the big beautiful sky. She will be missed.

Life Is Color

I’ve always wanted to write poems and nothing else.

~Mary Oliver

Coming in whispers that speak to that child that lurks within

the one that plays in grassy fields and kisses the sweet spring wind

she who laughs at chickadees and muses with birds

Quietly knocking one over the head with her simple earthy words.

I have been literally brought to tears on more than one occasion by this immensely talented writer and poet.

Mary Oliver is an artist who more than paints pictures with words. She illustrates profound feeling in vivid and not so vivid colors and hues. They hit me deep down in my soul.

Never before have I so connected with another’s words. It reinforces to me the greater connection we all have with each other and our beautiful planet.

What follows are some of my favorite quotes by this Pulitzer Prize winner.

MARY OLIVER

“Tell me…

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The Wisdom of the Universe in a Blade of Grass

All of the wisdoms of the universe are held within a single blade of grass. If you look carefully enough you can see this in your minds-eye.  We are afloat an infinite sea of vibrating strings. Everything we know and everything we don’t know. Everything we are and everything that is, was or will be, is connected–It is all part of we. And in that lie the wisdoms of the universe.

 

It has taken me most of my life to realize this something that I knew instinctively as a child but had dismissed or hidden from my conscious mind.

Ever listen to the silence between everything else?

When we grow to adulthood we leave behind our childish ways, we assimilate and integrate with society, many of the beliefs and instinctive truths we held dear as children are washed away with grown up ” rational” thought and much of our free thinking and creativity is lost at sea.

 

People look for answers, they have a need to convince their rational minds what the heart already knows. They flock to gurus and philosophers and there are no shortage of those who have all the “answers”. In actuality,  the best guru is a child who remembers the universal truths that are born inside every single one of us.

 

Lovely Pink Anemones from my mother’s garden.

I remember spending time in my mothers garden; lying in the grass, and the way the grass smelled and how the breeze gave me goosebumps. And how the trees swaying made shadows dance across my eyelids.  I remember watching the clouds pass by so effortlessly.  It seemed the moments lasted longer and I savored each one as it melted into the next.

I remember how connected I felt to everything in the universe and this was no big revelation to me.  I did not need to be taught this, I don’t think any of us need to be taught this.

I knew that everything within my vision;  from myself and my cat and the bird he was eyeing in the tree, to the ant and the worm and to the tree itself. I felt connected to the very soil I stood upon and to the sky over my head and every person and all life on this planet. I would see everyone as a friend.  And I thought this until I was about 4 or 5 and then something told me, I don’t know what, but something told me to put a lock on those ideas and stick them in the back of the closet where I would throw my old toys. There they would stay until my mid thirties, when I started to wake up again.

It was in those dark , still and silent nights when my mind could stay quiet enough to hear the whispers of my soul that I began to catch glimpses of the light. I learned the more that I listened the more I would hear. I also learned right off the bat that most of what I did hear at that time in my life was not good. My heart was sad and my soul was lost and lonely.

It is in reaching a bottom of sorts where I found the will to climb out. I quit a 20 year addiction to alcohol.  I returned to the grass and the trees and the tiny daisies in the lawn. I found my connection with nature was returning and I healed in the power of that wonderfulness.

Everything I have learned so far, through the words and actions of others, though raw experience and through the whispers of my very soul, have put me to where I am now and the realizations that continually dawn on me, leading me to believe that what is the most important is the intangible and that we are truly are intangible beings in a tangible world. And that what we seek is truly inside us.

This is just a beginning of sorts for me. A rebirth. A getting back to where I need to be. I have returned from an extended break from writing and blogging. I have much to write about. I am excited and happy to be back and to reconnect with some kindred souls ones I have met along the way and new ones as well.

~Nancy

 

 

Tiny wisdoms found here and there 

 

“I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

 

I’ve traveled all around the world to see the rivers and the mountains, and I’ve spent a lot of money. I have gone to great lengths, I have seen everything, but I forgot to see just outside my house a dewdrop on a little blade of grass, a dewdrop which reflects in its convexity the whole universe around you.
~Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
― Thich Nhat Hanh

 

I would say that there exists a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and our chances are one. The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in honoring one thing, or a few things, and then closing the list. The pine tree, the leopard, the Platte River, and ourselves-we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together, we are each other’s destiny.

The Art to Flying

 

 

 

Cousin Ernie developed a yen for flight early. His dad liked to throw him high in the air and then threaten not catch him, of course his dad did catch him, well most of the time, but these experiences instilled a deep-seated fear in Ernie.

and so

The last time his dad threw him high into the air his instinct for fight or flight overtook him and he took to the skies floating high out beyond the horizon. They found him weeks later across the ocean living in a small village near the Yangtze River. He refused to come home. The natives had taken his great ability to fly as a lucky sign and had made him their leader. He still lives there today tethered to a pole, Stop by for a visit.
~nlm

 

“The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

― Douglas AdamsLife, the Universe and Everything

 

 

Pink Floyd– Learning to Fly–Official video ( You tube )

The Power of Cuteness

 

 

Hey! It’s wide eyed cuteness giving you that come hither look, almost daring you with it’s abject innocence, it’s helplessness. it’s downright adorableness.

Its purr sounds so sweet, so smooth and comforting.

Eyes that speak to you, pleading.

You are my savior. The only one in the world that can help me.  I cry out for you to love me, to protect me. I am innocent and small. This big bad world is much too big and bad for the likes of me.

How can one resist one such as this? Admit it, you like I are a sucker for a cute face and most of us are. Studies have shown that just looking at pictures of cute babies causes the release of dopamine, one of the chemicals released by the brain that makes us happy.   Dopamine motivates us to take action and gives out a surge of reinforcing pleasure when we do.

 

We are awash in a sea of chemicals and emotions. Cuteness relies on this and demands our attention. And cuteness rewards that attention.

And cuteness sells. This is no big advertising secret.

Cuteness selling cancer sticks

People today spend more time looking at cute things than ever before. The internet is awash in cute images. A virtual zoo of furry kittens, big eyed owlets, cuddling otters and prancing baby goats.

 

 

Cute Pikachu

We watch the minions bumble about on the big screen, buy Hello Kitty merchandise, or watch a Pikachu convention dance on YouTube.

The appeal of these characters may seem trivial, but it actually highlights an evolutionary force — one that can trigger billions of dollars a year of consumer spending.

 


 

THE MIGHTY POWER OF CUTENESS

 

Cuteness has power, never forget that. And never turn your back; cuteness can attack.  Cuteness tends to be underestimated and it has much more power than it leads on. Those same cute little fuzzy paws can have retractable claws capable of ripping us to shreds. Be careful.

 

 

 Dangerously cute!

 

Slow Loris

 

 

 

The Slow Loris:

Irresistibly cute. but dangerous. The only living poisonous primate on Earth. They have glands on the sides of their elbows. When slow lorises are threatened, these glands would release a foul-smelling toxic fluid. Then, this primate lick some poison from the gland and mix it with its saliva and bite the one who disturbed it. This poison could cause allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock.

 

Bears:

They may be our favorite stuffed toys and animals really don’t come much cuter than bears. But in reality they are also one of the most deadly and will not only kill humans, but will actively hunt them down (they are one of only a very short list of animals known to do this). Grizzly bears and polar bears are considered being the most deadly, but all large species of bear are potentially dangerous to humans… even pandas.

 

Poison Dart Frog:  

The frogs’ poison is found in their skin, making them too toxic to touch. While most species are considered toxic but not deadly, they are distasteful to a predator and can even be fatal. The poison can cause serious swelling, nausea, and muscular paralysis.

 

Leopard seal:

Leopard seals rank alongside killer whales as Antarctica’s top predator, according to National Geographic. Bold, powerful and curious. Normally these cute and underestimated animals target penguins but they have been known to hunt people. In 1985, Scottish explorer Gareth Wood was bitten twice on the leg when a leopard seal tried to drag him off the ice and into the sea, and in 2003 a leopard seal dragged snorkeling biologist Kirsty Brown underwater to her death in Antarctica.

 

 

Big Cats: They look so soft and cuddly.  And they do remind me of my cat Mocha. I don’t have to tell you that if you encounter a big cat whether it be a lion, tiger, cougar, or just a stray panther in your neighborhood grocery store. Don’t pet it. Admire it from a distance. And try to refrain from flash photography.

 

 

What is cute and could I be cute already and not know it?

According to the Urban Dictionary.

(What us young and hip and happening young writer types use. )

cute 
attractive, esp. in a delicately beautiful way; pleasingly pretty; affectedly or pretty or clever; precious; mentally keen; clever; self-consciously cute mannerisms or appeal.

 Konrad Lorenz’s Kindchenschema, or baby schema, as defined in the Nobel prize-winning scientist’s 1943 paper on the “innate releasing mechanisms” that prompt affection and nurture in human beings: fat cheeks, large eyes set low on the face, a high forehead, a small nose and jaw, and stubby arms and legs that move in a clumsy fashion. Not just humans: puppies, baby ducks and other young animals are included in Lorenz’s theory. Neil Steinberg for theguardian.com)

Often cuteness does not recognize itself and this is part of its appeal.  And sometimes cute doesn’t even want to be cute, this generates even more cuteness. Odds are that you are in fact very cute and just don’t know it.

Do people ever say “awwwwww” and pat you atop your furry head?  Do children stop and talk to you in sweet little voices reserved for dolls and animals? Can little old ladies resist pinching your cheeks?  You just may be adorable indeed.

And what if you don’t have a furry little head, or whiskers or a bushy tail? It does help to be cute on one’s own but everyone can harness the power of cuteness not just babies, little furry animals and people like myself.

I have been called cute on more than one occasion but seriously, it doesn’t hurt to have a little backup cuteness in your back pocket.

 

Last summer I was walking around downtown in the sun. A crowd had gathered around a band on the street corner. Three or four twenty something guys, not especially cute. Garage-ish sounding and not special except for the littlest member; someone’s little sister doing basic strums on an over-sized guitar, now she was cute. Everyone loved them, their jar was overflowing and the spectators were happy.

 

And what if you don’t have a cute little sister or a kitten in your back pocket?

We can all harness the Power of Cuteness!

Being adorable does not require a certain something beyond an attitude of adorability.

Simply put: You are as cute as you feel to be and don’t accept anything less. So get out there. Be cute. Be powerful. Know that in being yourself you can rock whatever you set your cute mind to.

Have an adorable day!!

 

♥ Nancy

 

 

 

 

Cute Quotes

Cute is when a person’s personality shines through their looks. Like in the way they walk, every time you see them you just want to run up and hug them.

~Natalie Portman

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think people should look cute all the time.

~Rachel Zoe

 

 

 

 

 

Cute Spider

Everything looks cute when it’s small.

~Cynthia Rowley

 

 

 

 

 

 

I myself never feel that I’m sexy. If people call me cute, I am happier.

~Coco Lee

 

 

 

 

Baby possums.

Tell me I’m clever, Tell me I’m kind, Tell me I’m talented, Tell me I’m cute, Tell me I’m sensitive, Graceful and wise, Tell me I’m perfect – But tell me the truth.

~Shel Silverstein

 

“There is a distinct evolutionary advantage to being fuzzy, as much of the mammal kingdom had discovered, particularly when you wanted a human to scratch your back.”
― Jeffery Russell

 

References and Cute Related Articles

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15 cute animals that could kill you (Mother Nature Network) 
The Science of Cute   (Dailyherald.com) 
Goat Kid Pajama Party  (Youtube) 
Puppy Power: The Power of Cuteness in Marketing   (getspokal.com)
The new science of cute (theguardian.com)

Plague Everyone with Joy

I wasn’t always so sunny and happy. People were always telling me to smile. I have noticed that my face will typically give me away and that when I’m lost in thought, which is often, it looks like I am angry.  I’ve made it a point to watch this. I have also made it a point to watch my thoughts.
For much of my life insecurities and doubt have plagued me. I have hurt myself with negative messages that became my mantra that ran constantly inside my head. This made me miserable. My negative energy attracted even more negative energy from others. I struggled with not being understood but it never occurred to me at the time that I also needed to try to understand others.
I decided to be kind to myself and forgive myself for being so very imperfect. I thought I could change my inner dialog to something positive and I looked for the good in me and told myself good things about myself, even if I didn’t believe them.  More importantly I took this same love and understanding that I was finding for myself and turned it outward. I made it my “job” to reach out and say something kind or supportive to people especially those who seldom hear that sort of thing. I made sure my compliments were honest and true. I learned that I could find something encouraging and positive to say to almost everyone.
 Not that this is easy all the time for everyone. I am a naturally shy introvert. It has taken many baby steps to get to where I am today. I have tried to plant tiny seeds of sunshine wherever I go.
And more and more I find these seeds have sprouted.
By spreading the love it comes back, absolutely. 
 I don’t mean to sound trite or come off with some well worn out syrupy platitudes.  I have heard people complain about the unauthenticness of the idea that thinking happy thoughts and that an attitude of gratitude is a cure-all. It is perfectly normal;  healthy, in fact to have a wide range of emotions including sadness. Emotions are colors on a palate and life is art. We as artists can make our lives masterpieces when we use a full range of hues.
That being said:
I find touches dark blues,  patches of deep purples and deep black hues to be in beautiful contrast to the soft pastels and sunny oranges and yellows, it is in that contrast that I find beauty in, but a little of those darker shades goes a long way. Life provides us enough of those. If I can, it is the sunshine I will spread.  Makes me happier anyway.
I can make the conscious choice of letting the darkness that hits me in life stop at me. This is how I cope with the crap that hurts me; with my refusal pass it on.
I am so blessed.
So if I seem a little pollyannish or silly remember I didn’t start out that way and that really, no one can be blissfully happy all the time.   Happiness requires the decision to be happy. Just the simple act of smiling is powerful magic in itself.  Science has shown that the simple act of smiling can boost your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.
 I think to stay happy we need to spread that joy around like it’s the damn plague especially on those days when we do feel like crap.
So get out there and plague everyone you meet with joy.
Watch its boomerang effect come alive.

 

 
♥ Nancy

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We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy.
― Swami Satchidananda
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Related and Unrelated Articles
 JOY to the World–Three Dog Night

 

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Reality is expensive but dreams are free

 

 

Dreams live in the stratosphere high up in the clouds. They are free and are hanging around like low lying fruit just aching to be taken. They are seldom realistic but in reality real life is littered with unrealistic realities coming to fruition.

I have been listening to some Alan Watts talks, the one that’s been prominent in my mind is in which he proposes the “what if?”. What if one could compose 70 year lifespan into a night of dreaming? Dreaming dreams one could control; every night a different dream.  At first we would do all the things we ever wanted and then after we’d get bored with that–we’d go onto adventures, getting more risky and dangerous knowing it was all a dream after all. We would seek even greater thrills to the point that we’d make ourselves forget were even dreaming. We’d keep changing the odds and randomness until we arrive at the life we are living now.

This concept intrigues me, it seems so simple,  I can almost feel it just beyond the mind’s eye waiting out in plain sight for me to discover it. I have decided to run with this notion and become its fair-weather friend for as long as it serves me.

I have allowed the winds of fate to lead me around these last couple months. It has been an interesting ride, riddled with cute nuances, funny innuendos and interesting deja-vu.

 

After all we could be part of a cast of characters running rampant inside a shared lucid dream.

I have heard much conjecture on the subject in the worlds of science, philosophy and spirituality among others; what is reality anyway?

Some say nothing matters and reality is but a series of electrical impulses conjured by our brains.  Elon Musk and others, including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, believe that there is a significant chance that our world is just an elaborate simulation created by an advanced civilization and that all we are our bits of data encoded on some giant quantum computer.

Some say we are pure spirit and we come from a far off place and will return there someday. I have attached myself to the idea that we are all just drops of water in a sea of infinite vibrations swirling over eddys and through currents.

These ideas however intangible are making more and more sense to me in the tangible world that seems so damn unreal. At this point I am ready to believe anything. And so I go on faith and hope and a certain expectation that things will turn out alright in the end. I found it’s better to go with the flow if you can,  but still keep an eye out for rocks.

Getting back to the lucid dreaming and the subjective reality. I have decided in true Aspie fashion to take the whole thing literally and just go with it.

Why not? I have tried the dour realistic reality for far too and in reality its a drag.

 

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

~Albert Einstein

 

I can imagine myself lying there dreaming about myself pounding away on this keyboard. I consider this current “dream”. The back door is open slightly letting the fresh air and light in. I can hear the sounds of birds and I am content, a purring cat to the right side of me and a cup of warm jasmine tea to my left. I have hope in my heart and love in my soul; ready to just pour out.

And I think: Hey this is not so bad…

(....Alan Watts laughs at me from the ugly couch at the far end of the room…)

 

Biding you all a good night or day or whatever it is where you are…

and have sweet dreams…

 ~Nancy

Art by Trash Riot

 

“Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” 
~Anaïs Nin

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“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”
― Shirley Jackson

Related Articles
What about when we die we wake up–Alan Watts
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Elon Musk Thinks So.
Dreams–Cranberries
Dream a little dream of me-Mama Cass 
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? (Scientificamerican.com) 

 

The Perils of Time Travel

I am a time traveler. I travel in a linear fashion, straight ahead and very slowly but travel I do and so do you…

I know I look young for my age. It must be in my genes or something. That’s how I have been able to pass myself off as a ridiculously youthful and right-on looking middle-aged woman.  I have seen a lot of history, hell, I’ve been in a lot of history.  Most of it has been untold until now for obvious reasons of International security. The truth has been hidden all these years. Only now has the various governmental agencies given me permission to tell the tale.

Reader discretion is advised:

 

vint dog odd7 vintage

My career as an insanely popular and charismatic daredevil and Queen of the Segovian Circus started out ordinarily enough. My dog Mr. Fluffy happened to be a speedboat driver for the International trade unionists union in the Segovia province of Spain.  He mentioned they needed a show girl for the aquatic circus there. I jumped at the chance to show my moves and show them I did.

I wowed the crowds every Saturday afternoon performing gymnastics and dancing atop a shiny speed boat driven by my faithful dog and now manager  Mr. Fluffy.  Eventually my fabulous baton twirling, amazing flexibility and obvious flair for fashion garnered me the notice of trade newspapers and famous people all over Europe.  I received countless fan letters, tokens of affection and numerous marriage proposals.

mealtime vintage fun animals eat table with people

I settled for Clive. The lead zookeeper for the circus. Clive seemed mild mannered at first. He lured me in with his fondness for animals and his keen intellect.  We lived in a tent by the river. There I make “delicious” vegan meals and pots of strong coffee for him and the animals; a lion and a lamb.

It wasn’t until the lion, who happened to be a double agent for the CIA, asked me for my help that my life took a strange turn.

It turns out that Clive wasn’t really a worker in the circus he too was an agent a secret triple agent, so secret no one knew who he worked for.  The lamb bought me a bus ticket for Las Vegas and handed me twenty bucks, get out while you can and don’t come baaaack it said.

“You are a killer, you are a thug, you got this!!” Huh???

I made it to Vegas, a wide eyed country girl with a dream to make it big in Sin City. The lion was waiting for me. He told me he had a job for me with great pay and travel.

If I have learned anything in my long life it is to suspect “the hard sell” especially from a someone from the government dressed up in an animal costume. I bought his jive and before you know it I had been enlisted in the CIA as a super secret inter dimensional and International Spy.

I met with a top scientist. Doctor Zulu. He had just “been released from his duties ” from the Miskationic University and had some “ideas” he was working on and asked if I could “help out”

I reluctantly agreed…

 

The Good Doctor

 

The first few times didn’t go too well.

 

Turns out one cannot reach the speed of light by racing down a steep hill standing a top a motorcycle, even while rocking some sweet boots!

 

but before you know it Doctor Zulu had me higher than a kite and tripping the light fantastic!

 

 

Somehow the brilliant doctor had figured out a way to send me forward and backward in time using everyday items that can be found in any home or office. And from then on my unbelievable exploits were only covered by comic books under the guise of fiction.

I became the foremost expert in time traveling espionage, spy gamery and tomfoolery. They called me the Mata Hari of time travel. I would have been a celebrity had I not had to keep my identity secret.

I met and interacted in the lives of countless people famous and infamous through many important times and places. Much of it unrecognizable to anyone here on this timeline. But I did make quite an impact.

Now I have retired. Left to fend for myself in an insane world that makes no sense. A world we time travelers have helped create. Imagine the Butterfly effect multiplied by infinity.

Sorry about that. We have formed an alliance, the ones that have remained here. So far its just the lion and I but we hope to recruit followers. We are devoted to setting things straight here. We especially feel bad about this world, this particular timeline, I don’t have to tell you but this is the worst, by far.

Please email me with any strange goings-on or sudden changes to your reality and I will try to send someone out when we can.

~NLM

 

 

Related and not so related articles

Stephen Hawking – Black Hole Time Travel

The Time Machine( 1960) Clip from movie ” The Eloi … Damn Them” 

Pink Floyd – Time