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 )

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

 

 

Just like you

 

I haven’t written much about being on the Autism Spectrum.  I’ve delegated that “discovered” part of me to the background, contained here and there in hints and asides and tiny blurbs on social media. Few people in my daily life actually know much about me at all.  I let very few into my world.

One could say that I have “passed” as an N.T. or Neurotypical; those who are deemed “normal” by society. I have been able to pass under the radar probably due to my generation and that I am female. There are many of us out there. We without an official diagnosis.  We that have practiced being just like we thought everyone expected us to be.

It’s not easy and I have fallen short. I have wondered why I have tried so hard to fit in. It is lonely enough being one’s unique and misunderstood self but another degree of lonely trying to be someone you are not.

I have been blogging for a few years and I have preached about loving yourself and being yourself and all the beautiful magic in that. I have dispensed this sugary drink without sipping it myself. I am guilty of being something I hate, which is a hypocrite.

I have hidden to the world, even my own Mother that I am on the Autism Spectrum.

I keep my tiny victories to myself; hoarding them to savor for rainy days.  I assume the world at large will not understand me. I hold a demeanor of reserve, a protective coating I have strengthened and shined it and relied upon it most of my life. It keeps the world out. It keeps me safe but in that safety, I have lost so much.

And time goes by and so I really haven’t done all these incredible things with my life. It seems that the basics have been difficult, if not almost impossible enough.

I am starting to see that I may not have all the answers and that I may need help and that often the best way to help oneself is to help others.

Maybe there truly can be a reason why I am the way I am. For the most part it is a gift; this way I experience life, from the smallest of things I experience pure joy and alternatively I can feel a deep sorrow. I hear a delicate song in the wind but the loud noises of the world make me feel pain.

I sometimes feel like a butterfly fluttering about a beautiful field of flowers, subject to the elements that tatters my wings, but yet I keep flying. In that tiny victory I have found I am stronger and more resilient than I thought I could be. Perhaps I am here with my gift for words to tell other butterflies that you too are stronger than you think you are, and yes you can because I am doing it now. Watch me fly and watch us fly together.

I am taking advantage of some rare free time that has blown my way by the mysterious winds of fate. I have been finding caches of goodness scattered here and there. It seems the bank of karma has seen it fit to shower a little sunshine on me.
I am resting and revitalizing and spending precious time with my loved ones, doing fun things
and doing nothing at all (which is underrated in my opinion)
It is too easy to get caught up in he day to day…
I am grateful to have this time to think, to write and to plan for the future.

~nlm

Related and not so related articles

 

The costs of camouflaging autism   

(Spectrumnews.org)

Why It’s Hard To Keep A Job When You Have Asperger’s  

(psychcentral.com)

Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John   

(Youtube.com)

 

Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images