Words from a Dancer:

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and (it) will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly-- to keep the channel open."

~ Martha Graham

February 14

Sonnet V

Aghast, I look upon the steaming plain
Where Love doth stride, a ruthless fire-footed thing
To blacken bone in wash of flaming wing:
There, be neither shelter nor shield from pain
Seared flowers wither in its burning mane.
I turn my streaming face away, and cling
To lesser thing and stop my ears lest hear it sing
Its ringing gimlet cry to blight the sane
And set us trembling at its seeming rage
Or, ripping chin to stern in bleeding rite
It eats the flinching heart and strews but jumbled cage
Of ribs to rattle in its wrenching flight
And so consumes the wailing babe and blinded sage,
Till naught be left but ash and wholly joyous light.

                               ~  Isabelle Rathbone Greene,  c. 1894

For those who struggle:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

                      ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Inspired by photos coming out of Kosovo circa 1999. My first 'art doll,' who went to live in Israel.

'Dover Beach'

In part:

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

                    ~ Matthew Arnold, 1867

Things do so call accross time, ever and again.

Rumi

Courtesy Pat Lillich, artist and dear friend:

Dance, when you're broken open.
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you're perfectly free.

                                                        ~ Rumi

“Genuine love is a personal revolution. Love takes your ideas, your desires, and your actions and welds them together in one experience and one living reality which is a new you. ”

                            ~  Thomas Merton, Love and Living

February 14

Sonnet XLV

For every lovely ordinary thing
My heart would do with thee apace each hour:
Because these cannot be, Beloved, no bower
Holds that bright true center, and spread of wing
O’er tossing hollows blown doth truer sing
Our tale than nested wren or nightingale's lure;
Let us embrace the harsh high cry, grieved pure
Call of sea bird bowed in wind, and wring
From aerie solitude a liquid silver link
So bright and darting strange that none may sunder
This heart from thine, though tumbling chasm brink
Should yawn between. Thus sleep quiet, wonder
Of the daily round, dear in fading ink,
Whilst Love doth run the racing salt-sewn thunder...

                              ~ Isabelle Rathbone Greene,  c. 1894

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

                                                     ~ C.S. Lewis


"To regret one's own experience is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul."

                                           ~ Oscar Wilde

Rilke says...

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

                                     ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


Surprisingly, very surprisingly to myself, I seem to begin to find myself amongst some of my most ancient answers, this last while.

"Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice DEEP LOOKING directed toward the other person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love. If you cannot understand, you cannot love. That is the message of the Buddha."

                                              ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

"It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness and of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature, and everlasting beauty of monotony."

                                                         ~ Benjamin Britten

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."

                                                   ~ Albert Einstein

"My originality consists in putting the logic of the visible to the service of the invisible."

                                               ~ Odilon Redon

Memorial Day

Thinking of those far from home and under duress.  And those left behind.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
   Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
  The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

               
~ Wilfred Owen, from "Anthem for Doomed Youth"