I came across this yesterday; a Nathan Ripperger illustrated some of the weird things he's found himself saying over the years of being a parent from his series Things I've Said to My Children. Enjoy!
Wild GeeseYou do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting– over and over announcing your place in the family of things. --Mary Oliver
I was very pleased to find a plaque of this today; I didn't realize it was such a famous and easily accessible quote so I typed it all into my phone as fast as I could! I really love those moments when you get swept up in what you're reading and know immediately you are reading something that you want to introduce and adopt into your life. The Desiderata:
"Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
"Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourselves with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
"Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you go what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everwhere life is full of heroism.
"Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of aridity and disenchantment it is perennial like the grass.
"Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not stress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
"Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, an whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."
Suppose we did our work like the snow, quietly, quietly,
leaving nothing out.
And you wait, you wait for that one thingthat will infinitely enlarge your life; the gigantic, the stupendous, the awakening of stones, depths turned round toward you.
The volumes bound in rust and gold flicker dimly on the shelves; and you think of lands traveled across, of paintings, of the clothes of women found and lost.
And then suddenly you know: that was then. You rise, and before you stands the fear and prayer and shape Of a year vanished.
RAINER MARIA RILKE
"if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." -Mother Teresa
I know I've posted this before, but this has been a daily reading for me for the last few weeks, the words that I've been reading over and over, practicing speaking kindly to myself, reading and reciting until these words can become my words.
We have not come here to take prisoners, But to surrender ever more deeply To freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world To hold ourselves hostage from Love.
Run my dear, From anything That may not strengthen Your precious budding wings.
Run like hell my dear, From anyone likely To put a sharp knife Into the sacred, tender vision Of your beautiful heart.
We have a duty to befriend Those aspects of obedience That stand outside of our house and shout to our reason "O please, O please, Come out and play."
For we have not come here to take prisoners Or to confine our wondrous spirits,
But to experience every and ever more deeply Our divine courage, freedom and Light!
“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen.” -Tina Fey