Practicing noticing goodness does not mean the invalidation or denial of all that is in contrast (and stark contrast) to goodness (to kindness, beauty, generosity, hope, wonder, awe….). Practicing noticing goodness is simply practicing noticing goodness. It is the cultivation and allowing of noticing, breathing in, savouring, appreciating, even celebrating, of goodness in any given moment—without minimizing or dismissing it and without inserting any other add-ons, at least/even if just for a brief while.
Life includes (or can include) really hard things and awful things, in various places and at various times. Life also includes (or can include) things that are beautiful, often profoundly. One of the things I like about the photographs below is how they include a mix of both shadows, stormy tones, and also vibrancy and light—each apparently juxtaposed with the other.
“We have to open ourselves up to receive what wants to shine back.” — Jessica Dore.
I came across this line recently in the book, Tarot for Change, by Jessica Dore (2021, p. 17). It’s a sentence that has lingered.
There are questions and curiosities that might naturally follow from a sentence like this. Among them are curiosities such as: in any given moment, am I opening or closing right now? In what ways? (And is this opening or closing wise, helpful? Is it helpful in some ways and not in others?)
I think a lot about plants. I think a lot about the interrelationships between things. Take for example, water. Take for example, the absolute necessity of swamps to support well being.1 Take for example, pollinators. Take for example, how, if you don’t have conditions that support the well-being of pollinators, you don’t have all manner of foods and wonderful and necessary things.2
“You expand and then you meet your own resistance. In the human body and experience, as in nature, there is a continuous play between these forces. We reach to expand and are held back by constriction.”
—Betsy Polatin, Humanual, from Chapter One, (c) 2020
I wrote a poem this week after a monthly meeting with a group a cherished colleagues. I described the poem as a kind of collage of things. Later today (with the help of some feedback), I thought that perhaps it could be a nice poem for this longest night—this year’s winter solstice—as well as being a fine poem for any other moment. I’m sharing it here in two photographs. Read more ›