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Visual Meditation: The Earth is Not a Dream


Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
That sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all things you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.

You cannot enter. But you’re sure it’s there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.

Some people say we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
These are the ones who have no hope.
They think that the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hands of thieves.

-Czeslaw Milosz, from The World

(Photos all taken on the Hood Canal) 

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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3 Responses

  1. Your photography is beautiful…..the starfish, well….

    Brooch of the sea
    Living, watery home now exposed to the air
    You share your dying color with those of us land bound
    and remind us of the mermaid who may have worn you in her hair

    I couldn’t resist.

  2. The teachings of The Taoist sage, Chuang-tzu, suggest that our seemingly aimless, worldly existence, as “dream,” or “vision,” provides the necessary terrain for a sort of meandering, butterfly metamorphosis path, or glorious journey of the soul.

    Fluttering about sleepily
    in a field of
    dew-kissed flowers —
    could it be the little butterfly
    of Chuang-tzu’s dream?

    ~ Otagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875)