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Visual Meditation: “The heart can push the sea”

Excerpted from “Renascence”

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, —
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat — the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay (who lived in Maine)

(photos taken along the coast of Maine)

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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6 Responses

  1. I have been to Maine and your photos almost bring the smell of it all to me. A beautiful place to visit – especially in the season you just completed. Thanks for sharing the peaceful message of these scenes.


  2. our own heart and soul determines the depth and breadth of our own universe

    I am going to email this link to my man so he can take a moment at work and breathe in the beauty of things he loves and enlarge his soul for just a moment


  3. Lucy, what I knew — the scripture!
    “Be present and know that I am God.”

    God is sheer Presence, sheer Presence is Joy! So:

    I AM A WOMAN is God
    I AM A BLACK MAN is God
    I AM A POOR BEGGAR is God,
    and innumerable other moments of being….

    The echo of the bell
    at Yoshimizu —
    I am here, too,
    in a black robe
    set against the white mist.

    (waka by the Buddhist nun Otagaki Rengetsu)

  4. sarah–i would love to know what those words I AM A WOMAN, spoke to you. :-) peace.

    christine–Wow! i was already preparing a comment on the images and then read the poem. Both are so impacting. “no wider than the heart is wide”; “no higher than the soul is high.” the possibilities are endless, aren’t they? :-)

    i have never been to maine, but these photos produced a stronger longing to go there. i am not sure what it is about empty chairs, but they always draw me in. i wonder of the stories of the people who sit there from time to time. what do they long for?

    thank you. this was such a beautiful way to start the day!!! xoxoxoxo

  5. “The soul can split the sky in two,
    And let the face of God shine through.”

    In the Bible I read, “Be present and know that I am God.”
    But, I AM A WOMAN! I shouted out loud, then suddenly realized what I had said.