Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bearing Fruit

There had been a thunderstorm in the night and at 6.30 am on the common it was clear that autumn was just around the corner in spite of the summer temperatures.

My spirits no longer sink the way they used to at this time of the year. And nor do I become unreasonably optimistic when spring slowly lifts the winter darkness. Is it maturity or is it numbness I wonder.

Perhaps there is just more awareness now that beginnings and endings are intertwined and cannot be separated. The Jewish New Year is not far away, and the Celtic New Year begins around the time of The Day of the Dead ....

I listened to the news this morning - massacres, torture and cruelty - then started my day and almost immediately came across unexpected humour and kindness. I have given up hard and fast beliefs about the human condition and don't mention politics here simply because other people do it so much better and with greater conviction elsewhere. More importantly, I am not convinced that it is in this area that the answer will be found ....

I do tend to agree with Voltaire's conclusion that "Il faut cultiver son jardin". That the best contribution I can make is to live as cleanly, ethically and as creatively - in the broadest sense of that term - as possible, and to deal with the beam in my own eye. And that somehow my small ripples will reach outwards to join with others and, who knows, perhaps make a difference.

This has been said before, I know. It looks trite now that I have typed it. I have no idea how it will happen, if it does at all. But is there any other option?


Blogger Sonia said...

Wise words, Mary! You are right, the best contribution we all can make is "to live as cleanly, ethically and as creatively as possible".

Love the fruit's photos!
Have a nice day!

2:12 pm  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hi Mary, good post and pix, good reminder to tend my jardin (which, at the moment, needs water!). Hope things are going along smoothly for you. Take care!

4:52 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

I think its wonderful as are you!

6:26 pm  
Blogger Dale said...

It's what I think. I now think of even the personal attention I might pay to violence as homage, which I simply refuse pay any more. They may hurt or kill me, of course, or people dear to me. But they can't make me take them seriously. I won't read about them in the papers. I won't write blog posts about them. I'm not going to celebrate them, not even with horror or dismay. If the want my attention they'll have to come get me: I'm not going to go to them.

6:41 pm  
Anonymous kate said...

. . . yeah . . . not trite . . . fitting . . . timely . . . yes, and thank you :)

6:58 pm  
Anonymous ginkgo said...

Somebody asked me recently what was going on in the world. I replied, "I really don't know the details. I don't pay much attention to the papers these days. But I can tell you what's going on, regardless: desire, aversion, and suffering. Only the names and places change.

Not my wisdom of course. But as true now as 2500 years ago.

7:06 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Yes, yes, and yes your words here and anywhere they are placed, spoken or debated make a difference. When you toss in your words and it works up a small ripple, and I toss in my words the ripple gets a little larger then one more and many more toss in words (words that are of common thought) the ripple eventually turns into a giant wave. This wave of words then crashes on the shore of others souls and like the oceans the effect of these waves bring change.
Continue to express and we will all go to the beach.

8:32 pm  
Blogger Stray said...

Wasn't it a spectacular storm?

I nodded throughout.

I'm glad you're not plunging into post-summer blues Mary, and I'm certain it's not numbness, but not so sure it's maturity either - for I feel that there are people born into cultures which teach these things, the grey, the circles, to their smallest children. But we like to chop it all up over here. Autumn range at M&S etc.

Loving the voltaire quote, and I agree, treading softly myself seems to be the beginning. I look at the potential of networks such as freecycle and bookcrossing, and the real change that can created by a million small gestures. No requirement for rallying or consensus, no need for celebrity ambassadors or advertising campaigns, just individuals, word of mouth, and of course the internet.

10:28 pm  
Anonymous oopseedaisee said...

Not trite at all.
I enjoyed your posts and the photos are very nice too.
I was given a coppy of Old Possums Book of Cats as a kid, I still have it and love it.
I will link you if that is ok.

10:32 pm  
Blogger Sonia said...

Mary, you are RIGHT about the trouble with my sidebar: the photo of the Post "Silver" was too wide, so my sidebar slide to the bottom of the page! I said to you that the size of the photos I downloaded had the same size of the others photos, but I was wrong!
Herhimnbryn also wrote to me and said the same, too wide photo!
Today I founded a blog with some tips to found where the problem begun: Peter from "Blogger Tips and Tricks" ( wrote that: "you may try saving each post as draft one by one, and each time checking if the problem persist. When a particular post is saved as draft and the problem went away, then it means it is something in that post."
Bingo! The post "Silver" had photos most bigger than the others. So I deleted this Post and all is OK again!
Thanks Mary and have a nice day!

11:37 pm  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

Mary: Not trite at ALL! Sounded to me like good common sense. I've said it before, but Herb Kelleher, the colorful and genuinely funny Chairman of Southwest Airlines (a Fun airline too) says that if you treat people with genuine kindness, that kindness eventually makes its way around the globe and comes back to you! I try and live by this. Your post reminded me of that. Thank you!

1:39 am  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

I cultivate my garden and pulling out the weeds of discontent recycle 'em in the compost bin of growth!;)

Is the top pic Elder berry?

7:50 am  
Blogger Sky said...

...beginnings and endings are intertwined and cannot be separated... oh, yes.

for some reason i have always felt excited with the anticipation of autumn, eager to feel the air chill and become crisp. i have welcomed the season since childhood, perhaps ready to return to school and the challenges of a new year there. growing up in the heat of the southern US could also have affected my love for the cooler air. and, as an adult i am always nostalgic when fall arrives, feeling a bit of longing for something i cannot quite put my finger on...hungry in a way that i recognize but cannot identify - knowing it relates to other autumns long ago.

your words are so touching, mary. your ripple already touches everyone who reads and writes here at your blog. you already affect change around the world...blogs are pretty amazing tools, huh?

the photography here is beautiful. what trees are these bearing fruit?

10:20 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks everyone.

Sonia: Glad the sidebar problem is sorted ...:-)

Jess: Hope the rains come soon ...

Rdl: ah, thank you .....:-)

Dale: Attention as homage. Yes.

Kate: thank you. always happy to see you here.

Ginkgo: true indeed ...

Dave: that is really beautiful. thank you.

Stray: Autumn Range at M&S. *grin* Thanks for this and for the links. A million small gestures. I like that.

Oopseedaisie: Welcome!! Thank you. I will be over to visit, and am very happy to have the link....

Michael: Thank you again.

HHB: Yes, elderberry it is ... well spotted.

Sky: .. and as always your words are beautiful. Thank you. As I told HHB the first photo is of elderberries. I don't know what the second one is, embarrassingly(!) .... but will try and find out.

9:03 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

I am very impressed by these thoughts and couldn't agree with you more ... about everything.

4:17 am  
Blogger LJ said...

Speaking as someone who, now and then, descends to absolute fury over politics, may I agree? Although I cannot, sometimes, stop myself from ranting at the insanity, it is absolutely true, what you say. Adding more frustration and anger to the mix of world-energy never helps. To live cleanly, ethically and creatively? How can that be trite?
And thanks for the photos - which are truly juicy and gorgeous.

12:06 am  
Blogger Edie said...

i think endings and beginnings are tied together
...what goes; comes…it’s all circular.
but I still get excited when warm weather returns
with the promise of new life and colour.
i still feel delight with the first snow-fall
and have been known to fall on my back
and flap my arms & legs to leave an impression
of an angle.
I do watch the news, talk about political issues at times but find it disheartening most of the time.
I too try "to live as cleanly, ethically and as creatively as possible" but think that most people would believe the same of themselves

1:18 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Becca: Thank you. It is comforting to know that others think similarly.

LJ: Thank you. I have to say that I love your rants. If rants can be "clean" your are.

Edie: A beautiful word picture of you in the snow! Re living cleanly etc, yes I do aspire to this always but sometimes fall away from the ideal because of laziness, financial insecurity, fear, anger. I would like it to be more of a priority than it sometimes is.

2:50 pm  

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