Sunday, April 8, 2012

a free day of quiet + 2 quotes on life

it's the Easter weekend. and there was new snow yesterday in the northern and middle regions of Germany. it’s colder than it was for Christmas.

no snow here so far, but there is this cold northern wind. yet at least there was no rain. i went for a drive through a valley that leads to a viewpoint - at the entry of the valley, it was all overcast, but the trees already came in colors, white and rose. at the viewpoint, the clouds opened just when i arrived. up there, the trees are stil bare, but the grass is growing in new green already.

the building in the middle of the town, it's not a church, but a water tower. and churches: friday was a church holiday here in Germany: Karfreitag. it's a quiet bank holiday: the only one that doesn't allow parties and concerts and sport events. this year, there was an initiative to lift the restrictions, yet keep the free day: as if a free day of quiet would be unacceptable.


after the drive, i revisited Beth Adam’s diary entries, she is blogging as part of a week of Easter celebrations at church, and it’s a beautiful series. here's a reflection of urban life and stillness:

"This is a new stillness, not requiring silence. An urban stillness I'm learning in the midst of constant motion, crowdedness, squalor and clutter, beauty and glitter; amid things I don't understand and things I understand too well; a stillness in spite of the fact that I myself am moving, changing; a growing solitude that is, paradoxically, full." (- Contrasts)


and a quote, from Cheryl Strayed on stories and life:

"I teach memoir writing occasionally. I always ask my students to answer two questions about the work they and their peers have written: what happened in this story and what is this story about? It’s a useful way to see what’s there. A lot of times, it isn’t much. Or rather, it’s a bunch of what happened that ends up being about nothing at all. You get no points for the living, I tell my students. It isn’t enough to have had an interesting or hilarious or tragic life. Art isn’t anecdote. It’s the consciousness we bring to bear on our lives. For what happened in the story to transcend the limits of the personal, it must be driven by the engine of what the story means.

This is also true in life. Or at least it’s true when one wishes to live an ever-evolving life. What this requires of us is that we don’t get tangled up in the living, even when we in fact feel woefully tangled up. It demands that we focus not only on what’s happening in our stories, but also what our stories are about." - Cheryl Strayed


an afterthought:
all this also connects to the theme of the new blueprint issue: "diary of", with its notes on the inner and outer life, and on the curves/tangents the years bring, taking us along a direction that often isn't clear while we are travelling, with the path winding, until at some day, we arrive at a viewpoint and get a glimpse of the larger image in moving stillness.

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