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NOCTURE
I hear the evening cornbird calling, 
moonlight floods the fields of tasseled grain; 
wood smoke, drifting veils the distant valleys, 
summer evening’s joy is here for me.

I’m not happy yet no sorrow shakes me; 
but the dark wood’s stillness I would welcome, 
rosy clouds through which the day is falling, 
sleepy breezes from the blue-gray mountains, 
shadows on the water, meadow flowers; 
out of these my heart’s own song I’ll make.

I will sing it, summer hay-sweet maiden, 
sing to you my deep serenity, 
my own faith that sounds a swelling music, 
oak-leaf garland ever fresh and green.

I’ll no longer chase the will-o-wisp, 
happiness is here in my own keeping; 
day by day, life’s circle narrows, closes; 
time stands still now, the weather cocks all sleeping; 
here before me lies a shadowy way, 
leading to a strange, an unknown place.

Eino Leino, 1903 (translation by Aina Swan Cutler)

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My mind has been spinning lately.

(Yes, all brought about tangentially by the tv show Glee, though more specifically Chris Colfer. Shut up. He’s a ridiculously amazing person, grounded and wise for his age, playful, honest, and determined. Certainly plenty of amazing people in my own life share these qualities, but I can honestly say that there is no other public figure like him.)

What do I do when that happens? (Other than be up in the middle of the night, evidently.) I pull out my old personal journals, because I have been here before, and I know I'll re-find myself in the pages.

And sure enough.  Among tons of notes about life and love were these three gems:

“Beauty provides the possibility of a nature that is both sensuous and rational.” -Schiller
“Those who do not venture out beyond actuality will never capture truth.” -Schiller
“You are the only person I know who could have a picture of Disney’s Pocahontas *and* a chart of the stock market, on the same wall. And understand and appreciate both of them.” - from my dear, dear friend Emily

The thing that makes me who I am is this ability to encompass both the analytical and the ecstatic. And boy, do I get in trouble when I fall too far on one side or the other. My twenties were pretty much all about attempting to jettison the ecstatic, spiritual, emotional side of myself. Every existential quandary I have ever had has only been navigated by picking my way through the forest (often literally) to re-find that part of my character.

What do I want from my life? To leave the world better for me having been here. My work gives me a great platform to connect with people and help them be who they are. I’m not going to shy away from big ideas to make an even bigger impact. How, exactly? That’s where I’m not precisely sure. I’m sitting in openness, and as inspiration hits, I’m paying attention, and ready to work.
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"Every act can be a ritual, and (...) every moment we are alive is another chance to honor the Divine within and around us."
"I am but a tiny thread in an infinite web of shimmering life, no more or less than the rocks and stars."
Graces: love, compassion, forgiveness, humor, gratitude, integrity, wisdom, joy, growth, mindfulness, control, energy and inspiration
-Dianne Sylvan (from The Circle Within)

I'm also reading Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen, but I'm just having the hardest time getting through it. I love the idea of taking goddesses and their stories - in this case, Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Persephone, and Aphrodite - and seeing the parallels to modern women's lives.  Getting through the book itself, though, is proving problematic. I think I'd do better with a straight mythology book.

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