liveonearth: (Default)
It's so much darker
when a light goes out
than it would have been
if it had never shone.
--John Steinbeck
liveonearth: (Default)
“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”
― William Martin
liveonearth: (old books)

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
--Oliver Sachs
(New York Times, Opinion, “Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer,” Feb. 19, 2015)


This from the FFRF blog: )

*Created tags for reason and humanism.

SOURCE
http://ffrf.org/news/blog/item/23735-remembering-oliver-sacks

liveonearth: (moon)
I am just home. The man who died was in his early 60's. He has three children. We were on the Farmlands section of the White Salmon. I am not accustomed to feeling completely useless but there I was unable to save a life. Many of us there unable to save a life, only 6 feet from shore. We were still trying to get his body free from the log when the search and rescue guys showed up with a chain saw, got him free in moments, but it was already too late, he had been under water for 40 minutes. Lots of processing going on.
liveonearth: (endless_knot)
He was 68 years old. He died in hospice of melanoma, which was discovered last year in his brain. He never recognized the skin lesion. He was one of my original paddling buddies here in Portland, a retired engineer and a budding Buddhist. He loved his wife and their home by the Washougal river, where he could watch osprey and otters. His hospice bed was at home, turned so that he could see the river flowing by. He was headstrong and didn't enjoy dysfunctional group dynamics, hence was apt to simply leave behind river groups he didn't feel like dealing with. He softened after his diagnosis. I wish his wife and family well in this difficult time. Holidays for them will forevermore bring up the memory of he who they lost on this day. His name was Dick Sisson. A candle burns for him here, and his memory is held with love and respect.
liveonearth: (blue mountain painting)
Kindness
by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
liveonearth: (Default)
The relief of suffering and the cure of disease must be seen as twin obligations of a medical profession that is truly dedicated to the care of the sick. Physicians' failure to understand the nature of suffering can result in medical intervention that (though technically adequate) not only fails to relieve suffering but becomes a source of suffering itself.
--Eric J. Cassell

notes )
liveonearth: (critter 2)
He didn't last long after stepping down. ... ... Lighting a candle.


This is his 2005 Commencement address at Stanford where he tells three stories from his own life. His parting words: Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Awakenings

Sep. 3rd, 2008 09:17 am
liveonearth: (Default)
The elementary school a block from my house has awakened. This morning there are people everywhere, repair men and mothers and kids. Groups of adults standing behind the school and talking in the sun. There's not a free parking spot on the block.
more )
liveonearth: (Default)
Moon slung in pink clouds as sun sets
Tears of joy and pain mix in my eyes
Can one have more broken hearts than cat's lives?
I think I have.
Sad Day )

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