It keeps eternal whisperings around Desolate shores …. …. Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude, Or fed too much with cloying melody— Sit ye near some old Cavern’s Mouth and brood, Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!
Keats suggests that if we have had enough of this noisy world, we should go to a quiet place by the sea and sit “near some old Cavern’s mouth and brood”. Suddenly, out of the silence we may be startled to hear choirs of sea nymphs singing.
We are being called to go back to nature and to allow her to gently embrace us in her healing arms.
This sacred call of the sea is exquisitely captured in the beautiful photograph below. Be still. Can you hear the call?
A big thank you to Mariska Spoormaker for permission to use her beautiful photograph. Mariska took the picture on the Sacramento Trail near Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Yes we can! Read this story about a mouse. My son in London wrote it.
Lets all listen up and learn!
What the mouse treading milk in the bucket is really about
It’s about two things. The first is the obvious one that everyone knows about. The second is the less obvious but the most important.
The first is about not giving up when in a difficult situation. It’s about keeping going because you never know what might happen. And while this is good advice it is also self-evident. The second is about doing work you don’t want to do. No mouse wants to be stuck in a bucket treading milk. But look what happens when he keeps going. The milk turns to butter. Not only does this change provide salvation for the mouse but it turns the milk into something very useful. And a whole bucket of it.
Work is like this. No matter what work you do, if you keep at it, it turns into something very useful. Things start to happen as if by magic. Take a janitor cleaning a floor. Nobody wants to do that. But if he keeps at it then he begins to notice how to do it in the most efficient way, which chemicals work best, when to do the work and so on. How many million-dollar cleaning businesses started this way? And yet they began with work that nobody wanted to do.
Whenever you do anything hard you are treading milk. Like with treading milk you may not see any progress for a long time. The quality of your output (whatever that might be) won’t change at first it and it may seem like it never will. But then… slowly, the milk begins to turn into butter. The output becomes valuable and sought after and you, its creator, will begin to love it. And all this happens through nothing more than persistence. You don’t need to learn. You need to keep going.
“Telos (/ˈtɛ.lɒs/; Greek: τέλος, translit.télos, lit. “end, ‘purpose’, or ‘goal”) is a term used by philosopher Aristotle to refer to the full potential or inherent purpose or objective of a person or thing, similar to the notion of an ‘end goal’ or ‘raison d’être‘. Moreover, it can be understood as the “supreme end of man’s endeavour”.“
So we can and should ask ourselves: What is the inherent purpose or chief end of my life?
If we don’t know, then we could be living our lives going in the wrong direction. What a tragic waste!
Here is a clue about our telos from the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
As the Book of Common Prayer advises, may we “Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest.”
I was phoned today from halfway across the world by someone who had just lost a loyal friend. He said he felt he had lost part of himself. After telling him how sorry I was I said I could do no more than read to him the words of John Donne who was Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London from 1621 to 1631. Please listen. You may have to turn up the volume. Thank you.
Please read this post, think about it, and then play the music at the end.
Do you remember the classic film “Out of Africa”? Mozart’s Clarinet Concert: Adagio was played as Meryl Streep and Robert Redford flew over thousands of pink flamingos in Central Africa. Heart rending. The Concerto has inspired this post about Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the 1950s. I was massively privileged to grow up there then, in Bulawayo, Matabeleland.
Did you live in Zimbabwe in the 1950s? I invite you to quietly think back.
Do you remember? The hot summer days. Hotter and hotter towards lunch time. The clouds building up. Getting darker and darker. So dark you had to put the lights on in the house. Then, the searing crack of lightning.followed by a massive clap of thunder. Too close for comfort. The sudden deluge of rain pounding the corrugated iron roof of the house. And outside, the downpour so heavy it became a thick white curtain. Half an hour. The storm was over. Out came the sun. The bright African sun. Running water everywhere. The ditches full. Flowing muddy water. The rain drops shining like thousands of glinting diamonds on the green grass and on the tall green mealies at the back of the house. And the smell! The wonderful smell of fresh rain on the rich African soil. Look up. Towering massive white clouds fill the sky. And there, miles away high in the clouds is a slow moving dark dot. You look carefully. It is a slowly circling vulture. Thank you Africa for the gift of growing up in the palm of your hand.
There is so much more to write about. It is emotionally draining to write this post so I will stop. I hope you understand. You of course have your own memories. Treasure them.
How do I feel? Please let the music I am playing speak to you. Thank you
You and I don’t just exist. We are always deciding what our existence will be and what we will become the next moment. Why is this true for me and for you? Why is it true for all people? The reason is because we all have free will. As Victor Frankl wrote: “…every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.” The answer to the question? We each decide. No buck passing!
I am Kiera. I love the woods. Especially enchanted woods. I have some questions for you. Who am I? What am I? What am I to you? Am I closer to you than you can ever imagine? In the stillness of an enchanted wood I heard you answer me. I have recorded our sacred conversation in a poem. Here it is. Please step softly on my dreams.
IN CONVERSATION WITH KIERA …..
Who or what am I? A star in the sky? Or think perhaps I could Be a nymph in the wood? A fish that swims maybe? Delighting in the sea ….. A bird that flies the air? A pig, cat, horse or bear? I’m none of these So help me please ……… “You are LOVE in motion and give devotion You feed my soul and make me whole A DOG so wise In disguise ….. My Brightest Star That’s who you are!”.
(Kiera lives with her devoted companion Anna in East Sussex, England. Anna also loves and writes poetry.)