Tops

Those of us who visit wild places the way others visit churches and concert halls visit because we return transfigured, recomposed, exalted and humbled at the same time, enlarged and dissolved in something larger at the same time. We visit because there we undergo some essential self-composition in the poetry of existence, though its essence rarely lends itself to words.

~ Maria Popova from, https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/05/25/thoreau-walden-nature/

I’d never thought of it that way. But, maybe it is just that. There’s a definite feeling of dissolution I occasionally experience out climbing. I have been far off the trail, and perhaps the feeling is more common farther off the trail. But I’ve also experienced it standing in a parking lot, say, next to Niagara Falls. It’s a feeling of deep stillness. A feeling that all is right as rain. All of our recorded history is less than a blink in geological time scale… so there’s certainly plenty of time, at my scale, to pause right here—wherever that is, be it a mountain or desk top.

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Stillness

I don’t agree with those who plunge headlong into the middle of the flood and who, accepting a turbulent life, struggle daily in great spirit with difficult circumstances. The wise person will endure that, but won’t choose it—choosing to be at peace, rather than at war.

~ Seneca

This is about choice, not about ability.

I am able to rush around accepting challenges, to fix things which are broken, to help people who seem in need, to build neat things out of bits of technology, to arrange little social events with friends or family rarely seen, to seek out new experiences, to try to do all the things…

But I’m slowly learning to choose not to. I’m slowly learning to choose peace.

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