Buddha heads, Seattle Asian Art Museum

Buddha heads, Seattle Asian Art Museum

Buddha, Seattle Asian Art Museum

Buddha, Seattle Asian Art Museum

“If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, the eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Eternity Now and Forever

March 13, 2015

“Now is eternity; now is the immortal life. . . . Time has never existed, and never will; it is a purely artificial arrangement.  It is eternity now, it always was eternity, and always will be.”
— Richard Jeffries, The Story of My Heart

Dawn at Green Lake

Dawn at Green Lake

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“We have become accustomed to the summer.  It has acquired a certain eternity.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Journals, July 5, 1852

Sunset over Elliott Bay from the beach at Golden Gardens

Seattle has just experienced its driest August on record, and as of today, we’ve had 46 consecutive days without rain.  We still have a way to go to match or beat the standing record — a 51-day dry stretch.

But what a summer!  Weather expert Cliff Mass comments on the psychological discomfort we are feeling due to the seemingly endless sunny days: “Seattle residents unaccustomed to a record-breaking stretch of sun and warmth are reacting with guilt, anxiety, and discomfort. I cannot count the number of emails I have received by folks asking when the accustomed clouds and rain will return.”

Too much of a good thing, I guess.

 

 

 

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.  I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.  Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Watery reflections

The finite and the infinite — our lives are but a shallow dip in the endless streaming of Eternity.  We wish we could anchor ourselves for a longer stay, but the tides of time will ultimately triumph.  We will all die.

I’ve pretty much reconciled myself to my death and the fact that there will likely be no lasting memory of my time on Earth even a generation after I am gone.  Not even a light footprint.  And that’s okay.  I will be subsumed back into Nature, which is eternal.  My atoms will survive in a new form.

“As for man, his days are like grass:
He flourishes like a flower in the field;
The wind blows over it and is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.”
— Psalm 103: 15 – 16

“Surely human insignificance is at least as much of a mystery as human existence.”
— David Rieff, Swimming in a Sea of Death

“I bequeath myself to the dirt
to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look
for me under your boot-soles.”
— Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

“To end with nothing is something.”
— Suvan Geer

“. . . from generation to generation, the earth abides.  We are the earth, we come from the earth, and to the earth we return.  The earth abides.”
— Richard Quinney, Once Again the Wonder

 

Intimations of Eternity

July 26, 2011

Inexhaustible, overlapping waves in the ocean's surf

“I sit listening
To the surf as it falls.
The power and inexhaustible freshness of the sea,
The suck and inner boom
As a wave tears free and cradles back
In overlapping thunders going down the beach.
It is the most we know of time,
And it is our undermusic of eternity.”
— Galway Kinnell, from “Spindrift”

 

Eternal Turning

September 16, 2009

Sunrise on the Gulf of Alaska

Sunrise on the Gulf of Alaska

Sunset on the Inside Passage

Sunset on the Inside Passage

Approaching sunset on a rainy evening, Inside Passage

Approaching sunset on a rainy evening, Inside Passage

“It is always sunrise somewhere.”
     — John Muir

John Muir visited Glacier Bay in 1897 with a group of native Tlingits.  It is amazing to imagine that he cast his naturalist eyes on the same vistas I enjoyed while cruising Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

“Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”
     — John Muir

Heaven in a Flower

August 28, 2009

Cone flower in the morning sun (photo 2008)

Cone flower in the morning sun (photo 2008)

“To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
     — William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”