Nature’s Remedy

January 10, 2015

View through a frosty windshield

View through a frosty windshield

“When it is wintertime in your life, you are going through pain, difficulty, or turbulence.  At such times it is wise to follow the instinct of nature and withdraw into yourself.  When it is winter in your soul, it is unwise to pursue any new endeavors.  You have to lie low and shelter until this bleak, emptying time passes on.  This is nature’s remedy.  It minds itself in hibernation.  When there is great pain in your life, you, too, need sanctuary in the shelter of your own soul.”
— John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

This has been a winter of hibernation for me.  My interior landscape seems to mirror the gray monochromatic winter outside.  I don’t mind withdrawing, pulling back, letting go of ambitions while I re-group and lie fallow.  I just wish I were a more skilled thinker.  My thoughts seem to scatter all over the place.  I wonder if I ever have anything original to say.  My habit of copying quotes from my reading — words and phrases that resonate with me — makes it so easy to defer to other people’s voices.  They seem much more skilled at saying what I mean than I do!

Here’s a scary thought:  what would happen if I stopped reading books, even for a month or a year.  Would I start hearing my own voice more clearly?  (I can tell how addicted I am to reading by how absolutely reluctant I am to act on this idea!!)  Do I need to reclaim my own life?




Glacier Bay, Alaska, 2009

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.”
— Victor Hugo

Soulful Latte

January 10, 2010

Latte from Zoka Coffee Shop

“If you have a soul, champagne makes it more soulful; if you don’t have one, a latte gives you the illusion that you do.”
     — Adam Gopnik, The King in the Window

I don’t often splurge on expensive coffee drinks, but I wanted a photograph to illustrate this great quote.  So I walked to my neighborhood coffee shop, Zoka’s, for an afternoon latte break.  I love the way they embellish the surface of the drink with a foam leaf.