Pioneers! O Pioneers!

Musings on life and all the pulses of the world [Posting from Orvieto, Italy September-December]

The search for absolute silence

Mostly because of jet aircraft, there are very few places in the world free of man-made noise.

For the past 30 years, Hempton has made it his mission to discover what he calls the last great quiet places, areas that clock in at audible human noise-free intervals of 15 minutes or more. He only counts areas of around 3,100 square kilometres (1,200 square miles) or larger — enough to create a sound buffer around a central point of absolute quiet. Over the years, his list has shrunk as he returns to a previously quiet spot, only to find it now polluted by noise. Still, he says 12 such quiet places exist in the US, with more found around the world. A spot in the Hoh Rainforest in Washington is one, as are places in Grasslands National Park in Canada, Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota and Haleakala National Park in Hawaii. The others, however, he keeps confidential.

(via @bobulate)

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.
— C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity (via approvedbyjoe)

(via awelltraveledwoman)

Shannon, Sarah       Lauren
beautiful mess-ups from the Ohio wedding this past summer View high resolution

Shannon, Sarah       Lauren

beautiful mess-ups from the Ohio wedding this past summer

There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So never apologize for your enthusiasm. Never. Ever. Never.
— Ryan Adams (via psych-facts)

Do not fall for the notion that goodness is boring.

I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms? Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad, even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds.

— Andrea Gibson

Thoughts on week’s end, from Kinfolk vol. IX

from “The Idler” by Nikaela Marie Peters:
"Far from laziness, proper idleness is the soul’s home base. Before we plan or love or decide or act or storytell, we are idle. Before we learn, we watch. Before we do, we dream. Before we play, we imagine. The idle mind is awake and unconstrained, free to slip untethered from idea to idea or meander from potential theory to potential truth. Thomas Aquinas argued that ‘it is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation.’ …

I’m convinced that time spent idle makes for a healthier state of mind. We want less and are more at peace when we get it. We sleep better and work harder. Simpler things bring us joy. When we daily observe our immediate surroundings, we are more grounded in our context, more attuned to the rhythms of whatever season or place we are in. Plus, the changing shapes of clouds need our attention.”

from “Neighbors: A Blessed Burden” by Nikaela Marie Peters

"Inside our singular personalities live two opposing characters: the extrovert and the hermit. Negotiating the tension between the two is a burden, but it’s a burden that makes us human. The Internet has recently allowed us the option of resolving this tension. Online, the recluse can commune, and the extrovert can hide. The Internet seduces us, leading us to believe that we author our identities. We decide to share and determine how others will see us. We’re effectively freed from the confines of space and time. …

That’s what makes neighbors neighbors: they see each other. We don’t choose them. We can’t control how they see us. We’re blessed with the real, physical challenge of living with and beside other human beings. There’s no such thing as a digital neighbor. Online, we can make friends, but we don’t have neighbors. Neighbors are necessarily physical. And this is why they’re important. They soften our edges. They keep us human. They’re given to us instead of chosen by us; they teach us grace.” 

from “A Whole Week” by Rebecca Parker Payne

"The rhythm of the week is a constant approach and recession. It pounds against our heads as we’re tugged from our beds each morning. There is this duality, this dichotomy of worlds. We see the weekdays, the hard and the frustrating, and then we see the weekend, the reprieve, the transient oasis. 

We’re building lives with these days, and we can’t sustain a duality where the weekdays are bad and the weekend is the only good. For our sake, there has to be more. We lament our time, and over the years, our attitudes turn from resilience to regret, duty to obligation. In the end, our divided lives decline toward bitterness.

The truth is, wherever you are and whatever you do, work is work. It’s hard and rewarding but it does not end. So we must aim to cultivate wholeness to our days. We need to inhabit the weekdays with the same vigor and presence with which we embody the weekends—because we don’t have to stay here where we regret our weekdays. There is joy to be had on Wednesdays just as much as Saturdays, but it requires a conscious choice.” 

The Peace of Wild Things

BY WENDELL BERRY

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

LORD, HIGH AND HOLY, MEEK AND LOWLY,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is up,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
And the deeper the wells the brighter the stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.

Amen.

— The Valley of Vision (via toastedhoney)
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