Drawing On Being

lamb drawing

Illumination from the “Edge of Life”

Rachel Naomi Remen’s telling of a formative story of hope:
On her fourth birthday, her grandfather, an Orthodox rabbi and a student of the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, taught her about “the birthday of the world,” as he called it: In the beginning, the world was made of light. But by some accident, the light was scattered, and it lodged as countless sparks inside every aspect of creation. The highest human calling is to look for this original light from where we sit, to point to it and gather it up and in so doing to repair the world, tikkun olam.This might sound like an idealistic and fanciful idea. But Rachel Naomi Remen calls it an important and empowering image. It insists that each one of us, flawed and inadequate as we may feel, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch. This story is a practical tool — the kind of practical tool religious traditions carry forward in time — for a world longing to address images of suffering that can otherwise overwhelm us.

Krista Tippett


Paradise Valley

John La Farge, Paradise Valley

John La Farge (1835 – 1910)

http://intergenerational.wordpress.com/  –This is a link to the blog of the very kind person who nominated the Secret Gardener for the Versatile Blogger Award.
I don’t fully understand what it is, but I was incredibly encouraged and sort of proud to be mentioned in lists made by other nominees whose blogs are wonderful, so it’s exciting to be included in such a worthy group. Also a bit excruciating because–as the form my blog takes probably makes clear–I avoid using my own words whenever possible. I have put off responding publicly as long as I could by entreating my correspondent to lay out the rules, the requirements, the whys & wherefores, the intentions, the history–and whatever else I could think might guide me narrowly & directly into the correct approach to my responsibilities as a nominee—but was left to the basics I’d already come across, and the common sense that I ought to have tucked away somewhere. I’ll reveal to ‘intergenerational’  seven probably pretty unamusing things about my unremarkable self – but what I really wish I knew how to do effectively is present 15 deserving blogs to SG readers, and I’m afraid I will simply emphasize the circular nature of this process, because the blogs I read are the ones which have appeared somewhere along the line (my links, for instance) already;  because we have interests in common, because I admire them, and because they have been recognized more widely. However:

I have to begin with one -having to do with gardening only if you want to get mired in metaphors about cultivating the soul, and I am not accustomed to discussing the soul. But if I believed I had one–I’d want to learn to cultivate it so that it bloomed like hers:

For the beauty I need, but here applied in service of the scholarship I envy (but am too undisciplined to acquire)– a really exhilarating combination– and for their ability to clarify & put into context the accumulated information; enormously edifying & satisfying:

For the thrilling sense of somehow being in the midst of the art-creation process:

To tell the truth -it isn’t the blog at all, but the radio show that I love. But as a doorway:

Interiors–the paintings I always want to enter. And the books I found by chance in libraries and reveled in all alone–wondering why I’d never heard the authors’ names.
Turns out there’s someone in London who’s been putting them together for years now:

Pictures. Color: Delicious. – Lovely talk about it: More delicious:

How to really, truly get things done in the garden–the right way.

And what bliss is this? Thanks to Streets of Salem blogroll I was introduced to someone whose studies encompass current passions– the 17th century, early science, philosophy–and the original and enduring love- literature:

The miracle &  marvels of the brain:

A geologist/ environmental scientist/ teacher, and someone clever enough to live in a spectacularly beautiful spot on this earth,
unpacks, unfolds, and spreads in front of us each day of the voyage of The Beagle as recorded by Darwin–in real time:

And, because if you are a woman –or even a half-decent human being– she is on your side:

This has been hard. And I’m not much out and about–not even virtually.
So I am going to reserve one spot for another discovery; perhaps it will prompt one.

Thanks to all of you for existing – in such a realm as this might be,
and for acknowledging the existence of the Secret Gardener–such as it is.

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