Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I have started on a new journey which, I know, will take me further than before towards the perfect life I was instinctively seeking.
I began this journey by exploring the unmapped territory of my own mind...
This endeavour is as vast as life itself because it requires the analysis of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being...

--Ella Maillart, explorer-traveler-writer, Cruises and Caravans.

The traits of the solitary bird are five:
first, it seeks the highest place;
second, it withstands no company;
third, it holds its beak in the air;
fourth, it has no definite color;
fifth, it sings sweetly.
These traits must be possessed by the contemplative soul.
It must rise above passing things, paying no more heed to them than if they did not exist.
It must likewise be so fond of silence and solitude that it does not tolerate the company of another creature.
It must hold its beak in the air of the Holy Spirit, responding to his inspirations, that by so doing it may become worthy of his company.
It must have no definite color, desiring to do nothing definite other than the will of God.
It must sing sweetly in the contemplation and love of its Bridegroom.
--St. John of the Cross, Sayings of Light and Love.

To drift like a dead leaf fallen from the tree and taken up by the wind, knowing not if the wind carries you or if you are carrying the wind
...-- Michel Jourdan (French hermit writer)

You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
--Franz Kafka, Senses.

Outwardly go with the flow, while inwardly keeping your true nature.
Then your eyes and ears will not be dazzled, and your thoughts will not be confused, while the secret within you will expand greatly to roam in the realms of absolute parity.
-- Huainan-tzi

In solitude we are in the presence of mere matter:
the sky, the stars, the moon, blossoming trees, things of less value,
perhaps, than the human spirit.
The value of solitude lies in the greater possibility of attention.
--Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace.

Everyone says Tushita Heaven is fine,
but how can it match this old hut of mine?
-- Stonehouse (Ching-hung), from his Mountain Poems.

Solitude and nature are absolutely necessary for the proper development of a human being.
It is an admixture of natural life, lived in solitude, amid beautiful surroundings of nature and what we call an arboreal life, which is absolutely necessary for the poise and harmony of the human mind.
--Gopi Krishna

Genuine tranquility of the heart and perfect peace of mind,
the highest blessings on earth after health,
are to be found only in solitude and, as a permanent disposition,
only in the deepest seclusion.
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, World As Will and Representation

Every time you feel lost, alienated, or cut off from life, or from the world, every time you feel despair, anger, or instability, practice going home.
Mindful breathing is the vehicle that you use to go back to your true home.
--Thich Nhat Hanh, Going Home
(Thanks so much to Wendy..The sage who wanders alone is like the wind that is not caught in a net, like the lotus not soiled by water, leading others but not led by them.-- Sutta-Nipata... Pali)


Ponygirl said...

Tranquility, solitude, at once in and with the natural world..... learn to be still (The Eagles).

Gorgeous pictures, PamOz, absolutely wonderful. And the prose so perfectly fits.

I looked and read again and again, soaking it all in. Thank you.


meno said...

Again, and you must get tired of me saying this, amazing. The composition of that firts photo is just great.

Imez said...

I want to belief the universe led me to your blog because it is a perfect aid for my particular journey, though it was more likely Meno who led me.

I've tried it Kafka's way...didn't work. Must try harder.

Carver said...

What a treat for me to arrive here this morning and see your incredible photographs. The horses necking (literally) was so wonderful. All the photographs are and the quotes you put into the post were perfect.

Janice Thomson said...

Oh Pam what an astonishingly beautiful post...loved each gorgeous photo and each reflective quote you put with them. What a delight to read this morning.

Donnetta Lee said...

Pam: I scrolled down too far and left my comment under "Birds and Bees" by accident! Whoops. I was saying how I loved the first picture the best. And also that I love the quote from St. John of the Cross. Wonder if you are familiar with my hero, St. Teresa of Avila? Beautiful work, as usual! D

ivan said...

The quote from St. John of the Cross is really a new idea to me.

Somewhere else, I read that only a god or an animal can live alone.

But you bring up St. John of the Cross to do with animals--and then Arthur Shopenauer on the need for solitude for humans.

Well, it gets you through the night sometimes.

the walking man said...

Pam...I love the picture of the horse imitating a giraffe.

WW said...

Powerfully inspiring, Pam...your pictures (and that last short vid!) leave me awestruck.

As do the deep, true quotations you've sprinkled through it all. Exquisitely peaceful, serene and beautiful.

Susan said...

Gosh You have such amazing photos, I love your surroundigd and all these wonderful creatures. I love the pis of the three horses. The one on the left is smiling! Beautiful!!!


Deep Thoughts and luscious photographs..WOW!

I especially like Kafka..that's pretty much the mantra of all Passive/Aggressives..except we're waiting for Schadenfreude and the chance to say, "I told you so!"

If you are carrying the wind and nobody sees it..
did the leaf really fall?

*the sound of one hand clapping

jmb said...

Lovely post Pam, how come I missed it earlier? Always a pleasure to visit with you in Victoria.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Pam, you really must collect your photos and publish them in a huge book. Every one of them is drop-dead gorgeous, horses, birds, even weeds through your eyes take on a new life which enhances mine every time I come here.

You are amazing!!

Barbara Martin said...

Very nice to see photos of your horses again, and the video of the bird was delightful.

Aunt E. Om said...

Wow! Just beautiful!