Pablo Neruda Thursday: “In the Night We Shall Go In”

In the night we shall go in
to steal
a flowering branch.

We shall climb over the wall
in the darkness of the alien garden,
two shadows in the shadow.

Winter is not yet gone,
and the apple tree appears
suddenly changed
into a cascade of fragrant stars.

In the night we shall go in
up to its trembling firmament,
and your little hands and mine
will steal the stars.

And silently,
to our house,
in the night and the shadow,
with your steps will enter
perfume’s silent step
and with starry feet
the clear body of spring.

—Pablo Neruda, “The Stolen Branch,” The Captain’s Verses

Walt Whitman Wednesday: “Darest Thou Now O Soul”

Darest thou O soul,
Walk out with me toward the unknown region,
Where neither ground is for the feet nor any path to follow?

No map there, no guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not O soul,
Nor does thou, all is a blank before us,
All waits undream’d of in that region, that inaccessible land.

Till when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.

Then we burst forth, we float,
In Time and Space O soul, prepared for them,
Equal, equipt at last, (O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfill O soul.

—Walt Whitman, “Darest Thou Now O Soul,” Leaves of Grass

Eckhart Tolle Tuesday: “Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,” Jesus said, “for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 5:3]. What does “poor in spirit” mean? No inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them. And what is the “kingdom of heaven”? The simple but profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become “poor in spirit.”

—Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Mary Oliver Monday: “My Attention on Eternity”

Sometimes the desire to be lost again, as long ago, comes over me like a vapor. With growth into adulthood, responsibilities claimed me, so many heavy coats. I didn’t choose them, I don’t fault them, but it took time to reject them. Now in the spring I kneel, I put my face into the packets of violets, the dampness, the freshness, the sense of ever-ness. Something is wrong, I know it, if I don’t keep my attention on eternity. May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful. May I stay forever in the stream.

—Mary Oliver, Upstream

Spirituality Sunday: “Entering the Darkness That Surpasses Understanding”

Leave the senses and workings of the intellect, and all that the senses and intellect can perceive, and all that is not and that is; and through unknowing reach out, so far as this is possible, towards oneness with Him who is beyond all being and knowledge. In this way, through an uncompromising, absolute and pure detachment from yourself and from all things, transcending all things and released from all, you will be led upwards towards that radiance of the divine darkness which is beyond all being.

Entering the darkness that surpasses understanding, we shall find ourselves brought, not just to brevity of speech, but to perfect silence and unknowing.

Emptied of all knowledge, man is joined in the highest part of himself, not with any created thing, nor with himself, nor with another, but with the One who is altogether unknowable; and, in knowing nothing, he knows in a manner that surpasses understanding.

—Dionysius the Areopagite, The Essential Mystics

Wildcard Friday: “I Would Live in Your Love”

I would live your love as the sea-grasses live in the sea,
Borne up by each wave as it passes, drawn down by each wave that recedes;
I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me,
I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul as it leads.

—Sara Teasdale, “I Would Live in Your Love,” The Collected Poems