Simple Living

You Can’t Do it All

“We can only get rid of this anxiety by being content to miss something in almost everything we do. We cannot master everything, taste everything, understand everything, drain every experience to its last dregs.  [Thomas Merton No Man is an Island, quoted in Stephen Cope’s The Great Work of Your Life] In passing, I loiter before exciting books I likely won’t read, apologize to my loom because the treadles rarely dance any more. I thought I would be learning Chinese, …

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What Do You See?

  Occasionally, a neighbor crosses our fields, homeward bound after a strenuous afternoon scrambling around ponds and up and down rocky hills on the land behind ours. A couple of days ago he discovered me sitting in the midst of the meadow, savoring the passing fleecy clouds, listening to the wind whispering in the dried grass, picking up the song of the last of the crickets, watching a large, green grasshopper hawking over the meadow, feeling the still-warm wind on …

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DOING NOTHING

  There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the head or hands. I love a broad margin to my life. I’ve just been dipping into Thoreau’s Sounds, and I’ve been stung. As Jon Kabat-Zinn points out in his fine meditation book, Wherever you Go There You Are, this passage is really about cultivating stillness. Was it possible that I could simply stop? Years ago, I had …

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