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Posts Tagged ‘being present’

New posters available in my zazzle shop.  Just a few African violet petals, some shadows resting on snow and a rainbow cupped within a shell.  As I originally studied these images, I thought them sensuous and I was reminded of something James Baldwin wrote in The Fire Next Time, “To be sensual, I think, is to respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.”  I sometimes worry that I am procrastinating as I watch sunlight settle upon a leaf … but then I just shake myself and become thankful that I could be present in the moment. 😉

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So when I first saw the book, Altar in the World, in hardback I didn’t even crack the spine.  Then it came out in paperback, with the cover image of a blue bird on a blue branch set against a soft beige-cream background. And, in red scrolling text, the title of the book just off center.  Kudos to the designers because quite frankly I am a sucker for packaging and I am so happy I opened the book.

There’s a quote on the cover from The Dallas Morning News that says, “Not a page turner, it is a page lingerer.”  So true.  It is a book about one woman’s journey dealing with faith.  Whatever one’s beliefs, I think it is a beautiful read.  Here is a passage that had me lingering this morning:

“The practice of paying attention is as simple as looking twice at people … To see takes time, like having a friend takes time.  It is as simple as turning off the television to learn the song of a single bird.

I have yet to learn the song of a bird, but I did pay attention to the birds as I walked from the parking lot to my office building.  I saw 5 pigeons, 3 robins, 2 blue jays, a rock dove and at least 1 starling.  As I entered the building, behind me I did hear a beautiful song.  Though I scanned the nearby tree branches and rooftops, I could not spy the bird.  Next time.

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