Poems and Quotes

I keep a copy of Life of Pi on my desk. The tiger on the front inspires me. These words, spoken by the character, Pi Patel, are my favourite quote from the book.

“The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn’t that make life a story?”

—Yann Martel from Life of Pi


I believe these quotes beautifully illustrates why we need science and story. One is not complete without the other.

 “But if you want to take only one face of the coin, you don’t have the coin.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, from The Raft Is Not the Shore: Conversations Toward a Buddhist-Christian Awareness


 “It doesn’t matter what we call your soul,” Daddy Moses said, smiling at me. “What matters is where it travels and who it uplifts.”
—Lawrence Hill from The Book of Negroes


­­­“We have the opportunity many times a day, every day, to be the one who listens to others, curious rather than certain.”
—Margaret J. Wheatley from Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future


 “In my past view, spiritual wasn’t a word that I would have employed during a scientific conversation. Now I believe it is a word that we cannot afford to leave out.”
—Eben Alexander, M.D. in Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife


This short poem by Sherrill C. Wark makes me smile.

FAITH

When I was a kid
I always wondered,
questioned why
they needed lightning rods
on churches . . .

©Sherrill C. Wark 2007
from Mostly of Love & the Perils Thereof: The Sequel


WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the
lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off my myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

—Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass


My friend, Bruce Henderson, created the term “givee” for this poem about opening yourself to receive—something that many of us struggle to do.

GRACE OF THE GOOD GIVEE

Bring me your gifts,
I will be strong,
strong enough to take them.
Yes, I have room for your gifts,
in my hands, in my home, in my heart,
I welcome you in—to my infinite yin.
There is a time to give
and a time to get,
and every Giver needs a Good Givee.
I am ready to accept,
to receive your loving kindness;
the warm message of your gifts.
In joy we will celebrate
the power of your act.
When you reach out
I will not try to run away.
Come spirit,
grant me the grace of the Good Givee.

©Bruce Henderson 2010

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