Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Where Do You Find Rest?

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s life may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

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posted July 13, 2006 at 12:42 am

I find rest in our 3 mixed-breed rescue dogs, who were all horribly abused and/or neglected. I remember how they were when they first got here. Molly slept with one eye open, literally, for months and months. Her brother Jake screamed in his sleep for the same amount of time. I hadn’t even known that dogs could scream. They ran away from any appliance with a cord and cringed whenever my husband took off his belt. The newest, Jonah, was near death when we got him and still, a year later, sticks to me like glue most of the day. What they all have come to do, though, is develop the capacity for rest. Not just sleep, but deep, peaceful rest. They even snore, sleeping on their backs with their bellies prone, heads cocked to one side with a paw raised in the air. They exude an aura of contentment, as if to say, “I am safe. I am loved. I am at peace.” Their capacity for healing and trust, to open themselves up to life and love after unspeakable harm was done to them, is inspirational to me. It is an ode to the transformative power of love, and the divine spark in all of God’s creation that, if recognized and nurtured, can triumph over adversity. I look at them, no matter what is going on in my life, and I am at rest. Who rescued who, again?>

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posted July 13, 2006 at 4:27 pm

How beautiful! This reminds me of Thoreau’s writing about the wild places.>

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posted July 13, 2006 at 6:04 pm

“I rest in the grace of the world” isn’t a bad affirmation, actually. Hmmm…… That and the quote about us being the consciosness of the earth are helping me to rethink my aversion to being “grounded,” to feel like I was indeed thrown down here from somewhere else………….>

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posted July 13, 2006 at 11:42 pm

I’ve carried this quote with me since 9th grade when my best friend, Diane, and I discovered it in our exploration of Adler’s Great Books series. I still think Aristotle had it right. :) We should introduce amusements only at suitable times, and they should be our medicines, for the emotion they create in the soul is relaxation, and from the pleasure we obtain rest. To exert oneself and work for the sake of amusement seems silly and utterly childish. But to amuse oneself in order that one may exert oneself seems right.>

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