The Unmasking of Beauty Within the World

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In February 2021 I penned a poem on hope. I was looking for motivation and inspiration in the midst of the uncertainty that has clouded our times. Alone in a forest near my house, starting at the snowy covered trees, I reminded myself that the beauty of this world is indifferent to human affairs. It is eternal and ever present. It will provide and nourish our spirits when we have been led astray. All that it requires is the cultivation of our attention. That we are present to the complex intricacies that make up our everyday experience.

Wonder and awe fill my being when I contemplate the grandeur and sheer mystery of our universe. I am intertwined in a myriad of interdependent relationships, related to ancestors and species of the past, many of which I will not know or even have heard of. The human species have existed for 250,000 years in a universe that is estimated to be over 4 billion years old.

There is a kind of solace and comfort provided to me from this vantage point. A wider perspective can be uplifting and make us feel grounded. The importance and stress that we place on seemingly trivial things begin to fade away. We are all part of a much bigger web of life which will endure long after we perish.

The spotlight shines away, egotism recedes as I recognize the shared fate which bounds us all together.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As I am writing this article, a cardinal flies past my bedroom window taking refuge in a tree in my backyard. I momentarily pause, and look closely with reverence. I’ve never seen a cardinal in the winter. But then again, it may have been that I was never really paying attention to the world unfolding right in front of my eyes.

Its bright red feathers reflect against the white glow of the snow-covered tree, radiating across the sky.

I don’t really know what the future holds, in many ways it is unpredictable far beyond the confines of human control. I am aware, however that the presence and attention I give to the present moment is the gateway to the beauty of the world – the path towards hope. The omnipresent light is always available to us. What we decide to focus our attention on is a choice that is within our control.

As the bird flies away into the receding horizon, I am reminded of the poetry of Emily Dickinson,

"Hope" is the thing with Feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

 Source :Poetry Foundation

Featured Image Source: Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Announcement : A Life of Virtue Podcast

I decided to start recording some of my poems on A Live of Virtue and uploading them in podcast format via the Anchor platform.

So far I have the poem ‘Hope‘ up with more to come shortly.

A link to the site can be found below. Of note, Anchor allows you to stream on most podcast platforms.


A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life • A podcast on Anchor

A Love Letter to the Mad Ones A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life

An audio rendition of my poem, "A Love Letter to the Mad Ones" 
  1. A Love Letter to the Mad Ones
  2. The Web of Love
  3. Living in the Mystery
  4. A Short Meditation on the News
  5. In Search of Inner Freedom: A Poem

Stay tuned for more,

Andrew

Hope : A Poem

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There is a crack in everything , that’s how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen
Beyond the tides of cynicism and depths of despair 
Past the grim ramblings of the evening news 
Therin lies a possibility, an opportunity for hope 

It comes to you like waves passing by 
Like clouds parting, making way for the crisp blue sky

Illusive and temporary, a light shines forth from above 
It arrives in many forms, an invitation, a sign which gently awaits 

Hope - the spontaneous ecstatic laughter of a child 
Hope - the wonder and awe evoked from gazing into the seemingly infinte cosmos 
Hope - the beauty of the morning sun radiating through the blossoming trees in the spring 

Subtle glimpses of transcendance  
Hints of the sublime
Unveiling the divine 
All point towards new paths and emergent possibilities 

As new horizons dawn upon us 
Hope arises 

It is through the gaps, that light shines through 
Light shines through                         



I am going to start recording some of my poetry to accompany the text with audio. Here is the audio version of this poem on Spotify.

A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life | Podcast on Spotify


Photo by Luis Dalvan on Pexels.com

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