But for the Love

“Unless you know how to love your neighbor, you cannot love God. Before placing an offering on the altar of God, you have to reconcile with your neighbor, because reconciling with your neighbor is to reconcile with God. You can only touch God through his creatures; you will not understand what is true love, the love of God, unless you practice the love of humanity.” ~Thich Nhat Hahn, Zen master, poet and peace activist, Taming the Tiger Within

Recently, I had the honor of becoming friends with Chase Gagnon through a poetry group we’re apart of on Facebook. To say it simply, his words move my soul. Today, I have the privilege to share the power of his poetry, photography and storytelling! Enjoy.

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“I was walking into Zeff’s on the corner of Russell and Winder for lunch when I saw him sitting against the wall. The same tattered old man who’s always roaming around Eastern Market through the snow and freezing rain asking strangers for money, the guy who you can see digging through dumpsters and trash cans looking for scraps of food.

I never have anything to give him, and he knows this by now. But it’s the day after Christmas, and I just hit it big off a dollar scratcher. Won thirty five bucks. He puts his head down as I approach, shielding his face from the wind. “Hey man, you want some lunch?” His eyes lit up “you serious fam? I’m hungry as a motherfucker!

I said “hell yeah!” motioning him with my head to get up off the cold ground. We walked into the filthy dive and sat at the bar, each ordered a couple coney dogs and some chilly fries with a hot cup of coffee.”

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“We sat and talked about basketball, how insane Andre Drummond played last night as highlights from the game flashed across the fuzzy TV screen above the counter. Laughed at how stupid our fellow Americans were for electing Donald Trump, and then talked a little bit about how goddamn cold it’s been this past week.

I saw his eyes ice over when he thought about the weather outside, gazing back out into the filthy streets where he sleeps while he sipped his piping hot coffee, both bare hands gripping the mug for warmth. “You know, I can’t remember the last time someone treated me like a human.”

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how bitter
its silence —
gently falling snow

~Chase Gagnon

*photos, poetry, and storytelling by Chase Gagnon

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First Snowfall

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Two tiny snowmen

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In woodland garb

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Enjoy a leafy picnic

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?”

~J. B. Priestley

Each Breath

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Each breath

Softly quiet

Snowfall 

By the edge

Of the wood

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

 

Allow Healing

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Rosehip tears

Mourning

A closed heart

The color of red

Bleeding 

In winter

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

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“Embrace yourself, in these times, and acknowledge yourself for the extraordinary progress you are making, as a soul, in every waking moment.

“The very fact that you are drawn to reading these words attests to an openness on your part to aligning with the momentum of this multidimensional journey. Know that what you have done so reflects great courage on your part. And that to continue to do so, despite the resistance of consensus thinking, puts you in the forefront of those destined to emerge…”

“The opportunity to circumvent some of the mountains that most will manifest and choose to scale lies in the ability, in the moment at hand, to release the need to control the result of the dynamics of any circumstance in which one finds oneself.

“By consciously shifting one’s intent to one of conscious allowance of the manifestation of the highest good of the collective, one enhances the opportunity to manifest the brightest possible outcome for oneself.

“In so doing, one is able to secure a state of beingness that is unencumbered by eons of trial and error and is free to explore the joys of manifestaion of the Divine Will in alignment with one’ own.”

Rasha from Oneness,

*from MysticMama: http://www.mysticmamma.com/embrace-yourself/

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“The very center of your heart is where life begins, the most beautiful place on Earth.” ~Rumi

Healing Heart Meditation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDw1iYUjFAk

 

 

 

 

Random Bits of Forest Wisdom

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“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”   ~Zen proverb

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“The spiral in a snail’s shell is the same mathematically as the spiral in the Milky Way galaxy, and it’s also the same mathematically as the spirals in our DNA. It’s the same ratio that you’ll find in very basic music that transcends cultures all over the world.”
~Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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shivering leaves in wind and light “…and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.”
~ Audre Lorde

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In nature answers are given quietly, in the details, just waiting for discovery. ~Mike Dolan

“…the winter is kind and leaves red berries on the boughs for hungry sparrows…”
~ John Geddes

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“Let us depart instead for the fields of Dreams and wander those blue, romantic hills where stands the abandoned tower of the Supernatural, where cool mosses clothe the ruins of Idealism. Let us, in short, indulge in a little fantasy!”
~ Eça De Queirós

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

~Confucious

Recognizing Miracles

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Winter steps out

In drabby light

Dressed in doldrums

Of grey and brown

And a sprinkling

Of warm white

Waiting and hoping

To be recognized.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

“We are surrounded by miracles, but we have to recognize them; otherwise there is no life.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

A Visitor

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Kindness visited

…….in a flurry

Of brown speckled

Rose-tipped feathers

And scarlet cap

Clutching a reed

On a cold, blustery day

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photo by Phil Winter

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philwinter/8405745964/