Wednesday, July 28, 2010

[Quote of the Day:] Sparks of Souls

Fantastic quote courtesy from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:
For that forty minutes last night I was as purely sensitive and mute as a photographic plate; I received impressions, but I did not print out captions. My own self-awareness had disappeared [...] I have often noticed that even a few minutes of this self-forgetfulness is tremendously invigorating. I wonder if we do not waste most of our energy just by spending every waking minute saying hello to ourselves. Martin Buber quotes an old Hasid master who said, "When you walk across the fields with your mind pure and holy, then from all the stones, and all growing things, and all animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you, and then they are purified and become a holy fire in you."
I love this image of sparks that fly off of souls and cling like static, like burrs on your clothing, like a child in your arms. And as for wasting my energy, and scattering my soul to shards, by saying hello to myself: Yes. I would like to stop. How, I don't know. But stop: stop. Stop chewing the inside of my lip, stop picking at my fingernails, stop holding my jaw tight. Stop running back and forth like a squirrel, and learn to stand in the wind like a pine tree. Then the sparks will land on me and set me aflame like the burning bush, and I won't have any sandals to take off on the holy ground, because each foot will be a buried root.

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