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Photo by Giovanna Aryafara

“the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.”
― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

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“Poems do not endure as objects but as presences. When you read anything worth remembering, you liberate a human voice; you release into the world again a companion spirit.I read poems to hear that voice. And I write to speak to those I have heard.”

“Louise Glück,

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They asked a shaman
“What is poison?
- Anything beyond what we need is poison.
It can be power, laziness, food, ego, ambition, vanity, fear, anger, or whatever.

In our modern world we lose touch with ourselves pretty early on. Basic needs like love and beauty seem strangely out of reach. Our truest selves are crippled by our society’s denial of a soulful life. Truth and beauty are fundamental to our deepest being. We are in unconscious agony when it’s absent day after day. The rudiments of survival won’t suffice.

Our efficient society doesn’t see the need of decoration. The crafts to make our environment gracious are disappearing. Past centuries show us what we are missing. Our built environment now speaks of money and ego, not soul. It is any wonder people are confused and disoriented? If we were connected to ourselves and to others through the heart, would we be attracted to drugs and violence? Would depression and suicide threaten the social fabric? Would we be destroying the natural world?

Living in an environment that is physically and mentally ill can’t help but affect all of us. We may think it’s our personal problem, that we should correct ourselves so we can fit into a “normal” world. We take on the stigma of being out of step, never suspecting that it’s practically impossible to live a deep, satisfying and true life in such a culture.

I’ve always been attracted to older cultures. The aura of old times and ways emanates from the streets and architecture of centuries old built environments. The old stones themselves carry magic for me. Sleek new minimalism has no attraction whatsoever.

Members of an older culture may adapt to modern ways, like Venetians who all carry cell phones, but something in the way they think and relate to the world recalls their history. Humans of every epoch have had their challenges and injustices. I don’t idealize them. I just want to live in that aura as much as possible. There’s something healing about having ancient beauty around you, as impractical as it is to the modern mindset.

I think American culture could benefit from some time on the analytic couch. That relentless extroverted focus on efficiency and practicality leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. That headlong rush for money and success ignores the broad swath of devastation it leaves in its wake.

“Man cannot live from bread alone,” some wise person said, several thousand years ago. I think it’s still true.

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