Easy To Be In Love With A Tree – Inspirational Quotations

the big old conifers were cut down this year. The new shrubs are my new additions to the garden.

The big old conifers were cut down this year.
The new shrubs are my new additions to the garden.

When I think of trees, I think of temples. For me trees represent temples. They provide both shade and sanctuary to all creatures. They feed the earth and give shelter to the birds. Trees are holy and vital to our well-being. Yes, I am a tree hugger. The vibrations of trees has a strong attraction for me.

For the past eight years I have sat back and watched  over forty trees cut down all around us. It was devastating to see those old temples go. None of them deserved it. We were told the trees were a nuisance for they cut out  light, they dropped leaves, they had nasty growing habits.  So they met an untimely end by  mutilation. I have never come to terms with the loss of trees. Although I have filled the garden, (although home now for sale,) with new trees. Among them, two beautiful young Weeping Willows, planted last winter. Hopefully, they will thrive at the bottom of the garden where they bother no one. Perhaps they will receive more care –  new temples for a new age. I won’t be here to see them grow, I can only wish them well.


 

One of the most beautiful passages in literature and perhaps the most profound thoughts anyone has ever uttered about trees, comes from the pen of Hermann Hesses, whose  melancholy joy and heartfelt understanding of his light and darkness strikes a cord with me.

This Ode to Trees is  found in Hesse’s Wondering: Notes and Sketches, published in 1920, after caring for World War I prisoners and experiencing multiple family losses and conflicts:

"Old

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more, I revere them when they stand alone.

They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not loose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves.

Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.

When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disc of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured.

And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger, the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique in the form and veins of my skin, unique in the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust – I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent.

But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the child-like hastiness of our thoughts will achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is.

 

That is home. That is happiness.

If  trees could speak, they would say:  “Please let us live!”

We Never Owned An Ipad! – Cute Video


One of the cleverest  videos ever posted. A British comedy “take” on kids growing up in the 1970’s. This is definitely worth a few of your precious  minutes to just  sigh, giggle, reflect and smile on all that was so much part of our lives back then.  (You’ll be surprised how many well-loved items from that era have been almost completely forgotten. Was it a better time?  in hind-sight I think so ha! –  Your views on the video welcome. :)  -


 70

1970s Fad’s and Fun

Growing Up 1970’s Meant Streaking, Pet rocks, and Atari Video games, and much more.

There were a few fads in the 1970s. Streaking was probably one of the more memorable. So popular was removing all of your clothes in a public place and running to avoid capture, that songs were written in it’s honor. Truckers enjoyed the spotlight too. Songs about their lifestyle burst onto the scenes, CB radios became popular accessories in cars, and phrases like “Keep on Trucking” and “That’s a 10-4 Good Buddy” were heard routinely. Pet Rocks, lava lamps, and waterbeds were popular while strobe lights and black lights were often found in a teenager’s room. Interior decorating often still included colors such as avocado and gold. Even appliances. Shag rugs graced many floors. Furniture upholstered with crushed velvet and mirrored walls were also common in some circles. Kids had a Spirograph to draw colorful designs, Legos to build almost anything, and other favorites like an Etch-A-Sketch or a Lite Brite set. Weebles, Easy-Bake Ovens, Creeple People, Nerf Balls, Hot Wheels (which entered the scene in the 60’s), and Slime were among other popular choices. Twister, Aggravation, Battleship, and Yahtzee were around in addition to the more traditional board games like Monopoly and Life. Rubik’s Cubes and Air Hockey sets came along and in the march toward today’s video games, Pong and early Atari games were very well received. Big Wheels were for the little ones and Banana Seat Bikes were popular with kids who were a bit older. Kids who were really lucky however got a mini-bike or moped. In the 1970s iPods were unheard of and records and tapes were the medium of music. Everyone had a clock radio and a stereo record player. Quadrophonic sound was available and many kids enjoyed their cassette recorder to capture music off of the radio. In cars, 8-track players were around but lost out to cassette decks by the end of the decade. We also didn’t have the electronic keyboards, but as kids we learned to play a chord organ which luckily required no lessons whatsoever! In the 1970’s cable TV was absent from many homes and network TV stations; ABC, CBS, and NBC were king. Microwave ovens started taking over the market. Cordless phones were just coming out, but of course cell phones were well off in the future.

those kinky boots

those kinky boots

 

comments box is below.. there is a little grey circle at the top of the post with comments number.. This is where you need to click to leave a comment. Sorry about this.. Nothing to do with me! eve

Closing The Cycle – Inspirational Quotations

 

image from beauty of the arts.

image from beauty of the arts.

Every friendship is different, and every end is thus unique. But how do we know when to say goodbye? And does that goodbye need to be accompanied with ensuing “breakup” drama? It must be said, though, there’s different types of friendships. And each type of relationship — from beginning to end — gets its own degree of life cycle experience.  ~ Eve

 


“Closing The Cycle

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.

Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.” Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.”
― Paulo Coelho

 


Something light to end on and so sweet!

Friendship – you can count on me, like one two three!

 

 

 

Living With Sathya Sai Baba, Sunder Iyer – Sathya Sai Baba Memories

10556367_10202485000792985_2126635506917022212_nI have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love.

-   4 July 1968, Baba

 

The introductory music is loud, so you may wish to turn your speakers down.

 

“I think people should know who the true Sai Baba was. He was one with what he said, he was one with what he did,  he was one with what he taught. Swami by himself was a very simple person. People even now after his demise, should try and  know who Swami truly was.  He never expected anyone to standup for him. To speak on his behalf. After all, people doing that, only came from their own understanding. No one knew him. He was unknowable. One time during an interview, a lady asked Sai Baba for peace. She kept asking for peace over and over again. Swami said, okay, so you want peace. I will bless you with problems, then see how you deal with peace amid those! “

These are just a few words from this interesting video. Sunder Iyer  speaks about his years as an attendant to Sai Baba. His compelling collection of personal experiences are nothing like those we hear from others. Not even from those who were VIPs.  I remember listening to others  talk about Swami, however, most of those stories, although interesting, didn’t move me as this one does. Sunder Iyer was a student in Sai Baba’s college. He received both his Master’s degree and Phd. while there.  Later, he and his wife  moved to America. I believe he wasn’t to visit Sai Baba again.

This is such an authentic talk by this ex-student and one I shall not soon forget. We people who visited the ashram over the years, had no real idea what Swami was like. Most of us had nothing to go by, other than books or tid-bits about experiences from others who received interviews. Yet, this account of Sai Baba, for me anyway, rings so true.


Sai Baba did not see life as we see it. He did not put much emphasis on the physical world or its glories. I remember one day he said to me: “Oh good line this afternoon.” (I thought he meant the front line, where I could see him well.  Indeed, it was the last line and where I was seated behind a pillar!)  Sai Baba’s idea of good karma, was when one has given up all worldly contact to become centered on the Divine. I grasped this early on through the experiences I had in his ashram.

 

I was never the centre of his attention physically but on another and deeper level, I knew he was guiding me and taking care. Sai Baba did not enjoy the most exalted reputation. Much has been said. There is still the controversy that bites deeply at those who believe in him.  In this video, Sunder Iyer explains away all that might be suspect to those who did not know him.

 

Breath Of The Greater Life –

mandala1n

 

 
 
Amogasiddhi mandala (female aspect) Upper storey, Sumtsek, Alchi
 
 
 
“Just as a white summer cloud, in harmony with heaven and earth freely floats in the blue sky from horizon to horizon following the breath of the atmosphere – in the same way the pilgrim abandons himself to the breath of the greater life that… leads him beyond the farthest horizons to an aim which is already present within him, though yet hidden from his sight.”  -Lama Govinda
 
 
 

What does compassion mean? it means to be compassionate to all including self.For those of us striving to be more conscious in our actions, and perhaps, more spiritual, the task requires compassion as well. But compassion does not mean becoming a “door mat” for someone to walk all over you. Yet this is often the case.  Rather, compassion means creating a mental and emotional space in yourself to allow other people to be themselves, even if you don’t understand or agree with them. It’s not an easy task when faced with an ordeal in a relationship, or faced with fair-weather friends. Compassion does not, however, mean that we let others intrude into our emotional space. Nor does compassion mean that the others count  more than you. As we grow in spiritual strength, we may find that we are no longer comfortable with certain persons or lifestyles. They do not seem to fit in with our new lives . What seemed, at one time,  to be nourishing or at least neutral, is now perceived as toxic. We are no longer comfortable with our old ideals. We have moved on.

This sometimes happens with family members, spouses and friends. I am noticing that, for many of us, this phenomenon looks like it is increasing. One reason might be that people are less stable than before. They do not hold to old values as in years gone by. Perhaps it is because things are speeding up and more seems to be happening in less time. Perhaps it is simply the price of self-evolution. As we pass over a line in ourselves from unconscious to conscious (I should probably say semi-conscious, to be more exact), we may find ourselves having to set boundaries with past relationships. This can be very challenging to say the least. For those of us caught in this dilemma, I suggest,  the book  ‘The Way of the White Cloud.’  (see below) where we see all things and all situations as essentially devoid of substance. What appears to be very real at the moment becomes only a memory. The apparent solidity of things and the gravity of a situation is actually a mirage, an illusion. Buddhists call this samsara. And we are caught up in it by virtue of having an embodiment. The art of living, from this viewpoint, is to live and take action without getting caught up in the snares of the illusion.

-The Way of The White Cloud by Lama Anagarika Govinda

http://www.arya-maitreya-mandala.org/content/lamagovinda.htm

 

manada

 

 

Fresco painting of Tara (upper floors Tumtsek, Alchi)

 

 

….


mandalanSumtsek 2nd storey. Centre of mandala.
Vairocana “The omniscient Lord’ (female aspect) (Alchi, 12th cent)

Earth Does Not Belong To Man Alone – Inspirational Quotations

Another and probably my last –  time lapse 3D you tube from the same Film Creator,  together with an important message from  mycologist, Paul Stamets where he discusses the important role mushrooms play in the survival and health of the earth and human species. Also included in this post, the wonderful talk  “Living Spirit”  by Chief Seattle.     

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria

 

How precious Is Our Earth?

Chief Seattle has become well known for his impassioned speech when asked to ‘sell’ his land to the European settlers. Although there has been some recent debate about who actually wrote the words, the message still stands. ‘How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land?’ he pleaded. ‘If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?’

All the memories and identity of his people were linked to the relationship they felt with this land. Was it so easy to give this up for beads and blankets? He realized the inevitable truth, however, that his people had been broken by starvation and war, and that they were going to lose their ancestral homeland to the mad rush of European settlers passing themselves off as the legitimate government of a country which they had, for the most  part, stolen. But before resigning himself to sign the treaty, he offered to them the natural wisdom of his people. His speech is a beautifully poetic and a haunting reminder of what most of us have forgotten. ‘This we know.’ he finally concluded. ‘The Earth does not belong to Man. Man belongs to the Earth. We are all connected, like the blood that unites one family.’


 

The Living Spirit

 

‘Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, even mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man.

The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful earth for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us.

The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices of the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man – all belong to the same family.

For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

The red man has always retreated before the advancing white man, as the mist of the mountains run before the morning sun. But the ashes of our fathers are sacred. Their graves are holy ground, and so these hill, these trees, this portion of the earth is consecrated to us.

 You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

 This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All thing are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all; we shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover – our God is the same God.’

- Chief Seattle – from an oration given at the tribal assembly of 1894

preparatory to the Indian Treaties. (translated by Dr. John Smith)

 

 

 

The Sound Of A Thousand Butterfly Wings – Video

The amazing photography of Louie Schwartzberg -

(Photographers be warned: There is no other video to compare with this on you tube)

 

You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?

“I drank that wine of which the soul is is vessel. Its ecstasy has stolen my intellect away. A light came and kindled a flame in the depth of my soul. A light so radiant that the sun orbits around it like a butterfly.”  -Rumi
photo source: Nowie

photo source: Nowie

 

Louie Schwartzberg bio

For over three decades, the award-winning cinematographer has been creating iconic and memorable images while becoming widely known as one of the industry’s most innovative cinematographers. Schwartzberg’s work in the areas of time-lapse photography, nature, aerial and “slice-of-life” photography are recognized around the world. Schwartzberg has been the recipient of two Clio Awards and received one Emmy Award nomination. He was recognized as one of the top 70 cinematographers for the “On Film Kodak Salute Series.” He is the ONLY cinematographer who has literally been shooting continuously, around-the-clock for over 30 years.

From The Ted Talk –  “Gratitude”

Did you know that 80 percent of the information we receive comes through our eyes? And if you compare light energy to musical scales, it would only be one octave that the naked eye could see, which is right in the middle? And aren’t we grateful for our brains that can, you know, take this electrical impulse that comes from light energy to create images in order for us to explore our world? And aren’t we grateful that we have hearts that can feel these vibrations in order for us to allow ourselves to feel the pleasure and the beauty of nature?

Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. So I have a gift I want to share with you today, a project I’m working on called Happiness Revealed, and it’ll give us a glimpse into that perspective from the point of view of a child and an elderly man of that world.

Child: When I watch TV, it’s just some shows that you just — that are pretend, and when you explore, you get more imagination than you already had, and when you get more imagination, it makes you want to go deeper in so you can get more and see beautifuler things, like the path, if it’s a path, it could lead you to a beach, or something, and it could be beautiful. 

Elderly Man: You think this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is, if you learn to respond as if it were the first day in your life and the very last day, then you will have spent this day very well.

Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes you can open, that incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment. Look at the sky. We so rarely look at the sky. We so rarely note how different it is from moment to moment, with clouds coming and going. We just think of the weather, and even with the weather, we don’t think of all the many nuances of weather. We just think of good weather and bad weather. This day, right now, has unique weather, maybe a kind that will never exactly in that form come again. That formation of clouds in the sky will never be the same as it is right now. Open your eyes. Look at that.

Look at the faces of people whom you meet. Each one has an incredible story behind their face, a story that you could never fully fathom, not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors. We all go back so far, and in this present moment, on this day, all the people you meet, all that life from generations and from so many places all over the world flows together and meets you here like a life-giving water, if you only open your heart and drink. 

 Open your heart to the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us. You flip a switch and there is electric light. You turn a faucet and there is warm water and cold water, and drinkable water. It’s a gift that millions and millions in the world will never experience.

http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude/transcript

Ted talk – The Hidden Miracles

http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_hidden_miracles_of_the_natural_world

 

 

Native American Indians Butterfly Facts

Due to the natural beauty of its wings, the butterfly is often considered vain. Yet, in Navajo mythology, the butterfly brings the sacred flint to the hooves of the horse. In the legend of the deity, “Butterfly Boy”  was cured of his vanity by being struck by an axe by Rain Boy on the head.   His  wounded head cracked opened  and out of it came all the butterflies of the world. The perishable dust of butterfly’s wings is sometimes thought to prove that such beauty is usually not durable.  A corollary:  In Navajo belief, the butterfly’s origin is the caterpillar, sacred because of his ability to transform into butterfly. However, while butterfly may not always be trusted because of their vanity, caterpillar is a simple, many-footed walker through life. He may give advice to his “betters.” (In other words the caterpillar does the work, the butterfly is just a creation of beauty that does not last long.)

World As Your Lover, World As Self – Inspirational Quotations

image -Beauty Of The Arts

image -Beauty Of The Arts

 

“When the sense of self expands to the circumference of the world, one’s ethics, love, hatred, one’s sense of what is important—all change. Sensitivity and the strength to respond to it unite. Yet there are psychopathologies whose descriptions sound like this. I suspect that unless the insubstantial nature of one’s personal self is deeply seen and felt (seemingly a rare event, even among Buddhist practitioners), the act of expanding the sense of self will lead too easily to some form of inflation or megalomania. “

~Tyrone Cashman talking about the book, World as Lover: World as Self.

 


Spiritual traditions have tended to look at the world in four major ways: as a battlefield, as a trap, as a lover, and as the self. The first two – as a stage set for our moral battles or as a prison to escape – are probably familiar, and have in many ways contributed to our lack of care for the world. But what of the other two? Might they shed some useful light on life in an interconnected world?

This is the focus of Joanna Macy’s wonderful book, World As Lover; World as Self, published by Parallax Press, from which  I’ve taken the following excerpts. Joanna Macy is a scholar of Buddhism and general systems theory. She is known in many countries for her trainings designed to empower creative, sustained social action.

WORLD AS LOVER

It is my experience that the world itself has a role to play in our liberation. Its very pressures, pains, and risks can wake us up – release us from the bonds of ego and guide us home to our vast, true nature. For some of us, our love for the world is so passionate that we cannot ask it to wait until we are enlightened.

To view the world as lover is to look at the world as a most intimate and gratifying partner. We find some of the richest expressions of our erotic relationship to the world in Hinduism, for example in Krishna worship, but this erotic affirmation of the phenomenal world is not limited to Hinduism. Ancient Goddess religions, now being explored (at last!) carry it too, as do strains of Sufism and the Kabbalah, and Christianity has its tradition of bridal mysticism.

It also occurs outside the religious metaphor. A poet friend of mine went through a period of such personal loss that she was catapulted into extreme loneliness. Falling apart into a nervous breakdown, she went to New York City and lived alone. She walked the streets for months until she found her wholeness again. A phrase of hers echoes in my mind: “I learned to move in the world as if it were my lover.”

Another Westerner who sees the world as lover is Italian storyteller Italo Calvino. In his little book, Cosmicomics, he describes the evolution of life from the perspective of an individual who experienced it from the beginning, even before the Big Bang. The chapter I want to recount begins with a sentence from science: “Through the calculations begun by Edwin P. Hubble on the galaxies’ velocity of recession, we can establish the moment when all the universe’s matter was concentrated in a single point, before it began to expand in space.”

“We were all there, where else could we have been?” says Calvino’s narrator, Qfwfq, as he describes his experience. “We were all in that one point – and, man, was it crowded!” Given the conditions, irritations were almost inevitable. See, in addition to all those people, “you have to add all the stuff we had to keep piled up in there: all the material that was to serve afterwards to form the universe … from the nebula of Andromeda to the Vosges Mountains to beryllium isotopes. And on top of that we were always bumping against the Z’zu family’s household goods: camp beds, mattresses, baskets. …”

So there were, naturally enough, complaints and gossip, but none ever attached to Mrs. Pavacini. (Since most names in the story have no vowels, I have given her a name we can pronounce.) “Mrs. Pavacini, her bosom, her thighs, her orange dressing gown,” the sheer memory of her fills our narrator

“with a blissful, generous emotion. … The fact that she went to bed with her friend Mr. DeXuaeauX, was well-known. But in a point, if there’s a bed, it takes up the whole point, so it isn’t a question of going to bed but of being there, because anybody in the point is also in the bed. So consequently it was inevitable that she was in bed with each of us. If she’d been another person, there’s no telling all the things that might have been said about her. …”

This state of affairs could have gone on indefinitely, but something extraordinary happened. An idea occurred to Mrs. Pavacini: “Oh boys, if only I had some room, how I’d like to make some pasta for you!” Here I quote in part from my favorite longest sentence in literature, which closes this particular chapter in Calvino’s collection:

“And in that moment we all thought of the space that her round arms would occupy moving backward and forward over the great mound of flour and eggs … while her arms kneaded and kneaded, white and shiny with oil up to the elbows, and we thought of the space the flour would occupy and the wheat for the flour and the fields to raise the wheat and the mountains from which the water would flow to irrigate the fields … of the space it would take for the Sun to arrive with its rays, to ripen the wheat; of the space for the Sun to condense from the clouds of stellar gases and burn; of the quantities of stars and galaxies and galactic masses in flight through space which would be needed to hold suspended every galaxy, every nebula, every sun, every planet, and at the same time we thought of it, this space was inevitably being formed, at the same time that Mrs. Pavacini was uttering those words: “… ah, what pasta, boys!” the point that contained her and all of us was expanding in a halo of distance in light years and light centuries and billions of light millennia and we were being hurled to the four corners of the universe … and she dissolved into I don’t know what kind of energy-light-heat, she, Mrs. Pavacini, she who in the midst of our closed, petty world had been capable of a generous impulse, “Boys, the pasta I could make for you!” a true outburst of general love, initiating at the same time the concept of space and, properly speaking, space itself, and time, and universal gravitation, and the gravitating universe, making possible billions and billions of suns, and planets, and fields of wheat, and Mrs. Pavacinis scattered through the continents of the planets, kneading with floury, oil-shiny, generous arms and she lost at that very moment, and we, mourning her loss.”

But is she lost? Or is she equally present, in every moment, her act of love embodied in every unfolding of this amazing world?

Whether we see it as Krishna or as Mrs. Pavacini, that teasing, loving presence is in the monsoon clouds and the peacock’s cry that heralds the monsoon, and in the plate of good pasta.

For when you see the world as lover, every being, every phenomenon, can become – if you have a clever, appreciative eye – an expression of that ongoing, erotic impulse. It takes form right now in each one of us and in everyone and everything we encounter – the bus driver, the clerk at the checkout counter, the leaping squirrel.

As we seek to discover the lover in each lifeform, you can find yourself in the dance of rasa-lila, sweet play, where each of the milkmaids who yearned for Krishna finds him magically at her side, her very own partner in the dance. The one beloved has become many, and the world itself her lover.