Old things, dead things, glorious things

This week’s explorations at the intersection of nature, art and wisdom.

Beauty in bleakness this winter

Appreciation of subtlety – of the small things, of the drab things – is important. It’s like enjoying well-cooked meals vs. sugar-salt-fat processed foods. Shifting our perspective to appreciate the usually unappreciated adds value to every day.

Take a look at this article about the browns and the greys: In Praise of Quaker Colors.

Misty autumn morning in the Carpathian mountains. Pikuy ridge, Ukraine. / Photo by AndrewMayovskyy (Depositphotos)

Link: https://spokanefavs.com/in-praise-of-quaker-colors/

A matter of life and death

Rather than keeping the grass trimmed, a cemetery in Paris has become a haven for wildlife. Perhaps this transforms our opinion of death? Maybe we can see how death is a seed for life? Perhaps we can experience the continuity, the fecundity, the aliveness of the planet when contemplating our own mortality. Maybe that makes us feel just a little bit better?

And… can we reframe our idea of beauty? Can we see that a nature-filled cemetery is as beautiful – maybe more beautiful – than a manicured one?

Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/28/world/europe/paris-pere-lachaise-cemetery-.html

The wisdom of age

Most of us don’t get to experience old-growth forest. Our woodlands have mostly been disturbed by human activity. Where I live, the forests have been logged – and their characteristics are quite different from their old-growth cousins. Take a look at these pictures and marvel at their primeval vibe. This is nature – and it’s glorious.

By CSIRO, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35439432
By Alan Wigginton – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62822754
By Evilbish – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32980949

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old-growth_forest

All is one, one is all

Within unity there’s diversity. In an old-growth forest, there’s a thousand species. Yet they all come together to create a rich ecosystem. Can we stop, look and experience unity and diversity at the same time? How does that feel?

Link: https://bookshop.org/p/books/creativity-and-taoism-a-study-of-chinese-philosophy-art-and-poetry-chung-yuan-chang/11255877