“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.” — David Bohm

 

Version 6

Dormez Vous,  photograph by Michelle Tennison*

 

 


what is your

still, small voice
saying?
          That which is overheard while in a coma

Question Sabine Miller,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2015)

 

*The bee must have spent the night on this cosmos flower. It awoke about a half hour after this photo was taken.

Crystal Spring: Infused with Poetry

I love poetry. And I especially love Walt Whitman.  He wrote that “every hour of light and dark is a miracle.”   I got a sense of that myself when I ventured into an unlikely little park in the middle of suburbia.

Crystal Spring Park in Laurel Springs, New Jersey:

 

crystal spring

What I now know:  Walt Whitman spent his summers between 1876 and 1884 in a farmhouse near Crystal Spring, a low magnitude natural spring at the eastern end of Laurel Lake in Laurel Springs,  Camden County New Jersey. Whitman was convalescing at the time and is said to have visited the spot often to drink and bathe there as he regarded the waters to be healing in nature. The spring is still active today, trickling gently downhill into Laurel Lake.

Much of Whitman’s Specimen Days and part of Leaves of Grass (which he added to throughout his life) were written at this location. A boardwalk trail in the park features quotes from his Nature-notes of 1887-81 for Specimen Days.

brook quote

— All photographs by Michelle Tennison

To say that coming upon these words in the woods warmed my heart would be an understatement. It was sunrise when I arrived, and there was a dream-like quality to my experience here, like I had entered an alternate universe where poetry was understood to be integral to our humanity, because it is.

 

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

          From Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,  William Carlos Williams

 

Let us remember … that in the end we go to poetry for one reason, so that we might more fully inhabit our lives and the world in which we live them, and that if we more fully inhabit these things, we might be less apt to destroy both.
          — Christian Wiman, former editor of Poetry magazine
·
Thank you to Crystal Spring and to the state of New Jersey for holding space for Walt Whitman, for poetry, and for hope.
·

Pod Mind

 

Dolphins use more of their brains’ capabilities than we do. The efficiency of their mode of communication becomes obvious in the wild, when they all move together as a unit, surf the waves at the same moment, make direction-changes simultaneously  … How can we develop instant, open communication like this? When we have no secrets, no hidden agendas, no negative reactions. This is achieved through truthfulness, integrity, and Pod or Group Mind.

— Joan Ocean, on her years of experience swimming with dolphins

 

Why do some people who swim with dolphins and whales feel so profoundly affected by the experience, perhaps even healed, or changed forever? Often they describe it as pure joy.   Cetaceans do seem to know something we haven’t quite figured out yet as they wordlessly and synchronistically move together — something about community and oneness, and something about play and the space of joy itself which is so abundant that it seems a bit foreign and even miraculous to us. Maybe that’s why sometimes, in their presence, we feel like are receiving answers long before we know the questions.

 

Why do we say we “fall” in love?
          A rain barrel overflowing

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Mark Harris, (2016)