Monday, February 7, 2011

Contemplative Monday

In her book, The Power of an Open Question, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel begins by stating a question:

"How do we live a life we can't hold on to? How do we live with the fact that the moment we're born we move closer to death; when we fall in love we sign up for grief? How do we reconcile that gain always ends in loss; gathering, in separation?"

Her book is a search for the answers to these questions. And she says:

"I don't know if my question will ever find an answer. But I see it as a question to live by. I've always felt that if you have a genuine question you should explore it. All you have to do is continue to ask it and pay attention."


  1. Very evocative photos, especially the second one.

    P.S. Here's a possible answer: "Life is a cabaret, old chum."

  2. I'm certainly not wise enough to have the answer. I just try to enjoy every minute I have here on this Earth.

    Those seedhead shots are beautiful.

  3. It is called character building Jim! Ha ha, that is what all the ups and downs of life essentially is,isn't it....?

  4. Lovely pics Jim. And, I have the answer .... it is "don't think about it." I should be a bloody philosopher! .... or maybe not...... *wink*

  5. I think that Debra She Who Seeks wrapped it up nicely. I don't want to go through life thinking like Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel.
    Your Friend, m.

  6. For myself, I search for the answers in the Bible and pray for wisdom. Without the hope of Heaven, I'd be hope-less. But that's just me.

    Jim, as always, beautiful photos. You should publish a coffee table book with the best of the best. I would buy!!!

  7. I don't care to dwell on stuff like starting to die when we are born, sounds like a real downer to me.

    On another subject - I think I like the new header, this sea foam is not dirty looking. What IS the composition of sea foam? Did we have it 500 years ago? It actually looks like somebody poured in some bubble bath, but I don't believe that is the case.

  8. Good question Sharon! This is what I found:
    Seafoam is organic. It is produced by microscopic phytoplankton. The bubbles arise from agitation of the surf and consist of inorganic and organic particles of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. The proteins provide surface tension to allow the bubbles to form. Seafoam is actually a complicated biochemical amalgam.

    One study (Craig et al. 1989) found that the organic content of seafom includes a rather amazing array of organic carbon, sugars, phenolics, amino acids, and amino sugars.

  9. How very beautiful. I am not smart enough to think like her. I am smart enough to love your pretty pictures! ; )

  10. Jim, I think at one time or another, these thoughts cross our minds. It's human nature.

    Love the photographs. Simple statements. :)

  11. I like your explanation of seafoam.

    As to the "How do we live" question; do we have a choice? That's just the way life is.

  12. That's really interesting, Jim! Thanks!

  13. i have nominated you for the "stylish blogger award". do as you please with this.

  14. Great post...insightful...beautiful photos.

  15. One of the first things the nuns taught us in Catholic school is that we start dying the minute we're born. This, to five and six year olds. I quickly figured out that the Catholic were so preoccupied with death they had no idea of how to live -- truly live, to celebrate and enjoy life to the fullest.

    I feel sorry for Ms Mattis-Namgyel -- I take it she's had a hard life and no resources to deal with that, or has perhaps been indoctrinated in a belief system that says any happiness in life must be paid for with suffering (also a belief of the nuns). Yes, life ends and we all have to face that, but to say that love means signing up for grief, gain always ends in loss, etc. is too nihilistic for me. I do not think I will be reading her book. I love and live life too much for that.


Hey, I really like your comments and appreciate the time you took to do so.

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