In Their Own Words

To return to our senses is to renew our bond with wider life, to feel the soil beneath the pavement, to sense — even when indoors — the moon's gaze upon the roof. 
David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

Our task, rather, is that of taking up the written word, with all of its potency, and patiently, carefully, writing language back into the land. It is the practice of spinning tales that want to be told, again and again..... planting words, like seeds under rocks and fallen logs — letting language take root, once again, in the earthen silence of shadow and bone and leaf.
David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous

These pages, too, are nothing other than talking leaves—their insights stirred by the winds, their vitality reliant on periodic sunlight and on cool dark water seeping up from within the ground. Step into their shade. Listen close. Something other than the human mind is at play here.
David Abram, Becoming Animal

We can't enchant the world, which makes its own magic; but we can enchant ourselves by paying deep attention.
Diane Ackerman, Dawn Light

I wake, and when I do the beauty of the world, however fleeting, fills me with an incontestable joy that leaches right into my bloodstream. I need only allow it in. Born into a world of light, my senses mature and will decay. But until they do they are the gateways to the mysterious kingdom in which I find myself, one I could not have imagined...
Diane Ackerman

The miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine — which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes.
Wendell Berry

The world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.
Wendell Berry

Everyone, no matter what their cultural background, has a right to discover the sacred in nature; to heal and be redeemed spiritually by nature; and to revere the ancestors. We are all haunted and saved by our memories.
Martha Brooks, Bone Dance

For every locomotive they build, I shall paint another angel.
Edward Burne-Jones

We are the earth. We are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth and this is the voice of the earth.
Joseph Campbell

Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.
Albert Camus 

Art is a path on which we honour our world.
Robert Genn

Tonight I walk.  I am watching the sky.  I think of the people who came before me and how they knew the placement of stars in the sky, watched the moving sun long and hard enough to witness how a certain angle of light touched a stone only once a year.  Without written records, they knew the gods of every night, the small, fine details of the world around them and of immensity above them.  It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another.  Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
Linda Hogan, Walking

Hugging the shores of one's life is just fine, but the Great Mystery makes its home further out. Once in a while we have to paddle our canoes out into deeper waters to meet it.
Catherine Kerr

What we lose in our great human exodus from the land is a rooted sense, as deep and intangible as religious faith, of why we need to hold on to the wild and beautiful places that once surrounded us.
Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder

In the places that call me out, I know I'll recover my wordless childhood trust in the largeness of life and its willingness to take me in.
Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder

When we deliberately leave the safety of the shore of our lives, we surrender to a mystery beyond our intent.
Ann Linnea, Deep Passage

In the journeys of the heart, be alert for the slightest sign. Along the extraordinary blue corridors of the soul, take nothing for granted.
Jeanne Lohmann

Winding river, endless mountains—the dark forest breathing mist. There is no road into the sacred place. It’s just that, the deeper you go, the more wondrous it becomes.
John Daido Loori, The True Dharma Eye

The spider web and the Brooklyn Bridge are both works of nature. We must learn how the delicate dynamics of this unlikely relationship work. The earth's heart is big enough to hold both. The question is, how big is the heart we manifest?
John Daido Loori, Inconceivably Wondrous (Dharma Discourse)

How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself? There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.
Barry Lopez

It is in the speech of carters and housewives, in the speech of blacksmiths and old women, that one discovers the magic that sings the claim of the voice in the shadow, or that chants the rhyme of the fish in the well.
John Maruskin

Any single path truly taken leads to all the others. Even then, you will find that outward and inward become the same direction. The centre of the wheel is everywhere.
Robin Morgan, The Burning Times

If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.
Toni Morrison

Nothing you ever understand will be sweeter, or more binding, than this deep affinity between your eyes and the world.
Mary Oliver, Terns

Every day I walk out into the world to be dazzled, then to be reflective.
Mary Oliver, Long Afternoon at the Edge of Little Sister Pond

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

For me there is a close connection between art and religion in the sense that both are concerned about questions of meaning -- if not about the meaning of existence generally, then certainly about the meaning of one's individual life and how a person relates to his or her total community/environment.
Freeman Patterson, Artist Statement

Photography - both the craft and the art - helps me to be. It allows and enables me to live creatively, which is to honour Creation and my own existence.
Freeman Patterson, ShadowLight

We live in a sea of light.
Henry Plummer, The Poetics of Light

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
Aaron Rose

Always bear in mind that the real journey, the inner one, cannot be captured in words.
Ken Russell

Whatever we do in our lives, we make a text of our lives. Whether or not our stories belong to the shared patterns of the great, true stories—the myths—they are the texts from which we find out our relation to the divine, to one another and to the self.
Linda Sexson, Ordinarily Sacred

I hold the most archaic values on earth. They go back to the late Paleolithic: the fertility of the soil, the magic of animals, the power vision in solitude, the terrifying initiation and rebirth; the love and ecstasy of the dance, the common work of the tribe. I try to hold both history and wilderness in mind, that my poems may approach the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times.
Gary Snyder

Truth is the perfect circle. Its center is everywhere; its circumference stretches into infinite space. The land on which we stand is sacred; no matter where we stand.
Lama Surya Das, Awakening to the Sacred

Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen.
Minor White

A general definition of civilization: a civilized society is exhibiting the five qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art, peace.
Alfred North Whitehead

To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.
Terry Tempest Williams

Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.