Friday, October 21, 2005

All our senses

All our senses are given to us to enjoy,
And to praise God.
The smell of the sea,
The blossom borne on the wind,

of the soft flesh of a little baby;

the taste of a ripe plum

or bread fresh from the oven,

the feel of a warm cat's fur,

or the body of a lover -
these are all forms of thanksgiving prayer.

-Bella Brown (in 'Plain Living - A Quaker Path to Simplicity' by Cathering Whitmire)


postliberal said...

I love how you've chosen a picture of communion for the bread! :)

Nicely liturgical, that piece.

Contemplative Activist said...

Ah well, it was a nice picture. And I do like fresh bread and a nice glass of red wine. Yum.

These days I consume plenty in front of back episodes of ER on DVD :D

Anonymous said...

'Plain Living' was the first book I bought when I started to explore quakerism just over a year ago! Its a real treasury because it is both practical and poetic, and there's always something to speak to your present condition. At the moment I'm taken with the Sharon Daloz Parkes quote:
"God is in the prepositions -
among, within,

Your choice of entry and complementary pictures so simply and brilliantly encapsulate the experiential nature of quakerism

Best Wishes, Simon

postliberal said...

Give me some nice lancashire cheese and Brass Eye, and I'm in a good mood, oh yes...

Rach said...

I really like this! :)

Lorcan said...

That sense of well being and yet wonder, even confusion as thee notices the floor rushing at thy face after an all night pub crawl...

(just kidding folks...)

Peterson Toscano said...


Reading it reminds me of the poem by existentialist French poet, Charles Baudelaire


La nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers.

Comme des longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.

Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,
Doux comme des hautbois, verts comme des prairies,
-Et d'autres corrompus, riches et triomphants,

Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l'ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l'encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens.

Charles Baudelaire

Lorcan said...

Lovely, we must remember, however, that CA, has spent time in the US, and Americans may be reading this... (what does thee call someone possessed of three languages, ... trilingual, two? bilingual, one?... and American...) So, for the benefit of the land of liberty and just - us, I offer this mildly incompetent translation. I was going to also place the... it sounds like... funny version, but one joke per post is enough in the face of such lovely sentiment. Feel free to offer corrections.

Nature is a temple where living beings are pillars
Confused words are sometimes emitted
The man comes to it through the forest of symbols
who acknowledge him with familiar looks.

As long echoes, which from a distance become confused
In a melancholic and deep joining
vast as the night and as clear
Perfumes, colors and sounds answer

There are cool perfumes, such as the skin of children
mild ones, like an oboe, green as a meadow
and others corrupt, rich and triumphant

Having the expanse of infinity
As amber, musk the (?) and frankincense,
Who sing born along on the spirit and senses

Christine said...

Nice. Thank you.