From Above

Goose  [Flickr page]
Why shall a gosling not say thus: “All the parts of the universe have me in view; the earth serve for me to walk on, the sun to give me light, the stars to breathe their influences into me; I gain this advantage from the winds, that from the waters; there is nothing that the heavenly vault regards so favorably as me; I am the darling of nature.”
—Michel de Montaigne, “Apology for Raymond Sebond.”
Quoted in Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.
Garlanding her Stuffed Deer  [Flickr page]
A joy it is to come to virgin springs
And drink, a joy it is to pluck new flowers,
To make a glorious garland for my head
From fields whose blooms the Muses never picked
To crown the brows of any many before.
—Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (c. 50 BC), tr. by Ronald Melville
Lake Ripples and Shoreline  [Flickr page]
Wherever there is life, there is twist and mess: the frizz of an arctic lichen, the tangle of brush along a bank, the dogleg of a dog’s leg, the way a line has got to curve, split, or knob. The planet is characterized by its very jaggedness, its random heaps of mountains, its frayed fringes of shore.
—Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
No Shadow at South Point, Hawaii  [Flickr page]
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
—Max Ehrmann, Desiderata
Picnic Table  [Flickr page]
What has this bugbear, death, to frighten men,
If souls can die, as well as bodies can?
So, when our mortal flame shall be disjoined,
The lifeless lump uncoupled from the mind,
From sense of grief and pain we shall be free;
We shall not feel, because we shall not be.
—Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (c. 50 BC), tr. by John Dryden
Kalaupapa Peninsula, Molokai  [Flickr page]
Few of us realize that we spend most of our lives … perceiving the present—present sights, sounds, tastes, and sensations—only dimly, through a veil of thought. We spend our lives telling ourselves the story of past and future, while the reality of the present goes largely unexplored.
—Sam Harris, The End of Faith
Honolulu from Diamond Head  [Flickr page]
Honolulu Harbor was a forest of ship’s masts huddled within encircling coral reefs, a narrow channel threading through the reefs and out to open sea. Unlike picturesque Waikiki to the east—a bright crescent of sand in the lee of majestic Lē'ahi, or “Diamond Head” as the haoles, the white foreigners, had rechristened it—the harbor was an unglamorous collection of cattle wharves, trading companies, saloons, and the occasional brothel.
—Alan Brennert, Moloka’i
Click on individual images to enlarge, or check out my most “interesting” photos on Flickr. All are Copyright © 2013-14 Edwin A. Suominen. You may freely use them for non-commercial purposes, with attribution, under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.