Beautiful photos!

(everyday aesthetics)
Exclamation and Question Marks

As I write this morning, I delight in slowing sipping and savoring my cup of coffee aesthetically. (“Aesthetic” — “Adjective; concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; or pleasing appearance.”) I’m feeling the pleasing strong solid weigh of the clay mug as I move it to my lips, delighting in the distinctive taste of the Colombian mix coffee, … touching my lips, moving in my mouth, sliding on my tongue — an experience of the extraordinary in the ordinary, of aesthetic awareness, pleasing, grateful appreciation — like making-love with my morning cup of coffee! She’s sensuous and sexy!

Here’s something I received yesterday which I like, written by friend James Bortell. — rb

“I didn’t know that exclamation marks were controversial. Then I went to Google and found grammarians have many opinions about them. I even found an entire article in the Atlantic Monthly on exclamation marks—what they mean and how often they are used. Rather than belabor a subject grammarians can’t get together on, here are my definitions of an exclamation mark:

…something deserving of excitement, of being dazzled or amazed,
…something very ordinary that on second look is extraordinary,
…taking note of something,
…something calling for our response to a need–a cry for help, healing or an injustice.

If we have eyes to see, ears to hear, minds to think, and hearts to feel every day we are standing in front of exclamation marks—a tree, flower, child, friend, family member, the sun, the sky and on and on.”


Yes, yes, exclamation marks visibly and invisibly hover over most everything — standing in front of our eyes, wiggling round in our noses, spiraling in our ears, dancing on our tongues, tingling on our skin. When we “come to our senses”, the secular and the spirit-ual become blended into One and bridge the seeming separation between things. We become more balanced and whole as we “get it together” — brains, body, spirit, heart, mind and soul.

Yes and I en-joy EXCLAMATION MARKS together with QUESTION MARKS– discovery and wonder, wonder and discovery. We can balance our inner-adult with our inner-child. A child is a living, breathing, vibrating, playful question mark of delightful, joyful WONDER. To a child the entire world is a wonder-full playground of possible and act-u-all delight. Jesus of Nazareth said: “You must become as a little child.” (Not childish, but childlike.)


Beauty abides in common things
If only we choose to see it
And grace will turn our limbs to wings
If only we choose to free it

— Mitch Teemley —


As a youth, I can remember overhearing my mother telling other adults that little kids don’t need expensive fancy toys, that they can have just as much fun playing with ordinary everyday things — like spoons, pans, roller pins, balls, string, rubber bands, boxes, bowls, paper cups, rocks, seashells, mud-pies, pillows, towels, mirrors, hats, shoes, socks, buckets, water, stones, trees, sticks, rope, belts, puppies, kittens, lightning bugs, and yes even worms.

Children can and do delightfully and playfully transform question marks into exclamation points! So can we — a hug, a kiss, a dance, a walk in the woods, watching a sunset or art-in-motion clouds, tasting some delicious delight, listening to music or song, receiving-giving a massage, bathing in a tub, jacuzzi or swimming pool, lake or ocean, painting a picture, writing a letter or poem … and making lots of love, … doing a caring Zorb-id-ic dance of love with all the wonder-full, savory, tasty, de-light-full world!

Contemplate a simple bowl’s four characteristics essential to its existential condition: emptiness, fullness, broken and whole. Is not such our actual lives? Yes, such is our wonderful earthy human lives!
The extraordinary is revealed in the ordinary.

We don’t have to walk on water — we can gratefully marvel in the miracle of walking on earth!

May we take off our shoes — the ground upon we walk is holy ground.


(a grateful look in the mirror)

Behold the beauty
in the warrior’s wound, scar and limp,

Behold the beauty
in the young wayward prostitute and pimp,

Behold the beauty
in the aging women’s wrinkling-crinkling skin,

Behold the beauty
in brokenness, missing the mark and stupid sin,

Behold the beauty
in the tattered, torn and forlorn,
in all that is lacked,
all that is cracked,
in the imperfections of all that is born.

Look at the world
through the eyes of the Divine Mother

holding with strong-warm arms,
gazing with unconditional outrageous love
upon her beloved small child,
securely held in the Beloved’s surrounding embrace —

as She looks at you
looking through your eyes,
the eyes of Love.

You, S/he, We
are One,

in a uni-verse of singing,
being sung,
in a seamless, yet not featureless
symphony of love.

How beautiful it is!


Ring the bells that still can ring.

“Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

~ Leonard Cohen


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