movement, movement

On Beauty

Posted in books, poetry, quotes by amoslanka on September 9, 2009

And a poet said, “Speak to us of Beauty.”

The tired and the weary say, “beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.”
But the restless say, “We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.”

All these things have you said of beauty.
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

[B]eauty is life when life unveils her holy face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Beauty (abridged)


The Beauty of Today

Posted in books, friends, life, poetry by amoslanka on January 14, 2009

I’ve had little time to write lately, so these posts are string to which I cling to the hopes I still have in writing here. I hope any of you out there aren’t too offended by my absence. Between moving to a new apartment in the city, a two week vacation (which was well worth it), and a heavy web workload including freelance and office work, I’ve found much exploration in my heart but little time to record it. I hate more than anything the helpless feeling of beautiful times being lost in the past, but at the same time I recognize the story’s medium between its writing and telling.

The Beauty of Today:

  • Holly has the most marvelous collection of music on her shared iTunes. I am presently being soothed by Al Green.
  • Rachell sent me a bit by Mr. Gibran. “Soul and Nature converse together, while Man stands speechless and bewildered.”
  • Reading today in Till We Have Faces, Psyche has become the wife of a god, but her sister is yet unable to see the nature of the palace in which she lives. (ch. 10)
  • Video chatting with old friends will never grow old.
  • My local Zupans sells homemade cornbread. Glorious. I picked up several servings last night when I also happened to find, quite possibly, the best homemade bread I’ve ever had. Sharing dinner (and the bread) with Ryan and Holly and my somewhat new friends, Steve and Michelle made my week. The fish/bacon, potatoes, and wine, however, were better than the bread. Thats a good meal.


Posted in love, poetry by amoslanka on December 10, 2008

On the day that ugliness is perfected in rubble
and blood, beauty and the love of beauty will
still be praised by those well paid to praise it.

– Wendell Berry, Given Poems, 2003 VII

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Contradiction And Surrender

Posted in christianity, conversation, philosophy, religion by amoslanka on October 2, 2008

There are times when I am ridiculously idealistic, and others when I refuse anything but pragmatism. It seems so contradictory in observance, but no less when compared to the standard perspective I recognize myself as having, one that in many ways doesn’t make it an absolute priority to remove supposedly contradictory ideas or feelings from my belief system. Speaking of feelings, I suppose it is most often that its our feelings that make us feel contradictory. Just today, this guy left a comment on a previous post saying “all i want in life is to agree with myself”. I think thats how we feel a lot of times- as though everything within us contradicts what we thought we knew. Our journeys through life give us new perspectives that may or may not be congruent with our prior vision of the world.

I feel as though I have discovered release from at least some of that frustration. This comes not from a tightening of the demands I place on my own understandings, but rather a remembering how foggy this world is. This world is like looking through a lens that is scratched, fogged, unfocused, and sometimes even pointed in the wrong direction. But I can find peace in that, because I can find peace in Grace. I can find peace in the small pieces of the puzzle I find daily or the glimpses of truth that remind me of the beauty and the depravity to which I cling.

Maybe our purpose in life isn’t to have it all figured out. 

Maybe our purpose in life isn’t suppose to be free of contradiction.

What is poetry without irony?

What is beauty without contrast?

What is life without death?

What if the full culmination of this surrender comes naturally when the right circumstances are at hand, when all the while we’ve been trying to force it into a broken humanity and a misled culture?

A Full House Of Beautiful Souls

Posted in art, friends, life, travel by amoslanka on September 10, 2008

Tomorrow I travel to San Jose to spend almost a week with some lovely people. A get-together of sorts including friends from all over the country. It seems just a bit weird that I’ll be flying on September 11th, but I’m not the type to get either freaked out or superstitious. On Wednesday of next week, I’ll be making the journey back to Portland via Penske truck with this guy as he moves from Oakland to Portland. 

As Andrew puts it, this weekend is “gonna be a full house of beautiful souls.” Musicians, photographers, poets, writers, artists, dreamers, believers, and wanderers. I’ll send you a postcard.