This Beautiful Life by Christina Knowles

nature love

“Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems.
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun . . . . there are millions of suns left. 
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand . . . . nor look through the eyes of the dead . . . . nor feed on the spectres in books.
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me.
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.”

“There was never any more inception than there is now,
nor any more youth or age than there is now;
and will never be any more perfection than there is now,
nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”– “Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

These are some of the most beautiful words I have ever heard, and they embody my worldview. The beauty of the honest search for truth is the most exquisite gift we can give ourselves. The realization that we do not have to “look through the eyes of the dead” and believe in the myths of old, do not need to listen to the ghosts of ancient men and their antiquated notions, do not need to listen to our conditioning, but we can read, investigate, think, and dialogue all ideas and decide among them for ourselves is true freedom. And my conclusion that this world is all I will ever know, that this is both my heaven and my hell, has given me appreciation for every sweet breath I take, joy in every moment with those I love, and the perspective that allows me to live, really live, taking nothing for granted, and noticing every lovely thing in this beautiful life.—Christina Knowles

Photo via weheart.com

 

All the Heaven and Hell by Christina Knowles

“All the Heaven and Hell”

Lightly falling snowflakesFlowers in Hair

The loving eyes of my old dog

The smile of a baby

Red and gold leaves scattered on the ground

Glistening wet petals in the morning sun

This is all the heaven I will ever know

Holding the hand of my mother as she leaves me

Burning tears of loss, the indescribable pain in my chest

Holding my best friend as she takes her last breath

Angry words from a trusted mouth

Grave news from a doctor’s chart

This is all the hell I will ever know

The soft glow of a crackling fire

Holding hands with the best man I’ve ever known

The swell of love his gaze makes me feel

The time spent with my closest friends

Laughing until my stomach hurts

This is all the heaven I will ever know

The anxiety of deadlines

The crushing weight of responsibilities

Debts to pay and artificial worries

The helplessness of age

The loneliness of loss

This is all the hell I will ever know

Pain and depression

Joy and the sweetness of love

Anger and frustration

Comfort and peace

Gratitude for all of this life

This is all the heaven and hell I will ever know—Christina Knowles (2015)

Photo snagged from Pinterest