Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lost In The Woods

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Ok, I know this is crazy - but hey - so what! I went on a search for the Dante quote about the "dark wood" and what did I find? Thirty-Five, yes, thirty-five slightly different translations of that one famous qoute!! It was somewhat cathartic to read them all out loud... listening to my life in a nutshell over and over again... knowing that I'm actually reading great literature... So... now you can join me, we can be lost in the woods together! Number 34 is my favorite, what's yours?

  1. Midway on our life's journey, I found myself
    In dark woods, the right road lost.
    (Robert Pinsky)

  2. In the middle of the journey of our life
    I found myself astray in a dark wood
    where the straight road had been lost sight of.
    (Seamus Heaney)

  3. Midway upon the road of our life
    I found myself within a dark wood,
    for the right way had been missed

  4. In the middle of the road of my life
    I awoke in the dark wood
    where the true way was wholly lost

  5. In the middle of my journey through life,
    a dark wood overcame me
    for I had lost my way.

  6. In the middle of our life's walk
    I found myself in a dark wood
    for the straight road was lost

  7. In the middle of the journey of our life
    I came to myself within a dark wood
    where the straight way was lost.
    (John D. Sinclair)

  8. At the midpoint of the journey's life
    I found myself lost in a dark forest
    with no straight path I could see anywhere.
    (M.L. Rosenthal)

  9. At midpoint of the journey of our life
    I woke to find me astray in a dark wood,
    perplexed by paths with the straight way at strife.
    (Geoffrey L. Bickersteth)

  10. Midway life's journey I was made aware
    That I had strayed into a dark forest,
    And the right path appeared not anywhere.
    (Laurence Binyon)

  11. Midway upon the journey of our life
    I found myself within a forest dark,
    For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
    (Henry Longfellow)

  12. Midway upon the road of our life
    I found myself within a dark wood
    for the right way had been missed.
    (Charles Eliot Norton)

  13. Midway through the journey of our life, I found
    myself in a dark wood, for I had strayed
    from the straight pathway to this tangled ground.

  14. Midway in the journey of our life
    I came to myself in a dark wood,
    for the straight way was lost.

  15. Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
    from the straight road and woke to find myself
    alone in a dark wood.
    (Joan Ciardi)

  16. Midway in the journey of our life
    I found myself in a dark wood,
    for the straight way was lost.
    (Charles Singleton)

  17. Midway along the journey of our life
    I woke to find myself in some dark woods,
    for I had wandered off from the straight path.
    (Mark Musa)

  18. Midway in the course of our life
    I found myself within a dark wood,
    where the right way was lost.
    (Rev. H.F. Tozer)

  19. Midway in human life's allotted span,
    I found myself in a dark wood,
    where the straight path I sought in vain.
    (Ronald Bottrall)

  20. In the midway of this our mortal life,
    I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
    Gone from the path direct
    (Henry F. Cary, Mario Praz)

  21. Upon the journey of our life midway
    I came unto myself in a dark wood,
    For the straight path I had gone astray.
    (Jefferson B. Fletcher)

  22. In the midst of my journey through this life of ours,
    I was in a dark forest,
    because I had lost the right road.
    (Allan Gilbert)

  23. One night, when half my life behind me lay,
    I wandered from the straight lost path afar.
    Through the great dark was no releasing way

  24. When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
    I found myself within a shadowed forest,
    for I had lost the path that does not stray.
    (Allen Mandelbaum)

  25. Halfway along the journey of our life,
    Having strayed from the right path and lost it,
    I awoke to find myself in a dark wood.
    (Harriet Rubin)

  26. Halfway through the story of my life
    I came to in a gloomy wood, because
    I'd wandered off the path, away from the light
    (Ciaran Carson)

  27. Halfway through our trek in life
    I found myself in this dark wood,
    miles away from the right road.
    (Steve Ellis)

  28. Halfway through the journey we are living
    I found myself deep in a darkened forest,
    For I had lost all trace of the straight path.
    (James Finn Cotter)

  29. Halfway along the path of this existence
    I found that I was in a gloomy wood,
    My right way being blotted by the distance.
    (Louis How)

  30. Halfway along the road we have to go,
    I found myself obscured in a great forest,
    Bewildered, and I knew I had lost the way
    (Sisson, Oxford World Classics)

  31. Halfway upon the road of our life,
    I came to myself amid a dark wood
    where the straight path was confused.
    (Arthur J. Butler)

  32. Once, halfway through the journey of our life
    I found myself inside a shadowy wood,
    because the proper road had disappeared.
    (Sean O'Brien)

  33. Half-way upon the journey of our life
    I roused to find myself within a forest
    In darkness, for the straight way had been lost.
    (Henry Johnson)

  34. About halfway through the course of my pathetic life,
    I woke up and found myself in a stupor in some dark place
    (Birk and Sanders)

  35. Just halfway through this journey of our life
    I reawoke to find myself inside
    a dark wood, way off course, the right road lost.
    (Tom Phillips)

Walking In The Dark

There is, therefore, a more perfect intellectual life in the angels. In them the intellect does not proceed to self-knowledge from anything exterior, but knows itself through itself.

~St. Thomas Aquinas

I found this quote today when I was adding to Way Cool Quotes. It really struck me because that's exactly what I've been mulling over recently. What I've been thinking about is how much I rely on what other people think, say, and do versus how little I rely on what I think about what I say and do. I'm constantly running to my friends, to books, to websites, etc. etc trying to figure out what to do... it's like I don't even know what I think until I know what every one else thinks.

051129c 026

What does it mean to know yourself through yourself? Am I afraid to trudge through those well worn pathways of gloom and defeat? Is that what I think I'll find if I explore my inner self? Do I just not see a single glimmer of light when I look inside? Am I struggling to find validation, acceptance, and love on the outer because I know that it will not or can not come from the inner? And what would it take to light that inner lamp, and give myself my own validation, acceptance, and love? How can I find that moment of nonjudgment and unconditional grace when I know all my faults and failures so intimately and hold them so close to my heart?

There is a quote from Dante's Inferno - how does it go.... something about a dark wood... (here it is) And that's where I find myself this morning, endarkened... What about you? Where do you find yourself today?

Abandon All Hope

"Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here."

~Dante Alighieri

inf 3 9 dore

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Journey


The Shamanic journey starts when we begin to live what we have grasped of the Great Plan.

Where do we start? Physically from where we are, however tempting it may be to wait until "the conditions are right," until we move to another place, until we get a new job, until we find more understanding, more congenial people, until... until...

The Grandfathers say, "Start now," Now is all we have, all we shall ever have. Start now."

Our journey is a resumption of the long way we have come, not a totally new start. Spiritually we start from that moment and that place where we decide to re-commit ourselves to the journey, to re-surrender our wills to the will of the Great Source, to enlist with finality in the Company of Light. Sooner or later this great moment comes to us, but it must be with finality, total commitment, we must stick with it, or it will be only another half-hearted attempt to take a few hesitant steps on one of the ways leading to the Center, and away from it. We must go forward firmly. or we may find ourselves again in the "dark wood." Each time this happens it gets harder to resume the journey, and whether we go on foot, or "over wonderful slippery water" in a Shadow Canoe, resumption of the journey is what our spirits crave.

~Evelyn Eaton

The birds' favorite songs

The birds' favorite songs
You do not hear,

For their most flamboyant music takes place
When their wings are stretched
Above the trees

And they are smoking the opium
Of pure freedom....

... I'm so sorry, but this post has been moved to my new personal blog Hey It's Me, hosted at, and can be found in its entirety here: The Bird's Favorite Songs

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What Mike Rowe Has To Say

Ok, so I had to go find a replacement for the "How To Pull Sheep Testicles Out With Your Teeth" video, and I stumbled across this interview with Mike Rowe:

Here's the description of the video from the download page at YouTube:

Drawing on his experiences picking up roadkill, feeding swine, and castrating a lamb with his teeth, Mike Rowe, host of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs, discusses how modern American culture belittles necessary labor.

EG is the celebration of the American entertainment industry. Since 1984, Richard Saul Wurman has created extraordinary gatherings about learning and understanding. EG is a rich extension of these ideas - a conference that explores the attitude of understanding in music, film, television, radio, technology, advertising, gaming, interactivity and the web - The Entertainment Gathering

Mike Rowe has had more jobs than you. In fact, Mike has had more jobs than anyone.

As the creator and executive producer of Discovery Channels Emmy-nominated series Dirty Jobs With Mike Rowe, Mike has spent years traveling the country, working as an apprentice on more than 200 jobs that most people would go out of their way to avoid. From coal mining to roustabouting, maggot farming to sheep castrating, Mike has worked in just about every industry and filmed the show in almost every state, celebrating the hard-working Americans who make civilized life possible for the rest of us.

On Labor Day 2008, Mike launched a Web site called, where skilled labor and hard work are celebrated in the hope of calling attention to the steady decline in the trades and bolstering enrollment in trade schools and technical colleges.

In addition to Dirty Jobs and his mikeroweWORKS endeavor, Mike is the voice of Deadliest Catch and the national spokesman for Ford Trucks. He has traveled extensively for Discovery Channel, hosting Shark Week in South Africa, where he field-tested a steel-mesh shark-suit, and Egypt Week Live, where he opened and explored newly discovered tombs in the Valley of the Golden Mummies.

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