Sunday, October 31, 2010

what to do when lost...

In the middle of this road we call our life
I found myself in a dark wood
With no clear path through ...

(Dante, Divine Comedy)


Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost.  Stand still.  The forest knows
Where you are.  You must let it find you.

~David Wagoner


  1. Comforting in its stillness, beauty, and reassurance.

  2. I have never read this....I loved it.
    Beautiful, and just right.

  3. This strikes me as powerfully appropriate advice, in this day and age, when the advent of things like GPS systems may mean that we will be the last generation to know what it means or feels like "to be lost". Imagine that. People will never be lost, in the sense that they will always know how to get where they are heading, but they will never really know exactly where they are either or how they came to be there.

    Either way, then or now, listening to the forest breathe and letting it find you is philosophy turned into a navigational strategy.

  4. I loved the images, Bonnie, especially the first one, which is quite stunning. I also like the David Waggoner poem in juxtaposition with the Dante quote. It's reassuring to know that when we feel lost, the natural world around us is not lost. We can just sink into its presence and be restored to the here and now.

  5. Wonderful post, Bonnie!

    It made me think we may be most lost (why don't those words rhyme?) when we think we know just exactly where we are.

  6. it's awesome Bonnie.

    it's the first time I noticed a specific pattern of fluidity in the wispy tree line of the leaves edges of the last image.

    thank you Bonnie

  7. This is one of my favorite posts. I LOVE trees. That poem is beautiful and meaningful. Your first print is just exquisite with the colorful background. I like the sun peeking through the branches on the second one.

  8. some beautiful shots bonnie and love the the is a place of tranquility for walk to speaks to me.

  9. Yes! Learning to find peace and contentment in the Here and Now.

  10. The first image is astonishingly beautiful. The second is lovely and reminds me almost precisely of the light I saw in our trees yesterday.

    Wagoner's words are really opening a window for me this morning. Isn't so much of what we think and feel mutable, with just a slight shift to the left or right (or sometimes 180 degrees)?

    Also, this post reminds me a lot of George's current post on stillness and solitude. Do you think it might be the utter mayhem of the mid-term elections that has us longing for quiet? Oh wait, you're in Canada . . .

  11. HI BONNIE-

    I love the pictures and the words - so beautiful and powerful. "thank you"
    Love Gail

  12. Oh Bonnie- this is wonderful! The shots of trees and the words and thoughts- Especially to one who is lost most of the time but comfortable being so...I swear I can get lost in my own house. I remember being lost in the woods as a child, many times, it felt strangely calm...

  13. Love the poem and the photos.

    I spend a lot of time in the forest, and I've never been lost there. Sometimes I don't know where I am, but I'm never lost. The trees always know where they are, and they are great listeners.

    Thanks for this.

  14. oh, this is so wonderful.
    I love to wander into the forest. And be Still.


  15. I love this quote.. and fine images to match.

  16. I was in the forest this afternoon, not lost, but very much at home.

  17. I have never read this! I LOVE!

  18. you speak the language of the soul

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral



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