The Hermit and the River

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“Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.”-said William Stafford.

But even if it doesn’t, that’s where it’s going anyway. Slowing, broadening and deepening as it goes. Like us, if we get the chance, if we are given the time. And the closer we get to the ocean, the less we strive, the more we carry, the more we reflect and the less we hurry.

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Like The Hermit, who walks alone in the wild places, following a far-off light, or answering the ancient drum beat. The Hermit is feeling the weight of his years and experience but casts his own light all the same. He/she withdraws more from society, but the wild creatures draw near and cautiously welcome The Hermit home. He – us- humankind of the modern world left their path many years ago, branching away from the path of the wild.

The Hermit is airy Mercury in earthy Virgo, watchful, enquiring, creative but analytical, self-disciplined, seemingly aloof yet safely approachable,with a quiet warmth.

The Hermit from The Golden Tarot by Kat Black

William Stafford died aged 79 at his home in Lake Oswego, Oregon on 28 August, 1993. The morning of his death, he had written a poem containing the lines, “‘You don’t have to / prove anything,’ my mother said. ‘Just be ready / for what God sends.’

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look at the silent river and wait.

We know the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

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“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”― Plutarch

There is what Life does to us. There is how we respond. But first there was always who we were to begin with, and the ways we are still becoming it.

Tabula rasa is the theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content, and therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Epistemological proponents of tabula rasa disagree with the doctrine of innatism, which holds that the mind is born already in possession of certain knowledge. Wikipedia

There was never a ‘Tabula Rasa’…no blank slate.

You only need to look at the newborn.