Friday, May 15, 2009

I hold a single grain of sand and wonder what it means

More of the stunning sand art of Ilana Yahav, can be viewed at her website. Her vision and talent are truly brilliant.

In the poem below I read US, you and me and everyone on the Earth, into the words describing the individual "gods" that are tasked to bless or blast, And steer to destiny this fragile planet.

Have a good weekend, everyone. If, in the course of the weekend, you do just one big or little thing for the environment try to stop back here to write what it was. I promise to do the same.

A Grain of Sand

If starry space no limit knows
And sun succeeds to sun,
There is no reason to suppose
Our earth the only one.
'Mid countless constellations cast
A million worlds may be,
With each a God to bless or blast
And steer to destiny.

Just think! A million gods or so
To guide each vital stream,
With over all to boss the show
A Deity supreme.
Such magnitudes oppress my mind;
From cosmic space it swings;
So ultimately glad to find
Relief in little things.

For look! Within my hollow hand,
While round the earth careens,
I hold a single grain of sand
And wonder what it means.
Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life's mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.

-Robert W. Service (1874-1958)



Friko said...

Is making my own compost green enough for you?
Pop over to my blog to see what it costs me.

happy weekend, Lydia, hope it keeps fine for you. Too wet here in the valley to go out much.

Friko said...

one more thing:=
"divided by a common language?" a pram is a baby carriage, a perambulator.

Erin Davis said...

Oh, my! I love her sand art. I am in awe of how you connect the art and writing on your blog. Where do you find the time? What a creative brain!

Lydia said...

@Friko- Absolutely green! I love my composter and am ready to use some of the soil it's made to spread in our garden. Luckily, unlike you we are not expecting rain this weekend.
.....As soon as I read your definition I recalled my mother telling me about prams!

@Erin- So glad, but not surprised, that you loved her sand art. And thank you so much for the compliment. You ask where I find the time and I must admit that other things take a back seat. I am way behind on my reading (books) and I need to change something in my daily schedule to attend to that. The clutter upstairs that was the catalyst for beginning my second blog still exists, although I am whittling. And let's not forget that I didn't even attempt one poem during April Poetry Month, where you made a miracle of one each day...
Plus, I must remind you that I do not have children and an outside job!

Buddha said...

It looks like magic, almost unreal, but so beautiful, so meaningful.
And all that is just humble sand.

PS: I am writing a book - actually I am at the research part for writing it.
So if it feels like I am neglecting my blogging friends it is because I am :)
I am barely keeping my blog alive but my readings is giving me a lot of inspiration.
So don't give up on me!
Love, peace and happiness!

the watercats said...

I think this lady is currently employed by some company to advertise, as I have seen her (or at least someone who does the same as her)on t.v. I was hypnotised by her hands, the way she moves so fluidly and runs one vision into the next, stunning!
The Robert service poem is just one of those beautiful things that hold so many truths. He had an amazing mind, particularly for his time. Cheers! Hope your week-end is a good one!
We will be planting cabbages and brussels given to us by a friend who was thinning out his rows, we gave him some grain for his hens in return, a fair trade I would say and an earth friendly one!-)

Darlene said...

Very creative. I am always impressed by the many mediums used by artists. The Hopis make sand paintings, but the living art of Ilana's is certainly different in a wonderful way.

Ah, sweet mystery of life. The poem illustrates the vastness of the universe. The Hubble telescope is exploring places we have never gone. I wish I could live long enough to see the next frontier.

Sorry - I got carried away.

Friko said...

Me again. thanks for coming over, there's a bit of a message there too

If you wet newspapers and cardboard first, then scrunch or rip them them up, they make very good compost. Your roses would love a nice thick layer round their roots, mine are treated to a load twice a year. I have three very large, wooden containers which the scraper made for me out of old planks. In spite of the cool, damp weather gardener and I worked all day outside today. I now have a new container full and shut down, ready to "cook" until autumn. I recently posted "Open Garden", I am going to open our garden for charity at the end of June, hence all the hard work.

Isabel Allende is one of my favourites; I must have read all of her work, including Daughter. She is so easy to read, there's plenty of action without being trashy, there are characters one cares about and she writes well.

See you again.

Lover of Life said...

Beautiful poem and the sand art was amazing. I love your challenge to do something for the environment this weekend. I will try to find something...

Lydia said...

It's early Sunday morning and I'm here to tell you what my little bit for the environment was on Saturday. As chance would have it, the Salem newspaper ran an article on Friday with two full pages of projects open to everyone - all that would benefit the beautiful state of Oregon as we continue to celebrate 150 years of statehood. There were choices including pulling ivy from old growth trees, or clearing certain hiking trails, picking up litter in designated areas, cleaning streams of overgrowth for fish habitat.....all sorts of ideas. But Mike and I decided to take advantage of the State Fire Marshal's free electronic recycling center and on-site paper shredding in the parking lot at its offices. I save our papers for shredding and they pile up in a safe, out-of-the-way place until I see such offers one or two times a year. (I've gone through three home shredding machines and refuse to buy any more of them.) Also, our microwave burned out its rotating motor last month. So we took the old microwave and two boxes of business papers for recycling/shredding. There was quite a crowd, lots of other microwaves and computers...and a steady stream of cars dropping paper off at the shredding truck. Felt good.

@Buddha- Of course I wouldn't give up on you! It's exciting to learn that you're writing a book! I'm glad you enjoyed the SandFantasy.

@the watercats- Yes, there is an ad on TV with her owl that becomes a cat, or vice versa. It's captivated me and I was so glad when a friend recently sent another of her videos in an email, so I finally found out the name of the artist.
Service was possibly ahead of his time; love his poetry.
Ah, your time in the garden is wonderfully green. I hope to do mulching in our garden Sunday afternoon (Friko is giving me advice below!)

@Darlene- My uncle gave a sand painting as a gift for my first marriage. I love it and wonder if it is Hopi art. I bet it is.
I love that you got carried away and shared that beautiful second paragraph. :)

@Friko- Thank you for the info on using newspapers in my composter. Mine is only four feet tall and made of plastic...nothing like the wonders you describe on your property. You are my compost hero! I'll come by to read your comments for more info. Your "Open Garden" is truly an inspiration. What a beautiful idea!

@Lover of Life- So glad the poem and sand art added to your weekend enjoyment, and it will be fun to hear if an "earthy" idea came to mind. :)

Lydia said...

This message was in my email, as a response to my emailing the artist Ilana Yahav to let her know about this post. She is wonderful!

Dear Lydia,

Thank you so much!
I appreciate your generosity.

I love the song and I'll keep it forever… it fits completely my soul and the theme of this clip.

Grace and peace


Owen said...

Entirely hypnotizing video... could watch that for hours, utter tranquility at work there.

In all my meanderings in the universe of blogs, this is the first time I've come across reference to Robert William Service... perfect choice of a poem to with the sand art. Are you a fan of Service's work? If by any chance interested, in my back posts you can find a couple about Service in the "labels" list. I tracked down his tomb in Brittany, the photos are in those posts.

Just one other thought, perhaps you know the Bob Dylan song, Every Grain of Sand ?

Lydia said...

@Owen- What a nice surprise to find your comments with suggestion that there is more about Service at your blog (I will definitely be by) including even photos of his tomb. Yes, I am a fan of his work although by no means an expert. I'm still discovering him. And now via you!
No, I am not familiar with that Dylan song and of course will search it out. (In my blogroll are two major Dylan aficionados: Francessa's Thinking and YogaforCynics.)

Rhiannon said...

Strange Lydia, as I wrote a comment out for this post but I guess it just didn't come through.

I had wrote that I have not used any chemicals in cleaning house for over 20 years first due to my very sensitive immune system to chemmicals..but as time went on and I didn't have to suffer the pains or headaches or sideaffects of all those nasty "toxic cleansers" we use I continued on and never went back to any toxic cleanser "ever" again.

I had mentioned in the comment to you that I use hydrogen peroxide as a bleach replacement..bleach is so bad for the planet and it's people and waters, etc. Peroxide does the same thing if anything better. What does peroxide do when we put it on a cut on our skin? Disinfects it! Exactly!

I go to the dollar store and buy lots of bottles of peroxide for 50 cents each and add a bit to my wash when washing whites, or sheets, or towels..and well All has a fragrance and dye free laundry detergent and it gets rid of dust mites and such from your animals on your clothes's called "Free and clear"'s great.

I use bon-ami for other cleaning and add a bit of peroxide to that when cleaning bathtub, toilet, whatever..gets rid of mold and all that gunk..easy! I feel there is no reason to use any of those harsh chemicals that so many feel that they "have" to because it's so ingrained in them to...

Just my humble opinion but it saves me lots of money and I don't suffer any side affects from harsh chemicals and I do not contribute to damaging our environment.

Well, thats about all I said..long as usual..sorry...:o)



Rhiannon said...

By the way I lover her sand art. Someone had e-mailed me a video of her doing her work last's amazing..she must have to think really fast to be able to do this so quickly..or perhaps it's more of a "spiritual artistic flow" that happens to her when she does this. Wonderful.


Lydia said...

@Rhi- Boy, you are lots more patient than I am. I left some lengthy comments at a new blog last week and later noticed they hadn't gone through. So I just left a really short comment after that! Thanks for repeating your interesting information. I have nearly done away with bleach use, and after reading your comments I've decided to no longer use it. I have used Peroxide in laundry but actually forgot about it. The laundry powder (won't use liquids because they come in plastic bottles and waste water resources at the factories) I have been buying is expensive, but I've decided to do this extra thing for the planet. I use dishwasher powder made by the same company. It's Seventh Generation.

I might be able to add peroxide to an Earth-friendly spray cleaner (made of fruits, etc.) that I buy in order to create a disinfecting cleaner for my kitchen counters. Willow is the only cat I've ever had who walks on the counters and I've been using Lysol kitchen cleaner dozens of times a day. The stuff makes my lungs actually hurt and I've thought I needed to replace it with something effective but kinder to me. So I'll try that! I also use Bon Ami cleanser; it's the only cleanser I'll buy.



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