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I love discovering new blogs that inspire me and want to share three, among many, that I discovered this past year.

The Beauty We Love

I turn to this one often, for the captivating images as well as the inspiring quotations. Two I enjoyed most recently were by John Muir, the first enticing us to saunter reverently rather than “hike” when we are out among nature. He tells us how the word “saunter” comes from pilgrims who are traveling through France  ‘A la sainte terre’, or  ‘To the Holy Land.’ Another reminds us that we are kin to everything

When we try to pick out anything by itself,

we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

One fancies a heart like our own must be beating in every crystal and cell,

 and we feel like stopping to speak to the plants and animals

 as friendly fellow mountaineers.

Recently I featured another post I loved in Seeing the Self in What We Love.

Then there was Wild Elegance, which speaks to why I named this blog Living on the Edge of the Wild. John O’Donohue from The Invisible Embrace, Beauty writes:

When we acknowledge the wild beauty of God, we begin to glimpse the potential holiness of our neglected wildness.  As humans, citizens and believers, we have become domesticated beyond belief.  We have fallen out of rhythm with our natural wildness.  What we now call ‘being wild’ is often misshapen, destructive and violent.  The natural wildness as the fluency of the soul at one with beauty is foreign to us.

The call of the wild is a call to the elemental levels of the soul, the places of intuition, kinship, swiftness, fluency and the consolation of the lonesome that is not lonely.  Our fear of our own wildness derives in part from our fear of the formless; but the wild is not the formless – it holds immense refinement and, indeed, clarity.  The wild has a profound simplicity that carries none of the false burdens of brokenness or self-conflict; it flows naturally as one, elegant and seamless.

And moreover:

Beauty invites us towards profound elegance of soul.  It reminds us that we are heirs to elegance and nobility of spirit and encourages us to awaken the divinity within us.  We are no longer trapped in mental frames of self-reduction or self-denunciation.

Instead, we feel the desire to celebrate, to give ourselves over to the dance of joy and delight.   The overwhelming beauty which is God pervades the texture of our soul, transforming all smallness, limitation and self-division.  The mystics speak of the excitement of such unity.  This is how Marguerite Porete describes it:

 ‘Such a Soul, says Love swims in the sea of joy, that is in the sea of delights, flowing and running out of the Divinity.  And so she feels no joy, for she is joy itself.  She swims and flows in Joy… for she dwells in Joy and Joy dwells in her.’

The Eclectic Light Company – Paintings

For a stroll through art history and a survey of some of the major and minor artists through the ages, I love to visit this site, which always inspires and enlightens.

The painting that headlines this post is from his site by a lesser known artist, or at least new to me, Maria Fortuny’s painting of Portici Beach in Spain.

The best of his 2018 paintings and articles can be found at this link. It’s a two-parter, so don’t miss this one as well.

For a preview of what he’ll be covering this your, make sure you check out this link.

The Depth of Now

This blog satisfies my longing for travel, art, photography, soulful writing, and that fearsome urge to trust oneself in exploring the unknown. Here a young woman tells about uprooting herself to move to a new city, Istanbul, which she explores through photography and storytelling.

In her favorite posts of 2018 you can taste some of the many flavors she has to offer: joyful wisdom, finding home, writing about place, Istanbul street art, and more.

I also loved her interview with photographer John Wreford. She’s a wonderful photographer herself, and I think that’s how I met her, at a cemetery in Prague.

But where I fell in love with her blog was when I read Home is Where the Heart Is,  where she converses with a stranger she meets in a medieval courtyard and writes:

We talked about how everything at its core is fluid and he talked to me about the Tao Te Ching.

And suddenly we had left the party and were slowly meandering down the road of a deep conversation. And by deep, I mean that reality started to lose its edges as we both came to an agreement on certain points other than what is conventionally accepted.

I admitted to him that I had lived in so many places that I no longer could relate to home being somewhere outside myself. That secretly I was building my home within – letting go of the stuff of this world and instead focusing on the things that I can take with me when I die – the wisdom and knowledge of the world that may (or may not) serve me in the next life.

You see, I don’t believe that we die because what is there to die into? Everything is alive and remains alive in one form or another.

And something tells me that I have lived many lives because from time to time I remember something unusual. I will have a dream that will take me to another place so real that I must have been there before.

I hope you will fall in love with these blogs I discovered this past year as I have. And, please, share some of the favorites sites you’ve discovered with me too in the comments below.