My fancies are fireflies

– Specks of living light
      twinkling in the dark.    R. Tagore

In my family Easter is more about chocolate eggs than the Resurrection. But that doesn’t mean I’m an atheist or even an agnostic. I have been to church and I have been baptized; I even spent a year studying the Bible in college. Churches can be wonderful institutions, even the ones whose beliefs leave me scratching my head but

my church is wild and uncontrolled by man.

IMG_1687Outside, be it deep in the woods or by the sea, that’s where I feel close to the inexplicable, all-encompassing, transcendental forces which philosophers far wiser than me struggle to comprehend.

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Theories about blogging differ wildly. Some insist that you put yourself out there.  Don’t be afraid to take positions on controversial subjects. Encourage debate, particularly if your platform is something like kinky sex.

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Others recommend extreme caution.  Stay clear of controversial subjects like politics and religion.  Don’t do anything to infuriate a potential buyer!

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Of course, which direction you take depends on your target audience and why you’re writing in the first place.  In general I’m a bit of a wimp.  I share bits of my life and only dip into controversy when I just can’t stand nonsense any more.  But it’s Easter and so I feel inspired to share with you the work of Rabindranath Tagore, my go-to guy for peace of mind.  I was introduced Tagore, a Bengali writer and painter, at the stupid age of eighteen by a dear friend intent on freeing my mind from convention.  For decades I’ve carried a copy of his “thoughts” (Fireflies) with me wherever I go. It’s beat up and stained and the spine gave up long ago but the book is out of print and almost impossible to replace.

Tagore was inspired by Chinese and Japanese “thoughts” painted on fans and pieces of silk, thus his works are not poems or haikus or even sonnets, just thoughts.  Like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “let he who is without sin throw the first stone” and  “love thy neighbors as thyself” and so many other thoughts by another great philosopher. IMG_2648

18 thoughts on “My fancies are fireflies

  1. What you believe and what you choose to share are deeply personal. When you put these thoughts out here, we understand you a little better. Thanks for sharing this bit of insight into you. Happy Easter.

  2. Everyone has their own beliefs which should be respected by those who choose to read and comment. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Happy Easter, Jan. Enjoy your chocolate..:)

  3. I too have difficulty sharing what I think. I guess it’s very odd that I would then choose to be a blogger, but it has helped me express myself better.

    I still weigh very heavily what I say and how I say it. I’ve decided that’s not a bad thing in a world where people tend to over share 😉

    Your book on *Fireflies* sounds like a perfect touchstone for you. The fact you carry it around with you speaks volumes 🙂

    Happy Easter!

    • I definitely don’t think it’s necessary to over share! You’re right, how much requires some thought and perhaps the likelihood that someone with different opinions will either speak their mind or say adios. C’est la vie! Happy Easter to you as well!

  4. Jan, this is lovely, I never heard of Tagore. I’m with you, about finding transcendence in nature. I haven’t explicitly talked about religion in my blog – like a whole post – but regularly drop thoughts on it here and there, making it clear that I am not religious. I’m not *actively* courting controversy or debate but won’t shy from simply stating what I believe.

  5. Your blog, your thoughts. If folks don’t agree with us and our point of view, or what we write, they’re not obligated to stay. If what we write peeks they’re interest, the door is open. That’s the wonderful thing about a blog. :O)

      • It would be. Plus, by writing what you want in your blog, you’re offering your readers exciting possibilities. It presents your ideas, your stories, and your imagination, all original material. Readers may be fascinated by what you have to say, because it’s all new to them.

  6. Like you, I am not flirting with controversy, and if I say something it means I am really upset.
    It is your blog, and you can share your beliefs. If a follower is gone because of that – so what? A follower who cannot tolerate other people’s beliefs isn’t really a follower 🙂

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