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feeding (off) each other

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“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that something deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

text: e.e. cummings (1884-1962), American poet. image: “1000 words in an unknown tonge,” acrylic, six panels at 36″  x 12″. © 2008 Arnie Bell at

4 responses »

  1. I knew I resonated with this when I found myself rejecting the idea of ‘feeding (off) each other’.
    It recalled for me the child’s ‘bouncing’ rhyme that ends with ‘… and the ravens gobbled him up.’
    The statement seemed so pejorative, judgmental, excoriating. I could almost feel a teacher’s hand raised, ready to strike. I flinched and fled.
    And in fleeing, looking for escape, I ‘stumbled’ on Peter’s doctoral thesis.
    So much in common – so much resonance – so many tears welling up.
    Sadness and the grief of self-recognition through the recognition of other.
    Yes. I feed off other.
    Thank you, Peter, for offering yourself as the ‘bread of heaven’ on which we can feed.

    • dear malcolm, in our stories we become one. through the ages, across cultures and circumstance, stories connect us and point inward to where truth resides, thank you.

  2. Hi, Peter. I’ve been coming by here a few weeks, now. At first mostly out of curiosity, but so much of what you post is interesting and thought-provoking. I’m trying not to be so scared of different traditions (from my Christian one) because there’s always something I can learn from others. The cummings quote touched me. Recently I saw my favorite aunt after what had been over 20 years since I saw her last. I asked her a lot of questions about my family, and about how I was as a little boy. She made me feel like a little boy again (in a good way). The validation and the joy she gave me about had me in tears.
    Today I got up the courage to say hello to you. I appreciate you and your blog and wish you peace.

  3. dear Jim, I appreciate your courage to write, especially after having read in your blog about your religious experiences.

    My brother (aged 70) has recently begun to tell me about our shared childhood, about events I was too small to remember, such as our mother’s death and life in war-time Germany. Till now he’s resisted my queries. We’re often in tears as our hearts soften.

    May peace be with you,


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