: to be faithful to
: to stay in accord with (a beat)
: Preserve, Maintain: to watch over and defend; to take care of: tend; Support
: Save, Reserve
: to retain in one’s possession or power
: Conduct, Manage
Keep (v.): late Old English cepan “to seize, hold; seek after, desire,” also “to observe or carry out in practice; look for, regard, pay attention to,” from Proto-Germanic kopjan, which is of uncertain origin.
The senses exploded in Middle English: “to guard, defend” (12th – mid-15th centuries); “restrain (someone) from doing something;” “take care of, look after; protect or preserve (someone or something) from harm, damage, etc.;” “preserve, maintain, carry on” It is used to translate both Latin conservare “preserve, keep safe” and tenere “to keep, retain.”
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
John Muir (1838-1914, farmer, inventor, sheepherder, naturalist, explorer, writer, and conservationist; founder of the Sierra Club)
“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”
Rumi (1207-1273, 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic)
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
Buddha (born Siddhartha Guatama in 6th-4th century BCE, teacher and the founder of Buddhism)
“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”
Lao Tzu (ancient philosopher and extraordinary thinker who flourished during the sixth century B.C.E., who is known as the author of Tao-te-ching)
“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But, I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
Robert Frost (1874-1963, poet who stood “at the crossroads of 19th-century American poetry and modernism…”)
“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” – Rumi
I am finding it difficult to write today, especially in today’s climate of political turmoil. I turned on the news last night and heard a snippet of Michelle Obama’s heart-felt speech on how enraged she is by the continuous subjugation and abuse of girls and women.
I have never kept silence when it came to abuses and injustices, especially of others. This is one of those time when it’s challenging to turn the other cheek, to love the opposition, and to look at my “enemies” with compassion.
It’s challenging to be a woman and a woman of color and to have experienced first-hand sexual assault as a child and not to be angry or bitter. But, I worked all my life not to be so, to stay awake, and to fight for others.
When I was a teenager and was assaulted I spoke up for myself, and when I did I bore the blame for being somehow responsible for seducing those predators and attracting the abuse.
That type of rationale still lives in the American psychic. That’s why it has taken us long to believe the many many women who have accused Bill Cosby, and why it’s taking the American public to fully be outraged or to believe that Donald Trump, a candidate for the President of the U.S., can be a gleeful predator as well.
I am not so much angry as Michelle Obama as I am mourning for our country and our world, and for all the little girls and little boys, and young women who cannot say of how they have been belittled and dehumanized. We must wake up! We must shout that this behavior will not be tolerated, not in our country and not in our world.
Written through grief, with compassion and love, Tonya
PS: Sojourners, my apologies for not able to glean great quotes from women authors today. My word choice was a bit odd. But, in the meantime I did highlight the words of noble men of integrity.