Chris Cooper PhD

Inspiration

In this section of my web site I want to share with you some of the things that have inspired me. These include poems, quotations, and thoughts others have shared with me through their writing or speaking. I have accompanied some of these with photographs I have taken and which I view as gifts given to me by the very soul of the world around me. As many have said before me, these are not things of my making, but things that flow through me when I pay attention.

For more “Inspiration”: Next page

Halleluiah

Everyone should be born into this world happy
and loving everything.
But in truth it rarely works that way.
For myself, I have spent my life clamoring toward it.
Halleluiah, anyway I’m not where I started!
And have you too been trudging like that, sometimes
almost forgetting how wondrous the world is
and how miraculously kind some people can be?
And have you too decided that probably nothing important
is ever easy?
Not, say, for the first sixty years.
Halleluiah, I’m sixty now, and even a little more,
and some days I feel I have wings.
~ Mary Oliver ~

Wild Geese in Tahoe

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver
Dream Work (1986)


Inspiration can also come
in the form of the people in one’s life or one’s past. This part of my web site is dedicated to the grandfather I know only through stories, photos and the artifacts he left behind like this photographic self-portrait taken in 1912.