- Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance. [attribution unknown]
Serenity refers to the kind of tranquility experienced when one has attained a pervasive inner peace, which comes from all the things we have touched on so far. Especially important are the values we are exploring this week. In this model, we distinguish serenity from mere tranquility in this way: a person may be tranquil and still harbor inner conflicts but when she has surrendered to those realities she cannot change, embraced life as it is, mastered forgiveness and become content, then she can practice the healing and restorative art of serenity.
An opposite and obstacle is anxiety.
- Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (Ecco, 2020): “How do you not vomit up all the anguish when artfully vomiting up all the anguish is one way of getting free?”
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- John Rutter, Requiem (performances conducted by Brown, Cleobury and Rutter)
- Steve Halpern, “Inner Peace” album
- Steven Halpern, “Serenity Suite” album
- Liquid Mind, “Relax” album
- Einaudi, “Waves”, vol. 1; vol. 2
(from nature itself) Echoes of Nature:
- Hot Springs in Rainforest
- Ocean Waves: Pleasant Beach
- Wilderness River: Big River, Streamside Songbirds and Crickets and Water
Other nature sound tracks:
- Tropical beach sounds
- Gentle stream sounds
- Forest river sounds
- Rainforest sounds
- Forest birds sounds
- Gentle wind in mountains sounds
- Wind in the trees sounds
- Wind and distant waves sounds
- Henri Matisse, Luxury, Serenity and Pleasure (1904)
- Isaac Levitan, Avove the Eternal Tranquility (1894)
- Ivan Aivazovsky, Seashore (1843)
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,— / The finger-points look through like rosy blooms: / Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms / 'Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass, / Are golden kingcup fields with silver edge / Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge. / 'Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly / Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky:— / So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower, / This close-companioned inarticulate hour / When twofold silence was the song of love.
[Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Silent Noon”]
Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea.
I am the pool of blue
That worships the vivid sky;
My hopes were heaven-high,
They are all fulfilled in you.
I am the pool of gold
When sunset burns and dies, —
You are my deepening skies,
Give me your stars to hold.
[Sara Teasdale, “Peace”]
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Nawang Khechog, Quiet Mind