Statement of Belief
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Tag Archives: life
My return to Punmu was celebrated with a carnival.
Well, there was a carnival and I returned. The reality was that there was little connection between the two events.
The carnival was based around sport and with lots of off-field action as well. There will be further posts on the carnival. The sporting side of the weekend. But firstly, a little fun.
To me, the perpetual inner child, the class act was Mr Wally The Clown. I don’t often write a post about an individual. Yet this guy touched me on several levels.
Or having his tail pulled,
And surprising the tail-pullers just when they thought he hadn’t noticed.
Mr Wally was as fascinating and as much fun to the children in the desert as he is to the children in the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital in the middle of the City of Perth where he is a Clown Doctor. (Note the subtle hint at the need for donations [grin])
Even singing silly songs with the aid of his four string guitar had me them watching and singing along. Yes, Bob the Builder, we can do it!
With all that, possibly my most lasting memory is encapsulated in this final shot. Mr Wally had a bubble machine and everyone wanted to touch the bubbles.
Somewhere in there, in amongst the fun and the play and the bubbles which Mr Wally orchestrates so well, there is more about life than is seen on the surface.
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.
During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.
Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups — porcelain, glass, crystal; some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: ‘Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.’ While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
The cup that you’re drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink.What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups… And then, you began eyeing each others cups.
Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate–your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life.The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate.
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly… and enjoy your hot chocolate.
Come close to me, oh companion of my full life;
Come close to me and let not Winter’s touch
Enter between us. Sit by me before the hearth,
For fire is the only fruit of Winter.
Speak to me of the glory of your heart, for
That is greater than the shrieking elements
Beyond our door.
Bind the door and seal the transoms, for the
Angry countenance of the heaven depresses my
Spirit, and the face of our snow-laden fields
Makes my soul cry.
Feed the lamp with oil and let it not dim, and
Place it by you, so I can read with tears what
Your life with me has written upon your face.
Bring Autumn’s wine. Let us drink and sing the
Song of remembrance to Spring’s carefree sowing,
And Summer’s watchful tending, and Autumn’s
Reward in harvest.
Come close to me, oh beloved of my soul; the
Fire is cooling and fleeing under the ashes.
Embrace me, for I fear loneliness; the lamp is
Dim, and the wine which we pressed is closing
Our eyes. Let us look upon each other before
They are shut.
Find me with your arms and embrace me; let
Slumber then embrace our souls as one.
Kiss me, my beloved, for Winter has stolen
All but our moving lips.
You are close by me, My Forever.
How deep and wide will be the ocean of Slumber,
And how recent was the dawn!
Let us go and gather grapes in the vineyard
For the winepress, and keep the wine in old
Vases, as the spirit keeps Knowledge of the
Ages in eternal vessels.
Let us return to our dwelling, for the wind has
Caused the yellow leaves to fall and shroud the
Withering flowers that whisper elegy to Summer.
Come home, my eternal sweetheart, for the birds
Have made pilgrimage to warmth and lest the chilled
Prairies suffering pangs of solitude. The jasmine
And myrtle have no more tears.
Let us retreat, for the tired brook has
Ceased its song; and the bubblesome springs
Are drained of their copious weeping; and
Their cautious old hills have stored away
Their colorful garments.
Come, my beloved; Nature is justly weary
And is bidding her enthusiasm farewell
With quiet and contented melody.
Let us go into the fields, my beloved, for the
Time of harvest approaches, and the sun’s eyes
Are ripening the grain.
Let us tend the fruit of the earth, as the
Spirit nourishes the grains of Joy from the
Seeds of Love, sowed deep in our hearts.
Let us fill our bins with the products of
Nature, as life fills so abundantly the
Domain of our hearts with her endless bounty.
Let us make the flowers our bed, and the
Sky our blanket, and rest our heads together
Upon pillows of soft hay.
Let us relax after the day’s toil, and listen
To the provoking murmur of the brook.
Come, my beloved; let us walk amidst the knolls,
For the snow is water, and Life is alive from its
Slumber and is roaming the hills and valleys.
Let us follow the footprints of Spring into the
Distant fields, and mount the hilltops to draw
Inspiration high above the cool green plains.
Dawn of Spring has unfolded her winter-kept garment
And placed it on the peach and citrus trees; and
They appear as brides in the ceremonial custom of
the Night of Kedre.
The sprigs of grapevine embrace each other like
Sweethearts, and the brooks burst out in dance
Between the rocks, repeating the song of joy;
And the flowers bud suddenly from the heart of
Nature, like foam from the rich heart of the sea.
Come, my beloved; let us drink the last of Winter’s
Tears from the cupped lilies, and soothe our spirits
With the shower of notes from the birds, and wander
In exhilaration through the intoxicating breeze.
Let us sit by that rock, where violets hide; let us
Pursue their exchange of the sweetness of kisses.
I re-read this old favourite for maybe the fortieth time.
Once again it reinforced a way of looking at life which has been an increasing part of me for the past four decades. How does one review a favourite child? How can one be detached when talking of ones own arm or a leg?
Yet I should at least acknowledge the power of this small volume. Some short quotations are, perhaps, the greatest compliment, for these words are within me all the time.
Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how shall I? A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that give it wings. Alone must it seek the ether. And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.
The words spoken by that tongue and those lips resonate.
Of love he said;
When love beckons to you follow him, Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
Of marriage he wisely opined;
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.” The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
Of Joy and Sorow
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean. And when the unclean shall be no more, what were modesty but a fetter and a fouling of the mind? And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
Of Crime and Punishment;
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world. But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you, So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live.
Of Good and Evil;
Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Next year, or sooner, I shall read The Prophet once more and my soul will again be refreshed.