Thursday, April 28, 2011

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I, too, saw God through mud —
The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.
War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,
And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child.

Merry it was to laugh there —
Where death becomes absurd and life absurder.
For power was on us as we slashed bones bare
Not to feel sickness or remorse of murder.

I, too, have dropped off fear —
Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon,
And sailed my spirit surging, light and clear
Past the entanglement where hopes lay strewn;

And witnessed exultation —
Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl,
Shine and lift up with passion of oblation,
Seraphic for an hour; though they were foul.

I have made fellowships —
Untold of happy lovers in old song.
For love is not the binding of fair lips
With the soft silk of eyes that look and long,

By Joy, whose ribbon slips, —
But wound with war's hard wire whose stakes are strong;
Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips;
Knit in the welding of the rifle-thong.

I have perceived much beauty
In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;
Heard music in the silentness of duty;
Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.

Nevertheless, except you share
With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,
And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:
You shall not come to think them well content
By any jest of mine. These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an ag├Ęd wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle.
"You told me what the first rule of wisdom is," I said. "What is the second rule?"

"That can be answered," he said. "There are five in all. Always ask any questions that are to be asked and never answer any. Turn everything you hear to your own advantage. Always carry a repair outfit. Take left turns as much as possible. Never apply your front brakes first."
"The first beginning of wisdom", he said, "is to ask questions but never to answer any."

Monday, April 18, 2011

He did not need to ask how she knew his surname; she had taken it from him along with certain other things, such as his heart, when he had kissed her.
The journey there is perilous, and the journey back is more so.
The beet was Rasputin's favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The walls closed in, and the quiet was loud, and I was far from sleep.
Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it until it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.
if you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?
Fundamentally the marksman aims at himself

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Let teachers and priests and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.
All this is not quite real; when you wake up you'll understand.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I became conscious of a languid, exhausted embarrassment bowed to Mrs. Fyne, and went out of the cottage to be confronted outside its door by the bespangled, cruel revelation of the immensity of the Universe.
They amused me beyond the wildest imaginings of which I was capable. After the first shock, you understand, I recovered very quickly. The order of the world was safe enough. He was a civil servant and she his good and faithful wife. But when it comes to dealing with human beings anything, anything may be expected.
...as if a plunge toward dawn indefinite black hours long would indeed be necessary before the Tristero could be revealed in its terrible nakedness. Would its smile, then, be coy, and would it flirt away harmlessly backstage, say good night with a Bourbon street bow and leave her in peace? Or would it instead, the dance ended, come back down the runway, its luminous stare locked to Oedipa's, smile gone malign and pitiless; bend to her alone among the desolate rows of seats and begin to speak words she never wanted to hear?
Society is everywhere in conspiracy against intelligence
Eat The Rich

Monday, April 11, 2011

I loved her more intensely than I would have believed possible. Just to say her name, Guiwenneth, made my head spin. When she whispered my name, and teased me with passionate words in her own tongue, I felt an ache in my chest, and happiness that was almost overwhelming.
...excitedly she grabbed my hand and practicaly tugged me in the direction of the glade. After a few paces she stopped, turned to me, and reached out to grasp me by the shoulders. She was several inches shorter than me, and she stretched slightly and kissed me gently on the lips. It was a moment whose magic, whose wonder, caused the world around me to fade into a summer's day. It took long seconds before the cool, woody night was back, and Guiwenneth was just a flickering grey shape ahead of me, urgently calling me to follow.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In the emptiness that was her face Peredur thought he could see the shape of the hag who inhabited the body of the entity. She was older than time itself, and only the Wildwoods saved from her evil glance.

"I will give you your Guiwenneth," cried the Jagad. "But each man here will answer for her life. I am the huntress of the first woods, and the ice woods, and the stone woods, and the high tracks, and the bleak moors; I am the daughter of Moon and Saturn; Sour herbs cure me, bitter juices sustain me, bright silver and cold iron gird me. I have always been in the earth, and the earth shall ever nourish me, for I am the eternal huntress, and when I have need of you, Peredur, and your nine hunters, I shall call upon you, and whoever I call shall go. There is no time so remote that you shall not wander through it, no land too wide or too cold, or too hot, too lonely for a quest to take you."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

There is nothing further to say on the subject of my work, which I have created myself, and whose face I do not know. It will be there - that's all one can be certain of - it will be there, it will abide and be there, and there's nothing to say. This is darkness and yet this is also light - this is life and work. Don't laugh, this is what it is.
If the ordinary men, the men who work and keep their silence, by which fact they are not ordinary after all - if then, the general run of men, were to write down all their thoughts or a fraction of them, what a universe of literatures we'd have! And I struggle with these pencil-marks and scribblings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Western wind, when wilt thou blow?
The small rain down can rain.
Christ, that my Love were in my arms,
And I in my bed again.
The most effective way to practice is to just practice.
What fates, what forces were guiding the flow of my own journey? It hardly seemed to matter. To enter Ryhope was to enter a confusion at the edge of things, a sensory cacophony of sound and vision - glimpses and echoes that could not be grasped - that was both frightening and seductive. I had experienced these feelings on a previous occasion, and had become determined to fight through the fear, to fight the dizzying defenses of this semi-sentient wildwood, to find that certain moment when a definable and welcome preeace replaced the screams of the anxious intellect and the tricks that the forest was playing. It was a moment when a hand seemed to reach out and soothe everything, from mind to brow. There was a certainty attached to this moment, a feeling that the direction was right, that the events which were being witnessed and the loss of control were all being carefully monitored. I was like a child, secure on the assertion and confidence of a parent, unaware, of course, that the parent was trained to respond to my fears in just this way.

Previously I had turned about when this catharsis had occurred. Now, however, with the rediscovery of Guiwenneth as my goal, I fought against the feeling to return and let events take their course.

I though of Longfellow as I launched the short canoe; I lay back, my pack at my head, my arms over the sides of the simple, smooth-hewn craft; I let the river take me and watched the sky through the over-reaching branches of the trees. I let the motion of hull and water become the movement of time itself, taking me backward, ever backward, into a distance of which I had only dreamed.

This was the edge of the wilderness. It was the true entrance to the past and to the Otherworld and I became afraid to watch it, aware of its beauty and its confusion. To try to see it, to document it, would perhaps have been to find that it ceased to exist; and it would spit me out, hurl me back into the bright air near the cornfield by Oak Lodge, drifting again on a stream in England rather than on a river that flowed into the realm of ghosts.

I thought of Longfellow, and his Hiawatha.

I thought of Arthur on his way to Avalon, stretched out in his brage, three queens tending to his mortal wounds. And I rued the lack of women, black cowled or otherwise. How nice, how pleasant it would have been to have had their strange company on this sluggish journey to the past.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Surviving in a combat environment meant taking as few risks as possible, because the ones you couldn't avoid were plenty bad enough.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

As you do the form, the universe is dancing the moment with you.
It is not the act that makes something a meditative practice but the way and the state of mind with which it is executed.
We are afraid to put our whole heart into something because we are afraid of breaking our heart.
Being able to say "I'll try again" is one of the deepest expressions of faith in onself.
Tears sometimes mark the moments of great release and understanding and, ultimately, deep awakening.
Twill give itself to thee with ready will, if fate shall favor thee. If otherwise, no strength nor sharpened steel can sever it...

Monday, March 7, 2011

The way is empty
The way that can be spoken of
Is not the constant way;
The name that can be named
Is not the constant name.
The nameless was the beginning of heaven and earth;
The named was the mother of the myriad creatures.
Hence always rid yourself of desires in order to observe its secrets;
But always allow yourself to have desires in order to observe its manifestations.
These two are the same
But diverge in name as they issue forth.
Being the same they are called mysteries,
Mystery upon mystery -
The gateway of the manifold secrets.
They surfeited with honey and began to loathe the taste of sweetness, whereof a little more than a little is much too much
The hero is the one who comes to know
Wisdom cries out in the streets and no man regards it
...Mine ear is open and my heart prepared: The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold. Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, 'twas my care; and what loss is it to be rid of care? Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we? Greater he shall not be; if he serve God we'll serve Him too and be his fellow so; revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend; they break their faith to God as well as us: Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay; the worst is Death, and Death will have his day.
Things past redress are now with me past care
...must I not serve a long apprenticehood to foreign passages, and in the end having my freedom, boast of nothing else, but that I was a journeyman to grief?
The way is near, but men seek it afar. It is in easy things, but men seek for it in difficult things.
Insects on a bough
floating downriver
still singing
I shut my eyes in order to see
All the time I pray to Buddha I keep on killing mosquitoes
Not everyone has a destiny
How teach again, however, what has been taught correctly and incorrectly learned a thousand thousand times, throughout the milleniums of mankind's prudent folly? That is the hero's ultimate difficult task. How render back into light-world language the speech-defying pronouncements of the dark? How represent on a two-dimensional surface a three-dimensional form, or in a three-dimensional image a multi-dimensional meaning? How translate into terms of "yes" and "no" revelations that shatter into meaninglessness every attempt to define the pairs of opposites? How communicate to people who insist on the exclusive evidence of their senses the message of the all-generating void?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The hero himself is that which he had come to find.
We no longer desire and fear; we are what was desired and feared.
I ween that I hung on that windy tree
Hung there for nights full nine;
With spear I was wounded, and offered I was
To Othin, myself to myself,
On the tree that none may ever know
What root beneath it runs.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I say unto you, Love your enemies. Do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. and as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye Love them which Love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But Love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the Children of the Highest: For he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: Hatred ceases by Love, this is an old rule.
Oh, Lord of the Universe
I will sing thee a song.
Where canst thou be found?
And where canst thou not be found?
Where I pass - there art thou
Where I remain - there, too, thou art
Thou, thou, and only thou.
With no-mind, blossoms invite the butterfly;
With no-mind, the butterfly visits the blossoms.
When the flower blooms, the butterfly comes.
I feel myself driven towards and end that I do not know. As soon as I shall have reached it, as soon as I shall become uneccessary, an atom will suffice to shatter me. Till then, not all the forces of mankind can do anything against me.
Someone at this point discovered eternity

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For the One who has become many, remains the One undivided, but each part is all of Christ. I saw him in my house, among all those everyday things he appeared unexpectedly and became unutterably united and merged with me, and leaped over to me without anything in between, as fire to iron, as the light to glass. And he made me like fire and like light. And I became that which I saw before and beheld from afar. I do not know how to relate this miracle to you.
Truth is one, the sages speak of it by many names.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Things can always get worse.
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly understood; an inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
You fear what you cannot name.
He could offer her nothing less than himself.
The best things can't be told. The second best are misunderstood.
American zen is running sideways, writing books, lecturing, referring to theology, psychology and whatnot. Someone should stand up and smash the whole thing to pieces.
Yun-Men held up his staff to the assembly and said: "My staff has been transformed into a dragon and it swallowed the universe. Mountains, rivers, the whole Earth - where are they now?"
One day Chao-Chou fell down in the snow and called out, "Help! Help me up!"

A monk came and lay down beside him.

Chao-Chou got up and walked away.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fleeing in terror, I'd just like to note in passing for those of you who have so far been lucky enough to avoid the experience, generally leaves you both hungry and thirsty. At least that's been the case with me on most occasions, and I've done it frequently enough to qualify as something of am expert on the topic, so I hope you'll take my word for it.
If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.
Tell the Truth and run.
There is nothing like overwhelming fire superiority to give you a sense of self-confidence.
Grown up in an age of security, we shared a yearning for danger, for the experience of the extraordinary. We were enraptured by war. We had set out in a rain of flowers, in a drunken atmosphere of blood and roses. Surely the war had to supply us with what we wanted; the great, the overwhelming, the hallowed experience.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One day Chuang-Tzu and a friend were walking along a riverbank.

"How delightfully the fishes are enjoying themselves in the water!" Chuang-Tzu exclaimed.

"You are not a fish," his friend said. "How do you know whether or not the fishes are enjoying themselves?"

"You are not me," Chuang-Tzu said. "How do you know that I do not know that the fishes are enjoying themselves?"
I am a stag: Of seven tines,
I am a flood: Across a plain,
I am a wind: On a deep lake,
I am a tear: The sun lets fall,
I am a hawk: Above the cliff,
I am a thorn: Beneath the nail,
I am a wonder: Among flowers,
I am a wizard: Who but I
Sets the cool head aflame with smoke?

I am a spear: That roars for blood,
I am a salmon: In a pool,
I am a lure: From Paradise,
I am a hill: Where poets walk,
I am a boar: Ruthless and red,
I am a breaker: Threatening doom,
I am a tide: That drags to death,
I am an infant: Who but I
Peeps from the unhewn dolman arch?

I am the womb: Of every holt,
I am the blaze: On every hill,
I am the queen: Of every hive,
I am the shield: For every head,
I am the tomb: Of every hope.
All saints revile her, and all sober men
Ruled by the God Apollo's golden mean -
In scorn of which I sailed to find her
In distant regions likeliest to hold her
Whom I desired above all things to know,
Sister of the mirage and echo.

It was a virtue not to stay,
To go my headstrong and heroic way
Seeking her out at the volcano's head,
Among pack ice, or where the track had faded
Beyond the cavern of the Seven Sleepers:
Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips,
With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips -

Green sap of spring in the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate the Mountain Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But I am gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
I forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Careless of where the next bright bolt may fall

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love alone matters.
Death slue not him, but he made death his ladder to the skies.
De l'audace, encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace.

Boldness, again boldness, and ever boldness.
What canst thou see elsewhere which thou canst not see here? Behold the heaven and the earth and all the elements; for of these are all things created.
You are he who puts together and resolves. You are he who speaks with the light of day. You are he who speaks with terror.
The wizard of the cave of Les Trois Freres does a ritual dance high above a medley of animals of ancient times. His head is crowned with reindeer antlers; his ears are those of the wolf, and his face is bearded like a lion's. He has a horse's tail and bear paws. The wide and startling eyes appear to see not only the creatures gamboling beneath him but through the timeless space separating us from this paleolithic vision.
Your sword has no blade. It has only your intention. When that goes astray you have no weapon.
"There is always just enough time when you do something right, no more, no less."
"The secret of a happy life, Lewis, is to know when to stop and then to go that little bit further."
Things and actions are what they are, and the consequences of them will be what they will be: Why then, should we desire to be deceived?
Do you think that you shall enter the Garden of Bliss without such trials as come to those who passed away before you?
To its accomplishments it lays no claim. It loves and nourishes all things, but does not lord it over them. The Tao, without doing anything, leaves nothing undone.
The Fates lead him who will, him who won't they drag.